Sportfishing boats are ready for the biggest fishing adventures an owner throws their way. Capable of traveling to deep ocean waters, these offshore “battlewagons” are equipped with towers (making it easier to spot fish), outriggers (long poles that extend fishing line away from the boat), cavernous fish lockers, aerated livewells (for live bait or live catches) and freezers (for frozen bait or ice), fighting chairs in the main deck area, or “cockpit”, and an abundance of rodholders. The goal? To pursue, catch and boat big-game fish like tuna, sailfish and marlin. Below, sportfishing boats have the goods to make it a multi-day excursion, including berths (beds), galleys (kitchens), heads (bathrooms), and air conditioning.
Inboard engines position the engine within an aft compartment or engine room, and only immerse a portion of the driveshaft (the rod connecting the engine to the propeller) and propeller in the water below the hull, often advantageous in saltwater environments. Steering is accomplished via a movable rudder, located aft of the propeller blades.
Quiet and easy to service, high-horsepower outboards create additional interior room by positioning the engine behind the boat’s back panel, or “transom”. Outboards can also be fully lifted, or “trimmed”, out of the water, an advantage in saltwater.
A variant of conventional inboard propulsion, pod drives replace the traditional driveshaft and propeller with a self-contained “pod,” directly below the engine on the bottom of the hull, containing the transmission, outdrive and propeller in one unit. Pods typically come in pairs, and sometimes triples or quads, on boats above 40’ in length. As they can move independently of each other, thrust can be applied in virtually any direction, resulting in unparalleled maneuverability.