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Author Topic:   buying a new Dauntless 180
nick o posted 01-08-2003 01:05 PM ET (US)   Profile for nick o   Send Email to nick o  
Yesterday, I posted the following message on the "general" board and got great advise from TheSkipper, roofer, and PMucciolo. Following PMucciolo's advise, I scanned the "post classics" section and surfice it to say that I have quickly learned that my original message may have made the "classic" owners cringe a bit.

So I decided to post my original message here to see if there is any additional advise out there for me. Here it goes:

I am a prospective "first time" whaler owner and am thoroughly impressed with this cite! My question is as follows: I am in the process of buying a 2001 Dauntless 180 "left over" (I know its two years old already but have been told by the dealer that it is new and comes with full warranties on boat and motor). The boat is equipt with the 135 optimax motor, hydraulic steering, and the comfort package. The trailer is separate. The price is $25,000. A new one with the 135 optimax is listed for $35,000. Does any one know if this is a good deal?

I was also concerned with two things:
(1) The removable seat backs for the transom bench seat. Are the safe for small kids (Is the space between the seat and the pad on the back rest to far apart allowing a small child to fall through?
(2) The 2003 has a folding transom seat that easily turns into a level casting platform. The 2001 has a removal storage box that converts into a seat with a snap on cusion and the back rests. Was the 2001 so poorly designed that it had to be corrected in 2002/03? If I go with the 2001 based on price will I really regret it because the new design has greatly improved the boat?

gf posted 01-08-2003 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for gf  Send Email to gf     

Now $25K with the trailer would be a good deal!

I'm sure you will be happy with the boat. Have you looked at other boats, however? I think the Dauntless is kind of a shallow boat for use with young kids. It's cockpit depth is only around 20 inches.

dauntlass 18 posted 01-08-2003 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
I had a 1998 Dauntless 18 . The removeable seat box set up was a good idea it permitted you full access to cockpit floor with box removed for cleaning floor and to keep drains open.My box-seat was very easy to remove four 5/16 bolts with moulded knobs held box secure.I do not know if the newer model is removeable.The seat backs used very large diameter pipe and really super quality padded back rests.The design was simple but well made.
TheSkipper posted 01-08-2003 03:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for TheSkipper    
The seat base and seatback on the 2002 is not removable. The base is molded into the cockpit, and the seat pads fold up to reveal a storage area, which in turn has removable plastic grates allowing access to the bilge area. The fold-down seatback is not easily removable. All of the cushions, however, are easily removable.
nick o posted 01-08-2003 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for nick o  Send Email to nick o     
Dauntlass 18,

I am going to see the boat again this Friday and I don't have a brochure on it. I can't recall the exact way the transom seat is set up. I know the back rests are removable and utilize the rod holders. I know the box is removable and based upon your message you find that to be a plus; (more space in the boat when the box is not in it and allows you to clean the area better). My question is this:

When the box is in the boat and the cushion is NOT on the box, is the box at the same height as the transom , creating a level casting platform? And is the top of the box skid resistant?

I know I will see it again Friday but its eating at me.


Barry posted 01-08-2003 05:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
Looking at a 2001 Brochure, it appears that the top of the box without the cushion would not be level with the rear deck. It looks like it is slightly lower.

I didn't realize that there were two different box configurations - the stern bench seat that came with the comfort package and the deck box that was included with the fishing package.

nick o posted 01-08-2003 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for nick o  Send Email to nick o     

Thanks for the info. The boat I am looking at comes with the comfort pack., not the fishing pack. What is the difference between the two as far as the box/seating that was offered in each package?



If the dauntless may not be safe for young kids due to the low gun walls, what model would you reccomend, the outrage?


dauntlass 18 posted 01-08-2003 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
Nick O,I think the box is about two inches below transom top with cushion off and the finish is not anti skid.The boat I owned had a bow rail and side rails I think these rails are standard equipment.In my use of the boat I found no need to remove the box-seat to gain room and the box is one heck of a large dry storage area.The two years I owned the boat I had no boat wake or rought water condition the boat could not handle.For bay and close to shore the boat is fine.
Barry posted 01-09-2003 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
The different stern seat configurations were for 2000. (Sorry for the confusion.) That year the Comfort Package had the "full width stern seat" and the Fishing Package had the "stern storage box with 10-gallon fishbox and storage compartments". One of the pedestal fishing seats was designed to mount onto the box for use underway. The pedestal could be added to that seat and the seat mounted on the deck behind the box for fishing.

For 2001, both packages, Comfort and Fishing, include the "Full width stern seat". It appears to be the same item. The pedestal fishing seat is only shown mounted to the rear deck and apparently only designed to be used when not underway.

gf posted 01-09-2003 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for gf  Send Email to gf     

I wouldn't go so far as to say it would "not be safe for young kids." I'm just expressing my feeling that I want a deeper boat to corral in my 6 year old twin boys.

The Classic Outrage18/19 are not any deeper than the Dauntless 18. The newer Outrage 18 that was only made in '99/'00 is a deeper boat.

BWdaunt18 posted 02-25-2003 08:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for BWdaunt18  Send Email to BWdaunt18     
In May of 2002, I bought a new 2001 Daunt 18, 135 Opti, Comfort pacakage, cooler seat, ski pylon, Bimini top. Came with tandem Vangaaard trailer with brakes. Motor came with SS prop, that might be standard.

I paid 29 for all. Assuming trailer sells for about $2000, $25K is a good deal.

The boat works great on Lake michigan. Can be a bit rough (as many whalers are). I have had friends out with small kids, no problem with stern seat and backrests.
Very safe and comfortable. if it is pretty choppy (3 or 4 footers), ride can be rough on plane.

Whaler is offering specials on their site. You might be able to get some free options. Check it out. Merc ury is offering extended warranties now too. Check that out as well. THey might give it to you with 2001 model.

I find it very efficient. I used it routinely. Not sure how many hours beyond break-in period, but I think I only refilled the tank once. It's good on fuel.

I added after market fishing seats (same as whaler uses, bought through Bass Pro) and I got a bow mounting plate put in for the front/bow fishing seat. I bought the seat base plate directly from teh manufacturer.

Have not figured out how I will rig a trolling motor yet. Bow rail present a problem.

If you are planing to run in rough water a great deal, you might want to add trim tabs, an option I am considering this year now that I have run it for a season. I am told teh tabs really soften the ride. I think they retail for about $500. Maybe WHaler might consider it as one of your free add-ons/options.

Would avoid the bimini. I think it just gets in the way.

All in all, I am happy with the boat. Lake Michigan can get really rough and I have never felt uneasy. 135 is ample power. have not clocked it, but will kep up with my nephew on the jet ski (about 50) with a coulpe adults and load of fuel.

My only complaint is trailer related. I had problem with the electric brakes (bad solenoid). Took dealer about a month to get it right. Meanwhile I could not get trailer to go backwards. Luckily I had rented a slip and was able to use the boat.

i consided the OUtrage as it has a deeper hull and will cut water better but it does not offer the seating options the Dauntless offers.

Good luck!

BWdaunt18 posted 02-25-2003 08:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for BWdaunt18  Send Email to BWdaunt18     
If you want the fisshing seat. It's made by Tempress. SOld by Bass Pro.

I bought a swiveleze seat post also from Bass Pro and mounted it where teh ski pylon screws in.

Angle is a little goofer. Have not ironed out the detials yet...but I am sure it will work out ok.

tabasco posted 02-26-2003 08:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
You may want to check out the new Nantucket 19

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