Xpress Boats claims to be the original and best builder of all-welded, high-performance aluminum sport and fishing boats.
They offer a line of 6 different models ranging from 16 – 23 feet.
However, there is plenty of competition in the aluminum fishing boat market, so let’s see how Xpress Boats measure up!
Here’s how Good Xpress Boats are:
Xpress Boats designed and built their boat models with performance and safety in mind. Xpress Boats have engineered an aluminum pad v-hull with longitudinal rib construction for added strength and expanded foam to meet and exceed all US Coastguard flotation and safety standards.
A Brief History Of Xpress Boats
Xpress Boats has been a family-owned and operated business for quality aluminum boats in Arkansas since 1966.
The company started in a little schoolhouse in Friendship, Arkansas, by Kermit Bryant, where they built their first all-welded aluminum boat under the name Aluma-Weld.
Kermit’s daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Rodney Herndon, took over the reins in 1979, and their son Rory Herndon, who grew up working on the factory floor, succeeded his father as president of the company in 2016.
The company was the first in the aluminum boat-building industry that did not use pop rivets but built their boats out of all-welded material.
However, it wasn’t until the late ’80s that Xpress Boats impacted the aluminum boat market. At the same time, they introduced their all-new ‘Hyper-Lift Hull.’
The Hyper-Lift Hull was designed to give their boats faster speeds, more responsive handling, and a superb ride.
The first of its kind, the Hyper Lift Hull raised the bar on the performance, durability, and style of aluminum boats. Now boaters chose the durability and strength of aluminum combined with the performance and style that had only previously been available with a fiberglass boat.
Today, Xpress Boats occupy a 250,000 square feet manufacturing facility at an industrial park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, a far cry from where they started.
While most of their boats remain in the USA, Xpress Boats are available worldwide.
How Reliable Are Xpress Boats?
Xpress Boats have been building the original all-welded boat for more than 50 years.
Their concept is simple, why drill holes in a hull and then rivet it together when you can weld the aluminum sheets? Over time, holes will leak, but welded aluminum sheets won’t.
With tens of thousands of boats built, Xpress Boats have a history and reputation for building reliable boats that you can enjoy for many years to come.
How Durable Are Xpress Boats?
The all-welded aluminum structure of every Xpress boat creates a highly durable vessel that can withstand years of wear and tear.
Every Xpress boat is built using the finest 5052 aluminum alloy. This material arrives at the manufacturing facility in coils. These coils are then unraveled and placed onto a cutting table to cut out each component of every boat.
An automated computer-aided drafting (CAD) program is utilized to help with the precision cutting of each part to its exact specifications.
These individual components are then shaped and welded together by experienced craftsmen to build each boat. Xpress does not mass produce their boats as they know that mass manufacturing can result in rushed work and potential quality issues.
In addition, the hull and all the other components are welded together without the use of rivets or screws, so there are no holes in the hull.
An Xpress boat is a durable vessel that, if well-maintained, should last a lifetime for all of your boating adventures and especially for all the fishing enthusiasts out there.
What About Older Xpress Boats?
Some of the boating forum threads have concerns about old welds failing on older Xpress boats.
However, most people agree that broken or damaged welding seams are probably the reality of running a flat bottom boat in rough water. You can expect a certain amount of deterioration of the seams on older boats.
With that said, hiring an aluminum welder to run a weld an inch or two along a seam is much cheaper than hiring a fiber-glasser to repair a fiberglass boat.
In addition, Xpress offers a structural warranty on all transom and hull seam welds for the boat’s lifetime.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
The Xpress Boats’ website does not have a specific page offering spare parts.
So if you need a spare part for an older model or even a newer one, your first point of contact should be with a registered Xpress boat dealer. They will be able to offer you first-hand advice, and they may even have the part you want.
As well as the dealerships, several online boating websites offer Xpress Boat spare parts and other gear.
In addition, there are several very active Xpress boat fishing and boating forums where you can ask for help. eBay is another good option to source parts for older boats as they often have the best prices.
What Are Typical Problems With Xpress Boats?
While Xpress Boats get pretty good reviews, for the most part, there will always be issues with any brand of boat, and Xpress is no exception.
The following are typical problems to look out for:
- Bad welding techniques used on the occasional boat
- Complaints of leaking or wet storage compartments are quite common
- Some boaters complain of a wet ride in rougher waters
- Saltwater use can cause corrosion if your boat is not cleaned or looked after properly
Apart from the specific complaints about wet or leaking storage lockers, you can typically find these problems on any other brand of aluminum fishing and sport boats.
According to the boating forums, Xpress Boats have a better reputation than most!
How Long Do Xpress Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
Xpress Boats are made from a high-grade (5052) aluminum alloy that is strong and durable.
Each boat is hand-welded by highly trained craftsmen and then put through several quality checks before being shipped to a dealer. The Xpress Boats dealer will then do a final inspection before handing the boat over to the new owner.
Similar brands include Stealthcraft Boats, Tracker, and Triton. Compared to any of these and other brands, Xpress Boats will last just as long and, if well maintained, perhaps even longer.
Do Xpress Boats Hold Their Value?
Looking at the different boating and fishing forums, Xpress Boats has a reputation for holding its value.
Boaters rave about the use that has had out of their boats and selling them after a few years of ownership for not much less than they paid for them.
It is very difficult to compare boat values as no two boats are the same, even if they come from the same factory. Different owners have boat layouts and equipment requests, even if the boat manufacturer does not do custom builds.
However, a quick search on Boatrader.com shows that you can purchase a 2022 Xpress X19 Pro model for $41,995, whereas a 2019 Xpress X19 Pro model is available for $39,900.
While you would have to check the inventory and condition of each boat very carefully, at first glance, this seems to back up Xpress Boats’ reputation for holding their value.
Are Xpress Boats Still Being Made?
Xpress Boats are still a leader in designing and manufacturing aluminum watercraft.
They have certainly come a long way since they began in a little schoolhouse in Friendship, Arkansas. Nowadays, Xpress Boats manufacture their range of aluminum boats in a 250,000 square foot facility in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Today Xpress Boats’ models include Bass, Bay, Skiff, Crappie, Hunting, and Catfish models ranging from 16 – 23 feet.
Xpress Boats have been designing and manufacturing aluminum boats for more than 50 years, long for any business.
They have a reputation for building quality and affordable boats. Despite (or because of) the company’s huge success, they are committed to building the best all-welded aluminum boat on the market for the best possible value.
If you are in the market for an all-welded aluminum fishing boat, you will do well to consider an Xpress Boat.