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Author Topic:   Dauntless 160 Outer Banks trip
Marlin posted 08-19-2003 06:02 PM ET (US)   Profile for Marlin   Send Email to Marlin  
Last week we trailered our 160 Dauntless about 300 miles to the Outer Banks for a week of vacation. We had no problems towing with our Volvo V70 wagon, and the highway trip was uneventful though the boat knocks the gas mileage down from near 30 to about 17. We towed the boat with the Mills mooring cover on, and with less than 1/4 tank of fuel (about 10 gallons) to keep things light. We also loaded a variety of bulky but light items (beach chairs, boogie boards, etc.) on board the boat.

Coastal North Carolina has an abundance of free launch ramps, and we made use of one at the Whalehead Club in Corolla for a few days. We spent some time tubing the kids in Currituck Sound, which is about 20 miles long, 5 miles wide, and 6 inches deep. Local knowledge, of which I had little, would have been a big help. We also cruised part of the ICW, including a lunch stop in the teeming metropolis of Coinjock NC, where we had some delicious crab cake sandwiches at a marina restaurant.

On Friday we towed down to Oregon Inlet for a just-for-kicks trip offshore. That area is absolutely beautiful, and all through the inlet my fishfinder could hardly see the bottom through all the fish echos. Lots of folks on boats big and small were fishing inside the bridge, but only a few on the outside. We ran north up the beach a few miles, got some great photos of Bodie Island Light above the dunes, then headed east. At ten miles out, I figured we'd gone far enough, since it was my first time on a small boat with no land in sight. It was an absolutely beautiful day, with a 1-3 foot swell and a very light opposing wind chop. I'd have gone offshore on a Sunfish in those conditions, so it wasn't exactly an opportunity to prove how seaworthy a Whaler is. The Dauntless rode easily over the swells at about 3600 RPM and 25 MPH, and even with nothing but water all around, it really didn't feel like a very small boat.

While offshore, we sighted a few schools of large fish cruising and feeding on the surface. We were able to get within about 15 feet of them, and from the dorsal fins and tails they appeared to be either permit or tuna. USCG Station Hatteras announced an EPIRB about 110 miles NE of Cape Hatteras, but we decided that was a bit beyond our ability to help out. The water temperature was very curious- beyond a few miles out the surface temperature was 82, a half-mile off the beach it was 71, and in the inlet itself it was 58.

By the end of the vacation, we'd put about 11 hours on the boat (there was a lot of time spent hanging out at the beach), and the 115 4-stroke burned just about 20 gallons, or about 2 gallons/hour which seems to be about my overall average for the boat. I figure we covered about 180-200 miles, mostly at about 3500-3800 RPM, but also a significant amount of no-wake speeds.

The only other Whaler we saw was a 130 Sport inside Oregon Inlet. There were Parkers all over the place, a fair number of Gradys, and lots of Carolina Skiffs inshore.


HAPPYJIM posted 08-19-2003 08:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
Most of the Whalers were off shore dragging in the tuna and dolphin. The schools feeding 10 miles out may have been false albacore.

Some of the best inshore fishing is just outside the Inlet. South of the Inlet are some wrecks that produce an abundance of fish. A little north and the spanish mackeral and Taylor blues will keep you busy for hours. This is fantastic fishing for kids...never a dull moment.

Glad you had a good time. If you plan a trip again, email me and I'll give you some GPS positions to try.

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