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   18 Dauntless c.1999

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Author Topic:   18 Dauntless c.1999
roland f posted 04-24-2003 10:20 PM ET (US)   Profile for roland f   Send Email to roland f  
I am new to the Boston Whaler line of boats, and I am considering purchasing a c.1999 18-DAUNTLESS. I am looking for:
(1)--comments about how the boat handles
(2)--notes on the 1999 model year hull powered with a Honda 130-HP 4-stroke
(3)--comments about how the hull performs in swell and chop

Also, I have these specific questions:
(4)--do waves come up and over the stern?
(5)--how does the cockpit drain with the drains being below the water line at rest?
(6)--are there any areas of potential concern or weak points to look for?

I plan on using the boat in the inshore waters of southern California, fishing to 25 miles out, and also for wake boarding and harbor tours.

jimh posted 04-25-2003 09:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Rewrote article to clarify and enumerate all the questions--jimh]

Re (6): The hull will be under warranty for five more years if you transfer the remaining portion of the original 10-year warranty. This should provide you with good protection against serious hull defects or failures.

Re use in offshore fishing: The DAUNTLESS models have rather low freeboard compared to other Boston Whaler hulls like the OUTRAGE series which are designed for use in offshore conditions like those you propose. (At least to me, fishing 25 miles out in the ocean qualifies as offshore use.)

Lars Simonsen posted 04-25-2003 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
I've got a 1998 18' Dauntless.

(1) The boat does a lot of things very well. However, it has a fairly flat hull, and is very beamy. That combination can make for a pretty rough ride in larger chop (4' and up). You'll feel safe in just about any water, but you won't necessarily be comfortable. I don't take mine far offshore. I fish mostly in the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, and Oregon Inlet. The plus side of the wide and flat hull is that it is very stable, and very roomy.

(2) I think sometime in late 98 or early 99 they stopped putting a "transom notch" in the hull. It's a square "cutaway" in the transom and bottom of the hull (sort of a short and wide tunnel in the hull). Mine has the transom notch. I've heard that the boats without the transom notch have more bow rise and are harder to get on plane. They also may have a tendency to porpoise. I have none of these problems with my boat. It jumps right up on plane, and does not porpoise. I have the 135 Optimax; do you want to trade motors (just kidding, sort of)? I'd be interested in hearing how well the 130 Honda pushes this hull around. Powerwise, the Optimax is great. But I think I would prefer the Honda's reliability.

(3) I think I answered that one already.

(4) I've never had a wave come over the stern. It's got a fairly high bow for a boat that ends up with so flat a hull at the stern. The hull also seems to float "high" on the water (probably due to the shape of the hull.

(5). That may be due to the weight of the engine. I don't think my drains are below the water line at rest, but I'm not sure. In any case, when you get up on plane, that's when it drains. I don't have any water come onto the deck at rest, even with a load.

(6) I'd check all the thru hull fittings carefully. Also, the center console isn't very water-proof without strategically applied silicone or marine caulk.

Other than the legendary reliability of the Optimax motor, I have no major omplaints about the Dauntless. But in my opinion, it would only qualify as a fair weather offshore boat (unless you have lots of extra cartilage in all your joints).


wspellenbe posted 04-25-2003 11:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for wspellenbe  Send Email to wspellenbe     
Isnt the Ventura hull the same? Why did they stop putting in the notch if if caused all those problems? I had read in this forum they added that part of the hull back to make up for the increased weight of the 4 strokes. I would like to hear from someone with a 18 Ventura with the 130 on any handling issues. I would think since the Ventura and Dauntless is a big beam heavy boat it can handle the 130. I have seen smaller lighter boats with the 130. Does anyone know how many of the Ventura line 98-01 were made? They changed them in 2002 to what looks like a much larger hull.
guysmiley posted 04-29-2003 01:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for guysmiley  Send Email to guysmiley     
I have a 98, 135 merc optimax
1) Boat tracks well at speed, but tends to get pushed around by wind and tide due to it's wide beam, shallow draft and high bow. Backing up can initially be a challenge, hard to back straight so I learned to make the boat basically turn on a dime as if it had twin screws (well, almost). Sharp turns will cause cavitation...really sharp turns cause the boat to "catch" in the water, possibly ejecting occupants, but it's fun to do that if you know what to expect.
2)not sure-but going for using other than a regular 2-stroke is key as you'll save a ton on gas and oil as well as having a quieter engine.
3)hull slams in a chop, but the faster you go the better as the hull will bounce from wave to wave. Even so, in any sort of swell you find yourself backing off the throttle to prevent porpoising, and you usually need to trim the motor all the way down in these situations to prevent pounding. (but I'm not positive my engine is adjusted to the right height on the transom) I've never really been satisfied with the overall ride quality
4)I boat in maine....lots of heavy swells and chop, I've never been able to get any significant amount of water over the stern while drifting or in reverse and I've tried very hard by backing into waves at about 2500 rpm.
6)early models aren't as refined as the new ones...early models has poor bimini tops and they made changes to where the cushions buttons attached to prevent them from detaching...we changed ours to mimic the current models have much nicer consoles. Worst thing is the gas filler...Horribly placed and unvented, filling the tank is both awkward and dangerous as gas will spray out of the tube unless you have two people standing in the front of the boat. In my mind, that alone is a reason to either go for a later model or buy a different boat.
BWdaunt18 posted 05-08-2003 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for BWdaunt18  Send Email to BWdaunt18     
I own a 2001 Daunt 18 and Merc 135 Opti. The 135 is plenty of HP.

I boat primarily on Lake Michigan. I have never had water over the bow or in the stern even when backing into rough chop.

Boat is not ideal for high seas. Ride can be rough but I have never felt unsafe.

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