We caught up with Mark Chapman, Managing Director of Chapman Marine Group, newly appointed Australian dealer for Scout Boats, to find out more about the US-built luxury powerboat brand that combines high-end production quality and design with impressive performance.
For readers who aren’t familiar with Scout, can you give us a snapshot of the brand and where these vessels sit within the market?
Scout Boats is a luxury high-end powerboat brand for people who appreciate quality and performance. They sit between a luxury yacht and a comprehensive fishing machine with all the creature comforts. After visiting the Scout factory in South Carolina USA and witnessing how these boats are produced, I am convinced that they are one of the highest quality production boat I have ever come across.
Can you share some brand background and company history?
Scout had humble beginnings as a family business, which it still is today. Steve Potts the founder, had one vision in his mind, and that was to produce the best constructed and engineered centre console boats in the world, and over the last 35 years it has grown to be a global leader in this segment.
Chapman Marine Group was recently appointed as an Australian dealership for Scout Boats. How did the relationship come about?
Over the years I always noticed Scout as a leader in the Centre Console market and then back in 2021 I assisted a client of ours to import a 355LXF into Australia. As a Mercury dealer we carried out the full PDI on the boat and as soon as I got onboard, I was super impressed. It was just next level!
We had some initial discussion with Scout in the USA about taking on the brand and at the time there was an existing dealer in Sydney which to Scouts Boats’ credit, they remained loyal to. However, in mid-2023, the Sydney dealer contacted me asking if I would like to take over the dealership, so I purchased their existing stock and launched the brand at the Sydney International Boat Show.
The Scout range of products is very diverse from 17ft to 67ft. We had a gap in our brand portfolio for vessels over 35ft, therefore with the Scout range we can now offer up to 67ft, in addition as they are all outboard powered, it works hand-in-hand with our certified Mercury dealership. Our team of Mercury technicians have all the expertise to rig and service multiple engine applications. We are excited about the imminent launch of the 67 LXF which will be powered by five V12 600hp Mercury outboards.
Can you talk us through your customer service offering at Chapman Marine Group. How do the Scout values fit in with your philosophy at Chapman Marine Group?
Since I founded Chapman Marine Group in the 80s, the company was always about our service; as offering a high level service leads into sales. I have proven that over the years with many accolades and awards from various manufacturers across the globe. As a marine engineer myself, I am an attention-to-detail person and I like to make sure every process has been carried out to the best of our abilities with the customer experience foremost in our minds when delivering or servicing a boat. To me, Steve Potts and his team have the same ethos as what we aspire to. Scout cares very much about the end result of the product they produce and the customer satisfaction. To me, that aligns with the Chapman Brand and is a perfect fit.
What makes Scout stand out in this competitive market?
Scout is a luxury brand, it’s not just a fishing boat, or just a go fast boat, it’s a staple piece of luxury packed into a versatile craft. It suits all facets of what a family enjoys whether it be just cruising, water sports, entertaining or running out 100km off the coast to catch tuna. The luxury yacht market is where Scout sits in the Australian market, an ideal tender for your superyacht, or a beautiful masterpiece to have moored at your waterfront home and take family and friends cruising in style.
Is there such a thing as a typical Scout owner? What type of buyers do Scout Boats appeal to?
Most Scout buyers already know or have heard of Scout Boats. They are usually people that have owned boats before, perhaps a large motor yacht or game fisher, and realise they don’t need all the cabins, that they don’t use or require such a large boat anymore. The range offers something for everyone, whether it’s inshore or offshore. From our Scout Bay Boats which are ideal for smaller waterways to our offshore luxury cruisers, Scout Boats caters to diverse preferences. Many boat brands claim to combine quality and functionality, but when our customers step onboard our boats, they can truly experience it first-hand, seeing, touching, and feeling it as they move about.
We hear you visited the Scout Boats headquarters in South Carolina in the US. What was that experience like?
Yes, I did, and it was well worth the trip to see the boats in build. One selling point of Scout Boats is that they put at least 70 per cent more man hours into the production of the boats, compared to what their key competitors do in the build process. All hulls are fully hand-laid, all moulding and hatched are gel coated and polished on the edges, they build their own wiring harnesses and stainless steel, and the gelcoat finish is wet rubbed and machine polished to the highest quality gelcoat finish I have seen. The employees are all very passionate about what they produce.
Top features across the entire Scout range?
- The extent of the build quality.
- All Scout Boats are 100 per cent hand-laid.
- All Scout Boats are certified to National Marine Manufacturers standards (USA), including the US Coast Guard.
- 10-year limited transferable hull warranty and 3-year stem-to-stern limited warranty.
- All bilge areas are finished and polished for easy maintenance and cleaning.
Give us a brief overview of the vessel and where it sits within the Scout range?
The Scout 357LXF is a remarkable vessel that finds its place within the Scout range as a luxurious mid-range offering. While it may occupy a mid-range position in terms of the model line up, it stands out as a true luxury model, elevating the boating experience to new heights.
In the Australian market, the Scout 357LXF has garnered significant attention and interest from discerning boat owners who place a premium on top-tier build quality and the inclusion of meticulously designed luxury features. This boat isn’t just about getting from point A to point B; it’s a testament to Scout’s commitment to delivering a vessel that combines exceptional craftsmanship with thoughtful attention to detail.
Boasting an array of features that enhance both comfort and functionality, the Scout 357LXF offers an unmatched experience on the water. It’s not just a boat; it’s a statement of luxury and performance that appeals to those who demand the best of both worlds.
Whether you’re looking for a vessel that can handle serious offshore adventures or provide a luxurious retreat for family outings, the Scout 357LXF sits at the intersection of quality and luxury, making it a standout choice in the Scout line up.
Talk us through the top features of this boat.
Certainly! Here are the top three selling points of the Scout Boats 357LXF:
- Exceptional build quality: Scout boats are renowned for their outstanding build quality, ensuring durability and longevity.
- Well thought out design: The layout of the 357LXF reflects careful consideration of how boat owners will interact with the vessel and the various lifestyles they can pursue, making it highly adaptable to different needs.
- Versatile inshore and offshore
performance: This boat offers an uncompromised ability to enjoy both inshore and offshore boating experiences, providing versatility for various types of adventures. Additionally, the interior of the 357LXF is equipped with all the amenities required for a luxurious overnight stay, including a bed, TV, speakers, air conditioning, a sink, ample storage, switch panels, and engine control dashboards.
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