BlogJuly 2017

4 Types of Fuel Efficient Boats for Fishing

4 Types of Fuel Efficient Boats for Fishing

By Debbie Hanson

Jul 18, 2017

Learn about fuel efficient boats for fishing. Find out which types of boats rank at the top of the list for boat gas mileage, most fuel efficient hull designs.

Hull design, boat weight, engine type... it may seem as if there are a whole lot of factors to consider when you're trying to determine which boats are the most fuel efficient boats. Don't worry though; it's not hard to figure out which motorized fishing machines are likely to get the best boat gas mileage. While the type of boat you choose for fishing should primarily depend on how and where you plan to use it, you may find it helpful to know that these boats rank at the top of the list when it comes to fuel efficiency. 

1. Planing Hull Boats

What's the most fuel efficient boat hull design? The answer to that question is a planing hull. Planing hull boats are designed to glide smoothly on top of the water when enough power is applied. Both flat-bottom and vee-bottom hull shapes are considered to be planing boat hulls. These types of hulls operate similar to displacement hulls at slower speeds, but then climb up onto the surface of the water as you increase speed. If you plan to fish on rivers and small lakes, flat-bottom planing hull boats are some the most fuel efficient boats you can use -- just remember that these types of boats aren't suited for large, choppy waters.

2. Catamaran Boats

Power catamarans are multi-hulled boats that generally offer a more stable ride and better fuel efficiency than monohull boats. This is because the narrow water entry of a catamaran hull design allows this type of boat to easily get on plane, and requires less power to keep it on plane, which often means better fuel economy. Catamaran fishing boats are a good choice when offshore fishing or when on large, open waterways because they are generally more stable than a monohull boat in big waves or rough conditions.

3. Trawler Boats

Trawler-style boats are a type of displacement hull boat that can be operated with relatively little power and fuel consumption. Many trawlers operate on diesel engines, which tend to be among the most fuel efficient boat motors. In addition, trawlers are constructed with slow-speed, semi-displacement hulls that help contribute to better boat gas mileage. While many large commercial fishing boats are trawler-style boats, the most fuel efficient trawler boats are under 40-feet in length and have been made for recreational use. 

4. Jon Boats

This type of boat is ideal if you're just learning how to boat. Due to their small size and lightweight construction, jon boats can operate on electric trolling motor for a good portion of the time. While this does mean that you are limited to calm inland waters, the advantage is that you don't have to use as much fuel to get to your favorite lake fishing spots. 

Now that you know about a few of the most fuel efficient boats for fishing, you can narrow down your options and find the best boat for your budget. Just think about all of the new fishing spots you can scout out if you have a fuel efficient boat. Use this information to help decide on the best type of boat for your fishing trips, get your boat registration, and start catching more fish this summer.
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.