Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
1996 RAGE 18
|Author||Topic: 1996 RAGE 18|
posted 05-13-2004 03:01 PM ET (US)
Having owned Boston Whaler boats when I was married, I now find myself in a situation where I can't afford a Whaler of a size that will meet my needs. I have looked at other kinds of boats, but really can't stomach the thought. Found a couple of Rage 18's that are very reasonable (10,000 - 13,000)...don't really want a jet, but hey, it is a Whaler.
Have done some research and spoken to my Boston Whaler dealer, not getting a lot of feedback positive or negative. Anyone have any advice or experience with this boat? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
posted 05-13-2004 06:56 PM ET (US)
I am not familiar with any of the Boston Whaler jet boats so I do not have any advice on that boat. But you say you really do not want a jet. In the $10,000 to $13,000 price range you should be able to pick up a nice 18 foot Whaler of some sort with an outboard in good condition. Check the market place section of the forum- there are a couple of 18 Outrages listed. Perhaps a 17 foot Montauk or something along those lines/size would meet your needs? In that price range I would think you would be able to locate a very nice boat.
Good luck with the search!
posted 05-13-2004 09:22 PM ET (US)
fugget about it!
posted 05-13-2004 09:28 PM ET (US)
I agree with Rich, but you have to be prepared to strike fast.
The 18's that are out there for around 12 - 14K go very, very fast *like, within the first few days*.
I would be very hesitant to purchase a rage, specifically if I didn't really want a jet drive boat in the first place.
posted 05-15-2004 11:53 PM ET (US)
I own a Rage 18 with a Redline 351 and love boat. The Rage has several unique features that I love such as:
The jet drive and the large sun deck with built in transom. The sun deck and built in transom make it very easy to load small children on a tube. I love it since it is very easy to take my sister tubing who is handicap since I can power the boat right up to her and pull the tube onto the boat.
It is the only ski boat I know that you can take off shore in Lake Michigan. I have run the boat in 2 - 3 chop with 7 people and never worried about the boat or people. I have taken the boat out on Kentucky Lake in 3 - 5 chop and it just plows through the waves. A really fun ski boat to drive in bad weather, people in Kentucky think I am nuts since I take the boat out on bad days.
Top speed with the 351 is about 40 MPH. The boat has plenty power for pulling anything out of the water. I am presently pulling a double tube. I have had two adults in the tube. I pulled them right out even without the trim tabs.
I know most people on this web page hate the Rage for the following reasons:
They hate it since it is a jet and it drives like a jet. The problems with a jet is you need to understand to steer you need to punch the throttle. I read an excellent article about driving a jet boat that really helped me learn how to drive. It is all about the throttle. Therefore, it will take you sometime to learn how to drive. You will also need to practice since most power boaters are not used to having to turn the wheel and throttle. It came naturally since I race sailboats all summer on Michigan so it was like the tiller and the main sheet.
The boat is bow light on hole shots. I solved that problem by placing a wedge in the drive. The wedge cost $150 from American turbine.
The boat really needs the 351 since according to American turbine it is a heavy boat for a jet. Otherwise it may be slow to plane. I assume the trim tabs will also help.
People are confused between the 15 Rage and the 18 Rage drives. The 18 ft Rage is a ford motor with one of the best built jet drives in the world. The 15 Rage has a small jet drive from OMC.
The boat is very sensitive to weight. That is also a standard problem with jet boats. I just installed Bennett Trim tabs to solve that problem. I read the article on the Bennett page and decided if it worked for a Seadoo it will work on my whaler. I had to make some hull modifications to get the tabs mounted. I assume the will make the same difference as listed below
If you want a family ski boat that you feel safe in, do not want to worry about a prop around kids or a handicap person, boat in shallow lakes or rivers, want to take a ski boat out on a big lake in mild seas, and want the whaler hull. Then this is the boat for you.
If you really want a fishing boat, do not want to learn how to drive a jet and do not want to make drive modifications and possibly the hull modifications for the trim tabs. Then this is not the boat for you. Only you can decide what is best.
However, I would not let the people who hate this boat on this web page scare you away. I am still waiting for the person who ripped on me for my first and only post up to now to cross Lake Michigan with me in any other brand ski boat they want on a day I pick. The person who was bad mouthing my boat and me for buying it has never picked the day or the ski boat. In fact after I made the offer they called a truce since we all know any Whaler is safer than a standard ski boat.
posted 05-19-2004 12:19 PM ET (US)
Thanks everyone for the input. I especially appreciate your time and insights, Kumiega. I will be using the boat on Lake Michigan as well as on inland lakes, mainly as a ski/fun boat. It is encouraging to know how well it handles for you.
I have been told by my whaler dealer that repairs to the jet drive are often and extremely expensive. What has been your experience with this? He, and others, have also cautioned about the jet sucking up ski lines, weeds, sand and gravel, along with being more expensive to run. I have also read about some of these "probelms" - have you had any experience with theses issues?
I am still debating about my choice and thank you for any additional advice you may have. Thanks again!
posted 05-19-2004 02:17 PM ET (US)
I had a 15' rage, when my child was young we shoved off from the dick and unbeknownst to me he was dangling a dock line in the water. It was propmptly sucked in and wrapped around the impellar before any inuries. I would strongly suggest you stay away from this obsolete product and buy a whaler that can be easily maintained. IE OUTBOARD powered.
P.S. Why do you think your dealer is telling you the negatives????? Hello!!!
posted 05-19-2004 02:38 PM ET (US)
DOCK, I MEAN DOCK, WHERES THE X$%#@#!! SPELL CHECK ?????
posted 05-19-2004 04:34 PM ET (US)
I think the "proof is in the pudding" here so to speak. Rage's are inexpensive and no longer made....If they were so great, why is that?
Listen to your dealer. Yeah, it's a Whaler, so that's good, but it's sort of the Red Headed Stepchild too - not so good.
posted 05-19-2004 10:32 PM ET (US)
First,all the Rages are fun boats to have and use.2nd they have intirely different handling than prop boats and some training is needed to operate them properly.3rd dealers don't know how to repair or maintain them.
Does that make them bad/poor boats,most differently not!!!!
If your thinking about a Rage,you must seek out another knowledgeable owner of that model your looking at.And then be prepared to ask questions and obtain a education on jets.Yes-they do require a comitment that is above and beyond the average boat owner.
If Boston Whaler is the BMW of boats,then RAGES are the M1 or F1 models and the Most Beloved by Knowledgeable owners.
The last 15' XLT Rages in 1997-98 were powered by Mercury Marine Sport Jets listed at 175 Hp,but developed 183 Hp at the impeller from the factory with the 200Hp outboard powerhead with 960 Lbs of Thrust.And when properly set up can achive a speed of 63MPH. And i have a matched pair in my fleet.
Besides not many Whaler owners could handle the power or the speed in only a 15' hull,but OH what fun if you can!!!!! Not another whaler can do that and still troll downriggers at below 2 MPH all day then BLAST back to the trailer at the days end.
Here in the northeast more new custom yatchs are being built with Water Jets .
|BOB KEMMLER JR||
posted 05-21-2004 03:09 PM ET (US)
in the case of the 15's,you can do what i did.I bought mine dirt cheap and when the powerhead crapped out on me,i swapped to a outboard.Best and easiest thing i could have done with the boat.I now have the equivelant to a 15 dauntless for the fraction of the cost. :o)
posted 05-22-2004 12:39 AM ET (US)
I'm with Kumiega.
I have had a blast with my 18 Rage, which has the 351HO with trim. Tubing, skiing, family fishing and just running about.
I had to tune mine some when I first got it, as the jet was misadjusted. We absolutely love the boat. The jet is great, and after a bit of close order practice, I am as confident with it as an outboard approaching a dock.
I run on Lake Ontario, been 10 miles offshore in decent waves and it's every bit a whaler.
The smaller Rages are completely different animals. The drive train on the 18 Rage can't be simpler. A big Ford 351, direct coupled to a pump. Easy to maintain. Parts completely available.
Glad to discuss this directly, if you'd like.
posted 05-22-2004 06:02 AM ET (US)
Just out of curiousity, what brand jet is your 18 running? Do you know the size (diameter)of the impeller?
posted 05-22-2004 05:30 PM ET (US)
Thanks everyone for the advice! (especially DCPeters & Kumiega as you both own one). I am seriously considering the 18 Rage, trying to arrange a trial soon. The one I'm looking at has the 351, and trimmable jet, mooring cover, ShoreLand'r trailer. Someone traded it in to a dealer in Michigan, dealer doesn't know jack about it (or Whalers), even how to run it. They are asking 13,000.00, think that's a decent price? I've seen a few on boattraderonline for a lot less, although they are probably saltwater boats. Spoke to the neighbor across the street last night who is a certified merc. mechanic, knows the 18 Rage, and said he thinks the boat & engine are great, and he could easily do repairs for me. Still have concerns about sucking lines, weeds, etc. up the jet...have always had outboards (just recently had to sell my 21'Conquest due to divorce). Any comments on problems with sucking things into the jet? Thanks again everyone for your help, all of this input has been of great help to me!
posted 05-22-2004 08:25 PM ET (US)
Offer $10 K,and GO FOR IT!!!!!!!
If You use your head you won"t have any Problems.....
Lines,weeds,ect-May happen the first time,but your smart enough not to let it happen (not a big problem,you can handle it)- TWICE.
KEEP us informed any ENJOY your new ride!
posted 05-22-2004 09:28 PM ET (US)
Can't lose with that deal.
Last I looked, Buc has them trading at 14-17. I saw two offered in the heart of winter for ~10K but they were on the ocean. Fresh water ones sold here last year for ~15K, one languished on Lake Champlain at 19,900 for nearly a year before somebody bought at 16K. Mine was off ebay, bought sight unseen in the heart of winter (I closed my eyes and trusted someone); paid ~12K but had some salt corrosion and I had to totally rebuild the trailer.
The market is active and in this range.
Does it include a trailer? A new Carnai (new calkins) is ~2.5K (keel roller, twin bunk) and is perfect for the boat.
The Am Turbine jet is the SD 309, still in production. The motor is Redline, they're still making the same platform, but it would come efi. Both companies are friendly and responsive. The drive train couldn't be simpler and more reliable (ie how many 351 ford blocks have been made?) Holley 4v carb.
I replaced the steering cable on mine...the only failure to date.
I have Redline manual, wood locator, wire codes and turbine maint info. Have started a wiring diagram, since Whaler didn't have that. Glad to help if you go this way.
posted 05-23-2004 11:44 PM ET (US)
Trafficlawyer hates Rages but has never shown up with a ski boat to go across the Lake. I guess he hates Rages but likes his life and does not want to sink off shore in a MasterCraft or Seadoo. Also, I have sucked a rope on an outboard so placing ropes next to any prop is a bad idea.
Weeds are a pain in the ***. I was in Holland Michigan on the lake there and had to cross a weed patch to my friends dock. At first I did not know what was wrong with the drive since the boat will not go fast with a weed. I then realized that the Jet had to be cleaned out since I sucked a weed. It really freaked me out with a load of kids in the boat. However, it really is very easy to do once you know how to do it. Just shut off the engine, walk to the back swim platform, open up the hatch over the ladder, open up the clean out, remove weeds (1-2) minutes, close the clean out, close the hatch and you are done. If you are going to use the boat on a weedy lake I would not buy jet. This is true of all jets they hate weed patches at slow speeds. High speeds no problem they just chew up the weed. Slow speeds a real pain in the ***.
In accordance to why they are no longer made. Legobusier I don’t know my guess is that normal people buy Seadoo's, Yamaha's, Sugar Sands, Hinckley’s if they want a fiberglass boat with a jet. These used boats are a lot cheaper than a whaler and get good reviews at their owner’s group web pages. If a person wants a premier Jet fishing boat then they are going to pay up for the Aluminum jet boats by Thunder Jet, ROCKRUSH'R, Sonic, WILLIE, Currently $19,000 for 1993, ETC. An Aluminum Jet boat is better than fiberglass for the harsh Northwest rivers/bays; they also are normally filled with foam and are much faster than the Rage. So the idea that jet boats don’t sell is just plain wrong.
A logical conclusion to the question of why Brunswick canceled the boat is why should they build an expensive Whaler as a ski boat. I assume these things never sold since they cost a lot more than the other ski boats Brunswick makes such as Baja, SeaRay, Muxum, etc. Brunswick also makes Mercury Jet Drives that are used in the Seadoos. All of these other boats are cheaper and sell a lot each year. So why should Brunswick continue to make a whaler ski boat when they are just stealing sales from their other divisions and not making money on the boat. My guess is that is why they stopped making Rages because they were too expensive, a poor seller and Rages compete with their other boats that are profitable. A better explanation than “Proof in the Pudding” theory they must suck since they stopped making the boat. Corporations are in business to make money. “Proof in the Pudding”
I actually would like to know how Rage 18 Whaler made/sold. My bet it is a small number compared to SeaRays.
Maintenance problems............ I have never heard modern jet drives having problems if you grease the bearings and change the wear rings. They have always been considered to be a low maintenance drive. Who ever told you they break often and suck everything up is an IDIOT in my opinion. I had to sue the lake association that my family summer house is on since the head of the board thought my jet boat would suck up the fish. A true fact don’t laugh. A propeller sucks a lot more water than a jet. This is just a fact. The lake had to let the boat on since 3 members of the fishing club just bought new rangers with a Jet outboard. Jet outboards are the rage for bass boats. Also, they were losing the case for other reasons. People don’t understand Jet drives since they are new (1960) and foreign (Invented in New Zeeland). In my opinion any one who told you a modern jet breaks often is just an IDIOT. Harder to drive yes breaks more no way. Don’t believe me just look at the areas of world were Jet boats are popular: New Zeeland, Idaho, Northwest Canada and Alaska. These are not places were people would risk their lives with a drive that breaks often. The maintenance statement just makes me mad.
For a history of Jet drives and why they are considered better drives by many boaters go to
or go to the Brunswick page for Mercury.
All of the drives on this boat are made by American Turbine. American Turbine is a premier Jet builder. Their jets go in many of the Aluminum Jet boats that run the rivers and bays in the Northwest. To quote another web page I read you don’t run up the Snake river in a bad jet. Outboards don’t run the snake because they too prone to failures in rocky areas. American turbine has a lot of boats that run the Snake with their jets. If you want to talk to the owner of American Turbine just give him a call, he has been very helpful with all of my questions. Redline marine was also very helpful.
I have the standard impeller which I think is an A impeller. American Turbine told me not to waste my money for a better impeller unless I increase the HP above 500.
Since, I have now found other owner’s of this boat I have several questions:
DCPeters were did you find the wood locator, wire codes for the boat. Can I have a copy of these? Kumiega@stuart.iit.edu
How did you tune the boat? I would like to know what else I should do to tune the boat. I have found no information about how to tune this boat. Except for this Thread Classic Whaler has been of little use except to read comments by people who never owned this boat telling other people not to buy this boat. This page and whaler dealers did me a huge favor by lowering the price of this boat so I could afford a Whaler instead of Seadoo or Yamaha, thanks guys keep up the good work.
Also, I would like to know if any one else has either placed a wedge in the drive to get the bow down quicker or has placed trim tabs on this boat. I just thought the bow was a bow was a bit too high out of the hole so I modified the boat.
Has anyone modified the Ford 351W to get more power? According to American Turbine the Jet will take up to 500HP. You just have to modify the Ford engine if you want to go faster. While 40 is fast, the boat and drive should be able to hit 50 since my engine runs out of HP at 4000 RPM. More HP means a bigger impeller and high RPM’s. I was going to place a supercharger on the boat but the front of the motor is 1” too close to the fire wall.
Finally, mufflers. Has anyone found mufflers that will make the boat quite at idle speed. I like the sound but it is loud when you start the boat at the dock. It really sounds like a 1960 muscle car. People look at the boat like it is a drag boat instead of a slow family ski boat.
I would offer 10 K since no one really knows what the true value of this boat is. Also call Irish Marine they may still have some since the salesman was telling me a Jet is bad, it breaks a lot and sucks up ropes if I throw them under the boat. He suggested I should spend 35K on a new boat. I bet they still have not sold their customers boats. Also don’t forget most Whaler people want a fishing boat, the ski people are not willing to pay 13K for an 8 yr old whaler. Most Ski boat people never even heard of a Whaler and will not buy one especially one with a Jet. If they buy a Jet it will be a Seadoo since they are much faster, who cares if they sink. I would have the engine checked by hooking up the garden hose and have your mechanic look at the Jet drive for bad bearings. American Turbine web page will tell you what to do.
Good luck, hopefully this will dispel some of the myths about this boat. I realize this is a long post but the MYTHS get me going due to having to sue to get my Rage on my family’s summer house lake. The Suck up fish mentality cost me quite a bit of money so I don’t find un-informed people funny. Hopefully, by speaking out more people like me will post so that I can learn more about the Rage’s.
posted 05-24-2004 07:57 AM ET (US)
Thanks for the information about the Rage 18. A fresh point of view is always welcome to a discussion.
The sales of the Boston Whaler jet-powered RAGE boats were thought to be quite strong when the boats were first offered, and they provided valuable sales at a time when the other boats in the line were not as popular as they once were. Expanding into the jet-powered boat market helped Boston Whaler.
posted 05-24-2004 10:13 AM ET (US)
Different strokes for different Folks
Whatever floats your boat!
we sell aluminum hulled, jet boats at the boston whaler dealership I work at. american turbine is a descent pump,hamilton jet is another, gone are the days of jaccuzzi and berkley jets.
stay away..far away from sport jets...I personally don't feel they have a good track record...just my opinion, I could be wrong..
there are many jet powered sport boats out there...sea ray, bayliner, yamaha and seadoo make several models...
posted 05-24-2004 10:27 AM ET (US)
Kumiega, I can scan and email or snail mail a hard cc. Email me. Do you have the redline manual also?
Same issue, I think spoke of new jet boats available...probably no coincidence!
Do you have the redline manual also?
posted 05-24-2004 12:29 PM ET (US)
Kumiega-A excellent post,but lets not let the cat out of the bag and extoll the Rages to much!!!! Our bargains will no longer exist.
Wedges to trim the nozzel are very common,some electric/hydralic trimable nozzel are made for some applications.
TUNNING a jet is a different process than a prop engine,by the way the engine is loaded by the impeller vs a prop.
Besides the bigest MYTH is the "Check is in the Mail",and BW are Unsinkable and remain gunnel upright when capsized(see page "1-7" in your Rage Owners Manual),where the capsized boat is turned over with the man standing on hull bottom,arms outstretched moving them verticlely to attrack assistance.
posted 05-24-2004 02:19 PM ET (US)
In my earlier post, perhaps I used the word "tuning" improperly. I meant to say "adjusted", since what needed to be done was a simple cable adjustment. The cable needed a tweak so that the reverse gate closed securely on the jet when in reverse, and was out of the stream when at full forward throttle. I actually don't know how you'd do real tuning on the jet pump itself. I saw no real adjustments, but Tuna1 might be referring to changing hardware to improve water pickup or increasing hosepower. BTW, the current iteration EFI 351 HO GT kicks out ~330 HP, I believe.
I had no manual or wise assistants. The drive concept was so simple, I could just stare at it, figure it out and adjust.
Third time was the charm. My kids were beaming when we popped up on plane. I'd guess my smile was larger, though. My previous boat (27') wasn't so responsive or so much fun.
Last comment, is I have a 18.6 Whaler with a 285 HP four stroke. Great fishing platforms on front and back, comfortable seats for 7. Can pull skiers, tubes, kneeboards and I expect to figure out how to put on a tower to get some wakeboard air. No complaints for now.
Tuna1...do you actually have a Rage 18 manual? I'd be keen on a scan of that. BW has distributed all they had.
posted 05-24-2004 06:31 PM ET (US)
To DCPeters check email,will email you a copy of the Rage Manual.
BTW what i mean is that Tuning is adjusting the engine fuel mixture and timing.A jet pumps impeller does not load a engine the same way a prop does.If you had a vacume guage you would see lower intake vacume being developed in the engine(the engine is not loaded as heavily)therefore carburation and timing can/should be changed to optimize what you have inplace on the engine presently.You don't need to rev the engine so high.With a cam change you can bring the power curve down in the rpm range saving engine life,and fuel. Things can be done internal to the jet pump to improve performance.But as in any sport more speed will cost more.
posted 06-11-2005 09:30 AM ET (US)
After searching for some Rage forums I think this page have some of the best info so far.
I own a 1994 rage with the OMC turbo jet. The boat is great fun and personally more fun than my other whaler (outrage 18 with Merc 150 hp) but with two diff purposes. However, I still would love some more speed with the JET. Have any of you heard of people replacing the OMC with the Merc XR2 block?
Thanks in advance
enjoy the waves....
posted 05-16-2006 02:44 PM ET (US)
hi, i'm new here, but not new to boating. i have a '86 rage 18, along with a few other boats... none of them whalers. my rage is an awesome boat. way better than my 99 sea-doo sportster ( which is long gone), and definitely different than my '01 mckee craft 17' offshore fisherman. i think jet drive boats require a certain type of owner... kind of like a guy who likes the thought of riding a harley with a jockey shifter. it requires a special thought process to operate it properly, it's different, and it's prety nimble for an 18' boat. ...pluse it sort of has an old school hot rod sound to it. i wouldn't trade/ sell it for the world.
posted 05-16-2006 02:49 PM ET (US)
*** meant '96 *** ... just sold my "86 KMV 528cc last week...still on my mind and i miss her.
posted 05-17-2006 12:56 AM ET (US)
Welcome and if you have any questions email me.
The boat is a great boatif you spend the time learning how to tune and drive the boat.
posted 05-17-2006 12:12 PM ET (US)
Just thought I would add my two cents.
If you've always wanted a jet boat, the Rage would be a good one to get. BUT, if you really don't want a jet in the first place, why get one ? It's not like the one you are looking at is a steal.
When I can't make up my mind whether to buy something , I always ask myself this question "If I don't like it, am I going to lose any money if I turn around and sell it ?"
If you buy an outboard powered Whaler, when you go to sell it, your buying audience will be huge. The buyers for a Rage will be a fraction of that.
If you find a boat that's a bargain, sure , go ahead but for $13,000 I would think you would have a wide variety of boats to choose from - Whalers and non-Whalers.
Now, I'm not saying the Rage is a bad boat because I have no experience with them. I'm just saying that if you don't really want a jet, why get one ?
posted 07-01-2006 10:43 PM ET (US)
I just purchased a Rage in San Diego. I would llike to see if there is another owner near me and if any one has any manuals for this boat and engine.
posted 07-07-2006 04:40 PM ET (US)
I am about to be a new Rage 18 owner in a couple of weeks. I am very excited about the jet drive. Also glad to read how well they do in rougher water. Look forward to chatting more about them with you other owners!!
|Land And Marine||
posted 10-27-2008 08:13 PM ET (US)
Does anyone have any comments on how the 351 is on fuel? I'm a small block guy from the car world so I have some idea of what to expect but any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I am interested in a picking up a used Rage and your postings have been very helpful thus far.
posted 10-30-2008 06:19 AM ET (US)
Land and Marine
At cryuise speed they burn about 11 gallons an hour.
Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.
Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000