Boat Console: Center Versus Dual | Boating Magazine

Boat Console: Center Versus Dual

Find out which boat console suits your needs better

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Center-consoles and dual consoles share similar traits. Yet, each offers distinct advantages that cater to specific boating needs.

Pursuit Boats

The offshore boat market is shifting. For a number of saltwater ­fishing-boat builders, dual-console (DC) models now represent their fastest growing sales category. It seems that many boat buyers, who might have traditionally opted for more hard-core fishing machines, are now gravitating to DCs.

This largely extends from the evolution of the center-console (CC) over the past several years. A number of models have transitioned from dedicated angling platforms to softer versions that are more about socializing and comfort. No matter how you look at it, the boat console continues to evolve.

For decades, CCs ranging from 18 to 30 feet or more in length have dominated the saltwater fishing market. In areas such as Florida and the upper Gulf of Mexico, where warm temperatures preclude the need for much weather protection, this outboard-powered design proves perfect for serious ocean anglers.

Center-consoles have deep-V hulls for a smooth ride when chasing offshore targets and multiple engines for getting out there and back quickly, and the relatively open decks let you move and fish virtually anywhere along the rail.

Yet not everyone goes boating in salt water just to fish. Many CC owners these days also cruise, entertain and enjoy water sports, as well as fish. On any given weekend when the weather’s nice, you’ll almost certainly see center-consoles hosting guests while tubing, rafting up, hanging out at the local sandbar or motoring to a waterfront eatery. Therefore, a boat console and its position isn't as critical.

Recognizing the trend, builders began designing center-consoles with more creature comforts, such as forward lounges, transom seating, deluxe head compartments and galleys with stoves, freshwater faucets and sinks. The luxury center-console was born, and the boat console was surrounded by high-end perks.

No matter how posh, however, CCs are still primarily fishing platforms. So some builders took a fresh approach — combining twin consoles and an open bow with the proven deep-V running surfaces from CCs. The offshore dual console was born. While some niche DCs existed prior, the design has really taken off in the last few years. Yet, does this mean a DC is right for you?

To help you decide which style might be the best choice, let’s look at seven points of comparison, using two outstanding models from Pursuit Boats — the C 260 Center Console and the DC 265 Dual Console, both based on the same 25-foot-10-inch offshore-capable hull.

And in case you’re wondering, both offer enclosed head compartments with permanent toilets, sinks and freshwater faucets — inside the front-opening console of the C 260 and inside the port boat console of the DC 265, which opens to the bridge deck.

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

We chose Pursuit's C 260 for the center-console in our comparison.

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

The C 260 offers forward seating, but not the full-fledged loungers found on dual consoles.

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

The CC's walk-around layout makes manning lines easier, but offers less weather protection.

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Larger and/or more displays are able to be installed on the center-console due to the larger helm panel and increased space atop the console.

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Multiple livewells are found aboard the center-console.

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

If you hook a fish on the bow of a CC, you can follow it around the boat if necessary.

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Boating Magazine

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Pursuit's DC 265 is the dual console challenger in our comparison.

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

While not as fishing friendly, DCs offer layouts that cater to socializing and entertaining.

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

The DC 265 offers forward seating that includes angled backrests for lounging.

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

The dual console offers more weather protection, but makes it more difficult to man lines around the entire boat.

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Pursuit Boats

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Center-Console vs. Dual Console

Pursuit Boats

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