BlogMay 2022

What is the smallest boat for ocean fishing?

What is the smallest boat for ocean fishing?

By Andy Whitcomb

May 25, 2022

Due the tremendous size, most boats in the ocean are large. However, the smallest boat for ocean crossing or fishing is a well chosen ocean kayak. Here’s why.

The ocean, even if divided and named such as Pacific and Atlantic, is big water. The biggest. Covering something like 70% of the earth, this massive amount of saltwater usually requires a big boat because of the intimidating scale, giant wave potential, powerful currents, and such. However, small boats venture in saltwater frequently mainly because of the tremendous fishing opportunities. The smallest boat for ocean fishing has to be the ocean kayak.

Smallest boats for ocean fishing

Sizes of offshore kayaks vary by intended use. As far as the smallest boat for ocean crossing, perhaps paddling to islands or completing long distances for camping down coast lines, the longer, narrower, touring sit-in kayak models often are well over 20 feet long. The smallest boat for ocean fishing is shorter and wider with sea fishing kayaks, often sit-on design, running around 12 to 16 feet. Both types can be light enough to be carried by hand, or at least hand pulled on a small cart to help with assorted big water gear. While investigating the smallest boat for open ocean or smallest boat for ocean crossing, one may find sailboats of wide ranging lengths mentioned but these are heavier and not designed for fishing efficiency.

Safety precautions

Fishing in the smallest boat size for the ocean is risky so take ample safety precautions such as watching the weather, gaining experience close to shore first, having everything on your safety equipment checklist, and if going out alone, at least letting someone know your float plan. Choose your craft wisely to best handle current, swells, and unexpected waves while battling fish that could be large enough to tow you around for a while. The smallest boat for ocean fishing should also have storage below deck, the ability to rig everything to handle flipping, and some type of rudder for paddling efficiency over great distances.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.