Walkaround vs. Center Console vs. Pilothouse

Updated 2:43 PM ET, Fri May 30, 2014
Walkaround vs. Center Console vs. Pilothouse
Which is the right boat for you?

So you're shopping for a boat, surfing through listing after listing, comparing features, price and performance. But you're still stuck on whether you should buy a walkaround, center console or a pilothouse boat. We hear you.

Each design offers pros and cons for any boat owners, depending on what you're looking for: comfort, visibility, sleepability and, of course, cost. They're all great for fishing and cruising, but here are three questions to ask in order to breakdown the differences before you decide:

- Will you be overnighting? If you want to anchor your boat for overnight trip, or if you need a place for your wife and/or kids to get out of the elements for a while, the best route is a walkaround or pilothouse. They generally sleep at least two and include a galley and head below-deck, which you won't find on a center console (maybe a makeshift head of some sort onboard, but definitely not a berth or galley). You can also store a lot more on a walkaround or pilothouse, but that means you've got to unload it, too.

- How much comfort do you require? A center console and walkaround are typically more open to the elements (wind, sun and spray) at the helm. You can find these boats with bimini tops, wrap-around windshields and other options to add some protection, like those on the 2003 Albemarle 285 Express pictured above. A pilothouse, conversely, has an enclosed cabin that makes conversations easier and will keep you warm and dry if the weather turns. The visibility, however, is not as good as the open helm on a center console or walkaround.

- What's your budget? Generally speaking, a center console is going to be smaller and less expensive without the below-deck berth and galley. Beyond that, many other factors will come into play on the price. Your best bet is to work with a knowledgeable broker with a lot of listing options for you to choose from. Here on the POP Yachts' website, we currently list nearly 500 walkarounds, more than 550 center consoles and dozens of pilothouse boats.

Contact POP Yachts today and we'll help you find the best boat to fit your needs. Call us at 941-257-0111.

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