I love the Marinette, I upsized early (selling my 28 ft for a 37ft). A Marinette tends to be someone's second or third boat. The 37ft is far more stable. Marinettes are great boats. Always get a survey, by a surveyor that understands metal boats. Few ever regret buying a Marinette with running engines. Always check the hull for corrosion.
- Cost - I've been able to spend less and get more. They are underrated boats that last and last. My Marina has 7 of these, why... because they last and last. (Only 8000 were made, but these are still there.
- Price - Marinettes are underrated on value by NADA, which makes them a bargain to buy.
- Space - Huge interior space compared to most boats, well appointed. The beam of the boat gives lot's of space.
- Cool deck - The deck stays cool in summer due to heat loss.
- Quality and Life span - The boat hull will not get old, blister or fail. General quality of construction is high, mostly solid teak or teak plywood interior and tank-like welded plate aluminum construction. It's a very good choice as a used boat and very fixable.
- Safe - Very log and rock resistant for rivers and lakes with lots of floating logs. You will hit a log sooner or later in many rivers.
- Shallow draft - key to navigating some areas of water.
- Customizable - Owners add, lengthen, and remove parts.
- Most surveyors like them - generally they can pass a survey. Boating insurance companies like them.
- Welded not riveted - Long lasting monocoque hull instead of sectioned rivets.
- Seawater is OK- when properly painted and zinced, the boat will not fail in salt water (Coast guard boats are unpainted aluminum). Good in salt water - many are on the Chesapeake Bay and Florida.
- Speed - It's fast for a cruiser.
- No "monkey arms" required - most things can be reached to be fixed. The "monkey arms" issue is an important safety issue in a boat, as what I can't see or reach can sink me.
- No wood in the hull not even glassed in plywood - won't rot.
- My family likes it - which means I can own this boat. You can only own the boat your spouse lets you have.
- Looks - Good classic boat-y look.
- Mounting and Customizing - I can attach things anywhere, not just at mount points. Aluminum is a good material to safely customize.
- No bad models or years.
- There is a company called Marinette and a set of active forums that have part sources and tips.
The 28ft is excellent on shallow rivers and lakes. Some have changed these to over to outboards.
Poll : What length is your Marinette? 28ft 22 votes (29%) 32ft 28 votes (37%) 37ft 12 votes (16%) 41ft 4 votes (5%) something else 10 votes (13%)
Poll What year was your Marinette built? pre-1965 4 votes (6%) 1966-1970 6 votes (10%) 1971-1976 17 votes (27%) 1977-1982 10 votes (16%) post-1982( -1994) 26 votes (41%)
Our poll has an average age of a Marinette of more than 20 years, with none less than 10 years old. Most Marinettes are still afloat.
Poll: I have fixed the aluminum hull on my boat due to corrosion - Never 15 votes (75%), 1 small patch 0 votes (0%), Couple of pits 5 votes (25%), Had to weld something 0 votes (0%)
Every Marinette owner I know, paints their boat. Top and bottom. Most prefer epoxy as a barrier coat while some use zinc chromate paint for barrier and patches. I last used Interlux 2000E with 5+ years and no problems.
Truths about all boats
The most important question in owning a Marinette applies to all boats - Are you and your family ready to own a boat? Is the boat right for you and the waters in which you will boat? A boat is like a car, you have to take care of it, and pay the costs on maintenance. Boats need repair and maintenance. Leave a car in the driveway for 1/2 a year and watch it deteriorate.
Quality is important in boats and cars. There are cars that age faster than others and cars that last a long time. A older used good car is better than a newer used poor quality car (Compare a 1980 Volvo with a 1990 Yugo). This is even more true in boats. Today we see the warranty (5-10 years) on the hull of some large fiberglass (FRP) boats is less than any possible payoff time. Why pay 200K for a boat whose hull and interior won't last 20 years? Whether aluminum or FRP, there are good and poor quality boats. If you decide on fiberglass, please read David Pascoe's articles on fiberglass boats and hull defects (go to our links page). Moreover, consider carefully buying any FRP boat that will or did stay long term in the water with a foam or balsa cored bottom (non-trailerable) or foam core. If you decide on a metal boat, see this site, our the marinette forum, Marinette, Inc , the Metal Boat Society and Michael Kasten's web page.
Expect to pay thousands of dollars in maintenance and parts on any boat of any size. It's the way it is. Do not buy any boat you can't afford costs and time for. If you are afraid of the expense, you cannot really own a boat. This is a generally safe boat to purchase and fix. Look for those with Chrysler or Crusader gas engines. Some 1960's boats have Buicks.
Truth is, the most likely reason for a boat to sink is the through hulls, cooling, bellows failure, and the hoses. Maintain them, replace plastic with Marelon (Forespar), and check them often. Plastic through hulls are a hazard. Close the ones you don't need. Replace or repair your bilge pumps every 2 years, as a Rule, most of them are of poor quality. Pull the boat out at least every three years, as four years in the water is too long a time for my comfort. Mine comes out every winter, as my marina has no one to watch it over the winter here. Visit the boat. Boats in the water need power for the bilge (a reliable self bailing boat is a myth).
Decide how much of a project boat you are prepared for and again, always get a survey. Divide the time you expect to work on a boat by two. Multiply the amount of work it'll take by 4. Buy a boat for the way you will be boating. Make sure you have a place for any boat and a place that will haul it out for maintenance. A boat's beam may be wider than your marina has a slip for. Hint: Most wives insist on a head.
Aluminum and Metals
Marinette Negatives -
- The moronic use of the damn goo that was used in the bilge. Bilges should be "painted" grey or white with epoxy or zinc chromate paint to see oil leaks and to protect the hull. If the previous owner cleaned this out, he's saved you 2 days of ugly work. With aluminum, you must keep the bilge clean of dropped metal parts. (Water is fine).
- A seahorse in tutu logo. No Kidding.
- You have to keep the wiring and corrosion system in shape. Keep power from going into the hull - bilge, keep the galvanic isolator in shape, and pay attention to the CAPAC meter. Dropped a penny or bolt into the bilge - go find it.
Trivial Negatives: Shallow draft - It's a river and lake boat, that needs modification for deep water (windows and cockpit mostly). Generally undervalued - The long life of Marinettes make them lower in resale value due to the comparison with similarly aged FRP boats. Their quality is not well known (cheap to buy and own). Lots of these for sale. Some owners won't understand about what to put against aluminum (Stainless screws into the hull are a no-no), so you may have to fix some one else's fix. Antifouling paint is more expensive. You have to put anodes on the hull. Sedans and expresses - the plywood - Nautolex cockpit deck was OK for it's time, but damn, it could be better. Noise - Aluminum is noisier with wave slap and engines. You may have to insulate some of it. Smaller Marinettes are light enough to bob. The original stainless railing attachment is just a corrosion pain. You have to pull these off and rebed them on most Marinettes with 3M 4200 and proper gaskets. Painting requires the right self-etching primer.
Some parts of the appointment of a Marinette (the exterior plywood-Nautolex deck, carpet and some fiberboard interior panels) are of less quality than I'd like. These are generally upgraded by smart owners. When possible - use teak or solid panels (King Starboard), or aluminum plate panels to replace parts and see our pages on deck replacement alternatives (plasteak, aluminum plating, et al). Think white or plate aluminum outside as nice looking brown or grey colors are burn your foot "hot" underfoot. The deck railing fittings should have been welded aluminum.
Myths and half truths about Aluminum : There are myths about seawater corrosion which is not a problem with this boat, if basic common sense rules are used. You'll replace steel parts, the stainless steel rudders and the engines, but not likely the hull. (BTW Marinette Marine did not make the Marinettes, Aluminum Cruisers did.) You will have heard that aluminum fuel tanks made of Al (especially 60XX or 5052 series) do fail if improperly installed, but it's not the same issue. In FRP boats with Al tanks. the foamed in aluminum tanks form a battery effect as the foam breaks down over time, acidifies and entraps moisture. This is not the case of this boat. Al tanks should be 5083 or 5086, not 5052.
Myth : DC current (electrolysis) and Hulls
In all cases, fiberglass, steel, plastic or aluminum, a bilge with DC power is in trouble. Yes, Aluminum is more susceptible, but bronze through hulls, out drives, rudders and shafts are also susceptible with the same problem. It takes a couple of days to weeks to destroy a through hull. It does not matter what type of boat it is, ensure live power does not get into the bilge. Pull any recreational boat periodically to check anodes, or install an impressed current system. Isolated bronze through hulls are not a problem, (but don't connect them together or to the hull). If the bronze is pinkish tinged, replace the fitting.
Try Googling for Marinette Aluminum Hull failure and then google fiberglass FRP hull failure. A bit anecdotal evidence, but insightful. All Marinettes are generally protected by Zinc Chromate or Epoxy-based hull paint. Most Owners use 3M brand 4200 as a bedding compound.
Forum Poll : What metal failed last on your Marinette boat? Steel - Rust/crack 9 votes (45%) Stainless Steel 6 votes (30%) Aluminum 3 votes (15%) Bronze 1 votes (5%) Brass 1 votes (5%)
By the way: For me, stainless failed at the rudder post. (Oxygen starvation corroded it). I am also going to have to replace steering cables (Steel). Chances are the bronze through hulls need to be checked or replaced.
We asked - 2 of the members with aluminum used a $10-20 fix to patch a spot.
There are numerous forums and most parts are available. There is company support and the Chrysler engines in most of these can get all parts over the internet. Chrysler rebuilds are cheap to repower and they are reliable engines (318, 360 and big block). New Chrysler blocks can be obtained. The Crusaders also are great engines, and some later Marinettes have these.