Fishing is a popular pastime in the United Arab Emirates, with its vast coastline and rich marine life. If you are looking to upgrade your fishing game beyond the shore or jetty, a small boat is a great start. In this article, we will explore the three main types of small boats suitable for fishing in the UAE: car toppers, trailerable tinnies, and console runabouts.

Car Toppers

Car toppers are small boats that can be lifted onto the roof of a car or camper trailer, eliminating the need for a separate trailer. These boats are usually made of fibreglass or pressed aluminium and are light enough for a single person to lift. They are suitable for carrying a small number of people and require a small outboard engine for propulsion.

For example, the Quintrex 310 Dart, a popular car topper model, weighs around 61.0 kilograms and uses a clinker-style pressed aluminium design for added strength. It has foam-filled bench seats built into the hull, which provide buoyancy in case of sinking. The 310 Dart is rated for a maximum 9.0hp engine, which provides adequate performance and range for protected waters such as lakes, rivers, or estuaries.

Car toppers are also compatible with electric outboard motors, which are lighter than traditional outboard engines but require a battery. When choosing a car topper, consider how you will attach it to your vehicle, transport it to and from the water, and whether you prefer petrol or electric power.

Trailerable Tinnies

Trailable tinnies are a step up from car toppers and are designed to be transported on a trailer. This option provides easier launching, retrieval, and transportation but restricts the ability to tow a caravan or camper trailer. Trailerable tinnies are larger and offer better performance, capacity, and design options.

The Quintrex F420 Explorer, for example, is a 4.5-metre trailerable tinny that can be fitted with a tiller-steer outboard engine of up to 40hp. It can carry around four people or three people and a lot of gear. The design allows for the addition of permanent accessories such as a fishfinder, bait board, bimini, and icebox.

Trailerable tinnies are usually sold as “BMT” packages, which include the boat, outboard motor, and trailer. Prices vary depending on the engine size and accessories chosen.

Console Runabouts

Console runabouts are forward-steering boats with a separate throttle control and shift lever. They offer more comfort and features than tinnies and are built for higher performance. The Quintrex 450 Hornet, a 4.8-metre console runabout, features a side console, rod holders, underfloor storage, and a swim ladder. It can carry up to four people and is powered by an outboard engine of up to 90hp.

Console runabouts are sold as complete packages, including the boat, outboard engine, and trailer. Prices start at around $50,000 before adding any accessories.


Choosing the right small boat for fishing in the UAE depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. Car toppers are a cost-effective and portable option, trailerable tinnies offer better performance and features, and console runabouts provide the highest level of comfort and capability. Consider the local fishing environment, regulations, and your preferred fishing spots before making a decision.