Simple, spartan, and a smart buy for the would-be boater who wants the most versatility for the fewest dollars, aluminum fishing boats shine in relatively protected waters – often, fish-rich freshwater places bigger boats can’t reach.
Generally single-walled riveted or welded hulls, they usually have bench seats. Although rowable, they’re often powered by outboard motors; steering options include a wheel mounted near the center of the boat, or a handle called a ‘tiller’ on the engine.
Some aluminum fishing boats, called car-toppers, are about 12 feet long. As their name suggests, they can be carried on a rack atop a car or truck. Some owners slide them into a pick-up box, and a light trailer makes transporting them a breeze.
Car-topped or trailered, a Jon boat offers versatility. These utilitarian, flat-bottomed boats have bench seats and a simple, flat transom, ready for a small to moderate, usually-tiller-steered outboard engine. Hunters love them, too.