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Author Topic:   New 22 Dauntless
Swellmonster posted 11-16-2003 09:46 PM ET (US)   Profile for Swellmonster   Send Email to Swellmonster  
Please tell me about this boat.....
The good, bad and ugly...
John H posted 11-18-2003 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for John H  Send Email to John H     
I presently own a Dauntless 22, fully rigged. I use a Optimax 250, have a T-top with hardtop, trolling motor. All the bells and whistles.

It is a great near shore boat. I regularly keep pace with many local bass boats on Lake Erie and Ontario. The GPS speed clocks it at 65+. The best part is that I can ski and use the boat as a fun boat for my daughter and her friends. My wife loves the head and the front cushion areas.

The only problem is that I fell in love with offshore fishing and now I want to trade up.

If your going to stay inshore, look for one of these.

John H.

Bigshot posted 11-18-2003 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
65+? was there a 10knot tide in your favor that day? Not starting anything but NO stock whaler does over 55 except Sal's and his weighs 1000lbs less than a 22 dauntless.
Moe posted 11-18-2003 03:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Change the setting on the GPS from km/h to mph.


lhg posted 11-18-2003 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Don't underestimate that 250 XS Optimax from Mercury performance division. There isn't a 250 made that will run with it, not a Ficht, not an HPDI, not a Merc 250 EFI, not an old OMC V8.
Jarhead posted 11-18-2003 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     

It's not how fast but "how" you get there that counts. And I think everyone agrees that geting there in a Dauntless 22 is a pretty good "how"?

Barry posted 11-18-2003 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
John H.,
How does the boat do offshore? Are you looking to move up just for more room or are there problems with the ride?
Peter posted 11-18-2003 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
To go 65 MPH in a 220 Dauntless with T-top pushed by a 250 HP outboard would require a hull factor greater than 250 indicating a very flat bottom. To put that into perspective, the hull factor of a reasonably quick 22 Outrage is 180 and a speedy Montauk with a relatively large pad is 200. If the Montauk's hull factor is used for predicting the top speed of a 220 Dauntless, then the Optimax 250 would have to produce in excess of 350 HP to get to 65 MPH. At 350 HP, the Optimax wouldn't last very long before it would need a rebuild.

I suspect that Moe has it right and that John H is reporting speed in KPH not MPH. 65+ KPH is 40+ MPH. Any 250 HP outboard, whether it be Mercury, Evinrude, Yamaha or Suzuki should be able to push a 220 Dauntless with a T-top to 40+ MPH with relative ease.

Larry, there is no need to under or over estimate the performance of the Optimax 250 XS relative to Yamaha or Evinrude 250 HP DI motors. There are plenty of performance reports out there including one at Trailer Boats Magazine ( ) which seem to show that the standard production Evinrude DI 250 will run just fine with Mercury Racing's Optimax 250 XS (52.2 MPH v. 52.4 MPH) despite the Evinrude being mounted lower on the transom. That article also reports the Evinrude had faster 0 to 30 MPH acceleration while achieving nearly the same top speed.

lhg posted 11-19-2003 12:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Peter - You could be entirely right about the performance of the "other" brands. Both the Yamaha and the Ficht have bigger blocks then the Mercury. And I have no idea if the speed being indicated here for the Dauntless 22 is correct.

Generally, however, I do not trust any of the these reports in the boating mags either. When that issue has ads by all three of the manufacturers, and they ask each company to come and set up the engine, it's pretty likely all will get an equal share of the good and bad points for their efforts and advertizing dollars. I simply don't trust
any of these mags, since almost all of these reports are simply veiled advertizing. Nor do I believe different outboards are all so close in performance as they ALWAYS indicate. That has never been my experience.

John H posted 11-19-2003 08:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for John H  Send Email to John H     
There are plenty of people discussing the speed and knot/MPH claims of the boat. The thing is fast with the perfect prop. I haven't decided to sell the boat, because it does so much so well.

2 complaints:
It doesn't go way offshore in a comfortable manner. In Lake Erie and Ontario the waves can get furious fast (even when you monitor the weather bands) with steep faces, 3' - 5'high and short separation. The ride can be rough and wet, but I never felt unsafe with family aboard when we were only trying to get back. Many other boats were in way worse shape. But it's not something you would enjoy going out into for fishing. When my wife and I were in the ocean around Block Island the combination of wind and tides produced the same feelings out around 5 miles, so she was not comfortable and we stayed inshore to fish.

The other problem is the weight factor of the motor on the back end and the fact that all storage is in the back. The boat will not go under 10 (knots/MPH??? - I don't know) except by moving it in and out of gear. The boat bow has a tendency to drift and be more difficult to control around the dock at slow speeds. It just requires a soft touch and very patient approach. The easy solution I use is a sea anchor over the front to create drag.

Again, this is a great boat and lots of fun and I like it even more than my first boat, the Classic Montauk.

John H.

PS - If I did move up, I was looking at the Outrage 240 or the Conquest 255 any comments from anyone.

Moe posted 11-19-2003 12:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
John H, does your question boil down to whether the 240 Outrage or 255 Conquest will make your wife want to go out, or at least tolerate, going out fishin' in the steep 3-5' chop on Lake Erie, rather than just heading back in it? If so, I'd say, "it depends." Now I know our little 150 Sport isn't even in the same league as your 220 and the larger boats, but we've been out twice now in those seas with them, and I can give you some observations.

Once was anchored between Mazurik Access and Kelleys Island, perchin'. My wife had taken Dramamine and just zonked out across the helm seat while I fished off the stern, sittin' on a cooler, with my feet braced on the transom. Every now and then we'd take a little splash over the bow when the anchor rode tightened up, but the main issue was rockin' and rollin'. The bigger deep V boats (none Whaler) were rockin' and rollin' just as badly, probably even more so side to side, with their occupants holdin' a rod in one hand and the side rail in the other. The smoothest boats out there seemed to be the semi-V Lunds. If this is what you want to do, or troll slowly, in 3-5' foot chop, you may be better off, or at least as well off, with the Dauntless. That side to side roll is what really brings on naseua.

The other time, the day JAZZ came back in it from Kelleys to Cedar Point in his 17 Classic, we'd been out all day. We passed what I believe was a single-engine 240 Outrage Coast Guard boat heading in to Marblehead with a rescued family of four-five people in the stern, as we were heading to Cedar Point. Jim Biro (Dive1) here would probably know for sure if it was a 240 Outrage. At any rate, seas had built to 3-4' at that point. While we were jumping from wave to wave going in the same direction, he was cutting right through it, with his bow barely moving up and down at all! However, there was considerable spray and it was my impression that with the strong, shifting crosswinds, his occupants in the stern were probably getting wet.

We were staying pretty dry, until we headed out from Cedar Point back out to Kelleys, when it had gotten up to 3-5' and we stopped and donned the rainsuits. The 150 handles oncoming waves a lot better at an angle, so we had to do a lot of tacking to get there, go around the island,and return to Mazurik. The big deep Vs were just cuttin' straight through it.

It was that day that we decided that even though we felt perfectly safe, 3-5' was more like work than play in 2-4' and it just wasn't worth going out in, unless the fish are really hittin' heavy. I don't know if that would be any different in a 240 or 255, but from your comments, it doesn't sound like it is with a 220. Two thing's are for sure... that big Outrage was as straight as an arrow cutting through the waves, and a dry cabin on that steady deep-V hull, would go a long, long way toward a wife being more tolerant of it. That, more than anything, would probably be what it would take to sway her.

As far as docking, we experience the same things. At low speeds and light throttle, the sideways thrust of the prop is more influential than the steering, and the bow seems to be going wherever it wants. Even though it's a harder with the big prop really walking the stern to port in reverse, I intentionally dock to the starboard side to practice and try to get better at it. It's a little scary around the dock, but goosing the throttle hard and short seems to be what it takes.

We're also out there with some of those big, near flat-bottomed bass boats. They may be going 30-40 mph while we're probably at 20-30, but they sure weren't doing 65+ mph on any day we've seen on Lake Erie. The big cigarettes are a different story.

Hope this helps,

Steve M posted 11-21-2003 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Steve M  Send Email to Steve M     
As a proud new owner of a 2003 22 Dauntless with a 225 Mercury four-stroke, I am somewhat biased for the Dauntless. I have found my top speed with my usual configuration (no bottom paint, fish package, trim-tabs, leaning post, sun top, a trolling motor, 4-batteries, half a tank of gas is probably around 47 miles per hour (per GPS). Before I brought the boat I talked with a Whaler representative who told me about different engine options and top speed. It turns out the 200 and 225 power options (as configured with the factory props) were producing very close (within 2-3 mph) top end speeds, with the 225 having more capability to maintain that speed under higher loads. Note, the 225 is the max horsepower engine, according to Whaler.

Having grown up on 20 to 23 foot boats, I have found the maneuverability to be very comparable to boats of that size. My setup has no trouble idling very low, and I can get headway speeds of around 3 mph.

When I purchased this boat the hardest decision for me was the engine configuration. Clearly I like the four-stroke, but it does come with some baggage. First, despite mercury's claim that it is "smartcraft" compatible, it is only marginally so, since the 225 four-stroke is really a Yamaha with Black cowlings. Most of the sensors on the motor are analog and not compatible with the smartcraft system, so Whaler has a very chinzy four-gauge package they use with the four-stroke option. (Removing the $1000 standard smartcraft gauge package is helping Whaler to slightly reduce the cost of the four-stroke, but your not getting all of that value.) Fortunately I had the foresight to have the dealer add an hour meter and trim gauge just to make the setup usable. I do miss not having the detailed engine/fuel consumption readouts. Of course with the optimax the smartcraft is standard. Also, I have seen drawings for the 225 Optimax DTS option, and they use the very cool high-end smartcraft digital display as the only "gauge". That would have been my second choice.

In 2003 Whaler added the folding back seat and eliminating the removable storage box option. While generally I like that setup, I think the storage area under the seat is more difficult to get to, and smaller than the storage box. In fact, the only place to store the pedestal seats that come with the fishing package is in the console. Now I have seen the drawings both in the owners manual and online showing where there should be straps in the console for these seats, but for some reason they are not on my boat. I would be interested if other dauntless fishing package owners could comment on whether they have those straps. Other peeves, include: The leaning post seats have no mechanism to keep them shut for trailering. I use bungy cords, but that seems like an oversight. With the ski-pylon in place you can't tilt the 225 four-stroke all the way up. The rod holders that mount to the front of the console with the fishing package are useless if you are using the sun-top. There are no other rod holders built in forward of the console. No mechanism is present to hold the console door in an open position. I could think of several easy ones to implement, and will probably do so at some point in the future.

Swellmonster posted 11-26-2003 01:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
Great posts yall! Keep em up!!
boxers posted 12-05-2003 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for boxers  Send Email to boxers     
Steve M,

I have the Yamaha F225 which was recectly involved in a worldwide recall. The throttle mechanism was not allowing owners to back the motor down. We experienced this and have since had the recall work performed. The peices that were changed are in the throttle linkage.

I think your model was affected too?

Barryc posted 12-05-2003 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barryc  Send Email to Barryc     

Knots per hour X 1.15 = MPH


lhg posted 12-05-2003 02:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Mercury's '04 catalog no longer shows the 225 4-stroke as SmartCraft compatible, probably for reasons mentioned above. Same for the 75, 90 and 115 4-strokes. This is your real clue as to who designed the engine, Yamaha. All of the Optimax's, EFI's, and 30-60 4-strokes do have the technology, indicating they are 100% Merc products. They are not bothering to put it into the carbed 2-strokes.
Steve M posted 12-29-2003 11:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Steve M  Send Email to Steve M     
Driving my 2003 22 Dauntless down the highway and the rear seat back opened up and caused one of my rear seat cushions to leave the boat and fly off onto the median. While I recovered the cushion unharmed (amazingly), I was clearly dissappointed in the latch mechanism holding the rear seat closed. Whaler has agreed there was a problem with the original 2003 design, and has offered to fix the problem with a redesigned latch mechanism (apparently redesigned in October 2003).

They also admitted that they haven't been installing the straps to hold the pedestal seats in the center console, but were willing to have the dealer install them in my boat. (Yes, I am wondering if they are not very good at holding the seats, so someone in the factory made a call to leave them out....)

The first time I setup and tried to test my porta-potty it didn't work. The Dometic folks admitted that a batch of toilets left their factory with a missing part in the bellows. Whaler again stepped up and offered to fix the problem.

As far as the four-stroke motor, my Mercury is affected by the same recall as the Yamahas. I would note that the Mercury website still claims that these are smartcraft compatible. When I brought the boat I tried to track all this down, and someone at some point claimed that you could hook up the smartcraft guages to this motor but you just wouldn't get much, only some engine computer read outs. The critical sensor data, like the water pressure would not be available and would still require the analog guages, and the whaler dash could fit both the smart craft and the analog guages. What I have been meaning to do is look more closely at my motor and see if I can figure out if the smartcraft cable can actually be plugged in somewhere. At least on my boat Whaler has gone and put all the harnessing you can think of in, including the unused smartcraft cable. (I am not complaining about the extra wiring, since I intend to make use of the presently unused speaker wiring and power harnessing for the radio option. I am leaning towards the poly-planar, and I have seen it for $289 on the web with no sales tax and free shipping... I may get some of the whaler parts for the speaker covers.)

By the way, if you haven't used, then you have missed a great tool for exploring your later model year whaler. I would recommend looking here before buying, it shows the options better than any other source. Note that the first time you need to go to the help page and install the autodesk plug in otherwise the drawings won't come up. You can zoom and pan on the drawings and parts list with some practice.

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