We’re celebrating center-consoles this month for our Expert’s Choice installment, having pored over many dozens of listings to find a couple of true classics and a sort of odd-ball that deserves a heck of a lot more respect than it gets. Read on to discover the fruits of our labor—a trio of great center consoles—and they all come with price tags that won’t give you hypertension.
This story will be available in the future as part of Boat Trader’s Best Boat Deals series, but the boat listings below may not be. If you click through to an expired link it means that someone nabbed the bargain — or the owner had second thoughts about selling.
– Boat Trader editors
1968 Boston Whaler 17 Eastport
It doesn’t get more classic that Boston Whaler’s 17-foot hull, which has had many configurations ride on it—including the iconic 17-foot Montauk—over the years. This model’s a bit different than the Montauk, having a larger and more substantial mahogany center console and additional seating accommodations—also in bright and shiny mahogany. The best part is that it’s completely restored and ready to go.
- This custom Eastport model features more substantial seating inside, including a mahogany bench at the stern and a mahogany helm seat.
- The woodwork, which the owner upgraded with solid wood versus plywood, is completely new and the boat has been stored indoors.
- Brightwork and hull and deck paint have been restored and nicely maintained.
- A new stainless-steel fuel tank has been installed and feeds a 2002 Mercury 90-horsepower two-stroke outboard engine with only 250 hours. Oil injection means no messy pre-mixing with gasoline.
- The hull is unsinkable, built with foam sandwiched between layers of durable fiberglass laminate. The hull has a relatively new Imron paint system applied.
- A 1980 roller bunk aluminum trailer with spare tire is included.
- Electronics include an Eagle GPS/fish finder and a VHF radio.
- The boat is clean, inside and out, and is offered at a relative bargain of $17,500.
2013 Twin Vee Baycat 19
Not considered a classic, but one heck of a great boat for fishing, crabbing, and just poking around, the Twin Vee 19 has an efficient and stable hull, and is remarkably fuel-efficient. (We owned one a few years back. In a full day of crabbing we would burn only 10 gallons of fuel.) Read on to see what else there is to love about this bargain center-console cat.
- The cat design of this center-console means much more deck space than you’d normally find in a boat this size. We’ve had four folks fishing aboard quite comfortably.
- The hull is remarkably stable and seaworthy—we’ve had one out in quite a blow and never once doubted we’d make it home okay.
- The 115-horsepower Mercury Optimax two-stroke outboard has only 52 hours and should produce a top end in the upper 30s and a cruise in the 20s.
- The engine uses oil injection so there’s no messing with premixed gasoline.
- Her open layout makes her great for fishing and additionally capable for crabbing. We’ve stowed a couple of dozen traps on her deck with no problem and still plenty of room left.
- The cloth T-top has a stowage bag that’s handy for safety gear.
- Additional accessories include a dual battery system with Perko switch, deck lighting, T-top lights, a fishfinder, CD stereo, and GPS.
- Only three years old, the boat appears to be in good shape inside and out. The asking price? Only $21,200.
1990 Mako 171
The 17-foot Mako hull is a classic in sport fishing circles. It’s got a tough and smooth-riding hull that most 17-footers only dream of having, and a no-nonsense deck layout that makes it a great fishing or crabbing boat. That utility also makes it a good family boat, and its wide availability on the used market puts it within reach of many who might not otherwise be able to afford a boat.
- The Mako 17 debuted in the late 1960s, and is still responsible for safely taking many thousands of people fishing each day.
- Their deep entry and moderate deadrise at the transom gives them a smooth, comfortable ride while their solidly built hull stands up to just about any beating.
- This relatively late model 171 model is being sold by the original owner and is the evolution of many years of refinements since the original model’s introduction, including hull and deck design tweaks and seating configuration improvements.
- This model has a 1996 Evinrude VRO two-stroke engine, which just had a new tilt cylinder installed. Be sure to ask the owner how many hours it has.
- The owner states that it has never been wet stored, always being put up on davits, or on the included trailer, often inside.
- There’s a fold-back canvas Bimini top and new upholstery on the forward bench seating.
- A trademark of the 17 is its bow stowage area, where all sorts of gear can be tucked away out of the weather.
- Based on what we can see in the listing photos this boat will need some love in the brightwork and spit-and-shine department, but its $7,900 asking price should help offset any elbow grease you’ll invest in cleaning her up.