Monterey Boats has been around for about 30 years now.
They make a wide variety of sport boats in different sizes ranging anywhere between 19′ long and 34′ long.
These boats seem to be viewed more on the higher end but possibly not quite at the top. Others seem to rank them in line with boat manufacturers like Sea Ray and Four Winns.
While they are not quite the best in class, the Monterey is widely considered to be a few steps above entry-level boats like Starcraft.
Here are 6 common problems with Monterey boats that you may want to take into consideration:
The Quality of the Fiberglass Work Isn’t Always Consistent
Monterey boats are made from fiberglass, and this means that there is a lot of human involvement in the build process.
While this can be a good thing, it also brings with it some disadvantages.
One of these disadvantages is the fact that human error can cause a lot of issues with fiberglass.
If you know anything about building boats from fiberglass, you know that the glass needs to be laid correctly and that the resin has to be mixed in the right ratios.
On top of this, the resin needs to cure for an appropriate amount of time before any more work can be done on the boat.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case with fiberglass boats.
In most cases, a supervisor will catch any mistakes, and they’ll be rectified before the boat is shipped out. However, in some cases, the mistakes that are made go unnoticed, and the boat is sent out anyway.
Regrettably, some of these mistakes might not be apparent to the buyer.
These mistakes may only be noticed by a professional, and they may manifest themselves in the form of structural issues later on down the line.
These issues on fiberglass boats and it can lead to expensive repairs.
Fortunately, through all of my research on Monterey boats, I was only able to find a few people complaining of issues with their fiberglass decks and hulls.
Because of this, it is believed that this problem is probably a rare occurrence, and you’ll find this issue with all makers of fiberglass boats.
Choppy Water Could Create a Bumpy Ride
Customers using smaller 19 – 20 foot Monterey boats in choppy water have reported the ride being bumpy.
A small but heavy fiberglass boat just isn’t going to perform at its best in coastal waters, deep bays, and great lakes.
Because of this, when I removed these outliers from my research, there were not many reports of bumpy rides for Monterey boats out there.
In fact, many reviewers stated that they liked the way Monterey boats handled out on the water.
Also, being a fiberglass boat, the noise out on the water is much lower than it would be in an aluminum boat.
Ultimately, if you’re sailing a smaller vessel on choppy water, your ride is not going to be very smooth no matter what brand of boat you buy.
Some Models May Have General Hardware Issues
Some people have complained about general hardware issues with Monterey boats that usually centered around latches and other small pieces of hardware.
Owners felt that the latches didn’t open very well, and some of the hardware had issues with rust. I noticed this varied by year, and by model, so many of these problems may no longer exist anymore.
Personally, a minor problem like this wouldn’t keep me from buying a boat, but it is something to consider when you’re planning out your maintenance schedules.
If you decide to buy a Monterey, or any boat really, you’ll want to inspect the hardware regularly for corrosion and other issues that may occur.
The Hull Warranty May Not be Transferable
Monterey’s website states that the boat’s hull has a transferable warranty and that it lasts for up to ten years.
I should note, though, that I’m unsure as to whether or not this warranty can be transferred more than once.
For example, it won’t be an issue if you buy new or from an original owner, but it could be an issue if you happen to be the third owner of the boat.
If you do decide to buy a Monterey boat from a previous owner, you may want to contact Monterey to see if you can transfer the warranty again before you make your purchase.
Otherwise, you might end up with a boat without a hull warranty.
Of course, if you’re buying a used Monterey that is older than 10 years, the hull will have outlived its warranty anyway.
Older Boats May Have Rotten Wood
New Monterey boats are made strictly from composites, so you don’t have to worry about rotten wood.
However, older Monterey boats may have wood underneath the fiberglass.
This wood could be found in many structural areas of the boat, so it’s important that it’s in good condition.
Unfortunately, I’ve read a few reviews from people who bought Monterey boats and ended up with rotten wood.
However, almost all of these people bought their boats used. In these cases, the previous owner may not have taken proper care of the boat, and they may have covered up any rotten wood rather than fixing it.
Every boat purchase could have this particular issue, so it’s something you’ll need to watch out for when you buy a used boat.
Monterey Boat Parts May be Difficult to Replace
There have been a few reports of people who have had trouble replacing some of the hardware on their Monterey boats.
This seems odd to me since Monterey is still very much in business and can easily be contacted for replacement parts.
Aftermarket companies also sell Monterey boat hardware as well as other materials that could be used to repair or upgrade a Monterey boat.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t Monterey boat parts that are hard or impossible to find, but I do think that this problem is probably rare.
General Pros and Cons of Monterey Boats
There may be a few cons of owning a Monterey boat, but there are also some pros as well.
Here are the pros of owning a Monterey boat:
Pros of Monterey Boats
- The pricing is good for its class.
- Monterey boats have been around for a while.
- Monterey has many different models and a wide range of layouts to choose from.
- Monterey boats are easy to rent.
Most people rank Monterey boats right up there with Sea Ray and Four Winns.
To Monterey’s advantage, they usually don’t cost as much as either of those brands.
These boats have also been around for a while, and they come in many different models. This means you won’t have any trouble finding a new or used one that fits your needs.
On top of all of this, you’ll find that there are many owners and companies willing to rent Monterey boats out.
Not only is this a good testament of their durability, but it also means you’ll have the option of trying a Monterey boat before you buy it.
Cons of Monterey Boats
As we stated earlier, there are some drawbacks to Monterey boats.
Here is what I found:
- The quality of the fiberglass may not always be consistent.
- They may not perform as well in choppy water.
- Some models may have general hardware issues.
- The hull warranty may not be transferable.
- Older boats may have rotten wood in them.
- The boat parts may be difficult to replace.
What Do the Reviews Say?
“We have a 2004 190ls it has the jump seats in the back and the lounge seat at the port with the bolster seat for the driver. We love the boat.”[Source: boatdesign.net]
I’ve seen a lot of reviews like this. People seem to love the layouts that Monterey boats have to offer.
“Their level of customer service and expertise is unmatched. Owned several boats and never have seen such excellent customer service.”[Source: BirdEye.com]
I’m not surprised by this as they’ve been around for several decades now, and you don’t stay in business that long without providing good customer service.
The resale value on Monterey boats seems to be in line with the average resale value of other fiberglass boats.
Fiberglass boats tend to hold their value better than aluminum boats, so this is definitely a plus for Monterey.
According to Nada.com, a new 20′ M20 model, (2020), is going to cost you about $30,000.00 while a 2018 model will cost you about $26,000.00
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.