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Author Topic:   need expert advice on weird whaler 16/17
mdtsl posted 09-10-2001 05:40 PM ET (US)   Profile for mdtsl   Send Email to mdtsl  
Hi all,

I've been enjoying all of the great posts and learning as much as I can about Whaler construction (and in some cases destruction!). I grew up thinking that Whaler was just a name brand and wasn't worth the extra money until my dad bought an '86 Outrage 18 from Morehead Marine about 5 years ago. One day we went out Bogue Inlet when we shouldn't have, and I was amazed at the way the Whaler handled the water, and although we turned around to head back in as soon as it was safe to, there was another 18' Outrage trolling at the Sea Buoy once we got out there. After 5 years with the boat, I'm in love. However, since the boat is his, I'm in the process of finding one of my own, and looking for a 16/17.

I found a "1970 Montauk" in the paper, which can't be as the Montauk name wasn't used then, so I went to see it with interest as to what I might find. I found a good-looking Whaler 16/17 with the pre-1976 haul (no smirk) with a serial number that indeed put the haul as a 1970 model. However it had a fiberglass center console with a Coast Guard panel that stated it was a Montauk, and a white-with-blue-speckles interior. No sign of the original wood was found, and the fiberglass console had a built-in well in front of it with a plasic lid. There is a windshield and grab-rail, but the rail does not extend forward over the well at all. And finally, newer-looking harpoon graphics up both sides indeed stated this was a Montauk (or at least someone wanted it to be). It's current owner has added fishing seats both in the front and rear, and a trolling motor on the front (there are no signs of the bow rail left). So what I am assuming that I found was a redone Whaler, probably re-gel-coated on the inside and maybe the outside, as the boat looks very good, i wouldn't ever guess it's 30 years old. The inside especially looks good, and I'm not sure how they coated it and left the serial numbers readable, but it is certainly not even faded Whaler blue, it's blue speckled. It comes complete with a 1987 Johnson 88 SPL and a 99 galvanized custom trailer (with rollers and bunks set up correctly! Very happy about that!)

The current owner knows little about the previous history (he bought it on vacation in FLA), and has used it very little himself. He said the only thing wrong with it was "the paint is peeling off a little in the front". Well, I knew there was no paint originally, so I paid particular attention to this. As best as I can tell, the gel coat is completely gone in 2 patches on the front; one is well above the water line and has been painted white, and is about 6" by 8". The other is at the water line on the side of the start of the center keel, is about 6" by 6", and hasn't been painted. Again it just looks like thick paint has came off, maybe 1/16" of an inch. Inside I can see the tan of what I'm assuming is the inner hull, it's not gouged or cracked at all, and in fact it looked waterproof to me but...after reading the posts on here I've learned that it's not, and this could be the thing that keeps me from getting a Classic Whaler just yet. The owner said he thought it was just paint, and since he thought Boston Whalers were indestructable, it didn't bother him and he didn't give it a second thought. In fact, I think he thinks I'm trying to pull one over on him in an effort to reduce the price. I'm worried some delamination might have started, although i don't see or smell anything unusual, and I heard the same sound on the haul all around the area as I rapped it with my knuckle...I just don't know if it was hollow or dull! Any easy way to spot problems? I saw some waviness to the fiberglass along the sides, but that was far away from this area and looked minor (and could just be flaws in the "new" gelcoat, if it is new).

So I'm soliciting opinions as to what this boat is/was, what's been done to it, and what I should do now. I'm worried that the gelcoat may start peeling off all over, as there were no obvious gouges or punctures where the missing pieces were. And I'm worried about it being too late, even if I fix the gelcoat, as the damage may have been done after several years of running (albeit rarely) with a hole. If I knew I what I was looking at, this would be a lot easier. This boat looks very white to me, much whiter that my dad's Outrage. In fact, the "tan" I see in the hole looks much more like the color of the Whaler hull I was expecting. Maybe someone gelled over the old gelcoat without roughing it up enough, and I'm just seeing the original gelcoat in the holes. The surface isn't rough, and doesn't look like raw fiberglass, but I don't know what a Whaler looks like undressed anyway. I can't find any soft spots in the floor, although the floor doesn't closely approach the keel, so that might not be a good indicator of damage up front.

Okay, this got way too long, so I'll stop here and see what you guys have to say. I guess I should say that I'm looking more for a functional boat than a classic with all the trimmings, so the fiberglass console and absence of wood doesn't bother me. Plus I'm working with a limited budget, and while this one just falls in my range, I can't afford much more in the way of glass repairs. Any help/suggestions are greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

Mike Taylor
Morgantown, WV (usually)
Emerald Isle, NC (whenever possible!)

LarrySherman posted 09-10-2001 11:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

Welcome to the best site in the world! You are going to love it.

As for your boat, I think you have to determine if it really is a Whaler. I'm not so sure myself, but then I'm no expert.

I would look through the pictures in the "Cetaeca" section of the site, looking for something that looks like your prospective Whaler.

You can also mail the hull number to Chuck Bennett at Whaler, and he will look it up for you.

Good luck, and welcome aboard!


mdtsl posted 09-10-2001 11:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for mdtsl  Send Email to mdtsl     
Hey Larry,

I'm loving it already. I know there is a lot of information already in the forum (is there any way to search it? It would be much more helpful if it was searchable) and the reference section, but I'm still not quite sure what I'm looking at. The hull is definitely a pre-Montauk, the interior is exactly the same (lines, anchor locker, etc), it's just a different color. And the console is Whaler, I'm just not sure which one. Prototype perhaps? (in my dreams) But I'll definitely get the serial number again.

I guess to condense that mammoth post above to one question, what does the first layer of foam under the gel coat actually look/feel like? Is it as hard as fiberglass or is it spongy? Smooth or rough? I can't see any blue (the great "Buying a Classic" article in the Ref section says white or tan gelcoat, blue laminates, and then tan foam) so I don't know if I'm not that deep yet, or if the blue has been removed before. When a hull is "soft", how hard do you have to push to get it to deflect? It's hard to the touch, but again I didn't have a hammer, just a knuckle...and the knuckle said it was hard! So I don't know if there is trouble in store for the future owner of this Whaler or not. I sure don't have the time or inclination for major repairs, and I'm afraid my want for this beautiful boat will cloud my judgement. The guy is holding it for me for a couple more days, so I have to decide quickly.

Lastly, even thought the thing that makes info hard to find is when people switch topics in a thread, I just want to know what the general consensus is as to the "best" hull for the 16/17- pre or post 76 (new or old)? How wet are we talking about as far as the ride in the old hull? Am I going to get wet under normal conditions (a few boat wakes) and normal speeds (reasonable) on my local lakes? If this part of the discussion takes off, we should start a new thread...



lhg posted 09-11-2001 12:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
If this 16' is truly 1970, there would be no tan gelcoat in it at all. There should be evidence of blue gelcoat under the interior paint job. The console is definitely not original, as no Whaler console matches that description. In 1970, the only center console available was mahogany. It sounds like the interior was speckle painted and an aftermarket console added. It also sounds like the exterior hull had some damage and was repaired using paint instead of gelcoat. I don't like the sound of that.

Whalers only have one "layer" of foam, if you can even call it that, encased in the two glassed hulls, each about 1/4" thick. The foam thickness can vary from 1" to over 6", depending on location in the hull voids.

I would keep looking around for a 16' model in better condition if it were me. But then again, I'm a perfectionist. Spending just a little more, can save you thousands later. Maybe you should tell us what the price is.
The 16' hull should be great for your purposes. But find a good one.

jameso posted 09-11-2001 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Don't be too hasty to buy or turn down a boat, sounds like someone redid an older whaler and it MAY or MAYNOT be a good deal. I would get a repair person a someone who is familiar with fiberglass AND whalers to check it out. It may be that the boat has minor damage and is OK,,,you did not mention cost but if the price is right it might be a good starting point.
My 2 cents, Jim Armstrong
mdtsl posted 09-11-2001 08:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for mdtsl  Send Email to mdtsl     
Thanks for your two cents, Jim, and that is just my problem, I can't find anyone locally who knows fiberglass and Whalers! So I'm trying to learn myself. The guy is asking $4200 for the package ("redone" 1970 16', 1988 Johnson 88HP, 1999 galvanized trailer), so I was thinking about offering $4000, then minus $500 for the it might be worth $3500 just to take the chance on a decent whaler. I haven't actually made any offer yet, though, so I don't know what a fair price is. Any thoughts?

p.s. Thoughts and prayers with today's victims and their families.


Bigshot posted 09-12-2001 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I personally would walk away because I have been burned on a Whaler that was "redone". It was shongo with water in the hull and repair patches that would fall off. $3500 sounds decent, but I would want an original hull so you KNOW no work has been done. You will also have a resale problem with this one as well. If it was a winner, it would be gone by now.

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