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  Should I buy the 150 Sport?

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Author Topic:   Should I buy the 150 Sport?
Moe posted 03-17-2004 10:50 AM ET (US)   Profile for Moe   Send Email to Moe  
On 03-17-2004 at 10:32 AM ET (US), Ed S wrote in the Classic Whaler: General forum:

I've been following this forum for more than two years now and appreciate the knowledge, experience, and passion for whalers that the members have shown. Id love to have a Montauk 170, but Moe and other 150 owners have me convinced that the biggest bang for the buck is the 150 and comparable to the classic Montauk. Will the 150 be adequately comfortable for 4 adults for just pottering around? I plan to day cruise the St. Clair River, do some exploring in the shallow flats and some fishing in the nooks and crannies of the flats and Lake St. Clair. Probably trailer to the Florida Keys and North to Georgian Bay I went to the Detroit boat show and it seems there is more comfortable sitting room for four in the 150 compared to the 170, although I wonder if being able to stand athe wheel is a major consideration that makes the Montauk a better decision? Im leaning towards the 4-stroke for less noise and less stink than a 2-stroke. Are the new 2-strokes smokeless? If there is no noticeable difference, I would consider the 2-stroke. So, 170, classic Montauk or 150? Thank you for helping me make a decision that would save some significant money.

Please respond to this thread here in the Post-Classics forum

DaveNJ posted 03-17-2004 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaveNJ  Send Email to DaveNJ     
Ed S -

Only you can know what you want depending on your needs. Try to take rides in both the 150 and 170.

I personally love the 150 and it is my plan in 5 years to get one. I love the older 15' too, but after seeing one beside the new 150 last summer, I like the 150 just a bit more. I would still consider an older 15' and put a 60 hp E-TEC on it if the hull price was good.

I need to be able to manage launching and retrieving by myself. In my experience I have found that anything over 15' or 1000 lbs. takes the fun out of boating. Some of our family vacations were nearly ruined by (big) boat mishaps. Extra feet means extra problems, extra maintenance and extra costs. I like boating but I do other things in the summer too. I may be missing out on some of the finer things that big boats have to offer, but I am OK with that.

If I want to go out in a bigger boat to fish, I'll take a fishing charter for $100 or go with a friend and kick in for the gas.

Dave



Moe posted 03-17-2004 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Let's start with the 150 Sport motor options. About half of the 150 Sport owning members of this forum have the "high-emissions" 60HP two-stroke, and half have the three-star "low-emissions" 60HP BigFoot EFI four-stroke. Each of us is pleased with our motor selection for our purposes. Besides these options, there is only an option for a 40HP four-stroke, which is inadequate power for this boat. There is no option for a "modern" or "green" two-stroke. The Mercury OptiMax isn't made in a 60HP size (the maximum HP for the 150). The next size up, the 75HP Opti, is 70 lbs heavier than the 150's maximum motor weight, even without a prop or oil. The 60HP Evinrude ETec is not available, since Whalers are only available with Mercury motors.

I love the EFI four-stroke. No choke, no fast idle, just turn the key and it's instantly idling perfectly, and silently. It's so quiet at idle that I often think the engine has died when I chop the throttle while underway. I have to be careful to look at the telltale stream and not try to restart while it's idling at the dock. Even pulling away from the dock with the engine cold, there's no stumbling or coughing, just smooth running. It seems like it will idle all day perfectly without loading up or fouling the plugs. This is great for cruising. We don't have a GPS, but the charts say we are getting between 36 and 40 miles per tank. The best mileage comes cruising off-plane at 2,000 rpm and just on plane at about 3,500 rpm. The two-stroke owners have reported about 26-28 miles per tank. I do my own motor oil and gearcase oil changes, which are due every 100 hours. I've never had an easier oil change on any vehicle.

The 150's 66" wide helm seat gives three passengers a bit over 22" each, since the outboard passengers arms can rest on the railings. IIRC, the 170 helm seat is 36" wide, giving two people 18" each. The 33" wide center seat gives an adult passenger there at least 22" with 10-12" between them and the console for someone on the helm seat to step forward. Igloo lists the 170's 72Qt cooler as 29-3/4" wide, narrower than the 150's middle seat, and about 14" of cooler top each for two. At the slight expense of a bit of walk-around room, that 72Qt cooler could be replaced with a 94Qt cooler, which is 34-3/4" wide, for about 16.5" of cooler top per person.

Here's a scaled comparison of Whaler's "Legend" models:

http://www.engr.udayton.edu/staff/lriggins/Whaler/Legends.jpg

and here's how a 170 "Sport" would compare to the 150 Sport should Whaler ever make one:

http://www.engr.udayton.edu/staff/lriggins/Whaler/170SPvs150SP.jpg

The already wide seats of the 150 Sport could be even wider.

The 150 has a 2" shallower draft than the 170 and should be a little better in the flats. It also doesn't depend on a bilge pump to maintain a totally dry deck when moored.

The 170 comes with two 6 gallon tanks under the helm seat. The 150 Sport comes with one under the port side of the helm seat, but most dealers mount a second mirror-image under the starboard side of the helm seat. The 170 can be equipped with a 24-27 gallon deck tank under the helm seat. The 150 can take as many as four 6 gallon tanks under the helm seat, mounted fore and aft, but one of these protrudes into the step-through cut out area. Tempo also makes an 18 gallon tank that will fit under either side, but it also protrudes into the step-through if on the port side, and is taller than the 6 gallon tank there.

I am also convinced of the need for a Porta-Potti aboard when cruising, not only for women, but also so I don't have to try to pee over a gunwale in 2-4' chop (where it's more like all over the gunwale)! There's certainly room in the 170 stern area for one, in addition to a second cooler and bait bucket, and the user can wear a poncho before dropping their drawers. With the 150, there's room behind either side of the helm seat for a Porta-Potti, and a couple of shower curtains can be hung on a bungi cord between the bimini supports for privacy, even including changing clothes. That's especially true on the starboard side, where the curtain doesn't block the pilot's vision as much, and a roll of TP can be stored in the seat back.

The garagability wasn't an issue for us. Either would fit under our door, and our garage is 27' deep. Without a folding tongue, the 150 Sport gives us 1' in front of the coupler and 5' behind the motor, which is good since the door to the house is right behind it and there's a 2' deep workbench to the side. The 170 should fit the same with a folding tongue trailer.

Besides these things, I'm not going to try to pretend the 170 isn't better in other ways, especially for fishing. Although all the 170's extra length is taken up by the motorwell and wider deck on the bow for the longitudinally mounted cleat, its remaining stern area in front of the motor well isn't encumbered by the diagonal boarding steps and is wider.

You've probably read our experiences with the 150 in Lake Erie chop and my wife's ruptured disk in her back, and I won't repeat them in detail here. In short, if we're moving quickly and encounter a wave much taller than 3 feet, we have to partially stand up with our knees bent in case we come down hard, because the boat WILL get motor-screamin' airborn. If there's a lot of those waves, this can be tiring and our usual solution is to slow down.

This is where the 170 has several advantages. In chop, size matters. The slightly higher gunwales should give a slightly drier ride. The much heavier weight helps cut through the wave rather than launch off it as much. On every landing, the additional weight pushes the boat a little deeper into the water, reducing the G-force of the impact on the human. And finally, the continuously standing with the knees bent posture is MUCH easier on most folks, especially with a cushioned floor mat, than having to essentially do squats continuously from a seated position in heavy seas. Where we find 3-5' safe but not comfortable, the 170 should be better. For us, continously standing isn't possible due to sciatic nerve problems, so the 170 wouldn't be much better for us.

You have to weigh how much of the time you'll be in heavy seas. I have no experience at all in Georgian Bay, and whether it's better or worse than Lake Erie.

Another 150 owning Daytonian here, sportroyalwulf, reports good cruising with his family of 5 aboard. Forum member bob wallace uses his 150 Sport extensively for diving and fishing in the Keys. He's sometimes in water so shallow that he can't get back up on plane if he has to stop to change tanks, so he's using a 14 gallon Tempo tank. Techmage takes his 150 out in the Gulf, and Tombro takes his 150 out along the Atlantic coast. My own experience so far, is all Lake Erie, where most days have been 2-4' chop, with a couple higher and a few lower than that. If we move back to Pensacola, I'll certainly take it out in the Gulf a ways on good days, but will definitely charter to go out to the edge for snapper and grouper, as I would even with a 170.

Finally, for us, the issue also boiled down to price since we didn't want to finance it. The 170 was several thousand dollars more, and that just wasn't possible with it after two new Harleys, the new 34' Airstream, and a new diesel truck to pull it with.

There's a whole cult of classic 15 Sport-luvin owners on this website, including JimH himself. The 150 Sport is developing a following of its own as well.

--
Moe

jimh posted 03-17-2004 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The ability to pilot the boat while standing is a very significant factor, especially in rough seas and on long trips. If size and cost are not determining factors, the standing helm favors the 170 MONTAUK over the 150 SPORT.
Perry posted 03-17-2004 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
Visibility while standing is another clear advantage of a center console boat like the 170. Weather you are boating in a crowded harbor or bay or trying to dodge shallow reef like we do here, standing while you are piloting your boat really helps.
skred posted 03-17-2004 03:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
I salute Moe's thorough appraisal and observations - except one: "high emissions 2-stroke...." I not exactly accurate. It has a higher rate than the 4-cycle, but in fact the Merc 2s are below the CA limit in emissions. (See Mercury's website FAQ's). I would consider which motor best serves your purpose (hole shot, low-end power, etc.) The fuel saving cannot be made up in most cases in 10 or more years. My next motor will probably be a 2-stroke Merc - and I have a 4-stroke now... Better suits my needs, and I guess I don't much care for $9-$10 oil filters, $2-$4 per quart oil, and oil changes.. (Lazy, I guess) One must assume that manufacturers have "cleaned" up their 2-strokers enough to still market them competitively. A dealer I talked to yesterday said motor sales are 50-50 between 2- and 4-stroke engines.
disneycaber posted 03-17-2004 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for disneycaber  Send Email to disneycaber     
Hi,

I've been reading posts throughout this forum for a few months now as I likewise ponder the purchase of a new BW. My planned uses (lakes in northern New England) would limit my choices to the 130, 150 or the Montauk. I've crawled all over all three models in person, at dealers, in all the literature and most recently at the Boston Boat Show. My story sounds like the Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The 130 is too small, the Montauk is too large (and fully outfitted, beyond our budget)and we've concluded that the 150 is just right. I expect to do a lot of trailering, have mostly just two passengers and sometimes a 2nd couple as guests.

Everyone on this forum has been super helpful, leading me to ask questions and add options that I might never have known about. Who ever heard of a Bearing Buddy or an AGM battery ?

I have an initial price from two dealers and I'm negotiating what hopefully will be the best outfitted 150 Sport that I can afford.
The 4 stroke 60, while a budget stretch, has advantages that can't be denied for us( cruising at slow speeds very quietly in areas where deer, moose and eagles often are seen).

Here's my configuration based on all my research:
Any comments would be welcome ?

150 Sport w / trailer
Mercury 60 HP 4 Stroke EFI Big Foot
Comfort Package
Safety Package
Anchor and Line
Swim Ladder
Bow Cushion
Freight
Prep
Mills Bimini Top (Sunbrela Linen)
Mills Mooring Cover w/towing tiedowns
2nd Orig Equip Fuel tank w/tie downs
12volt outlet w/ map light
Ratheon L365 Fish Finder (installed)
Trailer Spare Tire
Keel Guard 5' (installed)
Fenders (3)
Richie F-50 compass (installed)
ICOM VHF Handheld radio
PVC Trailer Guide-ons

The only items that I may still add are a trolling plate to lower my bottem end speed and a transom motor support to stabilize the four stroke while towing. Any thoughts or experiences out there would be appreciated.

Good luck with your 150 vs Montauk decision

Buckda posted 03-17-2004 06:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
In this case, my vote is for the Montauk for one single reason: Georgian Bay.

If you're going to regularly boat in waters where the potential for more than 3' chop and/or waves is greater than "just occasionally," you want the advantage of the 170's size and higher freeboard (plus the option to STAND).

Don't get me wrong. I love the 15' Boston Whaler, and really like what I've seen about the 150. The boat will take it fine...but you won't be very comfortable.

My little 15 and I trekked across the North Channel last summer along with her much larger siblings (19 Outrage, 21 Walkaround, 22 Outrage with WD, 25 Outrage and 25 Revenge). While we benefitted from exceptional weather, I was prepared for the worst. On the return trip, I am convinced that if we had waited until later in the day to start for DeTour from Little Current, I would not have made it comfortably.

If you're planning to boat regularly on Georgian Bay, and have any open water to traverse to your summer home or other destination, you'll want the Montauk's size and weight advantage working for you. Your family will appreciate it - and so will you - especially on that day you have to plow across 6 footers rolling off the bay on your way home from a weekend at the cottage.

(Ask Kingfish about his experiences with his 25' Parker after closing up his place on Neptune Island last fall...his tale served as an important reminder of why hedging your bet for the "just in case" scenario is an important thing in those cold waters...after reading it last fall, I determined to buy an 18 or even a 22 Outrage for my continued solo exploration expeditions up in that neck of the woods...in the meantime, I'm sticking with a group!)

Dave

Buckda posted 03-17-2004 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
By the way...whatever you buy, be sure to join us for the rendezvous this summer! (see http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000363.html

Dave

Moe posted 03-17-2004 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Dave, I don't mean to question your observation, but it sounded so hellaciously worse than my observations of Lake Erie, that I had to find out the hard data about Georgian Bay for myself... at least the southern part of it, where I assume Ed S will take his boat.

The Canadians don't publish historical aggregated mean and standard deviation for significant wave height, but they do publish annual peak wave heights, like the US National Bouy Data Center. They also publish individual bouy observations.

I downloaded the data for the bouy in South Georgian Bay, # 45143, in Comma Separated Value (CSV) format here:

http://www.meds-sdmm.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/alphapro/wave/waveshare/csvData/C45143_CSV.ZIP

The data here is in meters, as it is with US NBDC for bouy #45005 in western Lake Erie, which I'm more familiar with.

I then focused on May, June, July, and August 2003 observations of significant wave height and peak wave height, over 2600 of them, and calculated mean SWH, standard deviation of SWH, and MAX peak wave height for each month, in a spreadsheet here:

http://www.engr.udayton.edu/staff/lriggins/Whaler/CAbouy45143.xls

In short, the mean and standard deviation of the significant wave height, and peak wave height, in feet, for southern Georgian Bay, is:

May, .3' mean, 1.1' stdev, 7.2' peak
June, .6' mean, 0.6' stdev, 7.2' peak
July, 1.1' mean, 1.3' stdev, 7.2' peak
Aug, 1.4' mean, 1.1' stdev, 13.1' peak (due to one storm, one night)


Most of the summer, southern Georgian Bay is below western Lake Erie waves at bouy # 45005. The following is 20 years of data, which I can't get for Georgian Bay, so I'd expect the peak to be higher.

May 1.3' mean, 1.3' stdev, 10' peak
Jun 1.3' mean, 1.3' stdev, 8.9' peak
Jul 1.3' mean, 1.0' stdev, 8.5' peak
Aug 1.3' mean, 1.0' stdev, 7.4' peak

Out of this, all I can say is that , Ed S should look at the Georgian Bay bouy observations for himself! rather than be scared by Dave's observations. Anywhere SWH is less than 3' (i.e. 2-4' waves) Ed's good in a 150 Sport.

Dave, I don't know what to say about our difference in observations. Your Classic 15 is smaller and lighter than my 150 Sport. Maybe you just picked some bad days for a small boat to keep up with a 25' Outrage in chop on Georgian Bay? I sure as hell wouldn't try that from the videos I saw of you shot from Backlash. Maybe it's worse up north? Maybe I can find the exact dates of last years NCR.

Anyway, thought I'd put some real-world data into this.

--
Moe

Buckda posted 03-18-2004 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Moe -

No offense at all on that front. I respect and almost always agree with your analytical and thoughtful posts.

I wasn't trying to scare anyone...I'm just stating that if I had a choice to make and I had the means to purchase, maintain and store both boats, after my personal observations of how a late afternoon chop can kick up on the lakes, I'd choose the larger boat.

I agree that the 15 is a completely different boat than the 150 in terms of size and weight - but in the kind of chop I regularly see on the open water up there, and even the late afternoon chop on Southern lake Michigan that I observe from my father's window, I'd choose the larger boat.

If it is going to be an uncomfortable "stretch" to get the larger boat, then the 150 will be more than adequate for the majority of the time...and if you're comfortable with being "uncomfortable" every once in a while to save the money, then the 150 is probably the boat for you.

My personal observations in Northern Lake Huron and the North Channel is that the lake can really start to roll - especially in the late afternoons.

If EdS has a summer home on an island (EdS - do you?), then it is likely he will be "opening" and "closing" the place in the early spring and late fall (read Early May and Mid-Late September), at which times the weather becomes less predictable and, as anyone who has lived on the shoreline of the Great Lakes can tell you, things can get ominous very quickly.

It is also entirely possible (and even probable) that even if Ed has an island hideaway, it is compeletely protected water from the harbor all the way to his little piece of heaven.

If that is the case, then my comments above will probably not apply to him; he'll realize this and disregard them. However, someone else might also be reading this thread and on the fence between the 170 and the 150, and be in a situation where, come to think of it, the waves DO kick up in the afternoon on a regular basis, and they CAN think of lots of times when the lake looks kinda nasty. Hopefully that will help them make a prudent decision.

The further north you go, the more chances you take on the weather and rely on your equipment..there's fewer people around, the water is colder, etc. That's what was driving my comments.

Your researched data is very useful and actually a little suprising to me, given my personal, lifelong observations of Southern Lake Michigan (the most placid), Northern Lake Huron (June-August for the years 1980 - 2002) and now the North Channel.

Whatever the case, I hope this thread provides EdS and others an excercise in thinking through the decision to buy a 170 or a 150, considering local conditions, personal experiences and recounts of others who have been there, done that.

Best,

Dave

Ed S posted 03-18-2004 12:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed S  Send Email to Ed S     
As usual, I'm amazed by the experience and careful analysis of the Boston Whaler owner. I live on the St. Clair River, so 90% of the time I will be on the river, flats and Lake St. Clair. Trips north and far south will be occasional. So I too, feel like Goldilocks and I think the 150 will meet my needs most of the time. Still, the argument for the 170 is persuasive, so I haven't pulled the trigger. Perhaps the best way to resolve the decision is to reflect on my fear of making a mistake (although one could argue that buying ANY Boston Whaler could never be a wrong decision).
Let me try to resolve it this way. If I bought the 150 and decided in two/three years that the Montauk 170 was the right way to go, would I be able to trade in or sell the 150 that the cost of the decision would be minimal or ideally, non-existent? After having a 35' monster for the last ten years, I've come to the conclusion that fun is inversely proportional to the size of the boat. The 150 would bring the joy of being on the water up close and personal. I'm still inclined to the 150 with 4-stroke, but not yet comfortable because I do realize that the case for the 170 is formidable. Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.
Moe posted 03-18-2004 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Ed, I hear Whalers hold their value, but I would not count on not taking a big hit in depreciation on any new boat after 2-3 years. If you bought the 170 now, it should still have sufficient value, in 2-3 years, to at least trade it even for a new 150 Sport, if you concluded the 170 was too large, or draws too much water in the flats.

If you have doubts about the size now, I'd probably agree with Buckda's recommendation for going with the 170 now if you can afford it, and if the four people you intend to have aboard can be made comfortable on it. Let me restate DaveNJ's advice to try to get sea trials of both boats, with your prospective crew aboard.

I don't believe there would be much, if any, difference in launching and retrieving the two boats. The 170 would be a little harder to crank up on the trailer, however, it sits lower on its trailer than the 150 does, so it's probably a wash.

The 150 needs a tow vehicle with a 2000 lb Class I capability, while the 170 would need at about 2700 lbs, putting you in the Class II 3500 lb hitch size (1-1/4" receiver).

What all those statistics give you is the probability of the seas being within the capability of your boat. If we say the 150 is comfortable in 2-4' (3' SWH) and the 170 is comfortable in 3-5' (4' SWH), you can use a normal distribution table with the numbers above to find the probability of any given day of a particular month being suitable (i.e. at or under your SWH). The 170 will have a certain percentage more days suitable than the 150.

Even though this only applies to 10% of your boating, you also have to weigh how flexible that 10% is. If you have to schedule a vacation to Georgian Bay months in advance with little opportunity to reschedule, it would be nice to have the higher probability of the seas being suitable with the 170. With us and Lake Erie, if one weekend isn't suitable, we just go the next weekend. My vacation time is also very flexible.

I'll agree with Buckda about the weather on the Great Lakes starting to deteriorate in late September. We still managed to go out most weekends that month though.

Glad this helped, and will remain here for future prospective buyers to find.
--
Moe

Moe posted 03-18-2004 01:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Disneycaber, your equipment list looks pretty complete. I didn't see the bow rail, but because of the keel guard, I assume you'll be beaching the boat and transitting over the bow, so you wouldn't want it.

I like the Mills top that Tombro has on his 150 better than our factory Whaler top. Tom's has slides, so he can fold the top further forward than the factory one.

If you want to follow Mercury's recommendation about using a motor support bracket, get the Fulton MBKRT, which has a rubber V-block the lower end fits in, as well as a shock absorber in the telescoping support.

http://www.fultonperformance.com/model.php?group=46&subgroup=48&model=809

Follow the instructions in the Mercury manual about not using the tilt lock when trailering. You have to tilt the motor up too high to use it, and the lock will vibrate out of position.

--
Moe

sportroyalwulf posted 03-18-2004 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for sportroyalwulf  Send Email to sportroyalwulf     
I can't really respond to the "standing/sitting" analysis as previously offerd. I am happy sitting. I use my 150 sport as an all around fishing and riding around craft. Have pulled a skier and cruised fairly comfortably with four adults. Have been in lake michigan (southern) in small chop and many inland lakes in calm and chop. I had not discovered continuouswave prior to my purchase and thus learned more from this site after the purchase. I was originally looking at a 130 but quickly moved my choice to sport 150 and 170 montauk. Settled on the sport 150 with 60 fourstroke bigfoot. My preference was for the fourstroke no matter what boat I bought. I confirm all of Moe's observation about clean, quiet and low maintenance on this engine. Will know more when I try to wake it up from the long winter nap. I looked at a 150 sport at the Grand Rapids Boat show. Additions: a small storage pocket under the console and a couple of extra ties in the transom and a different decal. The trailer change is major in my opinion. Different brand with a folding tongue. If I had this I could get the boat in the garage straight rather than an angle. Also it has a wider axle/wheelbase. This allows the boat to sit lower on the trailer. I think this is a much better arrangement especially if towing a significant distance. Anyway I am "very" happy with my 150 and have not got two foot itis. If I did move up I would prefer to go to the nantucket. Good luck with your choice.
ellie posted 03-18-2004 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for ellie  Send Email to ellie     
Nice to read information on Whalers from Michigan boaters! Have been looking for a newer Montauk (no wood) for a while - why are there so few Whalers in this area? Looked at the Montauk at the boat show - loved it but haven't been able to convince my husband yet - we boat in northern Michigan - Walloon Lake - Have an opportunity to buy a mint 2002 13' but think it might be too small. Our test drive was on Lake St. Clair and was a little bumpy!!
Buckda posted 03-18-2004 06:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Ellie -

There are TONS of Whalers in Michigan...keep your eyes peeled (they typically pop up in May, and again in November).

When you're up at your place in Walloon Lake, take a 2-hour afternoon side trip up to the Les Cheneaux Islands just past the bridge - E.J. Mertaugh's Boat Works in Hessel often has quite a few models for sale early in the season.

You should also find some nice ones in the Charlevoix area - I saw a MINT 18 Outrage there last fall for sale, but was not in the position to pull the trigger.

Good luck!

Dave

tombro posted 03-19-2004 07:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
I'll weigh in and say the boat is perfect for my intended uses. I have the 2 stroke, runs fine and fast. One point nobody made was deck space for fishing. I have run a 170 as a rental, loved it, too. Especially the standing helm, there's no denying the shock-absorbing benefits. However, there is the ability to remove the forward thwart seat in the 150, leaving you a ton of deck space for casting. I fish two adults, max, we need the room in a big school of bluefish and stripers. This boat works for me in this kind of Chinese Fire Drill. You have had bigger boats, as I have, you know what you want and need right now. We wanted bigger than the 13 foot Duranautic I had been running for 14 years, since selling my 25' Mako. Wanted an easy tow, easy launch and retrieve, and room in the garage. Got it all with the 150. Another factor for us is that this will probably be a 5 year boat, as I want to save a bit more money for another marina kept rig in the 21 or 23 ft range. Wife wants an enclosed head (yaaaa!). You know what though, I may not. I do other things in the summer, too. I don't have to feel guilty about missing a weekend on the boat, as it is paid off and safely moored in my garage. As Moe once told me, the tad more length of the 170 would not make much difference in my weather-based decision of whether to go out or not on a particular day. Good luck with what you end up with. Can't go wrong with either, they are well made, solid boats.
Ed S posted 03-19-2004 10:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ed S  Send Email to Ed S     
I'm going to have to go for a ride in both the 150 and 170 -- I've been all over them in the showroom and boat show, but that's not enough to make the decision. I'm always surprised how small a boat gets on the open water. Dave, it would be great to go to the rendezvous -- thanks for the invitation. If the 150 fits 90% of my needs, that's what I will spring for. Moe, I think you know more about the intimate details of whalers than even the engineers at the factory. I've been poring over all the drawings and dimensions that you have provided. It has been enormously useful in making a buying decision. Thanks!
Moe posted 03-19-2004 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I wish I did, Ed. I'd die for a chance to have a few days inside Whaler, talking to the engineers and the guys on the production line. A lot of us here would love to have that opportunity.

--
Moe

Rich M posted 03-21-2004 12:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
Ed,

I've spent a lot of time on the water in the area you're going to be boating and I strongly suggest the 170. As you know a calm day is the exeption not the rule on St. Clair, and the chop in the river and in the shallow lake can be substantial. The freeboard in the 170 will make you and your passangers much more comfortable. Making those longer runs it seems like the wind will always pick up for the return trip. Standing at the helm of the 170 you will be much happier in those conditions. Yes the 170 is bigger and heavier but because of this you'll be much better off when the wind picks up.

And I have to respectfully disagree with Moe about seating comfort. The 150 "plank" seat doesn't give much back support and is rather low to the deck. The 170 RPS is taller with a nice backrest and comfortably seats 2 - but the real comfort is when it's used as a leaning post while driving. The cooler seat w/padded backrest is very comfortable for a full sized adult and the stern steps can be used as adequate seating too. With the optional bow cusion (a must) you have the most comfortable spot on the boat. You can strectch out on it for a nap and it will also seat two while underway. And even with adults in all the aforementioned seating areas, there is still plenty of room to walk around the boat, a big plus if you're going to be doing any fishing.

Don't get me wrong, I like the 150 (I spent many years on a 15' Striper) and it is a very capable boat even in the rough. But it is what it is - a small boat, especially for 4 adults. For big water with a lot of wind (lake St. Clair) the 170 would hands down be my choice. I've had mine in 5' waves with 20+ mph winds and felt perfectly safe at all times. Hope this helps, good luck.

Rich M
03M170

Rich M posted 03-21-2004 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
Ellie,

I'm in NW Lower MI too, Torch Lake. Irish Boat Shop (Charleviox and Harbor Springs) is one of the premier Whaler dealers in the state! Little Traverse Bay is full of Whalers that they have been selling and servicing for years. We drive up a couple times a year just to admire the fleet :^) We bought our 170 from Dewitt Marine on Clam River just east of Torch. As I understand it, they all share inventory so if one doesn't have what you want they can sometimes get it from the other. Be advised their Whalers usually sell quick so if you really want one, now would probably be a good time to start shopping. Typically by mid season they won't have any in stock.

Rich M
03M170

Moe posted 03-21-2004 01:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I agree with Rich that the 170 cooler seat is adequate for one adult, but would debate that it's comfortable. Those who've ridden there much report otherwise. One 170 owner on the forum, Barney, used King Starboard to alleviate that problem.

http://myweb.cableone.net/barney9014/images/17/2.jpg

http://myweb.cableone.net/barney9014/images/17/4.jpg

http://myweb.cableone.net/barney9014/images/17/12.jpg

And I doubt it is very comfortable at all with the rod holders in use!

I also respectfully disagree about the 170 boarding steps being used as seats. I'd guess they're marked as not for use while underway in the 170 owners manual. They are much lower than the 150 seats, and about as wide as a small child's rocking chair at the stern. At the stern is last place you want small children, who could be bounced over the transom crossing a wake. This bounce could also result in an adult suffering hip damage if they came down on the 2" splashwell lip on the inboard side. They're also at the noisiest, wettest spot on the boat. These are steps, not seats.

The low seat backs of the 150 are more comfortable than they look. They're at perfect height for lumbar support, and you can lean forward, scoot back, then sit up for really good pressure there.

If the water is rough, the bow cushion is no place for passengers. In calm water cruising, especially off-plane, and when anchored, it's a great place to be.

We've also been out in 5' waves with 20+ mph winds and felt perfectly safe, but have decided that it's more like work than play (Buckda weather ;-), and the fish will have to be biting heavily before we'll intentionally go out in that.

As I've said above, if you intend to go out in 5' waves, the 170 is going to be more comfortable, but that's for the 2-3 adults it accomodates. There's not much size difference between these boats, or in the weather they would be safe in, but there's always a tendency with some small boat owners to call the model one size below theirs "a small boat" and their's a rough water water machine. :-)

The bottomline is that 150 has sufficient seating width for four adults, even portly ones. As delivered by Whaler, the 170 does not. It's design sacrifices seating for fishing room, and it excels at that.

--
Moe

Rich M posted 03-21-2004 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
Moe,

Please do not take offense as none is intended. Just want to clarify a few things. The 170 is rated for 7 adults seated in the configuration I mentioned - 2 at the helm, one on the cooler (I concur, with rocket launchers - not comfortable), 2 in the bow and 2 in the stern seats/steps (yes these are considered seats).

In the stern you simply stretch your legs out in front of you (plenty of room for that) and use the railing as a grab rail. At the bow you sit facing rearward and again use the rail for a hand hold. With passengers seated like this it's up to the captian to use a safe speed for the conditions. But I think your relating the exilarating ride of the 150 - talking of getting air and bouncing your passengers all over the boat. The 170 because of it's weight, beam and draft handles differently than the 150. It tends to plow through rather than skip over moderate chop. And remember, unlike the 150 you don't HAVE to be seated on the 170. All passengers can safely stand if that would be more comfortable.

I've sat in every seat while on plane in the 170 with my wife at the helm. In my most humble opinion it is more comfortable than most runabouts and bowriders, not because of plush seats but because of the smoother ride. I'm curious, have you done the same? I think your opinion would be different if you had.

I've been on the 150 (as well as the older 15' models) and trying to compare it to the 170 is really like comparing apples and oranges. The 150 "feels" a lot faster even though it really isn't. This is due to the fact of the way it handles and the proximity to the water when seated. Sorry if this offends you but a 15' boat IS a small boat regardless. And a 170 is a good rough water boat, not just because it's 2 feet longer, but because it's a completely differnent boat! The freeboard alone isn't even comparable and is one of the biggest factors in rough conditions. A better comparision to the 150 is the 130 as they are in the same class. A better comparision to the 170 is the Dauntless (with the Montauk being much smaller - like the 130).

Again, I LIKE the 150! It's a great boat. But implying that the 170 is somehow less comfortable and can only carry 3 is nothing less than totally misleading. To the original poster I can only say - try before you buy. At least have the 2 side by side on land so you can get aboard and move around and the differences will be more than obvious. Don't take the word of a biased 170 owner (or a biased 150 owner for that matter).

Best regards,
Rich M
03M170

Buckda posted 03-21-2004 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
EdS

Looks like you're "stuck" test driving both boats! Man, I feel bad for you! :)

I'm sure you'll make the right decision based on your knowledge of where you boat (and when you boat there).

Good luck - let us know what you decide.

Dave

Moe posted 03-21-2004 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I'm not offended, Rich, and I know the 150 is a small boat. I've already said the 170 will be better in rough water for many reasons, including the weight letting it cut through waves. Obviously, you missed the long thread where I was the heavier weight proponent.

The 170 is a small boat too, especially when you're looking at both from the perspective of a 25' real rough water boat. And I don't mean to be offensive by that. I'm a major proponent of the 170 also.

Have you actually looked at how those boarding steps are marked as not for use underway in your owners manual?

The 150 and 170 hull designs are identical:

http://www.engr.udayton.edu/staff/lriggins/Whaler/150vs170/170and150HullDesigns.jpg

http://www.engr.udayton.edu/staff/lriggins/Whaler/150vs170/Sterns/150vs170Stern.jpg

The 150 hull is a slightly scaled down 170 hull. Anyone who's looked at them drawn to scale will wonder how you get the idea the 150 is closer to the 130 than the 170.

http://www.engr.udayton.edu/staff/lriggins/Whaler/Legends.jpg

The 170 isn't 2 feet longer. It's 10% or 1 foot 7 inches longer and that's eaten up inside by the motor well and wider deck on the bow. The 170 is only 5% or 4" wider. These small differences are apparent in the scale drawing.

The 170 has 10% or 2" more internal freebooard, but with all that extra weight and only 5% more beam, it also sits 1.5" deeper in the water. That 1.5", and less than 1/2" of extra draft from a 4" wider beam with the same deadrise, accounts for the 170's total 2" deeper draft. With the same 20" transom height, the 170's transom top is a bit over 1.5" closer to the water than the 150's and needs a deckspace-eating splash well.

We do get air if I'm going to fast for conditions, but even when I do, passengers don't bounce "all over the boat." And the wife doesn't permit much of that at all.

You have your perspective, and I have mine. Obviously, they are different, so let's just agree to disagree.

--
Moe

Rich M posted 03-21-2004 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
Moe,

Please do not take offense as none is intended. Just want to clarify a few things. The 170 is rated for 7 adults seated in the configuration I mentioned - 2 at the helm, one on the cooler (I concur, with rocket launchers - not comfortable), 2 in the bow and 2 in the stern seats/steps (yes these are considered seats).

In the stern you simply stretch your legs out in front of you (plenty of room for that) and use the railing as a grab rail. At the bow you sit facing rearward and again use the rail for a hand hold. With passengers seated like this it's up to the captian to use a safe speed for the conditions. But I think your relating the exilarating ride of the 150 - talking of getting air and bouncing your passengers all over the boat. The 170 because of it's weight, beam and draft handles differently than the 150. It tends to plow through rather than skip over moderate chop. And remember, unlike the 150 you don't HAVE to be seated on the 170. All passengers can safely stand if that would be more comfortable.

I've sat in every seat while on plane in the 170 with my wife at the helm. In my most humble opinion it is more comfortable than most runabouts and bowriders, not because of plush seats but because of the smoother ride. I'm curious, have you done the same? I think your opinion would be different if you had.

I've been on the 150 (as well as the older 15' models) and trying to compare it to the 170 is really like comparing apples and oranges. The 150 "feels" a lot faster even though it really isn't. This is due to the fact of the way it handles and the proximity to the water when seated. Sorry if this offends you but a 15' boat IS a small boat regardless. And a 170 is a good rough water boat, not just because it's 2 feet longer, but because it's a completely differnent boat! The freeboard alone isn't even comparable and is one of the biggest factors in rough conditions. A better comparision to the 150 is the 130 as they are in the same class. A better comparision to the 170 is the Dauntless (with the Montauk being much smaller - like the 130).

Again, I LIKE the 150! It's a great boat. But implying that the 170 is somehow less comfortable and can only carry 3 is nothing less than totally misleading. To the original poster I can only say - try before you buy. At least have the 2 side by side on land so you can get aboard and move around and the differences will be more than obvious. Don't take the word of a biased 170 owner (or a biased 150 owner for that matter).

Best regards,
Rich M
03M170

erik selis posted 03-22-2004 04:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Just my 2 Euro-cents here:

Concerning the steps on the 170: they are not meant to be seats. Just try getting on plane with 2 adults seated there in choppy water...It wasn't meant to be!

I have been out with 4 adults on my 170 many times and it is very comfortable. The cooler seat at the front seats 2 (average sized)adults. The bow cushion also seats 2 if needed (facing towards the back).

The RPS is also very comfortable when seated or used as a leaning post. (my favourite because the steering wheel seems to be lower when you are leaning).

Again: do not use the steps as seats and please people, do not spread the information to others that they are to be used as seats. This information is dangerously misleading.

Erik

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