Among hunters, there’s a code: You never criticize another man’s bird dog. The rule is unwritten among fishermen but followed the same for boats. So we asked you, more than 3,564 of you, to criticize and compliment your own boat. I should say boats, plural, because 26 percent of you have more than one. And you keep them and never let them go — 34 percent of you have owned your boat for 10 years or longer. Saltwater fishing is a powerful motivator for buying them, and we weren’t surprised to find that 73 percent fished inshore and 63 percent went offshore. Yet, the center-console offshore boat was the most frequently sought among plan-to-buy boaters — 53 percent of you want one.
You have strong opinions about your boats’ attributes, and lamentations on what needs improvement. This guide focuses a laser beam on those pluses and minuses to help you and your peers buy a better boat. It’s just in time too, because 53 percent of you are in the market this year.
The futuristic Evinrude E-TEC G2 is back as a sponsor to our buyers guide — its fourth year. Evinrude’s engineers have developed a motor so simple to own, simple to buy and for the manufacturer or repower dealer, so simple to install, they are quickly gaining ground in the marketplace. You can read more about this powerful, fuel-efficient and operator-friendly technology throughout this guide. Welcome back, Evinrude, and many happy returns!