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18 Most-Common Problems With Crestliner Boats (With Examples)

In Boating by Morten Storgaard

Crestliner boats are very popular but all boat brands and models have their issues and problems.

Here are some of the most common problem people experience with the Crestliner brand.

Broken Transom Welds

Some boat owners say they found broken welds on both sides of the engine. Depending on the way that the boat is stored, it’s possible that there could also be cracks in the welds.

There have been cracks in the welds found in other parts of the boat as well. The cracks are found in the body of the hull. They can also be found beginning at the end of the weld.

There are also other issues with the transom. Some of the transoms have issues with rotted wood, as with other parts of the boat. This is due to the quality of the wood.

Some customers also say that the warranty is voided if they altered the transom and that they take their time in providing the fixes.

These cracks can be dangerous if too large because it could cause the hull to pull apart. Some people who have engineering knowledge are able to fix the problem themselves, but many people have issues with it.

This is due to manufacturing processes and the quality of the material. Each boat is different, and it could depend on the skill level and expertise of the person who built the boat.

Crestliner Went Bankrupt

Crestliner went bankrupt, and this causes problems for some people looking to get parts or honor warranties.

Dealerships closed shop, and it makes it a hassle for them to get the boat fixed or to even talk to someone who is able to help them in honoring their warranty.

Crestliner where here is sometimes problems in getting the repairs done in a location near where the owner of the boat lives. Also, the dealership might not be open or available. If they do get it in for a repair, it could take a long time for it to be fixed.

Transom Rot

The transom rot is caused by water sneaking into the boat. This can be detected by seeing if there’s a “bounce.”

Not Using Marine Grade Plywood

Many repairs and defects were attributed to the wood.

When wet, it easily led to rotting in the floor and in other parts of the boats. It caused soft spots, leaks, rotting, and other issues. This is one of the main complaints that Crestliner owners have about the boat. It frequently led to the boat needing to be fixed, and the rotting wood had to be replaced.

In 2002, the company took charge of this issue and started to use marine-grade plywood in its construction. Earlier models do not have this upgrade.  If you’re shopping for a Crestliner, keep this in mind and look at the condition of the wood.

Problems filling tank with gas

Brand new boats might have issues when you’re filling the tank with gas.

Some of them have high air pressure that can make it difficult to fill the tank. One tip is to angle the nozzle down when you are filling it to make filling the tank easier — pumping slowly also helps when you are filling the tank.

One way to remedy the air issue is to vent the tank.

Dumping the check valve and making sure that it is sealed with an o ring could be helpful. You could also try shortening the fill hose. Certain boat owners carry a five-gallon tank of gas with them to fix the problem. Others recommend taking it back to the dealer to fix it.

You can also only put the nozzle in about an inch to make it easier to fill.

Door/Hatch

In some models, the side locker doors have latches that don’t work correctly and don’t stay shut most of the time. The door and hatch also might get soft and need repair in some models.

Steering Problems

Hydraulic steering doesn’t come stock from the factory. This might make the Crestliner boats more difficult to steer than other kinds of boats.

Issues with the floor

The floors have a reputation for having problems on these boats.

Because of this, Crestliner has the policy to replace or repair, at its sole option, any defect in the workmanship or material in the flooring panels.

This includes damage to the flooring panels due to decay and rot, termites, or wood-eating insects when the damage to the flooring panels would make the panels structurally unfit for the application it is intended for if it is reported during the period of ownership by the original owner.

Leaks

Leaks are an issue some buyers report.

This can be a huge problem when you’re on the water. There could be many causes of the leak, whether the boat is a lemon or something else. Leaks can lead to numerous problems such as cracks or rotting of the wood.

Scooping Water

At lower speeds, the boat might scoop water. This also might happen when it is stopped. The problem of scooping water mainly happens in big water.

The reason this happens is that the bow of the boat could be too low.

Vinyl flooring could get replaced by carpeting

The vinyl floor is susceptible to damage.

Sometimes it has to be replaced with carpeting, or another flooring material. It depends on the preferences of the owner. The quality and material of the flooring is something that many people have issues with. They also have issues with the floor rotting or there were soft spots in the wood.

The rigidity of the Boat

In certain conditions, the boat might not hold up and be as rigid as other kinds of boats. With heavy waves, the boat could shudder.

Storing the Boat

Some boat owners find it a hassle to store and care for an aluminum boat. Both new boat owners and experienced boat owners say that Crestliners are solid boats.

However, to make sure that they last for a long time, it is necessary to take proper care of them, including finding an appropriate place to store them.

Storage on the Boat

Certain models have space issues that some boat owners don’t like. The Hawkeye model is supposed not to have enough floor storage.

Some boat owners think that the inefficient use of space makes it hard to store fishing gear.

Limited Warranty.

For many parts of the boat, there is a ten-year warranty.

There have been different stories of the accountability of Crestliner in reference to this warranty, as well as the amount of time it takes to get the necessary repairs. Some say it takes more than six months to get the repair done. This time lag is a huge frustration to some customers, and some saying that the original issue was never even dealt with.

For the most part, as long as the repair is made within the 10-year time frame, it is timely and professionally done. Buyers appreciate a company that stands by its product.

Crestliner boats, from the model year 2010 and newer, have a warranty that may be transferred to subsequent owners.

Bow Mount Trolling Motor Difficult to Mount

The bow is not always completely level, and it is difficult to mount the bow mount trolling motor on some models. It might require shimming.

Inaccurate Speedometers

The speedometers can be inaccurate. You might need to check your speed on the GPS.

Some people find that the deep v aluminum models can be difficult to control in the wind. This is something you should keep in mind if you live in a windy place.

The Price

As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for,” and Crestliner boats have a reputation of being solidly built.

At the same time, they are also quite expensive.

Some buyers or potential buyers think the cost of a new Crestliner boat is too expensive. However, there are many good deals on used boats that balance the price. The baseline price for Crestliners is higher than many other kinds of boats.

Crestliner boats have a lot of fans, but there are some issues with the boats that people have noted. Being aware of these can help make ownership easier and less problematic as you know what to look out for.

A Quick Note About The Crestliner Brand

Crestliner boats have been in production since 1946. The original name of the boat producer was “The Aluminum Boat Company.” In the ‘50s, the name changed to Larson Watercraft, and all of the boat models were call Crestliners. Eventually, the name of the company turned to Crestliner Inc in 1957.

The company revolutionized the boating world by choosing to weld the boats together instead of riveting them. The extremely smooth boats became a trademark of the Crestliner brand. Over the years, the company was acquired by different brands, including Genmar, Nordic Boat Company, and AMR.

The boats typically range in length between 16 ft to 22 ft. The pontoon boats are their bestselling model.