Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

A conversation among Whalers
appleton13
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Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

Postby appleton13 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:15 pm

Hi all. I am new to the forum (and forums in general), so please bear with me.

I am in the market for my first Boston Whaler boat which will also be my first powerboat--and though I grew up around them, I've primarily been a sailor to date. I live in Massachusetts, near Gloucester, but would most likely be keeping the boat on a trailer. Mostly I'd be looking to take out the family--my wife and two kids under age four--to explore, go to the beach, and perhaps do a little fishing-- all inshore.

I've pretty much settled on a 15-footer due to the balance between being able to carry the family and perhaps another adult couple; and ease of keeping it on a trailer, and the maintenance and operating simplicity that you get with a smaller boat. Based on Craigslist searches in my area, classic c.1985 SPORt 15 models seem to run around the same price as the c.1995 DAUNTLESS 15, plus or minus a few thousand on either model, depending on condition. I notice that many of the pricier classics have been restored, whereas the Dauntles boats are typically original. I've spent a lot of time browsing this forum and others, and generally see the following advantages to both models:

15-foot Classic:
--very highly reviewed;
--really like the look
--capable of carrying four adults (maybe pushing comfort a bit)
--simple to operate andmaintain
--very easy to trailer
--cheaper to repower if needed eventually
--perhaps easier to resell if or when I want to upgrade

DAUNTELESS 15
--also well reviewed but perhaps not as coveted as the classic 15
--I have more experience (though still a newbie) with a center console and prefer to stand up when driving
--slightly more room
--slightly more ability to carry people comfortably
--perhaps a bit better in chop
--more flexibility to go out a little further
--tend to come with newer power

Again, really new to this whole scene, so any advice is more than welcome. Thanks!

jimh
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby jimh » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:28 pm

Get a Montauk 17.

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Dutchman
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby Dutchman » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:47 pm

You mention Classic but some of those restored classics as you noticed are as expensive as an original slightly newer model (12 years old)
For that reason don't rule out a Montauk 150 which is a CC that you want and can handle you requirements.
EJO
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Phil T
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby Phil T » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:11 pm

Given the afternoon chop that kicks up in the afternoons and you wanting to go out past the lighthouse, you really want the comfort of a Montauk 17. The longer the boat length the better the ride into chop/waves.

In any of the 17' models (Nauset, Sakkonnet,Montauk, et al.) you can be driving standing up with one passenger in front of the console and 2 sitting on the reversable pilot seat (RPS) facing aft.

A 15' Sport/Dauntless is going to be cramped, wet and a bumpy ride.
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

appleton13
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby appleton13 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:56 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for the replies so far. Very helpful!

I do love the Montauk 17s, but have a couple of reservations.
- limited experience launching/recovering/trailering powerboats - I had assumed that it might be better to learn with something smaller than 17ft, but perhaps the difference between 15 and 17 is negligible in that regard?
- budget, which I should have mentioned before is in the $10-$12K range. I know there are 17s to be had in this price range, but it seems as though I would get slightly newer/better condition hull/power in a 15 footer. Again, perhaps the advantages of 2 extra feet outweigh the differences in condition per $.

Jefecinco
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby Jefecinco » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:01 pm

A Montauk 17 would be an excellent starter boat. Not too large to handle easily at the launch ramp, easy to tow and a better size for your use. Far more comfortable in the cockpit and not much work to maintain. Light enough to return excellent fuel economy and large enough to fit your family as your children grow. A real all around winner.
Butch

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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby Masbama » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:19 pm


Jefecinco
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby Jefecinco » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:11 am

That's a nice Montauk in the ad. Just keep in mind that it has virtually new power and probably lacks a trailer. Because of the new engine the price is way above the market for a 1994 17 Montauk.
Butch

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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby jimh » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:28 am

A SPORT 15 is a really great skiff. But it is not especially comfortable and suitable for four adults, or for two adults and two children. Yes, it is very easy to tow on a trailer, to launch, to load, and it can be stored in a standard garage. The simple thwart seats are hard and take a toll on your back after an hour underway. The SPORT 15 is a great boat for exploring shallow water--very shallow draft, and it rides very well in moderate seas, too. A 40-HP engine is fine; a 70-HP engine makes the boat a rocket ship.

I really can't comment on the DAUNTLESS 15--I don't have any experience.

The MONTAUK 17 is a step up from the SPORT 15, as you have a center console, a standing helm position, higher gunwales, and a cockpit you can walk around in. (In the SPORT 15 you are always stepping over the thwart seat or the fuel tank or some gear on deck--you really never stand up when underway in the SPORT 15.)

A MONTAUK 17 will weigh more and require a larger engine, but a modern 60-HP will be good, and a 90-HP great. Of course you need more towing capacity--a problem with modern cars with front wheel drive and no real chassis frame. An aluminum trailer might save some weight.

There are probably more MONTAUK 17 boats on the market than SPORT 15 boats, so you may have a wider selection.

If you do buy a SPORT 15 you will love it. But just don't go out with four adults for very long or you will all have a sore back. Also, the SPORT 15 is a great boat for a youngster to learn on. You can let your kids run a SPORT 15 long before you'd trust them to go out of your sight in a Montauk.

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InVision
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby InVision » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:49 am

Curious where in the US are you? My Neighbor has a 2012 Sport for sale. Very clean boat no bottom paint. We are in Destin FL area.

M
Proud owner of 2004 Boston Whaler 190 Nantucket ! ;)

Boat Photos

Masbama
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby Masbama » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:14 am

Jefecinco wrote:That's a nice Montauk in the ad. Just keep in mind that it has virtually new power and probably lacks a trailer. Because of the new engine the price is way above the market for a 1994 17 Montauk.

I do agree Butch but if one could negotiate a bit off the asking price it would be almost like buying a new engine and getting that pristine hull for free.

appleton13
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby appleton13 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:22 am

Thanks again all, this is great.

When I saw that Montauk 17 in FL, I first assumed that something must be horribly wrong with it, but it prompted me to significantly expand my craigslist search radius and it seems like I've been looking at a serious New England premium on Whalers. Sounds like a road trip may eventually be in order.

From the outset, I've assumed the Montauk would be my upgrade boat in after a few years, but based on these posts (and expanded options in my price range), I'm seriously reconsidering starting there.

InVision--I'm in Massachusetts, north of Boston near Essex-Gloucester.

goldstem
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby goldstem » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:18 am

I'm in SE Massachusetts, and I've bought my last two whalers outside of Massachusetts, one near Hartford, and the other on Long Island.

I can take you out in both a SPORt 15 and an old beat up 16 if you'd like a rough comparison.

andrey320
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Re: Classic 15 sport or dauntless 15 - advice please

Postby andrey320 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:36 pm

The Dauntless 15 has been my first boat for the past seven years. I love it! I am extremely happy to have chosen the right boat for me from the start. I didn't consider the 17 because I park it in my townhome garage in which the Dauntless just fits with the tongue removed from the trailer.

One really nice thing about the Dauntless 15 that you haven't mentioned (even when compared to the Montauk 17) is the availability of a full-length rear bench. This is great for accommodating more passengers. So even though you may get a bigger boat, will it have the seating arrangement to fit your needs?

Regarding the 15 vs 17 for holding more passengers, it is true, the bigger the boat, the more room (usually). However, many may be saying more room for fishing (or open space) whereas it sounds like you need more seating room.

Look at the boats you are considering. That is the best way to decide what is best for you. If you have any questions on the Dauntless 15, feel free to ask.

Good luck with your boat search!

thediscusthrower
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Re: Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

Postby thediscusthrower » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:38 am

When I went shopping around for my 1st boat, I chose a 1995 15' Boston Whaler Dauntless. Primary points of consideration for me at the time were:

1) Not having to purchase a larger truck to trailer the boat back and forth, to and from the ramp.
2) Wanted to be able to handle it by myself, e.g., getting it on/off the trailer during fishing excursions
3) Not so big when it came to cleaning, waxing, maintenance, etc.
4) Wanted to be able to walk around without obstruction (i.e., center console)
5) Wanted something that needed some work, so that I could learn some new things and be proud at the end of the project

I have owned my 1995 15' Dauntless for 13 years. I think the name is misleading, as it's styling/body style [for the time] is more like a miniature Outrage. It has the original 70 hp Evinrude two-stroke and Calkins keel-roller based, bunk trailer. I purchased it in the Fall of 2004 for $6,750 and spent from November 2004 to July 2005 of the following year "restoring" the boat, motor & trailer to a level that I wanted for the long term. I love it. Guy at the ramp yesterday was shocked when I told him it was a '95. Told me that I could probably sell it for $15-20K but I told him it was $16K and change when brand new!

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5A6AD4C6

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5A8286FC

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5A7409D9

I contacted a Boston Whaler dealership (Sue Lodel in Mn.) and bought the original [optional] powder-coated, front mounting bracket and installed it on the backside of the front anchor locker to accommodate the [optional] fishing chair. Also bought a square, stainless steel mounting bracket for the same sort of set-up on the rear deck. Last but not least, I bought the [optional] backrest pad which installs in the front of the center console's rod holders.

With the fishing seats both front and rear, this boat is ideal for (2) people. I take it out on the Delaware River, Delaware Bay (e.g., out to Brandywine Light from the Cape May Canal or mid-bay lighthouses from the Maurice River), as well as inshore on NJ's portion of the Atlantic Ocean. I think I probably could go out further but haven't so far. I have NEVER felt unsafe in it, even when the weather turned kinda nasty (e.g., following sea). I have never been wet in it either; only when a very strong wind was blowing the wash across the boat while underway. The 6'4" beam is probably advantageous.

Boat is equipped with a 15 gallon gas tank (under the helm seat) and I ride around all day long without worry. I think the biggest refill I ever had was a total of (7) gallons after a long trip, back and forth between the bay and the ocean.

Bob

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Dutchman
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Re: Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

Postby Dutchman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:16 pm

Take a seat/chair of your 3 year old and sit on it for 15 minutes while you are doing something you love and see if you want a Sport.
Get a CC 15 to 17ft and you'll be much happier.
You can get a 2008-2010 Montauk 150 with nice economical 60HP 4-stroke for $10-$14K just noticed one on boattrader for less than $12 grand. And from experience it does OK with 4 adults, yes you can't have a dance party but hey it is a 15-1/2ft boat that is easily handled by one person and fit in a garage and can be towed with most car/cuv's.
EJO
"Clumsy Cleat"look up what it means
50th edition 2008 Montauk 150, w/60HP Mercury Bigfoot

porthole
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Re: Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

Postby porthole » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:35 pm

I had a 1983 15 CC.
Great boat, a w e s o m e ride even in small craft advisory conditions.

But I would limit it to 2 adults, occasionally 3. Or me and the dogs.

It still was only a 15.
Last edited by porthole on Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Thanks,
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jimh
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Re: Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

Postby jimh » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:28 pm

There is a lot of great advice here. I wonder if the original poster has read any of it. Not a word from him since he posted about two weeks ago.

appleton13
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Re: Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

Postby appleton13 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:15 pm

jimh wrote:There is a lot of great advice here. I wonder if the original poster has read any of it. Not a word from him since he posted about two weeks ago.


OP here, and yes there is a lot of great advice here (to which I've both responded in public and private messages..., unless I'm doing something wrong and only I can see those responses?). Anyway, I really appreciate the advice/thoughts/knowledge, and I've taken some of that advice and have been poking around local marina's trying to get a better sense of what makes the most sense for my situation. Still undecided overall, but now between the Montauk 15 or 17; or Dauntless 15/16. Probably leaning towards Montauk, but saw a nice looking Dauntless that has me questioning again.

The weight of the larger models has become a slight concern for my towing vehicle, a Subaru outback (I know this has been much discussed elsewhere), but I think I'll be able to sort that out.

On the other hand, the classic 15 looks like a really fun boat, but definitely would not meet my needs - something that I really needed to see in person.

Anyway, I do really appreciate all of the feedback and sorry for any perceived lack of interest thereof.

jimh
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Re: Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

Postby jimh » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:50 pm

Oops--my apology. I missed your replies shortly after the thread began. I was browsing the thread and did a poor job.

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Re: Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

Postby jimh » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:28 am

When I had a SPORT 15, we towed it with our car, a 1993 Ford Crown Victoria V8 rear-wheel drive. The SPORT 15 was extremely easy to launch. Just about any ramp would suffice. I remember we once rented a cottage on the Crooked River in northern Michigan, near Alanson. The owner told us that there was a boat launch ramp "right down the road." We we arrived, we discovered that the "boat launch ramp" was just the county road as it ended at the river, no improved ramp at all. But we had no trouble launching and loading the Sport 15 on that dirt ramp. We also took a number of road trip vacations and towed the SPORT 15 with us. Every night we were staying at a new motel; every day launching at a new lake on a new ramp. It was a lot of fun. The SPORT 15 is a great small boat. But if you really need capacity for cruising around with four adults, it is not the right boat.

appleton13
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Re: Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

Postby appleton13 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:03 am

The ease of the 15 sport is certainty a huge appeal and there are a few sand/dirt “ramps” near me where that would come in handy. And most times the size would probably be just fine But knowing myself, the first time I wanted to take out a few friends, stay out for a few hours, etc. I’d be longing for a bigger boat and annoyed with myself. With a growing family I’m sure I’ll eventually want even more, but I’d rather start somewhere in the middle. Thanks again all for the thoughts and suggestions.

andrey320
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Re: Advice on SPORT 15 and DAUNTLESS 15

Postby andrey320 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:49 pm

I recently sold my 2008 Crown Victoria P71 that I used to tow the Dauntless 15 for about four years.

I now use my wife's 2015 Subaru Outback. It has done great so far. I think it is rated for 2800 pounds so I wouldn't hesitate using it to tow the slightly larger boats you are considering.