5 Most-Common Problems with G3 Boats

Yamaha has owned the G3 boat company since 1997.

This came as a surprise, but it shouldn’t have, considering Yamaha has been making boat motors for decades now.

Yamaha motors are well respected, and the same can be said of their boats.  However, this doesn’t mean G3 boats don’t have any problems.

Here are 5 common problems you might find in a G3 boat.

1. G3 Boats Aren’t Very Big

G3 has a wide range of Jon boats and other small fishing boats, all built-in aluminum.  They also make some larger boats with deeper Vs. that would be great for bay fishing or bass fishing.

However, G3 doesn’t make anything longer than 21′ at this time.  These boats come standard with four seats, but they have seat mounts for up to three more.

This means that even if you add all of the seating options to the boat, you’ll still only have room for seven people.  In the end, if you want a large boat, you’ll probably have to go with a different company to find one.

Of course, this isn’t unique to G3 boats.  Many smaller boat makers only make boats in sizes smaller than 22 or 23 feet.  Competitors like Lund go up to about 22′, and competitors like Crestliner top out at about 23′.

2. Newer Boat Trailers May Have Issues

I’ve read many reviews from people who said that they loved the boat but hated the trailer.

Some of the problems came in the form of the trailer not loading and unloading very well.  Other problems consisted of trailers not holding up very well.

However, G3 does not make its own trailers. 

This means that if you have any trouble with the trailers, you’ll end up having to go to the manufacturer of the trailer, and their customer service may not be as good.

Misalignment and Damage:

One of the biggest problems I read about was from trailers that had bunks that were misaligned.

This misalignment made it very difficult for people to bring the boat back up onto the trailer. I’ve had the misfortune of pushing boats up onto trailers with bad bunks, and I can assure you that it isn’t a fun experience. 

This is especially true when people are waiting behind you to use the loading ramp.

Keep an Eye on Your Trailer Choice:

If you decide to buy a G3 boat, you may want to look into the trailer you’ll be receiving with the boat.

In some cases, it may be worth finding your own trailer or making modifications to the trailer you receive before attempting to put your boat into the water.

It’s almost always easier to launch a boat off of a trailer than it is to bring it back onto it, and having your boat stuck in the water is always a stressful and expensive experience.

3. Some Boats are Riveted

The long-lasting durability of G3 boats is almost legendary.

People from all over the country have stories of mistreating their boats without doing any real damage to them.

I suspect that these stories come from people who have G3’s welded boat models, and they are probably all more or less true.  The problem is that not all G3 boats are welded.

G3 sells aluminum boats that are riveted as well, and these boats may not stand the test of time like their welded aluminum boat counterparts.

Leaking and Water Damage:

Also, keep in mind that riveted aluminum boats tend to have more issues with leaking.

A riveted aluminum boat could have issues around the rivet holes, which could be difficult to repair.  This is especially true if the aluminum around the rivet has taken on the damage.

As I’ve said in some other articles, I have a small riveted aluminum boat, and it definitely has a small leak that I cannot fix. I’ve tried everything from re-riveting the boat to aggressively spraying it with Flex Seal to no avail.

In other words, if you buy a used riveted aluminum boat with a small leak, be prepared to live with it.

4. Luxuries May be Lacking

G3 boats are mostly built for people who like to go fishing.

This makes them great for people who want a no-frills boat that they can get dirty with.

However, this won’t satisfy the person looking for a luxurious boat that they can go cruising with.  In fact, I’ve seen many complaints from people about the lack of factory upgrades.  While I think this makes the buying process easier, others may not like this fact.

One way to get around this would be to take the new boat to a place specializing in upgrades before you actually take the boat out.  Get whatever luxuries you want to be added to the boat by a professional company and make sure that they extend warranties to the work that they do. 

This way, you’ll be able to have all of the luxuries you want without having to worry about the fact that these extra after-market features might void your warranty.

5. Finishes May Not Last

The only other G3 boat complaint that I’ve found is that some people feel the finishes do not hold up very well.

I’ve seen complaints about the stitching on the upholstery and the carpeting on the boat.

The stitching on the seats could be an issue, but the fact that the carpets don’t hold up doesn’t surprise me.  In my opinion, boat carpeting should not be put on fishing boats as it just doesn’t hold up that well in general. 

It traps dirt and moisture, and it never really cleans up well.

As a result, boat carpeting doesn’t last on any fishing boat, so this really isn’t a problem that is unique to G3 boats.

If you’re looking to get around this issue, buy one of the G3 boats that doesn’t have carpet.  An uncarpeted boat might not be as comfortable for cruising, but it will be much better for fishing.

General Pros and Cons for G3 Boats:

G3 Boat Pros

G3 boats may have their problems, but there are a lot of nice things about them.

Here are some of the top pros of G3 boats:

  • They are more durable than other boats.
  • The layouts are perfect for fishing.
  • Every model offers great storage options.
  • Customer service is great.

G3 welds many of their aluminum boats, which makes them more durable than most.  These boats are also all-aluminum, so while they might get dents in them, they won’t crack as a fiberglass boat would.

The layouts on G3 boats are sparse but maneuverable, which makes them great for fishing.  Also, the boats offer a lot of built-in storage, so you’ll be able to bring as much gear as you like when you hit the water.

On top of all of this, Yamaha has many years of experience providing customer service, and they are great at it.

G3 Boat Cons

You came here for the problems with the G3 boat, and there were some.

To recap, here is what we found wrong with G3 boats:

  • The boats aren’t huge.
  • Trailers may have issues.
  • Some boats are riveted, with related issues.
  • Luxuries could be lacking.
  • The finishes may not last.

We went over these cons in detail earlier in the article, but it should be noted that most of these problems are not serious ones and that they can be avoided or repaired without much trouble on the owner’s part.

What Do the Reviews Say?

The reviews on the G3 boat have been mostly positive, but you do see some negative ones from time-to-time.  Here are some direct quotes from G3 boat owners.

An owner from the in-depthoutdoors.com forum says.

“The main floor is rubberized for easy cleaning. I love the boat. Can’t go wrong for the price, in my opinion.”

An owner from thehulltruth.com forums says.

“I had a boat with some popped rivets.  I replaced the rivets and added several others along the same joint to beef it up.”

As you can see, this owner had the rivet issues we talked about earlier, but he seems to have been able to take care of them, and obviously, he’s kept the boat.

Resale Prices:

G3 boats are aluminum boats, and they aren’t going to hold their value for quite as long as a fiberglass boat might.

This being said, you also won’t have to do as much maintenance on them to keep their values high.

Here are a few examples of boat models and the prices they sold for versus what they were worth in 2020:

Boat Price New 3 years old 5 years old
The G3 Angler 21 $53,487.00 $47,370.00 $44,745.00
The Bay Boat 18 $29,000.00 $22,540.00 $18,650.00
10′ Gator Jon Boat $960.00 $650.00 $470.00

As you can see, the depreciation and resale value on these boats is pretty typical.

I was, however, surprised that the 21′ boat seemed to hold its value a little better than other boats of this size.

Final Thoughts

G3 boats are great boats offered by a well-established brand.

Just keep in mind that no boat is perfect and that you may have some issues to deal with after you buy the boat.




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