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  Dauntless 180: Is it a Lake OR Ocean boat?

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Author Topic:   Dauntless 180: Is it a Lake OR Ocean boat?
Chesapeake posted 05-03-2004 04:46 PM ET (US)   Profile for Chesapeake   Send Email to Chesapeake  
Am trying to replace Chesapeake, the 16 I sold last year.

Mom and the little kids would love... um, gulp, cough, wheez... a Searay or something like that with lots of cushions and cupholders. Ain't gonna happen, but I respect their desires.

Was thinking the Dauntless could be a could hybrid of Boston whaler center console toughness and a few more creature comforts. Also feels very, very versatile with the fishing seats, livewell, ski pylon, etc. However, you guys are scaring me that you get slammed around in this boat due to its shallower V and flattish aft hull design. In that way, it sounds more like a great inland lakes boat rather than something you'd want to take comfortably out in the more choppy ocean or great lakes.

Can get a great price on one with a 135 opti and am tempted, but the handling thing is pushing me to hold off for the Nantucket and the new 150 4 stroke (whenever it arrives). Would appreciate the thoughts of owners of this craft on how they would see it.

Thanks alot.

fno posted 05-03-2004 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
It would help if we knew where you planned to do your boating. I think your wife and kids would find the amenities of the Nantucket lacking if they get a look at the Dauntless 18. They are mostly the same hull except for slightly more vee at the front. I've been out on the Gulf of mexico in the Dauntless and it rides quite well. You need to pick and choose your days for other reasons besides ride when you have the wife and kids along for the ride.
hardensheetmetal posted 05-03-2004 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for hardensheetmetal  Send Email to hardensheetmetal     
I almost bought an 18 Dauntless several years ago, but was warned about this particular boats lack of power (115) and passed.

I think the Dauntless, especially the 18, has received some unfair criticism here. while the boat is no Outrage, I would think it has more more of a deep 'V' than a 17 Montauk, which we all no is not so forgiving. I would think that the Dauntless could go just about anywhere the Montauk went...or I could be wrong.

Dan

Sal A posted 05-03-2004 07:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
I think saying the Nantucket is a better riding hull, and more suitable for offshore, etc is a stretch. The Nantucket does have 4 more inches in legnth, though, as well as a superior center console in my opinion. My Nantucket is tricked out as a 'family boat' with appropriate cushioning in the bow, and a forward shelter, which is the best practical aftermarket feature on my boat.

http://hometown.aol.com/sarnuk/SalsWhaler.html

The appreciable differences in my book:

Nantucket has higher gunwales, a better center console, and Mills makes a forward shelter for it.

The Dauntless has lower gunwales, but it has an outstanding set of high rear steel railings. It also has a very well designed rear stern seat. Maybe you can find a local guy to make you a forward shelter, as Mills doesn't offer it.

The Nantucket MAY (conjecture) have higher resale down the road.

Riding near shore or in a bay, you would be hard pressed to say one rides appreciably better than the other. An owner of an 18 Dauntless in my marina loves his, but put Bennetts on it.

I think the engine choices are very similar for both boats new (up to a 150 OPTI, or 115 Four), so I don't think that would be a deciding factor. If you are bent on a four stroke, I would wait, and not recommend the 115. I am in the position now where I wish I opted for more power, but enjoy my boat as it is enough to keep me happy while I wait to repower in a few years with what I hope will be a midrange Verado.

Life is short. I wouldn't wait for a few years for the "right" power. If the Dauntless is priced right, and can be in the water soon, put tbas on it and have fun.

Good luck.

Lars Simonsen posted 05-03-2004 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
I am very pleased with my Dauntless. I use mine in the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, in Oregon and Hatteras Inlets, and for near shore ocean fishing (I haven't gone many miles offshore yet; I'm waiting for the right day, i.e. when I'm down there and the weather cooperates).

The boat handles fine, it's just the pounding ride in chop that people complain about. However, that can be easily remedied with trim tabs.

I wouldn't call the Dauntless an offshore boat. I would call it an excellent all around boat. You can use it offshore on the right days, and you can also use it as a bay boat and run it in amazingly shallow water. My wife likes that fact that we can put all the cushions in it, and I like that fact that we can take all the cushions out.

I use mine mostly for fishing, and I am perfectly happy with it. I think you'd like it, too. I would have no reservations taking it out in the Chesapeake Bay.

If you've found one and the price is right, I'd say go for it. But do get the trim tabs. You won't regret it.

Lars

Chesapeake posted 05-03-2004 08:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Thanks for the info folks.

OK. Here's the deal. Found a new 2003 with the fishing package, 135 optimax, bimini and trailer for $33K. I think that is pretty respectable - at least here in the Midwest.

What do you think of the deal?

Plotman posted 05-03-2004 10:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
I just looked on boattraderonline and you can find a a 1998 dauntless 18 for 21 or 22k. For the mid 30s ask, you can find a 2000 Dauntless 22. That one has a head in the console, which I know my wife would really like. Both of these are advertised in Michigan, where the probably realistically see under 50 hours of use a year.

Or, for 33K, you could buy a really nice classic ourtrage 22 that has been restored to look like it just came out of the showroom, and go out and repower it with a new 225, and still have money in your pocket assuming the engine it came with still runs...

I guess I'm letting my bias show through.

Seriously, what about the ventura or a dual console Dauntless (Pre 99, I think). Not as cool as a center console, but still a whaler.

homey posted 05-04-2004 12:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for homey  Send Email to homey     
Chesapeake,

You should seriously consider a larger Whaler. The 18-19's are nice but, small once you have the family aboard. They will get tired of it real fast and you will want to upgrade next year. If you want to keep them interested in boating, look for a 23'Outrage...just my 2 cents. Good Luck.

Lars Simonsen posted 05-04-2004 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
I bought a used 1998 Dauntless with a 1998 Mercury 135 Optimax with very low hours (60 hours). After 6 hours of use, the motor blew, and I had to get towed in. To mercury's great credit, they gave me a remanufactured powerhead with all the upgrades, even though I was the second owner, and the motor was out of warranty.

My point in saying that is that a 1998 or 1999 mercury optimax with low hours may not be a safe bet unless it has all of the upgrades. I really like my motor now (I've got close to 200 hours on the new powerhead with no problems), but I have no doubt the reputation of the early optimaxes will affect the resale price of my boat. Those motors may be exactly why you can find such good deals on 1998 and 1999 boston whalers. For that reason, the 2003 model for $33K may be the way to go. You're getting one of the Optimaxes that has the bugs worked out of it, and you'll have a manufacturer's warranty.

As to a bigger boat, the same rule applies if you get a 23 foot boat. Ultimately, every boat is a compromise (the big ones won't do what the small ones will, and the small ones won't do what the big ones will). The 18' Dauntless is an incredibly versatile boat, and it can be easily transformed from the bare bones fishing machine to the cushy family cruiser.

For an 18 footer, it's also amazingly big and roomy. There's plenty of room for my wife and three sons and me (although my sons are at the age where they are overly rambunctious, and that can get pretty annoying when you're all confined to to about 150 sq. ft. of space. If you're like me, you'll be using the boat more for fishing with one or two other people on board than you will use it with the whole family.

Lars

Sleigh Ride posted 05-04-2004 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sleigh Ride  Send Email to Sleigh Ride     
Chesapeake -- Glad to see you're getting back in the saddle! The weather's warming up here in Boston and I've got the cover off your old 69 Nauset... She'll probably taste the salt waters of Duxbury Bay before the month is out.

Best of luck in your search for her replacement/upgrade -- Jarrett

PS My girls have already adopted Chesapeake, name and all, so I think that's her name for good!

Chesapeake posted 05-05-2004 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Hey Jarrett:

Great to hear from you and see you in print on this wonderful forum. Dawn talks all the time about the letter and picture we received from your girls when they saw there new boat. Also am honored that you will keep her name as such.

Remember that new Yammy will want unfouled plugs before you start her the first time. Jalensky's Marine, God love 'em, must use 2 gallons of fogging oil during winterization.

Keep us all posted regarding her maiden voyage. In the meantime, I'm shopping!!

TG_190 posted 05-05-2004 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for TG_190  Send Email to TG_190     
Sal,

Sorry to hear your not that happy with the 115. Your plan re: repowering later seems logical. I would be curious to see how the 18' Daunt w/ tabs handles compared to mine with tabs.

I went out to the Mohawk wreck (8mi SE) last Sat, w/ 10-15kt winds out of the So, and 2-4 steep slop. Did not get wet going or coming, 17kt out, 21kt in (GPS). Not conditions I would take out anybody week-knee'd in. Its not only the height of the waves, its also the spacing,steepness, and direction. I saw many larger boats roughing it out as well.

Much has been written about raising the motors on boats to get more stern lift, and bow down control. If you are experiencing a rougher ride than you were expecting in lieu of getting tabs, I would investigate this route first. Its cheap, quick, and easy. Not saying mine rides like a 270 outrage or anything, but I have been on numerous other 20' CCs, and I am pleased with the Nantucket.Thats all I can say as I've never been out on a Dauntless.


Regards,

TG_190


P.S. Let me know if you are gonna be out this weekend.

erik selis posted 05-05-2004 12:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
I have been out on the Dutch coast here (on the English Channel) a few times with a 2002 180-Dauntless. Not mine but a friends. It is an awesome boat if powered correctly (the power factor is also important for the 190 Nantucket as I have mentioned before). Anything under a 135hp engine will be disappointing.
This Dauntless I am talking about has the 150-hp Optimax and with four adults it rides fantastic. It handles the chop well if the bow is down. There seems to be a difference in the Hull shape between the 2002 model and pre-2002 models. The V-shape runs further back to the transom and If you look at the hull shape you will see that it is less rounded off at the stern. I don't recall if there was an extra chine there but it is possible.
The boat did not have trim tabs. I think with a less powerful engine it would be helpful however. I like the 180 Dauntless alot and if it wasn't for the price I would have bought her instead of my 170 Montauk. It is a great family boat for both fresh and saltwater use and it handles the waves fine.
If you really want to do off-shore fishing however I would choose an Outrage but for family use, give me a Dauntless any day.
Just my 2 cents,

Erik

Sal A posted 05-05-2004 12:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
Thanks Alex,

I think I'll be out Sunday in the bay fishing. I'll hail you.

PS it's not that the engine is a dog; it will hit 35mph which is fine for me. I just don't like running 5800-6000 rpm's to get that.

papageorge posted 05-05-2004 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for papageorge  Send Email to papageorge     
To Chesapeake

Re looking for the 180 dauntless. There is one advertized in the Baltimore Sunpaper (5/2/04). It is described as a 2003 with the 135 opti and the add says it only has 25 hours on the engin. with those low hours I assume it is still under waranty. The asking price is $29k.
papageorge

Chesapeake posted 05-06-2004 02:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Papageorge: Thanks for the lead. I will try and find it on the internet. Alternatively, if you have the ad and contact number and would be willing to provide to my e-mail, I'd be much obliged. Even if not possible, I am likewise appreciative of the lead.

Bob

Chesapeake posted 05-06-2004 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Papageorge: I found the ad. Thank you.

Bob

papageorge posted 05-06-2004 08:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for papageorge  Send Email to papageorge     
Chesapeake - good luck

papageorge

Chesapeake posted 05-07-2004 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Papageorge: Called the gentleman last evening and left a number, but no return call as yet. Will keep you posted if something develops out of this. And thank you again.

Regards,

Bob
(the artist formerly known as Chesapeake)

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