3 Most-Common Problems With Nitro Boats (Explained)

Nitro Boats manufactures 3 lines of performance fiberglass boats, the Bass, Multi-Species, and their Fish and Ski models, ranging from 17 to 21 feet.

The company can trace its origins back to Texas in the 1960s, where the founding members helped pioneer the original Pad V bass boats. Despite the company’s longevity in the sports boat market, it has had its ups and downs concerning quality.

In this article, we will look at some of the common problems with Nitro Boats:

A Brief History Of Nitro Boats:

The Nitro website claims that the company can trace its origins back to the 1960s.

However, there is not much information about the first years, other than that well-known boat designer Alan Stinson started the company.

Alan Stinson can be credited with designing and building the first fast bass boat hulls. Fast bass boats were a novelty in the early days but became more important with the advance of modern-day fishing tournaments.

Fast boats enable the competitors to get out to the fishing grounds quicker, which means more time for the actual fishing.

Nitro Boats were designed to fill this niche, and they were originally manufactured in Longview, Texas. In 1989 Stinson sold the Nitro brand to Bass Pro Shops, which continues to build Nitro Boats in their facility in Clinton, Missouri.

Bass Pro Shops owns the White River Marine Group, which manufactures and distributes Nitro Boats alongside other big boat brand names like Ascend, Ranger, Tahoe, Triton, Tracker, Sun Tracker, Regency, and Mako making them one of the biggest boat builders in the world.

Today, Nitro is among the USA’s top bass boat brands, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have their problems:

1. Hull Cracks Are A Common Problem

Whether we are talking about stress cracks in the gel coat or actual structural cracks in the hull, there are many threads about these in the different boating forums.

In addition, some boaters complain about blisters in the gel coat, but Nitro Boats have repaired these under warranty.

While gel coat cracks can be cosmetic (and therefore very annoying), they can also signify that there is something structurally wrong, like a stringer or something else moving about inside the hull structure.

It would be best if you investigated any cracks found in a hull further. A registered Nitro Boats dealership will be able to help and assess the problem.

Nitro Boats offer a limited lifetime warranty on all their hulls, so if it is a Nitro issue, they should be able to take care of it.

RELATED: Are Nitro Boats Reliable?

2. Poor Quality Control

While you can’t beat Nitro Boats for their value, their boats have some quality issues.

There are a few complaints about poor-quality latches and hinges that repeatedly break.

In addition, there are complaints about the poor quality of the carpets, leaking lockers and fish wells, missing bolts and washers, faulty wiring, and even electrolysis due to badly installed switches.

Some of these quality control issues are down to the manufacturer cutting corners to offer an affordable boat.

However, you can put others down to the faulty installation of additional hardware that has been added to the original boat package by the dealer or even the boat owners themselves.

Despite the complaints, Nitro Boats have sold many boats, and many happy Nitro Boat owners have had no issues.

3. Bad Customer Service

The Nitro Boats website lists many ways to contact them, but still, there are many complaints about poor customer service.

The following is a quote from a consumer complaints website that seems to be representative of other complaints:

“Nitro customer service is horrible and they have zero knowledge of their products. If they don’t know the answer to your questions they will not refer you to someone that can answer your questions.”

However, the dealership should generally deal with customer complaints or issues first. Some dealers are excellent, and some are not.

In addition, some of the issues will need corporate approval to get certain repairs authorized or to verify that they are indeed ‘warranty’ issues.

Individual problems that you read about on the various boating forums can result from confusion between the customer, the dealer, and Nitro Boats’ policy wording on what is (or is not) covered by the warranty and for how long.

General Pros & Cons For Nitro Boats:

Any boat brand will have its pros and cons, as no boat on the market will tick all your boxes.

The customer will have to compromise when buying a boat, even a new boat, and Nitro Boats is no exception.

Let’s consider some of the pros and cons:

The Pros

Ever since The Bass Pro Shop group acquired nitro Boats, the brand has gone from strength to strength. With access to an ever-expanding market, you’ll be sure to see Nitro Boats all across the USA.

Falling under the umbrella of such a big company gives Nitro access to top-quality materials and components at lower prices. This means they can sell boats at a very competitive price.

The company also has a ‘no haggle, no hassle’ pricing policy, which means that nationally, Nitro Boat packages are offered at the same price. They claim to offer their customers the best package at the best value in the industry.

Nitro Boats utilizes ‘Lean Sigma Manufacturing Practices,’ which means that they try to eliminate any waste in the building process, enabling them to produce high-quality boats at a lower price.

While we have mentioned that there are complaints about bad customer service, Nitro owners have given their boats high ratings for customer satisfaction. Because of this, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has awarded Nitro Boats their CSI Award for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction for four years in a row.

In addition, all Nitro Boats are backed by a transferable limited warranty that covers the hull, interior stringers, and transom for the boat’s life span.

There is also a limited 1-year warranty that provides coverage for the components installed by Nitro.

The Cons:

  • Hull cracks are a common problem
  • Poor quality control
  • They do have a reputation for bad customer service

What Do the Reviews Say?

While we have checked out the reviews and comments on the different boating and fishing forums, let’s see what the professionals say.

“Nitro boats’ hulls are designed beautifully for cutting through the water… and this gives them an edge over many competitors’ boats when moving across a choppy lake or another water body. Getting a Nitro boat can be an expensive proposition, but for many water enthusiasts, the features they come with make them well worth the price.”

[Source: Themarinelife.com]

“The Nitro Z20 is a tournament-quality bass boat and when paired with the Mercury Pro XS outboard has the speed to compete. Numerous standard features keep the price down.”

[Source: Boattest.com]

What’s The Resale Value On A Nitro Boat?

Unfortunately, Nitro Boats are perceived to have a negative resale value compared to other brands.

This could be down to several things. The first is that Nitro Boats are regarded (in the fishing world) to be low-end boats. If you are not buying a high-end product, then your not going to get a high-end resale value.

Secondly, Nitro Boats produces so many boats that they have flooded the market.

There are many secondhand Nitro Boats up for sale, meaning there may be nothing wrong with the boat, just that the owner wants to upgrade.

However, if you want to buy a boat as an investment, think again. All boats will depreciate, but you cannot put a value on the fun you have with your boat.

Final Thoughts

Nitro Boats offers entry-level fishing or ski boats, and because of this, they sell a lot of boats.

Bad news travels faster than good news, so that you will find plenty of negative comments on the different boating and fishing forums.

However, there are plenty of positive comments too. But remember, you do get what you pay for.


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