9 Problems With Stratos Boats

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In 2017, White River Marine stopped manufacturing Stratos boats. Back in the day, these boats were very popular, and many boaters were looking to buy or trade their Stratos boats.

Unfortunately, due to the discontinuation of production, it became increasingly difficult to find replacement parts, as well as any knowledgeable mechanics who could repair them.

The good news is that even though White River Marine stopped manufacturing Stratos boats, there are still places where you can find parts and knowledgeable mechanics who can help with boat repairs.

More of an entry-level boat, the Stratos provided recreational boaters with a reliable vessel that was easy to operate and maintain. Like most boats, they had their own share of problems. Most of them were wood rots, lack of attention to detail, storage space issues, and poor trailers.

We will now look into details of some of the common issues people face with the Stratos brand boats.

Wood Rots

The most commonly reported problem with Stratos boats was wood rot. This could range from minor surface damage to major structural damage, depending on the age of the boat and how well it was taken care of. Wood rots can cause serious problems such as leaks, allowing water to enter the cabin or bilge areas which can lead to further damage.

Boats manufactured prior to 96 were prone to wood rots due to an inferior type of wood used in their construction. Also, a lack of proper maintenance over time can contribute to the problem. If you are looking at purchasing a Stratos boat, be sure to inspect it thoroughly for any sign of wood rot.

The decks in particular should be inspected carefully, as they tend to be more prone to water damage. If the boat is in good condition, then it may be worth considering purchasing.

Some people also reported the wood core of the transom being soaked in water. This is an issue that could possibly require a major repair.

Lack of Attention to Detail

Another problem found in Stratos boats was the lack of attention to detail when constructing them. Sharp edges in the console to nonworking lights were some of the complaints reported by boaters.

These issues could be easily addressed with a few adjustments and replacement parts, however, most people chose to simply overlook them due to the cost of repairs or lack of availability of replacement parts.

Faulty Wirings

Due to the lack of attention to detail, some people reported having faulty wiring in their Stratos boats. This could be a major safety hazard, as any electrical fault can cause damage and injury.

Pump wirings were particularly susceptible to corrosion and damage, so it is important to make sure they are in good condition. Replacing any faulty wiring should be done as soon as possible, as this can help prevent major repairs or replacements down the road.

Storage Space Issues

Many Stratos boats suffer from very limited storage space. While this is not always a major issue, it can be annoying for some boaters who may need extra space for supplies and personal items.

Many anglers complained that they were unable to fit all their fishing gear on the boat, as well as having difficulties finding space to store items such as life jackets and anchors.

Rods over 6′ were hard to fit on the boat and often had to be stored in a separate compartment. This can make it difficult for anglers who need multiple rods to fish effectively.

Underpowered engines

Being an entry-level boat, the Stratos was often sold with entry-level engines. While these engines were sufficient for recreational boating, they could have used some more power.

The underpowered engine made it difficult to get up on a plane, and those looking to do some serious water sports would find themselves lacking the necessary power needed. This is something that should be taken into consideration when purchasing a used Stratos boat.

Livewell Issues

One of the more common complaints was related to the Livewells on Stratos boats. Most of the time, they were not big enough and had inadequate aeration systems that resulted in insufficient oxygen levels for fish.

Some people also complained about nonworking locks on the Livewells, making it difficult to keep curious kids and other boat passengers away from them.

Finally, some of the older models did not have adequate insulation to maintain a consistent water temperature in the Livewell.

Poor Trailers

The trailer is an important component of any boat, as it helps keep the vessel secure during transport and storage. Most Stratos boats come with trailers that are not of the highest quality and often have problems such as rusting or warping over time.

Poor frame structure and inferior materials used in the trailer can cause poor performance, especially when trying to tow a heavier boat.

It is important to inspect any Stratos boat you are looking at purchasing and make sure that the trailer is up to the job. If not, then it may be worth investing in a new or better-quality trailer.

Trolling motor problems

Some Stratos boats have been reported to have problems with their trolling motors. These usually manifest themselves in the form of poor performance or erratic behavior. This could be due to a faulty wiring system or incorrect placement of the motor on the boat.

Most of the reported issues were solved with a simple repair or adjustment, but it is still important to check the trolling motor before purchasing any boat.

Poor Resale Value

Because Stratos boats are generally entry-level boats, they tend to have a low resale value on the used market. This is due to the fact that they are usually very basic in terms of features and construction quality, making them less desirable than more upmarket models.

This means that those who purchase Stratos boats should be prepared to keep the boat for the long haul, as they may not be able to get their money back if they decide to sell.

The availability of parts for older models can also be an issue since they stopped production of the Stratos range in 2013. This can make it difficult to source any replacement parts should they become necessary.


The Stratos boat is a great entry-level option for those looking to get out on the water without breaking the bank. It has some issues, especially in terms of space and power, but these can be worked around with a little bit of creativity and patience. If, you plan on buying an old Stratos boat, make sure to inspect it thoroughly and be aware of any potential problems. With proper care and maintenance, the Stratos boat can provide many years of great boating experiences.