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Author Topic:   Info wanted on Conquests, Walkarounds, Revenges, etc.
Ventura16 posted 07-08-2003 06:53 PM ET (US)   Profile for Ventura16   Send Email to Ventura16  
I must have one of the worst cases of move-up fever ever recorded in Whalerland. I don't have 2-foot-itis...no, that would be too common. I have 12-foot-itis!!

We have decided to move up...drastically...to a boat that would be suitable for comfortable Great Lakes cruising and weekending. The short boating season and the uncertainties of our Michigan weather suggests a cabin, hardtop and weather curtains to me. We are thinking about a Conquest 28/295, but are also considering other Whaler cabin boats. (And, I have to admit, considering a few other selected brands as well.)

I'd like to hear opinions from Conquest owners (as well as owners of Walkarounds, Revenges and other cabin-ed Whalers).

Tom

jimh posted 07-08-2003 11:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Hi Tom,

The downside to the Conquest series is that most of them are too wide to trailer.

Among the boats that are trailerable (less than 8-feet 6-inch in width) you will be looking at a big SUV or truck to haul them. But they are great fun, and give you wonderful range to try new boating locales and overnight.

Ventura16 posted 07-09-2003 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
Hi Jim -

Trailerability is certainly one of the considerations, although we are thinking of mooring this new boat at a marina in Ludington for the season. I drive a Chevy Avalanche 4WD which has a tow rating of 7900 lbs. That would easily handle a Conquest 23 or most of the older Whaler cabin boats. Towing a Conquest 26 or 28 for any distance would be beyond the Avalanche's capability, but I have access to a GMC diesel pickup which could be used for the Spring/Fall launch and retrieval.

One of the things we are wrestling with is how "sleepable" the smaller boats really are for 2 adults and a large Golden Retriever. Although we are veteran campers, we have never overnighted on a powerboat. I don't enjoy roughing it as much as I used to...and my wife is even more interested in being comfortable.

Tom

jimh posted 07-09-2003 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The cabins of the Revenge 20 and Revenge 22 are identical, and the cabin of the Revenge 25 is slightly bigger (because I think the hull as more beam available).

One thing to think about on a small cabin boat is the location of the approved marine sanitation device (MSD) in relation to where your nose will be when sleeping. It is possible with dilegence to keep odor out of the MSD and holding tank. The chemicals most people use to control odor often have some odor of their own, so you end up replacing one smell with another. We don't have a MSD aboard; we use shore facilities.

Another concern is the static trim of the boat when two people are in the vee-berths. Most of the time you want to sleep with your head slightly elevated or level with your feet, you won't want to sleep with your feet higher than your head. If the hull does not trim down by the bow (when two people are in the cabin) you will naturally want to sleep with your head at the bow end, and that can be a bit cramped since it is often much more narrow.

mustang7nh posted 07-10-2003 07:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for mustang7nh  Send Email to mustang7nh     
Some people also crash (sleep) in their Outrages with some canvas up. I've never slept on my Outrage but the thought has occurred to me because apart from stowing gear conveniently, the cuddy seems to be underutilized on my Conquest. Granted the window and front wind barrier of that design has some advantages to passengers, etc.
Ventura16 posted 07-10-2003 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
Which Conquest do you have, Mustang7nh? One of the reasons why we are thinking about jumping all the way to a 28 is that the cuddys seem pretty small on the 21 & 23. I'm worried that it will just be storage space like you said. Plus my wife likes the enclosed head concept...

Tom

critch22 posted 07-10-2003 11:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for critch22  Send Email to critch22     
Tom,
I have a 21 Walkaround. I trailer it with a 5.7 litre Chevy Tahoe with a tow option. Your Avalanche would do the trick on the 21. The 21 WA is a rare boat - produced from 91-93. The beam is 8'6". I have slept in it a few times with my wife, who is only 5'2" and it was just fine. Your retriever aint going to make it in the v-berth, but might like the helm area if you have a bimini/hard top.

As far as the boat is concerned, I have never seen anything quite like it. I have had it in 3-5' chop in the Gulfstream - when the only other boats were 55' charters. It rides beautifully and the fishability is incredible, even with three guys. I have only had it a few months and have already landed sailfish, dolphin, kings, and one pretty small wahoo.

The girls love the cabin for getting out of the sun: reading, sandwich prep, etc.. I really enjoy having dry, lockable storage. Its really like a mini yacht in my opinion.

With regard to Jim's concerns about the head - I have never used it - for fear I will break it or whatever. I also don't know how to pump it out at those dockside places, so I hand my all-day passengers a block of cheese when they board. Launching/recovering is a snap and nobody who knows anything about boats can pass you without giving you a second glance. Because it doesnt have that old school outrage/revenge hull style, it looks like a brand new boat. Theres a 21 WA for sale on traderonline.com.
Marshall

jimh posted 07-10-2003 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The 21 Walk Around is really a beautiful boat. I have seen two fine examples of that hull, and they are beauties. According to LHG they dropped the design because it was too expensive to make and could not be sold at a profit in the marketplace of 21-foot boats.

After dropping the Walk Around series, Boston Whaler did not make a cabin boat for about three years (1994-1996), This gap in the product line for those years may be related to some business and ownership turmoil. They waited until 1997 to introduce the Conquest series, initially only as a 23-footer but later from 21-feet to 28-feet. They put the new model on the cover of the 1997 catalogue, too.

The last Revenges were made c.1991, so when looking at those boats you will be dealing with a 12-year-old boat at a minimum. Often people are not at ease with 12-year-old engines, so hulls from that era are candidates for repowering.

mustang7nh posted 07-11-2003 08:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for mustang7nh  Send Email to mustang7nh     
My Conquest is a 23. The enclosed head with waste tank is great. No porta pottie to empty and the pumpout is a piece of cake. The cabin is not a place you are really going to hang out in. Its spacious enough to lie down comfortably and sleep, and certainly stowing gear is not a problem. email me if you have any more questions about the Conquest. Rob
critch22 posted 07-11-2003 08:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for critch22  Send Email to critch22     
Ventura,
Have you considered a 27 Whaler of Eighties Vintage? I have never been out in one, but I feel its one of the finest looking boats ever made. I saw a restored one with twin SWS Yamahas a while ago. You had mentioned 28 Conquests - which is why I bring up the 27. I sure as heck wouldnt want to tow a 27 - but it is a unique and sharp looking boat. The Conquest looks like every other boat these days - but you can tell who made those old 27s from a mile away. Another killer boat is the 25 Outrage Cuddy. Wow. Sorry to ramble, I can truly only attest to the 21 WA, but i could discuss models I like all day.

One last thought - since your an Airstreamer - Bertram (sorry Jimh) once made a 24' camping edition that resembles a VW Microbus with the pop-up top. I have never seen one - just an old ad for one. [If anyone knows of this Betram - please email me.]

Ventura16 posted 07-11-2003 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
Great info, guys! Thanks for all the good input. Keep it coming, please!

Mustang - we are seriously considering the Conquest 23...it is certainly more affordable, and it would be a lot less expensve to operate along with the trailerability factor. I'm just worried that if it turns out to be too small, it would be a false economy. I think that the boat itself is laid out pretty well, but I do like the larger cabins of the 26 & 28.

Critch - I love the 21 Walkaround...great looking boat...but I have the same worries as with the Conquest 21 and 23...is it too small for comfortable weekending? I have definitely considered a 27...there is a gorgeous early 90's 27 in our marina with twin Yamaha 200's. It is in perfect condition...unlike many of them around here which seem to have been fished pretty hard.

Jimh- I don't mind the idea of a 12+ year old boat, but you're right...12 year old power doesn't thrill me...especially if I am going to be 20-30 miles out on Lake Michigan. If the boat were affordable enough, it would be worth a re-power, but that is just one consideration. I'm definitely not looking for another restoration project...I have enough of those going on already (house and Airstream). I want a good, clean boat with minimal headaches that I can just maintain and enjoy.

Not to beat this into the ground, but one of my big concerns with the larger Conquests is Optimax power. Most of the used boats I've seen have dual 200 or 225 Optimaxes from 1998-2000. I certainly have nothing against Mercury in general (my current 90 runs great), and I think the new Optimaxes have finally been sorted out, but I really believe there were serious problems (not issues) with the early ones. Jim raised a great point in another thread about appropriate usage...high-speed is great for Optimaxes, trolling could be problematic. Unfortunately, I am a salmon fisherman...that means hours of 2-3 kt. trolling each time out. If I could find a boat with Mercury EFI's that would be fine, but the Optimaxes scare me.

Tom

diveorfish posted 07-11-2003 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
Ventura16: I think every boater goes though this same dilemma when shopping for their boat. I initially wanted a cabin but I ended up with a center console. I guess there are two important questions you have to ask yourself:

1. What will be the primary use of the boat?
2. Where are you going to do it?

Once you honestly answer those questions, decisions get easier.

For example:

If you have to trailer the boat, one of those big conquests would be very hard to tow. Even the 23 Conquest will be at the very limit of your avalanche. I have a 23 Outrage which is lighter than a 23 Conquest and I thought I could tow it with my Chevy Z71 half ton pickup rated at 8,000lbs. After a few trips I had to punt and get a ĺ ton pickup. When my 23 Outrage (and trailer) is full of gear and fluid, it weighs 8,000 lbs plus. My half ton was having a hard time even though it was technically rated high enough. If you are going to slip it, then the sky is the limit.

If you are really into boat camping. The 23 Conquest cabin doesnít even have a galley. I thought boat camping would be the greatest thing since sliced bread but after a day of being tossed around in the boat, the only thing I wanted to do at the end of the day was get off. Thatís just me though.

It just seems that there is no perfect boat. There are always many compromises one has to make. Just make sure that you donít compromise on the primary purpose for the boat or you will be sorry.

Just some food for thought

critch22 posted 07-11-2003 02:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for critch22  Send Email to critch22     
He's right. Bottom line: you are not going to be able to spend a comfortable weekend in a boat (I mean whaler) small enough to tow. I think 16' Bayliners have full cabins with heads and showers though...
andygere posted 07-11-2003 04:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I wanted a center console and my wife (and newborn daughter) wanted a cuddy, so after a long search we got both (in a single boat). My Outrage 22 Cuddy has all of the fishability and open deck of a center console, but a reasonable sized cuddy for overnighting and using the head. It is fabulous for my 15 month old daughter, who can safely nap out of the weather anytime. It also provides dry,lockable storage which is important for a slip kept boat. My favorite feature is the centered steering. It is further back than a traditional cuddy-style boat such as a Revenge or Conquest, and when I pilot the boat by myself there is no list caused by the helmsman at a side steering station. It is pretty light for a 22 foot cuddy cabin boat, and my V8 Grand Cherokee tows it over hill and dale without working too hard. Four-wheel disks on the truck and drum brakes on both axels of the trailer handle the stopping with ease.

Is it a reasonable place to weekend or do longer cruises? For me and my family, yes. We are used to camping in a two-man backpacking tent, and the cuddy seems big in comparison. It is strictly sit-down head room, but it's bright and well-ventilated and with a filler between the V-berths the bed is just fine. Jimh makes a good point about the MSD, which in this case is a porta potty. There is a pocket beneath the deck just aft of the companionway door, that stores a small portable toilet. I purchased a compact unit that can easily be put on deck while we sleep. This makes a "midnight run" to the head much easier (albeit less private) and any residual odors are left outside of the cabin while sleeping. Mills does offer a very nice canvas set for this boat that adds substantially to the available shelter. Mine has a T-top which I have grown to really like, so the canvas set is not an option for my boat. From the photos I've seen, this canvas set would easily accomodate an on-deck sleeping arrangement, and provide more covered living space for meals, lounging and cocktail hour.

Every boat is a compromise, and it's tough to find one with spacious accomodations that's still easy to tow. For me, the Outrage cuddy was perfect, since it will mostly be used as a day boat with just occaisional overnight trips.

diveorfish posted 07-11-2003 04:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
Andygere: You have a sweet setup. In fact, you may just have the perfect boat. Iíve often pondered having a bow dodger made that would act as kind of a cuddy. I have enough room for it but a canvas guy I talked to said it would be about a $1000. I guess thatís cheap because that will only get you 3 or 4 nights at a B&B on the California coast. Maybe I should re-think that boat camping thing. Where do you overnight in Northern California?

Ventura16: Andygere has truly a viable option. I wonder if the 22í cuddys hard to find now? In lieu of that though, I think the 21 or 23 Conquests are great boats, especially if weather is a factor. I guess you can always bring along a Colman stove as a galley. I just wonder how many folks use the stoves in cabin boats (of any brand) under 24 feet. Iím must admit that Iím a bit paranoid, the thought of lighting a fire while standing on 150 gallons of gas is disconcerting to me.

andygere posted 07-15-2003 12:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
diveorfish,
I really do think the Outrage Cuddy offers the best of both worlds. There are a few around, and I looked for about a year and a half before I found mine (from a tip here on Forum Whaler). The 21 Walkaround was also on my short list, especially since the bow is more conducive to flycasting. From what I have read in the Rendezvous section, the Mills forward shelters (dodgers) make for roomy sleeping areas, although on some models a deck or sleeping platform must be fabricated. My Montauk has one, and the former owner used to camp on it in the Delta. It would be doable but not ideal on a Montauk, but I'd think much better on one of the bigger Outrages.

In terms of overnighting in NorCal, we are planning our first trip in August to Monterey. We have a 15 month old daughter, so we needed to line up some babysitting before giving it a try. We've done some kayak camping on Tomales Bay, which is another place I'd like to camp on the boat. My ultimate destination would be the San Juan and Gulf Islands, where there are fabulous provisions for boat-in camping, including moored floats with picnic tables that you can tie up to for a night or two. I too am a bit concerned about cooking on board, but figured a propane powered Coleman stove set on top of the big igloo cooler would probably be OK. Any other advice for cooking onboard?

Ventura16 posted 07-15-2003 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
Like I said earlier, we aren't looking for a "camping" experience...just a comfortable night's sleep onboard once in a while.

About the galleys...I can't imagine using more than a microwave and sink in one of those cabins. The point that diveorfish raises bugs me too...open flames and gasoline...hmmm...sounds like a great combination.

The MSD under the V-berth isn't my favorite concept either...I guess I view it more as an essential pitstop avoidance device when we're 20 miles offshore. Personally, I prefer to use the "stern-inal", but that's not an option for the ladies.

So far, I'm leaning toward a Conquest 23 or larger...I think the 21's are too small and my wife is not going to be comfortable in an Outrage, whether or not it has the bow dodger...she's a little wimpy on the water. Lot's of great opinions and perspectives so far...I'm learning a lot. Thanks!

Tom

andygere posted 07-15-2003 11:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Ventura,
I have a rule on my boat: The first one to use the porta potty has to empty it. So far, everyone has managed to wait until reaching the harbor, but it is nice to know it's there for those "emergency" situations and for the folks who are shy in mixed company.
critch22 posted 07-15-2003 11:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for critch22  Send Email to critch22     
Thats a great rule for the head! I will use that one.

Here's one thing I don't understand about campers. Why, if they are only away from the real kitchen for one night, must they insist on going through all the bs involved with actually cooking. I consider myself a traditionalist generation xer, but whats so lame about stuffing your LL Bean backpack full of Cliff Bars, jerky, three apples, and a few pre-made sandwiches?

David Pendleton posted 07-19-2003 04:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
As a 23 Conquest owner, I will also affirm some previously made observations based on my experiences.

It's heavy. I have a Cummins Ram, and previously used a V10 Ram. I wouldn't consider anything less for towing it.

Forget about you, the wife and the dog below decks. I'm 6'1" 280 and I find it pretty comfortable for overnighting. I have only overnighted on my own. My wife is 5'10" (I don't know how much she weighs, and I don't ask), and we can both nap down there comfortably.

The plumbed porta-pottie is nice, and I don't have to empty it manually. [We use it only for liquid waste, not solid.] I've never had a problem with odors, even after leaving it for a few days until I can get a pump-out; the 5-gallon holding tank is more than adequate.

You won't miss a galley if you've never had one. I have a Magna propane grill that works well for brats or shrimp on skewers. I don't use it a whole bunch, though. I have to agree with critch22 here, Peanut Butter and Jelly is one of my favorite foods, and there's less mess to deal with. Having a galley would just mean a bunch of extra junk on board which I personally don't want, also.

Dave

jimh posted 07-20-2003 08:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The most attractive aspect of overnight cruising with a small boat like a Conquest or a Revenge is the concept of carrying your accomodations with you. This allows you to avoid the hassle of making reservations in advance for hotels, etc., as well as avoiding the expense of staying at some of these places in prime season.

If you show up at a dock or marina in a big yacht, there might not be room for you unless you have made arrangements in advance. Show up in a 20-22 foot outboard, they'll find room for you somewhere.

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