Roundabout Boat “The One-Man Round Boat” [VIDEO REVIEW]
By: Joseph Simonds on May 17, 2016
Have you ever fished out of a round boat before?
Before last week, I hadn’t either.
And quite frankly, I never imagined that I would…
But we kept hearing more and more about these “round fishing boats”, and after seeing one up and close at a recent CCA (Coastal Conservation Association) event, curiosity finally got the best of us.
So on a recent trip coming back to Tampa from Boca Grande, Luke and I decided to stop by the Roundabout Watercrafts’ office (the maker of the Roundabout Boat) in Ruskin to see what it’s all about.
Well, let me tell you, these unique boats really shocked us!
What Is A Round Boat?
You may or may not know this, but round boats have been around for thousands of years.
Back before boat motors and 42-foot center consoles were invented, people that lived on or near the water would make circular boats that they could use for everything from fishing, transportation, and moving goods down the river or bay.
Many of the most primitive round boats looked kind of like a woven basket, just supersized!
But don’t think for a minute that these round boats died and went away with the introduction of high-powered motors. These low-maintenance round boats can be found all over Asia and other parts of the world still today!
Here is a somewhat recent picture of a local beach in Vietnam that still uses simple round boats today for many purposes.
Pretty wild stuff huh!
Quite honestly, I didn’t know that so many people in other countries were still using round boats until I started doing the research for it.
Today’s Modern Round Boat
What’s cool is that the round boats of today have the exact same features that have made round boats so popular and practical for thousands of years, while at the same time, giving you some of today’s must have boating features like:
- Rod holders
- A chair
- Made to last and almost impossible to sink
- And a motor!
Currently, there are two round boat sellers that pretty much dominate and own the entire market. There is Roundabout Watercrafts (who is featured in this review with their popular “Roundabout Boat”) and UltraSkiff.
Note: These are two separate round boat companies (many people confuse these two brands as one in the same).
Both companies make great round boats, and each of the round boat companies have their own unique pros and cons.
Let’s discuss both the pros and the cons of this Roundabout Boat that we were able to test first hand last week.
Pros Of The Roundabout Boat
Overall, this round boat does exactly what they claim it does on the Roundabout website.
Luke and I were a bit skeptical of how this “round boat” would ride, especially how well it would track (considering it is round). But we were more than surprised with how well it tracked straight with little to no effort on the part of the driver. While at the same time, it could still turn on a dime when you wanted it to.
For instance, I was in a second Roundabout boat filming the footage below, and I had no problem filming, paying attention to Luke in the shot, and keeping the boat going straight.
Here are all of the pros:
- This roundabout boat is almost impossible to flip over.
- Incredibly easy to use (just a simple trolling motor)
- Very minimal hull slap for anyone that intends on fishing from this boat
- Very quiet in general for fishing
- Lots of storage space (even the ability to add a live well)
- Very balanced and easy to stand up on (anyone from a young kid to my 92-year-old grandfather could stand on this)
- Lots of flat deck space
- Comfortable chair that swiveled around
- Decent speed for a small trolling motor (it does have the ability to move up on the trolling motor size or even get a gas powered motor)
- Built-in rod holders, cleats, and drink holders
- Tracks incredibly well for a round boat
- Takes on waves/wakes very well (you can see Luke hit a boat wake in the video below)
- Easy to store and roll (one person can transport this round boat)
- Pretty affordable ($1,090 t0 $2,495 depending on what accessories you ad in, the trolling motor, trailer, etc) when compared to a small craft like a gheenoe or expensive kayak (that has no motor). You can sell all pricing options here.
Cons Of The Roundabout Boat
This Roundabout boat has very few flaws, as the design and functionality are so simple.
But of course, no boat is free of imperfections.
Here are a couple of the cons that we noticed:
- It can be hard to transport this by yourself if you don’t have a trailer. Although with some trial and error, we believe any angler (of any size and strength) can learn how to properly roll the Roundabout and lift it into a trailer, but it will certainly feel a bit awkward at first (as it weighs approx 120 pounds).
- The range of the boat. This isn’t always a con depending on the motor and battery you use, but the standard trolling motor and battery can get you approximately 7 miles of range. If you had a 10-mile day of fishing in mind, you might want to install two batteries and/or upgrade to a nicer battery.
- Other boats slow down and look to see exactly what the heck you are cruising in when they see you in a round boat (as we experienced while out testing these out). While not a con in itself that people slow down to check your boat out, the con is that this round boat looks so different than anything out there, so be prepared to talk about your round boat to every angler and boater that sees you with it.
The Roundabout Boat Video Review
I never thought I would be saying this, but these round boats from Roundabout Watercraft are pretty darn cool.
After talking with the owner during our demo, we found out that these boats have been selling to all different types of anglers. From people that live on ponds that want something quiet for bass fishing to inshore anglers that want a one-man small boat for really skinny water, to people that repair docks and other marine work.
At the max price of $2,500 that includes the boat, the motor, and even the nice trailer, this is definitely priced reasonable for all that it can do, and for how easy and safe it is for the entire family.
And at the base price of just over $1,000 it is an affordable boat option for most anglers.
Any other questions on the Roundabout boat?
Want to take one for a spin yourself?
Important Note: Todd, the owner of Roundabout Watercraft, has agreed to throw in any Salt Strong hat and two 14-inch Salt Strong decals for anyone that buys one of his boats and mentions they saw it on Salt Strong. So if you speak to them about buying one, or book an appointment for a demo, make sure to mention Salt Strong.
P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would like to see this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!