Walkarounds are most popular in coastal waters and large bays, ideal for families.

Walkaround Details

Average Length: 18 to 28 ft.  
Capacity: 7  
Propulsion Type: Outboard engine
Trailerable: Yes  
Hull Type: Vee 


Walkarounds may be the ultimate family fishing boats. They're most popular in coastal waters and large bays where anglers pursue  salmon or offshore species, and on the Great Lakes chasing the likes of  lake trout, king/Chinook salmon and steelhead. They're equipped with rod holders, livewells and steps to the forward deck to make it easy to follow a big fish around the boat. Walkarounds feature stowaway family seating, and a cozy  cuddy with plumbing for a toilet and sink that make them a winner for cruising, swimming, tubing or skiing.

If you have ever seen a pleasure boat or fishing boat with a cabin between the middle and the front of the vessel, then you have probably seen a walkaround. It is named after the ability to literally walk a lap around the border of the entire boat. There is a narrow passageway lower than the deck that winds its way around the boat. This is for either maintenance or if the fish are biting in a certain spot.


The walkaround offers plenty of opportunities for fishing or trips. It does not have the full amenities of larger boats in its cuddy cabin below deck, so any overnight stay is not really for the whole family. It could be better used to take a nap when at anchor. There is some flexibility in seating, as some seats are stored away, so it could be a perfect vehicle for a family fishing trip or a cruise around a lake.


The wraparound deck separates the walkaround from other boats. It is definitely a plus when needing to stay on top of a fish. There are often rod holders posted at different points, especially in the back. There's often a cuddy cabin that has a small bed area and sometimes a bathroom and sink. This allows for longer trips for offshore fishing. The covered cabin offers protection from the elements.


Boatmakers point to the walkaround as a middle-of-the-road choice between large, spacious boats and smaller powerboats. It offers plenty of room for small- to medium-size parties. Even with pull-out seating, there are not enough seats for a group in the double digits. The forward cabin means that the steering wheel is closer to the front than the back. The wraparound deck creates a trade-off, providing the ability to walk around the deck while also taking up space around the border. This takes away a bit of space from the seating in the back and from the cockpit. It adds a dimension to a boat for very few instances in which you'll actually need it.


Walkarounds are made for bay fishing and ocean voyages for saltwater fish since it has the stamina to take a long trip. That's not to say they can't handle freshwater lakes too. They measure 18 to 28 feet in length. This boat is usually seen as a compromise between the larger boats, which have all the luxuries of home on the water, and the smaller boats, which are built for speed and maneuvering. Those looking for a larger boat but who are not able to afford the expensive models should look into walkarounds.

Don’t forget to register your boat, check your state boating rules and regulations before you leave the dock. Learn more about aluminum fishing boats in our next section.