Some boat buyers like to equate cars with boats. Is it a Chevy or BMW? If you were to do that with a dual console, its automotive doppelgänger would be an El Camino with a full front windshield and, instead of an open truck bed, an open fishing cockpit. Instead of a bonnet—as the English say—an open deck with cushy seating.
Popularity of dual consoles is growing faster than a yearling dorado because it offers versatile cruising comfort when the windshield is closed and a spacious deck plan with forward seating when it is open. With a hardtop, the boat is fishable and protected from the blistering sun and unexpected storms.
These boats give anglers what they need, give families what they want, and breed confident passengers in the protective enclosures. Though not all dual consoles have hardtops, in the over-20-foot group, most of them do.
Bow seating is so demanded today that center-consoles are adding forward bench seats with stowaway reclining backs and coffin-box lounges with cup holders and armrests to compete.
But how do they fish? Like masters. Look for livewells either in a seat base or the transom. Rod holders should be arrayed along the gunwales, transom and hardtop structures. Plexiglass livewell tops are important for keeping an eye on the bait’s liveliness. Larger dual consoles will have stowaway transom seating for comfortably making way to the fishing grounds and then sliding away for the fish fight. Dual consoles over 25 feet often have stowaway seats in the coamings too, creating a cozy conversation area during an evening cruise.
Who wants a dual console? Serious fishermen with serious family members all competing for a different game. These boats also make great dive platforms. Optional tow pylons make them fun for towed sports. You may find bow boarding ladders for beaching the boat.
Editor’s Tip: If your crew is varied and looking to play different games, look for convenient boarding ladders for watersports and diving. In larger dual consoles, side boarding doors are preferable, moving the swimmer away from sharp props. Make sure there is a tow pylon offered for board sports. Tie a tube to a stern eye—not the pylon—for safety. Have the factory add all the gunwale and transom rod holders you want; it’s a better way than DIY.