Scout Boats is one of the few remaining family-owned designers and manufacturers of high-end, luxury fishing boats in the 17′ – 53′ range.
Since its inception, back in the 1980s, the name Scout has become renowned for its innovation, attention to detail, and exceptional quality. In addition, Scout Boats manufactures a full range of sizes from their 17′ family Sport Dorado up to their flagship 53′ LXF, which will rival even the larger luxury sportfishing brands.
You will find a Scout Boat to suit your needs, whatever your budget.
Here’s An Idea of Scout Boat Quality:
Scout Boats are considered to manufacture some of the most high-quality boats produced today, especially in their size range. The company is known to improve performance, lower fuel costs, provide a comfortable, dry ride, and deliver an exceptional quality luxury fishing boat.
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A Brief History Of Scout Boats
Scout Boats was the all-American successful dream of South Carolina-born Steve Potts, who is still CEO today.
Steve Potts had worked in the boat building industry since the age of 14, and he always dreamt that he would build his boats one day. By working hard and saving hard, he managed to save up $50,000 to step out on his own and start his own boat-building company.
He managed to buy an old barn, and together with his wife and a couple of employees, they started to design and build their first boat. These were the humble beginnings of Scout Boats.
By 1989, Scout Boats launched their first boat, a 100% hand-laid fiberglass 14′ saltwater fishing boat. The excellent build quality and the detailed finishing soon gained the attention of local dealers in South Carolina, and the success story had begun.
In the following year’s Scout Boats brought many groundbreaking innovative ideas to the marine industry, including the following designs, to name but a few:
- The Reverse Shoebox hull and deck design
- Air Assist hull running surfaces
- Their Strata Mount engine mounting system
- A Hybrid boat, as seen on the Good Morning America show
- Curved windshields on dual console boats
- Flush glass digital helms with touchscreen Garmin instruments
Scout Boats owns and operates a large, constantly expanding, state-of-the-art facility in Summerville, South Carolina. The total production area is more than 19,000 square meters, and they employ more than 180 skilled employees.
They offer a complete range of Bay Boats, Dual and Centre Consoles, Luxury Crossover, and Luxury Centre Console Boats.
How Reliable Are Scout Boats?
Since they started back in 1989, Scout Boats has built a reputation as good as their boats. They are known for their superb build quality and reliability.
In addition, all Scout Boats are built to the strict regulations that meet a set of minimum manufacturing standards established by the US Coast Guard (USCG). Plus, all Scout Boats are built to the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) more strict certification process which goes beyond the minimum USCG standards to ensure adherence to the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Standards.
To ensure your boat’s reliability, Scout Boats only partners with the best in the industry. These partners include a choice of Yamaha or Mercury outboards, Garmin navigation packages, and Seakeeper’s Gyro Stabilizers (into select LXF models) for greater stability on the water.
However, just like any brand of boat, the overall reliability will depend on how well the boat has been maintained. Always read your boat’s manual(s) and make sure to carry out any recommended routine maintenance as the bare minimum.
How Durable Are Scout Boats?
Scout Boats believe their boats are built to such high standards that they offer one of the best and longest warranties in the business.
They provide all new Scout Boat owners with the peace of mind of a comprehensive 3-year limited “Stem-to-Stern” manufacturer-backed warranty, in addition to a 10 year limited structural transferable hull warranty.
Their entire range of Scout Boats is only built with premium quality materials to ensure their durability. In addition, there is no wood used in any Scout Boats which means you don’t have to worry about rotten stringers.
What About Older Scout Boats?
Scout Boats started off building boats in 1989, so there are still many older boats available.
A quick search on Boatrader.com came up with a model for sale from 1991! Many of the older models have been discontinued, but like any boat, if an older model has been well looked they are definitely worth looking into.
Some of the more popular older models to look out for include the following:
- 175 Scout Sportfish
- 205 Scout Dorado
- 222 Scout Sportfish
- Scout 345 LFX
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
Unfortunately, due to their constant innovation, Scout Boats do not make parts for older models.
However, if you are looking for parts for older models the best place to start is still the Scout Boats spare parts department or their customer service department. They have a great reputation for customer service and they may still have that part you are looking for in their storage.
Another source for older spare parts is your local Scout Boat dealer – they should be able to source the part you need and may even hold inventory if they have been a long time dealership.
Other options include looking on eBay, or other online boat part dealers like boatoutfitters.com.
What Are Typical Problems With Scout Boats?
While Scout builds a good quality boat, if you read the forums there are some typical problems to look out for.
These problems are mainly small and non-structural but can be annoying if you’ve just bought a new boat and experience any of the following:
Wet Feet when Drifting or Idle
Wet feet is caused by the scuppers or drain holes on some boats and is usually down to too much weight in the rear of the boat.
For example, if you have too many people in the rear, more than the recommended batteries stored there, or an engine that is bigger than the recommended size.
However, it’s usually uncomfortable but nothing to worry about!
Some boat owners Complain of ‘Porpoising’
Porpoising is when a boat’s bow dips into the water which can sometimes be annoying and sometimes quite dangerous!
This can be tackled by storing more weight in the bow storage area, or by changing the prop to one with more of a stern lift instead of a bow lift.
Gel Cracks in the Gel Coat
Cracks in the gel coat is not a problem specific to Scout Boats.
While cracks in the gel coat are annoying and can sometimes be of concern, they are generally not structural.
However, if you are discovering gel coat cracks contact your nearest Scout Boat dealer for expert advice and assistance.
Water Inside the Transom
there have been some complaints about when Scout Boat owners remove screws or drill holes in the transom of their boat then water comes pouring out.
While this does sound scary, there is an easy fix. Either tip your boat at an angle to drain out the water or drill extra holes below the ones where there is water leaking out.
Once the water has drained out wait a couple of days to make sure it’s dry and then refill the holes with epoxy.
How Long Do Scout Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
Scout Boats are built to last! Every Scout Boat is built using their 100% hand-laid fiberglass construction techniques, plus there is no wood inside the boat.
In addition, you have Scout’s 10 years limited structural transferable hull warranty to give you peace of mind. If you take care of your Scout Boat it should last a lifetime.
Other similar brands to Scout Boats include Boston Whaler, Contender, and Robalo. Each company offers its own system and hull warranties.
It will all depend on how well the boat is maintained, what the boat is used for, how hard it is driven, and indeed if a boat is involved in an accidental grounding or even a collision!
Do Scout Boats Hold Their Value? (Do they depreciate faster than normal)
As Scout Boats is an innovative company they are coming out with (and discontinuing) models at quite a rapid pace.
So Scout Boats may not hold their value as well as some of the more classic brands. However, this may give you an opportunity to pick up a good second-hand Scout Boat at a great price!
A quick comparison on Boattrader.com shows the following:
|Scout 215 XSF||2021||$75,000|
|Scout 215 XSF||2017||$60,000|
Neither of these examples comes with a trailer, but you do still have to bear in mind they will have different inventories. Still, over 4 years that represents a depreciation of 20%.
While depreciation value is not an exact science it is generally agreed in boating circles that a new boat will depreciate at around 10% per year within the first 5 years and then level off.
However, you also need to take into account that new boat prices are increasing too.
Are Scout Boats Still Being Made?
Scout Boats is a well-run family business that is still going strong.
Over the years they have managed to weather the financial storms, and founder Steve Potts is still at the helm today.
With its unwavering commitment to innovative design, fine engineering, and superb craftsmanship, Scout Boats looks set to continue its success long into the future.