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Renken boats ?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Can any help me with anything at all about the reputation or history of Renken boats ?

I know that the company went out of business some years ago but I can't find out anything else and I have never heard of them before.

I am looking into possibly getting a second hand (actually about 4th hand) boat which is an '83 18' Renken Bow Rider with a 115 hp Suzuki engine. (pretty cheap)

I would really appreciate it if anyone could tell me anything at all about these boats, the company or any other general advice.

Thanks for your help !
post #2 of 10
Renkens were all over Long Island (and, I suspect, a lot of other places) during the mid-80s, essentially filling the niche that Bayliner fills today.

I knew a few fishermen who owned them. They were strictly inshore anglers with limited cash. They were more or less satisfied with the boats, but didn't ask too much of them.

Certainly, they cut corners on production to keep the price down. I never heard of one failing in a crisis situation, but that may be because the folks who owned them were smooth-water sailors who rarely left the bay--and often spent most of their time at anchor, flying the cocktail flag (I suspect that it's significant that one of their more popular models was a 17-footer with a cabin and a bar--supposedly the smallest boat made with such a feature).

By this time, if I was thinking of buying one, I'd check really carefully for delamination, a soggy transom, loose stringers, etc. The boats had a fair amount of fiberglass-encased plywood in their construction, and that stuff tends to get soggy over the years.

For all the Renkens that were in my area 15 years ago, I'm not seeing all that many survivors on the water today. That's not a good sign.

I'd also take a look at that Suzuki. If it's an older model, it may have a pretty puny alternator. You probably aren't running too many electronics on an 18-footer, but it is a consideration. Also, how easy is it to get parts?

[This message has been edited by Diogenes (edited 07-06-2001).]
post #3 of 10
I agree with Dio that they are definitely on the lower end of the quality construction scale but I have to say I've had decent luck with mine. I've got a 1977 24' cuddy cabin w/a 302 Ford/Mercruiser drive. I bought the boat really cheap in '92 and gutted the whole thing. I put a new engine in '94 and used it pretty hard for a few years. Furthest offshore it's gone is 44 miles southeast of Manasquan. I've beaten it up pretty good coming home from the Mud Hole a bunch of times and it hasn't sunk yet. It sat in my yard for a couple years while I was running charters on another boat but I put it back in the water last year & it's running great. I don't run it offshore anymore and fish primarily Raritan Bay but I'd say it looks pretty good for a 24 year old boat. The hull is in great condition with no blisters, cracks etc. Most people think it's a late 80's boat. It's not the most solid sounding hull you'll ride on but for what I paid for it and what's done for me, I'd have to say it was worth it.
post #4 of 10
Not much new I can add but I can certainly confirm what's been said above. I recommend looking elsewhere.
post #5 of 10
Walt, I believe Renken now makes SeaFox boats ( I bought a 23' center console last year brand new. I agree with the above in the quality. It is made much cheaper than the average boat. All screws, no through bolts. However, I have run 50+ miles offshore in 3-4 footers and have no complaints. I was just in the Shark Tourney last week and headed out to the Glory Hole in 15 knot winds. The newer boats like mine are 100% fiberglass so they are pretty noisy. I spent 4 years in the Coast Guard from 89-93 and I can say that whenever we were responding to a "sinking boat" we put bets that it was a Bayliner with an I/O, not a Renken. GoodLuck GameFace(Raritan Bay)
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your responses and advice, it is greatly appreciated and makes my decision much easier.
Thanks again.
post #7 of 10

I had a 1994 Renken CC for three problems.
post #8 of 10

I have a 1994 now, 20 ft center console. Ok boat, cheap to run. good amount of room to walk around and fish. It does good for the price.

post #9 of 10
i dont know much about renkens however i can tell you that older suzuki parts are hard to come by. i had a 1993 115 and blew the powerhead. it was very hard to find a rebuilt and it was gonna be expensive to ship. wound up getting an older evinrude instead.
post #10 of 10
^^^11 yr old thread?
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