Havoc is a brand of aluminum boats designed for duck hunting and fishing.
While they tend to get decent reviews from owners, we want to know: Are they any good?
Here’s How Good Havoc Boats Are:
Havoc Boats has gained a strong reputation for their speed, handling, and durability in navigating very difficult waters. They are made for hunting and fishing in remote areas featuring swamps and mud and saltwater bass fishing. They are held up as a standard of aluminum hunting boats.
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A brief history of Havoc Boats
Havoc Boats is a very young company founded in 2013.
Bill Long, the owner of Bill’s Marine in El Dorado, Arkansas, had a specific vision for a kind of boat that would excel in hunting timber ducks in the local wilderness conditions. Premium hunting grounds are isolated and difficult to get to, and a lightweight, durable boat is needed to get there.
Long enlisted Tim Scott and his wife Ashley, who had been working in the aluminum boat industry for over a decade at that time, to become involved in a start-up company making aluminum boats designed and built for the local duck hunters.
Investigating the local manufacturing bases, they settled on Fordyce, Arkansas, which offered incentives to locate their manufacturing there. They recruited local workers, and Scott began designing and building, and in 2013 Havoc Boats was born.
They experienced success very quickly, as their boats proved ideal for the rugged conditions in the area. They gained wider awareness, and their boats spread into more states.
They began building boats for more sports, like bass fishing, as they developed dealers in 14 states.
Today they employ over 30 people and have established themselves as a maker of aluminum boats built for wilderness performance.
How Reliable Are Havoc Boats?
Havoc boats are built for hunting and fishing, mostly in difficult, isolated terrain. They are made to get you to your spot fast and safe.
Most owners who post online agree that the hulls are fast. The company offers some hull and engine packages, but many buy the hull and use their choice of motor, but regardless of the motor used, owners agree that you get where you are going in good time.
They also get great reviews for handling, which can be very delicate considering the isolated streams and creeks that many Havoc owners take their boats. Many owners comment on their remarkable maneuverability.
In addition to hunting boats, they make fishing varieties, like bass boats. These are made to withstand the corrosion and difficulties of saltwater as well as freshwater.
Customer service is another aspect that Havoc Boats uses to maximize its reliability. They seek to develop a relationship between manufacturer, dealer, and owner. Many owners talk online that while the factory does not sell direct, they are available for discussion through phone or email.
One other aspect that Havoc has become known for is its presence on certain racing circuits. Since their introduction, Havoc Boats has done very well in racing, owing to their speed, handling, and reliability.
How Durable Are Havoc Boats?
Havoc Boats has quickly established itself as one of the more durable aluminum hunting and fishing brands.
One of the reasons for this is their I-beam rib design. This construction method greatly reduces the flex at higher speeds, thus maximizing the longevity of the hull. Flexing causes the aluminum to fatigue, so this design reduces it enhances the boat’s durability.
Beyond the I-beam rib structure, the inverted sidewalls and T-lock gunnel rail give Havoc Boats the ability to withstand impacts from muddy banks and logs in the water.
Havoc advertises that they are now using 5086 aluminum alloy as standard on all of their hulls in 2021. This is an alloy with a high content of magnesium. It is not treated by heat; instead, it becomes stronger through cold mechanical working with the alloy.
Havoc gained some notoriety through videos on youtube.com, showing them putting their boats through a series of difficult and hazardous challenges.
This demonstrated their durability in conditions more extreme than most of their owners will go through.
What About Older Havoc Boats?
Having been in business for less than a decade at the time of writing this article, it is difficult to delineate any particular models of Havoc boats as being older.
Their initial designs are still in production.
The main takeaway here is that their design philosophy of tough, durable boats made with care, backed up by excellent customer service, has remained unchanged from the day they opened up their doors to manufacturing.
It is a principle that has seen their influence and reputation steadily spread, first into neighboring states and now the eastern United States in general.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
Given their relatively brief history of business, most if not all of the parts for Havoc Boats are still being made.
An online search does not reveal any owners having particular difficulty in obtaining replacement parts.
Havoc Boats’ owners looking for replacement parts contact their dealers, as they do not sell directly from the factory.
That being said, several owners have reported online that they have been able to talk directly to the factory in obtaining clarity over a replacement part.
What Are Typical Problems With Havoc Boats?
Perhaps the most significant problem people have had with Havoc Boats is the owners using the wrong motors on their boats.
Several models of Havocs are intended to be used with mud motors. Mud motors are angled away from the stern so that there is no part of the engine below the bottom of the hull to catch on submerged plants or logs.
These require a specific type of transom, such as those on Havoc’s MSTC line of boats. Some Havoc owners have put mud motors on other models of their boat and caused problems.
For our in-depth examination of typical problems with havoc Boats, check out our article, Are People Experiencing Problems with Havoc Boats?
How Long Do Havoc Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
Based on the relatively brief sample available, it seems that Havoc Boats will last longer than similar brands.
This is inferred by their rugged construction standards, the video evidence that the company makes available on their youtube.com channel, and owners’ testimony.
Havoc Boats are made to be used under extreme conditions, and they seem to hold up to those conditions better than most of their competition.
That being said, every brand of the boat needs to be maintained properly. Even the highest quality boat will deteriorate if it is neglected.
Do Havoc Boats Hold Their Value?
Though they are a new manufacturer, havoc boats seem to hold their value well.
Aluminum boats in this size range generally do not depreciate too far, anyway, but Havoc seems better than most.
In examining the depreciation of Havoc Boats, we looked at the hull value only, not including any motors or trailer. This is because there were not many options yet available as standard for Havoc Boats in the time we are looking at.
So looking at a 2015 16-foot 1653 DBST (Duch Boat Step Transom), those hulls sold new for $4,348. Currently, the average resale value is $3,850, for depreciation of only 12%.
Looking at the largest boat they offered that year of 2015, the 18-foot 1860 MST (Mud Step Transom), the price was $6,325 new. Now that boat has an average resale value of $5,410, for depreciation of 15%.
Are Havoc Boats Still Being Made?
Havoc Boats are still being made in their Fordyce, Arkansas plant.
They do not offer pricing on their website. Instead, they direct prospective owners to contact one of their dealers.
The company makes 10 lines of boats, each with a specialized focus on hunting or fishing. Each of these lines has several models varying in length.
There is a degree of customization for every boat, from paint options to cup holder sand livewells.
Havoc Boats have been increasing in price in recent years, given their proven construction methods and durability and increasing fame.
Havoc has established itself as a solid brand of aluminum hunting and fishing boats in a relatively brief time.
Many commenters on forums see them as being a premium brand, on par with War Eagle.
If you are looking for one of the best aluminum boats to take you into rugged terrain, Havoc is a brand you must see.