What’s the difference between dual console and center console boats? Just what the names imply: Dual console boats have a pair of consoles, one for the captain and another on the other side of the boat for a passenger. Center console boats, on the other hand, have a single console that’s more or less centered in the boat.
Many boat shoppers ask, “Should I buy a dual console boat? Or, do I need a center console boat?” The best choice can be surprisingly difficult to make, since each of these boat types has its own advantages — which is one of the reasons why the Boston Whaler boat line includes both.
It all comes down to usage
Most anglers would agree that a center console can’t be beat for pure fishing prowess. The design lets you work a fish 360 degrees around the boat, maximizes deck space, and provides plenty of areas to design in accessories like large fishboxes and livewells. Plus, thanks to folding seating and removable cushions, you can convert a center console from a fishing machine into a family cruiser at the drop of a hat.
Dual consoles may not fish quite as well as center consoles but they come close, and generally provide a relatively open cockpit plus a forward cockpit that’s great to cast from. But when you fold closed the windshield and close off the bow, they provide much more protection from the elements than a center console can. Plus, they provide additional seating as compared to a center console and are often equipped with family-friendly goodies like a ski tow pylon or a freshwater shower. So, most boaters consider them to be even better than a center console when it comes to taking out the entire family for some waterborne fun.
Right about now, you’re probably asking yourself “which is the right boat configuration for me?” Truth be told, the only person who can answer that question is you. If you take your fishing very seriously and you’re inclined towards casting a line just about every time you leave the dock, there’s a good chance a center console would be the smart pick. But if you place the priority on family fun overfishing, a dual console might make more sense. In either case, considering how versatile these designs are and how much fun each can be, it’s a good bet that either a dual console or a center console will make you and your entire crew happy.