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So is it fit or the finish?
|Author||Topic: So is it fit or the finish?|
posted 03-01-2002 05:27 PM ET (US)
I have been reading some of the posts in other topics regarding Old whaler, new whaler, Pre and Post change of ownership, and I would like to know, is it the lines (exterior design) that create this divide, or general quality of product? I was always under the assumption that the biggest problem with the newer whalers was that since they became a part of a large family of boat manufacturers, quality has given way to business and the bottom line. With all due respect, if all that changed when the designer went to Edgewater, was that the exterior design changed in some hulls, well that means nothing, if on the other hand they either adopted a strategy of shortcuts, or minimal engineering, then that of course is much more serious. I believe that if Fisher had originally designed the boats to be just as strong but with exterior characteristics (lines) such as the newer hulls, we would consider those classics.What if he designed it in the fifties and gave them those characteristic Cadillac fins and wings like the cars had from that era? I bought my Montalk (2000) because of it's reputation and design. I only learned after that it may not be the same quality as some of the older Montalks. I live with that, but I didn't care if they had changed things like wood or fiberglass or plastic hatch, RPS or whatever. I need a boat that can take a pounding and still be in one piece and one that I can splatter with fish blood, hose off and not worry about any cracks or crevaces retaining any guck. So after all is said and done, what exactly is different, is it the quality or the look of the boats that has changed?
posted 03-01-2002 06:37 PM ET (US)
The new whaler's that I have seen appear to be just as well made as ever. The only difference between your boat and an older Montauk is probably just the absence of teak wood on your pilot seat. This is a good thing if you don't want to be bothered with maintaining teak, bad if you like teak. Other than that, your boat is of the "classic design" as far as I know. I would not worry about it. You have a great boat.
What most of the people here miss are the older Outrages, sport 13's and 15's. . The newer versions have lost their distinctive look, are much heavier, and some believe they do not handle in the ocean as well as the older ones. Also, I unerstand that they are changing the Montauk this year to a newer, different hull style. I have never ridden in a new Whaler so I can't comment from experience concerning ride, but they do appear to still be very well made.
posted 03-01-2002 08:24 PM ET (US)
Up untill a couple years ago I was the parts manager for a large Sea Ray/Whaler dealer. From my experience there I feel like the quality is as good now as it has ever been. To back that up I own a 1999 Montauk rather than a older one. I think that most of the complaints about the newer Whalers is the design changes not the quality. Some like wood in the boat (a pain to maintaine), some like the smirk some don't. In my opinion my Montauk is a better boat than the original. If I was talking about an Outrage it would be a different story.
posted 03-01-2002 08:45 PM ET (US)
I agree with RJY66. I have a '80 Montauk and a classic '82 Outrage 18, my son has a 2000 Montauk.
My boat is better looking because of the teak. His boat has whaleboard backing for screws. It holds better than wood and will never rot. His boat has the welded rails, much more solid. I consider his a classic as well.
My love for the classics is their light weight, speed, stability and simplicity. I consider the classics fishermen's boats with luxury represented by fit, finish and the quality and elegance of materials. They were unique.
The "new generation" of Whalers (I call them Searay Whalers) are loaded down with pleasure boater features that make them very heavy: The current "Outrage 17" is 65% heavier than the classic Outrage 17 and the hull shape that makes it ride smoother also makes is less stable.
So, though the modern whalers are still made with superior fit and finish, the philosophy of design has been compromised to the point of making them well made, undistinguished boats. I object to the names of the classics being used on "SeaRay" Whalers.
Red sky at night. . .
posted 03-01-2002 09:34 PM ET (US)
Dick - please continue your comparison or the new and older outrages. I feel as Salmon - if the changes were merited, those changes were necessary. I have a '96 17 OR and note that it weighs 1700 pounds whereas the older 18's weighed about 1020. That 700 pounds is a lot of glass and I would not think the increase in beam and depth would result in that increase in weight. My OR takes relatively big water well - but I have no real feel in any design change of significance. Now, if the 700 pounds were used effectively and resulted in increased strength and durability, then so be it.
Recently, I reviewed some Edgewater propaganda and was pleased with the structural enhancements in the lower hull area. These enhancements will add weight. I also liked the use of aluminum gas tanks - because as an engineer with a lot of safety related experience and accident analysis - the one thing I don't want on a boat is a fire. I noted that Edgewater is using aluminum tanks on, I believe, all of their boats - which in my mind is another big plus. And yes, the fuel tank on my OR is aluminum however, the newest BW information I have does not address the fuel tank material.
But I would appreciate any insight that you have regarding the differences between the newer and older outrages. --- Jerry/Idaho
posted 03-02-2002 12:08 AM ET (US)
One reason the weight has increased on newer Whalers is a significant change in the design of the boat's fabrication technique.
The ORIGINAL STYLE of Whaler boat was made from just two molded skins, a hull and a "turtle". These were joined and filled with foam. All the details of the cockpit were molded into the turtle. The shape of this molding was complex, as all the wells, lockers, steps, drip gutters, console base, islands in the non skid for attachment of fittings, etc., were all made by this molding. The complex shape of this molding also added strength, like corrugated folds add strength to a paper box.
The NEW STYLE Whaler boat is made in three pieces. The hull is joined with a simplified "liner" molded skin, and this assembly is filled with foam. Then a third laminated molding is attached on top, forming the cockpit and topsides. You can see evidence of this on some models when you open a locker or look into interior bilge spaces. There are three skins to the boat.
The change to this three piece fabrication may have been done for several reasons. I don't know exactly why, but my analysis is:
--it allows shapes to be created for the topsides that would otherwise might not work well in the two-piece technique. There must be limitations imposed by the requirement that foam be able to migrate and fill every nook and cranny of the interior. If the interior space gets too complicated there may be problems in manufacturing the hull consistently and reliably.
--it allows the hull-to-liner distance to be controlled. At some point I would expect that having the two skins become separated by too much distance would begin to reduce the strength of the composite structure. This is just seat-of-the-pants engineering on my part, but I think that the strength of material created by the two laminate skins bonded and separated by foam must tend to reach a maximum at some certain distance of separation. Maybe after that distance increases beyond that point the strength of material weakens. With a simple liner the amount of foam and the thickness of the foam sandwich can be controlled.
--it allows (perhaps) two different models to be built on the same hull and liner just by changing the top layer. See below why this would be an advantage over the two-piece fabrication.
--Another (most) important reason for changing to the three piece construction: when the boat is filled with foam, there is a great deal of pressure that must be contained in the interior space. The pressure of the expanding foam must be resisted so that the foam becomes high-density foam. That is what gives it more strength.
Because of this pressure, the molds that contain the two laminated skins have to be built very strongly themselves. The pressure of the foam must not deform them or their laminates at all. This makes these molds expensive to produce. (Actually I believe Whaler used to use steel molds which were very expensive to have tooled, costing upwards of $100,000.)
If a three piece fabrication is used, the hull and liner molds can be made very strong, but the topsides mold can be made without all that extra expense because it is just going to be used to lay up the deck laminate; it won't be exposed to the pressure of the foam.
This also allows the changing of the topsides mold from year to year to make small refinements without having to throw out an expensive mold. Let's say Whaler wanted to move a locker slightly or change the location of a cup holder. Before, with a two-piece boat, the factory would have to make a new expensive mold. Now Whaler can keep using their expensive hull mold and liner mold and just change the topside mold.
This may be one reason why boat models lasted longer in previous days: it was just to expensive to change the tooling. Now if a new boat is made and after a year of production feedback is received that it would be much better if a certain dimension could just change slightly, well, Whaler can make a new mold for the topsides and change it. They retain their investment in the hull and liner (expensive) molds.
The three-mold fabrication comes with a price: it weighs more. The boat will need a larger motor. You will of course recall that the parent company also makes motors, and a larger motor means a more expensive motor. So that extra weight is not a terrible thing if it drives the price of the boat+motor higher.
When some of these earlier Whalers were made there was no such thing as twin 225-HP outboards on the transom. They had to be able to perform with smaller engines of their day.
This is my own personal analysis of one of the major differences between "new" and "old" and the reason behind the changes.
posted 03-02-2002 09:35 AM ET (US)
Thanks, Jim. Very helpful analysis. I now understand my preference for the classics on a much more objective level.
Red sky at night. . .
posted 03-02-2002 10:18 AM ET (US)
While aluminum gas tanks are used in many quality boats (including some Whalers) many manufacturers are now switching to molded plastic (polyethelene) gas tanks. Aluminum tanks will react adversely and have corrosion problems if any water is trapped next to them...especially salt water...while plastic tanks are chemically inert. The only problem with plastic tanks is that they are more subject to stress fractures if allowed to flex...but proper installation will prevent this.
The installation techniques that many boat builders use make easy access to the gas tank difficult...and it is an even bigger problem if the tank is foamed in place. Unlike many builders, Whaler does make removable panels over their gas tanks to allow inspection and replacement if necesary.
As far as the weight issue...I really have to question the accuracy of the published weights of Classic Whalers...has anyone actually weighed these hulls? And what about when loaded with all the accessories, fittings, and other necessities of operation...I bet there is a huge difference between the stated catalog weights of these boats and their actual operational weight.
As an example, my 16 Ventura had a published weight in 2000 of 1350 lbs...the same boat without a single modification (other than a name change to 160 Ventura) now weighs 1550 lbs. in 2002. Now I know that new name is a mouthful, but 200 lbs? ;-)
I believe that Whaler is finally having to accurately state their hull weights...whether as a result of legislation, litigation, or liability, I don't know. And, there is no reason to believe that they accurately reported hull weights in the past.
I believe that the new Whaler's are every bit as rugged and well-made as their predecessors...that is one reason why they are so bloody expensive! They use high-quality fittings and materials, and a unique (and expensive) construction technique in building a quality product.
posted 03-02-2002 10:48 AM ET (US)
I got out a couple of Whaler brochures to compare weights of "current" models over a couple of year span...I only compared years that the models were basically unchanged (to the best of my knowledge)...the results are quite interesting:
1999 Dauntless 16 1300
1999 Outrage 21 2300
1999 Outrage 23 2900
1999 Outrage 26 3700
1999 Outrage 28 5600
1999 Conquest 21 2400
1999 Conquest 23 2900
1999 Conquest 28 5600
This only reinforces my suspicion that Whaler recently had to accurately revise their stated weights for some reason.
posted 03-02-2002 12:50 PM ET (US)
Thanks to Tom (ventura16) for the hull weight research. I think there was some imperative about publishing the weights because the early printings of the 2000 year catalogue were reworked to include an additional strip of overlay glued onto the specifications page. This had to be an expensive step in creation of the catalogue. The revised overlay changed many of the hull weights, in all cases upward if I recall correctly.
Tom's hypothesis about earlier hull weights being perhaps optimistic should be easy to evaluate if a few owners of classic hulls have their boats weighed. I think I will take the time to get my 1897 REVENGE weighed at a certified scale the next time I have the opportunity. If a few others did this it could be interesting to have the results.
Of course, you need to account for all the additional material on the boat, which would include:
The trailer weight should be accurately known, too, but this can be measured by repeating a visit to the scale without the boat on the trailer.
|Tom W Clark||
posted 03-04-2002 02:26 PM ET (US)
When the issue of quality arises I think it is important to be clear what we are talking about. There is quality of CONSTRUCTION, quality of DESIGN and quality of CHOICE.
About a year ago, I made a comment about how Brunswick Boston Whaler just didnít give a damn about the details. Dick just about jumped down my throat! (review this thread here: http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000816.html ) Of course Dick owns the one (until now) Classic Whaler still made by Brunswick and the one model I would exclude from my comment.
Actually I have to take back my generalization. I now believe Brunswick cares very much about the details of Boston Whalers, but it is the details of how to shave costs, not how to build a better boat. Brunswick and Boston Whaler is in the business of making money. I donít begrudge them that, but I can disapprove of how they go about it.
When I made that comment ten months ago, I was not referring to the quality of construction but rather the quality of design and choice of fittings. I do believe that apart from whatever else we might say about the newer Whalers, there has never been as stout a small fiberglass hull built as todays Unibond Whalers. Given technological improvements in foam and backing material (my jury is still out on the latter) it might even be possible to argue the new hulls are better in this regard. But what about the rest of the boat?
What about the hull shape? The newer boats have nice deep Vís for the most part. Does simply giving a hull a deeper V make it better? No. Does it ride smoother? Generally, yes. Should we judge the quality of our boats by the smoothness of its ride? Well, thatís a personal decision and you can decide for yourself. Are there tradeoffs in a move to a deeper V? You bet. Stability was always one of the cornerstones Dick Fisher built Whalerís reputation on. Are Classic Whalers hard riding? Yes. Donít like it? Buy a Brunswick Whaler or a SeaRay or a Bayliner.
Quality of fittings? Dick Fisher and Boston Whaler developed a reputation for being very demanding about what went on their boats. The choices they made were not about keeping costs down. The Classic Whalers all had quite a bit of custom designed and fabricated fittings made for them because what was available off the shelf was just no good enough. Examples include the beautiful chromed bronze bow light/chock used on the boats up to 17í as well as the custom made Marinium bow bit/anchor line guide used on the bigger boats. What do you get on your new Dauntless? An off-the-shelf stamped sheet metal bow light just like on your Bayliner.
The rail fittings/ standoffís were unique to the Whaler line as was the Norman pin. NOBODY else has ever come up with a center console rail innovation like the famous ďshepherdís crookĒ. Why? because itís expensive to build and requires special tooling. Does Whaler use them now? No. they can build rails cheaper if they dispense with that quirky detail.
What about the Classic Reversible Pilotís Seat? They didnít abandon it on the new Montauk because they came up with a better design. They just cut costs by using a mediocre seat much like what you can buy at West Marine. Does the angle of the seat back change by the use of non-parallel stainless steel supports like the original? No. Is it unique to Boston Whalers? No. Is there storage in the seat back for small things that you want close at hand? No. Does it cost less? You better believe it.
I believe most of the new welded rails to be stronger than the old. The exception to this is the side rails on the the smaller boats that simply screw down to the top of the gunwale. Whaler used to make a point about how their rails were attached high and low for strength. Do not tell me Brunswick Whaler uses the new side rails on the 13ís because they are better. They are not, but they are cheaper to produce and install. Good for the bottom line, not good for the boater.
Then thereís the lack of Teak. Wood is more maintenance, I understand that. Some people donít want the added maintenance and thatís reasonable and understandable. But we have no choice. Plastic is what you get now whether you want it or not. Gone are the days when you could order your Outrage with teak gunwale boards or fiberglass gunwale boards. There was even a time when you could get a new Montauk with teak or with out.
The plastic doors on the Montauk and Dauntless models that I have seen do close and seal nicely, I'll give them that, but whereís the ventilation? A few little saw kerfs through the door itself? Just about worthless. This is why when you open up the side door (and you only get the one door) on the center console of a Dauntless model you see mildew everywhere. The bottom of this console is essentially connected with the bilge and the fuel tank down there. So now you have moisture, fuel vapors and your battery all in the same space. This is an improvement?!
Iím also reminded of some comments I heard last summer from an owner of one of the new 13í Sports. He said he thought somebody should tell Whaler not to make these boats so white. Everything in this boat is WHITE, the hull, seats, console. A day on the water and you end up with snow blindness. The classic Montauk console always had a nice flat black covering on the dash for exactly this reason as well as the subdues Desert Tan gel coat and some nice teak or mahogany. He also complained about the lack of a 40 hp rating on his boat. (The first year it only had a 30 hp max. rating) He wished he had more power. Does this sound familiar?
posted 03-04-2002 02:38 PM ET (US)
You guys have to read the recent "survey" thread in the "post classics" forum. It was done by My Pascoe, marinesurvey.com. Check it out!
posted 03-04-2002 06:46 PM ET (US)
Very well spoken Tom!! I agree, and the Snow Blinding issue is a real factor. There is just too much White on New boats in general. My 73` `16 Currituck is Tan and that makes for a real eye pleasing site and easy on the eyes on the water too!!I think a mix of fiberglass and Teak Trim also is nice. Jack.
posted 03-04-2002 08:30 PM ET (US)
posted 03-04-2002 08:47 PM ET (US)
Very well said and I agree with all of your comments. Sorry I got my hackles up on that earlier post.
posted 03-04-2002 09:33 PM ET (US)
Snow blindness? You got to be kidding. I wear sunglasses on the water to prevent damage to my eyes from uv. Don't you? If not, you should. M y d16's color does not offend me.
posted 03-06-2002 10:18 PM ET (US)
I think Tom W's remarks are right on, and I agree. As a designer myself, design and proportion is what I notice most, and that seems to be where the company has been hurting since Dougherty, and even Van Lancker, left. For the most part, the glasswork of the new boats is excellent. But as a famouns German Architect once said, "God is in the Details". This they have missed. And this is what so many of us love about our old Whalers.
Design problems include:
1. Use of 3 glass shells to build the larger boats, instead of two. This simplifies the design cost of the inner boat, but adds all this weight everyone is complaining about. Fuel efficiency on Whalers (even with same engine) is going down, not up, a complete misunderstanding of the design process. The heavier boats and deeper vees need even more HP, compounding the situation. The entire Whaler hull process is meant to be a 2 glass shell boat, not three. The challenge is designing the complex inner hull. Heavy boats are easy to design and build - just load up enough glass and resin and you'll get by. But lean, mean and efficient hulls, like the earlier Whalers, take considerable design skill. Don't we all need to get rid of Arab oil dependency?
2. Design also means the choice of fittings, rails etc. Cheap design choice now means Whalers only meet qualities of competing brands, not exceed them like with the Classics.
3. Design integration. With a Classic Whaler, you knew one person, or a group of like-thinking persons, was in charge of the boat's overall design. Now they look like some parts are designed by Whaler, some by Sea Ray and some by Bayliner! The brand new 21 and 27 Outrages are good examples of this. The outer hull shell looks pretty darn good, much like earlier Whaler hulls, but with improvements. The work of competent Whaler designers, lets say. But then it's got a Sea Ray transom design crammed on to it, and other Sea Ray looking components & graphics. Then the interior hull liner looks like it came from Bayliner, literally, with all the cute curvy blob boat shapes, and even curving interior gunwale lines. Curves for the sake of curves, unrealted to function. Eye candy. No total design integration at all. One hand doesn't know what the other is doing. The new consoles are decent designs, but who picked out the pilot seats that go with it??? Certainly not the console designer. Maybe someone in the accounting department! Makes one wonder who is in charge. Or maybe nobody is? These are the problems the Company needs to solve if they are ever to re-achieve the status once enjoyed by the old Boston Whaler. The old penny wise - pound foolish environment has taken hold.
posted 03-07-2002 05:10 AM ET (US)
Tom Clark and LGH: I could not have said it better myself! The difference is in the details, and the characteristics of what made a Whaler a Whaler are fading away...
posted 03-07-2002 12:29 PM ET (US)
With all due respect, and without any consideration for marketing, or business, I don't believe that anything above say 20 feet in length should even be considered part of the original Whaler concept. What did Fisher make: A small skiff that was stonger than other 13's, more stable than other 13's and could climb a waterfall and be sawed in half. It could take rougher seas than the competition, and still remain relatively light weight in order to accomplish this. This was the same concept behind the 15's the 17's, even the 18's, but start going bigger and lets face it, not too many guys will buy an open center console 27' boat. At this size, your average consumer wants things like a cuddy cabin, fridge, potty, bla.,bla.,bla. Thus this need for a third shell arose. You could argue that the center console on a 17 is a mini third shell, rather than glassed on as part of the inner shell. The 13' was a revolutionary hull for it's time. It's design created a whole new concept in boatbuilding. Once you get into these super huge whalers though, it is a whole new ballgame. If you swamped a 13,15,17, or 18, who cares, pull the plug and run around till empty. you swamp a 27 and ya, it will not sink, but you just totaled the interior, fridge, potty, and so on. P.S. speaking of swamped, One guy I know, has an 11 which he takes up to some local lakes in the summer, pulls the plug, fills it with a few inches of water, and uses it as a mini drifting pool to lounge in. He even layed black rubber mat inside to help warm the water inside. Kind of neat.
posted 03-07-2002 02:03 PM ET (US)
I think there might be some distinction between the original Dick Fisher whaler concept and designs (which would be boats up to the original 21 Outrage) and the later Bob Dougherty whaler concept (including boats up to the 27 foot hull). I think that most people that frequent this site hold both of these eras in high esteem (your opinion may differ, of course).
The post-Dougherty designs, on the other hand, seem to draw many more negative opinions.
posted 03-07-2002 02:27 PM ET (US)
Blackeagle, my post was in reference to LHG's paragraph #1. I dont know how else they could make the larger boats with only two shells.
posted 03-07-2002 03:52 PM ET (US)
I am staying out of this one except for one point.
The issue of the Classic RPS VS. the New RPS. As I have one of the New RPS on my Dauntless 14 I can state that is not like one can get at West Marine. The Todds at West aren't even in the same league. Here's why:
1) The side plates on the Todds are plastic; the plates on mine are Stainless Steel. The side plates on mine also allow for 4 different positions.
2) The arms and cross braces on the Todds are alminum, wood, or stainless steel. The arms on the stainless steel unit are scewed to the cross braces. My arms and cross braces are one welded piece of Stainless Steel.
3) The seatback of my seat locks into position rather just floppying back and forth.
4) The hindge on my seat is Stainless Steel as opposed to aluminum.
5) Becuse it is custom made it is attached to the hull with some rather large pieces of aluminum and Stainless Steel hardware as opposed to #8 or #10 screws.
As far as the angle changing as the seatback is moved, SO WHAT! The classic RPS can only be used in two positions; fully back and fully forward. The angle on the new RPS is reversed at the fully forward and fully back positions, so the effect is the same. I have two extra positions, both of which I use, so they are of value to me.
And as far as the storage in the back of the RPS seatback, I have gobs more under the seat of mine. Granted the new Montauk has gas tanks that take up space, but there is still room left over.
posted 03-07-2002 04:19 PM ET (US)
Would have to agree that the 1970 - 1971 Outrage is one of the most classic Whalers. Tom and Larry, your comments about classic whaler details and Dick Fisher's obsession about quality are spot on. A great example, one which I only learned of last Saturday, is regarding Outrage hull #049. I know I have previously bored people of how this hull was acquired and rehabbed by my brother in NJ. I learned from Bob Laughrey, the original owner of TICA (acronym for This I Can't Afford) was that hull #049 was the first Outrage to be outfitted with twin engines (hint: they were not Bearcats and they were not installed in Rockland). The engines were twin Johnsons that were installed in Pennsville, NJ. This is not terribly amazing. What I did find extraordinary is that apparetnly both Fisher and Pierce showed up in Pennsville to personally oversee the mounting of the engines on hull #049. Next time, I will have to ask if there are any pics of the event.
Thought you guys might appreciate the ditty.
posted 03-07-2002 04:55 PM ET (US)
Hey Whaletosh, not to knock the old RPS which I have, you will never have the pleasure of having a storage compartment which you can cram junk in in the heat of the action only to sit down on the seat, lean back and feel the relaxing sting of the anchovie threader as it pokes your back because you didn't place it in but rather threw it in, nor the anxiety of digging in their for something and wondering if you have any loose hooks or unsheathed knives in there. In all seriousness, I think both designs have their plusses and minusses, and in both cases, you are right, they are no where near as badly made or designed as any of the competition.
posted 03-07-2002 05:11 PM ET (US)
Salmon Tub - Prior to Reebock taking over, all of the Outrages, 17-25, were all done with only two glass skins. The inner skin is a highly complex, and probably costly, mold.
The only add-ons were the stern 1/2 gunwales, either glass or teak, and the floor tank and well covers. What you see, is what you get, all foamed hull. In the new models, you have to really snoop around under the 3rd liner, etc to even find the inner hull skin.
posted 03-07-2002 06:11 PM ET (US)
lhg: You only mentioned 17-25, was the 27ft hull made this way also? (2 skinned as opposed to 3)
posted 03-08-2002 02:02 PM ET (US)
Hulls are manufactured the same as they have always been manufactured: Foam cored hull and inner liner. Molds are still manufactured from fiberglass and are steel reinforced to handle the weight and pressure (original molds were reinforced with wood). Steel "molds" have never been used. Use of "third" single skin part (topskin) is nothing new. Whaler Cabin boats have always used them. Topskin has been used on center consoles also. On the 27 Guardian, for example, since the introduction of this model in the mid 80's. VanLanker was principal proponent of use of topskin in center console construction on the recerational side. It has been correctly pointed out that the primary investment is in the two piece hull mold. Single skin "top skins" are relatively inexpensive (from a materials standpoint) but allow for very complex shapes and due to the fit tolerances can be difficult to build correctly. Availability of computer controlled routers makes the mass production and use of topskin molds economically feasible and realistic in a manufacturing environment. Use of different topskins allows expensive hull to be used for diffrent models. I.e. 18 Dauntless and 18 Ventura use the same hull. 27 Guardian, 27 Vigilant and 27 Challenger all share the same hull. Opinion: Dick Fisher would approve of the use of the topskin to provide features and benifits that would otherwise be unavailable. It is inovative and pretty neat from and engineering perspective. And Dick was all about innovation. First center-console, etc. If he had a computer controlled router who knows what he would have come up with.
posted 03-08-2002 02:46 PM ET (US)
Yes, what you point out is correct SmokingMan. It was obvious however if anyone of those committing had actually been exposed to current construction techniques and the way Mr. Fisher thought about innovation and quality.
Now the basic root of this post/question lies more in the performance, handling and sea keeping abilities of the newer hull designs (for lack of a better division let's use a few Peter VanL started to change to present vs. say Doughtery influenced hulls calling these the 'older', leaving out the Fischer "tri-hulls" of the years through the '70's) to these 'older' designs in your opinion.
Would you be kind enough to expound on this area, which some may find more relevant than the construction techniques used?
I realize the CPG still makes the 'older' in certain models. Particularly, at least in my opinion, the 27 hull the best of the lot which still was in the recreational area until '99 with the Offshore, so lets exclude those shall we since few on the forum have any above the 22 footers.
Thank you in advance for any of your experience and insight you are willing to share.
posted 03-08-2002 04:25 PM ET (US)
Regarding number of hull skins, lets look at Whaler history. All of my comments have been with respect to the open boat Outrages.
The original 13's and 16's, followed by the 17 and 15, were all two skin boats, with foam in between. No third liner skins (topskin), except for the cabin shell on the Menemsha.
The Fisher designed Outrage 21, and later Outrage 19, both had third topside/bow & gunwale shells, but not entire boat liners. As seen elsewhere, it is getting popular to remove these in order to form a "low profile"
Then, the V-series (2nd generation) Outrages were introduced, but without any topskin liners at all, except for the gunwale boards.
As for the Revenges, it's obvious a third forward cabin shell had to be added, since you can't sleep in foam! But even these were only bow cabin skins, with extended gunwale covers, not an entire boat "drop-in". Remove it, add gunwale boards and floor well cover, and you've got an Outrage.
As mentioned, Van Lancker's team made the change to complete boat topskin liners in Outrages, with the 1992 18/19 Outrage. That's why it weighs 650 lb more than it's predecessor. Even the console base is part of the liner, and in this boat, pray that you never have to replace a fuel tank! Because you can't without sawing up the boat's interior floor. There is no separate tank cover. Wonder who dreamed that one up!
I am unfamiliar with the construction of the 21 & 24 VanLanker Outrages.
Topskin liners by themselves are not bad. After all, it is how all other boats are made, forming the interior of a single skin hull. Just look under one of these skins, and you'll see the "black hole of Calcutta", the reason the boat will sink. But Whaler's designers have a unique problem if a topskin liner type of design is to be used. There has to be another full boat skin to hold in the foam, and form the unskinkable hull. That's where the weight is coming from. Are all of the little nooks and crannies, storage bins, bait wells, recessed drink holders, Euro Transoms, etc worth it? For some yes, for some no.
posted 03-08-2002 04:31 PM ET (US)
Basically, I think 2 skin vs. 3 skin construction boils down to a tradeoff. Using three skins allows more models to be made for using the same basic hull mold, thus saving the company money (some of which they will hopefully pass on to the consumer by lowering their prices) and allowing a more intricate molded upper surface.
The tradeoff is a heavier boat, which means higher operating costs. As lhg mentioned, a heavier boat requires a higher horsepower (and more expensive) engine, an expense that reoccurs every time you repower. It will also require more gas to move the boat, both in the water and on the highway.
The fundamental problem with this particular tradeoff is that the company reaps the savings from the 3-skin method, while the consumer must bear the extra operating costs.
SmokingMan mentioned the partial 3rd skins used to make the classic cuddy cabin whalers (Revenge, Menemsha, etc.). I think that this is a fundamentally different situation. In this case, the consumer gets a tangible and substantial addition to the boatís features in return for the extra weight of the third skin. On the newer open console whalers, what exactly does the buyer get for all this extra weight?
I am also dubious of the claim that the 3 skin method allows more models to be built on the same basic boat. For may years whaler offered a variety of models using conventional 2 skin construction and adding a 3rd skin only when necessary (like the aforementioned cabin models). A brief look at the historical list of models in the reference section is enough to convince me that whaler offered an equal or greater number of models on the classic 2 skin hulls as it does today with the 3 skin method.
I just havenít seen any convincing evidence that 3 skin construction is actually of tangible benefit to the consumer.
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