New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

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seamuspg
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New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby seamuspg » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:20 pm

I recently purchased my first boat, a 2001 160 Dauntless I am completely new to boating in every way. While I was inexperienced in my search, I did have friends who helped guide me in the process. I am putting the boat in the water this weekend.

What should be paid close attention?

The previous owner took me for a sea trial, and put the boat through its paces on a choppy day in Scituate Harbor. As someone with a bad back, I was a little suprised at the beating I took, but I also realize they werent ideal condtions for a 16-footer.

I know the engine is original to the boat. The [engine cowling] has been painted all black so there is no Mercury label showing. I was told the engine is a Mercury 115-HP two-stroke-power-cycle engine with serial number 0T417780 2002115ELPTO.

What can be expected from [a c.2001] engine in regard to it [being 19-years-old]?

[What] performance [can be expected from] this boat [and engine combination]?

Give me your thought on this engine [on the assumption that it is a c.2001 Mercury 115-HP].

I hope to get some years out of this engine, allowing me to learn as much as I can about boating before having to make decisions about re-powering.

Give me general insight on what I should lookout for, keeping in mind it is my first boat.

I will appreciate your insight.

Thanks,
Seamus

jimh
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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby jimh » Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:39 pm

SEAMUS—this a forum, not a boating course. Find the local U. S. POWER SQUADRON. Take their basic boating course.

Buy a good boating reference book like “Chapman’s Guide to Piloting and Seamanship.” Read the entire book.

Come back and ask one or two specific questions.

About all the advice I have for you now is:
—don’t hurt yourself or others
—be careful
—boats do not have brakes
—running into a big fixed object will cause damage
—striking submerged objects or the sea bottom will cause damage
—don’t run out of gasoline
—don’t run out of oil; oil is a consumable item with a two-stroke power cycle engine.

Boating is an endless process of learning. I have been operating power and sail boats for 60-years. Every time I go boating I learn something new.

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby jimh » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:17 pm

You can read opinions about your engine by searching the archives with the search arguments

Mercury 115 2+2

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sou ... gle+Search

Masbama
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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby Masbama » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:22 pm

That [2001 160 DAUNTLESS] is a bull of a boat. Well made—but it has wood in the transom. Check the transom thru hull fittings that they are not leaking water into the transom.

seamuspg
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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby seamuspg » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:21 am

Thanks the search result link—very helpful. I appreciate the simple, but important tips. I will not be taking the boat out on my own for quite some time. I have no desire to do so until I feel comfortable.

[New topic moved to a separate thread-Moderator]

macfam
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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby macfam » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:53 am

Safety!!
Wear PFD’s (Personal Floatation Devise) for every person on board. The vest type with CO2 inflation are comfortable and cool.
Communication is smart. Hand held waterproof/floating VHF radio is smart option. Channel 16 gets you the Coast Guard, and local harbormasters. A cell phone that is in a waterproof holder. Flares/smoke flares etc. Handheld GPS’s are excellent.
If you get in trouble, you need to get HELP. Make sure you can. Know where you are so you can tell others.
Communication is vitally important, especially when you are inexperienced, and have questionable confidence in your boat and motor.
Let someone know where your going, and when to expect you to return. If that changes, communicate the change.
Safety and Boston Whalers are a great combo!

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby Jefecinco » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:08 am

You chose an excellent boat. We owned a 1999 Dauntless 16 for ten years and really enjoyed it. The only reason we sold the boat was to buy a larger Boston Whaler. As you learned it is best to choose your days. The Dauntless is an able boat but can be uncomfortable in some conditions. I have been caught out in unpredicted storms and had to slow to barely above idle speed to make headway without being badly beaten up. The boat however could take it without damage.

We routinely took the boat out for inshore fishing with three anglers aboard. More than three was not pleasant. For boating outings the boat was comfortable with two couples.

Once I installed the right propeller and engine mounting height with guidance provided on this web site I found the boats acceleration and handling performance to be exceptionally good. I predict you will love the boat.
Butch

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GoldenDaze
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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby GoldenDaze » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:31 pm

I agree that the 160 Dauntless is an excellent boat. I'm the original owner of my 2003. For the most part, it looks like new. Like any 16-footer, it's not especially comfortable when the chop builds much above 1 foot. On the other hand, I've been out in 5-6 foot conditions on the Chesapeake bay and, while it wasn't comfortable, it felt very safe.

Some things to immediately check:

1. As Masbama said, check all your transom through-hull fittings. The sealant comes loose and they can leak water into the plywood in the transom, which is very bad. And as I discovered with my boat, the large through-hulls for the cockpit drains can crack and leak water into the bilge. You won't sink, but you don't really want that. See viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2729&p=21894&hilit=190+nantucket+through+hull for a long discussion including my comments about my boat.

2. Make sure your battery is in good condition and replace it if there's any doubt. Getting stuck for something stupid like that is a bummer. I now have dual batteries because of it.

3. You probably have a canister fuel filter in the stern compartment, just forward and to starboard of the hatch. Replace it if it's not new. Same with the fuel primer bulb, and take a close look at the condition of the fuel line from the tank to the filter, primer bulb, and engine.

Finally, regarding performance, expect to hit perhaps 42-44 mph wide open on flat water, assuming you have a suitable prop. I think that the 2-strokes of that era came from the factory with Black Max aluminum props, so if it hasn't been upgraded to a stainless prop your speed probably won't get quite so high.

This is a pretty simple boat with simple systems, so what you see is largely what you get. Enjoy it!

-Bob
2003 160 Dauntless Golden Daze

B.E.Coyote
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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby B.E.Coyote » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:54 am

Electric trim tabs will do wonders for the ride of the Dauntless 160 in the chop.

I'm on my 2nd Dauntless 160. Spent lots of time playing with props and doel fins. The trim tabs were hands down the best thing I ever did for the boat.

I used the compact Bennet Bolts. I think others have used the Lencos.

Image
2001 Dauntless 160
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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby jimh » Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:19 pm

I recommend you operate the boat as it is now for a year or two before deciding to add trim tabs. You may find that boating is not for you and sell the boat. You may find that boating is your new passion and sell the boat to get a bigger one.

Trim tabs add an entirely new system to the boat that you will need to maintain and also to learn how to use. I have owned three Boston Whalers over 23-years ( from 1997 to 2020 ) and none had trim tabs nor did I ever think for five seconds about adding them.

You need first to learn how to run a boat that doesn’t have trim tabs before you can make use of them.

GoldenDaze wrote:This is a pretty simple boat with simple systems....

Exactly. Simple is good. Simple boats are easier to maintain and easier to operate, thus easier to learn how to maintain and easier to learn how to operate.

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby B.E.Coyote » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:55 pm

jimh wrote:I recommend you operate the boat as it is now for a year or two before deciding to add trim tabs. You may find that boating is not for you and sell the boat. You may find that boating is your new passion and sell the boat to get a bigger one.

Trim tabs add an entirely new system to the boat that you will need to maintain and also to learn how to use. I have owned three Boston Whalers over 23-years ( from 1997 to 2020 ) and none had trim tabs nor did I ever think for five seconds about adding them.

You need first to learn how to run a boat that doesn’t have trim tabs before you can make use of them.

GoldenDaze wrote:This is a pretty simple boat with simple systems....

Exactly. Simple is good. Simple boats are easier to maintain and easier to operate, thus easier to learn how to maintain and easier to learn how to operate.


Yes, but GoldenDaze also has trim tabs on his Dauntless 160. The bow rise on this short boat is horrible. If you are riding in a chop it is impossible to plane at a low enough speed to not beat you to death. The tabs let me put the bow into the chop instead of having the chop beat the center of the boat.

If you are in flat water most of the time, no need for tabs. My use is a 1-2 ft chop on a good day. I would sell the boat otherwise. I was a beginner when I installed the tabs and they gave me more confidence in the boat.
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OldKenT
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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby OldKenT » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:47 am

Seamus,
I don't know your boat, but if you are going to boat in Scituate Harbor, along the South Shore, into the North River, or in Hingham Harbor, you would be well served to know the waters very well before you begin and while you are boating.

Get and study up to date charts. Put some up-to-date electronics on the boat.

You said you sea trialed the boat in Scituate Harbor, but when you get beyond the breakwater you will likely find a very different situation. These waters and currents can be difficult, especially if you are inexperienced and have to deal quickly with unfamiliar waters - to say nothing of the cowboys piloting much larger boats and putting up three to four-feet-high wakes near you.

Have your outboard gone over thoroughly before your first launch. These are not waters where you will feel comfortable if you lose power. There is a very experienced Mercury dealer on Route 3A in Hingham right across from the Hingham Shipyard.

Then you can enjoy learning about your boat.
Ken

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby jimh » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:26 am

The weekend has passed, and our new boater SEAMUS’ has been out boating in his new boat. I suggest we hold off on offering him more advice until he returns to the extremely broad discussion he initiated.

I am looking forward to hear if he installed a GNSS receiver, an electronic chart display, bought electronic charts, installed a VHF marine band radio and antenna, had the engine serviced, inspected and replaced fuel lines and fuel filters, and installed trim tabs.

If he did not get all those add-on items installed, I hope he survived his first voyage. I hope to hear from him soon with a trip summary and his reaction to boating.

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby seamuspg » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:58 pm

Thanks for all the input "friends." Much appreciated.

I have taken [the 2001 160 DAUNTLESS] fout times in the past week, mostly idling around Mattapoisett Harbor, and making shorter ventures into deeper waters, but never too far from land, and never alone. These trips have been a lot of fun.

Some of my initial reactions-

[The engine] sips gas. I'm wondering if much of that is due to my idling in combination with the "2+2" cylinders of my Mercury 115. I can definitely feel when the 2+2 engine switches back and forth [between two-cylinder and four-cylinder modes]. A bit clunky at times, but also cool when you realize what's happening.

I feel I'm topping out at mid-30's MPH, which seems a bit slower than what others have suggested. I'm not looking to win races, but still curious.

Getting [the 160 DAUNTLESS on] plane is quite difficult at lower speeds. When [the throttle is] opened up, [the 160 DAUNTLESS bow] gets down nicely in a few seconds, but that intermediate place seems to be a struggle—nose up and some high engine speeds. I find myself either trolling or opening it up.

But all in all, Im enjoying it. Trying to learn as much as I can.

[Moderator note: Please start new threads for your new questions. This thread is discussing your new boat operating experience. We cannot discuss a dozen topics in one thread. To solicit advice on marine electronics, use the SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL forum. For advice on where to buy replacement parts, see the article on OEM AND RECOMMENDED VENDORS in the REFERENCE section. For advice on optimizing performance of your boat please start a new thread in PERFORMANCE. For help with repairs or modifications, start a new thread in REPAIRS AND MODIFICATIONS.]

Thanks!

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby jimh » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:13 am

Did you contact the local chapter of the U.S.Power Squadron?

Did you enroll in their introduction to boating course?

Did you buy a copy of Chapman’s Piloting and Seamanship?

When operating the boat on the water did you have aboard all the mandatory safety gear required by your state?

Did you have aboard the state registration paperwork?

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby GoldenDaze » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:39 am

Hi Seamus, glad you are enjoying the boat so far. As BECoyote suggested, under some circumstances the boat can be stern-heavy and slow to plane. And as he pointed out, I do have trim tabs on my boat and I love them. But that's all part of 17 years of ownership and gradual modifications.

In the short term, I'll make a few modest suggestions:
1. Don't fill your tank more than half full. Unless you're making an unlikely offshore run, you really don't need to be carrying around 45 gallons of fuel in a 16-foot boat.
2. When getting on plane, be sure to trim in/down your motor all the way. This may be obvious to you, in which case I apologize, or maybe outboard trim is still new and mysterious as we all start somewhere. Smoothly add power until you are at full throttle, then ease off the power after you are on plane.
3. If you have several people in the boat, you may need to send 1-2 of them to the bow to help get planed off. One person's weight makes a big difference on a small boat.
4. I find that my boat runs most happily at about 25 mph. With trim tabs I can run as slowly as 15-16 on plane, but without them you will probably find that anything below 20-21 and you will fall off. You can happily run below 5-6 mph or above 22 mph but you can't linger in between.

Continue to run the boat and get to know the boat's handling and preferences. Most of all, have fun!

-Bob
2003 160 Dauntless Golden Daze

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby jimh » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:42 pm

The fuel economy of old-technology carburetor two-stroke-power-cycle outboard engines is usually worse at low boat speed operation than any other speed range.

The 2+2 design is even worse because the non-combustion cylinders just continue to create friction and pumping loads, while their carburetors still add fuel that never is burned and thus makes no power.

Assessment of fuel economy through operator’s impressions instead of actual measurement is usually a case of wish fulfillment, not actual data. Until you actually and carefully measure engine fuel consumption and distance traveled, reports of engine efficiency and fuel economy are likely to contain observer bias.

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby seamuspg » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:36 pm

Thank you Jim [and] Golden.

I went out this morning as it was flat calm. I was able safely to open up [the throttle on the 115-HP Mercury engine] a bit. [The boat speed] topped out at 33.8-MPH.

Golden: what you said seems spot-on in my extremely limited experience thus far. I was keeping track today at where [the 160 DAUNTLESS boat] seemed happiest and [the 160 DAUNTLESS] was most happy in the mid 20-MPH-range. There is a middle ground where [the 160 DAUNTLESS] seemed to want [the boat driver] to make a decision. I am sensing a life lesson there.

Please further explain the "trim in" process a bit to me.

It is not obvious so you wont offend me in any way.

[Does] “Trim up” means tilting the engine up, and out of the water?

[Does] “All the way down” mean the opposite, an angle allowing most of engine to be submerged?

For what its worth I run [the 160 DAUNTLESS] with its engine tilted all the way "down.”

To gain speed I slowly give [the engine] more throttle until [the 160 DAUNTLESS] comes to plane, then some more.

I appreciate the help.

Seamus

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby jimh » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:18 pm

Does the 160 DAUNTLESS helm instrument panel have a TRIM gauge?

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby GoldenDaze » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:44 pm

Jim, the standard console does not include a trim gauge. You have to eyeball it, which is not difficult as the engine is right there behind your, or with practice trim it by feel.

Seamus, yes, trim the engine all the way down (lower unit tucked in close to the transom) to get started. After you get the boat on plane, start to trim the engine out/up. Ideally you'd like to get to the point where the prop shaft is parallel to the water flow around it, which makes the steering effort equal turning both port and starboard. Without trim tabs, you probably won't get the engine trimmed that far out without porpoising (where the bow is rhythmically oscillating up and down). So at a given speed, trim out until you start to porpoise, then trim in a little bit to suppress it. The exact trim of the engine will depend on speed, boat load, water conditions, and lots of other things. But with that basic guidance you can experiment and gain experience. Trust me, it will soon become second nature!

-Bob
2003 160 Dauntless Golden Daze

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Todd
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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby Todd » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:00 pm

Hi Seamus,

I have a 2003 160 Dauntless which is pretty similar to your boat. The piece of advice I would offer is that I have what is commonly referred to as a "whale tail" attached to the lower unit of the engine just above the prop. This fairly simple device helps the boat plane off more efficiently and is not an expensive solution ($30 to $75 if I recall) to the planing challenge our model tends to have. With the overall weight of the boat, two batteries (in mine) and potentially 45 gallons of fuel it can be difficult to get on plane with a full crew (up to 6). The device is commonly available and Davis Instruments is a popular manufacturer but ther are several others, some do not require drilling holes in the engine fins which I find attractive. It might be worth trying one of these before investing in trim tabs which are a good solution as well but would be a bit more work to install and greater expense. I recently had 6 adults on my boat including two in the rear seats and was able to plane off reasonable well in calm water. Hope this helps.

Todd

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby jimh » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:56 pm

SEAMUS: regarding the direction arrow or sense of direction of the movement of the engine trim, you need to realize that the trim movement forms an arc beginning at the transom and arcing outward away from the transom and upward away from the water if looking at the engine gear case as the point of reference.

The DOWN direction means the engine gear case is lowered down more deeply immersed into the water.

The UP direction means the engine is raised up to be less deeply immersed in the water.

These direction indicator are quite obvious and intuitive. UP means toward the sky. DOWN means toward the water. I am not sure how any other interpretation could be made.

Sometimes directions for trim movement are given with IN and OUT. If IN and OUT are used then the direction sense is as follows:

Trim IN means to move the engine gear case inward to be closer to the transom.

Trim OUT means to move the engine gear case outward to be farther from the transom.

The relationship between UP-DOWN and IN-OUT is as follows:

UP is the same as OUT; the engine is raised upward and outward in the arc of movement that is possible in the trim axis.

DOWN is the same as IN; the engine is lowered downward and inward in the arc of movement that is possible in the trim axis.

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby Todd » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:35 am

Seamus,

I thought of one other maintenance item that you might keep an eye on, the hydralic steering fluid. I knew about the oil and gear lube for the engine (mine's a Merc 115 four stroke) but coming from a boating experience where I didn't do the maintenance (a 38 Sea Ray Sundancer) I wasn't familiar with the steering system enough to check on it. I noticed the steering was becoming a bit rough and investigated the concern, it turned out it was simply the fluid level. Over time, it does leak very slightly and needs to be refilled periodically. The fluid is pricey but readily available and there are several good You Tube videos on how to fill it. I check it now before each adventure and check regularly for any leaks. Lesson learned.

Todd

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby jimh » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:21 pm

TODD--your advice is good advice for hydraulic steering systems, but do all 160 DAUNTLESS boats have hydraulic steering?

This thread CANNOT POSSIBLY forewarn Seamus of ALL THE THINGS THAT GO WRONG in a boat. If the thread tries to do that it will run for 30-years and have a new thing that can go wrong every few hours. It will also scare Seamus away from boating

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby jimh » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:49 pm

SEAMUS--here is an important reminder for a new boater: when you leave the house and trailer your boat to the ramp, make sure you bring the ignition keys for the boat with you. One way to insure this is to always leave the boat ignition keys in the glove compartment of the tow vehicle.

Also, the ignition keys for the boat should be on their own very lightweight key chain, and there should be a big float attached, so that when the ignition key gets dropped overboard it will float. That big attached float should be red and in the shape of a whale. You should test the float to make sure it has enough buoyancy to keep the keys from sinking. If you only have one ignition key for the engine start, you better make or buy a duplicate. When there is only one key the chances of the key getting lost are much greater than if you have a duplicate key stored somewhere (preferably hidden on the boat itself).

Here is another really important warning: when you add gasoline to the internal fuel tank, be sure to put the nozzle of the gasoline pump hose into the gasoline tank filler fitting and not into a rod holder. This is especially important if you have to take on fuel at a fuel dock that insists the dock attendant must hold the fuel nozzle, the attendant is a teenaged boy, and there are any attractive girls around in skimpy bathing suits. Keep an eye on that teenager.

I haven't mentioned this before, but a CRUCIAL skill to learn for a trailer boater is how to back up with a trailer attached to your vehicle. This can only be mastered with practice. The reason this is so critical is because backing up with a trailer is going to occur BEFORE you can go boating. If you are a trailer boater, you have to learn backing up a trailer before you learn how to drive a boat. It's like learning to walk before you can run. But don't practice at a boat launch ramp. Go to a mega-church parking lot with space for 2,000 cars on a Tuesday (but not Shrove Tuesday), and practice backing up the boat trailer.

Another critical skill in trailer boating is to make sure there is enough fuel in the tow vehicle so that when it backs down the ramp and is sitting at a rather steep uphill orientation the engine won't stall and refuse to restart because all the fuel in the tank moved to the back and the fuel pickup in the tank is sucking air. This is really embarrassing if the ramp is busy. Even very normal and well-adjusted people become completely irrational at a boat ramp if some yahoo blocks the ramp for an hour because his tow vehicle won't start due to insufficient fuel in the tank.

And I am not kidding about irrational behavior at boat ramps. Many people think the local sheriff's deputies hang out at busy launch ramps to give safety inspections to boaters as soon as their boat hits the water, but a corollary purpose is to suppress fist fights between boaters over taking too much time on the launch ramp.

If you think these are goofball suggestions, I have seen all of them occur or read reliable accounts of all of them occurring, and even had one of them happen to me--but it only happened once.

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Re: New Boater Buys 2001 160 Dauntless

Postby Tom Hemphill » Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:54 pm

...enough fuel in the tow vehicle so that when it backs down the ramp and is sitting at a rather steep uphill orientation the engine won't stall...

This is especially important when you are launching at low tide, and the water is rising and can be expected to rise eight feet in the next six hours, as happens in Gloucester, Massachusetts.