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Author Topic:   Whaler Drive
ron3637 posted 11-05-2001 08:24 AM ET (US)   Profile for ron3637   Send Email to ron3637  
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a whaler drive?


David Ratusnik posted 11-05-2001 08:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Ron- Three advantages to any extended bracket -- (1) moves a noisy, smokey engine further away from you and others, (2) increases space in the stern of the boat, and (3) generally increases speed abit. Probably a few others--don't come to mind. This site has a fine reference section with various bracket pics including Whaler Drive. David
OutrageMan posted 11-05-2001 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
My WD also was a pretty good swim platform. It also has full flotation.


jimh posted 11-05-2001 01:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Quoting from the first sentence of my article in the REFERENCE section on "Engine Brackets"

"This article describes the improvements gained by mounting outboard engines on setback brackets and how such brackets were offered from Boston Whaler in the period of 1983 - 1993."

Notwithstanding any insight offered by postings in this message thread, I think you will find that the article is a fairly comprehensive answer to your question.

jimh posted 11-05-2001 01:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In addition to the Reference article cited above, there is a follow-up message thread with comments.

lhg posted 11-05-2001 02:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I researched this question very carefully when I ordered my 1989 25 Outrage.

The biggest plus for the Whaler Drive models is the full transom configuration. In my opinion this alone makes a Whaler Drive model extremely desireable.

The downside is that the Whaler drive hurts top speed, even though it generally enhances overall ride, performance, handling and sea keeping. Unlike the aluminum fabricated transom brakets, it has a bottom planing surface, which helps ride, but increases hull drag, particularly when bottom paint is involved. This is why allowable HP was increased, and twins recommended. Even though many dealers installed single engines on them, usually as a cost savings, they were not designed for singles, and top speed suffered. The 20's and 22's needed twin 150's, and the 25's twin 200's.

For a performance comparison, A WD 25 Outrage will do about 50mph with twin 200's, a notched transom 25 will do about 55 (or 50 with a pair of 150's), and a full transom (Armstrong) bracketed 25 will do about 60, all with the same engines.

Barry posted 11-05-2001 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
Here's the tally so far plus a few more:

+ reduced sound levels
+ increased storage (in transom)
+ better ride due to longer boat
+ better sea keeping/drier (less chance of taking water over the stern)
+ swim platform
+ higher resale value

- increased costs (boat, fuel, storage-by the foot)
- increased weight (more difficult to trailer)
- increased length (more difficult to trailer)
- closed transom (can't easily shed water if you took one over the bow - on Outrage, less so on Revenge)
- can't add trim tabs
- harder to fish around

Personally I would still prefer a boat with a Whaler Drive.

Some of the previous posts regarding WDs and brackets include:
General: Whaler drive or not
Market Place:Whaler drive
Performance:attention montauk owners
Performance:OB Setbacks explained Pros Cons
Repairs/Mods:Whaler Drives
Repairs/Mods:25' Outrage Cuddy

jimh posted 11-06-2001 12:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Nice job Barry!

Thanks for researching this question.


jimh posted 11-06-2001 12:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Moving this question into this thread]

Ron asks:

How difficult,expensive, would it be to convert a whaler dive to one engine from two?

jimh posted 11-06-2001 12:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Regarding the conversion of a boat with a Whaler Drive and twin engines to a single engine, the costs associated with the Whaler Drive portion of the conversion would be insignificant, I would think. Perhaps $500 worth of material and labor to fill the existing holes in the engine mounting area and in the transom thru-holes for cables.

I use the word insignificant because I compare the $500 in material and labor to rework the holes in the Whaler Drive to be insignificant compared with the costs of discarding two engines, replacing them with a single engine of approximately double the power, rerigging the steering, the controls, the fuel lines, repairing the console where the new single controls mount in place of the old dual controls, filling all the holes in the console where the old gauges used to be, re-wiring all the batteries and switches from dual to single engine, and so on. For twin 200 HP engines this could easily run into $20,000.

These costs would mount up, but they really have nothing to do with the boat having a Whaler Drive.

OutrageMan posted 11-06-2001 09:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
I was quoted $24000.00 to switch from a single 250 to twin 150 Optis.


ron3637 posted 11-06-2001 11:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for ron3637  Send Email to ron3637     
Thank you all for your responses ron
hauptjm posted 11-06-2001 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Here's some pictures from our very own Cetacea Section:

Unfortunately, none are of the OMC Sea Drive variety. Nonetheless, they give you a good idea of jackplates & brackets (both single and two engine application).

lhg posted 11-06-2001 01:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Barry provides a good comparison above, but I would like to elaborate on some of the disadvantages mentioned:

Regarding increased weight, this is only about 300#, which when compared to the overall weight of the rig, is not very significant. At least not enough to kill a deal.

Same would apply to the increased length, since it only amounts to an additional 26" hanging off the back of the trailer. The stern of the actual boat still determines where the boat sits on the rear keel roller.
But a longer storage space is needed. Dockage by the foot usually doesn't apply, since most simply asked for the boat size.
All outboards add 2' to the overall length of a boat, but who adds this in when docking??
Same for brackets.

The point about shedding a large wave over the bow is valid, but the boats do have twin 3" round holes drilled through both the splash well bulkhead and the transom, to get rid of this water, in addition to the floor sump drain. Not as good as the notched transom, but not a serious problem, I wouldn't think. I have yet to take a wave over the bow of my 25 in 12 years, and the 3" drains have never been used.

Regarding fishing, for downrigger fishing especially, the point is well taken. The full width of the Whaler Drive makes it impossible for a pair of stern facing downriggers to be used. For me, this was reason alone to avoid a Whaler Drive unit.
The Armstrong bracket opted for instead, was designed with less than full width platform, to allow for downriggers. See Cetacea Page 11 showing this.

Regarding trim tabs, which can't be added as mentioned, not a problem, since I doubt if they would be needed. In many ways the large bottom planing surface of the Whaler Drive unit itself functions as a trim tab. I CAN add them with my Armstrong bracket configuration, but don't need them.

OutrageMan posted 11-06-2001 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     

I did find that my boat could have used tabs. I got a lot of torque list from that big 250 (most corrected by Stingray Hydrofoil), and with the T Top's added windage.

Maybe having counter rotating twins wouldhave helped.


lhg posted 11-07-2001 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Brian - Any large Outrage with a big single would probably suffer from propeller torque.
Even though many Whaler Drive boats were sold with big singles, I have always said it was a corruption of the original design intent, which was for twin Counter rotating engines. Never in a catalog did they show one with a single.

On my 25 the CR engines eliminate the prop torque lean, and a little opposite engine trimming can eliminate leaning into a crosswind.

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