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  Your thoughts on a 98 Ventura 18

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Author Topic:   Your thoughts on a 98 Ventura 18
tbranton posted 07-20-2015 10:41 AM ET (US)   Profile for tbranton   Send Email to tbranton  
Good morning group,

I have been looking at Whalers for several months and thought I had settled on the Montauk as my first choice. It's use will be primarily for family cruising as an inland lake boat. This weekend I found a Ventura 18 with Mercury Optimax 135 and Magnum trailer, loaded with options for $12,000. Same owner since 99 and well taken care of. I never thought that much about a dual console boat but I must admit it is family friendly with the seating. Any thoughts you might want to share on the Venture 18 would be appreciated. Should I consider a 16' instead since its a lake boat? Price sound fair to you? Thanks in advance.

Ventura posted 07-20-2015 06:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura  Send Email to Ventura     
I have an 18 2000 Ventura. With a 150 Honda . Great boat very stable . It's a heavy boat, you made want a 4 blade prop. If in good shape and motor Checks out 12000. Not a bad price

JJC

frontier posted 07-20-2015 10:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
Beware of the 135 OptiMax. Trouble prone. Research here and other places.
May be a good negotiating point for lower price, and re-power later with a 150 Yamaha or Honda 4-Stroke. Or an Evinrude 150 Etec.
tbranton posted 07-20-2015 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbranton  Send Email to tbranton     
Thank you Ventura and Frontier. I'll do some research on the cost of repowering. I would bet about 10K. Think I am close?

Tom

Ventura posted 07-22-2015 01:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura  Send Email to Ventura     
I bought the boat with a 130 Honda 4 stroke and replaced it last year with a 150 Honda 4 stroke. The boat is stern heavy with a 4 stroke remember that going in. To get on plane quickly I went to a SS low pitch 4 chime (blade) prop. I paid 12000 and change to repower. I have had several whalers this is the best handling I have had. A very comfortable family boat and ultra stable.

It's also heavy so a 1/2 truck or strong SUV pulls it well trailer should also have brakes

sosmerc posted 07-23-2015 07:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
I have owned a 1998 18ft. Ventura and loved it. Originally with the 135 Optimax, but later re-powered with a 1997 200 DFI Mercury. Yes, it was "overpowered" as far as rating, but it handled the weight and extra horsepower very well.
I sold the boat, but if I still had it and needed to repower, my first choice would be the new 3.0 litre Mercury 150 EFI FourStroke. I think it would be the perfect combination.
My only negative thoughts about the 1998 18ft. Ventura is that I didn't care for the way the scuppers were setup. If I were designing that boat I would have large commercial-like openings at deck level in each corner and I would continue the deck height all the way to the transom...no need for a bildge pump. Also, a removable dive door would be awesome so as to eliminate the need for a swim ladder at the stern.
Other than that, the boat was a tank and handled very well and was plenty fast with the 200 :).........
Buoy posted 07-23-2015 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buoy  Send Email to Buoy     
tbranton, I just saw the boat you're referring to and wow, what a beauty!

It looks loaded too, you better snatch that up.

ScottS posted 07-26-2015 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for ScottS  Send Email to ScottS     
I had a 2001 180 Ventura. It is a heavy wide boat so it tames wakes very well. You can't beat all the seating. The rear bench is very comfortable as is the bow seating. You could drive seated and a throw cushion helped bring me to the right eye height. Standing worked well since the seat could slide forward acting as a very low leaning post. Typical Whaler great quality stainless, gelcoat, and parts. Mine was used in saltwater all its life, but everything still looked good and worked well. The only parts requiring replacement were the rubber rod holders.

We had the ski pole which worked great. Only negative is you have to disassemble it to out on the cover of get a custom cover. The stainless got surface rust, so it wasn't as good as the handrail and bimini stainless.

There is plenty of storage, but all of it gets wet if the cockpit gets wet. That means mildew on all enclosed surfaces. The rear bench storage is open to the wet bilge. We solved that by using Igloo marine 25 coolers that fit perfectly under the bench. The deck drains always left some water and sand after washing the boat.

The Optimax motor always worried me. Some mechanics don't have the expertise to deal with this complex motor so pick one carefully. It was loud and harsh sounding. There were some speeds we had to avoid for passengers on the bench to have a quieter ride. Made me really miss our previous Mercury Fourstroke and Honda four stroke. This vintage Mercury likes to let its stickers peel away, dull its paint, and rust in spots (tilt motor, steering arm, etc). The oil tank bracket mounts were steel, rusted away, and needed replacement. The good thing is Whaler designed the bilge floor and wall to be unscrewed allowing one to crawl in for bilge area repairs if you aren't too large. Fuel tank is plastic so no corrosion concern.

Overall a solid boat made with quality materials. However the items mentioned above added up to a boat we didn't love and ended up selling after two years.

sosmerc posted 07-26-2015 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
Excellent review...spot on.

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