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.