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Author Topic:   15 or 17 Whaler
JAD posted 05-30-2002 05:24 PM ET (US)   Profile for JAD   Send Email to JAD  
Hello and thanks in advance for your help.
I have been lurking here for sometime, and have a question of two for you.
While eyeing a couple local 13's for sale, I have come to the conclusion that the 15 might fit my needs a little better. A little fly fishing, and motoring around the bays of DE and MD. Would love to introduce my son to the water in a whaler, and my safety requirements almost demand the Whaler line.

Here is my problem. Am I crazy not to bite the bullet and get a used 17? Will the 15 get any skinnier then a 17? What would be the case for not jumping up to the 17? Storage will be tight, but an additional 2 feet will likely not kill me.

I appreciate your patience here, and please excuse the rambling nature of this post. I am basically looking for a real world comparison between the two boats. Can the 15 boat handle three adults? Is it fishable with three?
BTW, I am about 6-2 and weight in at about 260 lbs.


cjd posted 05-30-2002 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for cjd  Send Email to cjd     
ok, in the interest of full disclosure, JAD is my younger brother, and is desperate need of help here.

Of course I could tell him that the 17 is the obvious choice. I could point out that the 15 will likely not give him entry into any water that will not take the 17. I could tell him that at 260 (mmmm do i hear 70) the 15 will probably seem a scosh small.
I could tell him that he will be much happier flinging flies from the bow of a 17, even if the 15 he is looking at has a fly casting rail. I could tell him that you rarely regret the extra space, (like HP) but often regret the lack of it.
I could tell him he will be equally dangerous backing up the 13 vs the 17, and that his truck will pull both with ease.
I could tell him the the two foot + diff in storage space is a non factor (especially since i know where he is keeping it-umm so where am i keeping my boat this winter there Johnny?)

I went through the same thought process as he is going through, only I was torn between the Montauk and an 18 Outrage. I actually think there is less diff between the Outrage and the Montauk, then from 15-17, though i opted to focus on the Outrage. I ended up with a great deal on an 18 Parker, but still dream in Outrage Off White.

I could tell him all this, but he would never listen.

russellbailey posted 05-30-2002 05:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for russellbailey  Send Email to russellbailey     
When we get together with my in-laws at the coast, who are boatless, we regularly fish with 5 from our 15' Striper. I don't recommend that. I'd say 3 would be fine - one front, one center, one back. When I was in high school 7 of us used to go the lake and head out for a day of waterskiing with skis and all of us in the boat - space is a relative thing (though there absolutely was not much space left then).

The 17' is a lot bigger than the 15, as much for depth and width as for length. It also weighs a bit more though still light enough for most mid-size cars (e.g., Taurus). In contrast, the 15 is not much bigger than the 13 - about the same width and depth, a little longer, and with a much softer riding hull.

With the 15 reasonably fit adults have no need for a ladder as you can just flip over the low sides - no dice doing that on the 17'.

You really need to sit in each and see. I may get a 17 some day, but the 15 has been a wonderful boat for the 22 years our family has had it.

prj posted 05-30-2002 07:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
i'll counter russell a bit here as i also have the 15' striper. fish in WI inlands primarily, some large, some small, so the striper fit my needs perfectly with speed, super dry ride, faster than nec'y, shallow draft, easily launched at marginal ramps and excellent handling.

15' is superb for 2 adults fishing, even chucking large muskie lures on 8' rods. 15' is just fine for 3 adults IF not much casting is going on, primarily (as we say) dipple dappling. thats jigging or slip bobber or other methods that dont rely heavily on frequent casting. i will not fish 3 adults chuckin triple treble rapalas along the shore for any length of time, just too scary with the up close and personal inspections of your partners lure flying by.

if you intend to cruise with more than 3 adults or if you intend to fish regularly with 3 or more, go with the montauk.

mbking1 posted 05-30-2002 07:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for mbking1  Send Email to mbking1     
I must agree. I have had most of the smaller hulls. In the long run, your flexibility and usage options are far greater with a Montauk. The 15's are awesome too. But if you examine how long you intend to keep the boat and factor everything in, The conclusion is pretty obvious. Mark
aubv posted 05-30-2002 08:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     
You guys who think three adults can cast at breaking fish on a 17' are brave and a lot better fisherman than the group I hang out with! I have a 17' OR and with 3 on board, two cast, one operates the boat and the operator still has to watch the other two. This is conventional or fly fishing. Having a double header with Albies or Bonito can be tough enough much less a triple header.

JAD I can't do a comparison of 15' to 17' but also can't think of any reason not to go the 17'. We use a 17' to fish 10-15 miles off shore. FWIW

JBCornwell posted 05-30-2002 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
I don't know how relevant this is to John's quest or even to his usage, but here's my situation.

I have owned several 13/14s, two 16/17s and two OR-18s.

I currently have a Montauk and an OR-18. I fish mainly fresh water, though sometimes it is fresh water standing on edge. The Outrage is still more boat than I need.

I think the Montauk is the most versatile fisherman ever made. I plan to keep mine.

I am going to sell/trade the Outrage this year and get a Striper or other 14 or 15 for the lighter work.

If you can have only one Whaler for a variety of fishing, it needs to be a Montauk.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

mudpuppy posted 05-31-2002 03:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for mudpuppy  Send Email to mudpuppy     
I've got a 15 and love it but if I knew I was going to be doing a lot of fishing with three adults on board I'd go for the Montauk. I opted for a smaller boat partially out of ignorance and inexperience but mostly because I wanted a smaller "sneakier" boat with less draft and lower sides for duckhunting.
Clark Roberts posted 05-31-2002 07:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Mark D posted 05-31-2002 09:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mark D    
17' Mountauk
Salty posted 05-31-2002 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Salty  Send Email to Salty     
I've had a 15 Sport, a 16 SL and now a 17 SS Ltd. There is a lot of difference between a 15 and a 17. The 15 is comfortable with 2, less with 3 and starts to be a problem with more. 15's are much more weight sensitive. Moving around in one really rocks it but is no problem in the 17. The 17 has much more room for more people and gear, a much better ride, higher freeboard and safer. But, you have a little more weight and mass to deal with when towing and at the dock. I used to take the 15 out alot by myself. It was so easy to trailer, launch, maneuver around the docks, etc. With the 17, the same things are a little more to deal with. However, the extra weight and size also translate to a smoother more substantial ride when underway. Water that used to give me a rough ride and toss me around a bit in the 15 was no problem in the 17. The 15 was great on small smooth water with one or two in it. After having both, I won't go back to a 15. I'm sticking with the 17. Once I got used to the larger size, I was very glad I moved up.
Bigshot posted 05-31-2002 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Big question here is do you want to stand when you drive? If yes....17 is the only choice unless modified. I have had all 3 and I love my Montauk, but the 15 with a 70 is an absolute pisser to drive.
Bosmass posted 05-31-2002 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bosmass  Send Email to Bosmass     
I wanted a Whaler that I could handle alone, trailer through out New England and be safe enough for me and my daughter. I bought a classic 13 footer that I used primarily on the Charles River and Boston's inner harbor. I knew almost immediately that is was too small for my needs. First chance I got I sold it and bought a 17 footer. I can't believe how much more boat you get with 3.5 feet, and it still meets my basic requirements. In this case I think bigger would be better.
jimithing posted 05-31-2002 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimithing  Send Email to jimithing     

This is Jimi in Richmond. Call me I have a lead on a boat.

whaleryo posted 06-03-2002 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for whaleryo  Send Email to whaleryo     
Took my Sport-15 out in some nasty chop in Jones Inlet on Saturday. Seas 3-4 feet, nasty wind, and plenty of boat traffic. I had a blast! Noticed a pair of classic Montauks cutting through the same stuff with relative ease. While I did have great fun with the 15, I think it's time to move up to a more comfortable ride.

I checked out a 1988 Montauk advertised as in "Excellent" condition that was in the papers for $9500. I thought that was high but after talking to the owner over the phone decided to go see it. The boat was filthy, wood was untreated, sponsons had chunks of fiberglass missing, the console cover was torn beyond repair, and the engine had no markings or indications of Mfg or Hp whatsoever.

If that boat is "Excellent" then mine is "New-in-the-box".

Wife thinks we need something bigger and after hearing me talk about Whalers for years, she says it must be a Whaler. Is there a Revenge in my future?


JAD posted 06-03-2002 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for JAD  Send Email to JAD     
First off thanks for all the usefull info. It seems that the best boat for me would be a late 80s and up 17. once again thanks for all the insight it has been very helpful.


no glitter posted 06-13-2002 08:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for no glitter  Send Email to no glitter     
i have had both the 15 and the 17. I was able to take the 17 anywhere the 15 would go and being able to stand makes all the difference in the world. Go with the Montauk
mbking1 posted 06-13-2002 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for mbking1  Send Email to mbking1     

The Montauk is the better choice over the long run

whalernut posted 06-13-2002 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Go with a Classic `17 Montauk, the `15 looks small to me up close. If you can get one that was made in Rockland,Mass. I think you will be very happy with your choice. Jack.
Highwater posted 06-13-2002 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
If you want your young children to grow up loving the water, I think that there are certain advanatages to having a small boat with a big enough engine that it can pull them on tubes and/or waterskis. Young children like to drive the boat and the smaller boats (9, 11, 13, and 15) are easier for a youngster to drive. Also, the youngsters like to lie down, and on these small boats they can lie down and still look at the water, or stick their hand in the water, and feel near the water. When they lie down in a Montauk they end up looking at the inside of the boat not the water. Then they end up getting sea sick. And the Montauk is more difficult for them to drive.

If you don't have children and can afford the Montauk, get the Montauk.

If you have children and can afford it, I think that the ideal situation would be to have two boats, a 15 and a 17. Then your children can get a sense of independence driving their own boat, and you can talk to each other on the VHF radio.

jimh posted 06-14-2002 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In boats, bigger is almost always nicer, so naturally the 17 has received more votes than the 15.

Some things in the favor of the 15:

--fits in your garage
--trailers very easily
--boat+trailer can be moved around by hand
--runs well with just a 50-HP
--very low vertical clearance on the water
--cost less
--more suitable for children to operate.

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