Area: WHALER Forum: ContinuousWave: Cetacea Comments
Topic: The Big Classic, 27-WA - Dec 08, 2000

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jimh posted 12-09-2000 08:19 AM ET (US)
This topic thread is for comments on which first appeared December 8, 2000, and featured the biggest of the Classic Whalers, the 27-WA.
bigz posted 12-09-2000 09:18 AM ET (US)
JimH -- In answer to your question yes we are looking --- Tom
BW27 posted 12-09-2000 01:16 PM ET (US)
Wow..those are a couple of beautiful 27's. I was surprised to see a whalerdrive on the walk-arounds. Per my collection of whaler literature it was not available in the 90's in either the bolt-on or integral style.
bigz posted 12-09-2000 01:43 PM ET (US)
BW27 --- the Whalerdrive was never offered on the 27 Offshore but was standard on the WA's in the '90's is my understanding --

I think in '91 which is pretty much what you see on the'93 the Whalerdrive became intregal to the boat this was after Dougherty left ---

Another tid bit is they only made a couple hundred WA's through the period they were produced, just a guess by a fine fellow at Whaler who supplied this info.

In '93 the basic boat less power sold for over $90 grand

lhg posted 12-09-2000 05:36 PM ET (US)
Like BigZ, I've kinda been dreaming about a 27 for some time now, but just can't seem to take the plunge, and probably won't. But I've been a student of all of these various 27 models for years, including BW27's that I snooped out in the Seattle area!

Of the two 27 Walkarounds shown, the 1990 gets my vote, as this was it's original configuration as done by Dougherty, and is a bit more "pure Classic" in it's desert tan color and teak hatches. Very rare and hard to find. As a matter of fact I spotted this same boat (evidently) last year for sale on After looking at the pictures, I should have bought it!! Another one will be almost impossible to find.

In 1991, VanLancker's crew, naturally, redesigned the interior and transom areas to their liking (see my Meta forum post about Reebock) and changed the color to white.
Many will think this a more functional model, with better fishing features on the transom and an extra berth for sleeping. I would have to agree with that. But I have noticed that the teak replacement consisting of black aluminium frames and plexiglass, corrodes in the marine environment in not carefully maintained. The true structural full transom hull of the 1990 was eliminated, and liners were used to form the fishing features and transom bulkhead. A more conventional (and I think better than Whaler Drive) fiberglass transom bracket by Salt Shaker Marine was bolted on to carry the engines, a bracket that runs clear of the water when planning for greater efficiency and speed. A matching liner floor panel covered the top of this bracket.

I saw a really nice version of this boat, a 1994, for sale for $53,000 about a year ago, with twin Yam 250's. Big mistake not buying it! I suspect the European boat is priced right for that market, but too high for over here. These are now also getting hard to find, and are more than ever in demand, as BW's replacement for this boat, the 28 Conquest is nothing but a glorified Sea Ray Express cruiser, and not real popular with the classic Boston Whaler crowd.

Incidentally, nice job on the layout, Jim. Both great boats, and king of the Whaler cabin models.

Mark Gallagher posted 12-10-2000 04:19 PM ET (US)
Nice 27 footers!!! The cockpit photo of the 93 shows Johnsons where the other 93 photos show Yamahas? Is the cockpit photo from the 90? Just a minor observation. Also, being a Dauntless owner I got a kick out of the photo of the 90 at "Dauntless Shipyard" in Essex CT. I really enjoy the Cetacea section and seeing all the photos....It really adds to the forum.
jimh posted 12-11-2000 12:27 AM ET (US)
Some of the '93 photos are from the catalog, most are from the Italy boat. That explains why the engines change.


Ed Stone posted 12-17-2000 08:45 PM ET (US)
I've seen a 27 with a tri-axle trailer
located in a Tampa boat yard.I am going to
call for year and price.It is powered by
twin 225 Johnsons.I believe it had a tower
and a hard top.
Flying Nutshell posted 12-20-2000 09:25 PM ET (US)
Nice pair of 27WAs!

This past July I made the leap from a 22 Outrage to a 27 Offshore, with Ev250s. Before buying, I looked at both models, the WA has much more cabin, and associated amenities, while the Offshore has quite a bit more open space on the bow for fishing, as well as all kinds of standard rigging for fishing. I fish quite a bit, so the Offshore fits me, but I'd have been real happy with either model.

The Offshore never came with Whaler drive, though it doesn't feel like it needs the added bouyancy, even with the big 600lb 250s and 1500lbs of fuel. However, without Whaler drive, mounting the very tall 250s is interesting. The stock false transom splash board must be removed, and a new one fabricated, with the eight rod holders facing forward, so the motors can be fully raised out of the water. I'm told this not an issue with any of the newer 225s or even 250s. Hopefully it will be a long while before I need to test this with the purchase of new motors!

The Offshore feels like it's going to be a great boat, with plenty of muscle to get us out and back from the offshore canyons of the DE coast. I have some pictures and will get them to Cetacea once I get a scanner installed (known Christmas present!).

Happy Holidays!

bigz posted 12-21-2000 08:17 AM ET (US)
Hi Nutshell ---

Just wondering did you come across the 27 Walk Arounds up North or were they Southern boats --- there are a lot of full cabin models around from the 80's but I haven't come across a 27 WA up north and would surely like to look an early to mid 90's over first hand ---

We have the 27 cc cuddy model now and I have been on an Offshore neither one fits our current needs as we have learned from our cc cuddy and looking over the Offshore.

Love the cc cuddy but it just isn't working out for our logistics and need for decent overnight accommodations --- need the extra berths and the semi-enclosed helm ---

Sounds like you have a real speed demon with those 250's --- Have you been able to determine what your mpg or mph is with them yet? --- With our 200 Yamaha's '87 models averaging about 1.4 to 1.6 mpg,ugh!

Regards and can't wait to see you photos --- Tom

Flying Nutshell posted 12-26-2000 02:36 PM ET (US)
Last 27WA I looked at was last spring, a '91 with 225Yams. It was at a dealer in NJ, for $45K, but it already had a contract on it, pending a sea trial. From what I could see, it was in nice shape, and really only needed electronic upgrades and outriggers. Not sure about the engines, as I never had them checked. Apparently the sea trial went well because it was sold and moved to FL.

We're still getting used to the Offshore. On glass-like water she's pretty fast, at 52mph, though not sure we even had trim tabs and engines optimized. Cruising speed is more like 30 mph at about 3800 rpm. We haven't rigorously calculated fuel consumption, probably scared to, but roughly estimating, we're more in the 1.3 range.

Not sure if you already used it, but I found '' very helpful in my Whaler search, in fact, still look at from time to time! Hope you find your boat!

bigz posted 12-26-2000 03:45 PM ET (US)
Hi Flying Nutshell,

Thanks for the information.

Yes have used Boat Trader that's how we ended up with the 27 cc cuddy and also our '89/90 13 Sport.

Let's see, we are just about right on at your cruising speed but can't manage much over 46-48 mph @ 5200 rpm in moderate chop on Delaware Bay which is there max! We have changed props tuned and retuned but that's all I can get out of these 200 Yamaha's.

Those were are rough mpg averages on the trip up the ICW from Florida this past Spring to Delaware Bay, haven't payed much attention since then.

Good luck with your Offshore they are really fine boats.


whalernut posted 12-26-2000 07:31 PM ET (US)
I used Boat Trader on line to buy my 73` `16 Currituck. I caught the ad first day it came on line, talked to the owners, called them up the next day and we hamered out a deal site unseen, they were very honest and the boat was exactly as described. I did take a sea trial, and only asked them to change a frayed throttle cable, they agreed and also had dinner and a few beers at their house! Some people are still honest and I got lucky, Boat Trader is very useful and would use them to sell or trade my Whaler if it came to it, probably for a 73`-75` `16 Montauk? Regards-Jack Graner.
bigz posted 09-24-2001 04:38 PM ET (US)
Well for those few who might be interested on the performance issue of the 27 hulls at least in two very different configurations here are a few preliminary observations.

Might be in the wrong forum but what the heck --- heh heh

We took the 27 WA, twin 225 hp Ficht engines, out into the Delaware Bay yesterday, this is the first chance we have had to use her since she has been under going major re-rigging and tuning most of the season. She max'd out at roughly 5700 rpm at 41.9 mph in med... chop with the tide and about 40.6 GPS against it not much difference. Her "sweet" spot about 4300 rpm and when sync'd runs at 35.7 mph. Now you get her in to about 4000 rpm and she wants to fall off plane, would think we should be able to keep her there in at least in the mid 3000 range, this area is where some ideas for improvement need to be considered. The props are standard OMC 15x17 SST's, and the engines are raised up on their highest hole.

Now our 27 ccc, Amy's Whaler with the twin 200hp Yamaha swinging the same type of props 15x17 for the most part performs similar, though you can keep her on plane down to around 3000 rpms or so.

According to Clark Roberts based on his formula the WA top end is right in the ball park, I guess with some tweaking the 27 ccc should be running a bit better -- oh well ---

The kicker must be in the weight on planing speeds --- the WA with full tanks weights in shy of 10,000 lbs and the Center Console around 7800 or so, of course the WA has 50 hp more to boot.

The 27 WA does get skittish when running down a tight channel in cross chop coupled with the huge wakes the big boys throw off. In open water she does behave but certainly not as well as the 27 ccc who will use her bow slice on plane to better advantage. The 27 WA I think due to the weight from amidships aft has a tendency to skid around on the aft end giving the helmsman a few headaches.

So for what there worth this is so far what we have discovered. Know not many members have 27 hulled boats but maybe the Conquest folks might find them of interest.

Has been a long semi-boatless summer with lots of hours at the yard --- as some know Amy's Whaler is for sale so we didn't splash her this summer -- just the 13 and the Squal to play with now and then ;( ------

Peter posted 09-25-2001 09:13 PM ET (US)
Interesting observations. I wonder if your low plane speed would improve significantly if you lowered the motors by a hole. With the "rudders" a little deeper in the water, you might be able to reduce some of the skidding too.

While not a very good comparison, when I first got my former 18 Outrage, the 150 was mounted on the highest hole and the handling was a little skittish. As expected, maintaining a low speed plane was not a problem. I had it dropped down by a hole and this made quite a bit of difference in the handling, although the top end was reduced a little.

bigz posted 09-26-2001 10:34 AM ET (US)
Peter thank you for the suggestions/comments.

You see we did start out on the lowest setting then worked up. This had little effect on handling, however on the highest it improves greatly the engine placement in relation to water contact with the lower pans. Before depending on conditions and speed you could easily bury the engines right to the bottom of the cowls.

We have/are giving thought to the 4 blade OMC offshore Renegades. This prop I heard from a few folks that run them relate they really push the bow down and hold very well in heavy seas and stiff chop.

Right now thought it is pay the bills time -- chuckle -- the dealer who rigged this boat last year when the previous owner purchased these Fichts either didn't know his foot from a hole in the ground, didn't care, or the previous owner wanted it done on the cheap --- what a mess -- coupled with the battery set up totally insane even for plain vanilla 2 strokes with a simple house system --- which this ain't --- Tom
lhg posted 09-26-2001 01:23 PM ET (US)
Tom- thanks for the report on the 27's. Although I've always wanted to move up to one, have yet to ever ride in one. Now I'm beginning to think I might just stay with the "good ole 25" & save my money!

I had no idea you were not in the WA this season. Guess I just assumed you were out running around and enjoying it. Very sorry to hear about that. But at least it doesn't sound like the Ficht engines were your problem, like Juris's Optimax situation. I'm continuing to be amazed at how many Whalers have been rigged so poorly! The Company must not have had a good training program, or good control of the Dealership network. I believe this is a big problem in the industry, and probably why the manufactures have really had no choice but to adopt the "package" concept. A great boat, poorly rigged & powered, and set up with the wrong canvas, on the wrong trailer, is no longer a great boat! Now I remember why I've always done it myself! Cost saving was never the issue. Design and quality was.

I know this is a hated word for you, but have you considered the "Mercury" 4 blade Offshore props? I hear they're good and can be bought for about $400 each. They are advertized as specifically designed for big, heavy offshore twin engine rigs. I've always thought Mercury's prop engineering was a larger and better financed operation than the OMC prop offerings, with a much larger selection of designs & performance capabilities. Might be worth at least a look.

bigz posted 09-26-2001 04:47 PM ET (US)
Larry thanks for the kind words.

The Ficht's had some problems. We did loose the ECM or whatever it's called but Bomb had a new one to us in a week. Aside from the one mentioned the problems were 100% due to improper rigging, improper tuning, and use of an old OMC dual controller which shouldn't have been tossed along with cables that were 4' to long and kinked in numerous hidden places. The remainder of the headaches were battery and just the systems in general which needed to be upgraded.

The boat performs pretty darn well aside from the little skittish attitude in certain conditions. Based on the weight design and hp about 42 mph is all we'll probably be able to achieve which is plenty fast enough I think. Amy's will hit 48 mph then she's little more like a sports car compared to the WA.

I have no problem with the Mercury props, the only thing at $400 a pop we can get the OMC try them and if they don't improve send them back via our marina. Actually Ruger is casting the OMC designed props I understand.

I'll check out Merc's offering thought since you mentioned it.

OutrageMan posted 09-28-2001 07:35 AM ET (US)
In the first post to this thread Jim calls the 27 "the biggest of the classic Whalers." What about the 31'?


bigz posted 09-28-2001 07:58 AM ET (US)
Outrage you got a point though I suspect the arbitary cut off is 1990 for so called Classics -- the 27 hull was produced since the early 80's and still is in the commerical divison.

The 31 was produced for I think 2 years '90 and '91 maybe '89, pretty sure I think Dougherty did design it -- it was a flop -- Sort of like what I hear about the Defiance today -- not sure on it though, in that price range you don't expect to make many ---

LarrySherman posted 09-28-2001 10:09 AM ET (US)

Can you tell me a little more about the 31'? There is one for sale here in CT, looks very nice, and my Dad wants to buy a bigger boat to keep in FL (Naples).

Was the design poor, or was the market not there, etc?

Thanks, Larry

bigz posted 10-03-2001 08:59 AM ET (US)

Sorry for the late reply, didn't see your post/question.

My understanding is that the first 31's had to darn much foam and behaved more like bathtubs. The redesigned 31L cut out a ton of foam and had some minor tweaking done though they planed up sort of like a whale (sorry for the pun)--- as far as its construction integrate and amenities super fine boat.

To answer your question -- if your dad isn't a power performance type the boat is certainly a well laid out for both fishing and cruising --- you'd need a professional surveyor to check her out thoroughly --- heh heh you think you have had your hands full with the 25, brother you can't imagine what you could get into with the 31, might add or a 27 for that matter --

The second part the market was soft during that time frame (recession), and like I maintain about the Defiance today, the 31 and it are just out of the market structure for the average BW dealer. So yes the sales probably were effected by both elements, coupled with the performance related issues.

Might add, there are probably a few things which could be done to improve performance. Would see if one couldn't fit maybe with a shoe horn a new pair of 350-400 hp diesels -- standard were 300hp on the L model, and play with props, maybe add twin cylinder dual trim tabs as big as you could fit -- remember this "baby" weighted in at 12,500lb less fuel, water and accessories (now not sure if this figure included engines since the specs are a bit fuzzy)---
later off to the marina --- Tom

PS -- my "chairman of the board" has already said absolutely NO if I have any even remote ideas about a 31 ---

lhg posted 10-03-2001 12:47 PM ET (US)
I have heard the 31 had problems from day one, although I don't exactly know what they were. BW finally discontined the boat for these reasons, and sales were slow. I also heard comments that BW's foam technology is not really suited for a boat over 30'. I think that's why the Defiance is not done the traditional way.

I like the the bow lines of the 31 hull, but have noticed they sit bow heavy in the water at rest. But I have seen a couple of CPD 31's that I really liked.

The only one I have been in was a jolting surprise to me. The twin diesels were terribly noisy, with a lot of continuous vibration. A half hour ride and I knew I could never enjoy one of these. A real dissappointment. Sure was no comparison to the quiet smooth ride of the twin Merc efi's on my 25.

LarrySherman posted 10-03-2001 01:39 PM ET (US)
Thaks guys. I think its a pass based on your input. I'd hate to put my dad into a marginal boat.

As always, Thanks,


PS: My 1985 Johnson is pretty quiet too! ;)

diloreto posted 09-25-2002 10:00 PM ET (US)
Sorry about late response. Am the owner of a 1991 classic Whaler 31L since ~1998. Previous 25+ years boating experience ranging from sailing (& racing), 15' Whaler, 42' Trawler w/ extensive Great Lakes cruising as well as Florida Keys boating & backcounty fishing. Have been very pleased w/ 31L in all aspects exxcept one - noise. Currently in process of redoing noise insulation w/ new technologies (not available in 1991). Only other issue was poorly designed & not functional anchor windlass (now corrected). Boat very safe & seaworthy in all conditions (similar to previous trawler experience) & has ability to outrun most difficult situations. Have been out in very bad weather - 9' + seas / storms and able to weather comfortably. I can see reason boats were used for offshore rescue. The boat is really a high end day boat (used principally for fishing) but can sleep two very comfortably. If I can ever get photos together, I'll forward to Forum.

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