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Author Topic:   1992 23 Walkaround
Captnmarcus posted 09-22-2014 04:20 PM ET (US)   Profile for Captnmarcus   Send Email to Captnmarcus  
I'm seriously looking at [purchasing a used] 1992 [Boston Whaler WHALER 23 WALKAROUND with] twin Johnson 150-HP outboard engines on the transom. One [of the outboard engines was] rebuilt 15-years ago and the other five years ago. I've read the good and bad about the Johnson engines. I will have a pre-purchase checkout done.

The fuel tank is reported to be 125-gallon [capacity] instead of the 150-gallon I've seen elsewhere. The owner seems to think [the fuel tank] might be the original one.

To any of you [Boston Whaler WHALER 23 WALKAROUND] owners: have you had major problems with [fuel] tanks [as] old [as the original fuel tank in a c.1992 boat]? I'm a little afraid of tanks that might be 22-years-old.

Any advice about this model that I haven't already found on this site would be appreciated. Hope to be part of the family soon. I am a first time poster and I'd just like to say what a wealth of knowledge can be found on this site. You guys run a great site.

jimh posted 09-22-2014 05:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There is something of a renaissance of interest in the WHALER 23 WALKAROUND model. Until 2010 I had never even seen one in person, and now I know, quite well, three friends who own WHALER 23 WALKAROUND boats. It is actually the most popular model of Boston Whaler boat among my boating companions--who would have ever thought that?

I cannot comment on the fuel capacity of the fuel tank. I would be very surprised that a c.1992 boat had a replacement fuel tank in it already. As for the present condition of an original, 22-year-old, aluminum fuel tank in a Boston Whaler boat, I doubt you can make any blanket statements. The present condition would be very much dependent on the individual history of the boat and the tank. A c.1992 aluminum fuel tank could be in just perfect condition, or it could be riddled with corrosion and about to become a leaking tank. There is no way to tell without examining the fuel tank.

Generally a fuel tank that has a leak and is leaking out gasoline will reveal itself by the smell. A human with good olfactory senses can detect the smell of gasoline in very low concentrations. But typically the leaks in fuel tanks are ones that allow water to leak in rather than allow gasoline to leak out.

The 23 WALKAROUND had several significant options:

--Whaler Drive; this adds a full transom and a large set back bracket, making the Whaler Drive models significantly different from the notched transom models;

--hardtop; the factory hardtop option had very cool gull-wing opening hatches; an electronics box was also an option;

--many plumbing options, including heads, holding tanks, live wells, circulating pumps, sinks, faucets, and so on.

acseatsri posted 09-22-2014 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
I'm replacing a tank in a 1992 21 WA now (just about done) at a cost of $4000. The tank showed no signs of corrosion from the outside. The hole was created from the inside out and was virtually undetectable if I hadn't seen a wet spot on the bottom of the tank after it had been pulled out. The epoxy or whatever coating was on the outside of the tank was in pristine condition.

The only time I smelled gas was on a fill-up to the maximum amount of fuel that could go into the tank, and the smell showed up gradually and not a strong smell I'd expect (foam sealed it in?). The true tell-tale is WATER in the fuel. Luther's Welding (who made the new tank) confirmed that this is usually how to tell a tank has a hole in it if it's stuffed into a cavity and foamed in.

I think the biggest issue of whether a tank fails would be if it didn't get used a lot and old fuel was left in the tank for long periods of non-use, as in the ethanol mixing with condensate water and separating from the gasoline.

PS- The 21 is a nice riding boat, softer than the older classic hulls. I would expect the 23 to be even better.

Jeff posted 09-22-2014 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
The 21 and 23 have completely different cockpit layouts. The fuel tank on the 23 can easily be accessed and removed if needed. There is a section of the cockpit floor that you unscrew and removed and you have full access to the tank.

The fuel tank on the 23 WalkAround is 150 gallons. However, with the way the hull is designed it is common to see these models sitting incorrectly when on a trailer and connected to a tow vehicle. Because of the design of the hull it can look like the hull is sitting with the bow up but in reality the cockpit and fuel tank are still at a downward angle. In that case you will never be able to fit a full 150 gallons into the tank.

We own a 1993 23' Boston Whaler Walkaround Whaler Drive. We bought it from the original owner back in 2011. The boat was built for Whaler to be their center piece of their display at the 1993 Miami Boatshow. The first owner bought the boat right there on the show floor and kept it at his home Pompano Beach until we bought and moved it up here to Michigan. The fuel tank shows no signs of problems and I am willing to bet the one you are looking at is the same way. Unlike other Whalers, I believe this cavity does not hold water around the tank.

I've read the good and bad about the Johnson engines
Don't believe everything you read on the internet. You can read good and bad about every single outboard manufacture out there. Old OMC's are great motors so long as they are cared for just like any others. We are still running the original 150 Yamaha's on our 23 and they have over 1900 hours on them. That said, I honestly do not like rebuilt motors. "IF" done correctly they can last as long as new...however, if done wrong, they are trash and unfixable after another failure. Find out who rebuilt the motors and investigate their reputation.

Are you looking at / considering a standard notched transom 23 WALKAROUND or a 23 WALKAROUND Whaler Drive? Having owned and operated a lot of Classic Whalers in my years, I can say the WALKAROUND's deep-v provides a much better ride in nearly all conditions than the moderate v of the classic hull. The only time the 23 can provide problems is when running on plane in following quarter seas. If you run the hull with the bow trimmed too low in those conditions the hull wants to steer itself as it surfs down one wave and the bow dives into the next wave. The wave action here in the Great Lakes can make this more pronounced.

Being a "Post Classic" the 23 Walkaround has a lot of modern amenities and convinces not found on the Classic. Freshwater holding tanks and a working sink. Raw water wash downs, live wells, and tons of storage all around. The 23 has 3 different head options. A fully enclosed head with a holding tank, a hidden head with a holding tank and finally a hidden porti-potty. We have the hidden port-potty option which provides a much more open cabin and the other hidden head option shares the same layout. The enclosed head option takes up too much space for my liking. I also, really like the helm station on the 23 over the Classic hulls as you are 12-18 inches higher when at the helm.

Other things to consider...

If you are looking at a Whaler Drive Model, I am here to warn you that some time in your ownership you are likely going to have the entire bracket removed and recaulked. We (my father) ending up doing this job this past winter on our 23. The way the factory and SaltShaker installed this bracket....really leaves something to be desired. Also, you will need to make sure the rigging tubes are intact that go from the outlets on the back side of the bracket and to the motors are in good condition and not allowing water into the bracket. This is a flaw in the bracket as well....however, not having rigging running over the swim platform is a really nice feature so, there are trade-offs.

Bracket Repair:

Finally, the last weak spot I can think of is the Factory installed hard top. This top is not too great. The T-tops can leak and also because it is a cantilevered piece it is known to want to rack. Over time from running in heavy seas the mounting holes can get worn and elongated which will need to be repaired and larger backing plates installed. The previous owner of ours had the factory top removed and a much larger custom top made and installed. It uses the factory mounting spots in the rear and then has forward supports that make it a rock solid piece.

For reference here is our 23 WALKAROUND Whaler Drive 1993%2023%20Boston%20Whaler%20Walkaround%20Whalerdrive?sort=2&page=1

Good luck on your purchase....and if you have any questions down the road down hesitate to ask. Also, I am always willing to take a phone call with specific questions that require long detailed can email me for my number

Hoosier posted 09-22-2014 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I have one of the 23 WAs that Jim mentioned. Mine was repowered in 2012, just before I bought it, with twin Yamaha F150s, sweet! It is the non-Whaler Drive model, called the Outboard Model by Whaler. The 23 WA came with either a 150 or 180 gallon fuel tank, mine has the 180 gallon tank. One thing to check is the drain configuration in the fish boxes, make sure the drains to the rear bilge are intact. On my boat they had been closed off so that the fish boxes could not drain into the rear bilge and therefore could flood the top of the tank cavity before overflowing through the deck scuppers.
jimh posted 09-24-2014 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Any advice about this model that I haven't already found on this site would be appreciated.

It is hard to know what advice you might have already found on the website about the 23 WALKAROUND, but, at the risk of repeating some, I think one ought to consider this: the 23 WALKAROUND is going to have a higher degree of complexity than your typical classic 22-foot or 25-foot Boston Whaler. There will be many more systems on the 23 WALKAROUND. For example, they commonly have 120-VAC shore power and onboard 120-VAC power distribution. Their 12-Volt power distribution is much more extensive and complex than classic hulls. There is a lot of wiring running to the overhead electronics boxes (if equipped).

The 23 WALAROUND boat often have holding tanks, freshwater tanks, gray water tanks, sink, faucets, and all sorts of plumbing hoses and through-hull fittings. There is considerable below deck open space that can flood if any of those hoses or fittings begin to leak. (Jeff has quite a narrative about his experience with down flooding of the interior hull space.)

Because these boats were last made c.1993, they are all over 20-years-old. Most of these boats were sold originally in saltwater ports and in the South. That means that you'll have more deterioration from sun and salt on a 23 WALKAROUND than you'd find on some northern Great Lakes classic hull, and there is much more gear to deteriorate. And refurbishment can be a chore. I know of instances where stainless steel fittings for big outriggers are more or less galvanically welded to the plates of the radar arch tower and have become impossible to remove. Expect problems like that to be found.

Jeff posted 09-24-2014 09:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
The swamping of our 23 Walkaround Whaler Drive was not caused by a leaking / failed inlet or hose.

It was actually caused by us leaving the drain plugs out of the bottom of fish boxes which allowed them to fill with water. To add to the perfect storm, we had also not installed the drain plugs in the stern bulkheads of the fishboxes. So once the boxes filled with water they began to empty into the stern area and then down into the bilge. These fish boxes are not self draining so, once on plane more water was being forced into the fish boxes thus speeding the ingress of water into the bilge and also into the bracket via the rigging tubes from the transom into the flotation bad of the bracket. To cap the perfect storm off, our bilge pump died during this incident and the only way to drain the water was to pull the boat. However, with the trailer being back at the port of departure some 20 miles away....that was kind of a problem.

martyn1075 posted 09-25-2014 12:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Jeff I have never heard of that before but I will take your word for it since you have great knowledge about that model. Your boat is gorgeous and well kept machine.

I owned a 1990 25 Whaler Walkaround which realize is a different model altogether but I believe the drain system works the same with both boats having drives. However I never found an issue with the what you are describing. With the bilge pump non active with the fish box drains open the water would fill the bilge but only to a point where it would flow out the two drains on each side of the stern between the drive and outer hull just above the waterline. I can only assume they were added for this reason. Is your 23 Walkaround factory equipped with these drains?


jimh posted 09-25-2014 11:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am a bit surprised by this specification, which I just looked up in an old catalogue: the swamped capacity of a WHALER 23 WALKAROUND is 8,500-lbs for outboard models and 9,000-lbs for Whaler Drive models. That is the same rating as the classic 25-foot hull and better than the 22-foot hull (which is rated 5,000-lbs swamped capacity).

I guess that is why KATCHMANDU was still afloat with all that water in the live wells and bilge area.

acseatsri posted 09-25-2014 03:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
On the 21 Walkaround, the fish boxes have the [standard] clamshell in front of the drain tube like an Outrage.
The water empties very quickly when on plane. If your boat doesn't have the clamshells, I would definitely add them. Even at 10 mph, it sucks the water from the boxes.

When the plugs are pulled and the fuel tank is full, the static water level in the fish boxes is nearly level with the deck. The problem is that in this case, it only takes another person in the stern to submerge the fish boxes enough so that water overflows the fish boxes and runs directly into the rear bilge (they're open to the bilge for about 10 inches in the rear). I'm not sure yet, but I am considering putting a plexiglas cover over the exposed fishboxes in the bilge to at least slow down this spillage into the bilge.

Since whoever rigged this boat put the rear bilge outlet only 2 inches above the waterline and neglected to put a loop in the hose, water would backflush into the bilge if the pump wasn't running. This would definitely swamp the boat in this case. With a 600 LB engine on the back, I've since moved the 120 lbs of batteries forward in the V at the bow of the boat to compensate for the heavy engine. Made a HUGE difference in the static trim of the boat and ride in heavier seas. Whether this will affect the life of the batteries remains to be seen. They're secured to the deck with a ratcheting strap and do not budge at all.

Jeff posted 09-25-2014 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
The 23 and the 25 Walkaround under deck layouts are drastically different. The 23’s have an open bilge area that runs from the start of the cabin all the way to the stern. Once at the stern there are holes that run from there into the floatation box of the bracket. So, there is a lot of areas of water get into.

In our situation there was a lot of water in that filled the bilge before I got up and was running on plane. Once on plane I ran for a while and felt the boat being sluggish and wallowing side to side. I keep working the tabs to correct it. Then boat began to list to starboard and the tabs were not correcting it and seemed unresponsive. So my father went back to look into the starboard stern area to check the hydraulic motor for the tabs. Once he opened the hatch I heard "HOLY $@#%!!! We are filled with water down here.” What I believe had happened was the tabs finally shorted out with all the water in there. When he moved the port stern corner to check the breakers because there was no power to the tabs or bilge pump the boat rolled with the weight and began tracking toward the port list and I could not steer out of it. This took me right across the transom of Don McIntyre’s 21 Outrage who was tracking just off our Port Bow. Knowing we where entering into some dire circumstances we set course for the nearest port which was Lexington Mi.

Entering the harbor I came off plane and we starting assessing the situation. At that time we plugged the fish lockers but noticed there was still water coming in through the rigging holes in the transom that lead into the floatation box of the bracket. Since that was partially submerged due to the added weight of the water, green water was able to ingress from the failed chalk joints around the swim platform and Bracket. Also because of the stern sitting so long water was able to enter through the aluminum rigging tubes met the plastic rigging conduit which was cracked and deteriorated. This inflow of water was pretty significant and now became a secondary side effect to having a bilge full water.

Here is a photo the boat at the dock. You can see the water made it up to the forward bilge pump and that is where it found level floatation. 471776_3694282827954_1754622827_o.jpg

Video of water in Bilge and how it filled up until it reached it’s level floatation

Video of the water draining, all of that water running out is running from the bilge, through the bracket and out through failed chalk joints on the bracket and swim platform. Once we let that drain through there, we hauled the boat the rest of the way out and removed the garboard plug to fully dewater the bilge.

As outlined in my repair thread this has been completely remedied now with the rebuilding and rechalking of this entire piece. We also have installed all new rigging conduit for the motors.

6992WHALER posted 09-25-2014 05:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
My 1992 23 Walkaround Whaler Drive fish boxes will drain out the bottom thru-hall fittings when the boat is on plane. I have only checked to see if they would drain once and that was when I was test driving it so it had a very light load at the time.

The rear drain tubes are connected together so the water runs back and forth between the two boxes and not into the bilge.

I have a bilge pump installed in the port fish box. This pump automatically removes any water in both fish boxes.

I wonder if Jeff's fish boxes failed to drain because they had already taken so much water into the bilge that the thru-hull fittings were to far under water to drain even on plane? I also wonder if by having the fitting more submerged that adding speed might have actually forced more water into the openings?

The fish boxes are definitely a weakness in the design. They are not sealed, any water that gets in the cockpit can get into the fish boxes.

With that said the fish boxes are not a deal breaker on these boats. They are big enough to handle pretty good seas and yet small enough too trailer.

Depending on the options purchased these boat can have the number of systems typically found on much larger boats.
Things like galleys sinks, stoves, refrigerators, inclosed head, fresh water transom shower, Live bait wells, transom sinks, AC power panel, two bilge pumps, Fish box macerater pump, hard top, raw water wash down, dinette table, flood light, night vision cabin and cockpit lighting the list goes on.

I know that I find myself spending a lot of time working on keeping all the systems working. As a wise man once said "The joy of boating is inversely related to the size of the boat". My 1966 16 footer has 6 systems I spend almost no time working on them, and lots of time just enjoying boating.

So if you are ready to take on the additional maintenance that comes with all the bells and whistles you will love the 23 Walkarounds. I think they are one of the best boats Boston Whaler ever made.

Note on the fuel tanks. As Dave said the standard tank is 150 gallons the optional tank is 180 gallons. If you open the hatch that is located in the floor between the helm seats you can see the tank. If the tank goes all the way to the forward bulk head it is the 180 gallon tank. If there is space between the front of the tank and the bulkhead the tank is 150 gallons. I have had no problems with my fuel tank.

Jeff posted 09-25-2014 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
Here is a video I just shot of how our drains and stern bilge are plumbed and laid out. John, by doing this I found that not only do the fish boxes drain into this bilge but my cockpit deck drains do too. This is why I do not get the water that pools when at rest like you get.

6992WHALER posted 09-25-2014 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
Jeff--I don't know; draining directly to the bilge make me nervous.

The Holly Marie as she is set up can be in the water with the Fish box drains out and not take water into the bilge. I have pulled the fish box drains while in the water and watched them fill up the boxes but not over flow into the bilge (After turning off the fish box bilge pump). On the test drive we left the fish box drains pugs out for half the ride and did not have substantial water in the bilge. With the drain plugs out, off plane the boxes filled up with water but once on plane they emptied out.

I want to keep as much water out of the bilge at all times in case I have a bilge pump failure on the water or at the dock.

Hoosier posted 09-26-2014 08:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
How come we haven't heard from Captnmarcus, eh? A link to an ad for the boat under discussion would sure help.
Captnmarcus posted 09-27-2014 09:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Captnmarcus  Send Email to Captnmarcus     
Hey guys. I am sorry for the delay in replying. Once again, some great information on what seems to be a great boat. But, guess what? After looking the boat over last week, I called the owner back. After lining up my mechanic to check the motors, the owner said he changed his mine and was keeping the boat for now. It had been on craigslist for two months! Oh well. The search continues. I hope I'll join the family down the road.
JLimb posted 05-05-2015 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for JLimb  Send Email to JLimb     
I have a 1992 Whaler 23 Walkaround with the Whaler Drive powered with twin 150 Honda engines. The [problem] of water entering the bilge on this model seems common. When I did my re-power we took off the bracket and re-sealed it. The rigging tubes seem to be a [concern] for all of us. I am considering alternatives but, for the moment, am looking for an easier fix than capping the tubes and routing the wiring through the transom. [See a concurrent discussion about this repair in a separate thread--jimh] The fish box plumbing is a [problem], as well. [Is that a pun?--jimh] My yard mechanic asked me if I used the fish box at all; to which I replied, "No." He took the hoses off but failed to secure them above the waterline, which led to a bilge full of water. I am either going to have that hull opening glassed [closed] or install a seacock. My fuel tank is the original 180-gallon model and has been fine to date. I love the boat, aside from the rigging tubes and lack of seacock on the live well.
jimh posted 05-05-2015 07:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It is great to hear from another owner of a Boston Whaler 23 WALKAROUND. These fine hulls are making a big comeback, and new owners have given them excellent care and refurbishing.

I am awaiting a future Boston Whaler Great Lakes Cruising Club rendezvous at which three or four 23 WALKAROUND boats will attend.

Hoosier posted 05-06-2015 08:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
JLimb, I too have a '92 23 Walkaround but without Whaler Drive and I have the fishbox problem. My problem is that the fishboxes do not drain into the aft bilge like in the original design; they were sealed by a previous owner. What happens with my boat is the boat's drains all go through the fishboxes to get to the bilges to get pumped overboard. If caught in a heavy rain with the drains plugged the boxes fill up and can overflow into the fuel tank cavity, where all the wiring is. The tops of the boxes are open under the cockpit deck. The fishboxes do have through hull drains that can be plugged with standard rubber plugs. This year I'm going to try to reactivate the original drains to the bilge.
JLimb posted 05-06-2015 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for JLimb  Send Email to JLimb     
Good to hear everyone's take on these boats. We love ours aside from the few issues. Next fall I may cap the rigging tubes if I can't find another solution. At the same time we may glass in the live well through hull. I have never used it and having that through hull always makes me worried about water in the bilge.great boat otherwise.

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