If you’re looking for a dedicated fishing boat for ocean use, the walkaround is a top model to consider. Also known as a “Walkaround Cuddy,” this boat gets its name from the center console design of the captain’s cockpit, with walkaround capabilities using the passages on either side of the vessel. As a result of the innovative design, anglers walk up and down the length chasing fish as they move under the boat.
The top-model walkarounds come with all the fishing amenities you need for a day on the ocean, and you have options for models with accommodations in the v-berth of the boat. The addition of the v-berth accommodations makes it possible to stay out on the water overnight in calm waters.
The walkaround comes in various lengths ranging from 18 to 30-feet, with some models reaching lengths up to 50-feet for longer ocean-going trips in rough waters. The walkaround comes in several designs, from performance models to cruisers.
The features and accessories on these boats can range from luxurious to basic, depending on the manufacturing brand and the price tag of the watercraft. The key design elements found throughout all models are the walkaround path around the vessel.
- What Is a Walkaround Boat?
- Benefits of Walkaround Boats
- Disadvantages of Walkaround Boats
- Top Walkaround Boat Brands and Models
- Wrapping Up
What Is a Walkaround Boat?
The walkaround is a fishing boat. While some models have crossover capability for watersports, they aren’t the best choice for those activities. The walkaround features an open cockpit design towards the rear of the boat, with a center console configuration allowing passage alongside the cockpit area for the vessel’s length.
Other primary design features in walkaround models include tackle and rod storage, bait stations, and live well. The helm holds the electronics of the boat and driver controls, with fishfinders and GPS coming standard with most models.
The smallest versions of these boats are around 18 to 22-feet in length, with a cabin featuring enough room for small accommodations and a toilet. As you go up in length, the walkaround gets more luxurious with its customizations.
You get additional storage and seating, and there’s a galley with a refrigerator and burners for cooking. Some models with dual-level design may accommodate lounges in front of the v-berth and captain’s deck. The luxury models are great for fishing boats and family cruisers for long weekends out on the water.
The largest walkaround models are like small motor yachts, with all the amenities and features you need to enjoy the life aquatic. You get head-high ceilings in the berth and bigger sleeping accommodations with entertainment systems.
The cost of the boat is dependent on the size and the customizations. The smaller models have entry-level pricing that’s affordable compared to other vessels of the same size with similar features.
Benefits of Walkaround Boats
The walkaround boat comes with several advantages for the dedicated angler.
The smaller models include cabins with limited space, usually for the driver and a passenger, with the bow or aft of the boat offering addental seating for passengers.
However, the larger models have generous cabins with plenty of overhead room, and some models feature sealed cockpits with air-conditioning to keep you cool in warm weather. The cabin may also come with rod racks and other storage compartments like built-in coolers for your catch.
Accommodations and Luxury Fittings
The walkaround comes with a cabin suitable for keeping you out of the sun and storing your fishing gear. However, the larger boats have plenty of luxury fittings and electronics, including stereo systems and TVs.
Larger walkarounds feature accommodations below the deck in the boat’s bow. They are typically suitable for hosting two to four people overnight on the water. The higher the price tag, the more luxurious the finishes and fittings, and the higher the price tag.
Some luxury models may have a lifted helm design to allow for standing room in the berth. There are many models to choose from, with dozens of manufacturing brands. Make sure you have a budget in mind when you go shopping, or it’s easy to overspend on the customizations to your boat.
The walkaround boat comes with a full windshield to protect your face from the ocean spray when cruising. Many models offer wraparound windshields for the cabin, and there are options for sealed cabins that include air conditioning.
Advanced Cockpit Features
The larger models of walkarounds come with fully-equipped cockpits featuring all the electronics you need to navigate your ocean-going adventure. The cockpit may feature convertible seating, as well as a galley console for entertaining your guests on the water.
The Walkaround is a purpose-built fishing vessel, but some models cater to higher speeds and crossover use for water sports. You don’t get the same performance and experience of using a wake or ski boat, but it’s suitable for having some family fun out on the water.
The boats also offer you versatility for inshore fishing in coastal waters or offshore use. Most walkarounds come with a deep hull design and a V-shape for easy cutting through the water and plenty of stability in rougher ocean conditions.
It’s a versatile craft and a good choice for your first boat if you enjoy fishing and cruising out on the open water.
While these boats don’t have the same agility as center consoles or bowriders, you get a decent amount of turning circle and stability at speed when navigating flatter waters. The center console design of the cabin allows the captain a 360-degree view of the cabin and better control over the boat when docking.
Dynamic Cruising Experience and Entertainment Capability
The walkaround boat comes with a smooth ride thanks to the deep v-hull on the boat. They make for great cruisers in coastal waters, offering you plenty of space for family and friends. While they lack standing room in the seating areas, they often come with onboard entertainment features like Bluetooth mp3 players and waterproof speaker configurations.
The larger models with accommodative v-berths may also feature TVs and DVD players, allowing you to enjoy nights on the water watching your favorite movie, especially if the weather is bad outside.
Extra Storage Space
The walkaround comes with plenty of storage space. The smaller models rely on under-seat storage for your fishing rear and tackle, with built-in coolers for your catch and convertible seating that change into casting decks to improve the use of space.
The larger models include plenty of room in the cabin and below deck in the berth. You get plenty of room for storing fish and food in dedicated fridges or freezers, and the larger models also include kitchenettes with cabinet storage.
The smaller models of these boats under 30-feet are trailerable. Most dealers will include a trailer with your purchase of the boat. The vessel is easy to maneuver around the launch site, and you can tow it with a truck like the Ford F150.
The walkaround is a fishing boat at heart, and manufacturers design these vessels with anglers in mind. You find fighting chairs, casting decks, convertible seating, kill boxes, bait stations, and anything you could need in a fishing vessel. The more expensive the model, the more utility you can expect out of the boat.
Jet, Outboard, or Inboard Motors
The walkaround boat comes with several options for engine configurations. Outboard motors are the more popular, affordable option for the smaller craft under 30-feet, with the larger vessels relying on dual-motor setups, stern-drive or inboard motors.
The bigger the boat and more advanced the engine setup, the higher the servicing costs for the vessel, so bear that in mind when picking out your model. It pays you to ask the dealer about your boat’s servicing and maintenance costs before finalizing your purchase.
Disadvantages of Walkaround Boats
The walkaround is one of the best vessels for fishing, with models suiting an experience level and any budget. However, these boats have a few drawbacks to consider before settling on your purchase.
Big Cabins, Less Deck Space
The walkaround has a large cabin, and the bigger models also have large V-berth areas in the hull. As a result, you get less deck space in the front of the vessel. Some smaller models do come with lounges in the bow instead of bow v-berths.
Large Models Not Trailerable
The larger models over 30-feet may not offer trailerability. As a result, you’ll have to hire a professional transport company to remove it from the water for servicing or repairs, adding to your ownership costs.
Slower than Performance Models
While the walkaround does come with decent power, it’s not a performance boat. These models are for cruising, and if you’re looking for a higher performance model, it’s better to go with a bowrider for additional speed and agility in the vessel.
Luxury Models are Expensive
The luxury models are expensive. Walkarounds typically start at $20,000 for the smaller models, and they can go up to $100,000 or more for the larger versions of the boat.
Not suitable for Freshwater Use
Since the walkaround model typically has a deep V-hull, they aren’t the best choice for freshwater fishing as the boat can’t get into the shallow flats in lakes, rivers, and estuaries.
Top Walkaround Boat Brands and Models
There are dozens of manufacturing brands offering you walkaround models. Some of our choices for the best boats in this category include the following models.
Scout 420 LXF
The Scout 420 LXF is our top choice for the best luxury walkaround available. The boat comes with all the accessories and customizations you need to enjoy time out on the water, angling with friends, or hanging out with the family.
The boat features a lightweight epoxy and carbon fiber design. These materials bring exceptional strength to the hull and rigidity to the boat’s frame for stability in rough water.
We like the Dual Scott Stepped Hull Technology that’s unlike anything else available in the market.
This Scout model’s standard features are the electronic SureShade, the 5-in-1 high-performance lean post, and the portside hydraulic platform. The boat also comes with an 80-gallon baitwell for your fish and an accommodative cabin below the deck.
You get plenty of rod storage, and there is even an option for a coffee maker if you need some help waking up in the morning. The boat comes with a head and many more luxury entertainment features and electronics.
Boston Whaler 405 Conquest
This walkaround model has excellent attention to detail, with a master stateroom below deck and two separate sleeping quarters. The finishes on the boat are classy, with luxury being at the forefront of the manufacturer’s design.
This boat comes with a quad motor setup, featuring 300-HP Mercury Verado motors and optional joystick controls for piloting the boat.
The standard features with this model include the companion lounge on the port side of the vessel. You get teak cabinets with a satin finish, with a 19-gallon live well. There are built-in rod holders and many other luxury features, with sleeping accommodations in the berth that can accommodate four to six people.
Grady-White Seafarer 228
If you’re looking for an entry-level walkaround, you can’t beat the value you get with the Grady-White Seafarer 228. This boat measures 22-feet, with a forward v-berth cabin and locking door. The berth includes a low-profile hatch, three storage compartments, and a cabinet.
You’ll also find ahead in the berth and everything you need to stay out on the water overnight. The boat comes fully equipped for fishing with rod holders and racks, a fish box, and an optional 20-gallon live well.
The walkaround boat is a great choice for anglers. It also suits both angling and cruising, making it a solid choice for the family. The range of lengths, fittings, and customizations give you endless setups at all price points. Considering the versatility and options available for these boats, they give you exceptional value for money.