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Author Topic:   Which Whaler to Buy?
Novice Dave posted 02-09-2001 02:27 AM ET (US)   Profile for Novice Dave  
I am in the market for a 15-19 ft. Whaler and would like advice about which year and model to buy. It would see general purpose use in California, both fresh and salt water. It must fit on the trailer in my garage, a 22 ft space.

I have heard mixed comments about the newer Whalers. Are the Dougherty hull designs really the better ones to buy? If so, why not get a new Edgewater design?

If I got an 80's Whaler, what should I expect to fix/replace. What problems might be a nasty surprise?

Thanks in advance for your experience and opinions on any of the questions.

bigz posted 02-09-2001 06:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
N Dave -- expand the post in the General, Repairs, Performance and PostClassic sections back a year and you will be able to do your home work yourself ---

After taking the time to do this then you can formulate specific questions --

Dougherty is no longer with Edgewater except I heard his company Dougherty Marine still might be making the Edgewater 14 for Edgewater -- the Edgewater boats don't hold a candle to the new or old Whalers in fit and finish, don't get me wrong they are pretty decent boats for the money just not at the same level as Whaler.

As I suggested do your homework first then come back with specific questions based on what you have learned and decided will fit your needs ---

Regards Tom

PS this post should have been made under "General" this area is actually for only buying and selling

andygere posted 02-09-2001 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I think the Montauk is among the most versatile boats in your size range, and one of the few that will fit in your garage (with minor mods to the trailer). Look back at earlier posts for plenty of discussion on the Montauk and all the other classic Whalers.
triblet posted 02-09-2001 12:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Be sure to measure all three dimensions
of your garage. A 1996 Dauntless 15 is too
tall, but a 1997 Montauk 17 is fine.

And remember that the trailer will affect
all three dimensions.


Novice Dave posted 02-09-2001 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Novice Dave    
Sorry about being so general but I was at the LA Boat Show and saw a 16' Dauntless that I would buy. The $27K price seemed steep so I thought about a used Whaler. Unfortunately, I didn't see a Montauk at the show.

Any body out there in the West that has a post '85 Whaler in good shape that they would like to sell? Either new or used I will be buying one soon.

Floor to door garage height is 80".


triblet posted 02-09-2001 03:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
New Montauks seem to be somewhat sold out.

There are several whalers for sale here
in the bay area. See [ubb][/ubb]

Where in California are you?


minh nguyen posted 02-09-2001 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for minh nguyen  Send Email to minh nguyen     
Since I had owned the old outrage 17 and fish on my friend Montauk very often let me
put my 2 cents:
If you intend to store the boat in the garage
Montauk or old Outrage 17 are the ones.
My garage is 19ft deep and I was able to
barely fit my Old Outrage 17 but I have push
(by hand)the boat in a slanted angle to fit in. I found my top rail was about 1/2 inch too high, the trick is lower the tonge jack
way down and deflate the tire a little bit
than I can make thru garage door.
Between Outrage 17 and Montauk the
ride is much better on Outrage, however there
are no safety differences between the two (both are top safe small boats).
If you are good weather fisherman those are
fine most of the time, but if you want to fish offshore a more often in rough water the bigger ones like outrage 18,19 or 20 will pay off dearly. My friend is a hard-cored fisherman to fish from his Montauk, the only time that stops him from going in bad weather is when his wife is having a baby.
Anyway, Montauk and small Outrages still have
advantages that bigger boats can't beat. So
it's OK to own either one. One time
one of the other friend took a big wave
and the water filled to his knee on the
Montauk and the boat still floats.
Personally I would go for the Outrages,
it has more boat for almost the same size
as Montauk and are more friendly to my backbone.
So here is what I see:
If towing, light weight is more important to
you => Montauk, Outrage 17, and maybe 18.
If fishing in rough weather, offshore more
often => Outrage 18,19,20,21.
If money is not an issue => Get 2 boats, a 23
footer and a montauk
Novice Dave posted 02-10-2001 02:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Novice Dave    
Thanks for the info. I am looking for a 19' or smaller Outrage or Dauntless...80 inch height on trailer will be a problem.

I am in Santa Maria, CA on the Central Coast so a California boat would be preferred. Where are they?


lhg posted 02-10-2001 11:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
My 18 Outrage, on a trailer, with engines set back 10" on brackets, and with Whaler bow pulpit option, fits in a 22' long garage. (But only by 1"). And before I raised the console 4", it would also fit under a standard 7' garage door opening (by about 1/2"!). A "V" frame trailer, where the boat can sit as low as possible, is the key. Trailer tongue length may have to be shortened as necessary. An 18 with twin, smaller engines is more likely to fit than one with a big single. But they are VERY hard to find.
triblet posted 02-10-2001 04:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Don't just shorten the tongue, make it
removeable. If you just shorten it, there's
a good chance you are going to dunk the back
end of your tow vehicle in salt water.

If you make it removeable, you can make
it fit in a shorter garage than if you just
shorten it.

If you make it removeable, your can make it
extensible at the same time, for the days
when it's really sloshing on the ramp, or
for the really sucky ramps.

And a longer trailer (hitch to wheels) is
easier to back up than a short one. Things
happen slower.


Novice Dave posted 02-11-2001 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Novice Dave    
Is a 1996 17' Outrage with a 115 Yamaha a good buy at $19,500? The condition is described as mint. Has about 200 hours on it.

What should I look for when I go see it?


triblet posted 02-12-2001 12:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Was there an outrage that small in '96?


lhg posted 02-12-2001 12:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
There have 2 17' Outrages since 1991. The original, Dougherty's last boat for Whaler, I believe, came out in 1991-1995 and looked pretty much like the others, even in Desert Tan color. There are some pictures on Cetacea, I believe, of Doug Merrill's boat. In 1996, Meridian redesigned the boat into a Post Classic deeper v hull model. I never particularly cared for it, but others here have said it was a good boat. Sea Ray discontinued it in favor of the Dauntless series.
whalernut posted 02-12-2001 04:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I have ridden in the older `17 Outrage. It is almost identical to the `18 Outrage, but less room, I believe it was a 1991 model and the people payed $13,000 for it in 2000. It wasn`t as stable as my 73` `16 Currituck. Regards-Jack Graner.
maverick posted 02-12-2001 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for maverick  Send Email to maverick     
Hi, Novice Dave - If I were you, I'd consider buying a good condition Classic Hull with the intention of refitting and repowering. A Whaler hull in good condition will likely outlive most folks if maintained and cared for. What DOES wear out is the power and little things. Little things like wiring, hoses, can be replaced during a refit. Eliminate those problems. THEN, repower. Choose a good name brand, shop hard, and make a choice. When you get done, you KNOW what you have. On a good hull, the motor is THE most important thing. I've done this 3 thimes on three different Whalers, and done well, likewise been very satisfied. (2 17s - each from the 1970s - and currently a 1985 Outrage). Sold off the old motors each time, didn't get a lot for them - 41500 once, ~$800 for another, and ~$1400 for the 3rd, a 150HP Yammy - salty. Quite salty. Glad to repower that time, for sure. Finally, one can choose to pay cash for a hull, and buy new power that can be financed. Hope that bit of advice helps. Best, Maverick in SC
Novice Dave posted 02-13-2001 02:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Novice Dave    
Let's see if I've got this right. The inherent value in a Boston Whaler is in the hull...the design, durability, unsinkabilty, versatility and desirability of a particular model.

Everything else essentially goes from new to junk in value over time because of wear and tear, loss of efficiency, technological obsolescence and appearance. These are the motor, trailer, accessories and fittings.

So the way to value a prospective purchase is to buy as much hull as you can because it depreciates slowly. Everything else will probably be upgraded or replaced if you use the boat over a number of years.

If the useful life of a Whaler is measured in decades, what would be the useful life of:
Motor in hours(?)
Trailer in years(?)
Accessories in (?)
Hardware, wiring, etc.
It seems that the motor is the most costly and vulnerable of the non-Whaler costs.

Therefore, I should look for a sound hull and plan to repower it with a new technology motor. I should also plan on adding or replacing some of the other less costly things to make the boat more reliable and usable.

Other than the premium for a new hull(assuming the new ones are still good designs) buying a new Whaler versus an older one causes me to spend the money up front. But, it denies me the aggravation or fun of redoing the Whaler the way I want. For my size Whaler that means buying a 16' Dauntless rather than an older 17' Outrage.

Am I seeing this correctly?


maverick posted 02-13-2001 06:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for maverick  Send Email to maverick     
Hi, again, Dave. Yep, I think you're on target. Let me give you a couple true to life examples. (1) 1975 17' Center Console Whaler with old and salty 85HP Johnson, also a 1975. Trailer fair, hull good - no repairs or damage, no bottom paint to hide any repairs. Hull ugly from mold, dirt, leaves, wood trim on console in pieces, etc., RPSeat needing recovering, etc. A buyer purchases for $2500, sells older [running] motor for $800. Rebuilds trailer for about $250, seat recover about $100, new gas tank, fuel lines, wiring, refinishing teak, etc., about another $150. So far, about $2200 invested. New 90 Johnson with all the trimmings, about $5000 (1991). Extras (GPS, dept sounder, etc), add another $600. If my math is right, under $8000 for a really nice 17. All work done by owner, except for new motor installation by dealer. I can give you another similar example on an 85 18.6 Outrage, if you'd like - email me directly if interested. I hear the newer hulls are quite good, too, but never owned one, so not a fair advisor there. Older hulls - 17s from the 70s are GREAT stable boats but ride a little rough for these older bones; the outrage solves a good bit of that rough ride, but still can be challenging in rough seas. Hope that helps, Best Chuck aka Mav
andygere posted 02-14-2001 03:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I wouldn't consider all used outboards to be instant throw-aways. There are a lot of boats/motors out there that are well maintained and lightly used. You will maximize your value if you can get a solid hull and a servicable outboard. Since residual value on outboards is so low, I think you are better to get a few seasons of use out of a motor before repowering. You may be surprised at how long it will last. Obviously, beware of poorly maintained motors or those that have seen heavy use, and price these boats accordingly. There are plenty of "vintage" outboards with a lot of fun left in them, and they can turn out to be the best bargain if you shop carefully. My '79 Johnson fits this category.
jimh posted 02-15-2001 12:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I would second AndyGere's comment about used outboards.

Except for the lack of power tilt, my 1976 Mercury 500 is not much different than a current carbureted 2-stroke. It has solid state ignition. It really runs very nicely,
although it has been consuming several hundred dollars a pop in repairs (carb overhaul; new lower unit bearing carrier; new seals). But these are easier to take than $5,000 for a new engine.

On the other hand, I don't really trust it like I would a 2001 model hanging on the transom.

New power is fun.

I think your analysis of how to buy a Whaler is pretty good.

If you find the right Whaler classic, be ready to buy. A good one usually won't be on the market long. Many sell without any advertising.


lhg posted 02-15-2001 01:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Actually, Jim, the net cost of a new Merc 50, with power trim and oil injection, is not as much as you think. The engine's about $3000 bought right, less $1000 for your old one, less $600 you don't have to spend for a CMC Trim unit, and you've got a new one for about $1500 net, and no upcoming repair bills. And if you ever went to sell your 15, the newer engine would bring the additional $1500 in overall price. Same principle would apply to the 70's on your Revenge, allowing more HP.
Novice Dave posted 03-09-2001 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Novice Dave    
After a month of looking at boats and reading most of the Whaler Forum entries from the last year, I am buying a 2001 13' Sport with 40 hp/4 stroke. It will handle my on lakes, rivers and coastal with 2-3 people and the Sport is easy to store and tow.

If I want to move up to a Dauntless or Outrage, the Sport has decent resale or I can just keep it or give it to my kids.

Thanks to all you out there that contribute your boating knowledge. I will switch to the Post-Classic Forum for my questions about accessories for the Sport.


JimU posted 03-09-2001 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for JimU  Send Email to JimU     
My recent (year 2000) experience: 1971 16-7 fish and wildlife whaler (ragged out)with tandem shorline trailor $1400;
Repair fiberglass, soda-blast, sand, paint $800; upgrade trailor-4 new radial tires Stoltz rollers new bulldog coupler and rewire $400; build custom console of 3/8 plywood and have it fiberglassed $300; new 2001 90 Yamaha with binnacle mount$5500; New Yamaha instruments Tach, speedo, water pressure, hour meter $350, Miscellaneous $300. Total, $9050 with me doing all the work except the soda blasting and wrapping the console with fiberglass and gelgoat (I did all the glass work on the hull) All is now in almost 100% new condition

My son's and my current project: 1970 16-7 hull only in good shape has all bow rails and side rail that are also in good shape $1400. Projected additional cost: New 90 Yam Engine with binnacle mount controls and instruments $6000; sand and paint hull with five coats Interlux Interthane Plus $400(don't have to soda-blast or repair this one except for some minor dings) good used single axel trailor; $400, Misc $300. Projected total $8500 with new engine. Will save $2000-$2500 if we can find a good low hour used engine for around $4000. Probably won't find used one with binnacle mount so that will be extra. This boat will be in pristine condition when we finish. Plus, as a father(age 58)--son (age 32) project it's a helluva deal. A new Montauk costs over 20 grand

JimU posted 03-09-2001 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for JimU  Send Email to JimU     
Triblet, how do you make the trailor tongue extendable? The tongue on my tandem trailor is a little long. thanks JIM
skookum point posted 03-09-2001 10:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for skookum point  Send Email to skookum point     
I'm interested in an extendable trailer tongue too. The benefits have been previously stated - the question is how to retrofit/modify an existing trailer. I'm guessing someone on this forum knows an elegant solution. If it were a do-it-yourself project that would even be better.
Maerd posted 03-10-2001 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maerd    
Caution - Be sure to take a test ride before you buy the boat with your two friends in it. It may not be what you expect and you would hate it. I owned a 13' that had a trailer that could be adjusted by 5'. Simple - pull out the pin & align the new holes. The front part would slide into the back part. Be careful about making your own because there is huge stress going on back there. Good Luck
jimh posted 03-11-2001 09:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[ I moved this thread from MARKETPLACE ]

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