When you spend your days working hard to build the life you’ve dreamt of, you want to be sure that you’re making the most of your downtime and doing the things you love most. Summer is the perfect opportunity to unwind and spend your days soaking in the fresh air and longer days with your favorite people.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, your grand plans may still be on pause, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. Whether you’re looking to avoid travel and have the ultimate staycation or simply want to enjoy a weekend on the water, a family-friendly fishing boat may be the answer to your vacation blues.
You might not think that your usual fishing spots can become the perfect vacation destination, but we’re here to show you just how easy it can be to turn your fishing vessel into the best boat for fishing and family fun this summer. Here are 6 ways to turn your fishing boat into a family-friendly fishing boat.
Extra Seating Options for Your Boat
The perfect family-friendly fishing boat has room for the whole family. So, the first question that you might be asking is “where is everyone going to sit?” If you’re more used to having only one or two people on board for a fishing day, adding the rest of the family might feel like a tight squeeze. But there are more options than you think!
Your fishing boat likely has plenty of storage for all of your gear and the fresh catches you reel in after a day on the water. Why not make use of that space by adding a few cushions and turning it into extra seating?
The Crevalle hybrid bay boats are often the best boat for fishing and family on the market, with plenty of seating and storage options. If your fishing trips tend to be small and you don’t use all of the storage each time, you can reserve one or two wells for storing your cushions year-round so that they’re ready for use at a moment’s notice.
But that’s not all. The Crevalle 26 HBW, a 26-foot hybrid blue water, features a foldable bench seat that has a secondary 65-quart Igloo cooler underneath. This ideal multi-functional addition, along with outside jump seats attached at the rear are the perfect accessory for your family-friendly fishing boat. The forward livewell also serves as a seat, while there’s room for two at the helm and two in the second station console. There’s a roomy front deck with a cushioned chair and the cushioned coffin cooler adds seating for two or a luxurious chaise lounge-style chair for any VIP guest.
Many of our models are also built to accommodate removable cushions at the bow, turning it into a sun deck. By adding some additional cushions to the top of the deck storage, you’d be surprised at how many people you can fit onboard your fishing boat.
We’re big fans of working with what you’ve got, but when you buy a fishing boat with family adventures in mind, keep an eye out for accessories and features that are built into the design to help you live out your hybrid dreams.
For long days out on the water, it’s essential that you have plenty of resources for keeping hydrated and well-fed. Livewells and bench seats are also 28-gallon release wells. This is perfect whether you need something small for your solo fishing trip or a roomier option for family days out.
When you’re looking to buy a new boat or update to something with more space and flexible options, the best family-friendly fishing boat should be one that comes with a sink area. This is essential for cleaning and cutting your fish before heading back to shore, but also makes the perfect spot for preparing snacks and small meals. We’re not talking gourmet cooking here, but you should be looking for models that give you room to make meals without needing to head back to the dock.
If you’re after a more comfortable dining experience, consider adding a mountable boat cockpit table. They’re a great investment if you plan to spend a significant amount of time away from shore, like long summer days on the ocean or lake with your loved ones. Models like the Crevalle 24 HCO, a 24-foot hybrid bay boat, offer this as an add-on and are the perfect addition for water-bound picnics.
If your family includes children, then “facilities” is a must-have when planning a day on the water. Center console boats make the ideal family-friendly fishing boat because the center console is large enough to fit a porta-pottie in, as well as being a useful storage area.
Consumer porta-potties are generally inexpensive but the peace of mind that you get from being able to take your whole family out on the water for the day, without having to make a few pit stops or emergency trips back to the dock, is priceless. You can easily buy them online to add to your boat or include one as an add-on to your Crevalle 24-foot boat, 26-foot boat, or 33-foot boat purchase.
Check out these cool boat accessories to make your boat even more family-friendly.
It goes without saying that safety is the number one concern of any boat owner. As a fisherman, your vessel should already be equipped with life jackets along with a first aid kit – whether it’s a traditional or a family-friendly fishing boat.
Be sure to check that you have enough life jackets for the number of people onboard, and stock up on kid’s sizes for any young people that you’re vacationing with. These should be Coast Guard-approved and be figure-hugging without restricting movement.
First aid kits should be easily accessible and checked ahead of any boating trip. Restock whenever needed–it can be helpful to keep a running list on your phone so that you know what’s missing and needs replacing when you get back to shore.
Before setting off, it can be helpful to run through safety guidelines with everyone on the boat, especially children. Let adults know where the first aid kit and life jackets are located and be sure that children understand who is in charge and whose rules should be followed when onboard.
If you plan on including your four-legged family members, check out these safety tips for boating with your dog.
Enjoy Water Sports
One of the best and most exciting parts about being a boat owner is getting to participate in watersports throughout the summer months. Depending on the type of boat you have, you can go wakeboarding or water skiing directly off the back of your boat, or ride tow-toys like tubes.
If you’re not so sure about dragging your friends and family around the water, there are plenty of other fun activities to try. Using your boat as dry land, you can launch kayaks or go diving straight from the side of your deck. Snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding also make for hours of fun, regardless of your age, and are a great way to introduce kids to a range of sea and lake aquatic life.
Livewells double as gear storage for all kinds of water-based sports so you’ll be ready to head out into the waves at any moment. Remember to clean all of your equipment after each use and check for any necessary supplies like oxygen tank refills or an inflator pump for your paddleboard and tow-toys before you set sail.
Explore New Places
Half the fun of having a boat is being able to see where the wind (or motor) takes you and explore beyond your normal destinations. Try venturing out a little further or head in the opposite direction to your last few trips for a day out that truly feels like a family vacation.
Looking for an even bigger adventure? Hitch your boat to your vehicle and hit the road! Whether you’re journeying to another marina nearby or taking your boat further afield to another state, there are plenty of options for you to have a great experience with the whole family.
Try to find spots with exciting wildlife for the kids (and let’s be honest, the grown-ups too!) to enjoy, like dolphins, alligators, or colorful fish. Locations such as the Florida Keys are perfect for coral reef diving, while port towns and islands like Nantucket and Mackinac Island offer plenty of water and land-based activities to try. Sailing around major cities like Chicago or San Diego are also perfect for architecture lovers–trust us, everything looks better from a boat!
Keep in mind any local or state regulations before you launch and always look for public boating areas before heading to your starting point. You’ll need to meet licensing and life jacket regulations before getting into the water so it’s best to check out the details at home and several days ahead of your trip.
Check out our list of top lakes for boaters to explore.
Find The Perfect Family-Friendly Fishing Boat
Wherever you decide to travel on your fishing boat, making adjustments to make it more family-friendly can be quick and easy. But why not spend that time out on the water instead. Here’s what you look for when searching for the best family boat. Take a look at our Crevalle models online and build the perfect family-friendly fishing boat today. Find a boat dealer near you or request a fishing boat factory tour or Crevalle. Let us know if you have any questions. We’ll see you on the water!