Buying My First Boston Whaler

A conversation among Whalers
cb_nbpt
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Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:44 pm

Hey folks, I'm starting to search for my first boat. I'm in Newburyport, Massachusets and want to explore the Plum Island River and Merrimack River areas with my wife and two young kids, age seven and four.

I'll be parking the boat in my driveway (maybe the garage) and trailering it behind my Toyota Sienna minivan to launch at Cashman (maybe other spots like Newbury town launch if we can figure out parking). I can see 90-percent of the boat's usage being packing up some food, exploring the nooks and crannies of the Plum Island marsh area, anchoring at Sandy Point, and so on.

I'm not into fishing, but will probably cast a few times with my son just for fun.

I could see the kids wanting to be pulled in a tube in a few years once they become more comfortable around water.

I have zero desire to head out into the open ocean, so don't worry about me running the mouth in a 13-footer. We're a relatively small family, probably totaling about 400-lbs right now but the kids will obviously get bigger.

So with all that, I've been refreshing searches on Facebook and Craigslist for Boston Whaler boats every five minutes for the past month. I feel like I've learned so much as I find a boat, research the heck out of it, and then it's gone. Some boats on my radar are:
  • classic 13-footer
  • classic 15-footer
  • 130 Sport
  • 150 Sport
  • Dauntless 13
  • Dauntless 14

My budget started at $2,000-and that has quickly gone up once I realized I need something legitimate if I'll be taking my family out in it. I'd like to keep the boat cost under $6,000. I feel I should be able to find a decent 13-footer or 15-footer for [under $6,000] if I hunt enough and pounce when the deal is right.

I just missed out on a Dauntless 13 in good shape for $3,950 the other day--I was the second person to contact the guy. Took me a day to get over missing out on that one.

Other boats I have my eye on are another 1998 Dauntless 13 for around $6,000, a 2004 150 Sport for around $8,000, and a 13-foot classic around $4,000. From all the research I've done it sounds like a classic 15-footer would be my best bet, but they're hard to come by.

I know a lot of you will say with a family of four I should get a 17-footer, but that feels too big to keep on my property, trailer around town to the launch, and teach my kids to pilot someday.

Give me any thoughts, input, or criticism I'm all ears. Thanks all.
Last edited by cb_nbpt on Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Phil T
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby Phil T » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:59 pm

I led the Boston Whaler Merrimack Group (now defunct) and have launched at Cashman's, motored up river, run the Plum River at speed and hung out on the flats. I also ran up the coast from Portsmouth to one fall gathering in SCA with an Outrage 20 owner who is still a bit of a loon (sorry Brian).

The 'mac can be calm and serene but also a bear with claws with a ripping ebb and a washboard of conflicting boat wakes.

My first whaler was a Montauk 17 and with 2 boys under 7 it worked. I would not want to have kids in a boat smaller than 16/17'. If you did go smaller, you will really have to pick your days (forget weekends) and often have to turn around and go back. Your kids will grow up fast and a smaller boat will be too small in 2 years.

Boats are not investments so dispel any idea of trading up without additional cost.

Figure you will need to spend $1K in your first year after purchase on supplies, gear, unexpected repairs.

A classic 16' hull is not terribly expensive, easy to tow, launch, does not require lots of horsepower ($$) and is easy to drive. There are many on Cape Ann, along the Merrimack and the NH coast.

If you go small and have a negative experience, you will not stay in boating for long.

From one of the gatherings years ago. We were rafted up together a bit up the river and out of the bussle. All former or current members of CW.

On my left: Farthest to closest:
Vink, Hobie, Dave, Ryan
P1010097.jpeg
P1010097.jpeg (97.93 KiB) Viewed 1000 times


To my right: Farthest to closest:
NHKatama (Pete), Michael Sullivan and Newt.
P1010098.jpeg
P1010098.jpeg (63.5 KiB) Viewed 1000 times


Some of the best times had!
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

jimh
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby jimh » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:47 am

A 13-footer and 15-footer are great boats for young people to learn about boat handling.

Buy a boat that you can use right away and for the next year or two without needing to immediately invest more money and time into repairs or refurbishment.

Don't over-pay for a boat in poor conditions. Many sellers think any hull that once had a Boston Whaler logo on the side is worth a fortune, even if the boat is a wreck.

As you are discovering, an older Boston Whaler boat in nice condition and offered at a fair price will often be bought by the first guy that shows up with cash. Getting there first is very important in finding a good boat at a fair price.

When your buy a used trailerable outboard boat, you are buying three major components: a hull, an engine, and a trailer. For trailer boating to be enjoyable, all three must be in good working condition.

Boston Whaler boat hulls are very resilient. As long as there has been no major damage that has compromised the integrity of the hull and the hull is not water-saturated, the hull is unlikely to be a big problem.

The engine you buy on a used Boston Whaler boat should be in good condition, able to start, run well, and get the boat on plane. A problem with the engine can be very expensive to repair. Replacement of the engine will likely exceed the purchase price of the whole hull-engine-trailer cost. Be cautious about engine condition. Note that ALL two-stroke-power-cycle engines will generally run smoothly and be able to accelerate to 5,000-RPM when running without any load, even engines that are missing half their cylinders. Testing the engine under load on the water will reveal its true condition much more clearly than just starting it up on a hose on the trailer.

The trailer should be in road-worthy condition, have a VIN number, a license plate, and current registration tags. An entirely new trailer for a small boat might cost less than $1,000, and sometimes rebuilding an old, rusty, worn-out trailer part-by-part by buying all the parts at retail can cost as much as a new trailer. Be especially wary of trailers that have been used in saltwater. Saltwater rusts out everything in a few years unless exceptional quality parts are used and great care and maintenance is employed.

Many years ago I wrote an article about buying a classic Boston Whaler boat. I have not changed a word of it. Read it at:

Buying Classic Boston Whaler Boats
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/buying.html

jimh
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby jimh » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:19 am

cb_nbpt wrote:I'll be parking the boat in my driveway (maybe the garage)...


A 13-footer will fit in almost every garage. A 15-footer will fit in most garages. A 17-footer only fits in certain garages.

cb_nbpt wrote:I'll be...trailering it behind my Toyota Sienna minivan to launch...


Almost any vehicle can tow a boat like a 17-foot (or smaller) Boston Whaler on a boat trailer a short distance, a mile or two, on level ground to a ramp at low speeds on side roads. For towing longer distances at highway speeds on major roads, the tow rating of the vehicle and the actual towed weight of the boat on the trailer will fuel and gear should be carefully assessed. Total towed weight is usually at least twice the bare hull weight.

Tow-ratings for vehicles usually only include the weight of the driver in the vehicle. Any other weight added to the vehicle, such as passengers or luggage or gear, has to be subtracted from the rated maximum towing weight. The towing vehicle must be in very good condition. The brakes must be excellent. The vehicle engine cooling system must be excellent--towing adds a big increase in load to the engine. The tongue weight often is a problem for vehicles that are not designed for heavy towing. Towing at highway speeds will be much more comfortable is the total towed weight not equal to the maximum rated towed weight for the vehicle. For example, I am towing my boat trailer which weighs about 4,600-lbs with a vehicle rated for 7,200-lbs; that is only about 65-percent towed weight compared to maximum rated towed weight.

Part of the fun of having a trailerable outboard boat is taking it to new places to use. For that to be enjoyable, you need the towing vehicle to be in top condition and have a suitable tow rating.

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:11 am

jimh wrote:Almost any vehicle can tow a boat like a 17-foot (or smaller) Boston Whaler on a boat trailer a short distance, a mile or two, on level ground to a ramp at low speeds on side roads.

This describes my scenario. The launch I will frequent is 1.5miles from my house on level town roads. I don't see ourselves towing outside of a 5-10 mile radius. There's a A LOT of water around here (Newburyport Mass).

jimh wrote:For towing longer distances at highway speeds on major roads, the tow rating of the vehicle and the actual towed weight of the boat on the trailer will fuel and gear should be carefully assessed. Total towed weight is usually at least twice the bare hull weight.

This is where I might be in trouble. Until about 2 minutes ago, I thought my 2015 Sienna XLE AWD had a 3500lb towing rating but I just googled around a bit and while most Siennas do have a 3500lb towing capacity, my specific model only has a 1500lb tow rating - something about lacking an oil cooler. Dang. My brakes are in excellent shape - I replaced the rotors and pads last year myself. My Sienna originally had run-flat tires which were junk so I replaced them with Nokian WRG3 (235/55/18, load index 104 / 1984lbs). But a 1500lb tow rating is way lower than I expected and I feel like Id be close to maxing that out simply with 4 bodies and gear in the car.

So does this mean I'm pretty much restricted to a classic 13'?

biggiefl
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby biggiefl » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:28 am

cb_nbpt wrote:...does [a 1,500-lbs tow rating on my vehicle] this mean I'm pretty much restricted to a classic 13?


A tow rating without an optional tow package means your transmission might get hot on long trips. A 10-mile tow is not going to hurt anything.

I would keep an eye out for a newer 130 which is in your budget and much more family friendly than a classic.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

jimh
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby jimh » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:41 am

Tow packages usually add much more than just a transmission oil cooler. Normally a tow package also adds beefed-up suspension, bigger radiator, an engine oil cooler, maybe added temperature gauge for the transmission oil, a factory installed hitch, bigger brakes, a bigger battery, and who know what else.

The tow rating of your vehicle is 1,500-lbs. If you tow a trailer that weighs more, you exceed the rating.

A classic SPORT 15 with an older two-stroke-power-cycle 50-HP engine on a small trailer might weigh at a minimum:
    Hull = 550-lbs
    Engine = 250-lbs
    Trailer = 300-lbs
    TOTAL = 1,100-lbs

But a 15-footer with an elaborate molded interior, a much heavier engine, on a larger trailer could certainly weigh more, maybe 1,500-lbs or even higher.

I used to tow my SPORT 15 around with a sedan rated for 5,000-lbs towing--a classic Ford CROWN VICTORIA with a V8 engine all over the Great Lakes. I have seen guys tow small boats with a golf cart to the ramp and launch and recover them. A 1.5-mile drive at low speed is not much to worry about.

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:55 am

biggiefl wrote:A tow rating without an optional tow package means your transmission might get hot on long trips. A 10-mile tow is not going to hurt anything.

Thanks! The only long-ish trip I could foresee this package going would be the day I buy it. I'm trying to find one as close as possible but some of my best options have been up to 200 miles away. Might just have to borrow a friend's vehicle with a larger towing capacity in order to get it home.

biggiefl wrote:I would keep an eye out for a newer 130 which is in your budget and much more family friendly than a classic.

For what reasons is a newer 130 a more family-friendly option than a classic? I've been wondering exactly this... if a newer 130 or 150 would be better than a 13 or 15 classic for my needs.

biggiefl
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby biggiefl » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:59 am

"Tow packages usually add much more than just a transmission oil cooler. Normally a tow package also adds beefed-up suspension, bigger radiator, an engine oil cooler, maybe added temperature gauge for the transmission oil, a factory installed hitch, bigger brakes, a bigger battery, and who know what else."

That can be true but not what he stated.

Yes a Crown Vic , just like my full sized Cadillac, has a max rating of 5k but only with a class 4 hitch with stabilizer bars. Have you ever seen anyone with a car using stabilizer bars? My point is there are many factors that make up a tow rating. Most just read it can tow XXXXlbs but in many cases that is not the case. I had a 2004 Pontiac GTO when they first came out. It had a zero capacity tow rating and stated it in the owner's manual. The GTO was a rebadged Holden Monaro made by GM in Australia. In AUS it was rated at roughly a 3800lb equivalent in KGs. I ordered a tow hitch from AUS and towed my Montauk with that car for 3 years.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

biggiefl
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby biggiefl » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:06 pm

I used to tow a Montauk with a Cadillac STS. The weight was not the problem but the lack of a cooler was. To skirt overheating your transmission you tow slower without your overdrive on. If you have a 5speed automatic you would keep it in 4th so it does not strain itself and raise heat. Heat is what kills transmissions.

Like Phil pointed out, the conditions may get a bit sloppy. The newer 130 is much heavier, has a modified V hull, and higher sides than a classic. I own a 1981 13' and the boat pretty much sucks as an adult user. I use it on very calm waters ONLY. Mainly on rendezvous on rivers or lakes. Fun boat but not with 4 people.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

jimh
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby jimh » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:21 pm

Re avoiding towing in Overdrive (OD): yes, don't let an automatic transmission operate in the over-drive gear when towing. The reason for this is related to circulation of the transmission fluid. The pump that circulates the transmission oil to the cooler and back is driven by the input shaft of the transmission from the engine. By driving in OD, the engine speed is lower, so the rate of transmission oil cooling circulation is decreased. This raises the transmission oil temperature--which is the major cause of failure of a transmission.

Here is an anecdote: a friend and I both had similar GM engines and GM transmissions, although in different vehicles. We both towed our boats from the midwest to the Pacific Northwest. Following the explicit instructions in my vehicle's manual, I never shifted into OD (actually "D" on the indicator) and manually selected "3" for the entire drive, all 4,800-miles, including crossing the Rocky Mountains in the summer at temperatures of over 100-degrees. I had no transmission problems. My friend insisted that there was no need to not drive in OD, and he drove in OD all the time. It took three transmission for him to complete the trip. The first failure was close to start, so he just changed vehicles--he had another almost identical vehicle set up for towing. That one made it as far Montana before the transmission in that vehicle failed, too. Fortunately, rebuilding transmissions is very common in that region, and he was able to get the transmission rebuilt and back in the car in about a day and a half. I think after that he decided to no longer drive in OD.

Since we are on the sidebar of automatic transmission behavior when towing, I will also mention the problem of the fluid clutch. In an automatic transmission there are usually two clutches: a fluid-linked clutch and a mechanical (or lock-up) clutch. When the transmission is accelerating and shifting, the engine torque is transferred via the fluid clutch. Once you get up to highway speed, a mechanical lock-up occurs, and the fluid-clutch is no longer transmitting the torque. The fluid is, of course, the transmission fluid. The fluid-clutch is not perfect, so when it is operating some power is lost in transmitting the torque from input shaft to output shaft, and that power goes into heating the fluid.

Even when driving in "3" instead of "OD" you can cause the transmission to come out of lock-up by trying to accelerate, particularly if trying to accelerate up a slight grade. This loss of lock-up is seen by a small change in engine speed without a change in vehicle speed. In my vehicle, towing at 55-MPH in "3" with mechanical lock-up produces 2,500-RPM. If too much accelerator pedal pressure is applied, the transmission will jump out of lock-up and back to fluid clutch, and the engine speed will increase to 2,700-RPM while vehicle speed remains the same. If going up a long grade, you can drive for several miles like this. If you do, the transmission temperature will quickly increase. I learned this the hard way--the transmission got really too hot.

After I became aware of this problem, I was very careful about appling slight pressure on the accelerator pedal and not really accelerating the car to a higher speed. If I had to ascent a big grade, I would slow down, downshift to "2" manually, and go up hill at 35-MPH with the engine roaring away at 3,000-RPM. The higher input shaft speed helped reduce heating of the fluid.

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:57 pm

biggiefl wrote:I used to tow a Montauk with a Cadillac STS. The weight was not the problem but the lack of a cooler was. To skirt overheating your transmission you tow slower without your overdrive on. If you have a 5speed automatic you would keep it in 4th so it does not strain itself and raise heat. Heat is what kills transmissions.

Thanks for that insight. I think my 2015 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD has a 6 speed auto and it has an S mode in the shift lever where you can control the gear it's in. Are you saying that even when I'm driving slower speeds around town (less than 35mph) and if my tow weight is less than the vehicle's towing capacity (1500lbs) I should still try to keep it in a lower gear to avoid overheating? Or is it only if my tow weight exceeds the capacity AND I'm driving on highways where I need to be aware of the overdrive kicking in?

biggiefl wrote:Like Phil pointed out, the conditions may get a bit sloppy. The newer 130 is much heavier, has a modified V hull, and higher sides than a classic. I own a 1981 13' and the boat pretty much sucks as an adult user. I use it on very calm waters ONLY. Mainly on rendezvous on rivers or lakes. Fun boat but not with 4 people.

I like the idea of a higher sides (which equates to higher freeboard, yes?) to have less a chance of taking on water or a kid falling overboard. And a "newer" 130, like from the year 2000 on, would give me all those advantages over a classic, yes?

This turned into "towing talk" and I'm super appreciative of all your input here fellas.

biggiefl
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby biggiefl » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:59 pm

Yes the boat looks and feels much larger than a classic and has a much smoother ride. With all that improvement also comes more weight which again adds to a better ride. Early 2000's can go for pretty cheap as far as Whaler prices go. I personally would stay away from the first models with only a 30hp engine.

I would not tow in "D" like Jim stated, even around town. I would not worry about the tow rating with a small skiff as many people with large families weigh more than the boat when leaving Walmart with groceries.

Jim I am not sure when the lock-up converted became mainstream with GM but my 1980 Corvette had it and it looks to be a new thing as they talk about in the brochure as a gas savings feature. In that car it is pretty subtle but noticeable. When they came out with the 4spd 700R4 transmission in 1982 it was much more noticeable and many people thought they had a 5speed transmission.

With my full sized trucks they have a Tow/Haul button or switch. When pushed the computer does all the work and monitors temperatures etc. I could manually select gears via paddles on my Ram but on flat terrain in Florida it is not necessary. My Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel that I had could tow 7400lbs with the 8 speed transmission. It also had the tow/haul button and showed what gear I was in. With my big boat it did not go into 8th gear. With my smaller boat it would.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

roundle1979
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby roundle1979 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:43 pm

A lot of good advise here already.

As for boats, I think it's hard to go wrong with a classic 13 or 15. That said, you may feel a bit cozy with more than a few people.

One boat that you might want to consider is the (classic) Super Sport 17 (Limited). A lot of people looking for a 17 will go for the Montauk and overlook the larger Super Sports. The Super Sport 17 is the same hull as the Montauk but in a dual console configuration.

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:59 pm

roundle1979 wrote:A lot of good advise here already. As for boats, I think it's hard to go wrong with a classic 13 or 15. That said, you may feel a bit cozy with more than a few people. One boat that you might want to consider is the (classic) Super Sport 17 (Limited). A lot of people looking for a 17 will go for the Montauk and overlook the larger Super Sports. The Super Sport 17 is the same hull as the Montauk but in a dual console configuration.

I like the look of the SS 17 but haven't seen any come up for sale and internet results are scarce - must be a rare one! I'll definitely keep my eyes open... but with only 1500lb towing capacity on my minivan, will a 17' footer, plus interior outfit, plus trailer put me over that edge? I would think it's dangerously close.

I'm still really depressed about just realizing a few hours ago that I bought the ONE minivan that was built in the past 15-20yrs that doesn't have a 3500lb+ towing capacity. Thanks Toyota!

frontier
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby frontier » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:29 pm

Are you sure you don't have the "Toyota Towing Prep" option? Many if not most of the deluxe versions of the Sienna (XLE and Limited) have it. Double check by looking at your original "Monroney" window sticker. If you don't have the sticker, get one cheap by going to "Monroney Labels" on line and have your VIN ready. Or call factory Toyota Customer Service with your VIN number and ask them how your vehicle came equipped from the factory.

roundle1979
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby roundle1979 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:45 pm

cb_nbpt wrote:I like the look of the SS 17 but haven't seen any come up for sale...

The 17 SS boats are out there. There's actually one close to you on Facebook marketplace.

cb_nbpt wrote:I'm still really depressed [the minivan] doesn't have a 3500-lbs towing capacity.!

As for towing capacity, I did a quick search and looks like your car is missing an oil cooler (not transmission cooler) and nothing more. So long as you're only towing a handful of miles, you will be fine. The oil cooler would make your car a 3500-lbs capacity car.

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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby biggiefl » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:56 am

You can add an oil and transmission cooler for little money.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:48 am

biggiefl wrote:You can add an oil and transmission cooler for little money.

I did some research on a Sienna forum and it sounded like MANY have wanted to do just that but it was cost prohibitive... somewhere between $1-2k. Yeesh.

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:51 am

frontier wrote:Are you sure you don't have the "Toyota Towing Prep" option? Many if not most of the deluxe versions of the Sienna (XLE and Limited) have it. Double check by looking at your original "Monroney" window sticker. If you don't have the sticker, get one cheap by going to "Monroney Labels" on line and have your VIN ready. Or call factory Toyota Customer Service with your VIN number and ask them how your vehicle came equipped from the factory.

From reading up on this, it sounds like Toyota and dealerships are rarely helpful in truly discovering if a Sienna has the tow package or not. I need to wait until my wife gets home to just look in the engine and see if the parts are there. This is the thread where I learned I most likely have a 1500lb towing capacity:
https://www.siennachat.com/threads/why- ... lbs.13256/

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:03 pm

roundle1979 wrote:
cb_nbpt wrote:I like the look of the SS 17 but haven't seen any come up for sale...

The 17 SS boats are out there. There's actually one close to you on Facebook marketplace.

I see one down in Danbury CT on FB for $7500. That's definitely at the top of the budget. I'm hoping to keep it under $5k. I know it's low, but I have time and am just hoping the right deal pops up.

roundle1979 wrote:
cb_nbpt wrote:I'm still really depressed [the minivan] doesn't have a 3500-lbs towing capacity.!

As for towing capacity, I did a quick search and looks like your car is missing an oil cooler (not transmission cooler) and nothing more. So long as you're only towing a handful of miles, you will be fine. The oil cooler would make your car a 3500-lbs capacity car.

Thanks for the input. Makes me feel a bit better and I will definitely try to not exceed the 1500lb capacity. Sounds like the following items are part of the towing package that I don't have on my specific model (the 2014 xle awd has it std and it came back in the 2018 - mine is 2015): engine oil cooler, heavy-duty radiator, heavy-duty fan, heavy-duty coupling
Last edited by cb_nbpt on Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:44 pm

Found a well-priced 1989 15’ Super Sport Limited (dual console with aft cover). Any reason to not jump all over it? It’s in great shape, needs nothing, has paperwork, trailer, Bimini, etc. Seems like the 15 footers are loved. This seems like it could be the perfect boat for me and my wife and kids to poke around the local rivers and my van could easily tow it since the bare hull weight is only 500lbs. Thoughts?

Don SSDD
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby Don SSDD » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:59 am

What outboard does it have, age, hp, and brand? 2 stroke or 4 stroke? Trailer licensed and inspected (if you have that where you are)? Sounds like a good starter boat.

As far as towing a couple of miles once you have the boat, on flatish ground, your sienna will tow the size boat you are looking at without harming it. To be safer, just keep it down in a lower gear, say 3rd, but for 1.5 miles, you really can’t hurt the transmission for that short a haul. Biggest safety risk with towing anything is stopping, your siennna weighs enough to stop a 1500 lb boat, just be defensive when driving.

From what I am hearing here about where you will be boating and the load you will have in the boat, sounds like you’ll outgrow a 13 very fast so I’d say the 15 is the minimum. You may outgrow a 15 too but they are easy to sell and you can upgrade any time.
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:40 pm

It’s a Yamaha 50hp 2 stroke, new plugs, lower unit oiled. It’s a 1989 BW 15 SS Ltd (twin console, molded seats, not teak, aft cover). I’d need to tow it about 200 miles to get it home. Think the Sienna can handle it? The boat (630lbs), engine, and trailer would be right around the 1500lb towing capacity, right?
Last edited by cb_nbpt on Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

biggiefl
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby biggiefl » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:46 pm

If it is in your budget, you better snag it or it will be gone.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

roundle1979
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby roundle1979 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:42 pm

Go and grab it.

If you’re really worried about the car, just rent a truck from U-Haul for a day.

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:43 pm

Thanks for all the advice folks. That 1989 15’ SS Ltd slipped away from me... we texted and called a few times and then he disappeared.

So I’m back on the hunt and I’m trying to decide on a 13’ Dauntless, mid-80s 15’, or maybe an early 2000s 130 Sport. I like the Dauntless because it’s almost the same length as a classic 15 but seems to sit higher out of the water which makes me feel safer being in a slight chop and having young kids in the boat with me, and the weight and width is basically almost the same (Dauntless is a few inches wider and only a foot shorter). Any thoughts? Am I wrong in thinking that a 13’ Dauntless will feel bigger and more safe than a classic 15’?

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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby jimh » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:37 pm

Part of the fun of running a classic 15-footer is the low freeboard and the closeness of the water. I don’t recall ever having water come aboard over the gunwales. Maybe if the boat were adrift in a very large and very short-spaced beam sea some water might come aboard. But if you are adrift in a powerless 15-foot boat in a big beam sea, you have other problems to worry about.

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:11 pm

jimh wrote:Part of the fun of running a classic 15-footer is the low freeboard and the closeness of the water.

So am I correct in thinking a Dauntless 13-15 or c.2000 130 Sport would have more freeboard?

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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby jimh » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:23 pm

cb_nbpt wrote: [would]...a Dauntless 13 to 15 or c.2000 130 Sport...have more freeboard [than a classic SPORT 15]?


I cannot answer that question because I don't have any accurate data on the freeboard of all those hulls. Boston Whaler doesn't give the freeboard measurement as a hull specification. You will have to find all those boats and put them in the water, then measure their freeboard.

Earlier you indicated that you thought those other boats would have more freeboard than a classic SPORT 15. I commented that the low freeboard on a classic SPORT 15 is really an asset because it gives you a good feeling about the water--you are close to it, and the boat often feels like it is going much faster than it really is going.

Low freeboard also makes a boat easier to get into from the water.

To expand on my earlier comment, I never had any water come over the gunwales of my SPORT 15 boat while it was underway, that is, while the boat was making way under forward propulsion power and I was steering it.

I can guess that if a SPORT 15 boat were adrift and not having any way on and not being steered and the hull turned broadside to big waves, maybe some big wave--the third wave in big series of steep waves--might come over the gunwale. But all boats that are not under any power and are adrift are at risk if they turn abeam to big waves, not just a SPORT 15.

If you want to buy a boat based on its freeboard, you are going to have to go out and collect a lot of data to be in a position to make accurate comparisons. After you get all the data about freeboard, what will the basis for deciding which boat to buy?

The real characteristic to have an interest in is probably not the freeboard but the roll stability or resistance to initial roll. The behavior of a boat hull in response to force trying to cause a roll is a complex system, influenced by the hull form, the center of gravity and the meta-center. It is something naval architects calculate. Big ships are modeled and tested or sophisticated naval architecture simulation programs are used to calculate their roll resistance and roll stability. Nothing like that is done for 13 to 15-foot recreational skiffs.

If you want a boat with outstanding initial roll resistance, get a classic 13-footer. The twin-sponson hull design is great for having high resistance to initial roll. The classic 15-foot is not really a twin-sponson hull. It is a moderate V-hull with fine entry forward and then changes to a rounded bottom hull toward the stern. There are vestigial sponsons that do help with some initial roll resistance, but the 15-foot hull will have more lateral movement that the 13-foot hull.

The classic 15-foot hull has been around since 1976 and is often thought to be the best small boat ever made. It is highly sought by buyers, as you are finding out. I would not decide against buying one because you have a notion that the freeboard might be lower than some other model.

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:54 pm

^^^ thanks for all the input Jim!

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:43 pm

2006 Montauk 150 for $9k... sound reasonable? Seems so to me. Way more than I wanted to spend, but this could be a forever boat...
- Merc Bigfoot 60hp 4-stroke
- cooler in front of the console
- cushions for the cooler and bow
- console, seat, boat, and engine covers
- 2 6gal gas tanks
- original swing-arm trailer
- bimini

biggiefl
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby biggiefl » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:52 pm

That is a very good price depending on condition. Check the trailer as those Karavan trailers are not very good quality.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:20 pm

biggiefl wrote:That is a very good price depending on condition. Check the trailer as those Karavan trailers are not very good quality.

Thanks for confirming. What should I look for to make sure the trailer is good to go? I will need to trailer it 200 miles back home.

biggiefl
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby biggiefl » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:38 pm

Rust...excessive rust, not surface...aka rot. If you can check the bearing for growl or being lose and grease if possible. Obviously check tires and air pressure. Make sure boat is tied down using a good tie down. The tie down is not keeping the boat on the trailer, it is keeping the trailer tied to the boat.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:19 pm

Another one slips through my fingers. Had been calling/texting all day, had plans for me to pick it up tomorrow, and then POOF it's gone. The search continues!

roundle1979
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby roundle1979 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:21 am

cb_nbpt wrote:Another one slips through my fingers. Had been calling/texting all day, had plans for me to pick it up tomorrow, and then POOF it's gone. The search continues!


This happened to me a few times last year. Frustrating. That said, the good ones go very fast.

My recommendation: When you are confident that the listing and seller are legit, either send a deposit via Venmo or a photo of your (grand)children.

biggiefl
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby biggiefl » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:05 pm

In the two decades I have been on this site I see this all the time. People post the ad information waiting to get opinions and approval, and it is sold. Scan the classifieds diligently if you can; if something of interest comes up, get on it, not get on this site.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:14 pm

biggiefl wrote:In the two decades I have been on this site I see this all the time. People post the ad information waiting to get opinions and approval, and it is sold. Scan the classifieds diligently if you can; if something of interest comes up, get on it, not get on this site.

In this case I had clearly communicated to the guy that I 100% wanted it, would drive down the next day with full price cash in hand, and he loved knowing it was going to be our first boat and my two young kids would grow up in it. I had it. I can only assume some other person swooped in and offered a grand more and laid out all the cash and it was too tempting for the seller to refuse it.

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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby goldstem » Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:43 pm

I can tell you as having sold a few 13's in my time, that when a buyer actually shows up, it's theirs.
too many times i held a bout for someone promising to come and they never did, while I had turned away
other callers. after a few of those, the first person to actually show up got it.... not great, i know, but
got tired of getting burned. best of luck.

biggiefl
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby biggiefl » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:32 am

I have had that happen where I told the guy I was on my way and when I got there another buyer was already there and bought it. The DB knew I had a 1.5hr drive that I just wasted.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:36 pm

goldstem wrote:I can tell you as having sold a few 13's in my time, that when a buyer actually shows up, it's theirs.
too many times i held a bout for someone promising to come and they never did, while I had turned away
other callers. after a few of those, the first person to actually show up got it.... not great, i know, but
got tired of getting burned. best of luck.
Totally makes sense from a seller's perspective. I've bought and sold A LOT online over the years - I always joke that my wife is the only thing I haven't found on Craigslist.

biggiefl wrote:I have had that happen where I told the guy I was on my way and when I got there another buyer was already there and bought it. The DB knew I had a 1.5hr drive that I just wasted.
The worst. I understand selling to the first person that shows up, but communicating with other buyers is so important... especially buyers you've invited that are traveling from afar.

So after much research and conversation both here and offline, I've decided I'm actively hunting for an early-mid 2000s Sport 150 or Montauk 150... or maybe a Dauntless 13 or Dauntless 15. The absolute max budget is $10k but I'm fairly confident/hopeful I can find one for less. A few bargains have slipped through my hands (ex: Dauntless 13 for $4k, Dauntless 15 for $7k, Montauk 150 for $9k, classic 15' SS Ltd for $6k) .

If someone dangled a Sport 150 or Montauk 150 in front of me for the same price I'd have a tough time deciding. My main usage is cruising rivers/bays with my wife and 2 young kids and hopping out at sandbars... and twice a year the grandparents would join. With that in mind the Sport 150 is probably the better choice but I really like the center console layout of the Montauk 150 because you can stand up at the helm and are able to move around the boat more easily. I feel like with the Sport 150, once everyone is seated... that's it, you have to stay put... but you could fit 4 adults and 2 kids more comfortably that in a Montauk 150. Thoughts?

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:36 pm

Found a good deal on a 1995 Dauntless 15 with a 1995 Johnson 50hp. So excited! I have to drive from north shore Massachusetts down to northern NJ to pick it up. I’ve never trailered anything before... this will be the most terrifying 250+ miles I’ve ever driven! Any tips on driving routes from Parlin NJ to Newburyport MA for a first-time boat trailering fool like me?

So excited to be a part of the Whaler family. Already planning modifications/updates: bimini, cover, stern deck seating, scupper valves... anything else?

MarkCz
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby MarkCz » Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:07 pm

You might want to bring a spare hub for the trailer and make sure you have a spare tire. That's a long ride for a trailer that you don't know the condition of the tires or hubs.

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:17 am

MarkCz wrote:You might want to bring a spare hub for the trailer and make sure you have a spare tire. That's a long ride for a trailer that you don't know the condition of the tires or hubs.

Thanks! I plan on bringing a spare but the tires are new on the trailer.

fno
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby fno » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:07 am

Stop chatting and start driving!!! This is partly why you lost those other boats!!! Drive,Drive,Drive!!! Take someone who knows how to tow a boat. Take your wife, she knows everything ;-)

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:21 am

fno wrote:Stop chatting and start driving!!! This is partly why you lost those other boats!!! Drive,Drive,Drive!!! Take someone who knows how to tow a boat. Take your wife, she knows everything ;-)

I already got it. Deposit paid. It’s mine. Just trying to plan for a flawless trip home now. Thanks!

Don SSDD
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby Don SSDD » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:25 am

The tires may be “new” based on looks/wear, but may not be new based on age. I’d stop frequently and check the temperature of the bearings and rubber (buy a cheap infrared temperature gun) and keep the speed down to say 60mph. Do you have the right size trailer ball on your hitch to match the one on the trailer?

Congratulations on your purchase and get there ASAP.
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

cb_nbpt
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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby cb_nbpt » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:43 am

Don SSDD wrote:The tires may be “new” based on looks/wear, but may not be new based on age. I’d stop frequently and check the temperature of the bearings and rubber (buy a cheap infrared temperature gun) and keep the speed down to say 60mph. Do you have the right size trailer ball on your hitch to match the one on the trailer? Congratulations on your purchase and get there ASAP.


Thanks! Indeed, I was just reading up on that and will look for the WW/YY mark on the tires to check their age. Good tips on stopping frequently to check temp of bearings and rubber with a temp gun... what temp range should they be in though? I will definitely keep my speed low... I usually drive like a grandma anyway to optimize mpg, haha. I do have the right size ball on my hitch. Thanks for the helpful tips!

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Re: Buying My First Boston Whaler

Postby Jefecinco » Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:58 am

If you can touch the hub for five or ten seconds the temperature is fine. A temp gun is better. I use one and usually see readings of no more than 20 to 30 degrees above ambient on summer days. Interestingly the shady side hub is always cooler than the other.
Butch