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Author Topic:   2003 160 Dauntless
Lake Winni posted 09-03-2002 10:19 AM ET (US)   Profile for Lake Winni   Send Email to Lake Winni  
Anyone out there have feedback on this model, good, bad or indifferent? I am looking at this model as an alternate to the new 170 Montauk, (a bit of an apples & orange comparison I know...) but my wife really likes the Dauntless series. I would be setting it up for fresh water use, with a 115 4S EFI. Anything that owners could pass on for ride, speed, comfort etc... would be very much appreciated! Thanks in advance...
fno posted 09-03-2002 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
Mine is a 2001 with a 90 Hp 4 stroke. Ride is great. Got better with a Doel fin as it puts the bow further in the chop. The 90 started out with a 13.25" x 16 pitch prop that got 42 mph,time and ability to plane sucked. Now I am down to a 14 p. that is fine for all needs and it runs 36-38 mph. Comfort and seating is probably better than a Montauk, although get up and go performance is certainly behind although the new Montauk is getting more V in it's hull so who knows. For sole use on a lake or river, I might go with the Montauk, but I like to go out in the ocean too and the Dauntless just feels a little more secure when it gets nasty out in the afternoons in FL. Any other info needed let me know.
millerbr posted 09-03-2002 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for millerbr  Send Email to millerbr     
I have about 10 hours now on my 2003 Dauntless 160 with the 115 four-stroke EFI motor. Overall, I could not be any happier with this package. The ride is great for a 16' boat. Top speed (GPS measured) with two people on board is about 44 mph. If you have any specific questions just ask.
Lake Winni posted 09-03-2002 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lake Winni  Send Email to Lake Winni     
millerbr~ Now you're talking... Did you test-drive any other models, is this your first Whaler? Do you use it in fresh or salt water? I test-drove the 180 Dauntless, but almost fell over on the price @ $40K+. I liked the look, feel and yes, the price of the 160 Dauntless that I saw in the showroom this past weekend. All-in-all it just seems very plush, and as a second boat I think it would be great. All along, I've just kept the thought of the Montauk in my mind, and I love the boat, but it is just a bit "lacking" in the extra comfort features that I'm looking for. The fact of the fuel tank situation doesn't excite me, and it lacks the seating and hull design of the Montauk. Thanks very much for your feedback, it will be put to good use...
Lake Winni posted 09-03-2002 03:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lake Winni  Send Email to Lake Winni     
fno~ Thanks to you as well for your input. The 90hp is a bit small, I feel for that hull, but it seems that you like it just as well... which is good to hear. I would think that any "performance" issues would be helped out with the extra 25hp. Our lake can get seriously snotty on the weekends with boat wakes, and if the wind kicks up... 3-5's are everywhere! Sounds like it runs right along, you must find great fuel economy with the 90 4S. Thanks again...
fno posted 09-04-2002 03:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
If had to do it over again. The 115 would be on there. Anybody, want to buy a cared for 90 four stroke? I think it's doing about 3 mpg. Don't think about it too much as it can go for several days of continuous use between fills. The big advantage over the Montauk is more storage and better seating.
millerbr posted 09-04-2002 08:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for millerbr  Send Email to millerbr     
I looked closely at similar, but larger, boats by Pro-Line, Sea-Swirl, and Trophy. When it came down to it, for the money, I preferred the smaller Whaler. I use it in fresh water (Lake Michigan); I haven't had it in anything real rough yet, but it has handled a good chop (1-3') very well. We ordered the comfort package, bow roller, bimini top, and ski pylon. I'm getting around 3 gph at cruise and 10 gph at full throttle (measures by fuel transducer/computer on Navman 5500i GPS). We had five adults aboard last weekend and it was reasonably comfortable. This is a remarkably stable boat for 16'.
Lake Winni posted 09-04-2002 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Lake Winni  Send Email to Lake Winni     
So, with the 115hp 4S, you don't feel the need to stick some sort of device like a Doel-Fin on the Anti-cav. plate to help it plane out or stay on plane at lower speeds? I have been told that it palnes and rides much better than the earlier hulls that had the notch in them. In a pinch I'd have 6 adults in it (once in a great while type of thing), but 95% of the time it will be used with 2 adults, (4 on occasion) for just cruising around the lake and getting out to a friends house on one of the islands. No skiing or fishing or anything along those lines. I plan to order it with the comfort package and the other options available, but may go to Mills for the canvas... Did either of you do a trailer with your boat? How do you find it to be towing. I would be pulling it with a new V6 Tacoma P/U, (but only to launch it in the spring and pull it in the fall.)
fno posted 09-04-2002 12:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
I pull mine with a 3/4 ton Suburban with a 6.5 turbodiesel. Sometimes I forget it's back there so I shouldn't comment. I haven't heard that the hull notch is different now or that it is better without. Your first step should be to get the dealer to swap the prop for a lower pitch if you don't like the time on plane with a full load. Props are about $350 for a SS so it should be their $$ to get it right. Unfortunately, I dinged mine before I knew enough about the issue to hit the dealer up for a new prop.
Marlin posted 09-04-2002 12:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
I'm delighted to see this topic! I was looking at the 160 and 180, along with the old and new Montauks, just this past weekend. We've pretty much decided we like the 160 better than either Montauk (real quarter seats, much more storage, more fuel capacity, deeper vee). The 180 is a beautiful boat, but it's another $10K or so and the total weight is getting uncomfortably close to my towing limit. The comments here suggest that the 160 is a pretty good decision.

The dealer told me that the older boats (I took him to mean until this year, but I'm not sure) had a centerline notch in the bottom from the transom forward 18". Supposedly this was to allow a short-shaft outboard for flats fishing. The notch is visible on page 5 of the 2003 catalog, although it's definitely gone on the 2003 boats.

We're looking at the 115 4s also, mostly for the reduced noise and smoke levels. Planning to day-trip around the Chesapeake, ski, and maybe do a little fishing that I haven't done since high school.

millerbr posted 09-04-2002 02:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for millerbr  Send Email to millerbr     
I do not feel the need to add a Doel-fin with this motor. I find that if you just give a fair amount of throttle off the start, it planes off pretty quick. If you are not planning on fishing, I would not order the livewell as it eats up the storage space under the helm seat. I'm still working on canvas for mine. I tow with a Cadillac Brougham rated for 5,000 lbs. and have no problem towing it with the standard trailer (Vanguard brand).
fno posted 09-05-2002 04:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
I would not get the livewell if not into fishing. Two reasons: space and another hole in the hull for the pump. A 5 gallon bucket with an aerator wil do the same job, just not all day in the sun. I trailer with a galvanized swing tongue from the factory. A nicely set up trailer. Only maintenance so far is hosing it down, a bulb or two and tightening all of the bolts before long trips. You may just want to use it on the lake, but before long you will be looking to take it with you on trips. Mine has been from FL, to NJ offshore and a trip each to Lake Erie and Huron so far. Mills canvas is nice, but the factory canvas is good too on this model.
millerbr posted 09-05-2002 07:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for millerbr  Send Email to millerbr     
I am not sure what the difference is in the hulls between the '03 and the earlier years, but I put up a couple of quick pictures of my '03 hull:

A couple differences I noticed on the '03 from the '01 that the dealer had are that the handle/latch for the center console door is now stainless instead of plastic and the addition of rear vents (somewhat visible in second picture). I saw in another thread that Whaler updated older boats with vents in the center console to elimnate fuel odors. I wonder if the new vents on the '03 are to draw any fuel fumes back and out rather than through the console.

Lake Winni posted 09-05-2002 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Lake Winni  Send Email to Lake Winni     
Well, considering that I don't fish, (except off of my dock every now and then), the comfort package is the way I'm going to go. Millerbr, thanks very much for the photos, that's a great looking ride. I'm very interested in the trailer that you put under it... I like the looks of that vs. a galvanized. I know the painted takes a bit of a beating in the salt, but like you I'll have it on fresh water. What make is it, and did you get it through your dealer or order it on your own? I also noticed that a lot of people are getting trailers for these <20' Whalers with the swing-away tounge. Is this just so it fits into a garage easier?
millerbr posted 09-05-2002 09:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for millerbr  Send Email to millerbr     
The trailer is a Vanguard made by J.Q. Tex, model SR1820. It came with the boat right from the Whaler factory with the Whaler stickers on it. I believe it is just the standard trailer that can be ordered with the boat. The swing away tongues are to help the boat fit in the garage better. I am probably going to have my trailer modified to a swing away tongue at some point. It fits in the garage as is, but at an angle that forced my wife's car out of the garage.
Lake Winni posted 09-06-2002 08:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Lake Winni  Send Email to Lake Winni     
Thanks guys for all the info on this. It makes looking at different models a bit easier, knowing first-hand how current owners are doing with their boats. From the looks of things, (at least at this point) I'm thinking that the 160 Dauntless will be the way I go over the 170 Montauk. There is a bit of a jump in price, but I feel that it is more than justified with the extras that the Dauntless line offers. You just can't dispute the quality of a Whaler!
tabasco posted 09-06-2002 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Been on both boats ........still like my Montauk 170 better. Feels like a much larger boat than the Dauntless 16. I also feel that the Montauk will retain it's value better than the Dauntless.

Just my biased opinion ;-)

controller posted 09-07-2002 01:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for controller  Send Email to controller     
I have a 2001 160 dauntless. The boat is great. I have a 115hp with comfort package and ski pylon with mills console cover and pilot seat cover with factory bimini top. I use the storage under the helm seat all the time.

I have been on Tabasco's boat and it does ride nice, and he has been on mine.

I thibnk the plus of the dauntless over the montauk is the built in gas tank and extra storage ubder the seat.

I would opt for the 115 4 stroke, it is much quieter and smother than my two stroke

tabasco posted 09-07-2002 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Hi Scott-
Haven't heard from you in a while. Scott has a nice boat and my girlfriend Monica likes his rear quarter seats better than the montauk's rear seats. We both rode on each others boats in July. I agree that the two stroke is much louder than the 4 stroke as well as the 4 stroke being smoother at low speeds.

I feel that it is a personal decision. Yes it is nice to have a built in fuel tank, however with the Pate tank I am satisfied.

Scott are you back up in NH or are you still down in Old Lyme on the weekends? Will probably be out there either today or tomorrow.

Hey guy's just a reminder send some dollars to the Jimh fund. Maybe we can get a search engine this ¥ear ;-)

controller posted 09-07-2002 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for controller  Send Email to controller     
hi Ray,

headed down to old lyme sat afternoon. Should be on the water later today or sunday. i monitor ch9.

I haven't been online lately, real busy with work.

Hope to see you soon.


tabasco posted 09-08-2002 08:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Scott- sorry got going late today so we went out by the thimble islands. Will let you know wgeb we head up to the Ct. river again.


Lake Winni posted 09-09-2002 10:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Lake Winni  Send Email to Lake Winni     
Controller / Tabasco~ Ihave yet to ride in either, hope to do so this weekend up at my local dealer in NH. I do like both boats, my wife is partial to the Dauntless series though, so I have to consider that. Aside from the built in fuel tank, the seating & storage is also better in the 160. It has the accutrack hull, and you can get the 115 4S on it from the factory without having to change out the motor. All of that makes for a more attractive package to me. If I do the math on all of the upgrades on the 170, then add in the cost of the motor swap and the fact that I just trashed my warranty on the boat, it seems like less of a good idea. I like your 170 Ray, but if the demo goes well on the 160 this weekend, I think that is the way I'm going to go. Not to mention, the "willingness to deal" on the 160 is greater than that of the 170 as it is in higher demand right now, due to the price and the new hull. That is all just my humble oppinion, it has not been an easy process by ANY means, either boat would make a great second boat. My other primary reason for buying it is to teach my wife the ins-and-outs of boating as our other boat is just too big (to learn on). I also feel better sending her out in a Whaler when the time comes for those solo-flights. Thanks to both of you for your feedback, you can never have enough... :o)
tabasco posted 09-09-2002 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Which ever boat you decide on you will be happy. They are both nice boats and the most important thing is that they are Whalers.

Let us know what you buy and how good a negotiator your are......let us know at what price you made your final deal

Lake Winni posted 09-10-2002 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Lake Winni  Send Email to Lake Winni     
You got it Tabasco! I'm glad I found this forum, (and decided to go back to a Whaler). It's been about 12 years since we had a Whaler at our docks, and I'm looking forward to putting one back there next spring, which ever one it is...
Marlin posted 09-11-2002 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
Well, I did it. Today I put an order in on a new 160 Dauntless with a 115 4S, comfort pkg, and bimini. In the end, it didn't cost much more than the Montauk which I originally had my heart set on, but like Lake Winni said, my wife had a strong preference toward the Dauntless. It was mostly the aft quarter seats and the storage that made the difference, though I think I won't mind the deeper hull when it gets choppy. Spring delivery... winter's going to seem so loooooong.
Lake Winni posted 09-12-2002 08:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Lake Winni  Send Email to Lake Winni     
Congrats Marlin~ And yes, you are correct, this wil be one loooooong winter for you ;o)The last time I did a custom boat , it took me a solid year to get it... it could have been the longest year of my life! I am actually going to demo that same boat this weekend, and I'm very much looking forward to it. I can't wait to see what that 4S is like, I bet it is soooooome quiet. Best of luck to you, is it too early to wish for spring!?!?!
roofer posted 09-12-2002 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for roofer  Send Email to roofer     
Congrats on the boat!!!!! Good luck with winter.

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