Savvy boat buyers seek value. So when builders design a package — a boat plus select options, or a specific model-and-power combination — they create the bundle effect. And that often translates to better prices.
The most popular fishing-boat packages seem to involve smaller, single-outboard center consoles, for which pricing can be a key factor. For a closer look, I asked four boatbuilders to identify their customer favorites. The models are listed below by boat length. (Read more about popular boat styles.)
Pioneer 202 SportFish
“We feel what drives the sales of this boat is that it’s one of the best layouts and most economical-to-operate hulls on the market — in a 20-foot package,” says Henry Sikes, sales and marketing director for Pioneer. Sikes points out that the 33-gallon livewell and leaning-post setup moves the weight forward. Coupled with a variable-degree deadrise hull, that gives the 202 a better attack angle when cutting through waves.
“That provides a smoother ride, and the boat also can carry enough live bait to get you through a day of fishing. With a draft of only 13 inches, the hull is very versatile,” he says.
The 202 SportFish with a Suzuki DF150 and a factory T-top retails in the mid- to upper 40-thousands. “The buyer most attracted to this package is looking for a very capable offshore boat that can be used inshore and a package that can be easily towed with smaller vehicles,” Sikes says.
Pioneer leaves the pricing structure intact year-round as opposed to rolling out the bargains for boat shows or other high-volume sales periods.
Pioneer 202 SportFish Specs:
- LOA: 19 ft. 10 in.
- Beam: 8 ft. 2 in.
- Transom Deadrise: 18 deg.
- Draft: 1 ft. 1 in.
- Dry Weight: 1,900 lb. (w/o engine)
- Max Power: 175 hp
- Package Price: $44,650 (w/ Suzuki DF150, T-top)
Scout 215 XSF Sport
Scout’s nationally advertised Get on the Water promotion for its 215 XSF Sport package includes a Yamaha F150 outboard; a T-top with an aft spreader light, an overhead T-bag for life-jacket stowage, and a rocket launcher; forward-seating backrests and a stern seat. The promotion extends to several other models, but the 215 XSF Sport comes with more equipment for anglers and families.
“The buyers get a deeper discount when they choose this entire package,” says Alan Lang, Scout’s director of sales and marketing. “The packages are usually centered on a certain type of boating. In this case, every option included in this package adds more appeal to a family.”
Scout’s legacy as a family-owned business keeps the brand in tune with the needs of adults and kids. “We pay close attention to how the boats are used,” Lang says. “We researched historical data on similar Scout models and determined that this package would be very popular.”
Lang says promotions on popular models usually have a long shelf life. “We usually keep them running year-round on models like this,” he says.
Scout 215 XSF Sport Specs:
- LOA: 21 ft. 6 in.
- Beam: 8 ft. 6 in.
- Transom Deadrise: 20 deg.
- Draft: 15.75 in.
- Dry Weight: 2,776 lb. (w/o engine)
- Max Power: 250 hp
- Promotional Price: $53,866 (w/ Yamaha F150, Sport package). Approximate; pricing was changing at press time.
Sea Born FX-22 Bay Tournament/LE
Sea Born says the Tournament and LE packages available for the FX22-Bay rank as its top sellers. “The reason for this popularity is based on the boat’s size, features and price,” says Sean McCoy, Sea Born director of marketing. “For starters, the FX22 is not too small but not too large, with respect to footage, and it seems to fall right in the sweet spot of our core buyers.”
The Tournament package includes 12 features beyond what’s standard for the model, including a console-front tackle center, aft-cockpit coaming cushions, raw-water washdown, aerated console well and two-position leaning post. The LE version adds nine features, including a hardtop, LED lighting, a two-tone hull and a Simrad NSS7 evo2 multifunction display.
“To decide how to package our features, we consistently review what options and third-party additions are the most commonly sold in our boats. Additionally, we receive and incorporate buyer and dealer feedback to make sure we’re building the absolute best boats possible with respect to features, quality and price,” McCoy says.
FX22-Bay buyers vary in age and boating experience, though they’re generally concentrated in coastal areas of the United States. McCoy also notes that about 80 percent of FX22-Bays are sold and shipped with either a canvas T-top or hardtop, which comes on the LE package. However, hardcore bay anglers often choose a standard model without a top.
“In the end, package selection really comes down to how and where the boat will be used,” he says.
Sea Born FX-22 Bay Tournament/LE Specs:
- LOA: 21 ft. 9 in.
- Beam: 8 ft. 6 in.
- Transom Deadrise: 17 deg
- Draft: 11 in.
- Dry Weight: 2,000 lb. (w/o engine)
- Max Power: 250 hp
- MSRP: $58,119 (w/ Yamaha F150)
Everglades 243CC Fishing
“When you offer packages, you can generally save customers hundreds of dollars,” says Shane Kwaterski, Everglades Boats director of dealer development. “The items cost more when purchased individually rather than together.”
Everglades’ most popular combos include the 243cc Fishing and the 243cc Upper-Station packages. The fishing package includes an Atlas jack plate, a 10-foot Power-Pole Blade shallow-water anchor, and a Minn Kota trolling motor with iPilot and charger. The Upper-Station package comes with a T-top station, a sliding fiberglass sunroof/helm seat, four cup holders, a stereo remote, a footrest, a fiberglass box for standing, trim-tab indicators and upper helm space for electronics.
The 243cc already comes standard with a fiberglass hardtop sporting an aluminum powder-coated frame and featuring Everglades’ patented sliding windshield. Aft, it features a 36-gallon lighted livewell topped by an acrylic lid with friction hinges. The 67-gallon fish box lies forward; lockable rod storage, under-gunwale mounts and vertical flush-mount holders accommodate loads of tackle.
Everglades’ packages are offered year-round. “It gives you the opportunity to bundle deals and build the boat to how you’ll specifically use it,” Kwaterski says. “Some prefer to cater their boat more toward fishing, while others might want it more for cruising purposes.”
Everglades 243CC Fishing Specs:
- LOA: 24 ft. 3 in.
- Beam: 8 ft. 2 in.
- Transom Deadrise: 19 deg.
- Draft: 1 ft. 4 in. (hull only)
- Dry Weight: 4,000 lb. (w/o engine)
- Max Power: 300 hp
- MSRP: $119,860 (w/ Yamaha F300 and Fishing package)