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Author Topic:   Whaler advice needed
Seagull6 posted 11-06-2003 08:04 PM ET (US)   Profile for Seagull6   Send Email to Seagull6  
My current boat is an aluminum 2002 Starcraft 170LE with a 4-stroke Mercury and a 6 HP Nissan 4-stroke kicker. I live in central New Jersey and am semi-retired so I have time to boat during the week.

During the week when the lakes are calm, the boat handles great with a top speed of 38 MPH with 2 adults, 2 dogs and a full gas tank. Please note that I also have a hydrofoil on the motor and it planes at very low speeds under calm conditions. However, when the water is choppy from lake boat traffic on the weekends and when I use it in NY harbor with all of the ferry and commercial traffic, the boat bounces/pounds something terrible and we are in constant fear of getting swamped.

I am considering getting a 190 Nantucket, a 210 Ventura, or a 220 Dauntless. I'll be using the boat for family cruising, fresh and salt water fishing, and exploring in the lakes of central NJ and PA, NY harbor, and Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays. My tow vehicle is a 2002 Silverado 1500 with the 5.3L engine.

Please share your thoughts on which BW might be best for my needs - I'm sort of leaning towards the Nantucket with the 115HP engine, but I understand that it is a new and somewhat untried product. I am also retired Coast Guard Reserve, so I am somewhat partial to Boston Whalers because we relied on them so heavily for Port Security work, but I am not a cox'n or bos'n mate so I need advice.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

TRAFFICLAWYER posted 11-06-2003 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
I enjoyed the 2001 21' Ventura I had a great deal, overall it performed well and was well suited and comfortable for my family, whether fishing or cruising.
mustang7nh posted 11-06-2003 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for mustang7nh  Send Email to mustang7nh     
Like all boating decisions, compromise is in order. Trailerability sounds like a factor for you. My 1500 Dodge with 318 pulled my 20 Outrage Classic ok, and would probably tow my 22 Classic also.

From the sounds of your use, I would say that ease of trailering, launch, retrieval, storage would be important as you are not leaving your boat at a mooring or slip for the year. Hence, I would go smaller than larger.

I would say if new is not out of your price range, that the Nantucket might be a good choice. Smaller boats don't have the same economy restrictions as big V6 outboards sucking the gas. Hence, IMO I would be less sensitive about DFI vs.four stroke. HOwever, 4s might be the way for you if you have the choice.

17 footers also have a great reputation if that size boat meets your needs. Either way I don't think you can go wrong. Good luck.

Jerry Townsend posted 11-06-2003 11:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Seagull6 - As one of the others, I think something in the 17 - 18 - 20 foot range would work very well for you - in view of your towing expectations and your 1/2 ton pickup with the 5.3 L engine. And specifically, I would suggest that you look at the 17 Outrage - handle up to 4 or 5 people comfortably and will take big water very well.

I have a '96 17 Outrage with a 115 Johnson which works very well fishing in calm water as well as in big water when the afternoon storms roll in and also on Puget Sound and the Strait in Washington state. I tow mine with a 3/4 ton 4x4 GMC with a bigger engine - but also with a heavy camper. ------ Jerry Townsend

RonB posted 11-07-2003 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     

I am familiar with your waters as I fish lower NY harbor, under the Verrazano, and Raritan Bay. I understand your discomfort of being beaten around in the slop that the boat traffic (NY Waterway Ferries, Staten Island Ferries and the like) can bring. I had a 2003 170 Montauk that I enjoyed fishing in those waters but I found the Montauk a little small when the weather decreased or the boat traffic increased, (nothing like being in the middle of the river on a windy day, just off the Statue of Liberty, with ferries, tug boats, and cruise ships going every which way, while you are drifting for stripers). I traded in the Montauk and purchased a 2000 Outrage 18 (post-classic)which I find much more comfortable in those waters. I was recently in the harbor (Oct. 21st)and trolled up some stripers on the Bay Ridge side while the wind was a steady 20 knots and I never felt uncomfortable or in danger. White caps everywhere, foam trails, and a fierce breeze made anchoring or drifting not an option. The only other 'small' boats out there were a NYPD boat and a Coast Guard inflatable with big Hondas hanging off the stern. I have also spent a good deal of time on a 2003 190 Nantucket off of the New Jersey coast. This boat is every bit as comfortable as my Outrage and handles rough water very admirably. The Nantucket is a little lighter than my Outrage which should make it easier to tow. I keep my Outrage in the water so I only tow it at the beginning and end of the season, it's only drawback I think is it's weight, which is a positive in bad weather. If you opt for the Nantucket, consider the 135 Optimax. I also think any of the Outrage hulls would work for you. Either way, you will not go wrong.

Like mustang said, compromise is in order, sometimes I wish I had more family comforts, like TRAFFICLAWYERS Ventura, and sometimes I wish the portability of a lighter Whaler so I would not have to leave my boat in a marina. Gauge on how you will use the boat and purchase accordingly. Let us know what you decide, good luck.


overbrook posted 11-08-2003 08:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for overbrook  Send Email to overbrook     
I have an 18' dauntless a 17' montauk and a 21' outrage (currently under complete restoration) all handle the choppy water well- I fish santee cooper frequently and the waves on lake marion can swell to 3'-4' quite often and the dauntless and the outrage handle them with ease.My opinion is that any of the boats you mentioned would suit your purpose it should really come down to the layout of the boat.My outrage is bieng completely rigged with fishing in mind-with lots of storage,60 gal. livwell and 30 gal baitwell and so-forth. My dauntless is more suited for all around fun- fishing ,skiing and just pleasure boating. I'm very pleased with all my whalers but may be kind of partial to the dauntless and the 22 footers are nice!

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