Bay Boats vs Offshore Boats: What's the Difference? | Scout Boats

Bay Boats vs Offshore Boats: What’s the Difference?

Should you purchase a bay boat or an offshore boat? And what exactly is the difference between the two? It might seem like a tough decision, but if you learn about the design and purpose of each type, you will be able to choose the boat that is right for you.

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What is an Offshore Boat?

Generally speaking, an offshore boat will be the larger of the two. They will have more length from bow to aft, more square-footage on the deck, and more room for storage and convenience features. They are also more likely to have a cabin. In addition, more boat space also allows for more passengers, and it means better protection from larger waves that are found in the open ocean—waves that might create trouble for other crafts.

As the name suggests, these boats are capable of safely traveling “offshore.” They can head out into the sea for miles and maintain safety and comfort. Because they are meant for long excursions, they often come equipped with luxury and comfort features, such as a cabin with sleeping quarters, a dining table, a head, and entertainment features. They also usually have equipment designed for catching large fish, such as outriggers, bait stations, and large live wells.

What is a Bay Boat?

Before bay boats were invented, boaters essentially had a choice between large offshore boats and small flats boats. Bay boats provide a nice middle ground. They are large enough that they can travel in bays and can go offshore in ideal conditions. Their manageable size makes them ideal for novice boaters in coastal areas. In addition, they have a shallow draft, meaning they can even travel over shallower waters without touching the bottom. This gives boaters access to fishing waters that larger boats can’t reach.

There is no specific rule to the size of bay boats, but they are often between 20 to 25 feet long. They come with many luxury features, although certainly less than a large offshore boat. Most importantly, they have a hull specifically designed to provide both a smooth ride across choppy waters and access to shallow-water fishing.

What are the Main Differences?

The main difference is size. Simply put, an offshore boat is larger, which has advantages and disadvantages. Compared to bay boats, offshore boats provide more safety and a stable ride in offshore conditions, while also delivering the potential for more luxury, convenience, and seating space.

However, bay boats are easier to manage, can be trailered with less effort, and can access fishing areas that would strand offshore boats.

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We hope you better understand the difference between bay boats and offshore boats. If you are looking for a world-class vessel that can help you enjoy fishing in bays, open water, or even intertidal flats, you need a Scout! We create luxury fishing boats in a wide variety of models and sizes, and you can even customize your favorite option with the features that meet your needs. Try our Build Your Scout tool today!

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