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If you are going bass fishing, and it’s something you plan to do on a regular basis, you may have considered getting yourself a bass boat. Yes, a real bass fishing boat is going to be way better equipped for fishing than a regular boat. And yes, a bass boat can be used for fishing for other types of fish too.
That said, why are bass boats so expensive? The reason for this is because;
- They are luxery items.
- You pay for the brand name.
- They are high quality.
- They have powerful engines.
- Boat size and fishing features.
How Much Does The Average Bass Boat Cost?
What is important to note here is that your average bass boat cost is going to depend on many different factors, as well as what you consider to be average. For instance, a professional angler probably has a bit of a different conception of what an average boat is, when compared to a newbie or casual angler.
If you go to a dealership, you can expect to spend anywhere from $17,000 to $70,000 on a bass boat, with most average models coming in at somewhere between $20,000 and $45,000.
Of course, it all depends on the size of the boat, the quality of the build, the type and power level of the engine, and all of the various bells and whistles it comes with.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for a decent bass boat, expect to spend around $30,000. Sure, there are ones for as littles as $17,000 or even $15,000, but these are going to be fairly small and definitely not high end models either. It all depends on what you are looking for and what your needs are.
What is The Most Expensive Bass Boat?
Ok, so we did say that you can expect to spend up to $70,000 for a top notch bass boat, which is true. However, this does not mean that there are not more expensive ones out there.
As far as our knowledge goes at this point, one of the very most expensive bass boats out there, if not the most expensive one period, would be the Ranger Z521L ICON.
This is indeed an absolute beauty of a boat and a bass fishing powerhouse. This bad boy goes for upwards of $100,000, more than many high end sports cars.
Now, this is the kind of bass boat you might consider if you have lots of money to spend and fishing is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world. However, if you go bass fishing a few times per year, it’s probably overkill.
Why Do Bass Boats Cost So Much?
So yes, bass boats are expensive, and even the lower end models can cost a good deal of money. Is there are reasonable explanation as to why these things are so darn expensive? Seriously, you could spend an arm and a leg on a high end model, easily. What’s the deal?
1. Brand Names
There is no denying the fact that just like with clothes and electronics, when it comes to fishing gear of all sorts, which also includes bass boats, the brand name is going to make a big difference.
Large and popular brand name items cost more than less popular brand names. This is just how the world works. As an example, some of the most popular bass boat brands include
2. They Are Luxury Items
Make no mistake about it, bass boats are luxury items. Luxury items are designed for people who have money to spend and bass boats are therefore priced as much.
Simply put, luxury items are in a class of their own, and the manufacturers of bass boats know that people will pay top dollar for awesome bass boats.
Sometimes the explanation for something being so expensive is as simple as the fact that people are willing to pay for it. Manufacturers charge so much because they know people will pay for it.
3. They Can Be Very High Quality
Ok, so brand names and luxury items aside, one of the reasons why some bass boats are so expensive is simply because they are top of the line.
You might not think that a boat can have such a great build that it would warrant spending tens of thousands of dollars on it, but then again, modern bass boats are made with a variety of lightweight and super durable materials, with carbon fiber being one of the most popular ones that comes to mind.
In this sense, just keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and spending a lot of cash does usually lead to the purchase of higher quality products.
Yes, size is going to make a difference here. A 25 foot bass boat is going to cost less than a 30 foot bass boat, and both will cost less than a 15 foot boat.
The bigger the boat, the more material used in the construction, the more space you have, and probably the more features the boat in question has as well. The bigger the boat the bigger the price tag.
5. Included Features & Tech
What you should also know is that some bass boats come with basic fish finders, some storage compartments, and some rod holders too. The more money you spend on your bass boat, the more features it is going to come with.
For instance, one thing which the pros look for is a high quality GPS unit combined with a sonar fish finder, and maybe even more. Just think about all of the possible features and pieces of technology a fishing boat could have. These all cost more money, and yes, the bigger the engine, the bigger the price tag.
Should I Consider Buying A Used Boat?
If you plan on going fishing more than not, it’s probably best to buy a new boat. The main reason for this is because it will still be under warranty.
More often than not, second-hand products of all kinds will no longer have an active warranty, and often, re-selling something like a bass boat can straight up void any existing warranty. If you buy a used bass boat and something goes wrong with it, you’ll be the one footing the bill.
However, that said, it does really depend on where you buy the bass boat and from who. If you get it from somebody who barely used it and always took care of it, chances are it will still be new, more or less.
In this case, if you want to save some money, go for it and buy a used model. You just really need to look out for any sort of damage and always test the boat first.
All of that said, if you only plan on going out once a week or even less, and you don’t have all that much cash to spend on a new high end bass boat, then yeah, go for a used one. Old things that have been well cared for can still work just fine.
Whether or not you go for a used bass boat is going to depend on how often you want to use it and how good of a condition the boat is still in. This is not a one size fits all kind of thing.
What Is The Best Used Bass Boat To Consider?
There are a variety of bass boats which are shown to have higher levels of durability and longevity than others. These durable and long lasting bass boats are the ones you want to aim for, if you are buying second-hand.
Here is a list of some of the best used bass boats to consider, based on how well they perform and hold up over the long run.
- Bass Cat Puma FTD
- Crestliner 1750 Bass Hawk
- Nitro Z21
- Triton 21 TRX
- Ranger Z518C
Renting A Bass Boat VS Buying One
There are some considerations to keep in mind when deciding if you want to buy or rent a bass boat.
Use the following guide to decide if you want to make a permanent investment or just rent a boat and zip around whenever you see fit;
How Often Do You Fish?
The main consideration here is how often you fish. If you only plan on fishing for a few days, like over a weekend, and you know that you’ll only do a couple of short fishing trips per year, it’s probably best to just rent one.
No, renting a bass boat is not cheap, but you could probably rent a bass boat for 3 days at a time, twice per year, for something like 10 years, and in terms of cost, you would just be getting to the level of buying an average model.
However, if you plan on fishing every week of every month for years on end, then there is no point in just renting one.
If you use the bass boat for, lets say 50 days out of the year or more, in terms of rental costs, you would probably spend as much money in a year or two of renting as you would on purchasing a nice bass boat.
Yes, it’s all about math. Take a look at rental costs, at full purchase costs, and then weigh these against how often you plan on using the thing.
What’s Your Budget?
Of course, seeing as bass boats can be very expensive, up to $100,000, you may just not have the cash to buy one.
Sure, many places will offer financing, but do you really want to go into debt for a bass boat? If you have a limited cash supply, renting a bass boat may be your only viable option.
You might be able to afford paying a few hundred or a thousand dollars to rent a bass boat, but not tens of thousands to buy one. Simply put, if your budget is tight, then this is the only factor that’s even worth considering.
Service & Maintenance
One of the big cons of buying a buying a bass boat is that all of the service and maintenance costs will fall on you, the owner.
However, if you rent a bass boat and you get the insurance with it, if anything goes wrong, it’s not you who will be footing the bill.
Remember, just like with your car, with a lot of use, that bass boat is going to require regular maintenance and servicing.
On this same note, if you rent a bass boat, the fuel is usually included. However, if you own your own bass boat, you can take a wild guess as to who is going to be paying for the gas.
Storage & Transportation
The other con to owning your own bass boat is that you will also need to have a trailer to transport it, as well as space at home to store it.
If you don’t want to get a trailer or don’t have space to store the bass boat, you’ll need to pay for storage and docking fees. Yes, owning a bass boat involves many more costs than just the initial purchase.
The bottom line is that bass boats are expensive. There is no doubt about that. If it seems like too much of a cost to burden yourself with, you can always rent a bass boat for a few days or maybe invest in a used bass boat.
The most important considerations to make here are how often you plan on using the boat and what your budget is like.
Photo Credit: Michael McCarthy @ FlickrCC