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Author Topic:   150 sport vs 15GLS Anyone had both?
boxers posted 08-13-2003 12:28 AM ET (US)   Profile for boxers   Send Email to boxers  
It would be interesting to hear from forum members how these two very popular models compare. New vs Classic for those thinking about upgrading from a 13 please let us know how the ride and stability compares. I'm not sure if there will be a large responce since the 150 sport is relatively new but what the heck.
jstachowiak posted 08-13-2003 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jstachowiak  Send Email to jstachowiak     
I had a 1992 15 GLS with a 40HP Johnson. I sold it a little over a year ago for $4500 with galv. trailer. I loved the boat. It was a rough ride in chop, but stable. I upgraded to my 1979 Newport because of freeboard and space. With two little girls the Newport offered a safer environment for them.
Moe posted 08-13-2003 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
No, I haven't had both, but the 150 Sport is a much larger boat than the 15 Classic, a coupla inches longer and a whopping 10" wider. In total area and weight, it's about the same as the 17 Classic/Montauk, because the 150 is even 4" wider than the 17 (it's only 4" narrower than the new 170). Sorta like a 17 that fits in more garages. The 15 Classic is closer to the 130 in total area, weight, and capacity, as well as lower external freeboard (don't know about internal). A 150 dwarfs a 130 when you see both in the water, has 50% more capacity, and nearly twice the swamped capacity. We'd have a 4-stroke 130 loaded almost to capacity with just the two of us and our gear and gas.

130 Sport
13'3" X 5'11" = 79.88 sq ft
600 lbs weight
5 person/935 lb capacity
1600 lbs swamped
7" draft

15 Classic
15'3" X 5'8" = 86.47 sq ft
500-550 lbs weight
5 person capacity
1650-1800 lbs swamped
8" draft

150 Sport
15'5" X 6'6" = 100.21 sq ft
900 lbs weight
6 person/1400 lb capacity
2900 lbs swamped
7" draft

17 Classic
16'7" X 6'2" = 102.26 sq ft
850-950 lbs
7 person capacity
2000 lbs swamped
9" draft

I'm sure there are many here who are much more qualified to analyze the hull differences, especially since I've never even ridden in a 15 Classic, but I'll give it a go anyway and give my newbie perspective on the 150. The smirk (or at least what I understand that to be) is gone and the sponsons start a little further back. However, they angle down more quickly, and the sides of the boat are a little deeper, both amidships, and particularly at the stern, where the 150 is less V shaped and more flat-bottomed.

Given that, and the additional width, the 150 probably rolls side to side less and is much more stable in that plane, than the 15 Classic. I'd say the 150 likely cuts through waves a little smoother at the bow, and the flatter bottom at the stern probably helps the heavier boat plane about as quickly as the Classic. However, when landing on the stern from totally airborne, the 150 probably hits harder. From what I've seen, the 150 rides quite a bit higher in the water, particularly at the stern, despite the heavier Big Foot motor. The shallower draft spec reflects that. In fact, I can stand my full 280 lbs on the corner of the stern and still have plenty of boat above the waterline. And there's plenty of room for three large people on the helm seat, though the one in the middle won't have much backrest. The 130, 150, and 170 are the third generation of the Classic hull, and share many of the same traits.

Obviously, with higher weight and lower horsepower ratings, the new boats aren't going to be as fast as the older ones. I didn't buy a Whaler for speed, but I have no problem with those who do "hot-rod" them, since I hot-rod about the slowest production motorcycles you can buy today... Harleys.

We ignored the forecast for rain last weekend and went back to Lake Erie, where it turned out to be beautiful weather. Saturday afternoon was the most choppy of the weekend, 2' with some 3-4' swells on the west side of Lower Bass. This is a DRY boat! The only time we got wet was when going too slow for the spacing of the waves, and managing to get a corner of the bow down close to the face of a following wave (where the smirk might make a difference). I'm finding the ride basically depends on the wave spacing, speed, and trim angle, i.e. where the boat impacts a wave. And I'm just beginning to get a feel for the speed and trim we should be running based on the waves.

If it impacts 2-4' behind the bow, it's like a 2'-3 wave/wake isn't even there. If it impacts anywhere amidships, it's a pretty firm ride sitting down, but there's a little "give" on impact, and it's bearable for my wife with the ruptured disk. If it's gonna impact toward the stern, particularly if the boat gets motor-screamin' airborne as we did a coupla times, it's a real good idea to stand up off the seat a good bit with your legs bent, because it smacks down pretty hard. We're used to standing up on the motorcycles when crossing dips, etc, so this comes pretty natural. My wife quickly developed a good sense for when she needs to stand based on how high the bow comes up on a wave. It's very stable side to side when it lands hard.

With about 600 lbs of people, gear, and gas (which with 300 lbs of motor leaves 500 lbs of capacity), the 150 cruises nicely (and quietly) off-plane at 2,000 rpm. Above 2,200, it begins pushing progressively more water as the speed goes up. If I bring the throttle up to 3,000 rpm with it trimmed in, it'll slowly rise to 3,200 rpm, nosing over on plane at about 3,100, where it'll then climb to 3,400-3,600 rpm. It'll hold plane at 3,200 rpm, where it rides really nicely in chop, but larger waves can drop it back off plane at that rpm. 3,400-3,600 seems to be where the motor is working the least hard and is probably the point of best fuel economy for the way we're loaded. However, it really scoots along nicely and smoothly in the chop at 4,200 rpm, where the ride is actually better in some chop than at 3,600 rpm.

It's probably due to my inexperience, especially with the trim, and the fact we have no cargo loaded from the thwart seat forward, but it seems a little squirrely in 1-2' seas at much over 4,800 rpm. We've had it as high as 5,200-5,500 rpm (with the bimini in use) on the northeast sides of the islands, where the water was calmer the past two weekends (no more than 1'), and it was fine there. With the no-feedback steering, I'm adjusting trim using the tach, since I can't feel the difference in the wheel. I'd like a trim gauge now, but probably won't need one with more experience.

I'm not likely to change from the stock prop to try to get the max rpms up, considering our usual load, and our desire to maintain good fuel mileage. I also believe a motor is going to last a lot longer if kept below 70-75% of redline most of the time. The four-stroke has plenty of torque, especially through 2.33:1 gearing. It's so quiet idling that I sometimes think the motor stalled after throttling back. And it's easy to converse without shouting when underway. However, even with the radio face pointing up, I still have a hard time hearing a conversation on it. If I turn its volume up high enough to hear, it begins distorting. I'm going to try headphones in the Icom external speaker jack. Back to the engine, I really love the way the EFI starts, especially when cold. No choke, no need for the fast idle, just turn the key and it's instantly idling perfectly.

The helm console is a little challenging for mounting stuff, but I'm working around that in another thread. My 4'10" short-legged wife LOVES the molded in steps in the aft corners, but they limit how far out from the motor you can through-bolt things, like a dive ladder, through the transom, as well as limit the size cooler, etc you can have along the aft sides of the boat. The reality is probably that they are there more to provide additional floatation for the heavier Big Foot motor when swamped than for steps. There's lots of wood in the transom, but the only wood for aft cleats is in the corners. With the bimini up (and a full bow rail), that's a prime step for boarding, so I don't want to put cleats there. I really wish Whaler had put wood for aft cleats just behind the aftmost bimini supports. Shoot, for the price of this boat, they could've at least put a couple of cleats there!

I know this isn't the comparison of hands-on experience you asked for, and without a GPS now, I can't give you actual speeds. But what the heck. It's not everyday you get a ride review from someone with a ruptured L1S5! My wife LOVES the 150 and so do I.


Moe posted 08-13-2003 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Borrowing a coupla pictures from the Reference section, here's a look at the dramatic differences in the 15 Classic and 150 Sport hulls:


boxers posted 08-13-2003 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for boxers  Send Email to boxers     

I really enjoyed your thoughts on the 150 Sport. It sounds like a great set up with the 4 stroke especially the fuel injection. Just turn the key like you were in your car. The comparisons are great, in reality the 150 Sport is more of a replacement for the montauk in terms of dimension.

This gets me thinking why doesn't BW offer a center console version of the 150 sport! That way you would have space to mount electronics and a bit more storage in the console. Add a cooler and you further increase storage capacity.

The 150 Sport sounds like it rides well for its size. Your detailed sea trial is very helpful to get a feel for the boats handling. I plan to reread your post a few times so not to miss anything.

Now if Harleys all had fuel injection....


Bob (boxers)

tombro posted 08-14-2003 07:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     

Thanks for the comparison. We bought our 150 last month, but due to the lousy weather on the eastern seaboard, and vacations, have not been out a whole lot. Interesting to see the two hulls side my side. Big difference! I think this is the biggest feeling little boat I have ever ridden, and I've owned 6 previous, from a 13 tin, to a 25' Mako. Tomorrow I will give it more of a sea trial, and am off on a four day weekend, hopefully boating most of it, as the forecast finally looks good. Am also taking it upstate NY to Lake George on the 27th.

Yes, it needs stern cleats. I am pondering how and where to do that. Hate having to snap a line on the tow eyes every time I dock for gas, etc. Not crazy about the tailights on the trailer, either, and am changing them soon to LED's. I have the 2 banger engine, and am jealous of your cold starts. But, I still enjoy the scream of an open Merc, always have. Whats next for boats...fuel cells, like those new GM cars...?

Moe posted 08-14-2003 03:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
We haven't found storage to be a problem with the 150. Here's what we'll have so far although some of it is still on order:

Bow locker:
Anchor, chain, and rode (like everyone else) on foam

Centered just aft of the bow locker:
- 36 quart Igloo cooler w/tie-down for drinks, cold food, etc

Under the console:
- Fire extinguisher located on floor between the battery and left console wall
- Type IV Throwable PFD vertical all the way back under wiring harness
- 4-pack of Type II PFDs, sideways, up under the console against the Type IV PFD
- Low profile orange Plano waterproof box with flares, and other emergency gear, on top of PFDs strapped to wiring harness

Under the thwart seat:
- 4 12" X 16" X 6" tall Rubbermaid containers held down by a 12" X 16" closed cell foam work pad under the seat
- One has our rainsuits
- One stores our shoes and socks
- One has dry food/snacks
- One is available for whatever we pick up out boating

Tucked behind stored stern light:
- Telescoping boat hook/paddle

Under passenger helm seat:
- 6.6 gallon Mercury tank
- 4 5" X 19" DeFenders outboard of tank

Under operator helm seat:
- 6.6 gallon Mercury tank
- Type I PFD (Stearn Merchant Mate II commercial) for me outboard of tank

Behind passenger helm seat (rod holders removed - pretty useless under bimini):
- 50 quart Igloo Ultra cooler w/tie-down for fish
- Type I PFD (Kent closed side commercial) for wife between cooler and gunwale

Behind operator helm seat:
- Thetford 735 Porta-Potti w/tie-down
- Cool Bubbles 11.5 quart insulated/aerated bait bucket

The removed rod holders could be mounted to the front of the console where the rods would clear the bimini, but they look pretty cheesy anyway. We'll probably just use a pair of rail-mount rod holders instead of reusing them.

The Porta-Potti will have one of those circular shower curtains that can be hung from the bimini braces for privacy for the wife.

Oh yeah... almost forgot the tool pouch that will go up inside the passenger backrest with bungies.

ChocLabWhaler posted 08-19-2003 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for ChocLabWhaler  Send Email to ChocLabWhaler     
I've got to say.... Very thorough! WOW! and I thought I was safety conscious. I've got to go home from work and redo my Nauset....
ChocLabWhaler posted 08-19-2003 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for ChocLabWhaler  Send Email to ChocLabWhaler     
Just when I was wavering on my own 15 issue. Now I'm back to saving $$ for the 150.
Thank you,
Bigshot posted 08-19-2003 02:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
few things missed....believe it or not:)

The 15 classic is much cheaper being used. Also much lighter if that is a trailering concern.

The classic is also about the fastest factory 15' fishing boat made. With a 70 on mine I hit over 48 on the GPS.

The 15 never had a real center console either. They made a CC model but only a midget would be able to stand and drive.

The new 150 is a nice boat nut for the $$$ I think I would have to uptick to the 170.

Bill Davis posted 08-19-2003 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bill Davis  Send Email to Bill Davis     
Wow is right! I'd love to see somebody put up a post like Moe's, with a such a wonderfully detailed list and diagram, that shows that kind of outfitting for a Sport 130!
Moe posted 08-19-2003 09:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Thanks, guys. I am fairly safety-concious. The Type I vests each have their own whistle and will have their own signalling mirror tethered to them. They're a bit too uncomfortable to wear all the time, but we don't hesitate to do so if the water's rough. We may get some inflatable vests for calm days, but the Type Is will still be worn on rough ones. The 4-pack of Type IIs is there in case we unexpectedly take on passengers, in a rescue situation, for example, or if we invite friends along. I've considered replacing two of the adult sizes with two childrens sizes, because we're not as likely to have 6 adults aboard.

In addition to the 3 day/night flares (and required distress flag), we also carry 3 smoke flares for better visibility on a sunny day, in the waterproof box. And the flares are in individual ziplock bags because the odds of the box contents spilling are higher in seas we'd need them in. There's also a waterproof flashlight in the box. If we had a 2-stroke, I'd have spare spark plugs and wrench there too.

We opted for a 25W fixed VHF (with DSC even though the CG doesn't have it on Lake Erie yet) and a 4' Digital 528 antenna mounted high on the bimini vs a 5W handheld with a 4" antenna, just to make sure we get out in an emergency. We may get the handheld as a backup one day though, but I'd probably be more likely to get an EPIRB instead.

Despite the fact I insisted on a sealed AGM battery for reliability, I wanted a non-electric horn, in case of electrical failure. Aesthetics also played a role in not going with an electric. We bought one of those orange plastic Orion horns that use plastic bag material as a diaphram (and we carry precut spares for that in the box). God, that thing is LOUD! We keep it tethered to the steering column for now.

The first thing we did, though, was to replace the middle drink holder with a Ritchie F50 compass. I wouldn't take a boat out on anything less than a sunny day without a compass! It's just too easy for rain or fog to obscure the visibility of land or the sun. And despite the best plans, we might be caught out at night.

We got a voluntary safety inspection from a CG Auxiliary when we pulled into Mazurik Access Saturday. He was pretty impressed with our little setup, and we got our inspection sticker. Like John Wayne, this old guy's getting by with half a lung left, and still spends time volunteering for something as important as this. We sure appreciate it.

I still want to get a floating prop wrench and spare hub/washers/nut. Don't think there's room for a spare BigFoot prop.

My wife read this thread and reminded me to mention that we keep the maps in a big ziplock bag (even though most are waterproof) under the thwart seat cushion, where they're easy to get to. Guess I need to update the diagram :-)

And we're still ponderin' the GPS/Sounder combo for that flat spot on the console. I really like the Garmin 188C, but haven't brought myself to spend that much money. Maybe we'll get a good show price at the Cedar Point boat show next month.

The 150 with 4-stroke is about 350-400 lbs heavier than the 15' Classic with 2-stroke. This would only make a difference if your car/truck tow rating is only 1500 lbs. Either can probably be towed with a Class 1 hitch, but I'd rather use at least a Class 2. Not a problem with our diesel F250.

We considered the 170, and in addition to the price difference being about as large as that between the 150 and the 130 we were initially considering, we didn't like the center console layout. Despite the extra width, I don't think there would be much walk-around room if there was a center console 150. The 150 Sport, as it is, is certainly enough for the two of us, including in speed, and one day, maybe a couple of the grandkids.


Moe posted 08-19-2003 09:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Oh yeah... tombro... I'm looking forward to the report of your sea trials!


tombro posted 08-20-2003 08:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     

Got out on both Friday and Monday, beautiful days. I launch up a tidal river, then out to the bay (which is big water in itself), then around Sandy Hook, NJ, into the ocean. Both days the boat performed beautifully. Plenty of power and speed with the Merc 60 2 banger. Had my wife and daughter aboard Friday, and did a dock and dine. On Monday just my daughter and I went out. I removed the front seat, allowing the walkthrough. Great feature! We fished, went outside in a light swell and ran the beach. Came back in, jumping wakes from the headboats, NY ferries--no problem. Then anchored in a cove and swam into the beach. The boat looked really neat anchored there from our vantage point on shore, with the rod holders filled, a net, etc. Wanted to take a couple pics, but didn't trust myself trying to swim with one hand holding a camera aloft! Very happy I had the dealer add the swim platform, too. We have used the same one for the past two seasons on rental Montauks on Lake George with good results. Mine is "moored" in my garage, too, BTW. That's probably the best part. No seagull poop to scrub off!


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