The 15-footer

A conversation among Whalers
sjp2
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The 15-footer

Postby sjp2 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:52 pm

I may buy a 15-foot Boston Whaler boat. I already have a SPORT 13, but [I] think another two feet would be a bonus. Plus, the hulls are different. I would like some opinions as to whether a 15-foot hull is much better than a 13-foot hull. Also, if the 15-foot hulls have any faults. They are very scarce here in Australia. I will be importing one from [the U.S.A] or Canada. The currency exchange rate a lot better in Canada, but range not so.

PJMSport15MY1984
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Comments on the classic Sport 15

Postby PJMSport15MY1984 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:14 pm

Welcome to Continuous Wave,

My wife and I have a 1984 classic Sport 15 so I will give you my feedback on the hull. The classic 15 is a great little boat. It will be a little smoother and quite a bit faster than a classic Sport 13. You are not going to notice a great deal of more room on a classic 15 than your classic 13. Neither one of them have much freeboard so they are not going to be smooth or comfortable in any kind of chop.

If you are looking for something with more room, and is more versatile than a classic Sport 13, you probably want to put your efforts into finding a larger whaler than a classic Sport 15. The classic Sport 15 is the exact same style boat as a classic Sport 13.

Good Luck.

Paul

jimh
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby jimh » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:50 pm

The Boston Whaler 15-foot hull is the best small boat ever made. I had a 1976 model from the first production year. It was a fantastic boat. The engine was a 50-HP (power-head rating). The boat was a complete blast to run. It was easy to trailer and launch. We took it out in big water--12-miles offshore in Lake Superior to Devil's Island in the Apostle Islands. It would run about 32-MPH, but felt much faster because you were only a foot above the waves.

The 15-foot hull is much more of a V-hull than the 13-foot. The 15 has less lateral stability, but handles waves better than the 13. The hulls in later years of production gained some weight. They had more wood reinforcement in the cockpit.

sjp2
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby sjp2 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:33 am

PAUL--I knew size would be a bit if a concern. I was looking at a low-budget creek boat--even though import costs are not in my favour--and, I guess, looking at the 150 model with their over six-foot-wide beam, I would have more internal volume, but--even though I have found the 13-foot hull to be super-stable at all corners--I was looking at a hull with a bit more performance and a not-so-wet boat, even with a low freeboard. I just must remember not to take the 15 into crocodile country.

sjp2
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby sjp2 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:43 am

JIMH--the 15-foot hull from the front actually looks very capable. The low freeboard-- especially at the stern--has taken a bit of getting used to. Most use aluminum boats, which are generally pretty hard riding and wet.

jimh
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby jimh » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:37 am

Here is the view of the 15-foot hull from ahead:

Image

As you can see, it looks very much like the later OUTRAGE hulls, with a nice V-hull design.

For more information, see the several articles in the REFERENCE section on the 15-foot hull, beginning with

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/15/

dgoodhue
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby dgoodhue » Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:15 am

I own a 15' SS. I have never owned a 13' but I have been on my fair share of 13's.

The Classic 15' is a better and drier riding hull than the Classic 13' especially if you have non smirked hull. Improvement in the ride is due to the hull design and the additional weight. In any chop is very noticeable how much improved the ride is. I noticed within minutes of my 1st ride in 15' whaler and other 13' whaler owner that have been in my 15' comment on the difference as well.

The hull itself is 23" longer and 2" wider. It doesn't really feel any wider, because the interior seating between the 15' and 13' is interchangeable (the super sport 13 and 15 wood is exactly the same). I haven't measured the different but it seems like half of the increase in length is in raise front section of the hull which is not as usable.

The 15' only needs about 10hp more to achieve the same performance of the 13, so 50hp on a 13' is about as fast 13' with a 40hp. With a 70hp max hp rating, the 15' has much more speed potential. The 15' easily handles the weight of modern 60 and 70hp outboards. The 13's handle the current 30hp offerings with the lightest 40hp motors pushing the limits of engines weights, so that is big advantage if you ever repower the hull. The hull is still pretty light (advertised @ 560#) so the 15' has good acceleration with a light load.

They both have the same poor seat options and low free board. The 15's has slightly more free board, but its not really noticeable.

The downside to the 15' is the hull not as stable at rest as 13' is. The 15' hull is by no means is unstable, but when compare to the 13's whaler is more of the gold standard in term of stability. 15's are much rarer in the US. I don't know what the production totals are but it seem like their are 15 to 20 13's for every 15'. A good condition 15' is about $2000 more than a similar condition 13'. Obviously bigger engine use more gas and are often more expensive to replace.

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Dutchman
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby Dutchman » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:32 am

SJP2 you received a lot of comments regarding the 15 but you mentioned a 150 are you looking at a clasic 15 or the more modern 150?
I have a 150 CC and we love the boat and yes it has a lot more room than the classic 15 SS. As for stability I (270 lbs) can easily stand on the aft corner (SB or Port of the engine) of my boat and not worry about the low free board. I wouldn't feel safe doing that on a 13 SS with my weight. Due to the newly limited HP rules they are sold with 60HP 4-S typically mercury. The classic 15 of course had quite often 70HP 2-S motors.
That said I still get low 30ies mph (34.2) with single person and fully loaded gear. Two people and gear = 32.3 MPH all while sipping gasoline at good planing speed approx. 8 mpg (24mph) capable of handling 2+ ft. sea dry. Yes she bounces and slams hard but hey it's a BW and can handle it.
EJO
"Clumsy Cleat"look up what it means
50th edition 2008 Montauk 150, w/60HP Mercury Bigfoot

sjp2
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby sjp2 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:06 pm

Everybody--thanks for all the informative input.

Dutchman--Ii mentioned a 150 because as Paul said the 15 is not that much bigger then a 13. But yours sounds ideal especially with the four-stroke-power-cycle outboard engine. Most boats here are re-powered with them or with an E-TEC. In fact a lot of dams here will not allow boats with two-stroke-power-cycle outboard engines anymore, and, with the new emission laws in 2017, any new outboards with carburetors will not be allowed to be purchased in Australia--only fuel injected motors will be allowed. Also when we pay $1.25 per litre for fuel no wonder the four-stroke-power-cycle engines are popular.

jimh
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby jimh » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:00 pm

I just paid $1.20 per liter for gasoline in Canada. But that was in Canadian dollars, so in U.S. dollars it was $0.923-per-liter.

When you cite fuel in Australia at $1.20-per-liter, what currency is that?

sjp2
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby sjp2 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:26 pm

jimh,Australian dollars ,which is nearly the same rate as the Canadian $,a reason why i was looking in Canada to buy a 15 was to save the 30 % difference in the us/au dollar,but the lack of the amount of boats for sale and distance from a shipping port in Canada might make that idea a lost cause.

Pescatore
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby Pescatore » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:43 pm

I just sold a 1968 13 foot sport and picked up a 1991 15 gls. The 13 is is extremely stable, but has a harsher pounding ride in a chop. The ride of the 15 is like night and day. Extremely smooth in a chop, but not stable at rest. My 15 does 40 mph plus with a 70 hp. The 13 did 25 mph with a 30hp.

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John_Madison CT
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby John_Madison CT » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:44 am

The 13' Whaler is a great boat, but the 15' is even better. The ride is significantly better, less pounding.

jimh
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby jimh » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:39 am

sjp2 wrote:[Says that his reference to fuel cost of $1.20 was in the currency of] Australian dollars...


Fuel cost of AUS-$1.20-per-liter converts to a cost of AUS-$4.54-per-gallon. At the present exchange rate of US-$1.00 = AUS-$1.32, that becomes a cost of US-$3.44-per-gallon. Perhaps from an Australian point of view a cost of fuel equivalent to US-$3.44-per-gallon seems high, but it I would not consider that to be particularly expensive in the USA for fuel from a marine fuel dock.

sjp2 wrote:...no wonder the four-stroke-power-cycle engines are popular.


Improved fuel economy is not something that occurs only with outboard engines using four-stroke-power-cycle combustion. Modern engines using direct-injection and two-stroke-power-cycle combustion are on par with the fuel economy of four-stroke-power-cycle engines.

It was just a few years ago I had to pay about US-$6-per-gallon for on-the-water fuel in remote areas of Canada and about US-$9-per-gallon from highway fuel stations in Ireland. Those are the sort of fuel prices which cause one to become very concerned about the fuel economy of their boat or vehicle. When gasoline fuel is in the range of US-$3.44-per-gallon, fuel costs as a portion of the total cost of ownership of a small boat become less significant. The average fuel consumption of a 60-HP engine that might be used to power a 15-foot Boston Whaler boat is probably below 2-GPH. If the average annual use of the boat is 60-hour, this suggests a total fuel purchase per year of 120-gallons. At US-$3.44 that is only $413 for fuel. It probably costs more to insure or store the boat than that. You have to ask yourself how much fuel costs per year could be before you would give up boating. If you get out of boating because you had to spend $413-per-year on fuel, you probably weren't really very interested in boating.

macfam
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby macfam » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:33 am

Sjp2--following up on Dutchman's recommendation of the 150 Montauk: we went from a 13 Super Sport with a 30 E-TEC to the new 150 Montauk with the Mercury 60 EFI FOURSTROKE--double the room, greater freeboard, the RIDE is REMARKABLE, superb fuel economy and extremely dry for 15-foot. I think very highly of the original classic 15, and at the time, was the best 15 foot made. Move over Classic 15--the new 150 Montauk is a contender, and in my opinion, has taken the title!

RICHM
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby RICHM » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:11 am

The key to a successful modification to your Boston Whaler is to make your boat look as if came from the boat manufacturer that way. Homemade looking modifications often devalue boat. I recently sold my 1961 highly-modified Boston Whaler with a 2008 Mercury 25-HP FOURSTROKE for $7,500. It was listed in Boat Trader and sold after two days.
rich

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Dutchman
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Re: The 15-footer

Postby Dutchman » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:05 pm

macfam wrote:I think very highly of the original classic 15, and at the time, was the best 15 foot made. Move over Classic 15--the new 150 Montauk is a contender, and in my opinion, has taken the title!


I ditto that comment above and the 170 is even more family friendly, now if we only could (lawfully) put the HP on like the old 15 and 17 had.
EJO
"Clumsy Cleat"look up what it means
50th edition 2008 Montauk 150, w/60HP Mercury Bigfoot