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Author Topic:   1998 Ventura 18
daverdla posted 08-25-2003 02:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for daverdla   Send Email to daverdla  
I never thought I'd sell my montauk but a boat with more seating might suit our needs. Last week I flew up to my sisters new vacation home on the Otis reservoir in Mass. They bought all the toys from the previous owner including a 17 Larson bowrider with a 135 Mercury. I'm not crazy about the boat but for cruising around with the kids, tubing, etc. it works better than my montauk. We had three adults and four kids on the Larson with no problem. I've done it on the montauk but I really try to limit it to two adults and two-four kids.

A whaler dealer in south jersey has a 1998 ventura 18 for sale with a 115 evinrude. The boat looks great. It's got bottom paint but it's never sat in water for very long. I've searched the site and found very little about this boat. I know trafficlawyer had one and seemed to like it, except for the motor. I know this motor is an old fashioned reliable unit but is it enough power for this boat? The asking price is 25,900k. Thats way too high. I guess that was the price at the beginning of the season. Any ideas on a reasonable price assuming it's condition is as advertised with no problems. You can see the boat at


TRAFFICLAWYER posted 08-25-2003 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    

I paid less than that for my new 18' Ventura with extended warranty and aluminum trailer. My op is that the boat is worth between 13 and 15k MAX.

Nice product overall, good family boat but this one is priced off the charts!

wspellenbe posted 08-26-2003 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for wspellenbe  Send Email to wspellenbe     
I purchased a 1998 with a 99 Honda 4 Stroke (160 Hrs on the clock) and Load Right Trailer with brakes from a dealer last Jan with a warranty. I paid 18.9k but it was in great shape no paint and only fresh water. It came with factory fishing package, 900.00 bow mounted trolling motor,250.00 on board 3 zone battery charger, Lorance fishfinder. Mills mooring cover and brand new Mills mooring cover and also the factory Great lakes Bimini. It has the Green decals and tops which I belive was also an option that year. The boat has been great and the value depends on what area you are in. Here in Norteast if you could find a unit like mine it would be about the 25k price and may even be somewhat beat up. It has been a great boat. I had a dealer last summer offer me a leftover 2001 with the 135 Mercury OPTI no trailer for 26k. I did not want the Merc with all the problems people have had. Let me know if you have any questions.
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 08-26-2003 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    

sounds like a nice boat at a reasoanble price. If you figure a trailer at 1000 to 1500 you had a nice package!

wspellenbe posted 08-26-2003 04:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for wspellenbe  Send Email to wspellenbe     
I really like the boat. No rocket ship but how fast can you go with a wife and 3 year old twins on board. I will post a link with a picture soon if anyone wants to see it.
Up here in the Northeast they want lots of $ for really beat up Whalers. I purchased mine in WI. and trailered it back so I know it was a fresh water boat. Why anyone would want to buy a boat from down south I cannot figure out. I went where the season is shorter than mine, No salt water, and cold as hell in the winter so you need to store stuff indoors. Oh ya when I flew out and purchased in January the dealer stored it until I picked it up the following May. Me and my dad made a trip of it to get it. Cheap hotels and smokey bars all the way. We did have a great time. I was lucky.
daverdla posted 08-26-2003 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
Glad you like it. I really hate to give up the montauk but if we go out to dinner we usually have myself, my wife, our two kids, niece, and nephew. The montauk even with the stern seat is cramped. We also go tubing and now my kids are getting the urge to wake board and water ski. The ventura would really work well. I'm still concerned with the 115 horse engine being marginal.
Drydock posted 08-27-2003 02:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Drydock  Send Email to Drydock     
The 18 ventura is a very nice family boat. Same hull as 18 dauntless. I purchased a 1999 with a 135 optimax for 20K in 2001. No significant problems. needed a new impellar (original) BUT. I feel kind of ripped off price wise. I saw a new one at a boat show on West Coast and BW wanted over 30k so I bought a two year old for 2Ok. Tried to sell it two years later for 19k (only had put 40 hours on it, would have been glad to deal) but I got barely a nibble. Will eventually sell it for whatever I can get and walk away with a bad taste in my mouth for both the BW and Mercury reputation from the price perspective. My 1975 sailboat has held value that would put this vessel to shame. Sad thing is I can't say a single bad thing about service, performance, reliabilty, fit or finish (It has been a great family boat). They just have too much cheap competition and I would argue that the BW name doesn't seem to make any difference at all in the resale market place, Except for perhaps the old classics (most people do not even know what the brand means). .
Bottom line is that I would recommend this boat. Just be carefull what you pay. Expect it to be an expense not an investment. Don't expect it to hold its value any more than a Searay or Bayliner. Have fun!
wspellenbe posted 08-27-2003 06:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for wspellenbe  Send Email to wspellenbe     
I agree with you on the quality fit and finish of the boat is excellent. It really is not built and is not priced correctly for the market it is in. I purchased one with a Honda for that reason since it was one of the last the dealer could purchase and power as he pleased. I have had alot of people on our lake look at the boat and have commented on the Honda power along with how great a boat it is. The new 180 is not the same boat. Since I am in a lake it is perfect. The new 180 is bigger and deeper and is not as good for fishing,looks like they designed more for the ocean. My 98 looks new. Check out a 98 Searay and compare. The beam on this 18 is 8 feet. Other brands are not. With the outboard it has lots of room and since it has not carpet easy to clean, try that with the carpeted models. No cheap plastic,stickers,woodgrain to fade. I am not that worried about resale since this really fits the bill for me and the family. Boats should not be looked at as an investment unless of course its a classic. Since Whaler stopped making this 180 maybe it falls into this catagory. I sold a 1989 Supersport which I made money on but do not miss sitting on the wood seat and taking a beating from other peoples wakes. Like others I could not get my wife and 2 kids to sit on a cooler seat cushion so a Montauk would be out of the question. Oh who does not love a boat you do not have to cover. It is self draining and the bildge pump never ever needs to work. Try that in one of those other brands.
I will take some pictures and post them if anyone is interested.
daverdla posted 08-27-2003 07:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
I decided to work on the dealer really hard about the price. I think he's had the boat all summer so I'm sure he realizes that it's priced too high. If he doesn't sell it soon he'll have to wait until next spring. I also want to make the point that the 115hp is really marginal. I'll see where that gets me. If he really wants 25k I doubt he'll take much less than 20k. I'm with trafficlawyer, 15k max.

Spell, I'd appreciate some pictures.


TRAFFICLAWYER posted 08-27-2003 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    

Most importantly, when making a deal be certain the dealer throws in an additional extended warranty.

Jay G posted 08-27-2003 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jay G  Send Email to Jay G     
I purchased a 98 Ventura 20 with a 175 johnson for the same reason. I wanted to go cruisin and fishing and it works really well for both. I even had a 17' larson bow rider which was a nice ride but fishing was out.I am in Florida and stumbled on it at the dealer and made an offer of 17,000 (boat was in great shape 320 hours) and he finally took it. The only thing that I don't like is the rear scupper lets a little water in when weight is in the port rear and it runs into the fish box in the floor and melts the ice. the boat will run around 42 mph with 4 adults and it likes gas but very dependable. Any other Questions you can e-mail me at jgfd1hs@aol.
FRTDOG540 posted 08-28-2003 07:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for FRTDOG540  Send Email to FRTDOG540     

Just bought a '99 18' Ventura w/ yamy 115 last week for 13.5 in Jax Fl...It was dirty, but after a few hours wax and compound, it looks new...I just had the vinyl sent out to be redone and it will be around 1000.00 The vinyl was not too bad, I just feel like I will have a new boat and still be under 15K.. I also bought a new left over 175 ficht to repower her...Should be a good set up...I had her on the water yesterday and the 115 did a pretty good job. About 36 mph and with another prop would probably do better out of the hole...Best of Luck!!!


daverdla posted 08-28-2003 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
Turns out it's a brokered boat. The dealer said the owner will take 22k. I offered 15k. He didn't laugh. We'll see.
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 08-29-2003 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    

if not, there are plenty more out there, buy at you're price and if you can one with honda or yamaha power, it'll have a better resale than the optipoop ones.KEEP LOOKING!

wenchris posted 09-28-2003 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for wenchris  Send Email to wenchris     
Just brought a 98 ventura with a 150 mercury optimax. Great boat! very happy with it so far. A little tough to start sometimes but hope that a new bulb primer will help. Other than that the wife and kids love it. Great all round boat.
wenchris posted 09-28-2003 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for wenchris  Send Email to wenchris     
Oh yeah paid $17,250 with full canvas, no trailer.

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