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Author Topic:   130 Sport backrest changes
ScottS posted 06-30-2004 02:35 PM ET (US)   Profile for ScottS   Send Email to ScottS  
Does anyone know why Whaler changed the 130 Sport backrest from an optional tall, full-width backrest (2001, 2002?) to a standard low backrest with a walk-thru opening? Were there big negatives to the tall backrest or was it a production cost issue? The current backrest seems too low and really just keeps you from sliding back in the seat. I understand the tall backrest makes it more difficult to access the stern, but I don't see a need to go to the stern often while on the water. I might change my mind if I install a portable head like Moe!

Can any current 130 (or 150) owners tell me the pros/cons of each backrest? I plan on purchasing a used Whaler for family cruising mostly on lakes with occasional trips to the ICW. I'm leaning toward the 130 over the 150 for lower cost, lighter towing, smaller storage footprint, plus my family doesn't weigh much. We'll buy a larger boat someday when we're ready to get back into overnight cruising.

I’ve been lurking for a long time and I appreciate all the great information and opinions provided on this website.


poker13 posted 06-30-2004 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
I test drove one with the full-width back rest and it was pretty comfortable, if a little flexy when leaning back on it with all your weight. The one thing that made me nervous was the hinges. They looked a little on the light side to me and they were painted or maybe powder coated--not sure--but didn't look like they would hold up very well against salt water. I would have preferred stainless steel there. I haven't had the opportunity to try out the new style seating arrangement.
dittybag54 posted 06-30-2004 04:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for dittybag54  Send Email to dittybag54     
Scott, I have the 130 and agree with you that the shorter backrest does not do much more than keeping you from sliding backwards. It does at least support your lower back somewhat if you scoot back and it is easy to get to the stern which is a good thing. When the waves are beating me up I am thankful to be 5'9" because I do what always works best for me; stand up. Anyone taller might not fare so well.
We have enjoyed the boat and purchased it for most of the same reasons you mention. Talk about easy to tow, handle and store; it is great. We can actually fit both vehicles and the boat in the garage if extreme weather threatens. It is very tight but we never expected to be able to juggle it like that in a two car garage.(Note one vehicle is a Subaru, the other a small SUV) We tow it with both vehicles; no problem.
We are both light too. My wife and myself (about 310 lbs.)easily run along with her brother's 2 kids (at about 120, a full cooler, spare 6.6 gallon tank and 45 lbs. of junk at 25 mph. A warning; we did load it slightly over maximum for a few minutes and with the 40 2 stroke could not get on a plane at all. If you will be close to the max weight or in anything more than light chop most of the time, consider the 150 as it's a great boat according to folks on the forum but would be roomier, ride smoother and still be relatively light to manage.
We are very happy with the 130. Good luck.
Jarhead posted 06-30-2004 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     
I use my '03 130 sport exclusively for fishing and find the low back rest beneficial when I have to work the fish around the boat. (easy to step through)

I also find the rear seat back makes a pretty good seat when anchored and fishing out the stern.

Oh yeah, I also found the back of the port side backrest made a great place to mount a vertical one piece three rod holder. :)

billyc posted 06-30-2004 11:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for billyc  Send Email to billyc     
I have the tall back that folds down on my 13. My wife and I prefer this over the new short version. It supports our back and folds down easily to access the stern. (My wife has a porta-potti.)

I occassionally fish or pole standing on it when it is folded down.

Too bad this option was discontinued.

The only annoying thing about it is that it flips up when trailering unless it is tied down.

I do wish I had a removable front bench that is available on the latest models.

Royboy posted 07-01-2004 03:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I have the long seat back too on my 2000 130 Sport. It is a comfortable seat and not a problem stepping over it when it's folded down. I've stood on mine too (when it's really calm) for casting and it's pretty stable as long as I'm by myself, but I wouldn't do it with anyone else in the boat with me. It would be nice to not have to step over it, but my 46 year old back appreciates the support. It's pretty comfortable to sit on even when folded down, so moving around the boat is possible when fishing, which is nice. I have a 72 Quart cooler back there with a seat cusion and four rod holders and it's a comfy place to fish from. I fold the seat down when drifting (acts like a sail) and I tie it down when towing (also acts like a sail, and not so good for MPG) to save the hinges, which don't look like they were made to be snapped open by the force of the wind.


Aucilla posted 08-04-2004 08:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Aucilla  Send Email to Aucilla     
I have a 2000 Sport 130 and have just the bench seats but I have attached two clamp on swivle seats. The are very comfortable and good to sit and fish from.
Vashon posted 08-04-2004 11:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Vashon  Send Email to Vashon     
I have found on my '04 130, the lower seat backs support my 2 year old boy perfectly. It was like they designed it for him.
But I am 6'4" & always hunched over. It is not very comfortable at all. The reprieve I do have is I can stretch my legs easily under the helm & front seat, which makes things bearable...
Jarhead posted 08-05-2004 07:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     
Royboy may have nailed it with his comment on drag- "also acts like a sail, and not so good for MPG". Note the design of the helm, swept back to be more aerodynamic.

Hey, just a guess. :)

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