7 Common Problems with Sportsman Boats

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Popular for their offshore center console boats, Sportsman Boats are a favorite among anglers and recreational boaters. But as with any type of vessel, there are some common problems that can arise when owning and operating one.

Boats, unlike cars, are not made by robots in a factory, but by human hands that at times can be rushed or careless. While this is not always the case it can lead to overlooked quality issues in production which can cause issues later on down the road.

Electrical issues, faulty bilge, incorrect GPS wiring, and improper Livewell fittings are some of the more common issues with Sportsman Boats.

Having a fiberglass hull requires extra maintenance and care to ensure it withstands much of the abuse that comes with long days on the water. Over time, it can become brittle, leading to cracks and dings in the hull.

Rust is another common issue that arises due to poor craftsmanship and substandard materials being used in production. Without proper maintenance and cleaning, corrosion can form on the metal parts of the boat, such as the propeller and other hardware.

Lastly, repair costs can quickly add up when owning a Sportsman Boat. With many parts needing to be replaced or repaired due to wear and tear, it’s important to stay on top of maintenance and repairs for optimal performance out on the water. With regular and proper care, Sportsman Boats can last for many years without any major issues.

Let us now look in detail at some of the issues related to Sportsman Boats that can lead to costly repairs.

Faulty Bilge Pump

During our research, we found that faulty bilge pumps are a common problem with Sportsman Boats due to a lack of quality control during production. If the pump is not working correctly then it can cause water to accumulate in the boat, leading to costly repairs down the road.

A nonworking bilge pump is a serious issue that requires immediate attention. If the pump is not working correctly then it should be checked and repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

Bilge pumps are responsible for removing excess water from the bilge of your boat, and should be checked regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly.

Incorrect GPS Wiring

Another captain reported the GPS was not even hooked up because the wiring was done incorrectly. Wiring issues can be difficult to diagnose and even more challenging to repair, as it requires a deep understanding of electrical systems.

Some people complained fishfinders showed wrong readings and the GPS not working properly. This might be a sign of bad wiring or other electrical issues.

Improper Livewell Fitting

A particular boat owner’s Livewell fitting was not installed properly, causing the Livewell to leak. The Livewell is an important part of a fishing boat, as it helps keep your bait alive and fresh for longer periods.

Being structurally attached to the boat, and typically filled with water, it is important to have a proper fitting in order to avoid any leakage. Improperly installed fittings can lead to water leakages and can damage the hull of the boat.

Bilge Pump Hose Crack

Many people reported a cracked bilge pump hose, which is a sign of poor craftsmanship during production. Hoses should be made from quality materials and installed correctly so they remain in good condition for long-term use.

A crack in the hose can lead to water leakage, as well as other issues with the boat’s electrical systems. More of a quality control issue, it is important to make sure all parts of your boat are properly installed and constructed with quality materials.

Gelcoat Crazing

More of a generic issue with fiberglass boats, Gelcoat crazing is a common issue with Sportsman Boats due to poor quality production and lack of maintenance.

Gelcoat crazing occurs when the surface of the boat has small cracks, typically caused by UV exposure or inadequate care and maintenance. It can also be caused by improper application of the gel coat or incorrect mixing ratios during manufacturing.

Some people reported blisters in the Gelcoat, which require a proper repair process to restore the boat.

Fuel Gauge Recalibration

A new Sportsman boat owner reported her fuel gauge needed to be recalibrated shortly after buying the boat. It is important to have a fuel gauge that works accurately, as incorrect readings can lead to dangerous situations out on the water.

Faulty fuel gauge readings can cause you to run out of fuel mid-trip, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Rusty Stainless Steel Gadgets

Captains reported snaps, cleats, and toggle switches at the helm which were made of stainless steel were rusted after a few months of use. Stainless steel should be corrosion resistant and able to withstand saltwater, so this is an indication of poor quality materials used during production.

Lack of proper maintenance also leads to rust, so it’s important to regularly inspect and clean your stainless steel parts to avoid any issues.

Cracks Near Rod Holders

Not a widely reported issue, but some people mentioned cracks near the rod holders. This is an indication of poor installation and weak structure, as well as a lack of support from the frame.

Rod holders should be securely attached to the boat in order to avoid any accidents or injuries out on the water. It is important to inspect the integrity of your rod holders on a regular basis and ensure that they are in good condition.

How Good Are Sportsman Customer Care?

Hands down, Sportsman cares about their customer experience. They have an excellent customer service team who are willing to listen to your issues and help you find the best solution.

They also provide a variety of warranty options to ensure that any repairs needed will be covered by the company. From engine problems to electrical issues, and more, they have you covered.

Overall, Sportsman is a good company to purchase from. They provide quality boats at an affordable price and have excellent customer service in case of any issues.

It is important to keep up with maintenance and regular inspections so that you don’t run into any major problems down the line. With proper care, a Sportsman boat can last for many years.

Their dealers are also very knowledgeable and helpful, so you’re always in good hands when buying from Sportsman. Whether you’re looking for a fishing boat or a cruiser, Sportsman has the perfect boat for your needs.


Overall, Sportsman is a good company to purchase from. They provide quality boats at an affordable price and have excellent customer service in case of any issues. It is important to keep up with maintenance and regular inspections so that you don’t run into any major problems down the line. Like most boats, they have their issues, but with proper care and maintenance, a Sportsman boat can last for many years. Their knowledgeable dealers are always there to help if you run into any questions or issues. If you’re looking for a quality fishing boat or cruiser that won’t break the bank, Sportsman is worth considering.