Five Compact, Ultimate Weekend Fishing Boats

Vessels under 40 feet you can take to the islands

May 27, 2015
Five compact fishing boats
Five compact ultimate weekenders Courtesy Manufacturers

As summer approaches, anglers daydream about the islands — any islands, where warm breezes ripple the seas and chunky snapper swarm reefs. Or perhaps your tastes run to simple trips along the coast, hopscotching productive shorelines and anchoring under the stars.

Some boats are purely made for just these kinds of weekend adventures. With the right bank account, you can go big and roomy — with all the comforts of home. If your budget requires a little restraint, try one of these five ultimate weekenders under 40 feet:

(Boats are ordered from shortest to longest.)


Scout 300 LXF

Scout 300 LXF fishing boat running
Scout 300 LXF’s glass-enclosed helm keeps the elements at bay; the console cabin beneath sleeps two. Courtesy Scout Boats

Scout says the 300 makes a great getaway boat because of the features it offers, which are not typically found on a 30-foot center-console. The forward lounge seat, bow benches and optional stern seat create a relaxing deck scene. Add an optional bow table for dining.

The console cabin comes with a sink, a shower, an electric toilet and a two-person berth that converts to a couch. It can also be outfitted with optional 12-volt air conditioning.

The 300 LXF also presents the angler with fishing comfort and capability. The NuV3 hull design, which carries variable degrees of deadrise throughout, creates a stable fishing platform while remaining an efficient performer on plane.


For fishing, it comes with a standard 18-gallon livewell in the well-appointed leaning post; two in-sole, insulated fish boxes; six gunwale rod holders; under-gunwale storage; and console holders. The powder-coated hardtop with glass enclosure comes standard, as does CZone digital switching at the helm.

Scout 300 LXF Specifications: LOA: 30 ft. 2 in. • BEAM: 9 ft. 10 in. • TRANSOM DEADRISE: 20 deg. • DRY WEIGHT: 7,164 lb. • MAX POWER: 600 hp

Scout 300 LXF fishing boat bow
Scout’s 300 LXF features padded seating throughout for dining alfresco. Courtesy Scout Boats

Grady-White Express 330

Grady-White Express 330 fishing boat running
For anglers, the Express 330 comes with a standard 45-gallon livewell with full-column distribution to keep bait lively longer. Courtesy Grady-White

Grady-White makes a wide range of great weekend boats, from its Freedom dual consoles to its center-console Canyon and Walkaround Cabin models. So choosing one proved difficult for the builder. However, if so limited, Grady chooses the Express 330, for these reasons:

  • Award-winning ride from the C. Raymond Hunt-designed SeaV2 hull, created using a series of wedges (no rounded shapes). No two places on the keel carry the same deadrise. Amidships, it features a 30-degree angle. At the transom, the 20-degree incline and wide chines provide stability at rest and while trolling.

  • “Check the spray coming off a SeaV2 hull,” says David Neese, vice president of engineering. “You can actually see three bow wakes in smooth water. That’s the individual deflectors working. This is the reason SeaV2 hulls are drier running than boats with rounded sections that blow spray past the strakes and chines and into the cockpit.”

  • The deck design of this express allows for more space in the cabin (6 feet 2 inches of headroom), making roomy accommodations for five people to overnight. A spacious two-person V-berth lies at the bow, a full-size aft berth sleeps two more, and a midship berth offers room for a fifth.

  • A great floor plan belowdecks that is light, well ventilated, and air conditioned. The vessel also features a six-gallon water heater and 44-gallon water tank for the separate head and shower.

Grady-White Express 330 Specifications: LOA: 33 ft. 6 in. • BEAM: 11 ft. 7 in. • TRANSOM DEADRISE: 19 deg. • DRY WEIGHT: 10,840 lb. • MAX POWER: 700 hp

Grady-White Express 330 fishing boat galley
The Grady-White Express 330’s cabin features a well-equipped galley, 6 feet 2 inches of headroom, and fore and aft berths that each sleep two people. Courtesy Grady-White

Everglades 350 LX

Everglades 350 LX fishing boat with second station running
Add an optional second station to the Everglades 350 LX for visibility. Courtesy Everglades Boats

Everglades says the 350 LX cuddy cabin might be the most versatile boat in its lineup. It sleeps six and comes built on the 35-foot RAMCAP variable-deadrise hull. As with the Grady, this vessel features a sharp entry and an ample beam.

Ahead of the console (yet aft of the cuddy), a U-shaped lounge with an electric grill lets anglers cook their catch for a twilight supper. The area also provides extra sleeping space; it remains temperature controlled with standard AC.

Belowdecks, the two full berths and one convertible berth plus a standard 19-inch LED TV complement the well-appointed galley with its microwave, single cooktop and faux-granite counters.

For anglers, the 350 LX comes with a 31-gallon livewell at the transom, a 66-gallon fish box, 20 rod holders, a stainless-steel bait-prep area with sink, and tackle storage. Freshwater and raw-water washdowns, underwater LED lighting, trim tabs, an electric anchor windlass and a 5 kw generator all come standard.

To make the 350 LX even fishier, add a complete second station and a side utility door as options.

Everglades 350 LX Specifications: LOA: 35 ft. 4 in. • BEAM: 10 ft. 8 in. • TRANSOM DEADRISE: 25 deg. • DRY WEIGHT: 12,300 lb. • MAX POWER: 1,050 hp

Everglades 350 LX fishing boat berth
Two full berths and a convertible berth adjoin the galley with the Everglades 350 LX’s microwave and cooktop. Courtesy Everglades Boats

Pursuit OS 345

Pursuit OS 345 fishing boat running
Pursuit OS 345’s serious fishing features keep it ready for any offshore adventure. Courtesy Pursuit Boats

Pursuit says the OS 345 presents the perfect combination of a workable open cockpit for fishing paired with a cabin large enough for a family of four. The cabin provides two separate berth areas — a forward convertible V-berth and a midcabin berth. They’re separated by storage, a complete galley and a head with shower. The interior spaces also exhibit yacht-quality finishes, including hardwood flooring and wood paneling.

For fishing, the OS 345 features a 45-gallon livewell, cockpit freezer, 40-gallon in-floor fish boxes, rod holders, tackle lockers and a rigging station. The 12-foot beam and the ample cockpit depth from the bridge-deck step create a wide-open space for anglers and mates.

In addition, the OS 345’s hull is designed for offshore fishing and safe crossings with its 50-degree angle of entry. “Pursuit uses a series of strakes on the running surface for increased lift and performance,” says David Glenn, marketing manager. “The chine widths are designed for transverse stability so the boat anchors and drifts nicely. The transom angle is optimized for quick acceleration and engine trim, and the forward hullside flare angles are optimized to shed spray.”

Pursuit OS 345 Specifications: LOA: 36 ft. 4 in. • BEAM: 12 ft. • TRANSOM DEADRISE: 20 deg. • DRY WEIGHT: 15,950 lb. (w/ twin 350s) • MAX POWER: 700 hp

Pursuit OS 345 fishing boat dining sleeping space
Easy and luxurious dining, cooking and sleeping spaces give the Pursuit OS 345 the feel of a cruiser. But its serious fishing features keep it ready for any offshore adventure. Courtesy Pursuit Boats

EdgeWater 368CC

EdgeWater 368CC fishing boat running
Above decks, EdgeWater 368CC’s center-console design allows all-around fishing. Courtesy EdgeWater Boats

To build the 368CC, EdgeWater starts with a twin-stepped hull that employs single-piece-infusion technology to deliver a fast, efficient vessel. Belowdecks, the center-console cabin is the largest in its class, EdgeWater says, with a full 7-foot-long berth, sitting area, hanging locker, hidden head, stainless sink, pullout shower, water heater, TV, microwave, AC and ample storage.

The 11-foot-4-inch beam allows for this interior space and makes the boat stable at rest. The 410-gallon fuel capacity gives it a long-distance range of 600 miles.

Standard fishing amenities include a 40-gallon port aft livewell (if desired, anglers can add an optional 70-gallon transom well/fish box), dual insulated cockpit fish boxes with pumpouts, under-gunwale rod storage, hardtop rod holders, and transom and portside doors. As a semicustom builder, EdgeWater can outfit the boat to any customer’s desire.

Because it’s a center-console, the 368CC offers the familiar fishability of that oft-desired design. “Anglers should determine what features are most important to them in a weekender, and then shop by comparing apples to apples,” says marketing coordinator Daniel Robinson.

EdgeWater 368CC Specifications: LOA: 36 ft. 8 in. • BEAM: 11 ft. 4 in. • TRANSOM DEADRISE: N/A • DRY WEIGHT: 8,200 lb. • MAX POWER: 900 hp

EdgeWater 368CC fishing boat berth
The EdgeWater 368CC comes with a 7-foot-long berth, sitting area, hanging locker, hidden head and pullout shower. Courtesy EdgeWater Boats

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