Heyday Boats is a new brand of wake boats. They are designed and built to meet a price point.
So if they are made to be affordable, it is fair to ask, Are Heyday Boats any good?
Here’s How Good Heyday Boats Are:
Heyday Boats are entry-level wake boats. They use hull design to generate their waves, rather than surf gates and similar technology, to keep the price down. They have received good reviews for the quality of the wakes that their boats generate. The boats themselves are solidly built.
A Brief History Of Heyday Boats:
John Dorton had been in the marine industry for several decades, including 13 years as the leader of MasterCraft, when he acquired a controlling interest in Bryant Boats in 2012.
His son Ben graduated from the University of Tennessee and joined him at Bryant Boats. When John’s two-year non-compete clause with MasterCraft concerning inboards expired, he and Ben formed Heyday Inboards.
The brand started in 2016 with the Wake Tractor-1 (WT-1), a complete re-design of the wake boat concept, led by experienced wake boat hull designer “Cotton” Welshan, and at a very affordable price. The design and price immediately drew a lot of attention in the boating industry.
Later that same year, the company was purchased by Bayliner Boats (owned by the Brunswick Corporation). The entry-level brand and concept aligned with Bayliner’s vision, and a larger model, the WT-2, was introduced that winter.
The Dortons remained in the Brunswick and Bayliner brands, and the company they started, now known as Heyday Wake Boats, has become a popular entry-level option for those seeking to enter the world of wake sports.
How Reliable Are Heyday Boats?
From the first hull design that Heyday Boats introduced, they went in a different direction from every wake boat on the market to keep the price down.
The primary factors that created waves in other brands’ boats, like surf gates and power tabs, were eliminated.
Instead, the waves for wake surfing and wakeboarding are created through the hull’s shape in conjunction with the ballast tanks. Specifically, the hull displaces more water to create higher wakes.
In addition, the wider transom negates the torque from the prop and makes the weight distribution of passengers less of a factor in wake generation. The angle of the transom and rounded corners are designed to make the curl of the wave more natural.
How do the Waves Compare?
It seems that most wake sports enthusiasts are impressed with the size of the wave that a Heyday boat can generate, considering the lack of traditional wave-shaping tools like surf gates.
The high-displacement hull design does produce a tall wave, but it does not seem to be as tall or wide as the more expensive brands.
When looking at videos of Heyday boats and comparing them to other brands’ videos, it seems that the surfers and boarders remain more directly behind their boats. This seems to be the limitation of Heyday Boats; without the surf gates, they cannot push the wave out too wide of the transom.
So while they can generate steep waves, they are not as large or wide as their competition.
But the attraction of Heyday is the price point, and given that they have been proven to generate waves large enough to surf and board from, the company has generated a decent-sized following.
How Durable Are Heyday Boats?
Having only been in existence for half of a decade, there is no reliable data on how durable Heyday Boats are or are going to be.
One might surmise from their price point that they will be made more cheaply and not be as durable as other fiberglass boats.
But the thing to remember here is that the lower price comes from the lack of powered surf gates and tabs and the expense to integrate that into the hull, rather than cutting corners on materials or construction of the hull.
So at this point, the durability of Heyday is an open question, but given the track record of its founders, there is a reason for optimism concerning this.
In addition, the favorable 8-year warranty, backed by the Brunswick Corporation, gives the owner considerable peace of mind and indicates the company’s faith in its boats’ construction.
The particulars of the warranty are available on their website, but it involves 2 years from Heyday and a further 6 years from Brunswick.
What About Older Heyday Boats?
As the company is still so new, it is difficult to break them into older and newer models.
But the original wake boat that the company introduced, the WT-1, has been discontinued as of 2021, so it may be considered an older model.
The WT-1 was the smallest of the models that the company produced, as well as the first. While there is no explanation online about its discontinuation, it seems that the company is focusing on its larger boats, like the recently introduced WT-Surf.
However, the WT-1 is the boat that established the company, so it is fair to say that it represents the brand as any of the models still in production.
There is no indication that there was ant major re-design of the hull for the newer models from the original WT-1.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
It seems that parts for all models are still being made. This includes the discontinued WT-1 model.
Owners needing replacement parts are urged to contact their dealer, as all replacement parts (and repairs) are arranged through the dealer network.
What Are Typical Problems With Heyday Boats?
While they have not been around very long, several problems have been identified with the brand already.
These seem to center mostly around the design of the interior.
One common complaint is that Heyday Boats are ugly. This is not a problem, but it is a very common perception in online commentary. It is a factor in how the hull is designed and how the decks follow on from that.
The seating has received some negative reviews. The arrangement is awkward to some people, and this problem may have been exacerbated on the newer WT-Surf model with their aft bucket seats.
Storage is another issue. It is very limited on Heyday Boats.
Windshields are another source of some complaints. They tend to be small compared to other brands and do not seem to offer much protection.
For an in-depth examination of problems people have had with Heyday Boats, check out our article: 9 Most-Common Problems With Heyday Boats!
How Long Do Heyday Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
There is not enough data to establish how long the brand will last compared to other brands.
The company has been in existence for only half of a decade at the time of this writing.
But given the experience of the manufacturers and the reputation of Bayliner (and the parent Brunswick Corporation), it seems fair to assume they will last as long as a Bayliner or other entry-level brand of the boat.
The 8-year warranty is good, but there are few instances of it being required in online commentary at this point.
Of course, a boat is only going to last if you take care of it properly. Even the best quality boat will deteriorate if not maintained. Conversely, a cheap boat will last far longer than it otherwise would if the owners take proper care.
Do Heyday Boats Hold Their Value?
As a brand new company, it is difficult to tell how well Heyday boats will hold their value at this point.
The standard go-to for this information, the NADA guide, has very limited data, probably owing to how young the company is.
Looking at sale listings is not the best indicator, as these do not reveal the actual sale price, only the asking price, which will almost always be higher than what a boat sells for.
Most of those advertised online are new models or from dealers, so that the price will be a little higher, but a few models were found for sale on boats.com from private owners.
One 2017 WT-1 is advertised at $39,900; the base price new that year was $53,842. If that is a base model and the owner gets the price, he is asking for, that is a 26% depreciation.
Are Heyday Boats Still Being Made?
Heyday Boats is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, where co-founder Ben Dorton went to college at the University of Tennessee.
The company currently makes three models of wake boats. They all offer some degree of customization with the available options.
The smallest is the dual console WT-2 at 20’6″. It starts at $53,731. The company’s newest model is the WT-Surf, offering more ballast and room for passengers at 23’1″, which starts at $60,559.
The H22 is a little smaller than 22’4″ but is a higher performance boat and more comfortable. It begins at $75,868.
Though a new company, Heyday Wake Boats has made some serious waves in the industry with its novel re-design of the wake boat.
Though a Heyday boat will not generate the best waves in the industry, they make good, rideable waves for far less than their competition.
If you are looking for an affordable wake boat, you will want to give Heyday a long look.