Sea Hunt boats have steadily grown in popularity in the 18 – 30 foot range of center console saltwater fishing and family-friendly boats.
The company is considered mid-tier, which means they build what is considered a middle-quality boat.
Any boat brand can have its problems, so we have checked out the various boating forums to find out what the most common problems with Sea Hunt boats are.
A Brief History of Sea Hunt Boats
Sea Hunt was founded by father and son team Vic and Bubba Roof back in 1995 in Columbia, South Carolina.
They started with a small, one-room workshop and have grown to occupy a 170,000 square foot factory with more than 200 employees. They now produce around 2,000 boats per year.
The company’s goal is to “build an affordable boat that is best in its class,” and judging from most reviews that is what they have managed to do. After scouring through Sea Hunt Boat Owner forums and general boating forums, there really doesn’t seem to be many complaints.
However, the following are some of the more common problems to look out for or to consider before making that purchase:
1. Not Enough Foam In Some Hulls
On the Sea Hunt Owners website, the biggest single complaint has been about the level of foam in the hull, the gunwales, and around the fish boxes.
Despite this complaint, most other owners agree that while there could be more foam around the fish boxes, the boats are built solidly and are pretty much full of foam.
However, in Sea Hunt’s favor, they do offer a 10-year limited warranty on new hulls. This warranty is transferable to a 2nd owner as long as a hull warranty transfer form has been submitted within 15 days of the sale.
In addition, Sea Hunt boats are built to the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) safety requirements.
They are also built to the ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) safety specifications.
2. Sea Hunt Only Offers A Single Engine On Most Models
The price point and build quality of Sea Hunt boats are so popular, but to keep the boat package affordable, most Sea Hunt boat models come with a single-engine.
This is not a problem for many boat owners; however, if you are going offshore, you may feel safer with twin engines.
Twin or single engines both have their advantages and disadvantages. Whether you are happy with a single-engine will be a personal choice.
Single engines have the advantage of half the cost of twin engines, including half the cost of fuel and maintenance. But you won’t have the speed of twin engines or the backup you might need if you plan to go 30 miles offshore.
That said, the reliability of modern-day outboards has come a long way, and if your problem is with contaminated fuel, then it won’t matter if you have 1 or 2 engines anyway.
3. New Boat Packages Are Basic
The Sea Hunt strategy is to build a good quality boat with the best value on the market.
To do this, they have to cut some corners. Fortunately, they are not cutting corners with the quality of the build, but they have to make their boats affordable somehow.
While Sea Hunt offers a finished boat, all non-essential equipment like electronic packages, engine upgrades, and other boating or fishing accessories are not included. But any of these can be added by you at a later stage.
The list of standard features that Sea Hunt includes is still quite impressive. It includes equipment like seating with backrests and cushions, a freshwater system with a marine toilet and holding tank (on some models), hydraulic steering, LED lighting, and a stereo system.
Optional extras offered by Sea Hunt include a Yamaha Helm Master, which includes autopilot, upgraded rod holders, a live Seawell, and more.
A Sea Hunt boat does not come with all the bells and whistles of a high-end boat, but that is not the market they are looking for.
4. There Is Limited Availability
Sea Hunt boats do not have the advantages of some of the bigger brands with a wide network of dealers, both nationally and internationally.
Sea Hunt Boats is still a family-run business with a manufacturing facility in Columbia, South Carolina.
While Sea Hunt builds around 2000 boats per year, they only partner with 28 dealers from Texas to Rhode Island.
So, while you can easily buy a new or second-hand Sea Hunt boat on the SE coast of the US, outside of this area, they are quite difficult to come by.
5. Hull Warranty Issues Must Be Dealt With
By Sea Hunt In South Carolina
While Sea Hunt has an exceptional reputation for customer service, you must remember that this is a family-run business with only 1 manufacturing facility and a limited amount of dealers.
If you have a warranty issue in the unlikely event, then the warranty clearly states that any warranty repairs must be carried out at their facility in Columbia, South Carolina.
An authorized dealer may carry out a warranty repair in limited circumstances, which only covers 28 dealers from Texas to Rhode Island.
In the event of a hull warranty issue, you as the owner or purchaser will be responsible for any transport costs of your boat to get it repaired.
General Pros & Cons Of Sea Hunt Boats
It’s hard to find a boat on the market that completely impresses everyone.
There will be construction issues or problems with the layout, so compromises need to be made based on your own personal requirements and budget.
However, the following are what we consider the pros and cons of Sea Hunt boats.
Sea Hunt strives to provide the market with an affordable, quality boat, which is what they are achieving according to most boating forums and posts.
While Sea Hunt offers a limited amount of models, they have a range to suit the serious fishing community and a range for more family-focused fun.
Many Sea Hunt fans think that for the size, quality of construction, features, the manufacturer’s customer service, and their price, Sea Hunt offers the best value in small to medium fishing boats.
- Some owners think there is not enough foam in the hull.
- Sea Hunt only offers a single engine on most models.
- New boat packages are basic.
- There is limited availability nationally and worldwide.
- Any warranty issues can only be dealt with by the factory in Columbia, South Carolina.
What Do The Reviews Say?
There are plenty of Youtube videos and magazine articles to choose from when looking for Sea Hunt boat reviews.
While Sea Hunt boats have a positive following in the boating forums, this seems to ring true for the professionals too.
“A great choice if you’re looking to combine fishability with creature comforts at a very competitive price point.”
“Built on quality, right here in the U.S. with the vision of a father and son team who recognized the need for a comfortable family fishing boat, the Sea Hunt Boat Company continues to impress. …These boats continue to be number one in its industry and among boating enthusiasts and families.”
Sea Hunt boat owners and the experts all seem to agree that Sea Hunt is offering a quality and affordable package for both the serious fishing community and for family recreation.
What’s The Resale Value Of A Sea Hunt Boat?
To look at the resale value of a Sea Hunt boat, let’s make a comparison with a new and second-hand model:
While the new model is the starting price for the basic ready-to-go model, the older boat includes a trailer and lots of other extras.
However, even with all the extras, the Sea Hunt Ultra 234 seems to hold its value, especially if the boat has been well looked after.
There are many Sea Hunt boats for sale on the market, both new and second-hand, which are listed for various prices. These prices range from around $12,500 for an entry-level boat all the way up to around $240,000 for a high-end model.
If you are in the market for a used Sea Hunt boat, always make sure to give it a thorough inspection before making that purchase.