How To Choose The Right Boat For Your Family

Our Boats
Discover Sportsman Design Studio Pricing Compare Dealers Store
Return to Blog

How To Choose The Right Boat For Your Family

Do you and your family want a new boat? What's the best boat for you and your family? A lot of it depends on your needs and how big your kids are. Here's Daniel Robinson's opinions on choosing a new boat with his growing family.

February 19, 2024
Cover image for the post How To Choose The Right Boat For Your Family

Daniel Robinson
Regional Sales Manager - Gulf Coast

When researching a new boat purchase for your family, we know that it takes many hours of research and planning. Finding the right boat for you and your family is probably the most challenging and important part of the process. There are so many choices out there when it comes to a new boat. For me, my wife and I just welcomed our first child into the world and we have no plans to stop our boating excursions. The first step in my new boat search was really assessing what the needs of my family are right now while also anticipating what they will be. With a new baby, my priorities have started to shift from fishing amenities and shallow water capabilities to a focus on overall safety and comfort. While our focus may no longer be fishing, we still wanted to ensure that the boat we chose would be adequate and functional for the occasional fishing trip.

Photo of sportsman boats deck coring material being placed during the build process.

Another factor we took into consideration is the versatility of our new boat. The great thing about Sportsman is we have many different layouts to fit a variety of needs. Our Masters Series has a great open layout with plenty of storage for a growing family and of course great fishing features. Our Open Series has ample interior space, seating, and fishing features and higher gunwales for safety. The Heritage series is the ultimate family boat that can blend both fishing and family in the blink of an eye.

The next and most frequent question we are asked is what size boat our customers should go with. Our family is considering 24’ or less as this size is a good option for a growing family without feeling restricted. These models tend to have enough interior space to get around easily but also have the capability to draft shallow and handle offshore capabilities as well. Another perk is they are also easily trailer able.

With a family, safety features cannot be overstated. Sportsman Boats is safety focused and it is a primary factor in design with all of our models; we are NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) certified using the ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) standards. That means that we go above and beyond when it comes to our build & design processes to ensure the safety not only of our boats but of the products that we install on our boats as well. Customers will find safety features such as grab rails, oversized hardtops for added shade, self bailing decks, and of course we need to have the necessary safety gear for your day out boating.

Photo of sportsman boats deck coring material being placed during the build process.

The final and an often-overlooked feature when boating with kids is entertainment. Keeping the little ones entertained out on the water can be key to a successful family day on the boat. With Sportsman, our models carry a stereo system that can be a must-have for some white noise when having to put the little ones down for a nap or even playing their favorite songs while out on the water. Additionally, having an area to sit and prep some snacks or even sneak away out of the sun is crucial. An added bonus? Our built in aquarium live wells can create hours of entertainment for the little ones as they stare at all the “fishies” swimming around.

Once our customers carefully consider all of the important attributes that matter to them and their family, they are able to look in a streamlined direction that best fits their needs. As a new father navigating both parenthood and the boat business, I’ve come to appreciate the unique advantages that all Sportsman center consoles are able to offer. For my family, we are excitedly making the jump to the Heritage 231. While this model best fits my family’s needs, we are sure to have a boat that fits your needs too. There are many reasons this is a great fit for my family, but the main reasons are the safety, comfort, performance, and technology.

The Heritage 231 has nice Deep V hull coupled with the standard Seakeeper ride trim tabs really create an unmatched performance in the 23ft class. The interior layout is spacious thanks to standard features such as the edge-to-edge stern seating with the sandbar mode in the transom with dual seating (plus dual boarding ladders!) for those relaxing sandbar days. The forward seating area is perfect for the family with the standard forward table and sunpad cushion. One of our customer’s favorite features is the full porcelain marine head with overboard discharge and pumpout inside the nicely laid out console.

Photo of sportsman boats deck coring material being placed during the build process.

You never have enough hands when it comes to raising little ones, so any convenience item you have on your boat helps aid to a more enjoyable day on the water for Mom and Dad. One of my favorite features available as an option on the Heritage 231 is the windlass anchor – at the push of a button deploy and retrieve the anchor instead of dealing with the hassle of pulling it in! Finally, as a tried and true fisherman, I cannot forget to mention the fishing features of the 231. The Heritage 231 comes with dual 15gal livewells in the transom, plenty of rod holders, and insulated fishboxes in the forward seating with a nice paddle style latch so you don’t have to remove the cushions each time you catch a fish.

These are just some of the features we love about the 231 but our website has tons of videos and blogs about our Heritage 231. Whether you are a seasoned boater or a first time captain, I hope these insights help guide you toward choosing the most ideal family boat for your days on the water.

Tight lines and following seas!