13' Whaler opinions?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Thomas Mitchell, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Posts: 828
    Western, WA
    Ratings: +176 / 2
    Still agonizing over my boat decision... Driftboat/skiff/pontoon so I can fish rivers or no-motor lakes like Pass? Or small 12-14' outboard for calm days on Puget Sound and bigger lakes?

    The budget and space limitations only support one boat and I like all sorts of fishing which makes both decisions wrong (and right) depending on the conditions of the day...

    I need room for two (my son) and I need to be able to launch it by myself as I fish solo a lot. A boat I keep coming back to are the 13' Whalers that pop up on Craigslist regularly. They don't have as much Vee as the similarly sized aluminum Smokercraft/Lund/etc but I'm partial to Whalers. My dad had a bigger CC Whaler we used in the flats of the Florida panhandle for Reds.

    Anyone have any experience with these (or similar) in the Sound?

    TIA!
  2. D3Smartie Active Member

    Posts: 1,987
    WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    I used to fish out of an 11' whaler. growing up on the north end of B.I. it was a perfect boat for a young kid to take out on the sound. I got wet plenty of the time from spray but i used to drive that boat all the way up to Possession/PnP regularly with no problems. Probably not the best idea in the world, but when the weather is nice you can go just about anywhere on the sound.
    As long as you watch the weather and arent afraid to call it a day when the wind starts to pick up you should be fine.
    Whaler makes a great boat.
  3. rockfish Member

    Posts: 730
    Manchester, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    did u used to have a mid eighties evinrude about 25-40 horse on that whaler, used to see that boat around a few years ago
  4. Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Posts: 828
    Western, WA
    Ratings: +176 / 2
    Thx D!

    The bad thing is once you start looking at one boat, you automatically start looking at the boat that's one size bigger and a lot more expensive...

    14' Dauntless... Hmmm....
  5. Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    Posts: 3,718
    Doo-vall
    Ratings: +413 / 0
    My family has had two 13-foot Whalers since I was a kid. Great boats- very stable as you likely know. Great to fish from. With the recommended max 40 hp they really fly.
  6. colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

    Posts: 874
    gig harbor, washington
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    i see a lot of whalers that size on the sound but if you got an alumin boat you could take the motor off to fish no motor lakes and row it around. you should always have oars even if you have a motor. but with a whaler the motor will probably be bolted onto the transom and a lot of aluminum that size aren't. i guess it depends on what type of fishing you want to do more of. but and aluminum boat would be better all around and they weight less, have a deeper "v" so the wind won't catch them as much, they get on a plane much faster than a whaler.
  7. Jeff Member

    Posts: 338
    Fairbanks, AK
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    I'm finding myself with the same problem. I quickly begin to rationalize bigger and more expensive as I search for my first boat for the Sound/lakes.

    -Jeff
  8. Jim Speaker Active Member

    Posts: 2,205
    Mill Creek, WA
    Ratings: +481 / 0
    Go bigger Jeff, then we can run the upper Columbia too. My little boat for places that are better for or require a small boat, and yours a bit bigger to handle hydraulics and crap :D
  9. johnnyrockfish Member

    Posts: 320
    Kitsap County, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    find a 15 whaler and you'll get a much better ride, those 13's are brutal. For all around ease of use and lower cost I'm partial to the aluminum boats. Whalers are good boats no doubt but they're heavy and need more power than a comparable aluminum hull. A 25 will barely plane the 13 whaler but will make a 15 foot aluminum fly. Easier to do modifications on an aluminum hull too, i.e. casting deck etc like bras de fer.

    Good luck,
    JR
  10. jcalderon Member

    Posts: 995
    A JUNGLE NEAR YOU
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    ANY whaler is a GREAT whaler.... Good on ya man. I wish i could afford one
  11. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Posts: 3,891
    Hiding in your closet
    Ratings: +68 / 0
    The newer Whalers are great Whalers. The old Whalers are just Whalers that beat the shit out of you in rough water.
  12. Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Posts: 828
    Western, WA
    Ratings: +176 / 2
    Thanks all, much appreciated.

    Buying your first boat is tough. You know you'll have buyer's remorse regardless as the rational decision is to not buy a boat...
  13. johnnyrockfish Member

    Posts: 320
    Kitsap County, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    iagree in particular the early 17 footers. A lot of good attributes but a good ride was not one of them. You also need to be careful for water saturation in any used one, unless perhaps you get it from the desert. The Outrage series from 89 - 95 was a great boat, incredibly versatile, bigger than the original poster was looking for however. Would be a great sound boat and they come up on CL fairly regularly.

    JR
  14. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    the first boat i had that had a motor, 10hp, i built. the second power boat was a 14' starcraft with a 25. that boat did most anything and took a real beating in step. it was a good riding boat with 2 folks aboard. i have fished some of the newer whalers in CR and i can tell you wet will be the order of the day. you can't go wrong with a modest sized aluminum boat, period! if you have a choice, look for a welded hull and prepare to hand it down to your grandkids.
  15. Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Posts: 828
    Western, WA
    Ratings: +176 / 2
    Anyone have experience with the 14' Dauntless? The guys on Continuous Wave seem to like them but that's a biased population.

    More vee than the smaller classics but heavier. I'm not hugely worried about speed or really rough weather (I don't go) but the ability to get home when the weather turns is a comfort. I also like the utility of center consoles, except for the price premium. It would fit in the garage which is a plus but it would cost 2X amount of a nice but basic aluminum boat which will be a tough barrier to get past.
  16. SummitFlyGuy New Member

    Posts: 20
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  17. johnnyrockfish Member

    Posts: 320
    Kitsap County, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I just saw that 14 Dauntless on CL. Looks like it would be an awesome ride. Don't know about the fishing configuration. Any 14 footer will be wet but that looks like the driest wet riding boat you'll find. I haven't actually spent time in one but the hull design looks excellent. Re: Garaging, you can also modify the trailer tongue of any trailer to hinge so you can have a larger boat still fit in the garage. For all around use I'm happy with my aluminum wooldridge but it doesn't have the nice ride of a glass hull. Aluminum takes a lot more abuse than glass but most models don't have enough Vee for the salt. You might look at Gregor, Valco and Crestliners for a deeper Vee that carries back to the stern. Also, as mentioned above Almar used to make a deep V hull. Most of the aluminum welded boats like North River etc don't have nearly enough V for a good ride in a chop.

    JR
  18. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,357
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,324 / 9
    I still like my first boat. 14' Livingston. 1977 model and beat up from use, but still serves me and the family well. Full casting platform over the entrire bow area. 35hp Evinrude moves it fast enough for my use. It is heavy, takes chop well and normally unless the wind is really whipping the spray stays away.
  19. Jim Speaker Active Member

    Posts: 2,205
    Mill Creek, WA
    Ratings: +481 / 0
    It's good to see your old crazy looking avatar back, Ed. Is that El Cap in the background? I think he's fishing the Merced... I'm onto your secret spot buddy. ;)
  20. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    yes, almar was bought out by northriver. the original idea was for almar to continue with custom building for a wide audience of agencies who appreciate bullet proof construction: navy, CG, port authorities, corp of engineers, LEOs and so on. they would also take on private customers, me as an example, if i choose to get in their build que, i did. reelfast is the best boat i will ever own, i say that without reservation at this point.

    unfortunately, the economy has conspired and hit the recreational products industry pretty hard. northriver has now closed down the almar yard in tacoma completely. what almar badged construction the future holds i do not know. boat building, i am told, will continue at the northriver facility in roseburg,OR. i believe the nearest northriver/almar dealer is in marysville.

    all that said, i would still be looking for a welded aluminum 14-16' boat on a trailer. they are light enough to man handle on some of the poorly designed ramps around the sound, have almost no maintenance, take a pounding and go like snot with a modest amount of HP. with a 25, tiller steering is just fine and really simplifies things even further. until you get way into boating, simple is a very good thing.