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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
Dauntless 16 As First Boat
|Author||Topic: Dauntless 16 As First Boat|
posted 02-20-2004 06:28 PM ET (US)
My family is looking for its first boat for use in inshore waters along the Maine coast. Mostly cruising, but some fishing too. Want something sturdy, dependable that 4 neophytes can enjoy. Have seen a couple of used Dauntless 16s; not cheap but affordable. Any thoughts from those of you have been out there?
posted 02-20-2004 06:54 PM ET (US)
I know that boat well. Perhaps you might do well to skip this step and go to the 18? You will likely do it in 2 years or less anyway......... Been there.
posted 02-20-2004 07:24 PM ET (US)
My dad has a '99 Dauntless 16 that he uses for fishing and family cruising around Cape Cod (Pleasant Bay, Nauset Inlet, Cape Cod Bay). We find it quite comfortable with 4 on board, and it's easy to handle and operate. The 90 hp Mercury on it is more than adequate, but a 115 would be even better. Overall, it's a nice boat for both fishing, skiing and general family use, and an ideal first boat. If you can find one at a good price, it's hard to go wrong with this model. Other obvious choices are both the classic Montauk 17 and the newer 170 Montauk. If you are buying new, I think the 170 Montauk is a bit lower priced for a similarly optioned boat.
posted 02-20-2004 09:02 PM ET (US)
The 160 Dauntless is a great little boat that sounds like it would fit your needs nicely. I have to agree with all of andygere's comments. I have a 2003 with a Merc 115 4-stroke, and use it mostly for cruising with 4 people and 2 big dogs; there's a reasonable amount of space for everyone. It's quite a bit bigger than the classic Montauk, and roughly the same size as the new 170 (a little shorter, but a little wider). The biggest difference from the 170 is that the Dauntless has a built-in 45 gallon fuel tank, which lasts like forever with the 115-4s.
You can see pictures of my Dauntless at http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/marlinsail/my_photos , and a some reviews of the Dauntless (including one I wrote) at http://www.epinions.com/boat-Boats-All-Boston_Whaler_16__Dauntless .
Bricknj makes a good point, and the 180 Dauntless is a really nice boat with significantly more room. However, it's also above the 3000 pound tow limit of lots of minivans and mid-size cars, and it's something like $8000 more (new).
In the end, no matter which Whaler model you go with, you're going to get a well-built, very safe boat.
posted 02-21-2004 12:50 PM ET (US)
I was doing what your doing now, looking for my first boat. You should also consider the 17' Montauk which is a bit longer, slightly narrower, lighter and rated for 7 people to the dauntless 6. It is also cheaper. The best advice is to go look at them. Check these guys out they have both on the lot. http://www.portharbormarine.com/
Also don't be afraid to buy an older whaler.
posted 02-22-2004 02:11 PM ET (US)
Accomodating four people in a smaller Whaler, for both fishing and cruising, can be challenging. Here are some size comparisons of the 150, 160, 170, and 180, scaled to 2 pixels/inch, and aligned at the aft side of the bow locker where the cockpit sole begins, with two coolers (food/drinks and fish), bait storage, and a Porta-Potti on board.
The 150 can comfortbly seat four adults on its 66" wide helm seat and 33" wide console seat. It's shown with a 72qt cooler aft, a 54qt cooler forward, and a bait bucket in the stern for cruising and between the thwart seats for fishing, with two fishing off the bow and two in the stern. The console seat is removable for more standing room. However, with 270 lbs of motor, 30 lbs of safety gear, 200 lbs of fuel (four 6.6 gallon tanks under the helm seat for 120-140 mile range), 200 lbs of coolers and Porta-Potti, that leaves only 700 lbs for four people and their gear. I wouldn't want to take the 150 inshore loaded that heavily. It's fine in 2'-4' chop with only two aboard. There is currently no larger recreational Whaler with thwart seating.
Next up are the center consoles, which trade off seating for fishing all around the boat space.
The 160 Dauntless is the next up in size. The aft quarter seats may seem to make the boat more "family-oriented" but are highly overrated. The Dauntless series are fairly stern-heavy boats, sometimes requiring a motor hydrofoil or trim tabs to resolve problems getting on plane and porpoising. The scuppers in the 160 transom are below water with a four-stroke, sometimes allowing water on the deck, even with the boat unloaded. Seating two adults on these quarter seats compounds these problems, as well as puts the occupants right next to the motor, where they really should wear ear plugs when underway. Because of the way the bow narrows, Whaler provides only a 54qt cooler to provide walking room. It's definitely only wide enough to seat one. The only place left to mount a 72qt cooler, whether fishing or cruising, is up on the bow platform, which renders it unusable for lounging with the pad, or for use as a casting platform. The 160 has a 45 gallon in-floor fuel tank, which isn't as comparitively large as it might seem due to its deeper-V's increased fuel use. This also contributes to the stern-heaviness. The 160 is available with a bait well in the reversible pilot seat (RPS), but the only place to mount a small Porta-Potti requires step-over if walking around the boat. The 160 only has 300 lbs more weight capacity than the 150, but most of that is taken up by 120 lbs heavier motor, and 132 lbs (21 gallons) more fuel, leaving only about 50 lbs additional capacity. It will also be loaded very close to the maximum with four persons and gear, and is best limited to two persons inshore.
The 170 is the next largest. Although the 160 may be 3" beamier than the 170, it loses that gain to thicker gunwales at the base, on top of which the railings are mounted more inboard. The 170's railings are on top of thinner gunwales. Due to the 170's wider bow, the factory can use a 72qt cooler in front of the console, however even this is marginal for seating two people, depending on their size. This could be resolved with a larger (and wider) cooler, but would involve step-over up forward. With a 54qt cooler, a bait bucket, and Porta-Potti in the stern, there is still walk-around space all around the boat, and the bow platform is still usable for lounging or as a casting platform. The primary issue with the 170 is fuel capacity, since the factory provides only two 6.6 gallon tanks under the RPS. Many people install a 27 gallon Pate Plastics on-deck tank (24-25 gallons usable) under the RPS, and this should give a range of 100-120 miles. The 170 has 250 lbs more weight capacity than the 150, and about half of that is taken up by the 120 lbs heavier motor. Although the 170 is much roomier than the 160, I'd still limit it to three persons inshore.
Finally, we move up to the 180 Dauntless, which is smallest I'd recommend for four people inshore. It's shown here with a 72qt cooler carried forward of the factory 54qt cooler when underway with the aft seat in use, and with that cooler on the aft deck while fishing. The aft seat is a bit further forward than the quarter seats on the 160, somewhat lessening the effect of passenger weight on trim, and slightly reducing the noise of the motor. I'm making an assumption about the Port-Potti fitting sideways between the RPS and aft seat. The 180 comes with a bait well in a stern compartment, but is also available with a more convenient bait well in the RPS. It boasts 60 gallons of fuel capacity, which will be handy for the much heavier, deeper-V hull and larger motor. That's 225 lbs more fuel, and with a 150 Opti, 50 lbs more motor than on the 170, however, the 180 has a whopping 950 lbs more weight capacity, with 675 lbs additional weight capacity left after the extra fuel and motor weight. The transom is also 5" deeper than on the 170, which keeps the freeboard up despite the weight and the deeper-V in the stern.
The difference in the 180 and the 3 smaller Whalers is every bit as much as it appears in the line drawings and more. So I'll agree with bricknj and recommend the 180 from the start.
posted 02-22-2004 02:15 PM ET (US)
Another well prepared answer and post Moe.
posted 02-22-2004 04:44 PM ET (US)
A nice analysis of those models, Moe...but as usually happens in these discussions, the Ventura 160 is never mentioned.
The Ventura 160 shares the hull of the Dauntless 160, and has all the advantages of the Dauntless 160 that you mentioned...but it has real seating for 6 people. Two comfortable captain's seats, the two rear jumpseats, and two bow seats...in addition, there is the cushion over the anchor locker for a couple of youngsters to sit.
For whatever reason, the center console design gets all the attention...but the dual console is more comfortable and has more storage, while being just as seaworthy and rugged.
posted 02-22-2004 05:14 PM ET (US)
A picture is worth a thousand words-great job Moe.
In my 170 when we are going to have more than a couple people on board. I flip the rps to the leaning post position--Generally someone will want to stand next to me at the helm, put two passengers on the rps facing backwards, and one on the front cooler.
I also have the optional bow cushion, but don't feel comfortable having anybody ride up there unless the water is dead calm. It does make nice additional space at rest.
posted 02-22-2004 07:29 PM ET (US)
May I ask how you compare the floor plans to scale? When I copy and paste from the Whaler website into Microsoft Picture It, they are all the same size (ie the 22 Dauntless looks exactly the same size as the 190 Nantucket etc).
PS. Your posts again are all content. An organized mind providing logical and intuitive conclusions. I, for one, have benefitted from the knowledge delivered in a helpful and never condescending way. I wish I could express my ideas that way. Good man.
posted 02-22-2004 08:54 PM ET (US)
I open the pictures with Microsoft Photo Editor (part of MS Office), crop the picture to the gunwales, and bow and stern, and then resize them to a certain number of pixels per inch of beam and length. In most cases, the line drawings on the Whaler site are proportionally correct, and scaling up the beam results in the correct number of pixels for the length. Where that isn't the case, I "allow distortion" and set the height and width pixel sizes independently.
Thanks for the compliments. Glad the images help.
posted 02-22-2004 10:46 PM ET (US)
Well prepared answer as usual by Moe but I'd like to expand a little on the 160's capapbilities. I have a 94 quart Igloo cooler seat in front of the console and it sticks out beyond the console by only a couple of inches on each side. This cooler provides comfortable seating for two adults.
My Honda 90 weighs 373 lbs and the scuppers are above water with the boat unloaded. The motor is quiet enough for two people to sit in the rear quarter seats without earplugs. With two people sitting on the cooler seat, the weight is ballanced enough for the boat to plane with six large adults (two in front, two at leaning post and two in rear seats) and a top speed over 35 mph.
The 45 gallon fuel tank is plenty large. I can get over 7 MPG if the conditions are good and that equates to over 300 miles. I generally get 2.5 gallons per hour or 18 hours per tank.
If you want a boat to cruise inshore and fit 4 people comfortably, a 160 will do but a 190 Nantucket would be a better choice.
posted 02-23-2004 01:25 PM ET (US)
Tom, even though the 160 Ventura has been discontinued for '04, and is no longer listed on Whaler's website, I found the '03 model year web page still on their server at:
So I suggest you archive that web page and pictures, line drawing, etc on your local computer, if you haven't already, before it disappears. The 160 Ventura line drawing is nowhere to be found on webarchive.
Just for you, I did another comparison with your 160 Ventura in it, next to the 160 Dauntless:
Didn't want you to feel left out! :-)
posted 02-23-2004 02:38 PM ET (US)
Moe provides a nice analysis, but I will point out a few things that I do like in favor of the Dauntless 16 (160 Dauntless, same thing), and a few I don't. This is all based on my observations as an owner of a classic Montauk (85 h.p. 2-stroke) and extensive use of my Dad's Dauntless 16 (90 h.p. 2-stroke).
1. There is a large amount of usable dry storage under the pilot seat (new style RPS) that is used to house fuel tanks on both classic and new Montauks. A livewell option for under the seat was available.
2. There is a reasonable amount of storage under the jump seats in the Dauntless for things like fenders, anchors, dock lines, etc.
3. The built in fuel tank is great. Compared to my Classic Montauk, my dad's Dauntless will go a lot longer before it's time to look for the gas dock. Both are powered by carb'ed 2 strokes of similar power.
4. Overall, the Dauntless has a lot more seating. The jumpseats are quite functional, and for children will be down right comfortable.
5. I think a 72 qt. Igloo will fit in front of the console with little or no walk around obstruction.
6. With a 90 h.p. 2-stroke, the deck is dry, no problems with scuppers leaking water back to the deck. Also, there are several threads on upgraded one-way scuppers that seem to have solved this type of problem for other forum members.
7. The big downside: canvas options for the Dauntless 16 are not as good as for the Classic Montauk, especially the availability of a forward shelter/dodger. Also, while the Mills sun top (bimini top) available for the Dauntless is nice and very well made, it does not stow flat in the bow area like the sun top/flying top for the Classic Montauk. The Mills mooring cover for the Dauntless is very nice and worth the money in my opinion.
8. The Dauntless is slower to plane than a Classic Montauk with similar power. It's certainly not what I'd call a problem, but the Montauk is exceptional at getting out of the hole and on plane quickly.
9. The ride of the Dauntless 16 is a bit softer than the Classic Montauk in a chop. Both boats have great stability at rest.
10. The built in boarding ladder on the Dauntless is very handy and out of the way when not in use.
11. Final observation: It is much easier to move around the console on a Dauntless 16 than on a classic Montauk. A few inches makes a big difference.
posted 02-23-2004 03:50 PM ET (US)
I think a 72 qt. Igloo will fit in front of the console with little or no walk around obstruction.
Probably, but most women and kids (and even some guys) won't eat food or drink out of cans that have been in a bloody fish cooler. LOL! Besides, that's where I keep the beer :-) So for us, two coolers is a gotta have.
I agree with your comments with respect to the older Montauk. The new 170 is much better all around.
posted 02-23-2004 07:42 PM ET (US)
My only Boston Whaler has been my 160 Dauntless and I've been very happy with it. We have had 6 people in it (2 larger than me) and can run mid 30's but was slow to plane. Under the rear seats I keep life jackets, 2 gallons of oil and a small tool box leaving the console nearly empty. On the Kice Island camping trip I loaded the console with a campstove, gas grill, tent, 2 folding chairs, etc. So there is quite a bit more storage than appears. I've gone offshore with 2 aboard and put a 150 qt cooler in place of the 54 qt- a 5 gallon bucket in the cooler with ice and soda keeps the blood out! But it doesn't leave much walking room at all. I like the built in tank and capacity having been out 27 miles trolling and back using 20-25 gallons of fuel. Moe is right about the porpoising and I installed doel fins to help a little and plan on raising the motor height soon (maybe after Homossassa).
Except for the 2 stroke being noisy my wife and mom have ridden on the rear seats with no complaint although some water does come through the scuppers but will probably change to sealing types soon.
posted 02-24-2004 09:49 PM ET (US)
It is hard to find a dealer with a 160 Dauntless and a 170 Montauk on the floor at the same time. When you can see the boats side-by-side and look at their price tags in comparison, the purchase decision gets easier.
posted 02-24-2004 10:08 PM ET (US)
When I was boat shopping they had a Montauk and a Dauntless side by side. The Montauk was a leftover for 19,999 and the Dauntless was a new 2000 for 22,999. I would have bought either one. The little woman got on both boats and proclaimed that the Dauntless was worth the extra cash. Why??? Wider beam, more seats, livewell. Reality is that if it's you and your fishing buddy using the boat every weekend, get the Montauk. If you plan on having the significant other and your offspring out on the water on the weekends, then lean towards the Dauntless. As far as the 16-18 debate, how much big water do you expect to boat in for the price difference. 30+ K for the 18 is a big premium to pay over the cost of a 16. as long as it's only four people in the boat most days.
posted 02-24-2004 10:58 PM ET (US)
I have one good season on a 2003 160 Dauntless w/115 4s. I would agree with fno on all counts. The kids and wife love it and it was an immediate fish raiser!
posted 02-25-2004 09:17 AM ET (US)
Keep in mind that fno's comparison was with the older Montauk, which was a lot narrower boat than the 170 Montauk, and even 4" narrower than the 150. The 17 Classic Montauk has about the same overall area as today's 150.
I do have to agree with the women perspective thing about seating. My wife saw the 16 Ventura and said, "Wow... look at all the seating!" She really liked it for that reason. However, when she saw the price, she changed her mind and we were back to the 150.
Let me clarify something. While these smaller Whalers can carry more than the number of people I've recommended for inshore use. It's just that I wouldn't intentionally take them out in 1-3' chop, much less 2-4', loaded to or near their maximum weight capacity. That's why I've recommended a lower number.
posted 02-25-2004 09:39 AM ET (US)
I think the current pricing of a 170 Montauk and a 160 Dauntless will have a greater differential than the comparison mentioned above by fno. This was the situation I mentioned in my comment above.
posted 02-25-2004 10:02 AM ET (US)
Jim, I can't speak to the prices this spring, but when I bought my Dauntless a year ago, the selling price difference between it and the 170 Montauk was quite small. While the list for the Dauntless is almost $10K higher, I found that the Montauk was selling for list and the Dauntless was selling for less than $3K more, including an upgrade from 90 HP to 115 HP. I felt the difference was well worth it, though at list price it would be ridiculously hard to justify the Dauntless.
posted 02-25-2004 12:53 PM ET (US)
Whwn I bought my Dauntless 160 13 months ago the price for the leftover 2002 170 Montauk was $21,995 with a Mercury 90 classic. The Dauntless 160 I bought was a leftover 2002 with a Honda 90 and it cost me $24,995. Considering the Honda is quite a bit more expensive than the Mercury, the price difference between the 2 boats was negligable.
posted 02-25-2004 01:42 PM ET (US)
Same was my experience in 2000. That was before the "new" Montauk came out with the included trailer package for less than 20K. That only lasted long enought for the first boats ordered to fly off the dealers lots. Still prefer the Dauntless over the Montauk in my situation. A big plus is when you are running a four stroke is the enclosed fuel tank. Pull up to the pump, fill up and go. By the way, anybody loking for a 16' let me know. Mine is for sale, I've got 5' itis.
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