Envisioning the futuristic bass boat

Hardly a day goes by at Phoenix Boats that we aren’t talking about ways to improve next year’s model.

When you think about it, bass boats have come a long way the past 10 years. Boats have gotten wider and safer. They’re built to handle accessories, including big four-stroke outboards, large screen graphs, smart trolling motors and anchoring systems.

So what lies in the future? Well, we really don’t know, but it sure is fun to speculate.

This much I can tell you – I don’t expect the length or bow width to change. We’re pretty well maxed out on that. Attempts to sell longer bass boats didn’t go over wel,l and we’re maxed out on width for towing down the highway.

Enclosed boat trailers also were tried years ago, but they weren’t very fuel efficient. Perhaps someone will come up with a sleek aerodynamic design made of lightweight space age materials.

One sure bet is that technological advancements will continue to drive the boat market. For example, I think the day will come when we will do away with gas engines and utilize powerful electric outboards once we see improvements in battery technology.

The heavy lead cell batteries have been around for decades, but we’re starting to see smaller, lighter and more powerful lithium batteries showing up in some boats. However, there are still improvements needed. One example is they charge quickly but die abruptly, and there is the matter of cost.

One would think that if we can put a submarine in the water for 20 years, surely we can figure out how to keep electric outboards running for a day and make the battery power affordable. 

Despite all the wonderful technological advancements in trolling motors there’s still room for more. The day will come when we will have a trolling motor built into the bow of the boat where it’s hidden when not in use.

The same thing for anchoring systems built into the gunnels where they aren’t visible until deployed.

I can see the day when all of the manufacturers of accessories come together with boat builders and create a self-contained boat, much the way a car comes with motor, radio, GPS, video components and other accessories.

It’s quite possible you’ll see boat companies working with electronic manufacturers to integrate electronics right into the boat.

Of course, all of this is fantasy talk and no one really knows what the futuristic rig will look like.

But then, who would have thought 15 years ago that we’d see two big, multi-functional screen graphs on the bow and at the console, a trolling motor with GPS capabilities, and anchoring systems that could be deployed with a simple touch of a button?

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