Kingfisher boats have been around for over 60 years.
They currently have 29 models to choose from and over 40 authorized dealers to buy them from. These dealers range in location from up north in Alaska to the northern and central areas of California.
This company makes fantastic boats, but that doesn’t mean they are completely free from problems.
In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common problems with Kingfisher boats:-
1. Low Sides:
Many boat owners believe that Kingfisher boats have low sides.
After taking a look at their top-selling models, I’d have to agree with this assessment.
The problem with low sides on a boat is that this can lead to a boat becoming swamped easier. When a boat is swamped, it runs the risk of sinking. Needless to say, this should be a big concern for any boat owner.
Fortunately, Kingfisher has a self-bailing deck. This means that even though more water may get into your Kingfisher boat when compared to other boats, this water will drain out all on its own.
As a result, you shouldn’t have to worry about issues like swamping.
On top of this, the self-bailing feature is great for keeping your boat clean. Fishing can be messy, and it can leave a boat full of blood and guts.
With a self-bailing boat, you won’t really have this problem, and the water that comes in over the sides may even reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do.
2. High Purchase Prices:
Kingfisher boats aren’t cheap.
These boats are made from heavy-gauge aluminum, and they’re welded together by skilled craftsman.
They’re also carefully designed to not only be tough, rugged, and durable but also to perform well in rough water.
Heavy-gauge aluminum, experienced welders, and expert designers cost money, and the cost shows within the purchase prices of Kingfisher boats.
As a result, some people feel that Kingfisher boats cost too much.
Good Build Quality:
This being said, a boat can’t be built with high-cost materials and expensive laborers and still be a cheap boat.
Compare Kingfisher boats with other boats of similar build quality, and you’ll find that the prices are quite reasonable.
For instance, Duckworth makes welded aluminum boats in similar sizes to that of Kingfisher.
When I did a price search on their boats, they were priced similarly to Kingfisher boats.
The same can be said for other welded aluminum boat manufacturers like Hewescraft and Thunder Jet.
These boats may all seem a bit pricey on the surface, but when you look at the quality of the materials used and the quality of the craftsmanship that is put into each model, you’ll find that they really don’t cost any more than any other boat brand.
3. Pacific Northwestern Build-Style:
From the great wilderness of Canada and Alaska to the seas of California, the Pacific Northwest is known for its high seas and large lakes and rivers.
Kingfisher boats are built right in the center of these Pacific Northwest regions on Canada’s Swan Lake, and the boat models that Kingfisher builds represent these areas perfectly.
If you’re not from one of these areas, however, you might not need your boat to be built so ruggedly.
For example, a person fishing for largemouth bass on a lake in New Jersey could just as easily fish from a riveted aluminum boat without any trouble.
For this angler, paying the extra money for a heavy-gauge welded aluminum boat just wouldn’t make much sense.
On the other hand, an angler fishing from a riveted aluminum boat off the coast of Alaska could end up getting themselves killed, so there are certainly times when quality matters.
Kingfisher boats are constructed using aluminum.
As we said earlier, this aluminum is welded together, and this results in a strong boat.
The downside to this is that the boat can be noisier than a fiberglass boat.
This probably won’t even be noticeable while ocean cruising, but it could be while cruising through quiet backwaters or while trying to sleep in one of the larger Kingfisher models.
One way to get around this is to make sure you choose a model that has used an appropriate amount of insulation in it.
If the boat you’ve purchased doesn’t sound silent enough to you, add some insulating materials yourself.
This will dampen any sounds that come across your boat.
As we said earlier, Kingfisher boats are built in the Pacific Northwest.
Because of this, people in the south and on the east coast of the United States might have trouble finding a Kingfisher dealer to buy from.
If you’re from South Carolina and you want to buy a Kingfisher boat, you may end up having to drive a thousand miles before you find one to look at.
This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it can make buying a Kingfisher boat more difficult for some people.
Also, you may want to consider the availability of service providers in your area. If there aren’t any dealers to sell you the boat in your area, there may not be any dealers to service your boat either.
A warranty that can’t be used without a 1,500-mile trip might not be worthwhile for you.
On top of this, the regional nature of Kingfisher boats may make it harder for someone from a state in the south to resell this boat.
Many people down south will have never heard of Kingfisher boats, and they might be reluctant to buy a boat they don’t know much about.
General Pros and Cons of Kingfisher Boats
Every boat maker has pros and cons associated with it.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Kingfisher boats:
While there are some cons to owning a Kingfisher boat, there are also many pros.
Here are some of the benefits of owning a Kingfisher boat:
- Kingfisher boats are welded.
- Kingfisher provides premium finishes.
- There are many different Kingfisher models you can choose from.
Because Kingfisher boats are made of a welded aluminum construction, they tend to be more durable than their riveted aluminum competitors.
On top of this, the aluminum that Kingfisher uses is thicker than many of its competitors, so they end up being more durable.
Kingfisher also makes many models in a wide variety of finishes.
This means that Kingfisher fans can continue to buy from the brand regardless of what size they decide to go with.
Also, Kingfisher customers will be able to choose how luxurious they decide to go with their finishes.
As we stated earlier, there are 5 main cons to owning a Kingfisher boat:
- The sides of Kingfisher boats are often lower than most boats.
- Kingfisher boats are built for the rugged Pacific Northwest.
- A Kingfisher boat may cost more than other boats in its class.
- Welded aluminum boats can be noisier than fiberglass boats.
- Kingfisher boats may be hard to find in your area.
What Do The Reviews Say?
“Efficient hulls with great handling translate into comfort, stability, and savings at the gas pumps. The Kingfishers do have a superior ride and handling to other boats I have tried.”
As I said earlier, Kingfisher boats are known for handling well on the water. I think this user summed up the advantages of this quality perfectly.
“The Offshore series from Canada’s largest aluminum pleasure boat builder offers practicality, range, and ease of maintenance for dedicated fishermen and casual cruisers.”
When a yachting website praises the ride quality of a fishing boat, you know they’re doing something right.
What’s the Resale Value On Kingfisher Boats?
A brand new Kingfisher 1925 Flex Sport will cost you about $50,000.00.
This would include a brand new 200 horsepower engine.
To buy the same boat with the same size engine in a 2018 model (2 years old) will cost you about $40,000.00. Do the same thing with an 8-year-old 1925 Flex, and you’ll end up paying about $24,000.00.
This means you could end up losing 20% of the boat’s value within 2 years and about half the boat’s value in 8 years.
Most vehicles tend to depreciate at faster rates within the first few years and then slow down as the boat gets older, so this isn’t much of a surprise.
I’d say Kingfisher boats have resale values that are in line with most other boat makers in their class.
I really had a hard time finding any major problems with Kingfisher boats.
They really are great boats, and they’ll be around for years to come.
This being said, I wouldn’t say that Kingfisher boats are for everyone.
Carefully consider your needs before buying a boat and then decide whether Kingfisher is the best brand you can buy to meet those needs.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.