There are many different types of boats designed for saltwater fishing, but if you want to point the bow towards an endless horizon and pursue pelagic beasts of the open ocean, you’ll be most interested in dedicated offshore fishing boats. These come in many shapes and sizes, from large sportfishing yachts to open boat center consoles crammed full of fishing features, and every year we see new and more advanced models hitting the water. What are the top contenders from 2021 and heading into 2022? If you’re scouting for the best offshore fishing boats on the market right now, these top 10 picks definitely belong on your short-list. Read on to find out why.
2022 Viking 64C Convertible Sportfishing Yacht
Although the boat hadn’t been quite completed and unveiled yet as we put this roundup together, the Viking 64C is due to be premiered this fall at the upcoming FLIBS 2021 boat show where it is sure to draw the attention of offshore anglers all across the nation. This is a four stateroom, three-head convertible battlewagon propelled by twin diesel inboards up to 2000 raging horsepower. And while Viking has built convertibles this size in the past, they’re known for constantly upgrading and evolving their model line. Thus, the new 64C should be even better than the Vikings of the past.
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2022 Caymas 401 CC Center Console
The 401 CC is the newest, biggest boat yet to come from Caymas, which until now has mostly been known for their ground-breaking hybrid bay boats. This big new offshore center console beast can handle triple or quadruple outboards up to 1,800 total horsepower, and is a live bait angler’s dream with two pressurized 45-gallon livewells that are fed via variable-speed Hooker Electric pumps and a sea chest system. Note: the 401 CC is utterly loaded with high-end features as standard fare, ranging from the anchor windlass on the bow to the electric trim tabs on the stern.
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2022 Invincible 33 Catamaran
Powercats can slice and dice those big ocean waves in ways a monohull can’t match, the although the new 33 is Invincible’s smallest powercat, it’s no slouch — in any department. You can check out a full review of this boat, Invincible 33 Catamaran Review: Claw Your Way to the Top, but in the meantime, here are a few of the highlights: A top-end speed right around 70 mph, livewells fed by sea chests, 23 stock rodholders, electric reel outlets, and an optional folding tower with upper station. W-O-W.
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Scout 425 LXF S-Class
If you like the idea of fishing offshore in luxury, you’ll like the Scout 425 LXF S-Class. On top of all the rodholders and livewells, it boasts eye-popping features like a gunwale that folds down hydraulically to create a “beach platform,” not two but three Garmin 8616 MFDs at the helm, C-Zone digital switching, and a standard-issue Seakeeper 5 gyroscopic stabilization system. Those who enjoy fishing with lots of friends will note the second-row seating behind the helm. And anglers who plan to overnight at the canyons will be interested in the full-blown cabin inside the console, with a galley, berths, and an enclosed head.
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Aquasport 2500 Center Console
While a 25-footer is on the small side for offshore fishing it can still get the job done, and plenty of anglers looking for a relatively low-cost way to get in on the offshore game are going to be interested in the Aquasport 2500. This storied builder was always known for building fishing boats that were uber-competent for their size, but the company went dormant for a number of years. Now it’s back and looking strong, building the 2500 Center Console with hand-laid fiberglass and Kevlar reinforcement, a composite core transom, and a foam-injected stringer system. Rig one up with a pair of outboards up to 500 total horsepower, you’ll be trolling in blue water before you know it.
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There was a time when owning a Bertram offshore fishing machine would have been impossible for most people to afford, but with the introduction of the 28CC those days are over. Note that Bertram has never been known for following the pack, and you’ll see some unique touches on the 28CC that don’t exist on other boats. The most obvious is the livewell arrangement, which is built into the corner of the transom on the port-side. As a result the cockpit is entirely asymmetrical, which gives angles the extra advantage of being able to move farther aft than usual while fighting a fish around the outboards.
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The R360 is Robalo’s biggest boat ever, and it’s also one of their fishiest yet. Highlights include a pair of 30-gallon livewells with adjustable flow, 14 gunwale and transom flush-mount rodholders, and a 65-quart Yeti under the leaning port. Once you get a bend in the rods a pair of coffin-sized 100-gallon fishboxes ensure that no matter how big the catch is you can put it on ice. Construction is a stand-out, too, with a poured ceramic transom core, Kevlar reinforcement in the hull, and welded stainless-steel rails with backing plates.
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Crevalle 33 CSF
Crevalle is another builder previously known for building bay boats which made the transition to offshore, and the 33 CSF is the queen of their fleet. With a pair of 400-horse Mercury outboards it’ll cruise at a spiffy 40 mph, and break a hat-stripping 58 mph at top end. The boat’s a high-tech build, too, manufactured with CRIMP resin infusion, epoxy-coated fuel tanks, powder-coated pipework, carbon fiber outriggers, and Deutsch water-resistant electrical connections.
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Sailfish 272 CC
Sailfish boats have a well-deserved reputation for being able to run smoothly through rough seas, and the hull the new 272 CC runs on is the sixth-generation “variable degree stepped hull.” In a nutshell, the deadrise angle varies from the keel to the hullsides on three different planes stepping from 24 to 22 degrees, as well as varying from bow to stern. The net effect is an awesome ride, backed up by stout construction including Kevlar and carbon fiber reinforcements. Fishing-wise the boat’s rigged to the teeth, including a mouth-watering 20 rodholders, a 30-gallon livewell in the transom plus a 35-gallon well in the leaning post, and four insulated fishboxes.
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Sportsman Open 262
With a starting MSRP that’s just a hair over $120K the Sportsman Open 262 is one of the more affordable offshore fishing boat options around. Styled after Sportsman’s larger offshore boats, it also has a number of perks that are commonly found only on significantly larger vessels. It’s Seakeeper-ready, has entry doors on both sides, twin 30-gallon aquarium-style livewells in the transom, and holds a whopping 160 gallons of fuel. The Open 262 is available with either twins (Yamaha F150s or 200s) or a single (Yamaha F425), and will eat up those long runs to blue water in no time with a cruise of around 30 mph and a top-end of over 50.
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Editor's Note: These fishing boats were selected by our contributor Lenny Rudow who is an avid, experienced angler and expert boat reviewer. The models chosen are based on his years of experience fishing offshore and some of his personal preferences. The list leans towards capable mid-range vessels with an open boat layout that come loaded with many standard fishing features. There are a number of notable boat builders not on this list who build some of the best offshore fishing boats and sportfishing yachts on the market including names like: Intrepid Powerboats, Everglades, Contender, Hatteras (Sportfishing Yachts), Albemarle, Regulator, Pursuit and of course no list would be complete without at least mentioning the classic, beloved affordable American family fishing boats from Boston Whaler and Grady-White, just to name a few.