13' Whaler opinions?

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

  1. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    iagree I'd rather cross the Sound and fish out of, say, a 15' Smokercraft than I would a 13' Whaler. The Whaler is a cute little boat and great resale, but it has no freeboard and room for 2 flyfishers is tight.
     
  2. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

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    Thanks all! As much as I like the Whalers, I think the 'aluminum is best' concensus is pushing me toward the right path for a first boat that will be 95% used for chasing searuns and coho in Puget Sound.

    I'll look for the biggest that I can handle easily by myslef and will still fit in our garage with a swing tongue. Probably a 13-14' with a 15-25 outboard.

    Maybe once I'm finished with school tuition for the kids (someday...), I can get what I really want!

    http://www.americanmarinesports.com/ams_ShearWater.html

    I really appreciate the input and first hand experience.
     
  3. gt

    gt Active Member

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    yeah, those 'bay' boats are really sexy :) make sure you take note of the water conditions they always show those boats operating on!
     
  4. Bill Johnson

    Bill Johnson Member

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    Have you looked at Livingstons/Sorensons? I've owned several boats over the past 35 years, and keep coming back to this hull. You can find a 13' + that is plenty big for two people. They are very sea-worthy and scoot like hell with a 25 or 30 hp. That size of a motor is easily removed and stored, and you can then put on an electric trolling motor for lakes with a motor restriction. They are lightweight enough to easily be handled by one person. Add some plywood to the floor to eliminate the awkward walking around issues.

    All boats have their drawbacks. I personally don't like aluminum, and I think the Whalers are way over priced for what you get (yes, I've had one).

    Free advice, and worth every penny.
     
  5. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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    I was lucky enough to find a barely used 15' Dauntless about 8 years ago. I was concerned about the ride, having spent time in a 13' sport wishing for a kidney belt and bite guard. It's rated for a 75 horse, but I re-powered with a 60hp 4x injected Yamaha last year. I was in the trailer boat business for a number of years, so have time in a variety of hulls to compare the ride, performance, etc. I've never fished from a small boat that I liked better.

    If you and up to two buddies are all under 200 lbs, this boat simply cannot be beat for the South Sound. Smooth, dry ride, self bailing cockpit, bilge drain, freeboard just low enough to boat fish or divers, full electronics, rated for 6 passengers or 775 lbs. It's not built for the big fellas, though, it's kinda narrow going around the console in rain gear. If you are American sized, look for something bigger. These boats are hard to locate, and usually too spendy for a SRC boat. Mine will be available some time in the future, you younger guys should keep an eye on the obituaries.

    A great alternative is the Triumph boat from the Carolinas. They are roto-molded plastic, foam filled; center consoles start at 15', you can leave them in the salt or weather without
    ruining the hull. Best of all, the cost is a fraction of what you'd pay for a new BW. I know they used to sell them out at Verle's in Shelton. The 17' CC is a great design.
     
  6. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

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    It's really just me and my 11 yo son (or slightly older daughter) and I'm definitely a 'middleweight' in boxing terms so we're pretty low in the people-poundage area.

    There were a couple very nice 14' Dauntlesses in CL over the last month. My understanding is that they are a slightly different design and the 14' is actually a little heavier and bigger inside than the 15'. It looks like a killer boat but the sticking point is just the price to utility comparison with a comparable aluminum boat. Double the price but nowhere near double the utility (some might even say less).

    Even so, if budget wasn't an option, I'd go with the little Dauntless in a second. Seem like boats are like sports cars and motorcycles >> rarely a rational purchase for the 'recreational user'...
     
  7. hendersonbaylocal

    hendersonbaylocal Member

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    What are talking about? Who ever said a boat isn't a rational decision?

    Seriously though. I like the 13' Whalers. Everyone is right that they are a bit wet and uncomfortable when it gets rough out, but when are you ever out fly fishing when it's blowing 20 knots? The nice part is that they're really stable. The ideal for me would be a 17 foot Montauk, but they're a bit pricey and more boat than you really need for cutthroat fishing. At the moment, I'm actually liking the idea of a big open plywood skiff - something like 15-16ft with a tiller outboard. A better ride than aluminum and a little more character.
     
  8. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Member

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    You need a wood skiff for sea-run cutthroat, a nice big water boat with a big motor for salmon fishing, a friend with a drift boat for the rivers, a 12 ft aluminum pram for rough use on the beaches, and a small sail boat for recreation. And plenty of storage space. At least that was my solution to the problem.
     
  9. hendersonbaylocal

    hendersonbaylocal Member

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    Milt,

    Oh, I know. I'm a firm believer in the fleet concept! No one boat does everything, right? I've thinned the herd recently, but still have the little racing sailboat - just need a cutthroat skiff, 30 footish lobster boat to buzz up to the Islands and a 40 footish blue water capable sailboat in Mexico or the South Pacific.... and a couple dinghies to go with.

    Aye aye Admiral!
     
  10. johnnyrockfish

    johnnyrockfish Member

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    You just described my Fleet!

    18' Wooldridge Deepwater Plus w/115 Evinrude 2 stroke
    10' wooden rowing dory for local SRC/Rezzie fishing
    10' Cape Dory sailing dory
    10' inflatble canoe, portable,stable and fun. Doesn't row that great though.

    friends with pontoon boats for the rivers.
     
  11. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Member

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    Funny how they seem to accumulate...

    It is interesting to see what boats people have and how they use them. Maybe a new thread on the watercraft forum?
     
  12. johnnyrockfish

    johnnyrockfish Member

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  13. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

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    Go Whaler. Period. It ain't going down, and that's really important in cold water.
     
  14. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    Comparing the 13' whaler super sport to the 15' Dauntless is comparing apples to oranges. I agree with you that the Dauntless is a dandy . . . pretty price, though, even used; wish I could convince the warden, er wife, that we 'needed' one.
     
  15. Mike T

    Mike T Active Member

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    I've recently been doing the familiar shuffle between an aluminum boat and a Whaler or it's equivalent. An aluminum boat would take care of about 90% of the fishing I'd do. But the Whaler, a 17' Montauk, would allow for easier cruising etc.

    The thing that both amazes and frustrates me is that the Whalers hold their values so well. I keep hoping to find a newer one for 70% the cost of a new one but that just doesn't happen. Buying new in today's economy strikes me as a sucker's bet.
     
  16. Steve Saville

    Steve Saville Active Member

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    I have a 17ft Montauk. It has a casting deck up front and I'm building one for the rear. It's a great boat but not a laker. I also have a 14ft Klamath aluminum but found that it was too unstable an the Sound with kids(2). There wasn't enough room for them and equipment. I kept it with building a deck in front and back and using it for a larger, stand up casting platform in mind. I haven't gotten to that yet. You'll do better in the long run with a bigger boat as the kids will get bigger, too.
     
  17. johnnyrockfish

    johnnyrockfish Member

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    If you get a Montauk make sure it's got a decent V hull. The old style hulls were horrible riding. The 18 Outrage, (years 1981 - 1990) is a better choice for all around usage and they show up in the region for sale occasionally. one good website to peruse for whaler info is continuous wave. Here's what it says about the Outrage and my experience confirms their opinion: "The Outrage 18 (1981-1990) is a true classic among the many models of Boston Whaler boats. Although only one foot longer than the 17-Montauk, the Outrage 18 is a much different boat in three important aspects: hull, cockpit, and fuel."

    Good luck and be patient. Beware of waterlogged whaler hulls which can be common up here (almost all of the older boats have water in the foam).

    JR
     
  18. Mike T

    Mike T Active Member

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    Thanks JR- I've been searching for that type detail! I'm really not finding any interesting older Montauks. Most of the ones I've found on craigslist and boattrader are withing $5,000 to $7,000 of buying new or are old enough to make me concerned about re-powering them.

    It appears that they must still be selling good numbers of new Whalers as the local dealers are holding firm to their "boat show specials". I always assumed that show specials meant the dealers tacked an additional $1,000 to retail.

    As much as I'd love a Whaler I think we'll go with a 16' Smokercraft tiller steered boat with a 40 horse. It will be fast, economical and less maintenance. Both my wife and I can cast from it and get a Whaler later if we wish. I know that's the "mature" choice, but honestly that's never been my strong suit.
     
  19. johnnyrockfish

    johnnyrockfish Member

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    Perfect choice and incredibly usable and versatile. 6 gallons will last you a week.

    Cheers!

    JR
     
  20. gt

    gt Active Member

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    i don't intend to piss on anyone's fire just wanted to add a bit of information for your morning chew.

    the patent that whaler had for foaming a hull ran out a very long time ago. its a process where the top and bottom parts are molded independently then joined, various way used here, then a chemical based 'foam' is injected into the voids. this is what made their boats 'unsinkable'.

    when i was researching 'reelfast', i found 5 other manufactures using this exact same process. a couple of them were also using composite stringers and transom parts (read that, wood is bad). so whaler is not the only company at present with 'unsinkable boats', they were simply the first. the aura that floats over them is a result of that firstness not anything special in todays boat building industry.

    also keep in mind that fiberglass has zero structural integrity. that is why all fiberglass boats have stringer systems. the best of these now use composite materials and vacum bagging techniques when doing the glass layup, no more chopper guns. but no matter, all of this adds tremendous weight which means more power to operate which means more fuel burn. reelfast LOA is 32'. her WET weight is 6,100#. moving into a whaler of similar size would kick that weight up to about 8,000-9,000# and forced moving up to 6 cylinder engines for the exact same performance.

    if you are seriously thinking about blue water running, then you need to investigate the hulls of choice to insure they have been designed for that purpose. you will find bow entry angles of 40-45 degrees (very steep) and an exist angle of 22-24 degrees. these are not arbitrary numbers but have evolved over decades of boat construction to provide a ride in rough water.

    that is why some of the whaler hulls are such poor choices and such wet rides, along with a whole host of other manufactured boats.

    holding the line on pricing seems to be a brunswick company strategy, it indicates not much of anything. if the economy continues to slide, there are going to be deals to be had, just mark your timing. all of these recreational industries are struggling to keep there heads above water, whaler is not going to be imune from this economic trend.

    now if you are running around puget sound, i would advise that simple is best. the less stuff you have to deal with on your boat the happier you are going to be and you will have more time for fishing. given the less than desirable ramps you will encounter, that easy to handle aluminum boat is going to make you grin each time she slides of the trailer.
     

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