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Author Topic:   23 Conquest -vs- Grady White 228 Seafarer
vze2gbs4 posted 06-01-2004 02:34 AM ET (US)   Profile for vze2gbs4   Send Email to vze2gbs4  
Hello there

Just sold my 26-foot Sea Ray Sundancer last week. Got tired of cabin cruiser. I want to buy nice good quality walkaround with an outboard. After doing some research I zoomed in on two boats: Boston Whaler 23 Conquest or Grady White 228 Seafarer, both model-year 2000 or 2001. I simply can't decide between these two boats.

I know about GW quality, fit and finish, their deep-V hulls, and they all come with Yamaha engines. But I also know about Boston Whaler unsinkability, more family friendly deck layout, and respect they get in the marina. Conquest 23 owners, I need your help!

I know a friend who had a Conquest 21 and he said the ride was terrible. I had a ride last year on an ther friend's Grady White 248 and was very pleased the way the boat handled. I do my boating in NYC Harbor and Northern New Jersey area. With so many ferry services and boat sight seeing tours it can get very choppy here.

Because of my dad and my childhood memories on our old 17-foot Boston Whaler, I am leaning more towards a Conquest, but I'm simply worry that the boat may be too hard and bouncy for my wife and our two small kids (ages 9 and 3). I would like to keep the new boat for a long term.

Please let me know what is your experience with the Conquest 23 and what would you do? Also one or two engines dilema?

Since I got concerned about the short production span (1997-2002) of this model, I called the factory and asked them why they stopped making them in 2002. The answer was that the new 255 model was introduced for almost the same price. Don't like new the 255 Conquest--It's not Whaler anymore. Thanks Andy

jimh posted 06-01-2004 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Moved article from another forum.]
bsmotril posted 06-01-2004 11:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
The Conquest23 has a lot more volume than a 21, and a lot more weight. I boat on the TX gulf where the chop is steep and short. My Conquest 23 does well there because I can maintain plane down to about 20mph with the motors trimmed in and tabs down. The boat is also very dry in those conditions except for the stern seat when there is a crosswind. It throws spray well out to the side. The ride is still bouncy, because the helm is far forward on the Conquest. But, the landings are not thumps, but swooshes when the boat is trimmed right. If you push the speed up to 30mph in 3 foot chop, you're going to beat yourself and the boat a great deal, but that is true of any 23 footer in those conditions where I boat. If you want to go fast, then the Grady's greater weight may work to your advantage there.

Ride is such a variable characteristic that depends a great deal on expectation, local conditions, and the captain's skill at trimming the boat. Something as simple as sliding a cooler over to one side so the boat lands level instead of off to one side can make a great difference. The 3' chop on the shallow TX gulf is a lot rougher riding than 10 foot rollers on the California coast. The best thing you could do would be to swing a test ride on both boats in the area where you plan on boating. Bill

spk2 posted 06-01-2004 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for spk2  Send Email to spk2     
I run a 23 Conquest with a I/O out of San Francisco Bay.

Ditto the comments above. Sure there are better riding boats out there. My previous boat was a 23 Formula that would cut through the water like a knife but god help you once you stop, that deep vee hull rolled like a rollercoaster. Like eveything the best riding boat may not be the best allaround boat for the family.
I have hit one deadhead and waterlogged scaffold plank over the years, never hard enough to pucture the hull but it was enough for me to give the Whaler the thumbs up. The only swimming I want to do is in a pool


mustang7nh posted 06-02-2004 07:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for mustang7nh  Send Email to mustang7nh     
Ditto comments expressed regarding ride. However, I would echo the fact that the layout and family comforts are the strong features of this model IMO.
ivansfo posted 06-02-2004 06:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     
Three years ago I was in the exact same situation deciding between these two boats. Obviously both are well built and would make a great choice. Due to availabilty reasons, I first made an offer for the Grady 228 but it was turned down so I ended up getting the 23 Conquest with dual engines under my budget. Since then I have been very pleased with the Conquest.

23 Conquest
+Roomier cockpit (slightly bigger boat)
+Better cockpit layout
+Dual Motor option (must have if you go offshore)
+Reputation for long lasting hulls
-Heavier hull is tougher for towing
-Less forgiving ride (can pound if you don't trim motors perfect)

Grady 228
+Narrower beam so ride is softer.
+Lighter hull which helps get on plane easier
+Yamaha Power
+4 Stroke option
-Single only

The deciding factor for me was that the 23 Conquest with twin engines cost about the same as a 228 equipped with a single Yamaha 4 stroke. And I have more confidence that the Whaler will be in better shape 10 years down road. My boat is used in the SF bay area where we typically see 1-3 feet chop on top of 4-7 feet swells. Any larger seas, I don't go out.

vze2gbs4 posted 06-03-2004 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for vze2gbs4  Send Email to vze2gbs4     
I want to thank you for all your replies.
There was something i didn't mention.I've been boating about a decade now in NYC harbour and down to a Jersey shore. But believe me or not I yet had to see a single Boston Whaler over 21 foot in this area with a local homeport.Smaller outrages and montauks yes , but no big Whalers.I personaly know that BW is not a first choice around here(but plenty of Grady Whites).Why ? Now ,is there a something that they now and I don't. Long Island is much better - they even have a couple of Whaler dealerships .
I've seen couple of Coast Guard 26 Conquests after 9/11
but even that is gone now.Just an idea of being maybe the only guy with a bigger whaler in the biggest city of this great nation bring smile and chills every night I go to bed.
Now is that enough reason to make my decision and go with a Whaler or be just another dude with a Grady on the water?


I would love to take 23 conquest for a test ride but as you see from this post my resources are limited.

Thaks Andy

James posted 06-03-2004 02:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for James  Send Email to James     

I use my 170 Montauk in the same waters that you mentioned. I am also figuring on moving up to a cuddy in the next year or so, and have looked at the same boats. I see a lot of Whalers of all sizes and Grady Whites in the Rartitan/Sandy Hook bays. If you go up the Shrewsbury River, you will see many Classic Whaler cuddy cabin style boats docked in their slips throughout the various marinas.

I feel that the BW/GW ratios are probably going to get more lopsided in our area (advantage towards Grady White) because there is now a GW dealer directly on the Navesink River. The nearest Whaler dealer is McCarthy's and he is 30 miles down the GS Parkway. A decent ride on a typically crowded highway, if you do not have to do it very often.

I prefer the safety and quality of a Whaler hull, although GW now claims in their Advertisements that all their boats are "Unsinkable". Whaler just came out with the 205 Eastport Cuddy and there was a mention of a new 23 Cuddy in the works, which would make a lot of sense.

The new Whalers would be Merc-powered which brings us Whaler-lovers to another area access issue. My local dealers will service Yamahas and OMCs, and not Mercurys (there is however, a very good Mercury service outfit in Sea Bright).

I intend to wait and see what Whaler is going to do with its Cuddys, before I decide to buy new. Good Luck with your choice!


tombro posted 06-03-2004 08:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
I, too, have boated the harbor waters in the past. Not in a Whaler, but a deep V Mako 258. Really have to watch out on the harbor, can be tough sledding even in a deep vee 25' rig with twins.
FYI--I passed McCarthy's last Sunday (my dealer) and there are a ton of rigs out there. Will have to keep an eye out for that Eastport, as I want a cuddy again, in a few years. Didn't know until about it until seeing the above post, thanks, James. I'll give you a wave next time I launch @ Chris's.
An Eastport 235 might even sway me from a Steiger...
BW23 posted 06-03-2004 08:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
I purchased a used 97 w/ a 225 EFI MERC 3 seasons ago.

Overall I'm 90% pleased with the boat and I did look at 226 /228's.
Minor dis-appointments are the quality of the hatches and the pounding if not trimmed correctly.

The factory Bennett trim tabs are too small for a boat of this size. I'm thinking of installing larger ones.

I would do your own + / - sheet like ivan did. If possible, sea trial both boats in "real" conditions. I'm sure you will find the 23 CON to have a drier ride.

Good luck with your decisions. Don't think you can go wrong with either boat.

diveorfish posted 06-03-2004 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
A few quick comments that may help your decision:

You may have a hard time finding any Coast Guard or military Grady Whites. It seems to me that these organizations may know a thing or two about boats.

As far as the ride goes, it is true that you have to trim the whaler correctly to get a smooth ride. This isn’t brain surgery though, when the weather is rough all you have to do is press the trim tab buttons about 3 seconds and the motor(s) trim switches about 2 seconds and you are done for the day. What’s the big deal?

What the Whaler has that the Grady doesn’t:

The 23 hull has big reverse chines which do the following: They make ride is unbelievably dry which becomes very important when it’s cold. They make the boat extremely stable at drift which makes it very safe and easy for moving about on the boat. It also makes for an “inflatable” like stable dive platform. They also give the boat a strong tendency to stay straight and level when underway. The boat simply doesn’t roll under any circumstances. This is great in any quartering, beam, following or confused sea.

Don’t under estimate the importance of having the euro transom with platform, transom door and ladder. It makes getting on and off the boat extremely easy for what ever activity you have in mind or even if you accidentally go overboard.

The fish box is long and on the floor of the deck. This feature makes it much easier to clean and get bigger fish into.

The stern seat, besides being retractable, is also in the middle. It is a very comfortable and dry place for three people to sit while underway. It is also more sheltered from the wind while underway also.

Availability of twins has already been mentioned as well as true unsinkable nature of the Whaler.

Anyway these are just a few things that I could think of off the top of my head. In my humble opinion, there is no contest between the two, Whaler all the way. In fact, it’s not even a fair comparison.

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