While I knew Egret had changed from inside clip closure to a gasket and latch, I expected the design to be expertly done. Unfortunately after using the boat for a while some serious flaws in the hatch design became apparent. There was always water in the bottom of the compartments and any gear left in the compartments was wet and corroding. I put a camera inside the hatch to video what was going on when the boat was washed.
Inside Egret hatch
Water was freely flowing through the latch and into the compartment. I spoke with the latch manufacturer, Southco, and they confirmed that a slam latch is not waterproof and in a horizontal installation the latch is not even weatherproof.
To add even more leaks the gutter is cut out at the latch location to clear the latch on the Egret and there is no gasket on the gutter at that location. As is standard Egret practice, no caulk or bedding compound is used so water will also leak around the hardware and into the compartment. Clearly a redesign of the hatch and the latch mechanism is required in order to have dry storage on this boat.
While the wet compartments are very disappointing, there is a even bigger issue. The gas tank on the Egret is located under one of those leaky slam latches. There has been a steady stream of fresh and salt water over the gas tank and into the foam surrounding the tank. I do not expect the gas tank to last very long in the new Egret, yet the gas tank in my old Egret is still fine.
I had a Fusion stereo installed on my Egret by the factory. I trusted that they would get everything correct. The wire remote sits on the console at an angle of about 20 degrees. After two and a half years the remote filled up with water and would not work anymore. I sent the remote in to Fusion for the three year warranty. They sent me a replacement at no charge so I think their customer service is great. With the new remote came installation instructions that clearly called for the remote to be at 45 degrees or more. The remote filled with water because Egret did not install it properly. I am working on a small box addition to the console so the remote can be mounted close to vertical as required by the installation instructions. As an ongoing theme, Egret will utilize components outside of the intended use and not follow the manufacturer’s directions.
My Egret has a 36V Minn Kota Ipilot trolling motor. It was been a phenomenal piece of equipment. It has never failed me and has enduring several thousand hours of use at this point. The only problem with the motor was that the Egret factory used screws to secure the trolling motor to the deck. The first time I lightly hit bottom with the trolling motor, there was the terrible crunching sound of fiberglass being ripped up. On my previous Egret I had seen two Minn Kota “unbreakable” trolling motor shafts broken and never any issue with the mount. I was expecting a cracked motor shaft again but when I got back to shore and could inspect in daylight, it was obvious the screws had just pulled out. As typical for Egret there was no sealant applied to the screws, it was just bare metal in fiberglass. I went back and switched out the screws for bolts as should have been done originally.
I purchased a used 2000 Egret in November 2004 and loved the boat. It required some regular updates to hardware etc but everything was mounted in either good to excellent methods. Only two issues seemed to be less than good: saltwater would come into the gas tank from the vented fuel fill mounted flush to the deck and against Perko manufacturer directions for mounting, and the poling platform top liberated itself from the screws and adhesive that was used to hold it on.
After Egret moved from MIA to NC in 2007 I was interested in buying a new boat but decided to wait a while. In 2010 my 175 EFI blew up with bad bearings from the crank shaft. I had heard nothing but good reports of the build process, the customer service and the quality of the boats so I saved up a lot of money and initiated purchase of a new 2012 Egret 189 in March 2012. The build process seemed very disorganized but I trusted that it was just
A few minor issues during the build were the pushpole holders were mounted against instructions and the rod holder fly line guard design was not reviewed with me as confirmed in writing before they were built. Overall though, I knew the process couldn’t be perfect and I would have to accept a few items which I did without resentment.