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  BW 17 standard or Montauk for family boat???

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Author Topic:   BW 17 standard or Montauk for family boat???
Abner posted 05-07-2000 10:47 PM ET (US)   Profile for Abner   Send Email to Abner  
I would like to buy what would be my first boat that I would own to go boating with my wife and our two kids ages 7 and 25 months (we are also considering having a third child). We have been told by many salesmen that we should be looking into cuddy cabin walkaround boats because of our young children but I have been relatively intimidated by the size and cost of these boats (ie conquest 21 or grady white seafarer). What I really want to do is to be able to take out the family for an hour or so long ride around the bay, or on the connecticut river, and trailer the boat to some New England lakes. I envision maybe doing a little fishing and having a picnic lunch on the water or a convenient shore. The boat might be used occaisionally for water skiing. Maybe I would take the boat 5-10 miles offshore with another adult, but rarely if at all. I would like to solicit some opinions from experienced owners about the appropriateness of these boats for my intended pupose.
david in boston posted 05-08-2000 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for david in boston  Send Email to david in boston     
I'm in the same boat as you with 3 small kids. we have an older montauk style whaler that is just right for day trips beach picnics and fishing. a porta poti fits in a hatch under the bow deck and a large bow dodger provides privacy and a place to get out of the sun. because of the low freeboard of the whaler design, its easy to get in and out of for swiming. tubing, etc, plus it can't sink! good luck -David
Bill D posted 05-08-2000 10:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bill D  Send Email to Bill D     
I've owned both the Montauk and now the 21'
Conquest. Go with the Montauk for now its safe and will teach you a lot about handling a boat. You'll get your money out of it if you take care of her. I kept a 87 Montauk 11yrs. Netted 10k when I sold her. I love my Conquest, but I knew what I wanted out of a boat before I spent that much money.
jimh posted 05-08-2000 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you are new to trailer boating, I'd recommend starting on the small side. You will find it much easier to use a 17-foot trailer boat than a 21-foot trailer boat.

The 17-footer will be:
--easier to tow
--easier to launch
--easier to recover

You should be able to pretty much do it all by yourself, once you get the knack of it.

If you jump into the 21-footer, you'll have a BIG boat, but it will be harder to use. Your learning curve will be steeper and probably mistakes more expensive.

If you pick the right days, you can go anywhere in a 17-footer that you'd be able to go in the 21. Here's a little secret: nobody has fun slamming into headseas no mater how big the boat.

We have a blast with our 15-footer, and we often comment about how we might not have gone boating on a particular day if we had to wrestle with a bigger boat. The 15 sits right in the garage and I can drop it on the hitch by hand and be on the road in 2-minutes.


tbirdsey posted 05-08-2000 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Abner - sounds like you are looking for a 17' Montauk style whaler. I did all of the things you are looking to do in a Nauset (predecessor to the Montauk). It was my first boat, trailered it all over including lots of day trips with the kids. Also a few offshore fishing trips - including one further than I would ever do today! BTY, you gotta have the standup (Montauk) console if you are going off shore. Bought mine used, owned it for fifteen years, and sold it for what I paid. Think hard about getting the Mills canvas for some rain and sun protection for the family - I never got it for the Nauset, but now have an 18' Outrage with the canvas and would never be without it again.

The peace of mind for the safety of the family that comes with the Whaler is priceless!!! good luck

Peter posted 05-08-2000 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     

If all you plan to do is go for an hour ride here and there, I don't think you need a cuddy cabin style boat. The Montauk is a very versatile platform which is very easy to trailer and I don't think you could go wrong with it. However, if you have some boating experience, you might consider looking for a classic (c. 1981-1991) 18' (later redesignated the 19') Outrage, that is if you are buying used. Although it might cost a bit more than a similar vintage
Montauk, the 18, with the deeper vee and built in fuel tank, is, in my opinion, even more versatile (probably the most versatile boat Whaler ever made (of course, I'm a bit biased)). Although it may be a little more difficult to trailer (but not much) its deep vee provides a much more forgiving ride and the 63 gallon built in fuel tank will let you go much farther than the 24 or so gallon above deck tanks that many people use with the Montauk under the reversable pilot seat. I've trailered my 18 up to the public ramp in Old Saybrook to drop it in for a cruise up the Connecticut River. The boat is perfect for that. With a good trailer, launch and retrieve is almost as easy as it is with the Montauk. That's my 2 cents, hope it helps.


whalernut posted 05-08-2000 08:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Abner, I love the `17 Standard because I fish alot and it has alot of open space. That center console on the Montauk doesn`t have very much room to get around it. Also I will only buy pre-90` Whalers because they still should be a New England made boat. I have found that the new Whalers are not up to the old standards(no pun intended) that Whalers once were. I am buying a 75` `17 Currituck, which is relatively what a standard is today, but with the old hull design, which in my opinion is much better than the smirk design, plus the desert tan gelcoat is more pleasent to look at. I would if I were you go with the `17 Standard-more room to move around, especially with a few people onboard. Dick Fisher-Bob Dougherty-Ray Hunt forever! JACK.
lhg posted 05-11-2000 08:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Gotta get my 2 cents worth in on this one! First of all, I assume you're looking at a new 17 model. Tom Birdsey's remarks are right on the money. Get a Montauk, new or used, since it will hold it's value MUCH better than the bare bones Standard, and the stand up console design is what Boston Whaler's reputation for rugged offshore duty is largely based upon. Jack, the Standard is not what you are getting, and has no nicely designed mahogany interior. Rather it has a small Commercial Products Div side console and starboard seats & side hold-downs. Starboard is a great material for certain uses, but not here. Every Standard I have seen has badly WARPED starboard, and these Whalers simply look cheap. Abner, if you get the Montauk, stay away from Whaler's current canvas offerings, and do what Tom says - get the Mills Flying Top set. This gives a fold down cuddy cabin in the bow for wife & kids if the weather turns bad, plus bimini top protection for sun only, and also a windshield for total rain & wind shelter. Even though this was designed for earlier Montauks, it will still fit the new model. It may cost an additional $1600 or so, but you'll have a perfect setup for all around use. I agree with Tom that I would not have a Montauk or Outrage without the Mills canvas system.
kent posted 05-14-2000 03:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for kent    

You may not be aware that Bob Dougherty is still in the boat business! After being a major driving force at Boston Whaler for 30 years, he left the Company about 7 years ago. Likely disillusioned with what the Whaler Company had become, he started his own boat building business. It is the Edge Water Boat Company. He is producing some nice boats. Obviously he would have taken his vast knowledge with him, and his boats are very Whaler-like. Looking at his construction techniques, I would say that he is producing boats that excel Whalers current offerings. It looks as though he has taken the constuction technology to the point where Whaler SHOULD be today. It is noteworthy that he is using the Accu Trac type of hull design.

Ray Hunt has gone on to bigger (literally) and better things. As a designer, he is working with the Grand Banks Company producing large fibreglas motorcruisers. These are beautiful boats with a very 'classic' styling, very typical of Mr. Hunt.

There is a highly regarded company that is currently producing a boat that is very much like the Classic Whaler sea sled design. It is Carolina Skiff. The construction methods are similar to the Whalers, but different. There is a photo on their website of the Semi-V Model V17 that you would swear was an old Whaler. It is a 8 person, 75 HP capable craft with a suggested retail price of $3410.00. For someone looking for that classic sea sled design in a new, quality boat, this could be a viable alternative.

This is not meant to come across as anti-Whaler, or anything like that. After all, I am a Whaler owner myself. I think that it is good to keep an open mind about things. It seems that Whalers are not as unique as they once were, and while some may discount other manufacturers that produce Whaler-like boats as "knock offs", if what you are looking for is not at Whaler, then perhaps you need to look around. When Ray Fischer began Boston Whaler, he didn't begin with a TOTALLY unique concept in his design. People that saw his first boats thought they were Hickman Sea Sleds! What he did was take the sea sled design to a new level in the construction process. Back in the late '50's, it would have been easy for Fischer's detractors to say that his boats were only Hickman Sea Sled knock offs, when they were in fact quite unique and superior to the other offerings of the day. The same could hold true today!

Almost everything that is built can be improved upon in some way. Let's face it, that is what keeps our economy going. In the automotive world, while a mid-sixties Mustang or Corvette may be a 'classic', there is no question that a 2000 model of either one of those vehicles is by far technically a better product. I think that everyone has their reasons for sticking with the 'classics'. For me it is a matter of economics. I can't afford to keep up with the new technology! I do think that people that remain brand or model or era loyal ( I'm going to drive a 19-- WHATEVER no matter what!!) are limiting themselves and can miss out on a whole lot of good stuff.

BUT, those old Whalers are great boats!

whalernut posted 05-14-2000 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Thanks Kent, I already knew about Bob Dougherty and Edgewater boats and if I could come up with enough money I would buy an Edgewater over a new Whaler. Ray Hunt is news to me, glad he is making classic boats. I might buy a semi-v Carolina Skiff, already looking into it! Am picking up a 1975 `17 Currituck on 5-20-00! Can`t wait! I actually am opened minded but after looking at and test driving a new Montauk and a couple other models, I feel Whaler quality is on the down slide. Not nearly as good as the old ones. Bad fit and finish and too bright on the eyes, needs dessert tan. Also Brunswick turns me off, their too restrictive on what you can get as options. I don`t care for Mercury engines. They wouldn`t let me get a bow chock on a `17 Standard, they said we might as well build you a Montauk, what a smart ass remark that was! I am just very disillusioned with Whaler and Brunswick, it will take a hell of alot to get me back! Yhank you kent and regards-JACK. P.S. I really don`t like Marine Max, prissy, non-Whaler knowledgeble sales people, they haven`t a clue about a Whaler!
Louie Kokinis posted 05-14-2000 10:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
Kent, I agree with what you say about an open mind. I have to disagree with you about the Edgewater though. Before I ordered my commercial boat I looked at many other hulls - including the Edgwater. IMO Edgewater made a nice product, but the fit/finish and quality didn't come close to Whalers offer.


kent posted 05-15-2000 12:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
Louie, you could be right about Edge Water boats. I can't speak with authority about them as I have not seen one firsthand. There are no dealers close to me. I am basing my opinion on information from their website, which probably is somewhat biased. Bob Dougherty's reputation is remarkable though, and the boats do get some good reviews with the offshore crowd. If I were in the market for a new boat, I would definitely consider them.

Jack, I know what you are talking about in regards to poor Boston Whaler dealers. The dealer in my city is a longtime, prestigious Bayliner and Sea Ray dealer. Of course, they recently brought on the Whaler line. When I bought my old Whaler last summer, I approached them about parts. I was told that Whaler parts were outragously expensive and that I probably wouldn't want them. They were not even interested in trying to get me the parts. When I asked about the new Whalers, they again showed little interest and showed me another line that they carry that was "as good as a Whaler, but way less money". It is a boat called a LOGIC. It is a foam filled boat , similiar to the Whaler, but uses a PVC skin instead of fibreglas. If you want to see a boat that IS crap and has REALLY poor quality fit and finish, take a look at one of these. Talk about a Whaler knock off, this IS one. A real Whaler looks like it is built by master craftsmen when compared to a LOGIC. It is amazing to me that someone could be selling a product as good as Whaler and then push a boat as bad as a LOGIC. Needless to say, I am not dealing with them about Whaler anymore. Unfortunately, the next closest dealer is about a 7 hour trip away.

My old boat came with an old Johnson 40 hp outboard. These same people are also OMC dealers. I asked about parts for the old engine and was again told that it was too old, parts were no longer available, and that I would be much better off buying a new Mercury. Fortunately, there is another local OMC dealer, so I went to them. The parts guy there pulled a lot of the parts right off the shelf, and had everything else within a couple of days. I have basically rebuilt this old outboard, and out of about $400.00 worth of parts, there was only one small control knob on the slow speed needle that he could not get, a minor un-necessary part. The shop foreman said that the way that I have gone through the engine, with care it should go for another 20 years! I figure it will serve me well for my fishing use, and the money is better in my pocket than in Mercury's.

This dealer seems to be grudgingly carring the Whaler line. We recently had a big boat show here, and they didn't advertise or show the Whalers at all. They do have a few models at the dealership, but they are stuck in the back corners. It is almost as if someone is forcing them to have them. Then again, there are dealers like TWIN CITIES MARINE and NAUSET MARINE which have been around for a long time and are really Whaler oriented.

dave_maggio posted 05-15-2000 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for dave_maggio  Send Email to dave_maggio     
The "new" Whaler dealers are strange breed. They all got so used to selling searays and the plush keep up with the joneses image that they project that they don't understand whats happening when a whaler consumer walks in the door.

Last fall, my very soon to be wife and I walked into a "new" Whaler dealer. We were looking at a "used" 14 Dauntless, the first owner had used it 4 or 5 times, decided it wasn't big enough and traded it on a bigger boat. Since it was sitting in the dealers boatel, he let us take the boat for a ride, we liked it and were ready to cut a deal for it. We sat down at the salesmens desk to start the dicker process and he started asking us why we would want this boat. He then shoved a searay brochure at us, explained that their 175 or even 200 bowrider was a much better boat for our needs (gunkholing, light fishing and light watersports) and that the Whaler was just not us. Well, I must admit my own weakness, I started thinking that maybe he was right and I did not know what I needed. The end result, I just went home to think on it...

That night was strange, we were sitting in our living room that evening asking ourselves what this man had done to us. After about a week, I figured it out. This guy did not understand that all that I wanted was a small, quality, no nonsense boat that the two of us could hang out on for a few hours in an afternoon and that when I got home, I could hose it out, cover it and forgot about it until next week. The Searay looked like a Hoover (vaccume the carpet) and armor-all nightmare...

The moral of the story. The "new" Whaler dealers cater to a different crowd. A boat to me is a vehicle to get out on the water and not a status symbol to impress my friends. A Whaler fits that mold perfectly, you go out, ski, fish, swim, it brings you home and then you rinse it, cover it and look forward to the next outing. If and when I grow up and I need a different boat I will go back and see that salesmen. However, if I ever decide that I want a new Whaler I am going to drive the 40 miles to the dealer that sells whalers and whalers alone and has been doing so for 20 years....

whalernut posted 05-15-2000 08:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Very well said to all. I didn`t know anything about Edgewaters, since the nearest dealer is at least 10hours away. I am dissapointed the quality is not as good as I first had heard. As for the Logic boats. I looked at them and laughed, these boats have very bad fit and finish, and way over priced. With Brunswick owning Boston Whaler, until they make a better product, more traditional product, offer more different engine-accesorry packages like they once did, and get the dealerships in shape, I`ll buy the pre-90` models. Regards-JACK.
djmerrill posted 05-15-2000 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for djmerrill  Send Email to djmerrill     
A quick note on an Edgewater observation. As a recent shopper for a 17-19' Outrage, I was interested in the 18 Edgewater, as it appeared to stack up against the classic 18 Outrage fairly well. However, I could not find a dealer close to me, and never looked at one before finding my '91 Outrage. This spring, however, while visiting a friend in Rhode Island, I drove by a dealer in Padanarum, and swund in to kick the keel. No salesmen assaulted me, so I looked the boat over for about 15 minutes on my own. Initial reaction is its a very well laid out boat, with many features and conveniences put in by a designer very familiar with boating and fishing. Finally, I rapped the outside of the hull, and was surprised at the flexing and echoing. I could not detect a solid, foam filled structure at all, anywhere along the length of the hull. I'm not saying it was a cheap or bad boat, but I did not get the firm thud I expect when I wrap a whaler hull with my knuckles anywhere along its length.


Louie Kokinis posted 05-15-2000 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
Doug, when you have another chance to view the boat take a close look at the hidden areas (inside the access hatches - hull, anchor, storage, and console). I think you'll be disapointed. IMO it's a well laid out boat, but is seriously lacking in the quality department.


lhg posted 05-15-2000 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
A friend of mine in Ft Lauderdale tells me he personally knows the person who heads up the group that bought Edgewater boats from Bob Dougherty, about 2 years ago. Evidently Dougherty is still involved, but not in a major way. My guess is that when he left Whaler after the Reebock sale, he had to make the new boats, originally called "Marlin", including foam construction process and hull design, different enough from Whalers to avoid copyright infringement or non-compete problems. Only the floor stringer system is foam filled.

Here's another story of interest. A dealer told me that the new 28' Whaler Conquest/Outrage had hull structural problems when first introduced, and had to be recalled. That is why the 1999 catalog showed an Outrage 28 on the cover, but none could be purchased. Boston Whaler had to bring in Bob Dougherty as a consulting engineer to solve the problem!

dgp posted 05-16-2000 06:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
If Bob Dougherty is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations at Edgewater that explains the poor quality and attention to detail that I saw at an Edgewater dealer recently. On a 3 month old boat in the dealers stock I saw rusty machine screws and nuts, curling hull graphics and incomplete silicone caulking at least 18" long. After viewing this boat and the selling price I immediately removed it from my purchase list.
wds posted 05-20-2000 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for wds  Send Email to wds     
I'd go with the Standard model.

We've had a 15' standard for 18 years, and have often used it to take groups, including small children, out for a nice ride in relatively calm weather. The extra seating is nice.

50 HP on the 15' is fine, and 70 on the 17' also. Kids can waterski/tube with these power combinations even with 3 adults in the boat.

whalernut posted 05-21-2000 06:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
WDS, I just picked up a 1975 `17 Currituck. It is a side console 2 bench seat version with the old seasled hull. It has an 85h.p. Johnson. This boat is extremely stable and it flies! It is in my opinion, in calm to moderate wave conditions the best Fishing-DivingiTubing-Skiing-Partying with friends boat in the world. I use to own a 1971 `13 Sport and I loved it, love the `17 more. I would go with the Standard-the Montauk center console takes up to much room and the bow rail is to high. Get the optional side rails on the Standard-great hand holds, awsome rod holders! Regards-JACK.
placid posted 07-16-2006 03:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for placid  Send Email to placid     
i am looking at a 17' 1981 montauk, good hull condition, the rest is in avg. condition, stored in a boathouse since purchase, with no trailer and he is asking $7,000. does this seem in the right price range ?
st posted 07-17-2006 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for st  Send Email to st     
Hi Placid,
You may want to post your question of prices at the Marketplace section to get a better response. Also, give more elaborate and specific details of the conditions of the boat/motor etc; or posting some pictures will be helpful.

I didn't realize you dug out over 6 years old tread until I read the first few posts; but this tread makes an interesting reading nonetheless...


Jkcam posted 07-17-2006 01:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jkcam  Send Email to Jkcam     
I believe if you want a Bob Dougherty involved boat these days you are going to have to go with
pglein posted 07-18-2006 05:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
Under the Boston Whaler umbrella, either the 17' Montauk or Sport model would be fine. But based on what you said about your use, soething like a Sea Ray seems to make more sense. Granted, it's not unsinkable, but it's still a very well built boat.
pglein posted 07-18-2006 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
And jimh,

I wholeheartedly disagree. I THOROUGHLY enjoy slamming into headseas at full throttle in my 13' Whaler. The wetter I get, the happier I am!

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