built quality boats since 1966.
At McKee Craft, we're constantly striving to make the most practical,
fishable boat on the water. Why? Because our customers make smart
decisions, demanding rugged, well appointed, easily serviced boats that
include the safety features and unsinkable construction built into every
McKee Craft. That's why McKee Craft customers keep their boat an average
of 15 years.
is the McKee Craft Difference?
& Deck Joint
Double Hull Construction
Bonding System (PBS)
Unsinkable Construction: Safety is the reason why each and every
McKee Craft boat features our unsinkable construction. McKee takes that
requirement to the next level: our boats will not only float, but also
remain upright in calm water, even if the boat is cut in half.
Canvas: We use only Sunbrella® marine fabric in Bimini and
T-tops. Seams are double-stitched using cotton-encased nylon thread, which
adds strength and locks out moisture. Bimini top frames are constructed
with 7/8” aluminum tubing and 316 stainless steel fittings for greater
strength and resistance to harsh saltwater conditions.
All factory installed T-Tops are anodized aluminum with sturdy welds and
are through bolted into the deck with stainless steel bolts and ½” 6061
aluminum backing plates. The strength of our decks does not require
backing plates, but we add them for an extra measure of security.
Steel Hardware: McKee uses all stainless steel hardware, prized
for its superior resistance to salt water corrosion. You will find
stainless steel in our bow eyes, cleats, bow rails, nuts, bolts, and
fasteners. For most applications, McKee uses 316 grade stainless, which
has a high nickel alloy content, to ensure extra long life.
Only marine grade, 32 ounce, knit-backed style vinyl treated with UV
protectants is used to ensure the upholstery is as durable as possible.
Quality Assurance: We build quality into every boat, starting with
the design process, to selection of components, construction method, to
final assembly. All McKee Craft boats come with a 10-year limited
warranty. It is just a symbol of our integrity. Our customers keep their
boats an average of 15 years, many handing their boats down from
generation to generation. That is why McKee Craft is known as the most
rugged boat in the industry.
Gelcoats: McKee Craft utilizes ISO-NPG gelcoat, which has high
flex properties that are resistant to cracking, and Titanium dioxide
pigments that are the most UV stable pigments available. These high
quality stain and blister resistant gelcoats are used in every McKee Craft
Resins: We use premium ISO/DCPD resins which creates a smoother
profile (reduces print through) while improving strength. A vinyl ester
resin barrier coat is added on the 2800 Freedom and 22 Runaway for even
greater resistance to osmosis (blistering).
The fiberglass/resin ratio is precision machine metered and completely
rolled by hand by factory trained craftsmen. Highly trained
lamination technicians hand-roll the fiberglass to create uniform,
consistent hull profiles. We hand lay a sheet of 24-ounce woven roving at
the waterline and below for high tensile strength and directional
stability. Overlapping roving at the keel 4" to 6" adds strength
and stiffness for longer life in a critical area. Penske Xtreme Board, the
composite transom, is bedded into the wet laminate on the hull. Then the
composite transom is encapsulated in fiberglass for added strength. The
cockpit deck is cored with a 3/8" syntactic core. This product is a
ceramic micro-balloon filled sprayable core. This material is synthetic
and is equal in strength to solid oak. This ensures end users that they
are able to mount seats, coolers, and accessories safely without
consulting our engineering department. Syntactic Core is heavier than most
cores, 37 pounds per cubic foot. Some competitors use a material that is 4
pounds per cubic foot. The lightweight products sound good to most buyers,
but there is a huge trade off in versatility and strength. Crush a
Styrofoam cup in your hand... that's the strength of a 4 pound core! McKee
Craft laminates and cores are designed for strength and durability long
term, not because of some short lived fad that you might read about in a
magazine. Each McKee Craft hull stays in the mold for a full
48 hours to ensure a full cure for the best dimensional stability and
cosmetic finish. Many manufacturers cycle molds twice a day or more. This
technique increases production but hampers quality, distorts, and can even
twist hulls... NOT AT MCKEE CRAFT! Every hull and deck cures in our
lamination department overnight and the following morning it goes to our
Foaming Department for additional coring and reinforcement.
& Deck Joint: Once in the Foaming Department with the hull and
liner still in the mold, and while the hull and deck are separate the foam
technicians add the keel reinforcement, Penske Xtreme Board. In key areas
they bond either PEB board (rigid ½" thick polyethylene equal to
aluminum plating holding power), or aluminum plating for factory installed
equipment like cleats, rails, consoles, and seats. Copper conduit is run
to the bow light. Copper is used because it is the only conduit that will
not crush from the heat and pressure of the foaming process. The hull and
deck are then bonded together with top-of-the-line ATC B39 bonding putty
which ensures a complete rather than spot bond of the hull deck joint.
This next step is what makes us different from every other boat
manufacturer in the world except two.
Double Hull Construction: Unlike other manufacturers, McKee
utilizes a unique method of inserting flotation foam into our boats. But,
McKee Craft lamination molds do more. They are actually pressure
vessels designed to contain the heat and intense pressure exerted during
the foam expansion process. The joined hull/deck in the molds are heated
to 140 degrees in propane fired ovens, to prepare for the pouring of the
foam liquid. McKee Craft molds are on average 5 times heavier than
industry standard molds. Our molds are completely encapsulated in a
welded steel cage. The hull/deck is held fast with ¾" cast bolts
every 16" around the mold. We use a secret formulated polyurethane
foam that expands 50 times its original volume in less than a minute. It
is carefully weighed and air mixed for a precise number of seconds and
then poured into the void between the hull/deck. Pressures rise rapidly to
as much as 150,000 pounds on an 18' boat, the chemical reaction creating
heat that peaks at 240 degrees. The combination of heat and intense
pressure chemically and mechanically bond every square inch of the hull to
every square inch of the deck. The two pieces become one integral part.
The added rigidity means that the hull is stronger and does not flex and
twist in rough water conditions. It is no wonder that McKee Craft boats
are handed down from generation to generation. Whereas this
same 18' boat may require 80 lbs of foam to meet US Coast Guard
requirements for level flotation, it may take 125 pounds to fill the hull.
But we pack it in, under pressure using 200 lbs, more than two and a half
times the requirement set by the U.S. Coast Guard. The heat generated
during this process has an added benefit. Fiberglass/resin laminates only
cure to the highest temperature that it is exposed to. Wintertime-built
boats see their first 90 degree day when a customer uses it in the summer.
A McKee Craft is post cured to 240 degrees! That's why our dimensional
stability is like no other boat on the market. All this makes the boat
Unsinkable. The foamed boat is allowed to cure overnight in the
mold. During our 48 hour in-mold construction cycle, boat brand “X”
molds have already built as many as 4 boats during the same 48 hours. And
the first one built is still post curing……..waiting on summertime to
finish the curing process.
Bonding System (PBS): Most boat hulls are built with either
fiberglass-encased wood, or foam stringer systems that are set into the
hull and laminated into place. This traditional method of strengthening
the hull works, but if the fiberglass joints weaken, or the stringer
system does not fit properly, the stringers can separate from the hull
leaving it open to failure. McKee Craft boats do not have stringers. We
utilize a totally unique construction method we call "PBS", our
Pressure Bonding System. This unique method of construction allows the
strength of the deck to combine with the strength of the hull, both
complimenting each other, resulting in the most rugged hulls in the
Composite Construction: If marine grade plywood properly encased
in fiberglass it is strong and durable. However, if wood is not properly
encased, or the fiberglass does not bond properly, or perhaps optional
equipment is added and items are drilled through the fiberglass breaking
the seal, water could infiltrate the wood and cause it to weaken. McKee
Craft boats are woodless. Not just woodless hulls, but the decks seats and
cushions as well. Transoms and keels are cored with Penske Xtreme Board.
This is a 24 lb per cubic ft. Polyurethane foam embedded with woven roving
fiberglass. Decks are cored with Syntactic foam and key areas with Penske
PEB board (rigid ½" thick polyethylene with the holding power of
aluminum plating). Seats and cushions are backed with Kinglite Starboard
and poly-board. No wood, no potential for rot.
Tank Installation: McKee fuel tanks are high quality welded
aluminum tanks with interior baffles to keep the fuel from shifting too
quickly which could affect the balance of the boat. All below deck fuel
tanks are foamed in place assuring that no shifting will ever take place.
The Coast Guard recommends that fuel tanks be checked yearly for any signs
of leaking or other damage. We make sure that fuel tanks are easily
accessible so that this critical safety inspection can be performed
without having to disassemble the deck. Water tight inspection
hatches are located over hose connections so the smart Captain can make
routine visual inspections. All tanks are primed in a corrosion resistant
Zinc Chromate primer to insure long life.
At McKee Craft, we use only ABYC approved wiring systems that exceed the
E-8 and E-9 standard set forth by the ABYC. Switches are the Carling
Contura water resistant rocker switches and wires are color coded per that
same standard for ease in locating the proper circuit when needed. All of
our butt connections are hermetically sealed adhesive lined and heat
shrunk. These are not only waterproof, but in other uses approved for
explosive atmospheres. All connectors are solid copper and tin coated for
maximum corrosion resistance. Wiring harnesses are either vinyl coated or
in vinyl loom for abrasion resistance. It is protected further by being
inside fiberglass, PVC, or copper conduit on long runs. Panels
are sealed against the console face with a high grade marine sealant.
These items are expensive, but at McKee Craft we believe safety always
All McKee Craft livewells are rounded and water is constantly changed to
keep expensive bait alive. LED lights are included to assist when night
fishing on certain models. We install livewell pumps that have tool free
cartridges so changing to a new one is a snap. The bilge pump cartridges
are the same so in a pinch, a customer can swap them to keep bait alive or
run the bilge if needed, an important feature for tournament anglers. All
livewell spray heads are volume adjustable so the fisherman can adjust
water flow based upon the type and quantity of bait being
used. Over- flows are protected by a screen that prevents bait from
stopping up the overflow and over filling the livewell. McKee Craft
livewells vary in size and shape by boat, so please read the
specifications on the specific model you are interested in for more
you purchase a McKee Craft, you don't just buy a boat, you buy a company.
We believe unsurpassed safety and reliability must be the backbone of
every boating experience. McKee Craft: A company founded on the highest
principals of product integrity, safety and customer care.