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Author Topic:   The Over-40-foot Boston Whaler
jimh posted 02-16-2012 09:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Brunswick executives apparently told investors today that they would be expanding the Boston Whaler boat line to include models over 40-feet in length. Are there more details?
Jeff posted 02-16-2012 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
I am not surprised. It makes business sense when you think about it. To make the same kind of margin you would on these large hulls you would have to sell a lot more smaller hulls, use more material and burn more man hours. Well not just man hours but man power too and all the associated HR costs. Another reason to build bigger is, the kind of people that can afford hulls of these sizes do not "hurt" during economic downturns like someone who would be a buyer in the say 20' and under size range.

Trust me, the days of what Whaler was are never going to return and I do not think they have any interest in looking back at all.

Basshole posted 02-16-2012 10:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Basshole  Send Email to Basshole     
I can't wait for that. More stuff to dream about is apparently on its way! I always thought they should make a big boat. I wonder if it will have a new model name or be called the Conquest. Ahhh, I can see it now, the new Conquest 430. Man, it doesn't even exist yet and I already want one!
jimh posted 02-16-2012 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This announcement from Brunswick sounds like they intend to use the same game plan for Boston Whaler that has been used with Sea Ray. With Sea Ray boats under Brunswick the strategy has been to retain a customer and move them gradually up the model line to larger and larger boats, always providing a Sea Ray boat option for them, and always increasing the size of the boats.

There was a time when Sea Ray made hundreds and hundreds of 25-foot sterndrive small express cruisers as their primary boat. Now they have 65-foot Sea Ray boats. It looks like Boston Whaler will be using the same strategy. Acquire a customer with a 13-foot skiff, and keep him in a Boston Whaler boat at every incremental size increase, until you get to 40 to 42-foot range.

K Albus posted 02-16-2012 10:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
If that's their plan, they're going to have to do a better job of keeping the various models in stock at their dealerships. When I was looking to trade up last summer, the selection available at my local dealership was pitiful. Even after expanding my search are by a couple hundred miles I was unable to locate the model I was looking for. I ended up switching brands.

By the way, I recently checked my local dealership's inventory online because I was trying to get an idea of which models might be on display at the Detroit Boat Show. The dealership has one 250 Outrage in stock, one 210 Montauk, and one 200 Dauntless. The rest of their Boston Whaler inventory is made up of the sub-20-foot models. No Conquest models in stock and, with the exception of the 210 Montauk, none of the new models in stock. Apparently this dealership did not get the memo about moving customers up through the product line.

Chriscz posted 02-16-2012 11:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chriscz  Send Email to Chriscz     
The larger size boat market is fickle as well. As a friend of mine who is the CEO of a luxury yacht company has described the market, the industry is the first to feel an economic downturn and the last to recover from it. Although the large per boat margins may be appealing venturing into the market, once the fixed cost of production are on the company books, adjusting to fickle demands is costly.
The stay with your boat brand passion and graduate in size/cost is a great theme. I owe a whaler now because of my early childhood experiences.
martyn1075 posted 02-17-2012 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Offered with four Verado's or get an option for six new 150 Verado's. Joking aside I wonder if they will equip them with inboard diesels? Can't imagine gas milage being all that great nor practical to run Four Outboards. I prefer Outboard engine on a whaler don't get me wrong BUT.. these boats are not your standard 22 or 25 or now 305 whalers. A beast over 40 feet would be quite a heavy machine they would be entering a small size Yacht and not to many yacht guys are into outboards to power their large expensive toys.
JMARTIN posted 02-17-2012 12:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
Wow, a 40 foot Conquest. Big whoop.

In order for me to justify the expense of having a boat over 25 feet in length, I have to be able to "live" on it. Go out for a couple of days, or go a long ways for a long time.

Boston Whaler just keeps the same basic design and makes it bigger.

Yep, the over 40 Whaler, it's a just another big old piece of crap, but because "it's a Whaler" it is more prestigious than a Sea Ray.


ConB posted 02-17-2012 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for ConB  Send Email to ConB     
I will bet next months rent money that an over 40' Whaler will be powered by Zeus pod drives with diesel engine.


bdb posted 02-17-2012 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for bdb  Send Email to bdb     
In response to K Albus' comment about low inventories, it's the bane of the retailer these days. In 2008 every major floor planner pulled out of the market and demanded immediate payment of notes. This crippled the retail side of things and we saw dealers closing their doors left and right. Some were huge and prominent. An awful shame.

Now dealers are having to look elswhere for floor planning and in most instances that means their local banks; never friendly to liesure funding in the first place. And now those banks are busy try to regain some profitability and the marine industry, which has an unemployment rate of about 50% and books that have taken a beating, aren't their first choice for lending.

It's tough out there. Dealers simply cannot afford inventory.

jimh posted 02-17-2012 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The Sea Ray incremental boat size increase strategy was aided greatly by the dealer being willing to take back the smaller boat at an attractive credit and apply it the larger boat. This works as long as there is a steady supply of new customers getting on the ladder at lower rungs who are there to buy the trade-in at a price that is not too far off the new price. The boat has to hold it value very well for that to happen. Boston Whaler is a good candidate for this strategy--probably better than Sea Ray.

The current market for used boats has ruined that strategy. There are a lot of not-very-old used boats on the market now and the owners are not able to move those boats without substantial price reductions. If you have to take a financial bath on the current boat to buy the bigger boat, this has the effect of moving the rungs on the ladder much farther apart, making the ladder harder to climb.

Working in Boston Whaler's favor is the tremendous reduction in the value of our USA dollar in the last decade, particularly in Canada. Boston Whaler boat prices have dropped 50-percent in Canada. Brunswick notes that 40-percent of their marine market is now in foreign sales.

There is an ineluctable tendency for all boat builders to want to make bigger boats. Even giant yacht builders that make 100-footers want to make 150-footers. So it seems with Boston Whaler. I suspect that at 40-feet or larger we will see a Boston Whaler that has an MSRP of close to $1-million.

andygere posted 02-17-2012 11:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
The overwhelming differentiator for Boston Whaler boats versus their competition is the unsinkable hull. Will they really be able to make an unsinkable 40 footer? A look at the swamped capacity of Whaler's largest offerings over the years tells me that it's not likely. That being the case, will folks be willing to pay the Whaler price premium for a boat with open bilges and the ability to leak, swamp and founder?
jimh posted 02-17-2012 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Andy's point is very cogent. Let me expand.

The unsinkable nature of the Boston Whaler hull derives from its double bottom construction. The volume of the double bottom hull is filled with foam, and this hull space is lost--it becomes unusable hull volume, serving only the purpose of providing the reserve flotation.

You can see the volume of a Boston Whaler hull space that has been lost to flotation by looking at the specification for swamped capacity. It has been noted that the classic 25-foot OUTRAGE hull has enormous swamped capacity--9,000-lbs--and this really means that a very large percentage of the interior hull space has been set aside to be filled with foam and provide flotation. On a 25-foot open boat you probably don't mind if there is some lost interior volume, particularly with the sort of spartan accommodations provided in the classic OUTRAGE boats. They're just big, open, seaworthy boats--and they don't sink.

When this paradigm was carried into larger boats, we have seen that the swamped capacity has tended to decrease. Less swamped capacity means that less of the interior volume of the hull has been lost to closed-off foam filled space, and this is quite natural. In the larger boats the interior hull volume has to be taken up with useful space. These larger boats have generator sets, all sorts of pumps and electrical gear, bathrooms, showers, cabins, storage, refrigerators, freezers, and other necessary space and equipment to make them more functional.

The challenge for Boston Whaler is two-fold: they must design a larger boat that has enough useful interior space, yet at the same time close off enough for the double bottom to provide the unsinkable feature; and, they have to develop and refine their manufacturing technique for Unibond construction. Imagine the pressure on a hull mold that can result if you introduced too much liquid in the foam shot. The pressure of foam expanding in a 40-foot hull could create a total force that was very much greater than you would find in a 13-footer.

Hilinercc posted 02-17-2012 01:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hilinercc  Send Email to Hilinercc     
Didn't BW already try this with that 39' Conquest? (not sure if that was the name) a few years back. They made that boat with an LOA of something like 39.5' (with the pulpit)and with optional CAT diesels.

I'm sure you guys know what boat I'm referring to, it came out a few years back, priced to the nines, but discontinued because of either the economy or it plain just didn't sell well.

Sounds like they're gonna make another go of it, but I'm not sure whats gonna be different, maybe quad OB power.

martyn1075 posted 02-17-2012 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
It would be interesting to see them cut a 40 foot million dollar boat in half. Wow! what a spectacle that would be. Funny enough that might actually help their cause to sell it but what a financial loss.
Basshole posted 02-17-2012 05:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Basshole  Send Email to Basshole     
Jimh-That "game plan" you described happens to be my game plan, exactly. So it is smart for them to do just that. Just as long as they don't forget what got them to that point in the first place. They still need to focus plenty of effort on the smaller boats in their line up, which in my opinion, they have. There are some very rich people still out there and they need toys too. It's a no brainer for Whaler to try to capture that part of the market. They offer a premium product that appeals to people who can afford quality. Whaler is not going to make a lot of money from guys like you who buy classics and re-power and fix their boats while hanging onto them for really long periods of time. That's the Whaler dilemma I guess. They made their older boats so good that they last too long and are still too desirable. You don't see anyone excited about owning a 15-year-old Trophy or a Striper. When I bought my 26-year-old Montauk, I was so excited that it felt like I just bought a Ferrari or something way more expensive than it was.

Hilinercc-I think you are referring to the Defiance which was 34-feet. Apparently, from what I heard, there were some major design flaws with that boat which I cannot recall, but greatly hurt sales of that model. Maybe someone here more familiar with the model can elaborate.

jimh posted 02-17-2012 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A Unibond hull boat with inboard power, particularly big twin diesel inboard power, will have to provide a large interior volume of useful space in order to make an engine room under the deck for the engines--and there goes a lot of volume for a double bottom hull to provide flotation. The diesel engines are heavy--much heavier than outboards, and they'll cut down on the swamped capacity reserve, too. You can see how this starts to cut into the possibility of extremely high swamped capacity.

Any interior hull volume not used for the double bottom becomes a place for water to collect and swamp the boat. That water weight also subtracts from swamped capacity rating.

martyn1075 posted 02-17-2012 06:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
They are going big but they still seem to care about their small boats as well. We have seen that with the recent 15's and new 21 Montauk models to name a few. This is a good sign but like already said I am not sure how many of us on this forum would even buy one anyways.

However, I wish they would have stayed with their desert tan even with all the crazy changes that have occurred over the years. I still think that dessert tan has such a impact and a classy look and identifies the Boston Whaler name or at least did.

Even though the new models don't resemble the old ones keeping the color may have showed a progression moving forward in design but kept a similarity with what visually looks classic. I will never forget as soon as Boston Whaler dumped their classic color, Grady moved in like a ravenous eagle that next season or two and stole it. They have never looked back. I am not a Grady fan but boy that color really jumps out at you on first glance. It is my belief that Whalers new models would have done the same. If Whaler ever decides to change it back the new generations will always think they took a page from Grady White but really it was the other way around.

boatdryver posted 02-17-2012 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
A 40 footer is going to need diesels unless [an eight-outboard engine] propulsion system is under development. [Hyperlink to very often seen image of eight outboard engines on a huge drug-runner RIB deleted.]
egres posted 02-17-2012 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for egres  Send Email to egres     
I am sure that "most" of us would move up to much larger crafts as these newest Whaler hulls are made available. Budget would dictate of the standards of ownership regarding this favorite brand. The new Brunswick direction indicates that the margin of profit will be greater in selling a few larger hull and capitalizing on the Whaler name. I have to appreciate of the direction the ownership has taken lately. And this in the fact that the traditional sizes are still being fabricated Don't you just love that newest 210 Montauk? To find a new niche within the 40 to 100 Ft hull sizes will reach a specially discriminative type of ownership. I would love to be at the helm of those newest Whalers and appreciate the feel and the personalities of these new offerings. Twin turbocharged Detroit diesels Shafts and prop power Flying bridge and dual stations. And with a model name like The "Jamboree". The "Advantage" or The "Whaler Hunt" And pardon the pun.
Chriscz posted 02-18-2012 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chriscz  Send Email to Chriscz     
The swamped capacity rating is interesting. Can someone clarify what this means or how it is calculated?
If a 25-Outrage has a swamped capacity ratingn of 9000lbs, does this mean it could take on board 9000lbs of water or just over 1078 gallons (144 cubic feet or 5.3 cubic yards)? What is the interior space of the 25-outrage, as in how much water could it hold before it runs out the transom?
Chriscz posted 02-18-2012 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chriscz  Send Email to Chriscz     
The swamped capacity rating is interesting. Can someone clarify what this means or how it is calculated?
If a 25-Outrage has a swamped capacity ratingn of 9000lbs, does this mean it could take on board 9000lbs of water or just over 1078 gallons (144 cubic feet or 5.3 cubic yards)? What is the interior space of the 25-outrage, as in how much water could it hold before it runs out the transom?
Binkster posted 02-21-2012 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
An article in my recent PROFESSIONAL BOATBUILDER magazine is called "A Plea for the Nautical Model T.

Basically the article states that we need an entry level boat in the 15-20 ft. range that would sell for below $10,000. Thats what it would take to get new people into boating. Existant models are too expensive, and boat builders are catering to the wealthy customer.

But that's where the money is and only well off customers can afford new boats, so who can blame them.

Then there is another article about building roto-molded boats much like they build kayaks. I think thats the other extreme.

martyn1075 posted 02-21-2012 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
The boating world is going though some interesting times thats for sure. Its a recreational toy for most that requires big time recreational allowance these days. The trailer option imo has always been the most affordable option for most that makes the most sense and worth while. These big beasts need space (moorage) as well I can't speak for most areas of the US but on the west coast region of Canada there are waiting list almost 10 years long for a boat this size in prime areas the rest is 4-5 years maybe longer now and you would have to drive 45 mins to an hour just to get to your boat and then drive your boat an hour or two to get back out into the prime areas. Gas, time and wear and tear to start your day seems a bit of a hard to sell to me for these big boat dealers on the west coast.


conch posted 02-21-2012 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for conch  Send Email to conch     
I think a 40 foot Boston Whaler will be outboard powered.Either two or three outbords are offered by Deep Impact on their 39 footer with speeds from 60 to 75 mph and a cruise fuel burn of 1.5mpg with triple engines.

This is the local dealers advertisement(Plantation Boat Mart).Their website has some prices and pictures.

It has been coming for three years but Wow!! was it ever worth the wait. The boat is massive with an 10'7 beam and almost 40 feet in length but we accomplished the unthinkable almost same exact speeds and fuel burn as our 36 model with identicle motors. That means with twin 300 you would reach 60 triple 300 you would get to 70 and triple 350 to 75. With triple 300 motors a best cruise MPG of 1.5 mpg is in reach. In a 40 boat that weighs 13800 lbs dry or almost 16000 loaded that is incredible. Most big centers struggle to even get to 1 mpg with some barely over 1/2 mpg. The boat is so balanced it is pretty much on plane as soon as you goose the throttles and the size will crush everything in its way. It has the awesome Deep Impact lines so there will be no mistaking the boat and inside is even more off the hook. The boat has a hardtop with sky lights huge folding rear seat with seperate folding armrests sliding Frigid Rigid cooler seat New Bolster helm seats with lumbar pad bucket style seats ahead of the console and forward seat lounges with liftable backrests. There is plenty of space for fishing with huge in floor fishboxes Two livewells tackle storage huge wet well in transom and as many rod holders as you desire. Tigress outriggers may deployment easy it has electric reel plugs and LED spreader lights. There is a fender storage locker in the transom a massive head area with premium toilet sink and storage with a skylight above. The boat is equipped with twin Garmin 5212 GPS displays Autopilot VHF Clarion CMD6 with the Premuim sound JL Audio upgrade windlass and underwater lights. You have to see this boat in person to understand how amazing it really is.

Boston Whaler could probably do the same.

contender posted 02-21-2012 08:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
I like whalers but after the 30 foot mark (if I had the money) I would have to look at a bertram with diesels, or go to a custom gamefisher.
Binkster posted 02-21-2012 08:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
When Boston Whaler builds their 40 footer, I wouldn't be surprised if it is a similar cockpit layout to the Deep Impact and Contender models, although Whaler has never bought into the go-fast boat's bottom design with 24 degrees deadrise. I think they will use a more traditional design such as they now use. A 24 degree deadrise with 40 feet of length and a 10-11 foot beam, makes for a very lively boat when drifting or anchored(think seasick). Not only that the spinner bottom on the Contender and Deep Impact is downright dangerous when driven by a relatively inexperienced captain.(one who has no or little experience driving stepped hulls at speed.) Prudent boat builders have kept away from stepped(spinner) hulls as fatalities have occurred even when driven by pro race drivers. Brunswick seems very conservative in their approach to designs.


jimh posted 02-21-2012 11:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The swamped capacity is the weight of people or gear that the boat can hold even when it has been swamped with water, without submerging. For an OUTRAGE 25 this means you can fill the boat with water and you would still need 9,000-lbs more weight on the boat to sink it. A lower swamped capacity means the boat will be sunk with less weight when swamped.

The 345 CONQUEST--a boat I adore--is a newer large Boston Whaler boat with a lot of useful interior space. It's swamped capacity is 4,900-lbs.

onlyawhaler posted 02-22-2012 01:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for onlyawhaler  Send Email to onlyawhaler     
Wow, my 20 ft Outrage is the same swamped rating as the 345 Conquest. The length goes up and the rating comes down for all the reason discussed. Makes one wonder with the bigger boats, more gear, more water, fuel, people if that really further diminishes the "rating"

I have heard the 37 Outrage introduced last year has been a big hit for Whaler. Perhaps this has given Whaler the 2 foot itis. Or the confidence to try to that big 40ft mark.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with


fno posted 02-22-2012 07:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
Last summer I had the opportunity to take the helm of my friends 42' Don Smith. The Don Smith is a big heavy center console with cabin up front, twin Yanmar turbo diesels and Arneson type outdrives with huge, expensive Italian props and monster rudders on the back. What most impressed me was the boats handling and responsiveness compared to all of the outboard powered boats I have run. There was no throttle lag, steering lag, nothin but touch the wheel and the boat points where you want it to go. If I had the money for one, I would want a 40 foot Whaler to have the option of contemporary diesel power.
macfam posted 02-22-2012 08:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for macfam  Send Email to macfam     
I envision Boston Whaler sticking with outboards. Their brief history with inboard diesels was never impressive. Intrepid is featuring a 45 footer with triple outboards. Fast, and fairly economical on fuel. Going diesel, with or without pods really puts pressure on the dealers, with new training and new equipment. Triple or--God forbid--quads is more in keeping to Boston Whaler. That's my bet.

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