Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
  2003 170 Montauk

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   2003 170 Montauk
LilJohn posted 10-05-2002 10:45 PM ET (US)   Profile for LilJohn   Send Email to LilJohn  
I have been lurking for a few months and have posted a few times. I originally wanted to buy an older Montauk and stay under $10K. Well, I just returned from the Whaler dealership and I will be the proud owner of a 2003 Montauk this Tuesday. I think I got a pretty sweet deal. I have a few questions to those owners with the next generation Montauk regarding electronics:
Where did you mount the VHF antenna?
What do you think of GPS/FishFinder combos?
How did you route the transducer wire?
Will you please e-mail pictures of any rod holder installations?
Any suggestions for specific products?
Has anyone mounted a downrigger? Pictures would be great.

Here is what I am looking for:

VHF Radio
GPS Receiver
Quality Fishfinder (Fresh/Salt use)
Quality Transducer
1 or 2 downriggers
AM/FM/CD with speakers (2/4)

I have never purchased a NEW boat before but the experience was fantastic. If I did not get a good deal, it does not matter. I feel like I did.

I want to thank everyone for the information this site provides.


Ed Stone posted 10-06-2002 08:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
Vhf antenna?Mabe a 4ft.whip mounted on
the center console grab rail.
Gps/fishfinder? I use the garmin 168.
They have a 168 with a internal antenna.
That would save you from running another
cable for a gps antenna.
Transducer wire? Don,t the 170 Whalers
have a tunnel for running cables and
electrical wires?
You could buy a quality rail mount rod
Maybe use the gimbal mount on the
downriggers so you could remove them
when not in use.
Good luck with the new Whaler!
Ed Stone
jimh posted 10-06-2002 09:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I think a combination GPS/SONAR is best for a boat like a 170-MONTAUK.

In choosing a VHF antenna for that boat the most important consideration for me would be avoiding getting poked in the eye by a flailing whip. If I were a fisherman I would want to keep it out of the stern area. These two criteria then augur for mounting an 8-foot fiberglass antenna on the gunwale somewhat forward of the console. The antenna can be tilted down against the gunwale for trailering or when not in use.

Although I see it done all the time, when mounting transom transducers I prefer to NOT run the wires though the splash well drain holes. If you run the wiring through the drains then you will not be able to install plugs in the drains, you will conflict with the flow of water through the drains, and --my opinion-- it looks jury-rigged.

You will find more information in my article in the Reference section:

jimh posted 10-06-2002 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Another factor to consider when locating the VHF antenna is (mechanical) interference with the Bimini Top.

Congratulations on your purchase of the new 170-Montauk. Did any material presented on the continuousWave web site affect your decision?

LilJohn posted 10-06-2002 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for LilJohn  Send Email to LilJohn     
Ed - Thanks for the response, it was very helpful. Have you had any problems with the internal antenna on the GPS? Has it performed to your expectations? Do you use it in fresh/salt water? The 170 does have the tunnel for the transduce wire, I was wondering how to route it back at the transom. Jimh answered that question. I will run mine over the transom and over to the port side.

Jimh - Your site has been extremly informative and helpful. I have read hundreds of threads on most of the forums, every Cetacea "issue", and numerous Reference articles.

I have not purchased a bimini yet but will soon. I wanted to keep the gunwales clear for fishing so now I am really confused regarding the location of the antenna. I was initailly leaning towards Ed's suggestion of a 4' mounted high on the console.

I think the biggest help to me in my purchase decision was the Cetacea 58 and the related thread. Tabasco sounds like a perfectionist, and his boat proves it. The debate on the Merc 90 4s has me a little concerned from a power perspective as well as fuel delivery. I am not concerned about top end as I will be doing most of my boating with my young family and mid 30's will be fast enough. I am most concerned about the smoothness of the engine at a wide array of power settings. I will be doing both fresh and saltwater trolling so low power setting performance has me concerned.

Your section on fuel tanks has also been very informative. 13 gallons on a brand new boat is totally ridiculous. I like the large Pate, I don't like its price. The jury is still out on that purchase.

That got a little long, sorry. In short, YES, your site played a significant role in my purchase / setup decisions.



phatwhaler posted 10-07-2002 12:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     
Most fathometer/fish finders work best with the transducer wire routed separate from the other electrical wires. The electricity flowing through battery cables and such will often cause interference and clutter. Not sure how feasible that type of install is on the new Montauk.

Phatwhaler out.

SunnySouthFloridaWhaler posted 10-07-2002 08:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for SunnySouthFloridaWhaler  Send Email to SunnySouthFloridaWhaler     
Congratulations on your new Montauk ... you will love it!

I am very happy with my Garmin GPSMAP 238 combination GPS/Dual frequency fishfinder and the BlueChart chips. I like the big screen of the 238 (helps the 52 year old set of eyes). I also like being able to use the map page enroute while still showing the depth, speed, heading, and distance to next waypoint at the top while also showing the course line overlayed on the map. You can also set the map page to "track by direction" which keeps flipping the map around so that it always shows your boat heading towards the top of the screen ... very intuitive. When you get closer to where you are going, you can easily change to showing half the screen with the map and the other half with the fishfinder. The extra detail of the BlueChart chip is incredible. Still take charts with me but am using them very little.

Mounted a small 36" Shakespeare stainless steel whip on a Shakespeare ratchet mount attached to the right side of the console just above and to the right of the tackle drawers. This gives a very short cable run and I am very happy with the clarity of sound and the reception of the ICOM-502S VHF. I fold the antenna forward when backing it in the garage.

You will find this boat has the smoothest ride!

The other piece of equipment I really like is the stainless steel Edson Power Knob. This lets you spin the wheel hard over in an instant ... great for turning around in a tight canal or backing into a tight dock.



SunnySouthFloridaWhaler posted 10-07-2002 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for SunnySouthFloridaWhaler  Send Email to SunnySouthFloridaWhaler     
Forgot. Go with the Pate ...

1. I don't think it is possible to run it out of fuel in one day.

2. Installation looks good under the seat.

3. Easiest tank to re-fuel I have ever had.

4. Clear sight window is the best fuel gauge I have ever had.

5. Peace of mind ... from knowing you have plenty of fuel, no matter where you decide to go.


Lagged posted 10-07-2002 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lagged  Send Email to Lagged     
Yes, the Pate is very high quality. I just put the 24 gallon one in my Dauntless 13.
tabasco posted 10-07-2002 04:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
If you have only one thing to buy for the boat because of budget reasons .......BUY THE 27 GALLON PATE TANK.
AnthonyT posted 10-07-2002 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for AnthonyT  Send Email to AnthonyT     

See my comments in your other post regarding outfitting the 170...


bobeson posted 10-07-2002 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobeson  Send Email to bobeson     

I took delivery of a new 2003 Montauk 170 two weeks ago, and have about 12 hours logged so far. I love this boat!

Here's what I elected to purchase along with the base package:

bobeson posted 10-07-2002 06:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobeson  Send Email to bobeson     

Ok, on my first posting I learned that tab followed by return causes a post to be submitted immediately....
Let's try that again:

What I added to my new Montauk 170:

Pate 24 gallon tank
Mills bimini
Swim step/ladder (BW supplied)
Swing tongue on trailer (dealer add-on)
90HP four stroke motor upgrade
Icom 402 VHF
Whip antenna ratchet-mounted to console
Garmin 182 GPS/chartplotter
Humminbird wide paramount 3D fishfinder
Ritchie S1000 compass
Dual battery system (dealer add-on)

I use this boat for scuba diving, so I elected not to get the fishing package, as I wanted to mount scuba tanks in front of the console. Currently, I'm using a wire-frame 6-pack tank holder secured with stainless tie-down points I screwed into the deck in front of the console. I located the tie-downs such that I can swap the 6-pack for a 72 quart cooler for fishing.

At first I assumed I would put an 8 foot fiberglass antenna on the stern railing, but the dealer talked me out of it and into using a whip antenna (I forget the brand/model) with a ~3 foot PVC tube at the base, mounted to a stainless ratchet mechanism directly to the console. This avoids routing the antenna cable adjacent to the sonar transducer cable in the tunnel, and still permit 360 degree fishing when the bimini is stowed. BTW, the Mills bimini is really nice, and stows either on the bow or on the stern.

I did elect to cut a hole in the console for the VHF radio, above the drinkholders, since I do not anticipate changing radios for years, if at all. (I hope...)

As for the motor power issue, the only time I've wished for more power was with 6 divers aboard will full cold-water gear (hardly typical conditions.) For the most part, the 90HP seems to be all I need, given the typically rough sea conditions in central california.

Next up, I've ordered a Mills mooring cover, and I'm considering trying to fit a live well somewhere...

Jimm posted 10-07-2002 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
Did you get a price on the Mills mooring cover yet?.....Jim
Wreckdiver posted 10-07-2002 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
Six divers in a Montauk? I hope you were teaching a bunch of Boy Scouts. The average mature Great Lakes diver tops 200 pounds and sports a set of twin OMS 98ís or 112ís.
bobeson posted 10-08-2002 02:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for bobeson  Send Email to bobeson     

The Mills mooring cover costs $675 or so from the factory. I forgot to ask what the dealer is going to charge me - hopefully not much more than that! That's a pretty penny to drop on a bit of canvas, but they claim to have made a very well-tailored pattern to fit the 170, and I was impressed with the quality of the bimini from them, so I decided to go for it.

As for six divers on board, they certainly weren't boy scouts! It was only for a few hundred yards - I'd offered some guys in the parking lot a ride out to a spot they would normally swim out to, while we were on the way out to a different cove. I couldn't get the boat to plane, but the weight distribution was terrible, and the motor was trimmed way up, which I didn't realize until after we'd dropped them off.

I'm pretty dissappointed with the quality of the swim step and ladder. I realize it's not intended as a full-blown scuba ladder, but even without gear on I suspect the ladder would be too short and the grab rail too small/poorly located. I'm planning to add a different ladder, once I figure out how to mount it without spending a fortune on a custom rig.

Where do other scuba divers stow their tanks? I've seen Chuck Tribolet's boat, with the Roll Control brackets, but I think I've opted away from those for the time being. I'm curious to hear what other folks have elected to do about this. How about the entry ladder? Anybody have an interesting custom job?

BTW, I really appreciated the voluminous information that Tabasco posted about his boat - it helped tremendously in my purchase decision. Thanks, Ray!

Wreckdiver posted 10-08-2002 08:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
I lined the back of the 2000 Montauk with white deck squares from West Marine. I just lay all the tanks flat in the back. They tend to pound less in the nasty slop we have in the Great Lakes in the back of the boat. I figure a Montauk would break any bracket they were attached to up forward. I can get on plane with four divers using singles.
SunnySouthFloridaWhaler posted 10-08-2002 09:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for SunnySouthFloridaWhaler  Send Email to SunnySouthFloridaWhaler     
Speaking of the voluminous information that Tobasco posted about his boat and the wonderful pictures ...

I must say it played a very important role in my decision to purchase also ...

Ray ... I think BW owes you a little commission!


tabasco posted 10-08-2002 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Boston Whaler if you are listening don't send me any commission........Just send one of those new Montauk 170's to Jimh's his doing not mine. I just forwarded him the photos and my findings. Through this forum we have sold a lot of boats for you and I am sure many more to come. Do the right thing. It would cost you much more than the cost of one whaler to get this kind of advertising directed at WHALER OWNERS.

If anyone deserves a new Montauk 170 its our moderator Jimh.

James posted 10-09-2002 01:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for James  Send Email to James     

In case you are still considering some options, the following is what I did or am doing with my 170:

"Where did you mount the VHF antenna?"

I mounted a Digital four foot antenna on a stainless adjustable bracket on the starboard side of console, forward of (and lower than) the tackle box. I tip it forward for storage and I get excellent reception. I have the Mills Bimini and overhead clearance is not a problem at all.

"What do you think of GPS/FishFinder combos?
How did you route the transducer wire?"

The console is too small for anything but a combo unit. I have a Simrad CE-33. It has superb capabilities. If you do not like to tinker with the unit too much I would suggest the new color 188C Garmin combo unit. I have a transom mounted quadrucer. My cable goes out the tunnel as designed by BW, and exits through the drain hole. I suggest that you mount the transducer as far away from the engine as possible. The GPS/WAAS antenna is mounted on the console front vertical rail on an adjustable stainless bracket.

"Will you please e-mail pictures of any rod holder installations?"

I mounted six stainless steel Precision Hardware adjustable rod holders around the rails (4 back/2 front) and a white 3-rod holder in front of the transom between the "steps". Actually I ordered a 4-rod holder mount but they were out at the time. No real loss. Anything tall that you mount there has to be moved when you are fishing. If you still need pictures, just email me.

"Any suggestions for specific products?"

The 27 gallon Pate has been mentioned and is higly recommended. Inflatable life preservers require very little of the available precious storage space. Stainless cleats at the mid and/or stern positions help at the dock. Trailer guides make life easier. Console lights (3) help if you plan to go out at night much. I bought a bigger Ritchie compass but I really only use the GPS for navigation.

"VHF Radio"

I have the Icom 502. I would now consider the new Standard 2355. I would also mount it behind the cupholders. I mounted mine low in the console and will be changing the location this offseason to behind the cupholders. I prefer to see the VHF radio channels at a glance!

"GPS Receiver/Quality Fishfinder (Fresh/Salt use)/Quality Transducer"

Simrad CE-33 or Garmin 188C. For just a fishfinder I would check out the new Furuno 6100.

"AM/FM/CD with speakers (2/4)"

I bought a Clarion AM/FM/CD unit with 2 Clarion speakers and it is more than fine, when I use it, which is not much.

Good Luck with your purchase. The 170 is really a very nice boat. Big for its size, if that makes any sense to you.


LilJohn posted 10-09-2002 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for LilJohn  Send Email to LilJohn     
Thanks again to everyone that has posted with some great advise. I am picking the boat up on Friday and cannot wait. 2 hr sea trial in the morning and then 100 miles home. Should be a great day.

Thanks again


LilJohn posted 10-14-2002 04:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for LilJohn  Send Email to LilJohn     
It's official! I am the proud owner of a 2003 170 Montauk. WHAT A BOAT!

I spent the weekend at a local lake breaking the engine in and teaching the family about boating. Very exciting.

I have also purchased several electronics for the boat (could not swing the 206c).

Garmin GPSMAP 76S
Garmin 160 Blue Fishfinder
Standard Intrepid LE VHF with 8' antenna

I am going to start installing them this week. What is the best tool for cutting out the center console for the VHF?


Bigshot posted 10-14-2002 04:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Church key!
bobeson posted 10-14-2002 05:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobeson  Send Email to bobeson     

I haven't seen one myself, but the technician at the dealer who did my radio installation said he used a fiberglass cutting blade in a jig saw. He drilled all four corners, then used the jig saw to cut four straight lines, with orbital action turned off and the speed as slow as possible.

I vaguely recall that he described the blade as an abrasive style, but the only blades I found that describe themselves as designed for fiberglass cutting are toothed. DeWalt makes one. The abrasive blades advertise themselves as designed for masonry. Presumably a tool vendor will have better information for you about this.

kingfish posted 10-14-2002 06:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Drilling the corners and connecting the holes with a sabre or jig saw always works; another option is a rotary cutting tool. I've done both and if I don't push the rotary cutter too hard and snap the bit, I prefer it.
tabasco posted 10-15-2002 08:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
I purchased a Dremel Machine. There are endless uses for this machine on the boat. Suggest you practice first on raw material before actually using it on the console. With a little practice you can make very accurate cuts.
A very worth while investment.
Bigshot posted 10-15-2002 04:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Not sure about the new ones but my console where the controls are is over 4" thick. I broke more sawzall blades just widening it then I did chopping a roof off a car. That Whalerboard is touch crap. I love Dremels but they won't even scare my console.
Tom W Clark posted 10-16-2002 12:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Drilling the four corners and using a jig saw will work well. The blade to use is a reverse tooth blade. I use a Bosch 1582 VS saw with a T 101 BR blade which has ten teeth per inch. It will cut on the down stroke and not chip the gel coat at all.

If the saw has an orbital action to it, itís very important to turn the orbital action off so the blade stroke is simply up and down.

When making cuts like these the metal foot of the saw can scratch the surface. I apply electrical tape over the foot of the saw to provide a smooth soft barrier. Be sure no chip or grit of anything gets under the foot of the saw while making the cut.

Be sure not to let the saw kick back with a reverse tooth blade. It will want to do so. Go slowly and apply firm downward pressure.

Capt_Tidy posted 10-17-2002 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
I just broke a bunch of blades trying to install a new and slightly larger bilge switch panel. I'm going to reset the whole panel so I wouldn't hit it with my hip all the time. I was shocked at how thick the consoles were... guess I won't have to worry when the girls want to dance on the dash.

I almost got the chain saw out...

Capt_Tidy posted 10-17-2002 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
Almos t forgot... congrads Little J.
LilJohn posted 10-17-2002 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for LilJohn  Send Email to LilJohn     
Thanks for the suggestions. I started with the jig saw and it was a little tough going. I did not have the correct blade. I then found some cut off wheels for the Dremel tool that are coated in fiberglass. They are very durable. I was cutting on the lower part of the console to flush mount the VHF and the console is only 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch thick. It took some time, but was able to get a very nice cut.

All that is left is wiring the VHF and the fishfinder. I was planning on wiring the fishfinder to the AUX switch and the VHF directly to the battery. I am pretty green when it comes to wiring so if anyone has any tips for wiring the new Montauk, I am all ears!! I am not sure I fully understand the wiring diagram that came in the owners manual.

For those interested in VHF antenna installation...

I mounted mine on the starboard side of the console about 2" above the deck and forward of the fire extinguisher with a stainless mount. The mount was through bolted with 1" 1/4 20 flat head bolts and stainless backing plate. The 8' antenna folds forward and only sticks out about 1" past the bow rail. It will also fold aft and just touches the starboard 1/4 seat. You have to bend it around the RPS a little. Forward is much easier. Perhaps a 1/4" shim on the mount will enable it to fold aft easier.

Hope that helps.


triblet posted 10-18-2002 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Wire the VHF to the Aux switch also. That
way you don't have to remember to turn the
VHF off, just flip the AUX switch.


Bigshot posted 10-18-2002 01:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I bought a handheld and I follow the expensive boats to find fish:)
AnthonyT posted 10-18-2002 05:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for AnthonyT  Send Email to AnthonyT     

Triblet is right. I also wired it to the
Aux switch with the FF. What is really nice is the fact that it is lit when on, which is a great reminder.....


LilJohn posted 10-21-2002 10:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for LilJohn  Send Email to LilJohn     
Thanks to both triblet and AnthonyT. That was just the info I was looking for. I plan on completing the wiring and mounting of transducer tonight.

thanks again,


Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.