The 14 Top Rated Fish-N-Ski Boats

The 14 Top Rated Fish-N-Ski Boats

Boats are similar to cars in the sense that every year there is a newly updated model to choose from. Whether you are upgrading and trading in or you are looking for something new, it can be an overwhelming task to research all of the top boats in the Industry.   We’re here to help.

What are the top rated fish-and-ski boats?  

The Fish N Ski combination is an ideal boat. It is suitable for when the diehard angler wants to be at the spot at dawn, and when that same angler intends to take his family out on the weekends for a little boating fun. Whether it’s tossing a line to catch that bass, or pulling the tube down the river here are the 14 top-rated Fish N Ski Boats of 2020

The 2021 Chaparral SSI 

From the company that is known for making high-end luxury sporting boats, comes the 2021 Chaparral SSI Series. Sterndrive and outboard models come with several options available.  Both Fish and Ski models have the same look and feel with some standard features.  One of the best selling points to this boat is that it has three separate boarding points. There is one port side boarding point, one starboard, and a front bow boarding port with a safety ladder ( I’m talking to you skiers out there).

The sunpad turns into a lounge that can face either way, starboard or portside when the braces are put in place to hold the seat cushion up.  This boat comes with forward seating and storage underneath those seats. It holds 12 people and has enough storage space for all of them.

There are storage compartments on both sides of the boat and underneath the seats, as well as a large storage area on the floor to stash your rods or skis. An optional wakeboard tower folds down for even more storage.   And both models have coolers to store whatever you need to keep on ice.

The fishing package comes with a few awesome extras.

You Get: 

18 Gallon Live Well 

Garmin Fish Finder

Bow Trolling motor

Pedestal bucket seats

The Starting price for this boat is 39 thousand dollars. They have an excellent “build your own” tool on their website so you can customize the boat exactly the way you want.  Building one with the fishing package and some neat options ran me around 57 thousand dollars, including the trailer and Bluetooth speakers. 

This SSI outboard is another excellent option from Chaparral boats. The 0-30MPH speed slows down a bit to only 6.6 seconds instead of 6.1, similar to the chaparral SSI, so it is hardly noticeable.  The outboard gets a high fuel economy boasting 5.1GPH with regular use. The price is a lot lower than you would expect from Chaparral, but not at a sacrifice of quality by far. The main difference between these two boats is the Yamaha inline outboard motor.

The Nitro 2020 Sport Series

If you are not familiar with the nitro brand, they make top quality sport and fishing boats for all walks of outdoorsmen.  A fisherman uses the Nitro boats in tournaments across the globe and even give a tournament reward for placing in a Bassmaster competition with a Nitro boat.  You can read more about Nitro rewards here.  Nitro boats boast about giving you the most boat for your money, however, after being introduced to the 2021 Chaparral Nitro is in for the competition of that claim.  Nitro does have more ships to offer in their fish and ski series than Chaparral, and all around the same price points.  

Nitro has received several industry rewards for their construction and design of fishing and skiing boats around the globe. All Nitro boats are fiberglass and have a gel-coated hull as a standard option. If your primary purpose is fishing, and the skiing part is secondary, I would go with a Nitro Fish N Ski boat.

They have a decent warranty on all of their boats–one year on components and three years on the boat’s structure. The three years are transferable, but one year is not.  The trailer is even warrantied for three years.  

Nitro offers three fish N ski boats, and all are great choices. Below we will discuss each of the three boats. 

2020 Z19 Sport2020 ZV 19 Sport2020 ZV19 Sport Pro
Max HP200225225

2020 Z19 Sport L Pro FourStroke 

This boat is rated for a 225 hp motor that can reach speeds upwards of 50MPH, making it easy to get to tournament spots fast. You can also mount two twelve inch screens on the driver’s console, and a fish finder on the rear of the boat.  This boat is more for the serious fisherman than likes to take his family out once in a while. 

One thing that stands out more than the Chaparral is its ski pylon, instead of a wakeboard tower. The shaft stands directly behind the outboard motor and just high enough to clear the engine with a line. This set up is perfect for tube pulling. A wakeboard tower can be added for an additional cost. The front of the boat has a trolling motor stored there as well.  While maintaining all of the storage components, you would typically find on nitro in the front. 

The flip-up jump seats in the back of the boat make it ideal for small children or even teenagers to come along on the boat ride with the entire family.  The third pedestal seat is perfect for another adult to travel with, or even an older child. The 18-gallon live well is still present; it is just in between the two rear jump seats. The rod storage is on the floor of the boat, and the seats even fold down to give you a flat rear deck to fish, and the ski storage is midship ( yes, you get both). 

Some of the more convenient features of this boat include a blue tooth stereo, 12v charge ports, and even a glove box to store items that you don’t want to get ruined ( like your cell phone).  

There are some differences between the structure of the different models from the Z19 series. 

The ZV19 Sport and Sport Pro

Mostly all of the comforting features remain the same; you still get the outboard Yamaha 225 hp tiltable motor, but the hull is a Deep V instead of a variable V hull. A Deep V allows faster slices through the waves, but with a small sacrifice to a dry ride at times.   

Zv19 Sport/Sport ProZ 19 Sport
Deep V performance hull10″ (25.4 cm) adjustable jack plateLifting strakes to maximize overall handling & performanceTransom designed for Kicker motor applicationRigging tubeStainless steel propeller 
16° variable deadrise hullStainless steel propeller

As you can see, the V model gives you optimum performance with all of the luxury features of the lessor model. 

From a performance standpoint, the sport and Sports pro performance are the same.  Therefore, you are not sacrificing any performance capability by selecting a lower model unless you went with the Z instead of the ZV.  The Sport Pro, however, has a ton of extra features that the sport model does not have.  

Such as : 

  • The midship battery storage
  • Two lift-out tackle trays
  • Bow port and starboard lockers
  • Bimini top
  • Ethernet connection between fishfinders and trolling motor

Price-wise the Z model starts at a comparable 34 thousand before upgrades, and the ZV models start at 42 thousand for the sport and 54 thousand for the sport pro.  Since the main difference in the sport and the sport pro feature, you could build your ZV model and get the features you want from the ZV sport and leave what you don’t want to get the best deal. 

Triton Boats

Triton boats make a small number of good quality boats for a reasonable price. They have two separate fish-n-ski models to choose from for their 2020 release. Triton boats are primarily made of fiberglass, and they boast having the most durable boats on the market. Their secret sauce is the double-lined stringer underneath the ship that provides extra stability control in rough waters.  The stringer runs from bow to stern and connects the port to starboard with cross beams. 

Longevity is essential to triton boats; they aim to build a ship that will last a long time. The transom is connected directly to the stringer and the fuel tank to the transom.  The weight is balanced based on the size of the transom, and Triton boats tend to be a little wider than other ships. 

Triton has a broader deck to provide better fishing areas and storage from the boat. The larger live wells will keep the fish healthier longer, so you have no worries about staying out a little longer than usual.  Triton provides a lifetime warranty on the hull for the original owner. The warranty is transferable to the second owner but is then reduced to 10 years; components and parts are limited to three years.

2020  Allure 

This boat comes in two sizes–the 206 and the 186.  Both are on a 100″ beam, and the model numbers only reflect the hull size as the main difference. The 206 is 20’6,” and the 186 is 18’6″. The built-in features are the same but a little smaller on the 186.   Check the chart below for a full comparison of the specifications.

The Allure is a great fishing boat with a ton of storage. Although you can use this boat for water skiing, it was designed for fishing mainly with skiing in mind for the family to enjoy. The family pack to add the new tow bar runs an additional $2400, but you get the tow bar, stand up top, and comfortable seats. 

Triton allows you to select several upgrades that would typically come in packages from other dealers (like the fishing package). You can handpick from several different engine sizes, console electronics, and seating options for your boat. You can even elect to remove some options to save a little bit of money off of the taxable price. 

The two options start at around 40 k for the 18’ model and 52 k for the 20’ model. The cool thing about these two options is that the main difference is only the hull size and engine. You can pick the same options for both models. One thing that could be better is some additional less expensive options being available for recreational skiers. Maybe a tow pylon instead of having to buy the entire tow bar. 

HULL LENGTH20′ 6”18’6”
FUEL CAPACITY57 gal.31 gal.
MAX. WEIGHT CAPACITY1810 lbs.1900 lbs

Lund Crossover series

Lund is famous for making modern aluminum boats with high-quality features. Lund offers two separate models to choose from; both are a steal for the price. The Lund Crossover series is a real fish n ski boat. It has a live well, rod storage, and wakeboard storage. One of the unique features that in this series is the removable seats.  

Lund’s hull design is flat but practical. The water passes through the hull to the motor granting maximum lift. The drag is lowered because of the controlled disbursement of water to the engine. Lund also offers an upgraded new live well option that will switch out the water in the live well keeping it fresher longer.  

The engine options are similar for both series, ranging from the mercury XS series to the Honda BF150. If you have a good motor, you can purchase the Lund boat without the engine. The accessories are excellent as well; they have plenty of options to upgrade the fish finders and locations to put them in.  Adding a ski package to this boat is less than $1000, or you have the opportunity to get only the pylon.  

  Having more than the one-floor plan would be nice, but it’s not a deal-breaker. The floor plan seats five people with a walkthrough windshield (three pedestal and two removable seats). There is the capacity for more people when adding additional seats upon purchase.  

17′ 10″ 150 max hp18′ 10″ 175 max hp
95″ beam width95″ beam width
28-gallon fuel tank35-gallon fuel tank
1519 lbs / 2653 lbs lbs towed1669 lbs / 2980 lbs lbs towed
7′ Rod storage9′ Rod storage

Lund Adventure and more

The Lund adventure comes with two-floor plans, a walkthrough windshield, or the side console; both have a six-person capacity and come to the two sizes, the 1675 model and the 1775 model. The Adventure series comes with some suitable motors and is a great entry-level sport fishing boat. The ski pole upgrade is still available, but you also need the base. You have the option to install them at different times if you like. 

The fish finders are all available and mountable at most places in the boat. And the warranties are the same on all Lund brand boats. What makes the Adventure special is the price and features for a new ship. The adventure is just the right size for a family boat and nothing more.  

16′ 10″    90 max hp17′ 10″    115 max hp
87″ beam width87″ beam width
21-gallon fuel tank21-gallon fuel tank
1060 Lbs / 1900 lbs  towed1185 lbs / 2025 lbs  towed
Six person/capacitySix person/capacity
7′ 5″ Rod storage7′ 5″ Rod storage

Lund Impact and Tyee Series 

The most significant difference between these two and the cross over series is the horsepower and storage space. The Lund impact can get upwards of 200 horsepower, which is excellent for fishing tournaments and getting to the spot fast. You might have to slow down to half throttle to tow a tube behind it, in any case. 

The impact series only has a one-floor plan, which is the walkthrough windshield as well. The four sizes available upgrade the rod storage bay, fuel and horsepower options based on the extent that you want. The hydraulic steering is a nice touch and makes turning easy. 

The Tyee series is Lund’s Iconic platinum series boats. The Same options are available as the cross over series, with the one-floor model only.  They use top quality materials for the Tyee series, and the live well is upgradable as well. The Tyee has to reverse chines that help limit the bow rise at higher speeds.  If you are using a boat on a large lake or coastal region, the platinum Tyee series may be your best bet. 

Lund boats range in price depending on the ship you select.  Unfortunately, if you’re checking out prices on the internet, you have to build the one you want before you can get the price. You can get a first adventure boat for around 21 thousand without the trailer and the least expensive motor. The Premium Tyee series bare bones with no trailer for approximately 56 thousand. 

Crown line Boats

Crown line is an innovative company and is the first to come out with a new type of hull addition that makes boating a lot more worry-free and fun. The “Fin-like” system helps with turning and controlling the wake of the turn.  You can see how it works in this video

The chines are designed to allow water to pass through the hull and the fins on the rear of the boat, help control the wake. This is the reason why Crown line boats are so smooth riding and fashionable, the hull design is unique, and quality only found in crown line boats. 

One thing that the Crown line does a little differently is the fact that their starting price includes the trailer and motor. That takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out exactly how much a specific model and feature will cost you.

The fish and ski boat is a little bit of a new concept for Crown Line Boats as they have not carried the combination boat in the past. They have separate ski and fishing boats, but you would need to purchase several upgrades to create a combined boat, making the cost almost not worth it in comparison to other manufacturers.  Their cross-sport boats are usually geared towards water sports, separate boats for wakeboarding and skiing, or even surfing.  

Crownline E-205 XS (Cross Sport) 

Starting at around 45 thousand (includes trailer and motor), the E-205 XS is the newest addition to the Crown line family. The package you receive is dependent on the size of the engine that you choose. The options range from the 115Hp Mercury Command motor to the 220HP Yamaha XB.

Crown line gives a lot of standard features with their boats compared to other manufacturers. They do strive to provide an innovative and almost customized feeling to every purchase. You cannot add or remove standardized features that are kind of a bummer. (Not everyone wants a table). However, you can add the additional features that you want.  

For instance, on this boat, you can add a live well and a wakeboard tower if you like without getting the packages. Some of the additions seem rather expensive in comparison to other manufacturer’s additions, but the quality bars none. Some of the selectable upgrades are not compatible with additional updates as well, like the wakeboard tower and the fish packages. 

The Fishing packages do come with many goodies. They seem to be a fair value for the price as they are only available in the E-205 XS and not any upgraded E-XS models.  If you are looking for more of a sport boat that you can fish once in a while, then this would be an excellent choice. 

The upgradable fish package includes the following upgrades (taken from the manufactures’ website): 

FISH PACKAGE: 2-Casting Chairs W/Pedestals and Bases, 4-Rod Holders (2-Gunwale, 2-Rear Seat Base), In-Floor Center Rod Holder Storage For 6 Rods, Forward Aerated Bait Box, Rear Aerated Live Well, Live Well Recycle Water Pump, Forward Trolling Motor Panel with Battery Cables, Wiring and Mounting Bracket, 3-Bank Battery Charger For Trolling Motor Batteries, Coastal Hull Logo

FISH PACKAGE DELUXE: 2-Casting Chairs W/Pedestals and Bases, 4-Rod Holders (2-Gunwale, 2-Rear Seat Base), In-Floor Center Rod Holder Storage For 6 Rods, Forward Aerated Bait Box, Rear Aerated Live Well, Live Well Recycle Water Pump, Raymarine A67 w/Sonar and Chirp Transducer, Forward Trolling Motor Panel with Battery Cables, Wiring and Mounting Bracket, 3-Bank Battery Charger For Trolling Motor Batteries, Coastal Hull Logo 

Lowe Boats

Lowe Boats has four new models to choose from that are bigger versions of the previous models. Lowe Boats has a patent floating foam technology that they fill their Hulls with to smooth out the ride. This design guarantees floatation during extreme weather conditions out on the water. Lowe Boats tend to be slightly wider than other brands by design. A lifetime limited warranty backs Lowe Boats.

The Lowe Fish N Ski series boats have a lot of the same features as the pricier Chaparral without the cost; these boats start at just around 13 thousand. They all have the rear flip-up seats, aerated live well, rod storage, pedestal seats, demountable ski pole, and an impressive stereo system. The boat is perfect for a first-time boat buyer, or anyone looking for a seasonal Fish N Ski boat. 

Some of the premium options include the trailer, trolling motor, and swim ladder (standard on more expensive boats). At a minimum, adding a swim ladder is not going to hurt; you almost need it if you are doing any water skiing. 

The simplicity of these boats makes it an excellent vessel for the recreational boater. The person who just wants a boat for the spring or summer months, there is no oversized monitor or built-in fish finder, but it is a fun boat to ride in with the family.  


Final Thoughts

Boating has come a long way over the last decade, from sheet metal to full-on foam insulated electronic fish finding machines. The capabilities of these boats are awe-inspiring.  Even some of the least expensive boats are still capable of utilizing all of the excess storage space, hull placement, and engine size to achieve the maximum efficiency. All of these manufacturers take boating seriously, and they all have their advantages over each other.  

“Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so bright. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s essential and what’s not. “    

James Taylor

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