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  History of 91-94 23 and 27 WA

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Author Topic:   History of 91-94 23 and 27 WA
Hunter posted 11-05-2000 04:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for Hunter   Send Email to Hunter  
I currently own a 92 23WA with A Whaler Drive and am curious to learn more about the concept behind the boat and why I have read that these boats were more expensive to produce than most other whalers. Thanks for the replies.
jimh posted 11-05-2000 05:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The thing that makes those boats "expensive" is the number of molded components unique to that model.

In the traditional Whaler, you molded the hull and the "turtle", clamped them together,
filled them with foam, and you had a boat.
When it cured, you attached some wood pieces, added a center console, and --PRESTO-- a Boston Whaler.

The c.1992 style of boat needed a hull and a "liner" that could be clamped together and filled with foam. When that assembly cured, a third complex molded assembly--the topsides--was produced and bonded to the the hull/liner. Then additional molded pieces, like all the hatches, the lockers, the console, the interior components, the transom locker doors, etc., all had to be fabricated and assembled.

It is quite surprising to look at a boat like my 1987 Revenge and to see how much of that boat is just the 1987 Outrage model with one or two additional components added. It was not an entirely separate boat/hull with entirely separate and distinct molds required to build it.

To make a 1987 Revenge, you basically made an 1987 Outrage, but left out the center console. You added the superstructure top piece, and a few wood components, and you were done.

To make a 1992 Walk-Around (which was more or less the replacement for the Revenge) you had to first create expensive tooling to make the hull (new design), the liner (new design), the topsides (new design), and a dozen or so more molds to make parts that the form the rest of the boat, like the nice tilting console, all those hatches and seats, the transom topsides, etc.

Then you had to fabricate all these parts--that weren't used in any other boats in the line--and assemble them.

Someone has said that the cost of one of the molds used to make a hull is on the order of $100,000. You have to make a lot of boats to get your costs back!

Whaler also used molds made of stainless steel (so I am told) and that contributed to their ability to produce such high-quality and detailed molded parts. The tooling did not wear down and loose fine detail even after hundreds or thousands of boats were made from them. High quality tooling has high initial costs.

And, on the simplest basis, a boat made from laminates and resins is really something you are buying by the pound. The boat is mostly made from polyester resins and cloth; that's the raw material.

The newer boats weighed more, and hence they had more laminates and resins in them, and therefore they cost more to make.

Since they were trying to fit them into the existing price tier of Boston Whaler boats, they probably had to fudge a bit on the prices (toward the low side) in order not to have the newer models cost way more than the ones they replaced. But that meant that there would be less profit in the new boats, too.

When you have to abandon all the tooling after only making a boat for a few years, there is a lot of money still left in the tooling that is going to waste!

If you look at the Montauk style 17-foot hull, just imagine how many boats were made from that tooling!

I am sure others will have a few things to say on this--good question!

--jimh

bigz posted 11-07-2000 05:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
First off Larry will correct us if we're off base on this discussion and rightly so --- that said

The 21 -23-25 WA hulls were not redesigned until the 1993 model year prior to that they used the old hull --- the 27 Offshore and the 27 WA were not redesigned hulls at all they were the same basic hull BD designed just like our current '87 -- 27 --- it was the Conquest introduction that introduced a totally different hull. The 27 WA incorporated the Whaler Drive into the boat which brought her LOA up to just shy of 30' but the 27 Offshore was only offered as a stand outboard with the LOA (same as ours) 26'7" -- these hulls after the Conquest intro were retired so to speak to the commercial div. --- I think that's how it went ---

On price aside from something's Jim pointed out on construction and tooling --- these boats were offered fully equipped very few options with all high grade components -- almost no pick and choose available this added to the over all cost significantly ---
lhg posted 11-07-2000 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
OK - let me see if I can sort this out. Tom's info in the 27 is right. Additionally, for the 27 hull, Whaler began offering the full transom Whaler Drive unit in 1987, as it became evident the OMC Sea Drive system was collapsing.

The 21 & 23 Walkarounds were brand new hulls, the very first of the "new look" for BW, introduced in 1991 by Peter VanLancker of the Reebock era. 1993 was the last year for these boats as Walkarounds, but they converted the hulls into the 21 & 24 Outrages in 1994. 1990 was the last year of the "Classic" Dougherty hull based Revenges, so that the new Walkarounds, above, would be the only cabin model Whalers now available.

The 25 wide beam (9'-6")Walkaround is a completely different Dougherty hull, fairly short lived, 1990-1992, and almost identical to the 27 hull. This is not to be confused with the 25 Outrage hull. Along with the 17 Outrage, I think it was one of Dougherty's last hulls designed before leaving the company. Always liked the 25 Walkaround, but see very few of them. The Reebock people had no interest in pushing them, as they had their own "fish to fry".

bigz posted 11-08-2000 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Thanks Larry for sorting this out much appreciated.

I'm still a little confused though --- in the '93 cat. they state the 21-23-25 WA's were a completely new designed hull (we know the '93's were started in late summer of '92 like all model year changes) do you think they were still referring to the changes made back in '91?

Tom

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