Scout Boats is a family-run company that has been designing and building luxury sport and fishing boats since 1989.
Their range of 17′ to 53′ boats is known for their stylish good looks, their technology and innovation, and their durability. However, just like any brand, Scout Boats can have its problems.
In this article, we take a look at what the most common problems are:
5 Common Problems With Scout Boats:
Scout Boats is no worse than any other manufacturer. Scout Boats are built using 100% hand-laid fiberglass construction, and the detailed finishing of the bilges and unseen sides of all the doors, lids, and hatches is unsurpassed in this price range.
1. Water In The Boat When Drifting Or Idle
There are complaints on the different boating forums about water inside the boat when drifting for fishing, or when the boat is idling.
While not life-threatening it can be uncomfortable or even annoying, especially if you use your boat in winter or in cold water climates.
This water in the boat is not a problem across all models and is caused by the design of the scuppers or drain holes on some boats. The problem can usually be traced to too much weight in the stern of the boat.
For example, if you have too many people in the rear, more than the recommended batteries stored there, or an engine bigger than the recommended size, these can all add too much weight in the stern.
If there is too much weight in the stern, the scuppers will sit below the waterline, meaning water can flow in but not drain out. While this is down to a poor design, nowadays, many other boats have this problem because they were never originally designed for the weight of the new 4 stroke engines.
However, the problem can easily be corrected by fitting a one-way ball valve on the drains. These valves will not let water in, but they will let it out.
If you don’t (or can’t) shift the weight from the stern, the boat will still drain a little slower as the scuppers will still be underwater, but at least no extra water will be getting in.
2. Complaints Of ‘Porpoising.’
What is porpoising on a boat? Porpoising is when a boat’s bow dips in and out of the water which can sometimes be uncomfortable but can also cause the boat to go out of control and be downright dangerous.
While porpoising is not exclusive to Scout Boats, it is a problem that comes up on the Scout forums.
Porpoising is caused by either uneven weight distribution in the boat or something as simple as the engine sitting at the wrong height. In addition, bad trimming of the engine, using the engine at the incorrect angle, or even having the wrong propellor can cause this porpoising motion.
The good news is this porpoising motion can sometimes easily be tackled by distributing weight (or people) more evenly throughout the boat. Take a look at the waterline of your boat – a slight dip in either the bow or the stern can cause porpoising.
3. Cracks In The Gel Coat
Again cracks in the gel coat are not specific to Scout Boats. While cracks in the gel coat don’t look great and can sometimes be of concern, they are generally not structural.
The main reason that Scout Boats sometimes develop cracks in the gel coat is that they use foam in the entire boat. Scout uses this foam as a structural reinforcement to the fiberglass hull. But this does mean that if the person injecting the foam doesn’t do a perfect job, there can be large voids or spaces in the foam resulting in some unsupported areas.
These areas are typically aft of midship since injecting the foam without voids is more difficult. Plus, there is generally more flexing in the rear, so a small crack may appear if there is a void.
Most Scout Boats don’t have this issue, but like any production boat, some will develop cracks.
A 3-year limited warranty covers new Scout Boats, so if you discover gel coat cracks during this time, contact your nearest Scout Boat dealer for expert advice and assistance.
4. Water Trapped Inside The Transom
There have been some complaints on the various boating forums about Scout Boat owners removing screws or drilling holes in the transom of their boat, and water comes pouring out.
But where does this water come from?
Failed gaskets or newly installed hull fittings that have not been sealed properly will allow water to seep inside the hull or transom, as will gel coat cracks.
While this does sound quite serious, it can be relatively easy to fix. There are two options – either use your trailer to tip your boat at an angle to drain out the water or drill extra holes below the ones where there is water leaking out (your dealer should be able to advise you on this).
Once the water has drained out (which may take some time), wait a couple of days to make sure it’s dry and then refill the holes with epoxy.
5. Scout Boats Are Too Light To Go Offshore
Scout Boats build their boat light which helps with their excellent fuel efficiency.
However, some boaters or owners complain that some smaller models are too light to safely offshore.
Scout Boats build 5 different models, including Bay Boat, Dorado, LXF, Sportfish, and XSF range from 17′ – 53′. Like the Bay Boat and the family-orientated Dorado’s, some of these models are not designed to go offshore for many miles.
If you are looking for a serious offshore fishing boat, then the other models like the Sportfish are much more suitable.
General Pros And Cons Of Scout Boats
If you are in the market to buy a boat, choosing the right boat for you can become complicated.
After all, it’s a huge financial commitment for most people, so you want to get it right. The more research you do, the better.
The following are some of the pros and cons that we have found about Scout Boats:
Most people will agree that Scout Boats’ build quality and finishing are very good, if not exceptional.
They are known for quality, innovation, and design. In addition, there is no wood used in the build of a Scout Boat. Instead, Scout uses only composite materials to build their boats, including the transoms, stringers, and decks.
Scout Boats are also known for their excellent fuel efficiency. They have achieved this by designing their hulls to be lighter than the competition, enabling Scout Boats to run smoothly over the water and reduce drag, reducing overall fuel consumption.
There are a lot of comments about how good Scout Boats look, so if you want to turn heads on the water, you can’t go wrong with a Scout!
- Water In The Boat When Drifting Or Idle
- Complaints Of ‘Porpoising’
- Cracks In The Gel Coat
- Water Trapped Inside The Transom
- Scout Boats Are Too Light To Go Offshore
What Do the Reviews Say?
Here are some independent reviews not found on the Scout Boat website:
“The 330 LXF carves turns with confidence-inspiring precision, and while sea conditions were hardly challenging, the hull sliced through the 3-foot self-generated waves like a knife through warm butter. The boat felt solid, with nary a creak or rattle, thanks to Scout’s 100 percent hand-laid construction and advanced epoxy infusion.”
“It’s easy to compromise with an entry-level boat. To keep pricing competitive, builders may cut corners, or withhold a standout feature. One of Scout’s most popular entry-level models, the 215 XSF doesn’t have that problem.”
What’s the Resale Value On A Scout Boat?
It’s difficult to compare resale values as after a boat leaves the factory. No two boats will be equipped the same.
Different owners will have different uses and preferences for how they equip their boats. There are many possible different upgrades out there.
However, let’s take a look at the pricing of one of Scout Boats most popular models, the Sportfish 175:
Initially, the resale value looks pretty good.
However, the pricing for the 2022 model comes from the Scout Boats website and is the starting price for a traditional boat with a standard engine.
At the time of writing, the 2020 model was available on Boatrader.com and included lots of extras like a ‘Magic Tilt’ trailer, a new T-top, and an electronic navigation package which all come at an added expense.
The trailer alone can set you back a few thousand dollars at least!
However, the resale value of a Scout Boat doesn’t seem to be any worse or any better than other brands. It all comes down to how well the previous owner has maintained and used the boat.
Despite the problems mentioned in this article, Scout Boats has a reputation for cutting edge design and good build quality.
So if you are in the market for a new or second-hand boat, take a look at a Scout Boat as they are comparable to other famous brands like Grady White, Boston Whaler, or Sportsman Boats.