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Author Topic:   History of 23 Conquest
whaler1234 posted 06-27-2003 10:29 PM ET (US)   Profile for whaler1234   Send Email to whaler1234  
What is the history of the 23 Conquest? I've noticed the company has dropped it from its line. What years were they first and last available? Are there any known problems with this boat?

Thanks in advance

David Pendleton posted 06-27-2003 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Don't know much about history...

I've owned my 23 Conquest since new (1999). Mine is one of the relatively rare IO models (it's out on Cetacea some where...).

I'm very fond of the boat, but I have a number of complaints.

Hoiwever, despite of what I would consider manufacturing sloppiness, this boat was very well received when new and is very well represented. It was not cheap to buy, and has held it's value pretty well based on what I've seen on yachtworld.com.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the 23CQ was available from 1998-2002. The IO model was discontinued in 00, if I'm not mistaken.

What else did you want to know?

jimh posted 06-28-2003 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Background:

In Boston Whaler's line up of boats, they have traditionally had a boat with a cabin, but one that was still trailerable. The trailerable criterion was a beam under 8-feet 6-inches, which is generally the maximum width you can trailer without special permits. This is where the 23 Conquest fit.

Previously Whaler had boats in this segment like the 22-Revenge (c.1980) and a 23-Walk Around (c.1991). The 22-Revenge was built on the classic 22-foot hull. The 23 Walk Around was built on a new hull design, which I don't recall was given a special name in marketing--a hull that was more deep-vee. It is often call the VanLancker/Reebok era hull.

(Note: A 23 Conquest is not called a "23 Conquest Walk Around" and you should avoid that description as it just confuses people with the previous model, 23 Walk Around c.1991.)


The 23 Conquest, A Brief History

The 23 Conquest was the first of the Conquest series and it was first offered in the 1997 catalogue. Sometimes a new boat might appear late in the year preceeding the catalogue year in which if first appears, but normally the boat will be sold as a next year's model. Thus 1997 is probably a safe bet as first year, although you might find a 1996 hull titled as a 1997. This applies to all boats, by the way.

The use of names to describe boats of a particular design is traditional with Whaler, but "Conquest" was a new "class" of cabin boat. It was in harmony with earlier name choices like "Outrage" or "Revenge".

The Conquest appeared on an AccuTrack hull. Accutrack was the name Whaler came up with to describe their new series of hulls that replaced the classic-era and VanLancker-era hulls. These Accutrack hulls were first introduced by Whaler after they had been taken over by Brunswick and placed under its Sea Ray division for management.

The most notable feature of the early AccuTrack hull was the pointier bow and the loss of the "smirk" appearance at the bow. Previously, one could spot a Whaler a mile away by the bow's head-on appearance. The AccuTrack lost that; you had to look for a logo on the side to tell it was a Boston Whaler.

Whaler literature of that time lauded the Accutrack hull as a big improvement in sea handling. This is hard to confirm without side-by-side comparisons. Marketing said it was better. Maybe it was.

The 23 Conquest also had a "euro" style transom, that is, the sheer line of the hull took a noticeable downward turn (like 45-degrees) at the transom. This was also a break with the traditional Whaler appearance, which maintained a straight sheer line. Later Whaler would go even farther in the Conquest series with the 255 Conquest, a boat whose sheer line snakes up and down from bow to stern.

At first, the appearance of a 23 Conquest was often linked more to SeaRay than to a Boston Whaler, but over time it seems to have grown on everyone.

In the 1997 catalogue the weight of the 23 Conquest (OB) is listed as 2900#. In the 2001 catalgoue the weigh is listed as 3650#, an increase of 750 pounds. It is curious to note that the 2001 catalogue was distributed with a glued on strip in the specification portion which changed the official weights of many of the boats. It was thought that this was a result of some boats being listed at weights which were below their actual weights. It was rumored that some dealers had sold trailers for these boats based on the light weights and had problems when the rig was too heavy for the trailer. I would go with the heavier weight.

The 23 Conquest has room on the transom for twin engines. It was rated (1997) for 300-HP and needed a minumum of 150-HP. A pair of 150-HP outboards would be the the maximum set up. A single 225-HP, often shown in the catalogue is probably common.

In 1997 the boat was sold as a boat, that is, it was not packaged at the factory with a motor or a trailer. Thus you may find all sorts of combinations of engines and trailers in the used market. You could order factory pre-rigging for Mercury or OMC engines as an option.

There were many options for adding cruising gear, fishing gear, canvas, etc. In 1997 the 23 Conquest was the third largest hull in the Whaler recreational line, exceeded only by the 24-Outrage and the 27-Offshore.

I would offer a guess that at retail the boat fully rigged sold for quite a bit, likely more than $65,000. That is just a guess based on a quote I recall getting some time ago. With an extensive list of options you could drive the price to the sky if your wallet permitted.

By 2002 the 23 Conquest was gone from the catalogue. The smallest cabin boat was now the 255 Conquest, at 8-foot 6-six inch beam still trailerable but weighing a whopping 4,900 #.

I would not worry about the hull no longer being made. When you hire new designers they want to design new boats, so it may just be that the 23 Conquest fell victim to an ineluctable urge to design something newer and better. Hulls and models come and go much more often these days. Market forces may also may cause the selling price to be unprofitable if the hull was labor intensive to build.

If you'd like some more history of Boston Whaler see this article:

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/history/whaler.html

I did not make all this up off the top of my head. I researched most of the information from the fine Boston Whaler Catalogue CD Collection produced by Tom W. Clark, et al.

A picture of David's 23 Conquest appears in Cetacea at http://continuouswave.com/whaler/cetacea/cetaceaPage63.html .
I located it by using the Photo-Log section, http://continuouswave.com/whaler/cetacea/photoLog.html and searching for "Conquest".

I see you are newly arrived at the forum. Welcome. You will find a great deal of information available here. In addition to the forum please visit the many other resources here, both for Whaler and other facets of boating. There are many excellent authors who can speak with great authority on particular topics related to Boston Whaler, and I am sure you will find reading them to be very informative.

pashopper posted 06-28-2003 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for pashopper  Send Email to pashopper     
Here is a link that describes the 23 conquest from a Conquest lover. Take a look at the pictures.

Hyperlink

jimh posted 06-28-2003 11:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Added some hyperlinks]
David Pendleton posted 06-29-2003 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Thanks, Jim. Much more informative than my sleepy late-night rambling.

Welcome also, to Whaler1234.

Dave

lhg posted 06-30-2003 03:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I believe the 23 Conquest and 23 Outrage are built on the same hull.

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