About NITRO Boats
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Absolute worst Quality control, if they even have anyone inspecting these boats before they leave the factory... Numerous issues of ineptness, bolts with nuts just threaded on and then left as if they forgot to finish the job of tightening. Missing bolts all together. Issues with overall quality, cross threaded sensors in outboard engine block. Service departments ignore customers calls when it relates to warranty items. Corporate customer service representatives are horrible, rarely communicate even to their own dealerships/service departments. Takes weeks just to get responses and answers to get anyone even started to be completed. Johnny Morris should be ashamed of himself. Out of touch with the customer, quality, and communications.
Bought a 2019 Nitro z21 elite in march of 2019 from Pro Choice Marine and the boat is the biggest piece of **. Dealership is awesome but I've had the boat in the shop 7x and 4x for the same electrical issue. The 4 bank charger went bad, front trim switch went bad, Lowrance 16 carbon would turn off when the engine started due to some issue and 4x the boat has been in the shop for the cranking batteries going dead after 3 hours.. After the first 2 times it happened I bought a huge 950 cc AGM battery thinking maybe there's too much stuff on one battery.
Since that service visit it's been in the shop 2 more times because the dead died once on the Illinois river and again today at Heidecke Lake. I call customer service for tracker and they tell me bring it into the dealership for an evaluation. The Bolingbrook Bass Pro Shop is 30 mins from my house and I have spent lots of $$ driving it there and back to drop it off 7 times. The guys at the Bolingbrook Bass Pro Shop service department are awesome but Nitros are pieces of **.. Should have bought a ranger.
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Bought boat on sat morning. Brought home. Plugged in battery, caught fire. This could have burned our place down because of battery so close to gas tank. Brought back to dealer. Next week had to bring back to dealer for same thing. Very disappointed. Can't use yet and haven't even paid a payment yet. Wouldn't advise using that dealer. Nitro needs to build better boats! We just want our boat back fixed and don't want to have to worry about it doing this again.
I own a 2012 Nitro Z9, which I purchased new in 2012. Since purchasing the boat, it has been serviced solely through Tracker Boat Service [TBS] in Bolingbrook, IL. I have never had a problem with service from this department. I took the boat to TBS on 10/15/15 to address a problem of water not draining from the amidships bilge area directly in front of the gas tank and extending forward to the bow. I asked that after the problem was identified and the matter was resolved, that I be contacted to discuss any other previous problems I'd had with the boat that were associated with water retention, moisture and humidity in the boat. Specifically, I was concerned about the bilge area failing to drain when the boat was on-trailer and tilted to it maximum angle by the factory-installed trailer jack.
I repositioned the boat and again raised it to its maximum tilt. No additional water ran out the stern plug hole. I placed the jack stand on a cinder block, raised the bow and increasing the height by approximately ten inches and no more water ran out.
Since there is a drain pipe under the gas tank, I assumed this would lead to the amidships bilge and bow. However, the pipe is not visible from the bow storage compartment or from the bow step that covers the small garbage can. I ran a fish-tape up the pipe from the stern end of the pipe and met with solid resistance. It did not feel like a clog from debris or bait. I assumed it may be the gas tank so I decided to take it to TBS. The boat was left tilted overnight and driven to TBS the following day with water still present in the bilge. I explained the problem to the service technician and noted the black mold that was growing in various parts of the boat. I was told that it would likely be at least two weeks before this could be examined, repaired and the boat prepped for winterizing and shrink-wrapping.
After three weeks, I called TBS. They were still baffled as to why water was trapped in the bilge area. I was told they had never seen this problem before. I was informed that they had contacted the Warranty Department and that Tracker Engineering was also aware of the issue. Finally, that they were waiting to hear back from these departments on how to diagnose and fix this matter.
Another week went by and I again called TBS and spoke to Adam. He informed me he had not received any feedback from Warranty or Engineering as to a cause or repair, but that he was told that the problem as they explained it was "impossible". I asked what was considered impossible and was informed by Adam that they [TBS] believed the blockage was the gas tank itself, but that Engineering disagreed. A few more days went by with no word. I called TBS again and was directed by Bryce to speak with Chuck [last name not known] in the Warranty Department, phone number (417) 873-4555. I immediately called Chuck, left a message, and he promptly called me back.Our conversation did not yield any answers or plan about what to do for the boat. Chuck stated that Engineering was looking into the problem and that he was waiting for more information. I told him I was concerned about how long the boat had been sitting at the TBS and that this did not seem to be a problem that would take this long to identify. I was concerned about the lack of insight into this problem and the obvious inability to identify the cause and apply a fix.
I also expressed my belief that if the boat could not drain under normal circumstances and with reasonable effort on my part; that this was directly related to, and was the precipitating factor in previous problems of corrosion in electrical parts and wiring. Also, that the water retention was the primary causal factor in the recurrent surface mold on carpeting, structural components and the boat cover.
These problems were encountered each spring after the boat was stored for the winter and they were encountered to a lesser degree during the summer season when the boat was used, dried out, and recovered for periods of time. I also mentioned that I had brought this matter to the attention of the technicians at TBS when it was in there for electrical problems which could not be explained being such a new boat. I was told each time by various persons in the TBS that the corrosion and related electrical problems were common when being exposed to excessive moisture for a long period of time.
However, despite my efforts to render the boat completely dry each fall, each spring there were moisture and corrosion issues. At no time during any service visit was it suggested that there may be another problem causing the corrosion issues. I am sure no one suspected that the boat was retaining water, and I was instructed that these were moisture-related and corrosion problems. In continuation, after speaking with Chuck the first time I let a few more days pass. On 11/20/15 I again called TBS and found that they were still waiting for either Engineering or Chuck to call. I admit that I was frustrated and losing faith, and that I was shocked that no one could find the problem.
I called Chuck from the Warranty Department the same day and was informed that he was still waiting for Engineering to get back to him. I expressed my concern about how long the boat had been at TBS, and shared that my concern was now irritation with the process but that I would wait a bit longer for an answer. However, after hanging up with Chuck, I decided to take a trip to the TBS to examine the boat. I called the same morning, 11/20/15, to inform the technicians that I would be there on 11/21/15 in the morning to see the boat. I do not remember who I talked to but was informed that the boat had been in a service bay all day drying out in preparation for shrink-wrapping, and would be available for my examination.
I went to TBS the next day at noon. My wife was present with me and she did view/examine the boat with me. Adam and one other technician [name not known] were present. I examined the stern bilge area and drain pipe. I also attempted to look at the pipe through the opening in the amidships single step that leads up to the bow deck. The step houses a small garbage can that fits inside an oval hole that provides marginal visible access to the bilge area below. This step also houses the ice chest that is not removable from the boat.
The garbage can hole is approximately 6 inches wide by 8-10 inches long. The garbage can itself is approximately one gallon in size. The hole that the garbage can fits into is not large enough to put one’s head into to view the entirety of the amidships bilge area. It does offer an unobstructed view of the bilge area directly under it. However, the view is cut short at the bottom of the step when looking toward the stern. I noticed that the bilge under the garbage can had approximately 2-3 inches of standing water in it. The drain-pipe under the gas tank is situated in the bilge area directly over the keel. If it were three or four feet longer it would be visible from the garbage can hole. The pipe is not visible, and, as I was to find out shortly thereafter, ends within an inch or so after exiting from under the front portion of the gas tank.
The distance from the front of the gas tank to the garbage can opening is approximately four feet depending on how it is measured making it impossible to see the bilge area in front of the gas tank. I again asked the technicians if there was a theory about the cause of the standing water in the amidships bilge area. I was told that there had been no progress and that they (the service department) were awaiting instructions from Engineering. At this time, the boat had been at TBS over a month. I observed and photographed the overall condition of the boat, the decks, all carpeting, all storage bunks and cabinets, instrumentation, above and below decks, hull and bilge areas.
All these areas contained either standing water or were wet with water and/or condensation. The stern's inside hull and bilge area were covered with condensation yet there was no standing water evident in the stern bilge area. The batteries, battery charger, inside walls of the stern hull, and other surfaces and components had dripping condensation on them – the ongoing problem with this boat. I attributed all of this to the delay in finding the issue with water drainage. Frankly, seeing the boat in that condition when water was an issue and corrosion was a constant problem was a bit disappointing. I admit I did not ask why so much water was standing in the boat, but I did not want to get sidetracked with a different issue.
I had decided that I would get pictures of the inside structure and design of the amidships hull and bilge area. I accomplished this simply by holding my cell phone in one hand, reaching down through the garbage can receptacle and taking pictures as I rotated the phone. In this manner, pictures taken would capture the condition of bilge area. I took several pictures with my own cell phone. I also took pictures of the stern bilge area and the inside of bow storage and rod locker bins.
The pictures I took on 11/21/15 illustrate several issues and raise additional concerns as listed below: The entire inside hull and bilge area was wet with water and/or covered in condensation calling into question that the boat had been inside drying since the previous day. In various places inside the stern and amidships hull and bilge, there was black mold or some other dark organic growth. This was most evident under the front deck and on the hull sides toward the bow of the boat. Black mold is on the underside of the center passenger seat. The back of the seat is not visible as it is attached to the rear deck. Mold is present in the stern hull and bilge areas, and mold is evident in the amidships area inside the hull and bilge, under the bow deck.
There is a dark stain line of discoloration approximately halfway up the inside of the hull in the amidships area. The white hull material is discolored below the line and has little evidence of the aforementioned black mold. This is likely due to the fact that standing water disallowed its growth in this area. However, in the same amidships area, black mold is apparent and abundant above this line of discoloration, but is not present in the stern hull and bilge area because these areas were not subject to continuous standing water – they did drain out completely. The aforementioned discoloration and separating dark line are not as evident in the stern bilge, but mold is prevalent throughout the stern hull area, and it covers all surfaces to some degree or another.
The bow deck, forward storage and side rod compartments are covered in carpet inside and out. Despite using Damp-Rid tubs and bags each fall before closing the boat; these areas have had a fine, greenish-white mildew or mold on them each spring when the boat is uncovered. The mold exudes a fetid, stagnant odor until it is scrubbed clean. It is not present now as it is the end of the boating season. The most significant pictures taken clearly show a plug in the drain pipe. One of these pictures was sent to the service technician, Adam's cell phone. This picture clearly indicates that the drain tube under the gas tank, which exits toward the bow, is/was plugged.
The picture(s) show a round, light-blue appearing plug, containing a ring of metal (?) partially embedded in it and hanging down to the bilge floor. The plug is completely within the drainpipe except for the ring of metal. It is clearly not organic matter, refuse, paper, or fishing bait. After leaving TBS, I assumed that there would be some action taken to remedy the problem. I received a phone call on Monday, 11/23/15, at 8:30 a.m. Technician Bryce at TBS informed me that he had used a rod or line of some type to "knock" the plug out of the drain hole, and that upon doing so, the water that had been trapped under the amidships deck area spilled from the boat. I still wonder how much water was actually trapped up in that area over the past two years.Bryce stated that the TBS was prepared to dry out the boat and shrink-wrap it. I thanked him for the call and specifically requested that the "dislodged plug" be saved for examination. However, I instructed him that I did not want them to perform the shrink-wrap on the boat given the circumstances. I also informed Bryce that I would be calling Chuck in the Warranty department. He said he would await a call from either of us before doing anything further to the boat.
I immediately called Chuck in Warranty. It was 11/23/15 and prior to 9 a.m. Chuck stated that he had not yet talked to the TBS. I informed him of the events, activities, and discoveries I made in visiting TBS on the previous Saturday. I was clear that I had photographed the majority of the boat, specifically the inside hull and bilge areas under both decks as well as any other obvious areas of concern to me.
I told Chuck that I had discovered the cause of the water drainage problem and that this allowed the technicians at TBS to remedy the captured water problem. I also stated that I was not content with the boat simply being dried out and shrink-wrapped, and I was clear that this decision was not made out of a lack of confidence in the Bolingbrook, TBS technicians, but rather out of my concern for the condition of the boat. I stated my concerns about the long-standing water and the resultant mold and black organic growth inside the entirety of the hull, bilge and compartments. I added my concerns about mold under the center passenger seat and possibly being not only under the other seats, but also in other areas of the boat not easily viewed or totally hidden given the construction of the craft.
I informed Chuck that I was seriously concerned because water had been standing in the boat for at least three years, and that because of this situation there may be other areas and parts of the boat that have been compromised as a direct result of this condition despite this being a predominantly fiberglass boat. At the time, I did not mention my own research into previous complaints made by other owners, indicating hull cracking and splitting with various boats, but I do have concerns about hull-degradation due to the entombed water. I also expressed my frustration that I had to go to TBS to diagnose the problem for them.
What I did not say to Chuck on the phone at the time was that I, as well as my wife, got the distinct impression, that the problem had already been identified, yet not repaired. I cannot prove that this is the case. However, I would be surprised if I were the first person to consider putting a phone down in a hole to take pictures of objects that cannot be viewed directly. At the end of our brief conversation, I clarified that I had multiple concerns, was of the belief that the boat was compromised and damaged due to standing water. I added that this was the direct result of error, oversight and/or negligence in production of the craft, and that it required replacement with a new craft. Specifically, I stated to Chuck that I did not want the boat back. I believe our brief conversation ended amicably albeit without resolution. I know that I was clear that I would await a response from him regarding my concerns and expectations.
In summary, my concerns begin with the documented service record of this boat and the expenses incurred to maintain it despite having been under warranty for two years. I have spent a considerable amount of my personal time maintaining, cleaning, washing and sanitizing the craft while being hampered by an unknown problem and a hazardous condition. I have employed other services to address and repair moisture-related damage to the boat's cover; this started within one year of owning it despite the fact that I do not trailer the craft with the cover on it except for short, non-highway speed travels. I have had interruption of boating activities and vacation time because of other electrical problems. I have had to endure the intangible and immeasurable matters of my time, frustration, aggravation, and dissatisfaction with the craft's seemingly unexplainable ailments.
I am unwilling to take back into my possession a craft that, having had these difficulties, may continue to have the same or similar problems and may yield even more problems and challenges in the future without any warranty and assurance. On this point I offer the service records of the boat since 2012, which illustrate several instances of electrical problems and part failure due to moisture and corrosion damage. I opine that these are unusual for a boat that at the time was less than three years old and in one instance had only been in use for a few months.
The following list of documented problems is proof of the boat's history of moisture and corrosion-related problems. It has had the three-bank battery charger replaced and the compartment lights repaired in 10/2012. There were problems with the connections and communication between the Lowrance Sonars and the Side Scan computer in 4/2015. Moisture and corrosion in the PME control box required replacement in 4/2015. Moreover, two repairs of the boat's trailer-able cover due to the deterioration and unraveling of factory stitching in 2013 and 2015.
Since the conversation with Chuck on 11/23/15, I received one call from Adam at TBS. He stated that he was authorized to replace the center seat cushion of the boat, clean the boat, and shrink-wrap the craft. I informed him that I did not wish this service to be performed at this time because I had still not resolved the matter entirely with the Warranty Department. He said he understood and that he would re-cover the boat and return it to the storage yard until he had been instructed otherwise. A few days later I contacted TBS to request a copy of all service invoices on this craft. Adam handled this request in a reasonable amount of time. However, it is now 12/9/2015 and I have not received any response from the Warranty department or any other person representing Tracker boats – thus this letter.
I trust I have clarified my concerns, and adequately explained the situation with this craft and my reasons for not wanting it back in my possession. I believe that there is adequate research and literature on the matters of mold and mildew contamination that support caution in this matter. Even major industry and health leaders including OSHA, the EPA and the CDC have taken a firmer and more cautionary stance on previously-relied-upon methods in eradicating mold and mildew-related problems. I admit that at this time I have researched very little on the effects of standing water in the bilge area of fiberglass boats. However, I have read enough to believe that my concerns are warranted given the size of this boat, its horsepower ratings, and performance capabilities. I realize that boats are designed to keep out water and even to hold water at times.
However, I also realize after having owned boats all of my life that water must be removed as soon as possible – everyday if possible. After all, watercraft are not bathtubs, and they do contain materials used in construction that are not compatible with continuous water contact. And, as I have stated before, this boat has cost me time, money, and aggravation for a problem not of my making. I assume it is now costing Tracker time and money. I would prefer to resolve this as expeditiously as possible and avoid spending any additional time and money in disagreement, or litigation. I await a response from whoever has authorization to address this temporary lack of communication.
In closing, I wish to state that prior to taking the boat to the Tracker Boat Service department on 10/15/15, that I had been completely satisfied with that shop's work and response to my service needs. Aside from the problems encountered and the required repairs, I have been quite satisfied and even impressed with the quality of the craft and its performance. It has made my time on the water all that more enjoyable. It has even made time on land enjoyable - answering questions and receiving compliments about the boat, and having encouraged others to consider a Tracker or Nitro if they are in the market. It is no wonder that Tracker continues to hold a BBB rating of A+.
I hope this current matter resolves itself quickly as in the past. I have been diligent in maintaining the craft despite its internal handicap. I would prefer to tell others that Tracker stands behind their promise of quality and service, rather than the opposite. I would buy another Tracker boat when the time comes. However, I can only do that if I am assured that customer satisfaction and standing behind the product it is still a top priority for Tracker. As of 1/5/16, no response from corporate.
My 2011 Nitro Z-7 is coming apart from the inside. The stringers have cracked and detached from the hull. Nitro says they will do nothing and my insurance won't cover cause a surveyor reported it was due to poor layup process during manufacturing. Sandy from corporate said, "We will do nothing."
I have a 2012 nitro z7 that had its fiberglass broken from the front roller. Brought it to dealer, they said they had never seen it happen before. I went over to another nitro z7 in the parking lot, it had the same crack. I then went inside and looked at the one in the showroom. It already had the marks from the roller. I went to bass pro and found the same marks on theirs. I called Tracker, sent them a video. They said it was my fault. It's too bad. I like the boat, it’s the trailer that isn't designed correctly. They wouldn't even try to work with me. I would not recommend this boat.
Purchased a new 2006 Tracker Grizzly 1654 all welded from Bass Pro. After 1 year of normal/light usage the welded ribs were popping up from the welds breaking. When you look closely at the welds you can easily see why the welds break so easily. Tracker Marine fixed the boat under warranty, unfortunately the spot welds used to fix deformed the aluminum and looked like garbage. Happiest day for me was when I got rid of that piece of trash. It's sad but anything Tracker Marine touches turns to garbage. Now Tracker Marine owns Ranger, Triton, and Stratos. I just hope they don't kill the quality of those brands or at least don't drag them down to a nitro quality boat.
I am looking for the port side console for my 2014 Z7 nitro boat. The factory option cost installed is $695.00. The Denver Bass Pro store wants $943.00 Plus tax uninstalled. I did not have the opportunity to order this option with the boat. I was told by the salesman if I did feel that I needed it after I used the boat a few times it would cost about $500.00 uninstalled. I have not been able to get a answer as to why the price difference. After checking with different boat parts suppliers I have no other options but to pay the inflated price. I have not been able to get to the right person at Tracker Boats to get a answer - just put on hold and transferred and put on hold again.
Well, resolved one problem and then it happened. I got a crack (major) by my throttle and when the guy came to pick up the boat, he ripped up the carpet so he could make extra money and showed me the cracks that he thought I would have inside the rod lockers. Yes both of them. I called Tracker and they denied my claim. Well I got really mad and they said the same thing to me as the last time. "Well sir I don't have to do this but to make you happy, we will extend a one-time courtesy to you and do the repair." Well let me tell you, the repair was horrible. The original crack looks horrible inside the rod lockers - both of them. Only part of the carpet was repaired and the wrong color. Dark grey vs light grey and probably not even carpet from Tracker. I tried to stay loyal but I will never own a nitro anything again. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of how I was treated that 7 months later, it still makes me mad.
Due to bad weather company response was slow but they stood behind the product and covered under warranty and I am a satisfied customer. I would buy another boat from them.
I am disappointed. I have a Nitro Z7 and had a problem this year. When loading boat I broke through the Fiberglass right at the bow under the rub rail. The glass was hollow underneath the most important part of the boat in my opinion. I know of one other boat where it is hollow in the same spot. I turned the bill into Tracker and they denied my claim because they said it was impact related. Well if the job was done right, the light impact would not be a issue but hollow is hollow and nothing to support the glass. This problem cost almost $2,000.00 and it has become my problem. Hmm, I will look a little closer before I buy another starting with tap, tap, tap on the bow looking for hollow spots. Also sharp corner rear bottom of boat by drain is easy to damage, gel must have come off a small stump but gel broke about the size of a half dollar.
NITRO Boats author review by ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Nitro is one of Tracker Marine Group’s brands. They offer fishing boats, sport boats and multi-species boats to cater to a wide demographic of boating enthusiasts. Find NITRO boats online and at your local Bass Pro Shop.
Boat specials: Check NITRO’s “boat specials” section on their website to see what rebates and promotions you qualify for. You might wind up with a Bass Pro gift card in addition to a discount on the purchase of your new NITRO boat.
Financial services: Consumers who need help determining their boat budget can use Tracker Financial Group’s financing and budgeting tools online, which include a budget calculator, information on credit and credit approval and information on how a protection plan can help preserve their investment.
Loan service: Apply for financing from Tracker Marine Group to help pay for your NITRO boat. Fill out an application online and talk to a sales representative to make sure you’re buying a boat that’s within your budget.
NITRO ready-to-fish packages: Ideal for fishing enthusiasts, NITRO’s ready-to-fish packages can be added to Z-ship fishing boats and include a Mercury® outboard, a Minn Kota® trolling motor and a Lowrance® fishfinder.
Z7 sport and fishing hybrid: Don’t choose between a fishing boat and a sport boat. Instead, buy NITRO’s Z7 sport and fishing hybrid, which has features like a 16-gallon livewell, removable ski pylon, fishfinder and ample swim platform.
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