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Author Topic:   Interesting Faux-Whaler from Italy
jimh posted 11-01-2014 10:05 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
A few days ago I got a very interesting email from a fellow in Italy, Alessandro, who asked me for help in decoding the hull identification number (HIN) from his Boston Whaler 17-foot boat. The HIN on the boat hull was

AHB 14918 D686

Alessandro also sent a good image of the boat:

View of 17-foot Center Console outboard boat that resembles a Boston Whaler MONTAUK.
A 17-foot center console that, on first glance, appears to be a Boston Whaler.

The Boston Whaler harpoon logo is on the hull, although it is obscured a bit by the blue fender. The manufacturer identity code (MIC) at the beginning of the HIN was wrong. A boat made by Boston Whaler should have a HIN that begins with BWC, or for boats exported, possibly USBWC.

I used the database on-line look-up mentioned in the FAQ to search for the manufacturer that was assigned the MIC "AHB".

From that data base, I found that the MIC "AHB" was assigned to American Heavy Industries of Conway, Arkansas. I had not previously heard of this boat builder. I sent an email to Boston Whaler customer service representative and Whaler history expert Chuck Bennett, asking if he had heard of a company making knock-off hulls called American Heavy Industries, and I sent him the image of the boat. Chuck replied that he had not heard of them before, but added that the boat was "nice looking." I thought so, too.

I replied to Alessandro that I did not think his boat was made by Boston Whaler. However, it is still a nice boat, and it has some features that might be a bit nicer than a 17-foot Boston Whaler in some areas. Alessandro sent me a couple more images of the boat:

View of bow of 17-foot center console boat that resembles a Boston Whaler MONTAUK.
The bow locker of the faux Whaler by AHB.

View of console of 17-foot center console boat that resembles a Boston Whaler MONTAUK.
The console of the faux Whaler by AHB.

View of stern deck of 17-foot center console boat that resembles a Boston Whaler MONTAUK.
Stern deck of the faux Whaler by AHB.

I think Alessandro has a nice 17-foot center console boat, but it seems quite unlikely it was made by Boston Whaler.

Have any readers heard of American Heavy Industries as a builder of small recreational boats? Their name seems to be in conflict with recreational boat building.

Have any readers seen a boat like this before? I am curious to know, and I think Alessandro will be, too.

jimh posted 01-12-2015 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am surprised that this thread drew no comments. Perhaps a second time around for it might produce some replies.
Phil T posted 01-12-2015 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Phil T  Send Email to Phil T     
We have seen a bevy of knock-off's over the years. This is one of the more attractive ones. This is a very attractive and functional derivation to a Montauk styled hull. I like the bow and stern, allows you to step area outside of the rails (from a beach) and the transom area is nice for boarding or seating.

Thanks for bumping this thread.

wezie posted 01-12-2015 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for wezie  Send Email to wezie     
If the [HIN] number is correct, it was made in 1986--a copy of the older boats. I wonder how many and how long they were made? Arkansas once had many builders, and would have been a source for talent. Conway, I believe was one location. When the Arabs increased the price of oil in the late 1970's, several boat manufacturers died because they were producing primarily jet or Jacuzzi drives. The Jacuzzi plant was in Little Rock.

It would seem that improving layout and construction of the 17 would be manageable. Having done that, marketing, and selling them at a competitive price would be difficult. It is also possible they were warned off by Boston Whaler.

As the boat builder who won the lottery stated when asked what he had planned for this money said, "I guess I will keep building boats till it is all gone!".

Good Luck to the Human Beings.

egres posted 01-18-2015 05:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for egres  Send Email to egres     
There is no doubts that to revisit this interesting example of a "custom" style Boston Whaler will be a welcome d distraction to the Classic Montauk's design.
I for one find this re design to be an intriguing development.
I would doubt that the hull is being foam filled and as "unsinkable" as the original though..
I do welcome these kind of functional modifications and more examples of showing them.
egres posted 01-19-2015 02:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for egres  Send Email to egres     
There is no doubts that the images of this attractive Italian Montauk were dwelling within the realm of my thoughts today.
The outer hull shape, the side railing placement and general look of the whole unit gave me questions and problems in not admitting this example as a true Montauk having had some customizing and modifications.
I would have pleased to have met and at study with the people that did actually dreamed and manually shaped those pleasant and functional updates that... could be perceived as a certain form of "Whaler Customizing" and improvements on one of the most popular of Whalers..The Classic Boston Whaler Montauk circa Seventies.
If there ever was a time to pucker up and give lip service; this one good topic would be the thing to get the remote control down; get off the couch and to give your personal two bits.
After all every one has an opinion, let us see if there is anyone left on this list who could voice a personal opinion about this interesting new twist regarding the Classic Montauk design.
PS- I personally love to read about marine outboards but will vastly prefer studying and learning about our Classic Whaler hulls and topside model designs.
wezie posted 01-19-2015 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for wezie  Send Email to wezie     
Thanks for the idea.
Is this the direction you were thinking?

Begin with the times in which they lived.

Possible thoughts:
Everything was smaller including us.
Quality! Shown by fittings and longevity
Utility, as shown by first open boat, and oars.
Function well with low horsepower as available at that time.

Are these some of the thoughts you were having, or have I taken off in the wrong direction?

egres posted 01-19-2015 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for egres  Send Email to egres     
All good points mentioned that were true then, will be still true today.
After all what is there not to like about a Classic Montauk?
Seems like these Europeans glass men were on to something when they achieved these bow and stern modifications.
Not at all unpleasant to look at and somehow intriguing as far as design is concerned.

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