G3 is a brand of competitively-priced aluminum boats that is very popular across the United States of America and has dealers in other parts of the world.
With their high visibility and availability, and friendly pricing, the prospective buyer of an aluminum boat is bound to wonder how good they are.
Here’s how strong G3 Boats are:
G3 is a brand of aluminum boat known for being rugged. They are competitively priced for a crowded and difficult market. While they are not as highly regarded as the upper tier of aluminum boat brands such as Lund, they are solidly built and have a very good value.
A Brief History Of G3 Boats:
Generation 3 Boats was started in Lebanon, Missouri, in 1992 by Brent Appleby.
He was the third generation of boat builders in the Appleby family, which traced its boat manufacturing roots to grandfather J.B. Appleby in 1960.
When they first began, they only manufactured simple Jon boats. Just five years after being founded, the company was sold by Brent to the Yamaha Boat Company in 1997. The company was renamed G3.
The manufacturing of G3 boats remained in Lebanon, and the brand expanded its offerings. Beyond the original Jon boats, the company now makes angling boats, pontoon boats, and small bay boats.
All of their boats are still made out of high-grade aluminum.
They currently have over 250 dealers across the USA and 30 in Canada. They also have dealers in France, Russia, and Australia.
How Reliable Are G3 Boats?
In looking through online forums, most boaters who have had a G3 have good things to say overall about the brand. Though they are made to a price point, they are solidly built and have good layouts.
One popular selling point of G3 boats that the company has emphasized is the technology onboard. Fishfinders are a popular option, as are GPS units. These latter devices appeal not just to fishermen but pontoon boat owners, as well.
It should be noted that most of the G3 lines are designed for more protected waters, having lower freeboards. Several owners point out that the hulls do not perform well if there is any chop.
This seems to be true even in their bay boats. One owner said:
“They’ll beat you to death and very wet. It is what it is. For calm days and rivers, it’s a killer boat and lots of space and room. It’s perfect for that, but in a bay where it gets a little choppy, not good. I had mine for about 3 years.”
[Source: The Hull Truth]
Remember that the design is appreciated by the owner, and in protected waters, it performs great.
How Durable Are G3 Boats?
Aluminum boats are tough to begin with. The material will not get holed when striking logs or rocks like fiberglass, and an owner can often hammer out dents.
G3 Boats uses Aluminum Alloy 5052 in the construction of their boats. This particular alloy is known for its workability during construction and durability down the road. It is also favored by other manufacturers in the Lebanon, Missouri area.
The company uses a thick layer of aluminum, and several areas like the bow are double-layered and otherwise reinforced with braces.
The warranty on G3 boats is five years long and covers the bow to the stern. Compared to other aluminum boat brands in the industry, this is average.
The exterior seams have a lifetime warranty, though, which is very good and indicative of the craftsmanship applied in the manufacturing process.
What About Older G3 Boats?
G3 boats have been designed and manufactured to the same consistent standards since their early days.
Even after the buyout from Yamaha, the construction standards remained consistent, including when they began to expand their lines to bay boats and pontoon boats.
As noted below, some earlier models had problems with corrosion around the wood sterns, but this has not been a problem since the wood was removed in their construction process.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
G3 Boats does not offer replacement parts from their website. Instead, owners needing replacement parts are encouraged to contact their dealer. They also have some troubleshooting guides and contact information for parts manufacturers on their website.
It is difficult to tell how far back in model years that parts are still available from the available information.
However, parts for older models may often be found in online parts retailers. Boatoutfitters.com carries a large supply of G3 replacement parts for older models, as do several other online retailers.
Many of the outdoor forums are active in assisting owners in locating specific parts or their original manufacturer.
What Are Typical Problems With G3 Boats?
For most of its 30-year existence, G3 Boats have been considered to be built tough. Occasionally, problems have arisen in the lines.
Back when the transoms were made from wood, there were problems with rot in the plywood, as sometimes water would penetrate through improperly bedded screws or other fittings.
Some pitting would occasionally show up in the transoms from the same vintage. It was speculated that reactions with the wood caused it.
Wood is no longer used in the transoms, so this has not been a problem in the last decade.
Some G3 boats have developed leaks, in particular the riveted models. This is a general bane of aluminum boats, not unique to G3, but some models experienced these problems more than others.
For an in-depth examination of typical problems with G3 boats, check out our article!
How Long Do G3 Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
Over their 30 year history, G3 boats have developed a strong reputation for lasting in tough conditions. Compared to similar brands like Lowe and Tracker, most owners are very satisfied with the lifespan and service they have gotten from their boats.
It is important to take care of your boat to extend its life, and for aluminum boats, that includes flushing off saltwater after being used. The salt can cause electrolysis or other forms of corrosion if it remains in contact with the aluminum.
It is not uncommon to find boaters online who have had their G3 boats for 10+ years and still going strong.
Do G3 Boats Hold Their Value?
Given that they manufacture over 100 models, it can be difficult to get a solid assessment of how G3 boats hold their value, as there are many models to evaluate. But we’ll take a look at a few of the better-selling models and see how they fare after several years.
Their most popular model, the 18-foot Sportsman 17, sold new in 2015 for $25,995, including motor and trailer. That boat now has an average resale value of $20,300, for depreciation of 22%.
A deep-V model hull of a similar size, the 172C, sold new in 2015 for $29,895. Currently, that boat has an average resale value of $27,320, for depreciation of 9%.
Looking at their bay boats, a BAY 20 DLX sold new in 2015 for $35,295. Now that model has an average resale value of $30,190, for depreciation of 15%.
Judging from these numbers, it is clear that the resale value of G3 varies widely from model to model. The lesser value retained by the Sportsman 17 could be because of their widespread and easy availability. The other models hold their value decently.
Are G3 Boats Still Being Made?
G3 Boats are still made in Lebanon, Missouri, which has become known as the aluminum boat capital of the world, as there are another half-dozen aluminum boat manufacturers in the city, including Lowe and Tracker.
The company has over 300 employees between G3 and the Suncatcher pontoon boats. They build over 100 models of boats.
They have five different lines of boats: Jon boats, bay boats, angling boats, the sportsman line, and the Suncatcher line of pontoon boats.
Their prices are advertised on their website, which allows for a nice degree of customization in options and painting.
The most popular boat that they build currently, according to the company, is the Sportsman 1710. Its base model is under $20,000.
G3 Boats have established itself as a well-built and competitive brand in a very crowded marketplace. They have a supportive group of owners online.
If you are buying a lower-or mid-priced aluminum boat, G3 is a good and reliable brand to explore.