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Author Topic:   170 Montauk, One Year Later
Barney posted 09-28-2004 07:55 PM ET (US)   Profile for Barney   Send Email to Barney  
After having owned my 2003 170 Montauk for over a year, I thought I would summarize the repairs, maintenance and odd things that have occurred. Don't get me wrong I love my boat. I have added trailer brakes and have trailered the boat on the interstate with a 4 cylinder Tacoma with no problems. The boat performs well and handles excellently. I store the boat outside all the time but I purchased a Mills mooring cover which has saved a lot of maintenance time and sun damage already. Maybe some can add to this list and some can be on the lookout.

Starting at the bow:

1. Bow light: Lots of bow light moisture. Cheap plastic lens cracked at attachments. The lens is a twist and remove piece. Care must be taken to remove the first time to see how it is installed. Dead ants found in the bow light. Light was on the fritz due to corrosion. Some have mentioned grease to stop this. Ants love the boat.

2. Hull: I drilled holes for the Mills mooring cover attachments and water from boat build process came out of two sets of holes. This is not a problem per the factory.

3. Cooler: The latch and inside strap have broken. Sunlight kills the cooler pieces.

4. Console: Anchor light switch went on the fritz. Got new switch from dealer (Warranty).

5. Console: The battery hold down was loose from delivery. Battery connections corroded in no time. Cleaned and greased those.

6. Outboard (90 4-Stroke):
a. Tilt and trim motor housing, bad surface rust. Sanded and painted. This thing is steel and is hidden when washing down from a boat lift and probably needs washing down better.
b. 4-Stroke oil changes are easy, but be prepared for a gush of oil. The oil collector should be located a foot or two from the plug. Had to drive a screw driver into the filter to remove.
c. The flush port was pushed into the housing the first time I flushed from the boat lift. What a pin to pull back out. Use a quick connect hose fitting, this has been discussed a lot on the forum.

7. Trailer (EZ Loader):
a. The bunk attachments are really rusted. Maybe due to poor wash down in that area on my part but maybe due to poor quality attachments to the bunks. These angle pieces are cheap, $2 to $4, but should be high quality galvanized. The whole boat rides on these things. Will need to replace them.
b. The axle is off center. One wheel is about 1/4" further out than the other. Will fix this myself.
c. Very little grease in the hubs from the factory.
d. Shimmed the fenders to better clear the tires after the brake install.
e. The tires lose pressure quickly.

Knot at Work posted 09-28-2004 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     

SAME EXACT problems! Lights. Anchor Switches and trailer!

Also I had to replace the Trim raise and lower on the Binnacle.

BUT, I love my boat!!!

Maximus posted 09-28-2004 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
Nice summary...let me try my experience with having owned basically the same boat since July 2003. Boat is garaged winters and stored indoors on a rack during the summer. No bottom paint. Upgrades include 2 13 gallon Tempo tanks, rear stern cleats, VHF, AM/FM CD and speakers, 3' SS Whip antenna.

1. No bow light problems, works fine, no water, nothing.

2. Hull and stainless steel whaler hardware, no problems. Although the old blue was much easier to keep clean. Hull has weathered normal docking problems and other boats very well. Everything as buffed out, still looks new.

3. Cooler, no problems.

3.1. Cushions, no problems other than having to unsnap the bow cushion to get the anchor out (and re snap it when you are done).

4. Console, gauges are fogged and have been fogged since a week after delivery. Fog varies but all displays are readable. Initial complaint to dealer went without any action on their part. Insisted gauges needed to be replaced and they complied. New ones fogged. Console has good mounting for AMFM, VHF, and Speakers. Tackle box is not very robust. I store tools in it and the small screws holding it from the inside have given way. Also, some of the whaler drain lines (light socket, cup drains) tend to fall down.

5. Outboard 90-HP 4-stroke: No operability problems, starts quickly, sips fuel, QUIET, and more than adequate performance (42-MPH GPS). I have almost 70 hours on the motor. Two small points, though, SS prop has rust on the i.d. and rubber plug for battery, controls, and fuel lines tends to pop out. By the way, oil is very clean.

6. Mills Bimini Top big disappointment. No operability or performance problems, i.e. works great, but very suspect of the quality of stainless they use. Some rivets are rusted, some not. As compared to the whaler SS railing, the Mills look terrible. I also had a problem with some of the hinge bolts loosening. I used Loc-Tite on them this spring and all seems better now, though.

7. Trailer, no complains. I jackknifed and broke the crank off the front support, easy replacement. Replaced the front bow stop with a poly stop. Factory bow stop left a black mark. Plan on replacing/repacking bearings this fall, though I do limited towing and they still run cool.

Other random thoughts...Storage, not enough but is there every enough?

Overall, very happy. An amazing upgrade from the old 16 foot hull. Hopefully I will get another 39 or so years out her.

Barney posted 09-28-2004 10:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
I've got the fogged gauges and corrosion on the prop hub also.
jimh posted 09-28-2004 11:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[I had a field day changing "issue" to "problem" in this thread! Set a new record.--jimh]
erik selis posted 09-29-2004 04:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Jim (Barney),

I think it's great that you started this thread. It's always interesting to read about experiences of other 170 Montauk owners. Both the good and the b..(less good):-)

I have a 2003 model 170 Montauk purchased in December 2002. It has the 90-hp ELPTO 2-stroke Mercury engine. I have 200 hours on the motor now and here is my summary.

1. Bow light: no problem at all.

2. Hull and stainless steel whaler hardware: no real problem except for a few screws that have become loose on the console. (not worth mentioning really)

3. Cooler: installed them myself (aftermarket)

4. Console: fogged gauges also. I added a Quicksilver hour counter as well. The console looks nice but it's too low for me (check out the thread in "The Gam" section: 170 Montauk vs. 18-ft Outrage: update)

5. Outboard (90 2-Stroke): Quite a few problems in the first 6 months. All solved under warranty. Power pack was replaced after the second time out. (running on 2-cyl. instead of 3) Tilt/trim broke down twice and was replaced. I have always found it to be a difficult motor to start when cold. This has improved the last few months but it's not to be compared to the ease of starting the 90 4-stroke.

6. Trailer (EZ Loader): Sold it even before leaving the dealer. They're not allowed on the road over here (with the 170 on it) due to the stricter towing regulations. Anything over 1320lbs cannot be towed without brakes on the trailer, even if you're driving a 3/4 ton truck.

Btw, Jim, how are your new brakes doing that you installed on your EZ loader? Do you feel the difference when braking with your towing vehicle? You did a great job on that!

I too, like Jeff and Maximus, am very pleased with my boat. It has handled everything I have given her and I'm pretty sure I will keep her for many more years to come.


Barney posted 09-29-2004 07:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Thanks Erik, the brakes work great and stop the rig shorter than I thought it would. Maybe as short as the pickup solo. Jim
bigjohn1 posted 09-29-2004 07:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1    
Great topic to start Barney - thanks a million! Its really good to hear other's experiences before starting out cold myself. What is it about seems like many of the manufacturers build them as cheap as possible and cut corners. I had problems with bunk atachments on two other trailers (both Calkins) and was hoping EZ-Loader was built better - it seems that is not the case. Are the attachments just plain old painted (or plated) steel? I suspect so. Perhaps I'll have some SS brackets cut out ahead of time and just have the dealer put them on when the trailer arrives. Everything is coming to the dealer inside a 20ft milvan container and the trailer is still in its box.

Although I hate this idea, I had also planned on spraying down all non-galvanized trailer parts with that ugly white lithium spray before it gets its first dunk in the ocean. Its real messy looking but its one of the few products that retards salt really well. It really looks messy and unprofessional though.

On the grab rails and bimini frame, a rag with a LIGHT coat of WD-40 rubbed on ocasionally will prevent new rust and get rid of early rust if its caught in time. This always worked really well for me on motorcycle and bicycle spokes.

On that EZ-Loader trailer, are all the attachment nuts and bolts just plain steel?
Big John

Barney posted 09-29-2004 01:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
John, I think the bunks are treated and affect the cheap grade bracket materials. I found stainless brackets here. I need to install these and the stainless lag screws. Jim
LHG posted 09-29-2004 02:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
What I don't understand is why Boston Whaler, based in FL, uses Sleasy Loader trailers, based in Washington State, about as far away as you can get, when a company like Continental, making nice competitivley priced, galvanized all welded keel roller trailers, is nearby in Miami. A lesson to be learned from the Japanese auto companies is that your major suppliers should be located nearby.
whalemate posted 09-29-2004 05:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalemate  Send Email to whalemate     
Correct me if I am wrong but did not Boston Whaler replace the E-Z Loader brand trailer that comes standard under the 170 Montauk, with a very nice all gavanized, swing-tongue, LED lit trailer for 2004?
jimh posted 09-29-2004 09:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Fixed too long URI.]
Barney posted 09-29-2004 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Thanks jimh for the edits. Jim
pvonk posted 09-29-2004 09:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for pvonk  Send Email to pvonk     
The current year's Montauk model (2005) includes a Karavan galvanized trailer with wing-tongue and LED lights.
bigjohn1 posted 09-30-2004 08:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1    
Barney, thanks for the link and I'll definitely save it as I figure it won't be long before I need some of those parts when things start rusting.

Also the point from pvonk that Karavan is the packaged trailer for '05 is good to know. I'm not brand loyal on trailers but anything galvanized with LED lights is better for my purposes. Trouble is though, my boat order got a July production date so I really have no idea if its an '04 or '05, the dealer is not sure either till they unpack the container next week. So, I guess it looks like I'll start getting maximum useage out of the boat about the time most of you guys are ready to start thinking about winterizing. I'll try and not jab people too hard when mentioning the year-round 85 degree water temps
here:-) Island living in the South Pacific does have its advantages - one of which IS NOT speedy delivery of a newly purchased Whaler!
Big John

AQUANUT posted 09-30-2004 10:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
I find this thread intersting and a marine tch, I am tasked with doing warranty work, I have yet to see even 1 boston whaler under 19 feet come back for the 2004/2005 model year for warranty. Now I opened pandoras box..I am sure it will change.
Anyway, I enjoy my 2004 montauk 170 with the 115hp EFI fourstroke. I have put some time on it, however mostly freshwater lakes. have done some dungeoness crabbing on the oregon coast..and things got nasty. put 10 inches of water inside the hull, with four adults onboard and 12 crab traps made it back to shore.

failures, on the boat, zero
failures, on the trailer, totally unsatified with the dang thing,

I.e. electrical wiring issues, switching to led tail lights this week, I also do not like how leaf springs are attached to the frame as compared to the e-z loader equivalent.
the frame flexes over the axel.

it been a good ride!!!!!!!!!!!!!

seasicknes posted 09-30-2004 11:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for seasicknes    
I purchased my 2003 montauk 170 used.

I have added to the ez loader trailer side guides, non marking bow stop, swing away tongue and a spare wheel/tire.
So far the only thing that went bad is a bulb (rear tail light starboard side) went out. Replace bulb.

I have added to the boat: Second battery, perko switch, electrical connections for downrigger and crab puller, pate 24 gallon tank and fuel/water seperator.
So far nothing has failed.

Motor 4 stroke 90 hp problems:
1. Did not idle well. Will die.
*brought back to dealer, cleaned out the carb and told me to use quickleen. Under warrenty.

2. Oil leak above the cavatation plate.
*this took two trips to the dealer. Gasket was bad. Dealer replaced and added new crankcase oil. Under warrenty.

3. Lost power 5 miles out of the harbor. Was able to limp back to dock.
*brought back to dealer, Bad plug wire. Under warrenty.

Motor has now settled down now and is operating properly.
she now has 75 hours on her as of 9/30/04

WT posted 09-30-2004 12:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
I bought my Montauk in February of 2004. My hour gauge reads 59 hours.


1) I had a electrical short from a dealer installed hour gauge.
2) Port side rear trailer bulb burned out.
3) Starboard side trailer light on the fender burned out.
4) 90 HP four stroke ideled rough, dealer cleaned and recommended Mercury Quickleen.
5) Trailer bow stop rubber roller leaves black marks on hull. (Planning to change to Stoltz polyurethane)

I love my Montauk, it is the perfect boat for me. I trailer it to lakes and the Pacific Ocean for fishing.


SteveFC posted 09-30-2004 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for SteveFC  Send Email to SteveFC     
I’ve only owned my used 2004 Montauk for a month. But it was a year old this August, so the boat, if not the owner, qualifies for this thread.

My boat came with Icom 402 VHF Mills flying top & console cover, trim/tilt gauge, and hour meter. I added a Garmin 188C GPS sounder and sunbrella cover from boatcoversdirect.

The only problem so far is that one corner of the bow cushion was saturated with water. I wasn’t expecting the cushion to be a life raft, but neither was I expecting a vinyl-covered sponge. On the plus side, there is no moisture in the gauges or the bow light.

The 90 four stroke has run flawlessly and quietly. But it sounds more like a car than an outboard. I miss the throaty roar of the 2-stroke and the heady smell of partially burnt tcw3.

The Karavan trailer came with a polyurethane bow roller, so no problem there. I am adding side guides so I can see the trailer when it’s empty.

The boat came to me with 16.5 hours on the meter, and I’ve doubled that. I’ve intentionally taken it into some rough water to see what it will do, and I’m still amazed at how well it handles the nasty stuff, compared to my old 1965 Sakonnet.

The only gripes I have are lack of storage space and puny fuel supply. I’ll work on those items over the winter.

MantyMonty posted 09-30-2004 10:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for MantyMonty  Send Email to MantyMonty     
I have the 2004 Montauk with the 2004 Karavan trailer. No problems with either yet, knock on teak. I have the 2 stroke 90 Merc. and have put on 24 hours on the hour meter this summer. It runs great, trolls quite well, pulls a large tube with three people just fine. The only complaint is my poor fishing skills on Lake Michigan hasn't produced the catch I know I am capable of doing. The boat starts easily, simple to launch and pull into a slip. Doesn't take very long to clean and wax. I did have a tread delamination problem once while trailering at highway speeds. The bias ply didn't blow, but it was close. I now have the Garmin 188C, Icom 502 with a 4 foot Digital Antenna, 27 Pate, custom transom cushions, Mills trailering cover and Mills Mooring cover. On the trailer I put retracting transom straps and 5 foot side guide bunks on. Great additions for ease of loading in windy conditons. All around great boat. No water or rust or moisture anywhere. My Monty sits in her slip most of the summer, coming out for two weeks of trailer usage and camping trips, and a trip or two to the gas station. Haven't had the heart to bottom coat and bottom paint yet, but it might be coming. Haven't decided yet for next year. It worked out ok this year without it, so I may just give her a nice wax and buffing, and leave it at that.
Rich M posted 10-04-2004 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
My 2003 Montauk 170 with nearly 200 hours has not had any major problems. Just a few of the minor "issues" (sorry, I couldn't resist) already mentioned - fogging gauges (this really should be considered normal for this type of gauge) and cup holder / anchor light drains disconnecting. The Mercury 90 two stroke is a strong runner with excellent hole shot and good economical cruising at around 4000 rpm using the stock 21 pitch aluminum prop. EZ Loader trailer seems adequate although I haven't done long distances or frequent use.

Over all likes - build quality, handling in chop, ease of maintenence, over all comfort for fishing and cruising.

Dislikes - non self draining cockpit, lack of stern cleats (the new ones have them, I had to add my own) and lack of storage space.

We paid around $20k US at the peak of the season (included fishing package) and I think this was a fair price considering quality and projected resale value.

This boat is tops in it's class and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering a 17 foot center console.

MantyMonty posted 10-04-2004 03:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for MantyMonty  Send Email to MantyMonty     
Now that you mentioned it Rich, I too would like some sort of self-draining capabilities for the deck area. Has anyone installed these on their Montauks? It doesn't seem like it would be real difficult to do. Maybe there is a reason they (BW) don't offer them on this model.
Camuyano posted 10-05-2004 11:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Camuyano  Send Email to Camuyano     

I've had my 2004 170 Montauk since May. I too have no major complaints but have not gone over the boat too carefully since I've been too busy using it.

I didn't see anybody mention problems with the ignition switch but I know that at least a couple of people have had them. Mine started engaging by itself. I was concerned because dealer response had been slow to a couple of queries I had before but once I talked to the right person they took care of it right away.

Apperently, the problem with the ignition is common and is caused by water intrusion. Has anyone come up with a way protect the switch? I don't want to have to have it replaced again even if its free because it is a 1 hour drive to the dealer for me.

I have the Mills top and I too have noticed corrosion on the rivets even though I always wash the boat down after use. The Karavan trailer is good but I lost part of the lens for one of my tailights (the part that wraps over the side) and I'm always knocking the lens of one of the amber marker lights when folding the jack. The dealer said they would order the lens for me but I haven't heard back from them. To Karavan's credit, the lights still work.


fitn217 posted 10-05-2004 10:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for fitn217  Send Email to fitn217     
I've had my 2003 170 Montauk with 90 2 stroke for almost 2 full seasons (early April to early Dec). I've experienced many of the same problems and some unmentioned ones:
- fogging gauges (although the fogging goes away once the sun heats them up).
- fogging bow light- this thing is driving me nuts. I've siliconed the whole thing and it still accumulates moisture. I'm going to call customer service and see what they'll do for me.
- drain lines on cupholders falling off- retied with plastic ties and made them super tight - no problems so far.
-creaking anchor locker cover- when standing on the casting deck the locker creaks under foot as if it is a little too tight near the hinges or not properly aligned.
- leaking oil reservoir when motor is tilted up- I now buy quarts of oil and only add one at a time as this amount of oil doesn't reach the fill cap when motor is tilted.
-inability to use laser II 20 " prop with motor- everyone here and at Mercury says this is THE prop for this motor however my experience with the prop is severe clutch rattle at idle speeds and slower speeds up to about 2000 rpm. It sounds as if the drive shaft is going to crash through the lower unit!!!! Mercury says this is normal and my dealer COTY MARINE in Perth Amboy NJ showed me a bulletin from Mercury that states this is normal and he won't take it back or exchange it because he says it's used. (After I paid $425 for the prop). I believe that this Mercury dealer doesn't give two s**** about me or my business and have no problems whatsoever letting everyone know about them.
Overall the prop experience has been a pain in the neck, but otherwise the boat and motor combination runs excellent and believe I got my money's worth.
Divedog posted 10-06-2004 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Divedog  Send Email to Divedog     
This is kind of ironic. After reading this post I realized the bow light on my '04 Montauk doesn't work! I took delivery in May of '04. I haven't had time to track down the problem.
MantyMonty posted 10-06-2004 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for MantyMonty  Send Email to MantyMonty     
Divedog, try pushing in the clear soft rubber button right below the lights rocker switch. This should reset the switch for use. I run into that once and a great while on my '04 too. Don't know what does it, but this action will fix it so it works.
WT posted 10-07-2004 02:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

My Navigation/Dash Lights and Anchor Light switch has 3 positions.

Position 1 is off.
Position 2 is Anchor Light
Position 3 is Navigation Lights/Dash Instrument Lights

(According to my instruction manual position 2 and 3 are reversed.)

Anyway, I had a problem with my switch. It would not click down to the 3 position. The switch was not seated right. I had to remove the dash plate and reposition the switch so that the 3rd position of the switch would function.

I hope this works for you.


jimh posted 10-07-2004 07:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Is there a correlation between these two often reported problems on the 170 MOTAUK?

--bow navigation light fogs up from internal moisture or condensation;

--water trapped in hull in bow at or near gunwale lip, seen dripping when holes drilled for canvas fittings.

Barney posted 10-07-2004 07:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
jimh, I've checked back a couple of times by removing the screws at the canvas fittings at the bow. Nothing dripped out. Jim
Barney posted 10-07-2004 09:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
WT, I have the same problem with my navigation light switch. I can get it to work but with a hard tap. Is the switch too close to the panel to "click" all the way forward? Jim
Marlin posted 10-07-2004 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
DiveDog and others with bowlights not working- in another thread there was discussion about this. I had significant corrosion on the light bulb terminals, even though the boat was at the time less than 1 year old and had been used only in fresh water. I removed the bulb, cleaned the terminals on the bulb and socket with a pencil eraser, wiped a little bit of grease on the terminals, and reinstalled. Same thing on the all-around light. No problems in the year since.

Manty, I'd be a little concerned if my breaker were tripping for no apparent reason. Might be worth a closer look at the wiring on the switch and at the bulb mount, perhaps there's an intermittent short.

On my 160 Dauntless (not the topic of this thread, I know) in the last 2 years I've had only the bulb problem and a broken mounting loop where the bimini straps connect to the console rail. The aluminum pop-rivets just weren't up to the job, so I tapped it for stainless machine screws. Everything else has been flawless.


WT posted 10-07-2004 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

Yes the switch is too close to the panel. You may just try to pry the switch out a little to see if it lines up correctly.

My bow light AND dash lights did not work so that means it is probably the switch not the connection to just the bow light. When you turn on your bow lights your dash lights including your compass should also light up.


Barney posted 10-07-2004 03:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
WT, Thanks, that will save me some effort by not having to replace the switch. Jim
Maximus posted 10-07-2004 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
Forgot about the stuck ignition switch. I will have the guys look at the switch, flywheel, and starter gear when it is winterized.

Is this a Mercury warranty problem or a BW warranty problem?

Marlin posted 10-07-2004 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
WT, got to agree with you, sounds like a switch or a breaker. Though now that I think about it, on my Dauntless the guage lights are lit whenever the ignition is on. Apparently that's supposed to help clear the fog in the guages, though it does a mediocre job. Only the compass light and white all-around go on with the bow light.


striper swiper posted 10-07-2004 11:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for striper swiper    
Sounds like BW could care less.its the little things that drive most people crazy,like faulty light switches,condensation in the lights and instrument panel,what about the problems that may show up a few years from now?Water inside the hull,gelcoat cracks?If these problems should arise BW will probably lose the loyal buyer whom cant find the old classics which are getting harder to find and who is reluctant to buy a boat with quality control issues.BW should insist upon quality OEM parts,but with many U.S. companies (who supplied whaler in the past)filing for bankrupcy theres a void for quality.Some day the Unsinkable may sink,stay tuned.Striper swiper.
erik selis posted 10-08-2004 12:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Well I am going to have to take my words back concerning my navigation lights. I tried them last night and they didn't work. A couple of months ago they worked fine. When I went for a closer look I could see condensation on the inside. Looks like I just joined the club.


Knot at Work posted 10-08-2004 05:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
I took mine in last July for the Same reason. New assembly was ordered. Bow connectors were corroded. Lamp is still fogged out.
seasicknes posted 10-08-2004 10:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for seasicknes    
I tried my navagation lights (bow light) and switch last night also. Both are fine.

2003 montauk 170

Rich M posted 10-10-2004 02:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
You guys got me wondering...went and checked my bow light, no condensation - yet. Upon close inspection the plastic base for the bow light is noticeably mis alignied on mine.
LabRtvr posted 10-11-2004 09:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for LabRtvr    
Bought my 170 with 90 2 stroke 01/03.I estimate that I have about 600 hours on the motor. I have had the following problems.
- Condensation in Bow Light, repaired by dealer.
- Fogging gauges - unresolved.
- Tach does weird things intermittently - doesn't happen enough to take to dealer.
- Rubber seal around bottom of console separated - repaired
by dealer.
- Other than being a bear to start no engine probs.(knock on wood).
Overall I have been very satisfied with my boat. My dealer service(Colley Marine-Va Beach) has been fantastic -- to bad they don't sell Whalers any more.
WT posted 10-19-2004 12:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
I have a 2004 Karavan trailer for my 170. My starboard side trailer light burned out. My port side trailer light went out a couple of months ago.

I think I'm going to switch to LED lights. Plus my trailer squeaks quiet a bit. I just had it WD-40ed a couple of months ago.


17 bodega posted 10-19-2004 05:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
Thanks for this article. I find this information very informative despite the 30+ years of life my hull has seen. From reading these responses, boats take a real beating despite the best of care.

Your boats may be as nice as mine after 30 years! Or maybe I should say that maybe mine is as nice as yours will be in 30 years.

Certainly a testament to well built boats


Whalen posted 11-04-2004 07:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalen    
I have a 2004 170 2 stroke with Karavan trailer. I have had light problems, fogged gauges (unresolved), and starting problems along with low water pressure. The karavan trailer was rewired and converted to LED after finding out yesterday that mice had chewed the harness on both sides (in frame rails) to pieces. Lots of moth balls in the frame rails now. I have over a thousand miles on the boat now. I still love it!
Camuyano posted 11-04-2004 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Camuyano  Send Email to Camuyano     
We took advantage of the mild weather earlier this week and went out for one last outing. It was a beautiful ride but the bow lights would not work on the way back. My boat is an '04 and I've had it for less than one season. I also noticed that the gages were fogged. I guess these are very common problems. Still I'm very happy with the boat. We'll see how it holds up next season.


Marsh posted 11-06-2004 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
Bought my '04 Montauk 170 in January of this year. Checked the bow light today: doesn't work. Wierd: it used to work. It worked last time I checked. But not today. Traced the probelm to a bad connection on the ground, inside the red/green globe. The thin little wire that connects the ground on the twisting base to the top of the light bulb is loose. Tried to solder it, but only succeeded in melting the plastic. Guess I'll be ordering a new one. My selling dealer is over 500 miles away, so any warranty coverage is just academic (may be too late anyhow) .


Barney posted 11-06-2004 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Marsh, With so many folks having this problem, that may be the common cause. Fiddling with the light makes it work. Loose ground makes sense. Jim
RioRaft posted 11-09-2004 05:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for RioRaft    
On the one year later subject, first let me say that I love my Whaler and have had relatively little problems. I have a 2003 Montauk 170, 90 HP 4S. The issues that I have had are as follows: Bow light moister (drives me nuts, I brought this up on a seperate thread). Fishing box seperated from the frame I removed the frame and attached it with 3M 5200 I think it's on for good. Preasure meter had a kink in the hose straightened it out it now works fine (thanks to a fellow CW member). And finally this weekend the power tilt trim stopped working, it labored the last few times down and up, now stuck in the down position. When I hit the local or remote tilt buttons I just get a small click and no movement. With striper seanson here I do a lot fishing and rely on the tilt trim to get into some tight corners in the back bays of Sea Isle City and surrounding waters. I'll call Whaler in the morning and see what they say.
WT posted 11-09-2004 06:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

Do you think it could be a fuse?

My 170 had a short which caused a fuse to blow. I had my motor stuck with the trim down.

I had to remove the engine cover and changed the blown fuse (a spare is right next to it.)


Marsh posted 11-10-2004 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
Gave my selling dealer a call...real nice folks there at Breath's Boats in Bay St. Louis, MS.

Anyhow, after describing the problem to the salesman, and then to the parts manager, he said he would warranty the part and send me a new one right away. He had not had an opportunity to see the inside of the bow light on a newer Montauk, and said everything I described to him was unfamiliar. Then he brought up the part on some sort of parts catalog imager I guess, and could see the source of my trouble: a faulty ground due to loose connection between the filament wire connector and the bulb's metal grounding "crown" inside the lens. He said I might have been able to solder it using resin core solder (that's what I unsuccessfully tried), but he was happy to send me a new one.

All you newer Montauk owners with bow light problems: you might want to check out the conductivity between the bulb grounding "crown" inside the lens, and this filament wire to the base ground contact. I'll bet some of you will find a problem there.

Chet Logan

ghefty posted 11-15-2004 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for ghefty  Send Email to ghefty     
I had the moisture problem with the bow light on my '03, I also noticed that BW had started using a different bow light on the '04 models that the dealer had on his lot. I called BW and they sent my dealer a replacement bowlight that does not seem to trap moisture. Problem solved, thanks BW for good customer service.
Barney posted 09-04-2010 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
From my original quote: "The bunk attachments are really rusted. Maybe due to poor wash down in that area on my part but maybe due to poor quality attachments to the bunks. These angle pieces are cheap, $2 to $4, but should be high quality galvanized. The whole boat rides on these things. Will need to replace them."

I finally got to this. Little things like Katrina and home repairs got in the way. One of the original attachments failed.

The new EZ Loader parts that came in are zinc coated not hot dipped. I didn't use them. I bought hot dipped Champion trailer parts in Slidell. I through bolted them to the bunks with stainless carriage bolts. The whole thing with new hardware from Champion cost $70. Jim

Barney posted 09-05-2010 07:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
I also replaced the outboard trim motor. It was falling apart, but still working.
Jefecinco posted 09-05-2010 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Good update.

For those suffering from fogged gauges there is an old solution which often provides at least temporary relief. Turn on the lights. The heat generated by the instrument lights drives the moisture out of the gauges.


swist posted 09-05-2010 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
2005 Model

Mostly no problems.

Nav/allaround lights are junky, rely on springy metal to maintain contact - loosen up / corrode over time.

Trying to keep riggng hose gland tight and neat is a never-ending job.

Trim sender lasted two years (very typical problem with those things).

On my 3rd tach - OEM gauges are very ordinary quality.

Got so paranoid about all the supposed problems with the carbed 90 fourstroke that I added 10 micron filter and run Quickleen and Stabil all the time. Never any problems. Ever since Ethanol I drain every drop of gas from everything during layup.

Two circuit breakers in little box in console (MAIN & BILGE) are junky. Had one intermittent problem.

Rear bench seat (last year option offered) has solid wood bottom and permanently attached vinyl - thus draining poorly. Cutting some 1" holes in the bottom helped.

Tie down system holding front cooler in place is Mickey Mouse.

Factory in-console wiring standards are poor. Did a lot of neatening up.

With about 400 hours on it, if I listed the positives it would be 100 times longer than this post. Simply a great boat.

Barney posted 09-05-2010 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
I've forgot to mention I replaced the compass. The original split open.

The old carbed Mercury 4-stroke has worked well after the Racor filter installation. I've taken the carbs off for cleaning once right after the filter was installed.

The PVC trailer guides were money well spent. Jim

sapple posted 09-10-2010 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for sapple  Send Email to sapple     
I purchased my 170 Montauk new, left over from 2007 in spring of 2008. It has the Merc 90 FS EFI engine with a Karavan galvanized trailer with LED lights. Before this season started it had 270 hrs, I figure I have put nearly 100 hrs on it this season for a total of 350 to 370 hrs. So far no problems at all with the following exceptions:

1. Occasional minor fogging of gauges that usually goes away during use.

2. At one point the water pressure guage failed for a few weeks then started working again, better than ever.

3. The plastic fenders on the trailer come loose, I had to install through bolts on one side, I will eventually have to do the same on the other side.

4. The wiring grommet attached to the engine looked bad and seemed to be comming loose. I took it to the dealer, they fixed it, and said it was because it was hitting the back of the spash well when tilting the engine up as it was previously set up.

5. I had to move the position of the bimini so that it would not rest on the engine when down but still allow the anchor light pole to go through slit in the top when it was up.

6. I have had to tighten the bolts that secure the grab rail around the center counsel.

I am still on the original battery, (no corrosion)all lights work, all hardware still tight, etc., no other engine, hull, hardware, or trailer problems.

The only time the boat is not in a climate control garage is when I am trailering and using it.

Barney posted 09-10-2010 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
The rectifier melted down on Monday while underway. We blew the main fuse on the outboard. I replaced the fuse while we were floating and was able to limp back to the dock. The outboard I hope will be sold this week. A new Yamaha rectifier that I installed tonight will be included. Thanks to searching this board I got the Yamaha part number at a cost of $200 delivered rather than the Mercury at $450 plus. The powerhead itself looks like new.

A re-power is in order. A Yamaha 90 will replace the Mercury. I wanted a Honda but the local dealer wanted $1500 more than the Yamaha. Both would have new controls and prop. Plus the Yamaha dealer is a family business that I trust. The Honda dealer is regional and has kids doing the rigging. So there you have it. Jim

L H G posted 09-15-2010 01:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Since Yamaha made the Merc, you're buying the same basic engine, except getting EFI instead of the carburetors.
This is currently the oldest 4-stroke 90 engine design still being made. All the other brands are newer designs.

I have seen Yamaha powered boats re-powered with Mercs, and they still used the Yamaha controls. Can't the Merc control be used on the Yamaha, since they worked on the similar "Merc-aha"?

Barney posted 09-15-2010 07:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
We wanted to start over. Hard to find neutral too. Ignition was sticky.

The package with controls and prop came in at $8400. A little better deal than first quote. Buying from a family owned Yamaha business I've used for years.

The Mercury and Honda are sold by a regional boat sales store. The Mercury came in at $8000 reuse the controls and prop. Add $1800 to $8400 for the Honda.

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