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Author Topic:   16 / 18 Dauntless
hopeful whaler posted 01-22-2003 10:22 PM ET (US)   Profile for hopeful whaler   Send Email to hopeful whaler  
Looking into both of these models to use for fishing / cruising around S. FLA.
First time purchasing, but not a first time boater. Any opinions on either of these two boats. I looked at the 2003 Montauk and loved it, but the limited gas tank (up to 27 gal I believe) and the lack of real stern seats don't appeal to the cruising side of my needs. help me out Whaler People. Dauntless...good or bad? Thanks.
B Bear posted 01-23-2003 07:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
I have a 2001 Dauntless 16 and I am very happy with it. It seems there have been some changes - one being that the notch in the transom has been eliminated. This may make the 16 and 18 Dauntless a horse of a different color in performance and handling. If possible take these for a ride and see if they fit the bill for you.
TheSkipper posted 01-23-2003 08:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for TheSkipper    
I have a 2002 180 Dauntless with 135 Optimax, and I love it. I use it mostly in the Great Lakes. My boat has the comfort package, and the fold-down full width rear seat. I have used it for scuba diving in Lake Huron - it has just enough room, and is set up nicely for 2 divers. I have used it for salmon fishing (with downriggers) on Lake Huron and Lake Michigan - there is plenty of room for three people when fishing this way - four people would be pushing it. I have used it for walleye fishing in Lake Erie (without downriggers) - there is plenty of room for four people to fish this way. And I have used it for cruising and just hanging around in Lake St. Clair, Burt Lake, and a number of smaller inland lakes - four adults is about the maximum for comfort doing this - I have had as many as six adults, which was a little crowded.

The fold-down seat is one of my favorite features on the boat. When cruising or hanging around, the seat is very comfortable for two adults. When diving or fishing, the seat folds down to making a casting platform/deck, allowing you to climb all over the place with good traction, and without making a mess of the seat.

My boat has plenty of power with the Optimax 135, getting about 42 mph, and it sips gas and oil. I believe it has a 60 gallon built-in gas tank.

Before buying my boat, I pretty much had my mind set on a 160 Dauntless. After I compared them side-by-side, however, I thought the 160 was too small. I also looked a 18 foot Grady White center console, which seemed to be closer in size and layout to the 160 Dauntless than to the 180 Dauntless.

Kid Stuff posted 01-23-2003 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kid Stuff  Send Email to Kid Stuff     
I have a 16 with a 90 merc 2 stroke salt water both2002 and it is the best all around boat I have ever owned.
andygere posted 01-24-2003 11:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
There is a lot of good info on these boats here in the forum archives. Use the search engine found at to find it.
KyRick posted 01-24-2003 08:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for KyRick  Send Email to KyRick     
Big Bear or Kid Stuff

Have either of you ever had any problems with your 16 Dauntless porporsing or plowing before plane? what props are you running?
I am looking at a carry over 2001 and have heard horror stories?

see ya

dauntlass 18 posted 01-25-2003 07:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
KY RICK,I had a 1998 18 ft.Dauntless with 150 hp Optimax on it.If trim not set properly poporsing would occur.Trim the boat correctly and ride all day no problems.The pocket at the transom on the bottom may have some effect on the hull performance.Mine had the pocket I know the newer boats do not have the pocket.
B Bear posted 01-25-2003 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
I have had bow rise when moving to full throttle from a stop to get on plane.

I have doel fins on my 90 Honda which reduced this drasticly. As one complaint by many on this forum was that the engines (4-strokes) were too heavy and helped cause the excesive bow rise and water through the aft scuppers.

Yet as you noticed (hopefully) I stated in my first post that "the transom notch is now filled in" on these newer Dauntless models. And that makes them different than the Dautless/Ventura line of the past. And this too was pointed out by 18 Dauntless as the "pocket".

I have not ridden on one yet, but I imagine that that with a full keel, unbroken flow under the hull, and the added boyancy to the aft have changed how the these lines now perform. Therefore the older threads on these boats are not relivent to the Dauntless/Ventura boats now being produced. That being the case I would hesitate, KyRick, to attach the sometimes inflated negitive traits of some of the older boats to them.

As you should know that any vee hull will plow and and bow rise, and if trimed up too far will porpose. If fact I was on a 1990 17 outrage that did all these things which suprise me because I was lead to believe that this model would not.

Now you know why I said take them for a ride since they are a horse of a different color.

There ae no reviews for these newer Dauntless/Ventura models and do not let what was argued about them in the past infulance you.

I checked out the New Montauk, a different boat than the older model classic Montauk, and even though it has a very open cockpit. I prefer to stand at my console, have the extra storage under the seats, the extra fuel and the vee hull for the chop.


Perry posted 01-28-2003 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
When you say "newer models" of Dauntless, what year are you refering to? I've had a 2002 Dauntless 16 for a few weeks now and have'nt experienced these symptoms you are talking about. Were the changes made for the 2002 and newer model? What exactly are you refering to when you say "notch or pocket" in transom has been removed? My Honda 90 is a little heavy but when trimmed properly, the bow stays pretty steady. Hey B Bear, what prop size do you have on your boat?
millerbr posted 01-29-2003 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for millerbr  Send Email to millerbr     
I am not sure which year they made the change, but if you look at the second picture of my boat (2003) at the site below, you can see the vee of the boat goes all the way to the stern (still pointed). I believe the earlier models flattened out at the rear.
Ventura16 posted 01-29-2003 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
The older hulls didn't flatten out at the stern, they actually had a rectangular cut-out in the underside of the hull at the stern.


Chap posted 01-29-2003 11:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     
Great set up millerbr.
Something to add. You might want to have a drip loop in your antenna cable.
dauntlass 18 posted 01-29-2003 02:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
For what it is worth I was told by the owner of a performance boat the pocket on the older hulls helped them get up on plane quicker .He said a lot of performance boats had the same pocket design in there hulls.
Lars Simonsen posted 01-29-2003 08:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
I have a 1998 Dauntless 18. It has the transom pocket. It gets right up on plane, and does not porpoise. It's a great cruising and fishing boat. My wife and I have three boys, and there's plenty of room for all of us. I bought the boat used with both the fishing and comfort package, so it is very versatile. The 135 Optimax motor is great other than the reliability issue (quite, clean, efficient and powerful).
KyRick posted 01-29-2003 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for KyRick  Send Email to KyRick     
Hey Guys.....
On the year of the "notch", what I found out was that 1999 thru 2001 all had the "notch". The 2002 and 2003 did not have the cut out. A rep from Whaler told me last week at the boat show, that the weight of the 4-strokes was part of the decesion to put that part of the boat back in to assist in decreasing bow rise on take off.


B Bear posted 01-29-2003 11:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Perry I have, I a 15 dia 16 pitch on my Honda 90, with this prop I WOT at around 5600 rpm. For the Honda the WOT rpm should be between 5000 and 6000 rpm.
Perry posted 01-30-2003 01:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
I looked at the transom and found no notch. So BW did change it for the 2002 and newer models. B Bear, my Honda 90 came with a 13.25 17" pitch prop. It did 5600 rpm at WOT but was a little sluggish at hole shot. I then bought a 13.75 15" pitch SS. It did 6000 rpm WOT with good hole shot but I'd rather have it rev to around 5800 at WOT so I ordered a 13.25 16 SS from Honda. I can always keep the 15" pitch for water skiing and use the 16" pitch for all around use.
BTW, who else has a cooler seat up front. I chose to put a 94 Qt. marine Igloo in front of the console. It extends about an inch beyond each side but has plenty of room to seat two and put lots of fish!
cmarques posted 02-17-2003 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
Just went in the garage to look at the back of my 2002 16 Dauntless and it has a cutout or notch in the transom. I got the boat new in september and have loved it so far! I have had it 11-12 miles out of Port Canaveral, unfortunately waiting for the Columbia a few weeks ago. Rode back in 4-5 seas when the wind changed- was rough but felt very safe. got some spray and a few splashes but made me glad I wasn't in anything else!
Also took the BW plant tour last week and was very impressed. Chuck who guided the tour knows his stuff and seeing what goes into the building of Whalers made me feel better about spending a few!? extra dollars on one
Perry posted 02-18-2003 12:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
cmarques, are you sure you have a 2002 model?Either BW made the change in the middle of the model year or maybe you bought a left over 2001 model. Mine is a 2002 and has no notch.
cmarques posted 02-18-2003 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
It was sold and titled as a 2002 model- you have to reach about 6"under the boat to pull the drain plug out. Maybe a real early one or change in production?? I have the comfort package with bow cushion and railing, livewell under the helm seat and 90hp 2 stroke Saltwater series Mercury on it.Can the hull# tell what year it is? I work in the auto industry and know all car vin's are standardized. When I was in the Whaler plant last week they said they used to build many boats at a time before they were #'d but now build to order.
cmarques posted 02-18-2003 10:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
Called BW today for info on my boat- according to Chuck in customer service the HIN shows it was built June 01 as a 2002 model last 4 #'s F102 and was before molds changed to later style so I guess some other 2002 Dauntless 16's may have the transom notch.
hopeful whaler posted 02-24-2003 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for hopeful whaler  Send Email to hopeful whaler     
Well I'll have to change my username now...I pulled the trigger and am now the proud owner of a 2000 dauntless 18. Taking her out tomorrow. Can't wait! Thanks for all your replies. See ya at sea.....
BWdaunt18 posted 02-25-2003 08:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for BWdaunt18  Send Email to BWdaunt18     
I envy you.

My boat is in storage. It's still a little chilly in WI.

I have the 2001 Daunt 18, 135 Opti. Gets right up on plane, minimal porpoising. Has the notch.

It does ride rough. I am told trim tabs really help. ANy experience with trim tabs on this boat?

hopeful whaler posted 02-26-2003 10:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for hopeful whaler  Send Email to hopeful whaler     
No trim tabs on my model, it does have the for the ride? 2-4 ft yesterday with four guys and gear off miami beach and it was fine. not so much as one drop of water hit anyone. i was shocked. took the intercoastal home and made it up to 33 mph on the gps through the rain. i am very very happy with my boat. I will install tabs down the line.

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