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ron3637 posted 06-13-2002 11:19 AM ET (US)   Profile for ron3637   Send Email to ron3637  
[Edited post for better form--jimh.] Why do Boston Whaler boats have a reputation for bad ride? I don't think it is due to envy.
bsmotril posted 06-13-2002 12:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
You have made a very generalized and broad statement. On the contrary, several of the newer models are noted for the ride and performance in offshore seas; Outrage and Conquest for instance. Older models with the cathedral style hull do ride harder and wetter in chop than a vee hull. But, that is not Whaler specific and would apply to any other similar hull from any other manufacturer.
NEVER SCARED posted 06-13-2002 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for NEVER SCARED    
The whalers I see on the waters are driven much harder than other boat owners. Any boat driven faster than conditions allow will seem like a "bad ride". A nother reason could be whalers are usually the smallest boat among the offshore crowd, and the too rough to be out crowd. We usually play with the bigger kids!
diveorfish posted 06-13-2002 01:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
I was curious about this as well, but first, you have to define what a good ride is.

I know deadrise is important: I called Boston Whaler and asked them what the transom deadrise of my 2001-generation 23 Outrage was. They said it was 20 degrees. I know the entry deadrise of my boat is quite steep. I think you can safely say that any of the newer BW deep V hulls rides at least as well as any other boat with a transom deadrise of 20 degrees or less. As the deadrise goes up though, i.e. regulator and Contender, Iíve heard there are many handling characteristic trade offs to consider as well. Folks say that deep deadrise boats roll a lot more, are less fuel efficient and donít recover as quickly when you are getting tossed around in rough water. I hope someone with a lot of experience in this area can address this because Iíve never ridden in a boat with a 22 + degree deadrise.

Dryness of ride is also important: the reverse chines on Whalers make them very dry compared to some others. It also makes Whalers very stable when trolling etc.

Hull strength is also important. Because Whalers are virtually indestructible, you donít have to worry about beating up the hull. As a result, you donít have to baby a Whaler. I have friends with Seaswirls and Wellcrafts, it sounds like they are going to break apart when you hit a few waves too fast. In short, if you like to go fast in rough water, you can do it with a Whaler.

Unsinkablility is also important to some: I was talking to an owner of a Proline 25 walkaround. He liked his boat and recounted a story where he went out and got caught in 10 foot seas while fishing. He made it back to port ok but did not enjoy the experience. He also mentioned some other guy that goes out in those seas all the time. I asked him if that guy was crazy and he replied something like: ďno, heís got a Whaler.Ē Turns out the whaler he was referring to was an early 90ís 22 outrage called WhiteCaps. Anyway, I think confidence helps the ride also.

Don Fisher posted 06-13-2002 03:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Don Fisher  Send Email to Don Fisher     
I think it is a bad rap from non-Whaler owners and Whaler owners, alike. Our family has owned a myriad of Whalers over the years - Nauset, 2 Sakonnets, 3 Montauks (2 currently), a 17 Outrage, an 18 Outrage, a 22 Outrage, a 20 Dauntless, a 16 Dauntless, and a 13. The Nuaset and Sakonnets rode the worst, but still (to my memory) not THAT bad. The best riding was probably the 22 and 18 Outrages. More mainstream, the Montauks seem to ride the same as the 16 Duantless, mind you a little wetter, but more stable. I still think the Montauk is a fine riding boat. We just got back from the lake and the wind was blowing 25 - 40 mph. Did I get a little wet when the wind hit us broadside? Sure I did. But the boat handled the waves with no problem, and I didn't get wet at any other time. I'm still amazed at how well the Montauk handles those kinds of conditions.
lhg posted 06-13-2002 03:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I remember back in 1990 when my 25 Outrage was new, and Hydra Sport was advertizing the best ride on the water with some coined hull design. As it turned out a fellow I knew who was both a Hydra Sport and Mercury dealer, joined me for a run out in 4' seas offshore. His immediate comment was "this boat rides and handles a lot better than the 25' Hydrasport!

I also remember salmon trolling on Lake Michigan in a friends 26', 7500# Stratos Center console, in about 6' seas. The thing rolled so badly we could harly fish at all, and I could hardly wait to get back in. I couldn't believe the HUGE difference in offshore stability. The boat was a real pig.
I see why they finally quit making them.

Finally, two weekends ago, I was fishing off Winthrop Harbor IL, about 3 miles out in Lake Michigan. The waves were about 3' directly offshore. I see a Montauk heading back in, on plane at about 25 MPH, needlessly pounding the daylights out of his passengers, and giving the boat a bad name, as they went by heading into the waves. I guess he was trying to impress somebody, but all he really needed to do was slow down and drive to the conditions.

T Party posted 06-13-2002 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for T Party    
One more reason: weight.
I have some relatives who used to have a 19' Grady White, deep-V hulled outboard (175hp). The boat was very heavy and accordingly, between the weight and the V hull, handled chop very well compared to a Montauk. It also bow-steered and was wetter than a Montauk, too. My Montauk rides better in chop if I have a lot of weight in it.

It's a compromise - the cathedral hull will ride rougher but won't bow steer, won't be tender and is easier to handle and trailer and much less expensive to operate than a heavier boat with a deep V hull that's the same length (not that I'm saying a 19' boat is comparable to a Montauk, but that's my point of reference).

PS - I could have bought the Grady for less than I spent on my Montauk, but chose the Montauk for my specific uses.

Salmon Tub posted 06-13-2002 05:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
Wet? Wet? They through a windshield, roof and plastic all around the sides of their boats, hide inside with the windshield wipers at full speed and brag how their boat is drier than a Whaler. Oh ya, and they just happen to usually compare their 19+ foot models to a Montauk. Sure it is drier behind all that protection. I've been in a 22' Striper and there was more water above the boat than under it. Offcourse the owner bragged about how he doesn't have to get wet and I said sure as long as your scuppers don't clog. And then you need an eagle eye to spot that debris or kelp that you may run into through all the water on the windshield.
Fishcop posted 06-13-2002 05:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Fishcop  Send Email to Fishcop     
Every boat can have a "bad ride" all depends on the conditions and the operator of the boat. Not too long ago I was the Exc. Officer on a 65' 48ton patrol vessel. In 25' seas, that boat had a bad ride. I agree with the above posts that all factors must be taken into consideration as to what is a "bad ride". I have owned several whalers and two grady white boats (sorry, I had to try the grady to see for myself). I currently have a 25' whaler that rides better than any boat of similar length that I have ever run (including the grady's).
As lhg stated earlier, if your only trip on a whaler is a 25mph ride in 6'seas on a Montauk, you will probably experience a "bad ride".
As always, just my two cents.
jimh posted 06-13-2002 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Most of the people who think Whalers are bad riding boats got this idea from:

--reading it somewhere;
--hearing it somewhere.

They have actually never ridden in a Whaler because they costs too much for them to own one and they don't have any friends that own one (who will take them abord, anyways).

A smaller group of the people who think Whalers are bad riding boats got this idea from:

--being pounded by a ride in an original 13-foot Whaler that was operating in rough conditions.

If the only critereon for judging a boat's ride is to drive it into large headseas at high speeds, then other hull forms will outperform a Whaler in that condition. However, a hullform that runs beautifully into large headseas at high speeds may also prove to have other characteristics at other speeds, like:

--need excessive horsepower to plane
--steer and track poorly at low speeds
--roll badly in drifting or beam seas situations.

So you have to consider the total operation of your boat. If you envision yourself always dashing offshore into 4-6 footers at 40 MPH, maybe a Whaler is not the boat for you.

Now, how about this situation: your teenage daughter takes your boat out, a big storm blows up, the engine dies, the boat gets swamped by a huge wave, it's raining like a biblical flood. Do you want your daughter on:

--a deep-vee boat that will roll miserably, eventually taking on enough water to sink until the gunwales settle to the water (or below), submerging the outboard, the battery, etc., or might even sink completely; or,

--a Whaler that will comfortably ride out the storm, whose floatation will keep the boat stable and the outboard powerhead above water.

That is a much easier decision, isn't it.

Ed Z posted 06-13-2002 06:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Z  Send Email to Ed Z     
Well stated Jim... Reminds me of an answer my dad gave me reguarding my complaints of the high price for a well made motorcycle helmet.... His responce "How much is your head worth ?"
David Ratusnik posted 06-13-2002 06:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Ron- Just curious, what boat did you finally buy???? David
whalernut posted 06-13-2002 07:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I have owned a 1971 `13 B/W Sport, it was very stable, but yes it rode rough when the waves were much over a chop, but it is a trade off. I bought a 1973 `16 Currituck to move up slightly in length, same thing with that hull, very stable, more room, but will ride rough in a chop or more, but I just won`t give up the looks, stability, and effinciency of the cathedral hull. Also take into consideration their both bench seat models, not center consoles. I may buy a secondary boat of another brand for a different use, but will always have my Whaler for primary use. My second favorite hull is the Alumacraft Welded Aluminum Modified-V boat, stable and rugged, I am going to get one of those in the `16 model one of these days and put a 9.9 h.p. on it for restricted lakes and for hunting from. Jack.
Jay A posted 06-13-2002 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jay A    
Here in New England I have a 2001 Seapro 21' W/A and a 1970 13'Whaler. Sure the Whaler rides wet and rough,VERY wet and rough. However, It's tough to beat in protected waters and when the conditions are rough,with proper handling you know it will survive better than your back! The Seapro is by far a better riding craft and with an 8'6" beam,very stable and very dry!But with any boat,with bad weather conditions and poor seamanship can add up to a miserable ride.
jimh posted 06-14-2002 12:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Edited TOPIC; was "why do BW have such a bad ride reputation?"

Edited original post; was "I do not believe [it's] envy[.] [Removed my edit--It was a bit over much.--jimh]

Tom W Clark posted 06-14-2002 01:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh lord, jimh, I'm glad at least you have a sense of humor...

Anyway, about that nasty Boston Whaler reputation, it is well earned. Remember, the original Boston Whaler was the 13' followed closely by the 16'. Boston Whaler made these hulls from 1958 (the 13' that is) to 1978 before they introduced a deep-V hull.

So for 20 years Boston Whaler produced tens of thousands of extremely popular but different types of boats. These boats could handle seas other boats of that era simply could not on a pound for pound basis.

These 13' and 16' hulls did ride hard compared to the deep-V hulls that became popular in he 1960's and 1970's. They could also handle more horsepower per weight of hull than most and thus were driven very hard. I know, I have lots of hours in both these hulls.

The 21' hull and then the 19' that followed were built with a similar cathedral shaped bottom and thus did not improve very much on the 13 and 16's ride quality. But all these hulls have stupendous reserve buoyancy, stability and strength. Everything is a trade of. In all things in life, you take the good with the bad.

Boston Whalerís reputation was not built on being like every other boat out there. Dick Fisher had his own agenda. He never tried to build a soft riding hull.

Now the 1980's saw the introduction of Bob Doughertyís best hull designs and they perform much like other deep-V hulls on the market. But Whalerís reputation was established. With the continuation of the Montauk and 13í designs all the way to the end of the millennia, the reputation of hard riding was perpetuated. But the newer V-hulled Whalers certainly do not qualify for this distinction. Riding in a Dauntless 14 is amazingly smooth compared to a Montauk!

The thing is, those who gauge the quality of a given boat by the softness of its ride are missing the whole point of the Classic Whaler. Whalers are great because of all the things they can do, not because of one thing they can do like provide a soft ride.

PMUCCIOLO posted 06-14-2002 04:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    

We all need a bit of rest and relaxation sometimes...It's perfectly acceptable to take a vacation.

jimh posted 06-14-2002 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Re-edited my own edit!--jimh]
Wreckdiver posted 06-14-2002 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
It seems to me that the Montaukís one great weakness is the mogul type waves created by a wind shift. I donít have any ocean experience, but the Great Lakes can to get into a nasty ďslopĒ after it blows from the South one day then switches to the East on the next. I have found it almost impossible to keep the boat from slapping in these conditions.
I did run the boat around Mackinac Island last June while six footers rolled through the Straights. It was too rough to dive, so we decided to test the legend. The only other boats out that day were ferries running to the island. It was really easy to manage the boat, and the ride wasnít much harder than I have experienced on deep V hulls.
The one thing no one seems to talk about though is the Montaukís ride under flat conditions. Itís almost magic the way it pops up onto plane and skims across the water throwing almost no wake.
kingfish posted 06-14-2002 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Some of us (well, at least a couple of us) of the curmudgeonly persuasion enjoyed the humor of the temporary edit.

Just thought you'd like to know...


Clark Roberts posted 06-14-2002 02:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
"Bad" is a very subjective adjective! Another myth! As I see it Whalers have no reputation for a "bad" ride... Poof... Happy Whalin'... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
whalernut posted 06-15-2002 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I for one would never trade off the stableness and the smooth skimming ride on calm water for a Deep-V that rolls and rides smoother in a chop, thats me, but the ride really doesn`t bother me, a lack of stableness would. Jack.
mudpuppy posted 06-15-2002 04:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for mudpuppy  Send Email to mudpuppy     
Whalernut et al:

In my limited experience with Whalers, the 15' hull seems to have it all; stability and a great ride in rough water. Particularly for its size.

whalernut posted 06-15-2002 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Mudpuppy, I have been up close and personal with the `15 Sport and Supersports, but have never actually ridden in one, I am going to have to one of these days and give a report on the ride, etc. I now just have to find someone that has one on Lake Erie, near the OH.-PA. border are??? Jack.
bc posted 06-16-2002 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for bc    
I would have to agree with Mudpuppy on the 15' hull. I had mine out yesterday and man where the cabin crusers out in full force. The guy with me commented on how well the boat rode in the chop than over the wakes. Both of us have hardly any whaler experience other than my 15', but have rode in countless other brands and would put the 15 up against any other 15' hull.
rubadub555 posted 06-17-2002 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for rubadub555  Send Email to rubadub555     
After reading this thread, and having run our 1980 Montauk/Suzuki 85 approx 40 miles yesterday in a light chop up and down the ICW in Northeast Florida, I have this to add;
trimming the motor out from the transom, to raise the bow and provide a bit of an air cushion, greatly enhances the ride comfort; experimenting with a more pronounced bow-up attitude made me believe I'd been too quick to accept the "myth" of a pounding ride, and too slow to try a trim angle more radical than I'd tried in the past.
Bigshot posted 06-17-2002 10:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
My $.02 is this:

They ride DRY! Stick yourself in a 13, 15, or 17 Whaler in chop and it is DRY. You might get beat up more than you would in a 17 Mako but you'll be wet. People always ask me if it rides rough and I always say "Compared to what?" Compared to a 23 Seacraft, it rides like hell but then again it it 6.5' smaller. Most are puzzled when they ride in my Montauk on how dry it is and stable, especially considering it is really only 16'. The 13 & 15 are the best in their class, find me a better riding(and drier) 13 &15' boat and we'll talk.

Taylor posted 06-17-2002 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Isn't a bad ride one where you don't get where you want to go?
masbama posted 06-17-2002 08:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
Mobile Bay was howling around Dauphin Island this weekend. 3 to 5's in the lower bay. We were fishing a tournament. My Montauk and friends' fifteen. He followed me in my wake. Both kept dry and safe. I do find that my Montauk rides a bit smoother with some weight in it.
rsgwynn1 posted 06-18-2002 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
I went 25 mi. offshore in my friend's 21 Mako (3' seas) and was about beat to death before we got to the fishing spot. Two days later I repeated the ride in my 22' Revenge Cuddy and felt like I'd been escorted to the reef in a limo.
Toad2001 posted 06-18-2002 02:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Toad2001  Send Email to Toad2001     
My 15 runs completely dry, and the ride isn't harsh considering its a small boat. Where I was this weekend, the winds were blowing 25-30kn for two days and a long fetch permitted large waves, and swells. The tidal effect caused a confused chop. It was ugly, and kept many big boats at port ie: 40'+ Uniflites etc. (not that they couldn't go-it just wouldn't have been comfortable).
I played around in the whaler, and went as far out as I dared. We did not get wet at all (except for a few drops of spray on the sunglasses). The ride was impressive, and made the cruise lots of fun. My wife and dog never complained. We got lots of air, and went fast too. You just can't get a better boat for the size and money than a classic whaler.
Show me a better 15 footer with the built in safety my whaler has, and I'll buy it.
ron3637 posted 06-18-2002 04:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for ron3637  Send Email to ron3637     
After reading the above comments, it appears that BWs deserve their reputation for a "hard" ride, which many posters, however, maintain is offset by other virtues such as stabitity and floatation. Ron
ron3637 posted 06-18-2002 04:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for ron3637  Send Email to ron3637     
After reading the above comments, it appears that BWs deserve their reputation for a "hard" ride, which many posters maintain, however, is offset by other virtues such as stabitity and floatation. Ron
ron3637 posted 06-18-2002 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for ron3637  Send Email to ron3637     
After reading the above comments, it appears that BWs deserve their reputation for a "hard" ride which many posters maintain, however, is offset by other virtues such as stabitity and floatation. Ron
jimh posted 06-18-2002 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
You can say that again.
jimb342 posted 06-18-2002 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimb342  Send Email to jimb342     
My .02 cents. Had a 13' Whaler, 21' Mako, 22' Robalo, 33' Navigator, and now a 24' outrage. Didn't even condsider a whaler after what I experienced with the 13 footer (reputation desevered). Found the Outrage on a fluke, now I wouldn't even consider another boat. Trimmed properly, it is by far the better boat of those I listed, and after looking and sea trialing 20 other boats, it won hands down. I now know why so many of you guys are obsessed with your whalers, I am.
jimh posted 06-18-2002 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Does anyone else have a sense of wonderment about how "after reading the above comments" one still comes to the conclusion that Whalers have a "hard ride" ?
kingfish posted 06-19-2002 10:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
"Clear as mud, but it cover de ground..."

So far as the notion of Whalers giving a hard ride in general, in the macro sense it seems like an urban legend in that no one really knows where the notion got started, but it's one of those things that can (or maybe has) take(n) on a life of its own, simply because someone wrote it or said it somewhere and someone else read it somewhere, and pretty soon it starts to sound to the casual observer like there is a fact being discussed...

On the micro level, there are some whalers that under some circumstances give a harsh ride. Name a boat company that doesn't have to say the same thing about their product,'s really meaningless. As Tom C. or somebody said, "hard" is way subjective - it's like saying Gradys (pick a boat) are too heavy. What does *that* mean?


andygere posted 06-19-2002 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My unscientific data tells me that most of the folks in my area talking about the rough and wet ride of a Whaler are all out there in bigger deep V boats with full cabins or at least hard tops and curtains. When I'm out salmon fishing in Monterey Bay and the seas pick up, my Montauk is almost always the smallest boat out there (excepting other Montauks/Nausets). Not long ago while trolling in semi-snotty conditions with a 4-6 foot swell, I watched the boat next to me stuff it's bow on the same wave my Montauk glided right over. The boat was a newer ~22 foot walkaround with all the goodies, but was one of the price-point brands. I'll take my rough, wet ride any day knowing that my bilge pump isn't the only thing keeping me off the bottom. By the way, LHG is right, the ride is only rough if you are going too fast for conditions.
FISHNFF posted 06-19-2002 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
Trimmed properly at the correct speed, Montauks can be very dry. If you keep the aft 2/3's of hull in the water with the bow slightly up, you are fine. Much has to do with the fact that the Smirk and sponsons throw the spray down. I had a 17 Aquasport which would run nice through a chop, but the V hull would throw the spray up so the wind would throw is back at you. Also horrible stability! My 22 Grady with the famed SeaV2 hull can also be very wet. The spray gets deflected out, but the wind can blow it back and drench you. We have no hardtop. Running directly into a sea keeps you comfy (relatively) and dry. A following sea wet with the nose burying into the backs of waves. A quartering sea, OUCH!
In my experience, an older hull 17 w/o powertrim is very wet and pounds (the old joke Helly Hansen raingear is standard equipment on Whalers), while trimming can make HUGE improvements. I regularly fish new and old 17's, and believe the new ones are smoother while the old ones are more stabile.
Wreckdiver posted 06-19-2002 04:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
You are right! Itís pretty tough to stuff the bow of a Montauk. I friend of mine had a 32 foot Scarab. We used to go diving off it, and it worked pretty well; no problem getting up on plane with all the gear on board. He used to tell some hair raising tales about stuffing waves. I guess itís not too unusual to replace windshields on that type of boat.
Jay A posted 06-19-2002 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jay A    
Many and I mean MANY years ago while in my 13', Two deep sea fishing vessels passed on both sides of me going in the opposite direction. I down throttled before the "V" waves hit me. However when they hit my trim was in a bow-up" position.The whaler shot up verticle then slid down stern first (still verticle).Before I knew it my two 6 gallon gas cans were floating by my ears then the positive bouancy took over.I shot back up like a breaching whale! From then on I knew why they called'em "Whalers"!

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