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Author Topic:   50-HP Enough Power for a Montauk
TrackerDave posted 12-13-2003 05:45 PM ET (US)   Profile for TrackerDave   Send Email to TrackerDave  
I just got a 1972 Montauk and it needs a motor. I have a line on clean 50 hp. Mariner, but I am wondering if it is
enough motor for that hull. What is this boat rated for?
Thank in advance for any advice.

bloller posted 12-13-2003 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for bloller  Send Email to bloller     
TrackerDave, They didn't make montauks in 72 but if we are talking about the 17 classic hull than 50HP will work but you would only be looking at about a 30MPH top speed. A 70-90Hp engine is ideal. 100HP is the max rated.
RJM posted 12-13-2003 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for RJM  Send Email to RJM     

I once put a 115 hp 2 stroke engine on a Montauk and it was like riding on a modern day jet ski. It exploded out of the water and was doing maximum speed in seconds. It would definitely go faster than any normal person should want to go, but man!, was it a machine to remember! I know it was over powered and maybe not legal and maybe not recommended and maybe not what most folks would do, but when cruising at 30 mph and you wanted to accelerate; it would snap your head back and make you hang on! The 115 hp didn't weigh much more than the 100 hp. and didn't cost much more either. But, of course I wouldn't recommend it now in these litigious times,..... or would I?

JohnJ80 posted 12-13-2003 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
I'd pass on the 50 and find a motor closer to the max. You don't want to repower later if you an avoid it. With the lower HP motor, you would be going everywhere at full throttle or if you had any load. That puts a lot more wear on the engine. On top of that, the boat just won't perform as well as it would with the larger engine.

It would be a lot more expensive to buy the 50HP and then a few years out to repower because you weren't happy with the combination.

I always try to buy boats with the max HP allowed on them. I guess it just sort of seems like that is where the designers put the optimal performance of the boat.

Anyhow, my $0.02.


half shell posted 12-14-2003 07:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for half shell  Send Email to half shell     
Hello I had a 50 hp Honda on my 82 Montauk and it was great.However if you usually have more than two adults on board it is a bit slow.Then again unless it is flat calm full speed is not enjoyable on the montauk.
Regards Bob
JayR posted 12-14-2003 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Look for a 90 HP. Best of all worlds. Fuel efficient, priced right, weight is well within limits, etc...
jimh posted 12-15-2003 08:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For information on the performance of a 16/17-foot Boston Whaler with various engines, please refer to the article in the Reference Section. (Hyperlink below)

masbama posted 12-15-2003 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
tlynch posted 12-16-2003 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for tlynch  Send Email to tlynch     
Half of my experience with Whalers has been on a pre-smirk 16' with a Johnson 70 hp. That was a great combination. My friend who just repowered this boat went up to a 90. I think 70 was enough.

I spent one full day on a Montauk with a Mercury 50 hp. It was one fo the most frustrating days of my life! We had 4 people on board and it felt like we were going in slow motion all day. One of the guys on board kept laughing and asking, "can't this thing go any faster?". The answer was no. Don't do it.


SpeedBump posted 12-16-2003 12:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
TrackerDave - You have to carefully evaluate the type of use your boat will see the majority of the time. I think you'll be unhappy with a 50. I have a 70 HP Nissan on my early 16' 7" Hull. It is a good size for most of my use with the family of 4 on board, even better with one or two while fishing. Most of my use is in inshore waters of New Jersey and lots of Bay time where it is pretty choppy and you don't want to run WOT much of the time. the 3,000-5,000 RPM range really gets you rocking, there is lots of Speed and responsivness from that 70.

However, there is that 5-10% of the time when I wish I had a larger motor like a 90HP. Those times include when you have extra guests along, 6+ and things can get a bit pokey, more importantly is having that lower end torque to get you up and moving and staying on plane in less than comfortable conditions. Tubing with the kids is another area that suffers a bit, while the 70 is good I can't help but think the engine is working overtime getting them up and on the water. A 90 HP in these situations would be the preferred power plant. Even higher if the bay were always glass smooth, but that is rare.

My Nausett came with the 70 Nissan and it doesn't make sense to repower now but if and when the Nissan needs to be retired I will look into the same HP rating but in a 4 stroke configuration and wont worry about the 5-10% of the time I would want the 90.

decfishfoto posted 12-18-2003 05:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for decfishfoto  Send Email to decfishfoto     
I am on my second 17 ft whaler. on the first i put a 70hp johnson and performance was fair +. Sold the boat 3 y. later(big mistake).Am on a second whaler -l985 montauk- bought used with a 90hp yamaha. Much difference between the 70 and 90. Go for the 90 - forget the 50-70 is acceptable but not ideal. David
elaelap posted 12-20-2003 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
I'm not gonna go into all the details, since I've responded to this question at least half-a-dozen times since repowering my '71 16/17 Katama (same hull as yours, Dave) this past March with a 50 hp Yamaha four stroke High Thrust (Bigfoot), but...

Love the economy--1.25/1.5 gallons/hr at approx 18-20 mph cruising speed; unable to calculate the small amount of fuel burned trolling/drifting...just doesn't register on my guage.

Love the light weight on my transom--250 lbs.

Love the low-end thrust and power (13" pitch aluminum prop)--jumps my little skiff out of the hole and up onto plane almost instantly with one or two people on board; I don't even bother to trim in anymore, just don't need to...sluggish with more people, however. Consistent 30 mph at 5900 rpm WOT with one or two aboard, but I rarely run it at more than 4500 rpm, about 22-24 mph, depending on sea conditions and wind strength & direction.

Love the reliability--320 hrs with absolutely no problems, pounding around in the relatively challenging seas off Bodega Bay (60 miles north of San Francisco). Starts up first turn of the key, and runs silent and smokeless trolling/drifting for five or six hours at a time without the plugs loading up.

I'm obviously very pleased with this setup on my light, smirkless Katama, but I sure wouldn't recommend it for everyone. I don't waterski or wakeboard, and the furthest I go from the ramp fishing is about twenty miles, though I've done a couple of all day sightseeing cruises in San Francisco Bay on calm days at 20-22 mph with no problems...probably 80 or 90 miles. I know that many of you, especially in the usually calm, shallow South, blast out fifty miles or so to get to the good fishin' spots, and I'd sure want more power and mid-range speed if that were the case for me.

Best of luck with your decision, Dave. Don't immediately discount the efficacy of a 50 hp motor, all depends upon the use and performance you'll want out of your old "Montauk" (by the way, I thought my Katama was a Montauk also when I bought her, as did the seller...stay with this forum and you'll learn an amazing amount about your craft and Whalers in general, and for sure get Tom Clark's great CD set).


ryanwhaler posted 12-21-2003 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for ryanwhaler  Send Email to ryanwhaler     
In the 1970's whaler actually sold some 16-foot hullls powered with 50-HP motors.

On the cover of the 1974 catalog they have a Montauk powered with a 50-HP Johnson, so they can't be that bad.

rogerme posted 12-24-2003 04:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for rogerme  Send Email to rogerme     
I just rigged a 1967 17 Utility with a 40-HP Evinrude. It seems more than enough power for one or two people (17 knot/19.5 MPH cruise, 27 knot/31-MPH WOT). After reading this site, I thought it might be slow. I have a 1967 Eastport too with 85-HP Johnson--goes about 4 MPH/3.5 knot faster. Save your gas money--don't listen to these over the top horsepower nuts! By the time you hang extra weight (horsepower) on the transom, it negates most of the gain from extra horsepower, also makes boat slugish when off plane.
jimh posted 12-24-2003 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
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