Phoenix Bass Boats is a relatively new company that builds fiberglass boats for most anglers, though they specialize in bass boats.
Before we dive in, make sure to check our list of the most common issues with Phoenix boats, as all boats will have some problems eventually.
They have received some high-profile endorsements and accolades, but the prospective boat buyer would like to know: Just how good are Phoenix Boats?
Here’s how good Phoenix Bass Boats are:
Phoenix Bass Boats build good boats at a good price that hold their value well. Their CEO and owner is a professional angler, and the design and layouts reflect his 40 years of experience. Owners praise the brand, from the design to the quality of the construction to the customer service.
A Brief History of Phoenix Bass Boats
Gary Clouse entered his first bass fishing tournament in 1981 and was smitten by the sport. He turned pro the next year.
Shortly after that, he became an employee of Stratos Boats, first as customer service and then as a salesman. In 1996, he became National Sales Manager for Triton Boats and then returned to Stratos as President in 2001.
But Clouse still wanted the freedom to build boats as he wanted to, so in 2007, he founded Phoenix Bass Boats.
The first Phoenix factory was an old Bumblebee Tuna plant in Tullahoma, Tennessee. That plant worked initially but was limited to its growth in its size, particularly when the fledgling company began to experience success.
A few years later, they opened up a new factory in Winchester, Tennessee, where the company could build 500 boats a year comfortably and with the space to build up to 1,000 a year.
Clouse remained in the thick of the competitive bass fishing circles this entire time, winning Angler of the Year in the PAA bass circuit. The company also sponsored events and the Fishing Leauge Worldwide umbrella of events beginning in 2019.
While all this kept Phoenix highly visible in the competitive bass boat market, the boats themselves made the company very popular. Revised layouts and innovations in functionality have become hallmarks of the brand.
Today they are a successful company that was weathered ups and downs in the industry. Their boats are a constant in the angling market and circuits.
How Reliable Are Phoenix Boats?
In addition to being known for building a good boat at a good price, Phoenix Bass Boats is known for its angler-friendly layouts and functionality.
Some of the simple but brilliant innovations have included such things as the placement of the ruler. It pulls out from the closed lid itself rather than placing it under the tackle lid compartment. This is a more convenient way to measure and ensures not losing hold of a slippery fish over the side.
Placement of the landing net is another simple change, running it under the seats for instant deployment rather than having it in the way when not in use.
As far as customer service, the brand has built a strong reputation quickly, and the company features many popular tournament pros on their staff.
They have worked hard to connect with the angling public, and the growing sales indicate their success in that endeavor.
How Durable Are Phoenix Boats?
Phoenix Boats are made from fiberglass, and the company claims it uses some of the best materials and resins available. Online searches have revealed no significant issues with the company’s fiberglass work, and any minor issues that owners may encounter seem to be always taken care of by the company.
One owner related finding out how well-built the boats are after learning about a collision:
“I talked to the Toledo Fiberglass guys about mine. There were few little spots to get fixed, but I saw a (Phoenix) 920 that had hit a bridge while I was there. Nasty, but he said they are one of the toughest hulls he’s seen.”
[Source: Bass Boat Central]
The boats are filled with foam for safety. While hopefully, the hull will never be involved in an impact where this is an issue, it is a good feature.
In addition to the high marks, owners give the boats the toughness of the fiberglass work. The design increases durability. Specifically, most owners talk about how soft and smooth the ride is, even in chop.
What About Older Phoenix Boats?
There is not much of a demarcation line that would separate Phoenix Bass Boats into newer and older, as the company is less than 15 years old at the time of this writing.
The same principles of quality construction and design philosophy and emphasis on customer service have been with the company their entire existence. Some of their original models are still being manufactured today.
That being said, there have been a few minor upgrades, such as the backlighting mentioned above being more standard and the sealing on some hoses have been changed.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
Phoenix Boats still makes some parts for their older models, as very little has changed in the design and manufacture. Owners needing replacement parts for their older boats should contact their dealer or the company directly.
They provide their phone number and an email address for customer service on their website.
There are few parts suppliers online for Phoenix Boats, unlike other boat brands. Suppose an owner has difficulty getting a particular part from their dealer or the company.
In that case, the Facebook page for Phoenix boats is an option, in addition to forums specializing in bass boating.
What Are Typical Problems With Phoenix Boats?
There are very few consistent customer complaints regarding Phoenix Bass Boats. Most of these relate to owner preference rather than common issues. However, a few problems have been noted among some owners.
Some owners have had difficulty filling the gas tanks, particularly if the boat is on a slope. Others point out that this is a problem with many brands, but it may indicate a problem with the tank placement in a few models.
While the panels on most models have been backlit as of 2015, earlier models and some recent ones are not, and some owners complain about this. It can be difficult to tell what switch is which in darkness.
While there are a few more complaints, none are widespread, and all seem to be individual preferences, such as trailer tires rubbing at an angle or the lip of gauges retaining water in a downpour.
How Long Do Phoenix Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
Since they are a comparatively recent company, there is limited data on the longevity of Phoenix Bass Boats.
This being the case, the best way to understand how the brand stacks up to others is by the testimony of owners online.
This metric shows that Phoenix is of superior quality compared to similar brands. The complaints about fiberglass work that are almost inevitable in the boating industry do not seem to apply to Phoenix Boats.
Fiberglass is a very durable material, so it is unlikely that any of the company’s boats would fall apart in 15 years anyway. Still, all accounts build Phoenix Boats better than most comparable brands.
That being said, the care that an owner takes of the boat is a prime factor in its longevity. Poorly maintained boats of even the highest quality construction will develop significant problems.
Do Phoenix Boats Hold Their Value?
Phoenix Boats hold their value well compared to most other brands. They are not particularly expensive for quality fiberglass boats to begin with, but their value does not fall far.
Looking at a 618 Pro from 2015, the model sold new that year for $37,156. That boat has a current average resale value of $35,680, for a very favorable depreciation of 4%.
Their largest model was the 921 PRO XP, which sold new that year for $65,086. Currently, that boat has an average resale value of $62,350, for another favorable depreciation of just over 4%.
Are Phoenix Boats Still Being Made?
Phoenix Bass Boats are being made in their large facility in Winchester, Tennessee.
They do not give prices online, though they have a feature that allows a prospective buyer to customize the models to their taste. Potential owners are encouraged to contact their local dealer for pricing or even the factory itself should they wish to take a tour before buying.
They divide their boats into four lines, the PHX, Elite, PRO, and PRO XP lines. They are designed primarily for bass fishing, but they are suitable platforms for almost any angling.
In their relatively brief existence, Phoenix Boats have captured the attention of the angling world, in particular that of bass fishermen. The company is unique in that its president is also a professional angler.
Phoenix Bass Boats is a brand worthy of serious attention for any bass fisherman, from casual to professional.