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Best and worse manufacturers???

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  • Best and worse manufacturers???

    With so many makes and models out there I have a very hard time keeping track of what is good and what is not. I know a lot is personal preference but what makes are considered the low/very low end? What models are considered the Rolls Royce of boats? I have heard good things about sea ray and bad things about say tahoe. What are your top choices for best/worse. Maybe top three, top 5 or if you wanna go all out top 10.... To keep things simple lets narrow this down to say 16-23' fish/ski models.

  • #2
    Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

    Boats are tools. Depends on what you want her to do.

    Because boats are like women. They are expensive, time consuming, and often times temperamental. But men enjoy being with them, find them beautiful and love them both in spite of their many faults.
    "Doris", 2007 Stanley Islander 19, Yamaha F150


    • #3
      Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

      Well, in this market, one of the most important things to know is how solvent the company is.

      Stay away from Genmar Marine, a collection of numerous boat makers. They are so far in debt, many companies are going down the tubes forever. Big names... like Wellcraft, Seaswirl, Four Winns, Hydra Sports, Glastron, Triumph and many more.

      Genmar is so bad, and debt is so high, bankruptcy might not help.

      Here are some of the brands: http://www.genmar.com/brands.cfm
      Southern, NJ, USA

      Currently Boatless
      Date an I/O, but marry an outboard!


      • #4
        Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

        Best: Cobalt

        Worst: Tahoe


        • #5
          Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

          As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Also, I am not an expert by any means nor do I know about all boat manufacturers. All I know is that I am 100% satisfied with my Maxum. The boat appears well made, performs very well and is everything it was advertised as being. I bought it new in August 2009 and have not had one issue with the quality and I have been out on her every weekend since I bought it. Maxum is a division of Brunswick who announced at about the time I bought it that they were discontinuing that brand. But, they are standing by the warranty and still make the Bayliner, Sea Ray and Trophy. I know some people do not always speak highly of the line but I am glad I have it.

          Also, I agree with the boat / woman comparison above. Well said!

          Same Admiral since 1973
          2011 Chaparral 206SSI, 5.0L VP GXI SX, 270HP
          2013 Ford 150 Platinum Super Crew, Eco Boost
          2013 Infiniti G-37


          • #6
            Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

            If I can buy it at BassPro...I don't want it.
            2002 20' Hydra-Sports 202DC 200HP Yamaha HPDI
            1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
            Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767


            • #7
              Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

              no troubles with my Doral so far, its a 1995 and i put 250 hours on it last summer!

              my father in law swears by Rinker and he also has no troubles to report.

              2 of my boating buddies have Bayliners and they wish everyday to wake up and realise its been stolen overnight.

              just my e-pinion!
              1995 Doral BR185 with MonsterTower
              2007 Nissan Xterra Off Road
              2009 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS


              • #8
                Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

                I have been very impressed with the Stingray I purchased earlier this year. I was really looking for a fish and ski, and had my sights set on the Stingray 190fx, but they are really hard to find used...people must hang on to them.

                I like the Stingray fish and ski's b/c they look like a sporty bowrider, but convert to a decent fish boat, as opposed to some other brands that look like a bass boat with a ski pylon and a back seat added on.

                Stingray boats would probably be in the middle of the road as far as price and perceived quality, but I have heard from many other owners that their customer service and support is top-notch.

                Based on my limited experience with them, I would certainly recommend Stingray to anyone looking for a decent, sporty 19ft fish and ski. Just my opinion...

                But as the saying goes, "opinions are like ****holes, everyone has one, and all of them stink to some degree!"
                2007 Stingray 180RX VP 3.0 GLP-E SX-A Pulled by a 2007 Chevy Tahoe 5.3L
                "stupidity is usually painful and expensive, as it should be"
                Actual quote from my boss, "You have no idea who I think I am!"


                • #9
                  Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

                  The best boat I have owned was a sea-pro. Great boat and wish I had it from time to time. Brunswick also bought them out a few years back but I believe their still in production.


                  • #10
                    Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

                    Best = Boston Whaler

                    Worst = Everything else.



                    • #11
                      Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

                      Originally posted by Philster View Post
                      Stay away from Genmar Marine, a collection of numerous boat makers.
                      While you are correct, I would say that most of brands under the Genmar umbrella are highly regarded. They simply make good boats.

                      Silly management/ownership issues aside I think the Genmar brands will come through this.

                      Brands like Glastron, Larson, Four Winns and Wellcraft all have a very loyal following and proud history. These current issues are likely only a wrinkle along their timeline.

                      Consider the fact that many of the brands Genmar currently owns were once owned by OMC. When OMC went under in 2000-2001, Genmar picked up the brands and kept them alive.

                      edit: for the record my Four Winns was built when the Winn's family still owned the company. The Larson I currently "own" wasn't purchased for any amount of brand loyalty.
                      2004 Four Winns 180 Freedom, 150 HP Evinrude Direct Injection
                      1974 Winner 280 Cruiser, t-302 225HP V-drives
                      2002 Gheenoe 13', 5HP Nissan 2 stroke
                      1981 Four Winns Marquise 180 Cuddy, Mercruiser 165HP I6 -- PROJECT


                      • #12
                        Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

                        If you are talking about used boats, maintenance is more important than brand, except perhaps on the high and low end of quality adn excepting extreme exam,ples of neglect. IOW a Whaler can handle hard use that might be seen as neglect to a Searaybayliner type boat. it could tolerate being moored uncovered in salt water for 30 years, too.

                        It doesn't matter what the financial condition of the manufacturer is, for a boat it made years ago. Seldom do you need to deal with the manufacturer for the hull (unlike motors). Sea Pro, btw, is out of business. Still a good boat. For a comparable new boat, get a Sea Hunt.
                        Like cars, the first year is often not a good one to buy--let the company learn from mistakes on someone else's day off.

                        Some style boats can't handle hard use and therefore seem to age faster and look worse sooner (sofa boats). In fairness, it's like your furniture at home: how would your living room sofa look after using it for a year by the pool or in the garage? Would pool furniture look better even though it starts off "not as nice"?

                        Top end? Carolina Classic, Albemarle, Whaler, Grady, Hinckley (!), Contender.
                        Mid range: the "Sea" boats: sea pro, sea chaser, sea hunt, sea swirl, sea ox. Also scout, key west
                        Solid fishing/commercial grade: Parker, Whaler, carolina Skiff.
                        Tin: Lowe
                        Durable basic inexpensive: privateer, carolina skiff; McKee

                        The quality of engines and mechanics is a whole 'nuther discussion, but it can impact a boat brand's reputation.
                        A man of constant boat tinkering.


                        • #13
                          Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

                          I own both a Wellcraft and Glasstron. I will say that really like both and would not hesitate to purchase either brand. Infact craigs list around here is still flooded with old Glasstrons from the 70's. So many 40 yr old boats still around says one thing about the company. I have heard good things about many other genmar brands. I also have a Rinker. I like the boat a lot but I will say that it has obvious signs of water coming into the cabin through the cabin windows and hatch. The boat is a 1998 with that said I have a 1991 Galaxy and a 1990 Wellcraft both cuddies and no sign of water seapage. I am dissapointed with the water coming into the cabin and in my opinion is a sign of poor craftsmanship. I also had a 88 Bayliner with a cobra outdrive. Knowing then what I know now I probably wouldn't of bought it. I did get a great price on it and used it all summer and sold it for over 3x what I paid. I never knew Bayliners had such a bad rep until this site.


                          • #14
                            Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

                            I concur with JD Power


                            • #15
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                              Re: Best and worse manufacturers???

                              interesting links... I have always heard only good things about cobalt and sea ray. Looks like jdpower agrees. I guess most would agree that these are higher end boats? Also how is it possible to have so much variation as far as engines? Are all manufacturers basically using the same engines/drives? For example Rinker gets a 2 star for engine while cobalt gets a 5. I know my rinker has a mercruiser 5.7 with bravo 3 drive. What if anything does cobalt offer to deserve 3 more stars?