Angling Aboard Cuddy Cabins: A Smart Choice?

For many boating enthusiasts, the allure of fishing and the open water is irresistible. But when considering the perfect boat for angling, does a cuddy cabin boat make the cut? Let’s dive into the world of cuddy cabin boats, their suitability for fishing, and the factors you should consider when deciding if one is right for your angling adventures.

What is a Cuddy Cabin Boat?

A cuddy cabin boat is a versatile vessel, typically ranging from 18 to 30 feet in length, that features a small, enclosed cabin space. The cabin provides enough room for basic amenities, such as a berth (beds), toilet, and sometimes a small galley (kitchen), making it suitable for overnight stays and weekend getaways. The deck area offers space for leisure activities, and many models also have a swim platform or sun pad.

Image of the author's cuddy cabin's living quarters.
Living quarters below deck on my family’s cuddy cabin. I know, it’s a mess.

Fishing on a Cuddy Cabin Boat: Pros

Cuddy cabin boats can be used for fishing, and they come with several advantages that make them a compelling choice for anglers:

  • Shelter: The cuddy cabin offers protection from the elements, making it possible to fish in a variety of weather conditions or take a break when needed.
  • Overnight trips: With sleeping accommodations and basic facilities, cuddy cabin boats enable anglers to embark on extended fishing trips without the need to return to shore each night.
  • Family-friendly: Cuddy cabin boats provide a comfortable environment for the whole family, so you can enjoy fishing trips with your loved ones without sacrificing their comfort.
  • Versatility: These boats are suitable for a wide range of water activities, such as cruising, watersports, and entertaining, in addition to fishing.

Fishing on a Cuddy Cabin Boat: Cons

While cuddy cabin boats have several benefits for fishing enthusiasts, there are some drawbacks to consider:

  • Limited deck space: Due to the cabin, cuddy cabin boats may have less open deck space compared to dedicated fishing boats, which could limit your mobility when casting lines or reeling in fish.
  • No dedicated fishing features: Unlike specialized fishing boats, cuddy cabin boats may lack built-in fishing features such as rod holders or live wells, which can be inconvenient for serious anglers.
  • Less fuel-efficient: Cuddy cabin boats are typically heavier and less fuel-efficient than smaller fishing boats, which could result in higher fuel costs for extended fishing trips.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cuddy Cabin Boat for Fishing

If you’re contemplating whether a cuddy cabin boat is the right choice for your fishing needs, consider the following factors:

  • Your fishing style: If you primarily fish in calm waters, such as lakes or rivers, and don’t require specialized fishing features, a cuddy cabin boat may suffice. However, if you often venture into rough waters or engage in specific fishing techniques that demand specialized equipment, a dedicated fishing boat may be more suitable.
  • Your budget: Cuddy cabin boats can be more expensive than smaller fishing boats, both in terms of purchase price and ongoing costs (e.g., fuel, maintenance). Consider your budget and the value you place on the additional features and amenities that a cuddy cabin boat offers.
  • Frequency of use: If you only fish occasionally and spend most of your time on the water engaged in other activities, a cuddy cabin boat might be a practical choice. On the other hand, if you fish regularly and need a vessel tailored to your angling pursuits, investing in a dedicated fishing boat might be a wiser decision.
  • Storage and transportation: Cuddy cabin boats are larger and heavier than many fishing boats, which may impact your ability to store and transport the vessel. Ensure you have adequate storage space and a suitable trailer and tow vehicle before committing to a cuddy cabin boat.
Image showing fishing modifications made to the author's cuddy cabin boat.
Adding rod holders and other fishing accessories is a great way to make the anglers on board very happy while also having a vessel that’s overall very family friendly.

Adapting a Cuddy Cabin Boat for Fishing

If you decide that a cuddy cabin boat is the right choice for your fishing adventures, you can make some modifications to enhance its fishing capabilities:

  • Install rod holders: Adding rod holders to your boat will free up your hands and provide secure storage for your fishing rods while you’re on the water.
  • Add a live well: Installing a live well can keep your live bait fresh and store your catch until you return to shore.
  • Mount a fish finder: A fish finder can help you locate fish more effectively, increasing your chances of success during your fishing trips.
  • Upgrade your seating: Consider adding swivel seats or pedestal seats, which can improve comfort and provide a better range of motion while fishing.

A cuddy cabin boat can be used for fishing, offering shelter, overnight accommodations, and a family-friendly environment. However, these boats may lack dedicated fishing features and have limited deck space compared to specialized fishing vessels. When deciding if a cuddy cabin boat is right for your angling needs, consider factors such as your fishing style, budget, frequency of use, and storage and transportation requirements.

If you opt to go with a cuddy cabin boat, you can make modifications to enhance its fishing capabilities, creating a versatile vessel that meets your fishing and leisure needs.