4 Most-Common Problems With Fisher Boats (Explained)

There are many Fisher boats circulating on the used boat market. Owners praise the models built before the company was acquired.

They report a significant difference in the quality of the boats between models built before the acquisition, compared to those produced after Tracker took over the company.

If you’re interested in acquiring one of these aluminum boats, we’re going to break down the four¬†most common problems with Fisher boats so you can make an informed decision.

Hull Cracking Problems

In a popular online boating forum, Fisher boat owners reported hull cracking problems.

There’s some debate regarding the performance of boats with a riveted¬†hull versus those with a welded hull.

There were numerous reports of stress cracks near where the stringers attach to the hull.

RELATED: How Durable Are Fisher Boats?

Several owners commented that they had more confidence in the boats manufactured by the company before the acquisition because the welders performed quality work.

Other owners argue that aluminum boats are subject to tremendous wear and tear, and some welds are bound to fail eventually.

Dealers claim that the Avenger series reports more hull cracking problems than the Hawk series.

Problems With Floorboards

After Fisher sold their business to Brunswick Marine in the 1990s, the production line diversified to include an aluminum model with a wooden floorboard.

Unfortunately, due to exposure to the elements and wood’s inability to resist rotting when it’s wet, owners reported issues with rotting floorboards.

This will happen with wood over time.

Not only is a rotting floorboard a safety issue, but it’s also expensive and difficult to repair.

Leak in the Livewell

Several owners of Fisher boats have also reported a leak in the livewell.

This is problematic for two reasons:

  1. The fish inside the livewell don’t benefit from the water circulation,
  2. You’ll have to run the bilge pump to remove the excess water caused by the leak.

However, these issues are rare and most owners will not have issues with this when taking good care of the boat.

Weak Transom

More than one owner on an online forum reported an issue with a weak transom in their Fisher boat.

Some minor cracking on a transom is considered normal, but overall weakness and/or significant rotting can lead to catastrophic issues because the transom supports the engine.

“In 1999, I bought a 19ft pro avenger. 3 months later, the transom cracked. The 2000 season, 2 months in the transom cracked again. One week later, I had over five cracked welds in the hull.”

[Source: walleyecentral.com]

Pros and Cons of Fisher Boats

Pros

For anyone looking to buy an older boat, Fisher is a durable entry-level option.

The all-aluminum boat offers a smooth ride on lakes and rivers, provides ample space for anglers to fish off the deck, and owners of the original models are very satisfied with their boats.

A family interested in buying a boat to build lasting memories on the water might be interested in a Fisher pontoon boat. Pontoon boats are¬†safe, spacious, and long-lasting.¬†They’re also available¬†at an affordable price point.

Passengers can fish from a pontoon boat, as well as enjoy water activities, or a leisurely cruise.

Cons

  • Hull Cracking Problems
  • Rotting Floorboards
  • Leaks in the Livewell
  • Weak transom

What Do the Reviews Say?

There are plenty of vocal, dissatisfied owners of Fisher boats who report cracking hulls or a weak transom.

But you can also find happy, content Fisher boat owners who raves about the longevity and durability of their watercraft. 

“I have a 2003 Fisher prohawk 170. I¬†really like this boat. Handles well and takes waves well for an Aluminum boat.
Probably the best riding aluminum I’ve ridden in.¬†But not all models are the same. This one is a Vee hull all the way back to the pads, just like a glass boat. With a 90 hp Mercury, I get around 41-42 MPH GPS.”

[source: fishin.com]

“I own a 16 ‘ hawk 2v Fisher boat. Greatest boat in the world!”

[source: iboats.com

The Liberty pontoon boats are appealing because they are a reliable option for families who want to enjoy the water together and also have the available amenities for fishing.

A pontoon boat is often available at an affordable price point for buyers who want to own a boat large enough to hold more than two people.

Choosing between a pontoon boat and an aluminum fishing boat depends on your goals and objectives.

If bass fishing is your passion, then you’ll want to research the best aluminum boats with the widest beam you can afford. This provides a stable platform for fishing, especially if more than one person on board wants to fish at the same time.

What’s the Resale Value on Fisher Boats?

Since the original version of the Fisher aluminum boat isn’t made any longer, and the customer reviews vary widely from highly dissatisfied to extremely pleased, it’s difficult to accurately assess the brand’s resale value.

Generally speaking, Fisher boats manufactured before 1990 have a reputation for quality craftsmanship and durability.

Whenever you are evaluating the quality of a used boat, it’s important to examine every part of the vessel and determine how much it will cost to repair or replace worn or damaged parts.

In some cases, buying a new boat might be a less expensive option than paying to overhaul a used boat.

Model Price
1993 Fisher Marsh Hawk 3V (17 ft) $4995 (used)
2005 Fisher Hawk 186 WT (19 ft) $10,999 (used)
2004 Fisher 240 Freedom Deluxe (24 ft) $17,750 (used)

The Story Behind Fisher Boats

Clifton Miller founded Fisher Boats in Mississippi in 1967. He was one of the first to introduce all-welded and all-aluminum boats into the marketplace. For more than thirty years, Fisher Boats produced dozens of models of aluminum boats.

Customers praised these boats for their longevity, durability operating near debris found on lakes and rivers, and the comfort of the ride.

In 1990, Brunswick Fishing acquired Fisher Marine. Production continued and new brands were introduced, including a model that added a wood floor to the mostly aluminum boat. In 2009, Tracker Marine bought the company and production stopped. Fisher Boats are no longer manufactured.

Tracker now makes several models of aluminum fishing boats: Mod V, Deep V, and Jon Boat. For a thorough list of the pros and cons of Tracker boats, check out this article.

Fisher Liberty boats were also manufactured by the Tracker Group. These pontoon boats are no longer manufactured, but the Sun Tracker pontoon boat is a similar model for those interested in pontoon boats.

Final Thoughts

Even though Fisher Boats are no longer manufactured, there are still plenty of these durable aluminum boats available in the used boat marketplace.

The original manufacturer had established a proven track record for building long-lasting boats ideal for fishing on lakes and rivers. While some owners are not satisfied with the quality of the Tracker manufactured aluminum boats, many satisfied owners of Fisher boats claim the Hawk series model is one of the best boats they’ve ever owned.

Before you buy a Fisher boat, you’ll need to take it for a test run and examine the hull, transom, and floorboards for any obvious defects.

If you’re in the market for a new or used boat, it’s best to have your objectives clearly defined. A weekend angler who loves to bass fish will want a high-quality aluminum boat.

Families who want to enjoy a weekend on the water together, with plenty of options available for socializing and entertaining, may want to consider a pontoon boat.

Sources:

pontoonboats.org, thehulltruth.com

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