So you have $50,000 burning a hole in your pocket, and you’d like to buy a brand-new fishing boat? There’s a surprisingly wide range of choices within that budget, for anglers of all types. As you embark on your search for the ideal fishing machine for your needs, check out these five picks. Each is worthy of being ranked among the best five fishing boats under $50,000, and one of them might just prove perfect for you and your family.
1. Bayliner Trophy T20CC
The Bayliner Trophy T20CC center console delivers some serious bang for the buck when it comes to maximizing size in fiberglass fishing boats. Starting MSRP of the base boat is listed at $42,995. The boat has perks like fold-down jump seats on either side of the stern livewell, rocket launchers on the leaning post and flush-mount rodholders in the gunwales, and fishboxes under the forward seats.
Though the boat’s called the “T20″ it’s actually 20’6″ long, and has an 8’0″ beam. It’s roomier than expected, too, because Bayliner uses a beam-forward design that results in a very spacious bow cockpit. This is a self-bailing, wood-free boat and comes packaged with a tandem axle galvanized or painted trailer with brakes and a swing-away tongue, and a standard 115-horse Mercury FourStroke outboard (which can be upgraded up to 175 horses). Added bonus: with a storage length of 22’2” this is a garage-ready package that will fit into the garages of many American homes (and will look a lot better in there than any car).
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2. Lund 1875 Impact XS
Walleye sharpies and big-water lake anglers will find the Lund 1875 Impact XS — and its $41,369 base price — an attractive option. Note, however, that this doesn’t include a number of options most of us would call must-haves, like an automatic bilge pump, fire extinguisher, and rod tubes in the rod locker, so expect the real world price for a fully rigged boat to go up a notch. The Sport edition has a walkthrough windshield, while the SS model is a side console. In either case, LOA is 18’11”, beam is 8’0”, max horsepower is 150, and fuel capacity is 36 gallons.
The 1875 Impact has twin livewells with 16 gallons aft and 11 gallons in the bow, six seat bases and three seats that can be arranged to your liking plus two flip-up aft jump seats, locking rod stowage boxes, and is pre-wired for a bow-mount electric trolling motor. A swing-away tongue trailer also comes standard. A real stand-out feature is the 0.160”-thick double-plated bottom from the bow to amidships. Few builders double down on hull thickness in this critical area of the boat, which is likely to take the brunt of the impact if you strike something.
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3. Ranger Z518
It’s tough to find a high-quality fiberglass bass boat for under $50K, but the Ranger Z518 makes it under the bar at $47,295. And it has power to spare at that price-point, with a 150 horse Mercury ProXS that has plenty of pep for the rig. This 18’10” long, 8’1” wide boat may be smaller than many in this round-up, but it’s rigged to the teeth with just about everything a bass angler could want ranging from the 24-volt Minn Kota Maxxum 70 electric trolling motor on the bow, to the setback plate on the stern. In fact, most of the options list consists of upgrades or different brands for equipment that’s already included as standard fare.
This boat also has some uncommon touches unique to the brand, like the Soft Ride bucket seats, pultruded transom construction, and the torsion-axel trailer covered in Road Armor trailer protectant.
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4. Robalo R180
Robalo’s R180 posts a starting point of $46,880, and comes well equipped at that price. This is a compact but competent center console with a lot more seating than one might expect thanks to a pair of aft flip-up jump seats, a leaning post, and a forward console seat. It sports 18 degrees of transom deadrise, 50 gallons of fuel capacity, and a maximum horsepower rating of 150. LOA is 18’4” and beam is 8’0”. For a boat costing less than $50,000 it has an amazingly long list of standard features, including: a Yamaha F115 four-stroke outboard; an AM/FM stereo system; six vertical rodracks; a 15-gallon aft livewell; removable bow cushions; a 25-gallon stowage/fishbox compartment in the bow; cockpit courtesy lighting; two gunwale-mount rodholders; and an aluminum single-axel trailer with a fold-away tongue, brakes, and LED lighting. It’s also set apart from much of the competition with some construction touches that go beyond the norm, including Kevlar reinforcement in the hull and a poured composite transom. The biggest surprise of all, however, will be found inside the console. Thanks to a swing-open forward hatch there’s room for a head compartment inside.
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5. Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 24 DLX
If you want a pontoon boat for fishing in the lake or bay, the Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 24 DLX is right up your alley. It posts a national “No Haggle No Hassle” price tag of $40,995 with a 150 HP Mercury FourStroke. A trailer isn’t included with this rig, but you can add one for $3,895 and still be well within budget. Like other Sun Tracker pontoons you’ll find plenty of comfy seating including a huge port-side lounger with a removable dinette table, but at the bow and stern rather than the usual couches you’ll discover swiveling fishing seats mounted on pedestals.
The boat also has dual 16-gallon livewells (one forward and one aft), a 7’6” rod locker for up to six rods, integrated tackle stowage, and rod/tool holders fore and aft. The boat’s LOA is 26’2” (deck length is 24’1”), beam is 8’6”, and pontoons are 24″ 0.080 5052 marine alloy. Deck construction includes pressure-treated plywood with a limited lifetime warranty. Note: this boat has an unusual perk in that it has a wheelchair-access gate in the port side.
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Visit Sun tracker Boats for more information.
Is it a sure thing that the perfect boat of your dreams appears on this list? Of course not. Might there be other makes and models out there that fall into the $50,000-and-under price range which you’d like even more? Of course there could be. But these five fishing boats all meet the budget, and each earns its place on this list as one of the best five boats under $50,000 on the market, today.
If you’re not sure what sort of fishing boat would be best for you, be sure to see Best Starter Boats for Fishing.
This article was last updated in April of 2022.