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  16 Ventura/18Ventura?

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Author Topic:   16 Ventura/18Ventura?
Nardo posted 04-06-2002 11:09 AM ET (US)   Profile for Nardo   Send Email to Nardo  
2 deals, different dealers:
2001 16 Ventura w/ 115 Merc. $21,000
2001 18 Ventura w/ Optimax $32,000
Why such a difference? The 18 looks to be a more comfortable boat but we only want to fish protected waters and maybe venture out a bit on slick days. Two adults and two kids, do we really need an 18?
Ventura16 posted 04-06-2002 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
Well, about $4K of the difference is in the the motors. The 135 Optimax is a lot more motor than a 115...in size, weight, power, complexity, fuel economy, etc.

And even though there is only a 2 foot difference between the boats, if you see them side-by-side the difference is quite evident. The 18 is a much broader and deeper hull.

That being said, we faced the same decision and chose the 16 Ventura. It is a comfortable, stable boat that fishes very well with 2-3 adults...2 adults and 2 kids (especially if the kids are fairly young) should do just fine. We typically use our boat on inland lakes and "near-shore" on the Great Lakes (in good weather). It is a great combination of comfort, ruggedness and safety in a size that is very easy to trailer. We have a Merc 90 hp 2 stroke...and it easily hits the low 40's.

I hope that helps...if you have any more questions about the 16 Ventura, I'll be happy to answer them.

Tom

Nardo posted 04-06-2002 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Nardo  Send Email to Nardo     
Thanks Tom, that does help....is there any reason why we shouldn't consider a 2001? (new)(Instead a 2002 or 2003) Should we get a top from the dealer or have one made? Is the 16 fit to use a trolling motor?
Ventura16 posted 04-06-2002 02:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
As far as I know, the 2001 is totally identical to the 2002/2003...except the new one is called a "160". There have been a few minor changes along the way...an electric horn & compass are now standard (used to be optional), color choice of graphics & canvas is limited to red or blue (our 2000 has green graphics/canvas)..that's about it. I'm sure you can get a much better deal on a leftover or lightly used 2000/2001 than on a 2002!

The "fishing package" provides wiring for a bow-mounted trolling motor along with under-gunnel rod racks and a couple of other things...but it deletes the full bow rail and replaces it with low side rails. If I had small children, I'd want the standard bow rail. We don't use an electric trolling motor, but I'm sure that there is some way to use a transom mount trolling motor...

As far a top, it depends on what you mean...if you are talking about the bimini top...I'd order the boat with it or have the dealer install it...pretty much a pain to do it yourself. If you are talking about a mooring cover or trailering cover, then you might want to consider having one made at a local canvas shop or buying something from Cabelas/Overtons/Bass Pro Shops/etc. We have the "official" factory-supplied (Great Lakes Canvas) mooring covers (fore and aft) and they are the only thing that really doesn't impress me about the boat...in my opinion, they are only average in fit and quality...

Tom

Nardo posted 04-07-2002 11:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Nardo  Send Email to Nardo     
Okay, talk to me about the motor....I priced the 16 with a 115 merc saltwater...but I understand that you have the 90...how much of a difference is there in power,fuel econ, weight and price? Is it worth having the 115 for a heavy load? (thanks again)
Ventura16 posted 04-07-2002 12:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
I think there is about a $1K difference in the list price of the motors. Remember that nobody ever complains about too much power on a boat...usually it is the other way around.

The 115 weighs 43 lbs. more than the 90...348 vs. 305. I don't think this is a big deal except for one thing...the only performance complaint that I ever had about our boat was the time it took to get on plane. It was very slow to plane and I had to trim the motor all the way in...and it wouldn't stay on plane at lower speeds. After talking with the other people here (thanks Clark Roberts!) I decided to try a Doel-Fin add-on hydrofoil and it made a gigantic difference in those areas. Now I am extremely satisfied with planing performance and like I said...speed is in the low 40's...fast enough for me.

Maybe the extra weight of the 115 will make the planing problem a bit worse, but the extra torque and horsepower should help overall. Remember that it is still a 16 foot boat...weight distribution is very important...you can drastically affect performance by having one person move to a different seat or loading the boat's gear differently. We normally use our boat with 2 adults in the main seats and our 75 lb. golden retriever up in the bow...but when the dog heads for the stern to look at something, the trim of the boat changes accordingly.

I would probably go for the 115 in your situation with 2 adults and 2 kids...just make sure you experiment with seating and loading to get the best trim...and don't be afraid to put on a Doel-Fin if you still need a better holeshot...they work great!

Tom

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