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Author Topic:   Boston Whaler Website: Semantics
jimh posted 09-10-2003 09:04 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
I just noticed that on the current Boston Whaler website there is a slight change in wording between the 2004 and 2003 Product listings.

In 2003 they used the term "Classics" to refer to products like 130 SPORT, 150 SPORT, 170 MONTAUK, and 190 NANTUCKET.

In 2004 they use the term "Legends" to refer to these same products.

Anyone read anything into that change?

Moe posted 09-10-2003 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     

In a post on 8/21/03, at , I wrote:
There's no reason the square-front 130, 150, and 170 couldn't just be the third generation of the "Classic" models. And despite its rounded nose, there's no reason the new 190 couldn't be included. After all, the 15 began life with the second generation hull. Whaler themselves classed the '03 models as "Classics" with "Twin sponson hulls," but for '04 they have changed that class name to "Legends" with "classic-style" and "Twin sponson-TYPE hulls." Oh well... I guess size DOES matter when it comes to sponsons! :)

I can at best, just guess that since many at Whaler read continuousWave, they picked up on the sentiment that the new hulls are not considered "Classics" by many here. In the reference section here, the 170 was not treated as a 3rd generation of the 16/17, but as a new boat entirely.

The second guess would be that Whaler is trying to disassociate the new hulls with the reputation for hard ride with the Classics, often attributed to the sponson hull.

On my new owner survey card, the only other website, besides Whaler's, that I wrote in that influenced my buying decision, was

Moe posted 09-10-2003 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Oops... got distracted and hit Submit before I was done.

I can appreciate the distinction of Dougherty designed boats, especially from some of the Euro-design boats that followed, but I consider the new 13-19' models an evolution of a philosophy, as well as the orignal design. That philosophy is a safe, stable platform, and now it's acheived with a bit more width and a bit less sponson. Whaler based their reputation on it, and still sell boats today because of it. The heritage in today's 100-series "Classics" is what let's the corporation charge what they do for these small craft.

I want to note, that at the Rendezvous, and here on the forums, Whaler owners seem to have one common bond with other Whaler owners, regardless of model or design. It's a great group of folks to hang with, regardless of which Whaler you own.


DCM posted 09-11-2003 12:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for DCM  Send Email to DCM     
Well said :

"I want to note, that at the Rendezvous, and here on the forums, Whaler owners seem to have one common bond with other Whaler owners, regardless of model or design. It's a great group of folks to hang with, regardless of which Whaler you own."

what other small-medium power boat has that kind of user base? None that I can think of. Part of the reason I bought 2 whalers in 2 months was because of the great folks here on this Forum.


lhg posted 09-11-2003 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Maybe they did it to DISASSOCIATE themselves from this website!! Since the boats are now making it on their own merits, the association with Whaler's earlier, famous, models was no longer necessary, and even confusing to some, I'm sure. So this disctinction makes some sense.

I was never really comfortable with calling a brand new design a "classic", since passage of considerable time goes with that word. The weakness in use of the term "Legends" is that it seems to have the same connotation, however, although less precise in time. I suppose a legend (sometimes often not based in reality) could be 1 year old or a 1000 years old.

poker13 posted 09-11-2003 03:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
Becoming either a legend or a classic requires time, yes, but the word "classic" also means it has class and distinction.

According to Merriam-Webster: "of recognized value, serving as a standard of excellence."

Webster defines "legend" as "1a: a story coming down from the past; especially one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable...... c: a popular myth of recent origin."

Given that, classic sounds better to me.

Moe posted 09-11-2003 04:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
As a new buyer, not only the Whaler heritage, but the lineage from the original small boats, was important to me. We honestly didn't even look at other brands or their models when it came time to buy. I see the 100-series as yet another (not the first) improved generation of the original design.

Harley-Davidson makes every effort to associate new, higher-quality models with rough-riding hardtail, and oil-leaking "classics." Two of their most popular models, the Heritage Softail Classic and Road King Classic, became instant successes upon their introduction. Even Coke "Classic" isn't the original formula from before the "New Coke" debacle, but it's what sells.

There are now a lot of "boomers" paying a lot of money for instant nostalgia, and that includes me. We want "the real thing" but without the work and expense of restoration, and with all the comforts and reliability of modern technology, as well as a warranty. Not to mention no arguement from insurers over the value of a "classic" come claim time. We're willing to pay more for the name of "the real thing," even when there may be an intrinsically better alternative from a competitor at a lower price. The name "Classic" gets our attention.

While I agree the new boats might stand on their own, I'd wager probably not at these prices without the Whaler name and reputation. How much difference, if any, the loss of the "Classic" monikor will have on sales remains to be seen. You sure won't find Harley dropping it!

These are just the opinions of one new Whaler buyer. Perhaps others who've purchased a new Whaler will weigh in on this issue.

Moe posted 09-11-2003 05:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
BTW, Larry, I'm proud to have a Mercury outboard on the transom, even if it isn't a two-stroke "Classic"! ;)


lhg posted 09-11-2003 05:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Way to go, Moe! I hear that 4-stroke 60 EFI is a nice little engine. Sounds like you made a good choice. Enjoy your new Whaler.
Knot at Work posted 09-12-2003 09:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     

I agree.

I bought this boat based on a few important factors.

Comraderie... this is a value that is intangible and I hope the Whaler folks realize this.

Safety... this boat is easy to operate, handles well. It has a solid reputation as a work horse.

Classic.... this to me harkens to a time when American built products were the envy. I dont care if my boat is now made in Florida, I know it has the Classic lines and has enjoyed "Evolution" instead of "Revolution"

Yes my Montauk is a smoother ride than the older version,,, but than again the 17ft 1973-2002 Montauks were smotther rides than the original "classic" and by that I refer to the log dugout canoe....

I enjoy my Classic, or Legend, or whatever the Madison Garden execs want to call it in Glossy terms... with my sleeves rolled up and the toughest storm on the horizon, and that smile from my son... I KNOW it is a WHALER!!!

170 Montauk 2003 / 90 HP 4 stroke Merc that I am in love with!!!


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