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  13" vs 15" vs 17"

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Author Topic:   13" vs 15" vs 17"
srd posted 04-19-2001 01:17 PM ET (US)   Profile for srd   Send Email to srd  
I have a '75 13" BW w/ a 78' 35 HP Evinrude. I mainly use the boat as a rescue boat for my 11 year old son's junior sailing races (and to watch him race), for some fishing w/ my son and for taking the whole family of 4 out for tubing and general boating fun (would like to ski but figured I should not even try behind a 13). The family outings are a little crowded on the 13', as you might imagine.

I know of a 15' built in the 80's that is available in very good condition. I have wanted a little bigger boat than the 13 for family outings and fishing, but not too big.

My question is what would be the advantages of the 15 for my intended uses over the 13, and would I be even happier w/ a 17' Montauk?

I think jimh has a 15' so I would be particularly interested in his thoughts on the relative merits of the 13, 15, and 17 for my intended uses.

Thanks in anticipation of all your insightful responses.

SRD

george nagy posted 04-19-2001 01:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
Hello, One of my favorite boats is the 15' whaler. I had a 1982 for almost ten years and loved it. I had grown up going out on a 13' and a 17' montauk. I always wanted to buy a montauk but they were all a little out of my price range at that time. One day I stumbled upon a 15' sport with an aftermarket fiberglass interior. It was good price so I bought it. It was a side consol model and afforded plenty of room for up to six people and with that 3 cylander 70 horse evinrude it could pull a skier just fine. The montauk to me is a little cramped with the console and seat crammed in there. The ride in the 15' was very smooth due to the semi v in the center. I do admit that while at rest standing on the bow while fishing in a larger chop it did tend to be a little wet. Overall I loved the 15' and am very sorry I sold it. I moved up to an 18' outrage and love that too, but I will replace that 15' some day. I am not a big fan of the 13' and would jump from an 11' to a 15' to an 18' then to a 22'or 25'. Wait I'm getting ahead of myself here, bottom line I would get the 15' and then maybe someday get an 18' or larger. Well that is what I have to say after 10 years of boating on a 15' whaler. Good Luck! If you don't want to buy the 15' let me know!
jameso posted 04-19-2001 02:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
BUY IT! I have a 15 and love it, my 13 never seemed quite big enough. The ride is fantastic, with myself and two little whalers the 50 hp OMC twin pushes her at 35 with GREAT low end performance. Trailers great and can be launched and recovered easily. I would like a 19 or so for offshore but.... later.
Jim Armstrong
lhg posted 04-19-2001 02:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I'd jump to the 17. You may be able to find a 17 Sport or Currituck (mahogany sit-down style interior as opposed to the Montauk center console) for about the same as a 15. It is a lot more boat, but not much more to handle, and would be more comfortable for your family outings.
A Newport model could also be considered.
Take a look at the reference sections on these models.
JB posted 04-19-2001 03:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for JB  Send Email to JB     
I have a 15' and, while a good boat, it would certainly be limited as a family boat for four. Since I'm not at my boat right now my recollection might be off but I seem to remember the capacity as 5 persons or 500 or so pound limit after engine, fuel, etc. I don't know about your passengers but a friend or two and myself about maxes the boat out for 500 pounds or any type of performance. Also, with a 70 HP Yamaha my boat flies but, regardless of what anyone says, the boat pounds alot at speed - definitely not for the wife or young kids. For the family, get the Montauk.
compounder posted 04-19-2001 04:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
I think they call it "two-foot-itis." It always seems you need something just a little bigger!

As someone who has owned 13's, 15's, and 17's, the Montauk has been by far the most satisfactory, all-around pleasure boat. The main difference for me is the center console and higher seating arrangement. I'm relatively tall and the low seating in the 13 and 15 got old real quick.

There are some theoretical limitations with the Montauk (storage space, pounds in a chop) but these are far outweighed by ease of trailering and launching compared to a larger boat, seaworthiness, ease of resale and high resale value, and availability of options to change the character of the boat.

I don't mean to downplay the desirability of the 13 or 15------I enjoyed mine and so did my sons, but the Montauk offers so much more!

Joe

Ferdinando posted 04-19-2001 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     
SRD:

I have owned all three, I had the 13 for 2 yrs, then I bought a brand new 1986 15' and had it till 1998, then I sprung for a new
Montauk. The only reason why I sold the 15'
was because I was tired of the sitting position (guess it's the age). The 17 is great all around and it's not much bigger then the 15'. I would have to say go with the 17'you won't be sorry.

Good boating,

Fred

andygere posted 04-19-2001 05:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I own both a 13 and a Montauk 17, and spent a few summers boating and skiing behind a friend's 15. In terms of versatility, I think the 17 can't be beat. It will carry plenty of people and gear (6 is reasonably comfortable for day boating) and you don't need to unload the boat to go skiing. At the same time, it's almost as easy to tow, launch and single hand as the smaller Whalers. If you go boating where it gets a little choppy, the extra size will really be appreciated. Another key difference: The center console of the Montauk provides a little bit of dry storage. In the 13, everything has to go in drybags, and I'd imagine the same in a 15.
Mark D posted 04-19-2001 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mark D    
I had Sport 13' for 8 years. If my choice was to get rid of the 13' for a 15' I would just keep the 13'.
But a 17' well, I just bought one. My words to you, just do it!
Mize Johnson posted 04-19-2001 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mize Johnson  Send Email to Mize Johnson     
I have had both a 15 and a 17 and from what you said, I would go for the 17. My first Whaler was the 15, which I had for almost 16 years and loved it, but once I moved to the Montauk, I like it even more. The 15 was a great 2 person fishing boat and was an excellent ski boat for 3 people, but quickly got cramped after that. The 17 is almost as easy to launch and handle and is a lot more flexible. I originally went with the 15 because I wanted a boat that one person could easily handle, but like some of the other posts mentioned the 15 is not as comfortable as the 17. I solved some of the problems by ordering a workboat spec bare hull and custom rigging it myself. I built my own console that was high enough to stand and this also let me have higher seats. In the end though, the extra space in the 17 won me over.
whalernut posted 04-19-2001 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
SRD, I owned a 71` `13 Sport and just truly loved it for fishing 1-2 people. Then I got fat and wanted more room, sold it regreted it, then bought a 73` `16 Currituck and fell head over heals in love with her! I have been in the Montauk and I feel it is somewhat crowded with the center console and the bow rail is too high. That said I have never ridden in a `15 footer. The way you describe you`re needs, the `16 Currituck, `17 Sport, `17 Supersport, `17 Newport, etc. all with bench seating and Gobbs of room would be ideal for you`re uses and I feel the 85 h.p. V-4 on my boat would pull up an audult skiier on 2 skis with no problem. My boat is on the Cetecea page 14 for reference. I did take out the Action Packer in the back and now is completly open. I mostly fish alone with tons of room to spare so 2 people fishing would be awsome also. For you`re family of 6 it would be wonderful! Good luck-Jack graner. P.S. If you would like, I have alot of pictures of it, if you would want me to e-mail them to you? Also go with 60-100 h.p. for 6 people, quite a bit of weight, I feel the 50h.p. range would be a little light on the power, especially for skiing.
lonestarpa posted 04-19-2001 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for lonestarpa  Send Email to lonestarpa     
At one time I had all three at one time, kept the 15, family got too beat up in the 13, one word of caution on the 17 montauk, the boat was designed as a rough water fishing boat. That means it's hard to fall out of. With all the railings and center console placement, it's also hard to get out of or into while skiing and especially scuba gear....I'd be looking for a 17' sport or a simular whaler. good luck! Joe
jimh posted 04-20-2001 07:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The 15-foot hull is quite a bit different than the 13-foot, with more sharp Vee-entry in the bow and a more Vee in the stern. The result is a boat that has a softer ride in waves than the 13-foot, but it is more tender.

Both the 13- and 15-foot are low gunwale, low seating boats. The biggest drawback to a long day on the water in the 15-foot is the seating, although we have survived many hours in our boat.

In the 17-foot you can sit at the helm in a more comfortable position and the gunwales are higher.

A 15-foot fits nicely in most garages. The 17-foot will be a tight squeeze to fit in most standard garages, and it may be too tall for some.

A 15-foot will cost less than a 17-foot. It will run with a smaller engine, maybe even one that you can start by hand, without electric-start.

If I had a son or daughter, I would let them use a 13- or 15-foot Whaler as their "own" boat, but I don't think I would turn them loose in a 17-foot Whaler as "their" boat--it is just too much boat for a kid.

--jimh

alaskaTammy posted 04-29-2001 11:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for alaskaTammy  Send Email to alaskaTammy     
We have 3 whalers- I just bought my own 13' er from a friend. It's fun on decent days- can be a pounder- but great for 'sunday cruises'. My husband has an awesome 15'er (he's had 'em all up to 17'- but prefers the 15). It has an 85hp Yami & it CRUISES. We live in SE Alaska & this boat will ride thru some s***. (and we don't get wet!) HE has solved the seating problem by installing two pedestal seats behind a mantauk console. We put our big igloo cooler in front of the console for the two kids. It works great! Of course in the last 3 years- we've had 3 more babies- so it may be timefor a bigger ride! The 15 is awesome for 4 people!
srd posted 05-01-2001 11:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for srd  Send Email to srd     
Thanks for all your input.

Two final questions. What should one expect to pay for an 80's vintage 15' w/ 50 HP Yamaha of the same age, both in good shape and well maintained? If I waited to find a good 17' of about the same vintage, how much more would that cost over the 15'?

Whaler4me posted 05-01-2001 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler4me  Send Email to Whaler4me     
I did some research when I sold my 1985 15 Super Sport to get an idea on price, a clean boat will be around $5000, if you dont mind doing some work you can get one for around $3500. Good Luck.
daverdla posted 05-01-2001 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
SRD
I paid 10k for 1989 montauk w/ 1992 100 v4 evinrude in January. I feel like I got an good deal but not a bargain. The boat came with long galvanized trailer, mills mooring cover, bimini, console cover, FF, power winch, life jackets, new cushions, etc. It was garage kept. No bottom paint. The previous owner also paid $1000 for a complete checkout/turnup at the local whaler dealer prior to closing the deal( I think he paid too much). He wanted to assure me that the boat had no hidden problems (it did but as it turns out, very minor). I had been looking on and off for about two years for a 13,15 or 17. As other people have recommended in this forum, if you see a good one - buy it. I missed at least three good boats because I couldn't respond fast enough. I also wasted time looking at some really tired whalers. The good ones really sell quickly.
lhg posted 05-01-2001 09:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Considering what you got, it sounds like you did get a bargain. Really clean, nice ones are hard to find at that price.
where2 posted 05-03-2001 04:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
As far as prices go, I will toss in my '97 purchase of an '85 15' Sport which was garage kept by the previous owner. I paid something like $6300 including the galvanized trailer, in '97.
As for prices today, I always like to do some benchmarks with www.boatraderonline.com You can do searches nationwide, on specific years, etc. There's still some hocus-pocus to coming up with a "value" but its somewhere to start.
"Where2"?
Clark Roberts posted 05-03-2001 07:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Some analogies: a 13 is like a quarterhorse-it is quick and responsive and goes exactly where you steer it.. ; a 15 is like a thoroughbred -smoothe and fast and sweeping as it turns,,, a joy to handle; the 17 is like a workhorse- will do most anything, carry any load, never complains and is dependable and predictable... love them all!!Clark.. The Old Man and the Sea
TightPenny posted 06-07-2001 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
I have owned a 1977 Sport 15 since it was new. I have now turned it over to my 16 year old son. This is to keep him out of my new boat.

It would appear that as rescue boat the 15 would seem better due to its low freeboard.

I now have a 2000 Montauk and agree that it is difficult to fall out of, making it less suitable for the rescue boat role.

Bigshot posted 06-19-2001 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I am on my 11th Whaler. I have had 3 13's and 3 15's and 3 17's, a 9 squal and a 19 revenge. The 15 are major league compared to 13. !3 are great if you have a good chipropractor. The 17 is twice the weight, boat, and price of a good 15. If you love the 13, you will adore the 15, no more banging. As far as price.. I normally rob mine cause I act fast and know what I am looking for. My last aquisition(90 17' Montauk)is my keeper for many years(I always say that), but my favorite whaler is the 15 center console with a 70hp. What a pisser! Tampa Bay gets kinda nasty so the 15 got kida small due to you really can't stand up. I sold my 83 CC w/1990 70 johnson, galv trailer in a #8-9 condition for $5600 and he got a good deal(wife wanted tile floors). I can NOT tell you what I paid for this 1990 cause it will start a riot.
srd posted 08-27-2001 03:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for srd  Send Email to srd     
I thought I would bring this thread back up as it relates to the recent post comparing the 13 to the 15.

As for me, I sold my 13 and bought a 15. While the 15 is less lateraly stable than the 13, the the superior ride in chop and waves of the 15 more than compensates. Again it is not really that the 15 is unstable - it is not, and is much more stable than most other 15 footers - its just not as stable as the 13.

I recently had my 15 out in Galveston Bay at a sailing regatta. We would have been pounded to death in the 13, but the 15 handled the waves and chop just fine.

vermilionwhalers posted 08-27-2001 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for vermilionwhalers  Send Email to vermilionwhalers     
We just got a 15 Sport center console and love it! With the console you can sit a bit higher, esp with a boat cushion. Family likes the sunbathing arrangements. Hope I don't offend anyone, but I could not see getting the Montauk, which appears to have about the same amount of fore space, and often puts extra seating in the rear, where people can't really talk. I can tow the 15 short distances with my Subaru Outback. Don't think I could with a Montauk. And 60hp is plenty of motor. Seems to handle 1-2 ft waves well, and any boat wake we've hit so far. I am waiting for higher waves to test...

The only comment is if you have more than four people, you will get a bit scrunched, esp with gear. The stability concerns are NONSENSE, as far as I can tell. The boat sits up and performs wonderfully. My (nautically challenged) wife was constantly afraid of tipping in our 16 foot aluminum fishing boat, but in this boat she was instantly comfortable.

My two cents.

15to17 posted 08-27-2001 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for 15to17  Send Email to 15to17     
I was the proud owner of a 1989 15' Striper with a 70 HP Johnson. Great boat for my wife and I to explore the creeks and rivers around our home. Also took it in the ocean on a number of times--comfortable, relatively dry ride. This was THE boat for us as a couple and then when my first son was born, we all three enjoyed the 15'. Just a few weeks ago we were blessed with the arrival of a second son. This spring, in anticipation of this "family expansion," we sold our 15' for a 1986 Montauk. The Montauk (with factory option rear bench seat) is the perfect boat for the four of us, and I anticipate many glorious days ahead of us in this, the boat I've always wanted. The Montauk has more freeboard (for keeping toddlers boating, not swimming!), and there's something to be said for piloting the boat while standing behind a center console. Perhaps one day I'll find that great deal on a 22' Revenge (or something with a cuddy to really make boating here a year-round activity). However, there's something to be said for the simplicity of the 15' (nice ride, easy to launch/trailer, and easy on the gas). I asked the guy I sold my 15' to for the right of first refusal should they ever feel the need to part with her. If a 17' isn't your cup of tea (for whatever reason), I highly recommend the nimble, versatile 15'. Just my $0.02
SuburbanBoy posted 08-27-2001 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
As I recall, the name plate on my 15 states 7 people. With myself at the wheel, and 2 - 3 adults in front (highschool girls ~115lbs), I will take water over the bow in about 3' chop. No danger, just wet. If we plane off, or run a nose high attitude it will dry up. It will run 35 with a 70hp and loaded with gear, gas and people. It will pull the "Big Bertha" tube with two girls at least to 28 or 30 mph. Plenty fast for most kids (and too fast for most adults). The smaller Whalers are fairly liquid (easy to sell). If you purchase one and find yourself longing for another it is easy to sell-out and replace.

sub

eolson posted 08-28-2001 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for eolson  Send Email to eolson     
SRD,

The others have addressed fishing well but nobody's dealt completely with watersports, which happens to be my passion.

I've got a '85 15' Sport with '85 Johnson 70HP. Family of 5 (kids-16,11,9). We waterski, kneeboard, wakeboard and tube behind the boat.

PROs of our rig for watersports:

+ it can pull up anybody on 2 skis. We have had 4 adults and 2 kids in the boatand successfully pulled a 190 pound adult up on 2 skis. Yes, I know we exceeded the rating tag - I'm profoundly apologetic - it won't happen again :-)

+ it can pull up one adult plus one small kid (70 lbs) on 2 skis (lots of fun!) even with 2 adults and a kid still in the boat.

+ it can pull up my wife or the smaller kids just fine on 1 ski (slalom)

+ works well for kneeboard, tubing or beginning wakeboarder regardless of size

+ room not a real problem. we store 2 sets skis, kneeboard and wakeboard behind the driver's bench. my wife and I sit on the driver's bench and the kids either sit on the front bench or on the raised bow area looking at the person being pulled.

+ low gunwale - easy to climb in & out of the boat.

+ 70HP engine doesn't use too much gas - fairly economical, especially compared to my friends with inboard V8 ski boats.

+ small wake very nice for waterskiing

CONs:
- small wake not great for wakeboarding (no flips, etc)

- cannot get a ski pylon for the 15'. we must pull using the lifting eyes on the transom, together with a Y-shaped harness. there is a pylon available for the 17' whalers.

- no room for storing a tube without it being seriously in the way. not a big problem because we rarely take the tube along - it's not as much fun as the other toys.

- thus far, we're unable to pull me up on a slalom ski (185 lbs). I'm trying to borrow a larger ski to see if that helps (I think it will).

There you have it. I love my 15'. It works extremely well for most of our watersports needs. Is it perfect? No. It is an excellent compromise solution, though. For my family's needs as avid watersports fans, I'm not sure that BW makes a significantly better boat. I'll most likely have to migrate to an inboard ski boat if we continue to progress in these sports.

Best of luck to you!

Eric
Gainesville, FL

MikeR posted 08-28-2001 05:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for MikeR  Send Email to MikeR     
I believe I talked to you over the phone about buying your 13' a few months ago. I ended up buying a 15' with a 70 HP Yamaha. If you would like to take a look at it, e-mail me. By the way, we love the boat!
where2 posted 08-28-2001 05:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
eolson, I suspect you're running a 19" pitch prop? If so, dropping to a 17" pitch will help your slalom problem. You're right that the Conelly wide slalom would also offer additional lift to pull you up. With my own '85 15' and '85 70Hp Johnson, I cannot pull my dad (175lbs) up on a slalom with the 19" SS prop. I can however pull him up using a 17" pitch aluminum... You skiing on Newnan's Lake in G-ville, or what?
Mark Wendt (a UF grad)
eolson posted 08-30-2001 07:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for eolson  Send Email to eolson     
Mark,
Yep, running 19" SS prop right now. Trying to get a 17" to eval this weekend. North Central Florida has had a fairly severe drought for the last couple years. Newnan's lake is basically a mudhole. We ski at Lake Santa Fe - most stable water levels in the area. Not too crowded either.
Eric
rwest posted 09-01-2001 06:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for rwest  Send Email to rwest     
I've been thru 4 boats. First was a new 1971 Nauset 16 back in 71' then went thru the "got to get a bigger boat" stage and soon realized the Whaler would have been the best boat to keep. Now back to a 35 year old 16 that i rehabbed last winter froma bare hull to a Nauset with plans ued to build the mahogany seat and console. it will handle about anything I can put it thru. I've used 13's and 15's and while they are good boats, they can't begin to take he seas that a 16/17 can handle. I'd like to move up to an 18 some day but not until I've worn out this 16. Should be good for til I retire.

Ron

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