Before you label me a flip-flopper, yes, I have previously in this space advocated focusing your search on big name brands.
Rinker Boats has been in business almost 100 years and has a strong following — despite not being a household name. I seem to recall reading about a study somewhere that the Rinker name had the unfortunate distinction of being one of the least recognized names in the boat business.
Despite the lack of brand recognition, Rinker Boats has been offering a fine array of runabouts, cuddies, deckboats, and cruisers for years.
Maxum’s doors were shuttered in the recession, but there are good used models on the market. If you do a Google search on Maxum boats, you won’t find any of its new models to lust after. That Maxum is no longer in business is as much a function of bad luck as it was corporate decision-making. Caravelle built a host of models, and is recovering from the downturn, with new employees and dealers. The Inteceptors were always a favorite of mine because they straddled the line between family runabout and go-fast boat so delicately.
Ebbtide has long been turning out solid boats that stand up over time and offer good value to buyers.


The small, privately held company knows that word of mouth is critical to its success, and it believes in building boats that last longer than the loan term.
Located in Sweetwater, Tenn., Bryant Boats is a family business founded by Jim Bryant and his son Joe, who are still active in the business.
Now under management of the Nautic Global Group, Rinker has a network of dealers all over the country who will service used boats just as readily as those under warranty. One of the nice things about searching for a used Rinker is that, because the company has been in business for so long, they’re not difficult to find. In terms of older product, Caravelle had a lot to offer, from a full line of runabouts and Sea Hawk center-consoles to its performance-oriented line of Interceptor models. It was the kind of boat that allowed, say, a dad to bring home a boat with a performance flavor that wouldn’t raise red flags with mom.
Just last year, former MasterCraft CEO John Dorton purchased a majority stake in Bryant Boats, so Bryant’s exposure level seems poised to change. However, like any skilled politician (if you can think of one) will tell you — I’m not a flip-flopper.
Their names might not register with some used-boat shoppers, because these companies don’t have the marketing budget of, say, Sea Ray or Bayliner. Ebbtide simply doesn’t have a marketing budget on par with Sea Ray or Cobalt, but its boats are built to high standards.


Dorton has already grown the dealer base and added product, but the workmanship was already in place. Canvas cover in great shape, swim deck, all fiberglass in great shape, very sound hull and does not leak a pinch of water, ever.
I'm not looking to make money off this boat but I just put a lot of work in to it to make it nicer. Interior I'm great shape, aft cabin bedroom, table folds to bed, has washroom and kitchen area, electric stove. Maxum was a Brunswick company, and it turned out some good product, from runabouts to cruisers.
But I drove a bunch of them in the early 2000s, and their quality was on par with that of larger boatbuilders. Boat comes with a dual axle trailer in perfect condition.Looking at all possible trades, would prefer a bigger boat.



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