Flats Scooters


A flat scooter is a small boat designed for fishing in shallow coastal waters. Flat scooter boats are primarily used for saltwater fishing but they can also perform well in fresh water. With the small size and low weight of this boat, it is possible to get into many different shallow areas that are difficult to access in larger boats. This makes scooters very popular among anglers who want to test their skills in shallow environments.

With the proper scooter boat designs, it is easy to make one of these boats at home. A DIY scooter boat is a fun and cost-effective option. Because of the simple design of this boat style, you do not need much special equipment or experience to make your own boat. Various tutorials, supplies, plans and kits are available online. Several different boat manufacturers also make pre-built scooters that are ready to use.

What are the characteristics of a flats scooter?

Flat scooter boats are similar in shape and length to other flats fishing boats such as the flats skiff. However, flats scooters have a few different characteristics that set them apart. You can identify a scooter by the following characteristics:

  • A short length. Most scooters are only 10 to 22 feet in length.
  • A flat hull. Scooters usually have a very flat bottom and a flat deck.
  • A center console. The console in flat scooter boats is usually near the middle of the boat to provide better balance.
  • A lack of gunwales. Without sides or railings, scooters give you maximum room for fishing.
  • Limited storage. Most scooters only have a cooler in front of the console and one or two compartments for gear.

What type of engine does a flats scooter have?

Flat scooter boats are fitted with a small outboard engine. In most cases, flat scooters will have motors that have between 25 and 50 horsepower. Although this is a small engine, these boats are also very small and lightweight, which would make a larger, more powerful engine obsolete. In some cases, these boats may have a trolling motor at the front. Furthermore, with the right modifications, a scooter may be propelled with the help of a pole.

What are the types of flats scooters?

A flat scooter can be made of a few different materials including fiberglass, wood, carbon fiber and aluminum. Flats scooter boats may also be referred to as tunnel vee boats or Texas flats boats in certain areas of the U.S. As long as a boat has a flat, open deck without gunwales, it is usually categorized as a scooter even if different regional names are used.

What kind of fishing can I do on a flats scooter?

Flat scooter boats are usually used for inshore fishing in the ocean and coastal waters. DIY scooter boats and factory-made boats can be used to catch redfish, bonefish, tarpon and permit, which like to live in shallow backwater areas and inlets.

How do I use a flat scooter?

To operate a flats scooter, you will need to be comfortable using an outboard motor. Flat scooter boats are designed for fishing in very shallow water, which means you may need to know how to use a trolling motor or pole to propel the boat.

Where can I use flat scooter boats?

Flats scooters can be used in a variety of environments. Because of a flat scooter’s small size and hull shape, it is not suited for nearshore or offshore fishing. In fact, it can be dangerous to operate this type of vessel in the open ocean. These boats work best in:

  • Ponds
  • Lakes
  • Flats
  • Backwater areas
  • Inshore saltwater environments

What are the advantages of using a flats scooter?

A flat scooter is great for fishing in extremely shallow water. The scooter boat design is perfect for getting into areas that are rarely accessed for fishing, which is exciting and rewarding. These boats can also be modified to suit your needs.

What are the cons of using a flat scooter?

Flats scooter boats can be dangerous because there is usually no railing and the deck is only inches from the water. The flat scooter is a popular boat design, but it can also be hard to find these vessels when you want to buy one. This is because there are not many manufacturers who make this style of boat.

Who should consider using a flats scooter?

A flat scooter is easy to operate, but it is important for beginners to exercise caution with this type of boat. Flat scooter boats are known for turning suddenly without even when the operator is heading straight. For inexperienced boaters, this can be extremely dangerous due to how easy it would be to slip off the edge of the boat in a sudden turn.

How much does a flats scooter cost?

DIY scooter boats offer amore economical option due to the fact that you simply buy materials and assemble the boat yourself. However, a pre-made flat scooter is still relatively inexpensive compared to other fishing vessels. New boats will cost around $15,000 to $50,000.

What are the best flat scooter manufacturers?

When it comes to flat scooters, there are not very many manufacturers that sell pre-made boats. Depending on where you live, it may be easier to find used flat scooter boats than it would be to find new vessels in a manufacturer’s showroom. Popular brands that make scooters include:

  • Dargel
  • Dolphin
  • Tiburon
  • Freedom Boats
  • Mowdy
  • Boatright

Download your copy of our guide on how to buy a boat to access a valuable resource that will help you narrow your search when buying a flats scooter boat.

Where can I find a flats scooter?

Flats scooter boats are easier to find if you live in a coastal region. Looking for flat scooters online is a good option no matter where you live. Craigslist, eBay and Boattrader.com have new and used options that you can browse. If you want to make a  DIY boat, a variety of supplies and plans can be found on Boatdesigns.com. When shopping, you can compare the following models to get a good idea of the scooter features you like:

  • Mowdy 13’ Scooter
  • Tiburon LX-21
  • DargelSkooter
  • Freedom Boats Chiquita Scooter


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