ND Bait Boats, New Direction Bait Boat Review

We review the range of ND bait boats below. New Direction have developed an impressive range of bait boats to add to their growing list of carp fishing tackle.

New Direction have been genuine front-runners in the development of new carp fishing technology with products ranging from bite alarms that integrate with your smartphone to cradles that weigh your catch at the same time.

It’s no secret that the face of carp fishing is changing all the time, and the heavy lean towards a sport that encourages technology has allowed companies to flourish while flexing their creative muscles.

ND bait boats benefit from all that revolutionary creativity, and you’re unlikely to find a better option on the market for the price. In this article, we’re going to review two bait boats from New Direction aptly named ND Smart Bait Boat 1 & ND Smart Bait Boat 2.

In all honesty, the two boats share a lot of similarities and features, with the main difference lies with the price and the optional extras, but let’s explore them a little more.

ND Bait Boats

ND Smart Bait Boat 1


  • Price: £850
  • Size: H24cm x W40cm x L56cm
  • Weight: 7.5kgs
  • Outfit: Twin Hoppers plus an Independent Rig Release
  • Bait Capacity: 3.5kgs
  • Batteries: Li-lon 14.8V*15A
  • Boat Lights: 2 Front, 2 Side & 2 Rear
  • Propulsion: Twin Powered Engines
  • External Interface: 2xUSB & 1 in-and-out DC Jack
  • Radio Frequency: 2.4GHZ
  • Range: 300m

What are the anglers saying?

Carp Crazy said: “Since using it I have had some cracking fish from spots I would not have been able to access without it. If your after a boat with great features and at a reasonable price then this is the boat for you.” 

GlenBarab said: “Great piece of kit. So easy to use and to have built in gps autopilot getting you to and from programable drop points for this price!!! Absolutely Brilliant.”

New Direction Smart Bait Boat

The first edition of New Directions bait boat was a celebration of the company’s journey and eventual acknowledgement of becoming one of the industries authorities on angling technology.

ND’s Smart Bait Boat 1 is layered with a sleek, smooth carbon-like black design and comes with a relatively hefty price of £850, especially compared to its sister model that retails at nearly half the price.

Still, it’s the additional features that come as standard to the Smart Bait Boat 1 that set’s it aside from the competition.

The first key feature of the ND Smart Bait Boat 1 is the Autopilot with Map feature that allows you to set up to 4 programmed spots in your swim to send your boat to at a click of a button, requiring no steering at all, along with a home button feature that will bring the boat back at the touch of a button without any other control necessary.

This is a fantastic way to ensure you hit the same spot with your bait every time to give you the best chance at banking that PB. It also comes with a full app that is free to download so you can actually look at a map of the water and select your spots that way. By adding a fish finder onto the boat via one of the many ports and structure arms available, allows you to find the spots to fish on, leave a rig on the money and some bait over the top in a single trip.

The two hoppers that feature on both bait boats allow for up to 3.5kgs of bait to be distributed at once, which is a wonderful option to have during long trips where you need to lay down kilos upon kilos of boilie, pellet and particle without back-breaking spodding throughout the day. The headlight system with two on the front, two on the side and two on the rear make night-time baiting up a doddle, especially with the Autopilot feature, and the powerful twin engines manage to maintain a low-profile at the same time.

There are some drawbacks, however; mostly cantering around the battery life, something which has plagued a lot of New Direction products in the past. After all, all the technology requires some power. The boat takes about 5 hours to charge in full, which is pretty standard across the industry, but the range is only around 5 miles, and some have reported that the battery lasted much less than that 5-mile buffer. However, there is an additional batter provided with the Smart Bait Boat 1, meaning you’ll have plenty of power to take you through a long session.

Despite some worries surrounding the battery life, the Autopilot and auto-home features, coupled with its stunning design, make this a very worthy contender in luxury bait boats.

ND Smart Bait Boat 1 Review

  • Price – ****
  • Ease of Use – *****
  • Features – *****
  • Reliability – ****
  • Battery Life – ****

The first version of the Smart Bait Boat is jam-packed with leading technology that will genuinely improve the angler’s chances of catching that dream fish. The smoother than smooth design will turn heads on the bank and its integrations with other ND technology certainly follows the company’s trends.

Final score: 4.4/5

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ND Smart Bait Boat 2

ND Smart Bait Boat 2


  • Price: £499
  • Size: H25cm x W40cm x L62cm
  • Weight: 5.5kgs
  • Outfit: Twin Hoppers plus an Independent Rig Release
  • Bait Capacity: 3kgs
  • Batteries: Li-lon 14.8V*10A
  • Boat Lights: 2 Front & 2 Rear
  • Propulsion: Twin Powered Engines
  • External Interface: SD Card
  • Radio Frequency: 2.4GHZ
  • Range: 300m

What are the anglers saying?

Saward said: “Absolutely brilliant does exactly what it says on the box.”

Eddie50 said: “Amazing bit of kit. Well-made and looks good.”

The Smart Bait Boat 2 was quite an interesting development from New Direction. Instead of a beefed-up version of their Smart Bait Boat 1, a much more versatile model emerged. You see, the build, design and technicalities of the boats are both very similar, only the latter model doesn’t automatically have all the features of its predecessor. Instead, the features are available at an extra cost, which has allowed ND to reduce the cost of the boat outright by almost half.

Access to the ND bait boat app is only available at an extra cost, as is the Autopilot with Map technology that made the first version so popular and ground-breaking. They have also done away with the spare battery along with reducing the power of the battery included with the boat, raising serious power concerns for the multiple-night angler.

Apart from the missing features and the removal of the spare battery, the boats are pretty much identical. The same smooth design adorns them both, and this certainly opens the bait boat up to the angler that may be on a little bit of a budget, with the scope to improve the functionality of the boat in the future. With this in mind, the winner for value for money may actually be the 2nd version.

ND Smart Bait Boat 2 Review

  • Price – *****
  • Ease of Use – *****
  • Features – ****
  • Reliability – ****
  • Battery Life – ***

This is quite a clever way to attract low-budget anglers into the luxury bait boat market. The lite version of the New Direction Smart Bait Boat 1 can’t live up to its predecessor at first, but over time with some upgrades, it will be.

This could be the new era for angling technology in general in which the base product looks like a steal on the surface, but repeat add-on purchases will be too tempting to ignore over time.

Final score: 4.2/5

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