Prospective boat owners need to know the nitty-gritty details about what they are getting into when they purchase a boat. What kind of problems can you expect to find on a particular make and model?
May-Craft boats are some of the most popular options on the market today.
If you have been considering one of these boats, then you probably already know their incredible reputation. However, they do have a few things that can go wrong with age and poor upkeep.
Learn more about the most common problems with May-Craft boats here!
1. Transom Separates from the Hull
While there aren’t many issues associated with May-Craft boats, one of the few problems you will find with the older models is a separated or rotten transom.
These pieces used to be made out of wood and are often left exposed to the elements.
Over time, the wood simply can’t stand up to the moisture and begins to rot or pull away from the rest of the hull.
If your transom fails you have a significant problem. The transom on some boats is responsible for supporting your outboard motor. It transfers the energy from the motor along to the rest of the hull, propelling you forward through the water smoothly.
If your transom fails on the water you are at significant risk of catastrophic loss!
Repairing the transom is never easy. Before you start make sure to take exact measurements and snap a few pictures for comparison during repairs. Remove the old transom and create a pattern for the replacement shape.
Based on the thickness of the pre-existing transom, you may need to have a sheet of plywood custom-fit to match the size of the hole.
Always use marine grade, pressure treated plywood for repairs. You will also want to use a waterproof sealant as an added layer of protection. Install the new transom in place and use fiberglass filler adhesive to fill the gaps and bolster your laminated plywood.
Trowel more of the filler between the transom and hull to hold the whole thing together. Mechanical fasteners may also be necessary to hold the transom in place.
From here, you simply need to sand down and repaint your transom to match the rest of the boat.
For more information, check out our article: 6 Popular Low-Draft Boats for Shallow Water (With Pictures)
2. Soft Spots in the Deck
Because many of the older models of May-Craft boats were constructed from wood, you may still encounter spongy decks.
Make a thorough inspection of the deck of a boat before you make a purchase to check for spongy areas and soft spots.
Any soft spots or spongy areas should be considered carefully because they could be the sign of some serious rot beneath the deck.
Occasionally, you may see some models where the deck itself is rotten, but it can also be the stringers. The stringers are critical because they support the deck, similar to how the joists in your home support your subfloor.
When they begin to rot, you could potentially fall through your deck and cause damage to any stored gear or components below.
Correcting potential soft spots in the deck doesn’t have to be a complicated procedure. Anyone with a little knowledge of how to work with wood can repair or replace their stringers and decking using some marine grade, pressure treated wood and plywood.
You may even choose to make a significant upgrade by using more modern materials.
You can laminate the stringers with glass and epoxy the deck. Stainless steel screws may need to be used to fasten the epoxy deck to the new stringers. Of course, this level of detail is not necessary, but it could be nice if you plan to own the boat for a while.
For more information, check out our article: 9 Affordable Boats With Enclosed Cabins (with pictures)
Pros and Cons for May-Craft Boats:
Generally speaking, May-Craft boats are extremely reliable and most new owners are happy with their purchase.
The newer models are composite instead of the traditional wooden boats of yesteryear. Once you purchase your very first May-Craft boat, the odds are you will be extremely satisfied.
No matter what model you select, there are several great features on these boats. The popular 2550 Pilot fills a unique niche in the market for those who love to head out regardless of the weather.
They have an enclosed cabin with an extended canopy that allows you to stay under shelter and out of the rain in a storm.
They also have curtains that drop down making the cabin larger if you need more interior space.
A popular cost-efficient model, the 1800 CC, also has many unique features.
It includes a well thought out storage area and a sport console complete with:
- Electronics box
- Side-mount rod holders
- Cooler seat with backrest
- Upgraded option for a bimini top
- Upgraded option for a T-Top with a radio box and rod holders
May-Craft boats are built to withstand a lot of wear and tear. They are rugged boats designed for the serious recreational or commercial angler.
They typically have very few frills and fancy options, but they tend to stand the test of time.
May-Craft is committed to excellence and continues to update their designs to improve performance.
Unfortunately, you will find a couple of disadvantages to May-Craft boats:
- They are not necessarily built for comfort
- Cabin models can be front heavy making handling difficult
- Older models can have issues with the transom and decking, as with any boat
- Some models may not have a robust non-skid deck
While these issues do not necessarily apply to the newer models, it is something to keep in mind if you plan to purchase a used May-Craft boat.
What Do the Reviews Say?
Beyond the specifications listed on the May-Craft website, it is important to know what real owners have thought about these makes and models. When the boats finally make their way onto the water, what do people think of them?
Let’s take a closer look at a couple of reviews to get a better feel for these boats.
“A 25” transom and high freeboard make this 1900CC a champion in rough water. Designed to be heavy enough to provide a great ride while being easy to trailer, the 1900CC is a family friend.”
The 1900CC is one of the more affordable options in the May-Craft lineup, which also makes it one of the more popular models.
You get a sharp-looking boat with many of the same features found on the 1800CC listed above. According to this review, it handles well in rough waters and can weather the storm:
“May-Craft founder Kenneth May has a long history of building Carolina-style fiberglass outboard workboats with moderate transom deadrise for shallow drafts and running efficiency, combined with a sharp bow entry for cleaving choppy seas…the company’s 1900CC exemplifies the May-Craft level of quality and design.”
[Source: New England Boating]
According to New England Boating, these boats have been around for a long time and continue to impress reviewers.
They run efficiently on the water, so they ultimately save you a small fortune in fuel costs. Much like the Boats.com review, they also mention how excellent this model is at running through a storm.
Regardless of where you look for a review, it is clear that May-Craft is committed to quality design and construction.
They are built to be sturdy boats that can withstand a little wear and tear with grace.
Related Article: 4 Most-Common Problems With Legend Boats
What’s the Resale Value on May-Craft Boats?
Now that you know why you should get a May-Craft boat, it comes down to whether you can afford one.
Purchasing a used boat is going to be the less expensive route, but what can you expect to get for your budget?
|2012 Maycraft 2550 Pilot XL||500 hours||$53,990|
|2016 Maycraft 2300CC||1300 hours||$32,900|
|2015 Maycraft 2000CC||382 hours||$24,995|
|2016 Maycraft 2000CC||1140 hours||$24,900|
Depending on the model you select, new May-Craft boats can start right at around $30,000.
Keep in mind that this is for one of their more basic models with few upgrades. The reason that May-Craft can keep their prices so low is that their boats are very basic and utilitarian.
Although it goes without saying, if you want more features, expect to pay more for the boat.
They do have some higher-end models that will come with a higher price tag. For example, the May-Craft Cape Classic 26 Revenge will run somewhere close to $80,000. Keep in mind that this is a 26’ fiberglass boat with a 300 horsepower Yamaha engine compared to the 2000CC, which is a 20’ fiberglass boat with a less powerful engine.
Many prospective boat owners will spend months laboring over their decision about which boat is right for them. May-Craft boats are utilitarian boats know for quality and reliability with few drawbacks.
If you want something relatively basic while still maintaining quality on a budget, then May-Craft is a possible contender for you.
Shelby Sullivan is our specialist when it comes to pontoon boats and recreational watercraft. She is often found sailing the freshwater lakes of Michigan. She is also a light-traveler who enjoys camping and traveling the world. Read more about Shelby here.