Everyone has a dream sport-fishing boat. Whether you love the classic 61-foot Garlington or the new 37-foot Viking — or one of the other beautiful sport-fishing machines that roam the world’s offshore waters — there’s probably something that catches your eye and captures your imagination.
Marlin asked its Facebook fans this question: What is your dream sport-fishing boat, and why? The results varied — spanning nearly 20 custom boat builders and close to 100 different sport-fishers. While most stuck with the classics — Viking, Spencer, Bayliss, Jarrett Bay, Merritt and others — a few people went with center consoles such as the Contender 35.
Some said they already owned their dream boat. One person even had an entire fleet in mind. Here is a cross-section of the answers:
David J. Cowhey Jr.: The Viking 92-foot enclosed flybridge. It's one of the fastest and most technologically advanced boats in its class, and even with all the beauties coming out of North Carolina and Florida, I'm New Jersey born and bred, so I have to stick with my roots. Plus, it's about a 20-minute drive to the Viking plant from my house. I'd fish it up here in the summer and fall, then sail it down to Florida and the Bahamas to fish the winter/spring.
Mark Chronister: 43-foot or 46-foot Merritt. Next would be a G&S built just how I want it. Merritt is a classic and the best-looking boat ever built. Tons of history. G&S is quality and tough!
Bailey Nichols: Singularis 90 or 77-foot Wave Paver from Bayliss, or Mama Who from Jarrett Bay for my big boat because of the flair and they are beautiful. Yellowfin 39, Contender 39 or Scout 380 for my second one. Cobia 296 next. And for the last a Scout 251 XS or a Yellowfin 26 for a bay boat.
Dan Hayes: My 53-foot Custom Carolina Sportfisher built by Irving Forbes in Wanchese, N.C. One of the most comfortable and driest rides on the ocean! Thank you, Forbes Boatworks, for an awesome fishing machine!
Chris Johns: I'd pick the 37-foot Viking Billfish. There is enough room for the guys and it will appease the wife with accommodations.
Chris Roseman: 70-foot Jarrett Bay [because] their style and innovations put them in a class of their own. I'm a [North Carolina] boy and love the N.C. coast and the boat-building history that goes with it.
Ryan Oros: The 75-foot Nordhavn Expedition Yacht Fisher. It's not the fastest yacht but it can reach out and touch the spots nobody fishes.
Brian Yuhas: 61-foot Garlington, because there's a reason they keep building the same hull for over 20 years.
Henry James: 66-foot Hines Farley, specifically the one that was named Double Dog. The quality and craftsmanship of this boat is superior to any sportfish I have been on. She rides a 6- to 8-foot swell as if it wasn't there. Hines Farley kept it simple and it worked; that's what I really like about Hines Farley. Very sad that they are no longer in business because I am sure they would make the best sport-fishing boats in the world today.
Michael Barry: I'll take my 64-foot Weaver all day long.