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Author Topic:   170 MONTAUK: First Ride
TampaDave posted 11-29-2004 10:36 PM ET (US)   Profile for TampaDave   Send Email to TampaDave  
Just took my new 2005 170 MONTAUK out for a ride. It was a nasty, windy day. with a mean chop in open areas of the intracoastal. I found that the Montauk handled the chop very well, felt like a much bigger boat. The 90-HP Mercury two-stroke provided plenty of power (just enough to get my wife and daughter to yell at me to slow down), not very noisy at all, and the smell... well, I love the smell of 2-stroke oil in the morning, it smells like... victory!

The boat gets blown all over by the wind, in spite of its low profile. It was interesting trying to get it off the trailer, and keeping it in the water with a 20-MPH onshore wind. Had to lean on the wheel to keep in in the channel.

Fuel capacity sucks; burned 9 gallons over two hours out of 12 gallons available. Granted, the first hour was break-in, something that probably doesn't promote fuel economy, but dang! Have a 28-gal Tempo on order from Boat US ($108.94 shipped).

Pretty neat little package. An amazingly seaworthy little boat for something that fits in your garage and floats in nine inches. Wish I'd bought this when I first started motorboating ten years ago. Live and learn.

jimh posted 11-30-2004 06:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The 17-18 foot boat accounts for the majority of total overall boat sales, and I think the 170 MONTAUK is knocking down quite a few of those. Glad to hear you are enjoying the boat.

A boat that fits in the garage--it's a nice thing to have.

bigjohn1 posted 11-30-2004 06:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Dave, since you already have your rig, I won't mention that I can nearly stay out all day on those two little factory-supplied tanks with my 05 Montauk powered by a 4-stroke - Oops!

Ribbing aside, I agree that its a great small boat but can get blown around. Next time your launching on a windy day, do what I have my kids/wife do...stand by on the dock next to the ramp and simply shove the boat over to them while passing the bow line over. This seems to work fairly well for us. The best thing I like about this little package is I don't even need a 4x4 to launch and retrieve it!
Big John

SteveFC posted 11-30-2004 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for SteveFC  Send Email to SteveFC     
I’ve had a Montauk 170 since August, and I’m still amazed at how much better it handles chop, compared to my old smirkless 16. I have the 4 stroke and love the fuel economy, but I agree with Dave: there’s something about that two stroke oil smell. I miss it.

Maybe we could get one of those air freshener companies to sell a two stroke scent instead of all that sissy floral stuff. Or maybe we just get one of those “scented oil” fragrance units and fill it with TCW3. This could be a big marketing opportunity. Steve

TexasWhaler posted 11-30-2004 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for TexasWhaler  Send Email to TexasWhaler     
Anyone know why Whaler is sticking to the pair of 6 gallon tanks setup for Montauk? Just curious as it seems that a lot of 170 owners prefer upgrading to a large single like the older Montauks.
Seems like the large single tank should at least be an option.
Moe posted 11-30-2004 05:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
A single, large tank would be a "permanent" installation, which by code of federal regulations, must be vented overboard (gas fumes are heavier than air). The CFR doesn't specify a maximum gallon size for "portable" tanks (which don't require overboard ventilation), but does specify that they must be movable by persons aboard. While individual owners might not have this enforced on them, Whaler corporate certainly would.


Buckda posted 11-30-2004 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Good point Moe, but what about twin 12 gallon tanks like on many of the older Montauks?

Certainly many 170 owners appreciate the many cost-saving measures BW has taken to keep the cost of the legend series down, but this is a legitimate question - 12 gallons is not very much fuel aboard, especially when running from one fishing hole to the next, or when running out into one of the Great Lakes for fishing or cruising....and most especially when observing the rule of 1/3rds.

Moe posted 11-30-2004 05:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Barney put a couple of 12 gallon tanks in his 170:

but at 80 lbs and without handles, it would be a bit of a stretch calling them "portable" or movable by a single person. He might get away with it, but Whaler probably wouldn't. I don't think they have a lot of choice these days if they're sticking to deck tanks. Sub-7 gallon tanks seem to be industry practice for "portable" tanks.


Joe Kriz posted 11-30-2004 06:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     
I agree with the legalities that Moe mentions. The 24 and 27 gallon tanks are not portable. At least I couldn't lift one.

Like buckda, I always prefered the twin 12 gallon tanks in my 1978 Montauk.
I believe a person could call these portable as they would weigh around 80 pounds each when full. (mostly talking about the Tempo PBW12 gallon tanks). I wouldn't want to carry it up and down the dock but you could use a dolly.
It would be much easier if they had handles or some type of finger grips anyway.

Another PRO argument for the 12 gallon tanks... It probably doesn't need to be vented overboard like the larger, NON portable tanks.

I know the authorities never asked me about my tanks in my Montauk and I owned it for 15 years. I guess if you get the wrong authority on the wrong day, you might be challanged.

Vic Holmstrom posted 11-30-2004 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Vic Holmstrom  Send Email to Vic Holmstrom     
Do the 12 gallon tanks require any modification to the boat from the standard tanks? I ask this because it would be nice to switch back and forth between the 6 and 12 gallon tanks (12 gallon tanks when trailering, 6 gallon tanks when the boat is left in the water and you want to buy gas on land).
Buckda posted 11-30-2004 06:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Moe -
You are right, of course - as usual!...perhaps dealers should offer this as a low- or no-cost upgrade. I have a 12 gallon and a 6 gallon tank on my 15. The 12 gallon tank is heavy, but I can move it...just define "moving". !!

The extra capacity means that I can literally "go all day" without needing to refuel...which is a very nice option when out at the beach or trying to keep up with the bigger Outrages and Revenges at a Rendezvous!


Moe posted 11-30-2004 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Dave, I'm betting Whaler doesn't think this is much of any issue. Pretty much any Whaler dealer will be willing to sell and install a 24-28 gallon Pate or Tempo tank, if the buyer isn't going to do it themselves. As long as the law is as vague as it is, and because of that, isn't enforced on the dealers and buyers, but only on manufacturers, that's pretty much the way it will be.


jimh posted 11-30-2004 08:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't recall any specific federal regulations on outboard powered boat fuel tanks. A citation of the application federal regulations would be greatly appreciated. Where does it call for "portable" tanks? It may be more long the lines of compliance with some ABYC or boat-builders association regulations.
TampaDave posted 11-30-2004 09:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for TampaDave  Send Email to TampaDave     
Oops! That was a Bass Pro Shop price on that tank, not Boat US.

Talk about feast or famine, I will probably be able to go a month on that 28-gal tank. Heh! I'm gonna be sitting on a lot of BTU's. It's gonna be like Slim Pickens riding that nuclear bomb in "Doctor Strangelove." Thank you for not smoking!

Moe posted 11-30-2004 10:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
The USCG definition of portable tanks:

"There are no gallon capacity limits to determine if a fuel tank is portable. If the weight of a fuel tank is such that persons on board cannot move it, the Coast Guard considers it permanently installed.)"

can be found (most easily) on the fire extinguisher requirements page:


divefan posted 12-01-2004 12:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for divefan  Send Email to divefan     
I agree with bigjohn1. This is not an issue if you have a 4-stroke. I regularly carry 2-4 divers with gear and run all day in the open ocean off of Pompano Beach/Boca Raton, FL and I have never yet used my second 6 gallon tank. You may love your 2-strokes and the smell but 4-strokes rule in this discussion. The fuel efficiency issue is not even close. This is one of the reasons I bought my '04 170 with the 4-stroke even though it is carb'd not EFI. Also, remember that every time you add weight as with the larger fiberglass tank and heavier fuel load you are robbing horsepower and fuel efficiency as well. In a boat this size every little bit matters.

The other thing for me is the convenience of filling my 6 gallon tanks at the pump when I fill my truck where gas is much cheaper than on the water. That may not matter for those that trailer but my boat is in the water year round and I would have to fill up at a marina if I had the larger non removable fiberglass tank. Also, no worries 'bout water in the gas, condensation, water separators, fire on board, etc. For my use and I stress "MY" use I like the 2 little 6 gallon tanks as they are and would not change them. However, as with most discussions on this forum local boating and personal usage dictate what is and what isn't the better solution for any given situation

andygere posted 12-01-2004 02:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I had a pair of 12 gallon steel tanks in my '79 Montauk. They are portable if you use a hand truck to move them around. I usually removed them from the boat, which was kept in a slip, and drove to the local gas station to fill them. It is easier getting them in and out of the truck with 2 people, but it can be done solo if need be. The steel tanks had handles welded to the ends.
Vic Holmstrom posted 12-01-2004 08:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Vic Holmstrom  Send Email to Vic Holmstrom     
Divefan and others,

Since you leave your Montauk in the water, I am wondering how bottom paint affects performance with the 90 4 stroke. We will be retiring to our canal front home in the keys next year and plan to buy a Montauk. I will have to decide between davits and bottom paint. Also, I am glad to hear about your ability to run most of the day on the 6 gallon tanks, since I too hope to buy gas on land.

Do you have the standard swim platform with ladder? Is it sturdy enough to meet your needs as a diver? Thanks.

TexasWhaler posted 12-01-2004 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for TexasWhaler  Send Email to TexasWhaler     
You stated earlier: "Also, remember that every time you add weight as with the larger fiberglass tank and heavier fuel load you are robbing horsepower and fuel efficiency as well. In a boat this size every little bit matters."

This is another reason that the lightweight E-Tec 2-stroke is a big advantage. The 90HP E-Tec is around 100 lbs lighter than Suzuki's EFI 90 4-stroke. That's huge on a 17' boat.
Plus, on the issue of fuel efficiency, the E-Tec fuel economy is better than carbed 4-strokes. I say this only because from articles I've read, it appears that the E-Tecs are rivaling many EFI 4-strokes in this arena.

The ONLY advantage a 4-stroke has over an E-Tec 2-stroke is that you don't have an oil reservior to occasionally top off.

divefan posted 12-01-2004 11:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for divefan  Send Email to divefan     

I am sorry I mislead you. I actually have the 170 on a 2500# lift on the dock. I guess around here we are used to "being in the water" as meaning "as opposed to being on a trailer". So I do not have bottom paint on the boat. Therefore, I cannot comment from personal experience on the exact performance aspects of having bottom paint on this model.

Personally, I would opt for the davits over bottom paint. No need to maintain the bottom paint in ensuing years, resale value, and "I" believe in general better performance.

For the dive ladder please look at the PICS on a website I have. You will see how I have addressed this situation. So far I have had NO problems with this setup in almost 1 year of constant use.


I agree with you totally. 100 pounds is mucho weight on a boat this size no matter where it comes from. Eliminating it will only enhance performance. I am not personally familiar with the new E-Tec other than seeing it in February at the Miami boat show so I can't comment on the other issues you raised. Although I admit the publicity surrounding it sounds very promising.

Moe posted 12-01-2004 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
The max motor weight of an 1100 lb 16'7" CPD "Utility" boat is 330 lbs, so the 320 lbs of a 90HP ETEC may actually be a little heavier than the 303 lb 90HP Merc "Classic" that would probably be ideal for a good handling 950 lb "classic" Montauk.

The 170 Montauk OTOH, weighs 1450 lbs, is 8" beamier, and will better balance up to its 410 lb max motor weight. The 375 lbs of the 90HP Opti, and 386 lbs of the 90HP four-stroke, on the 170 are relatively less heavy than a 90 E-TEC on the much ligher and skinnier 17 Montauk. The 386 lb Merc 115HP four-stroke on a 170 would be more comparable in performance to 90HP on the classic.


andygere posted 12-01-2004 04:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I lost about 2 mph on the top end of my Montauk when I put bottom paint on. I'd go with the davits: No need to recoat the bottom every other year, less corrosion to outboards, through hulls, etc., better security, and better resale.
TexasWhaler posted 12-01-2004 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for TexasWhaler  Send Email to TexasWhaler     
Great photos! Gunslinger is a beauty!

There were some guys posting photos on the Hull Truth forum of fish that had been taken by spear fishermen. I was amazed at the size of some of those monsters!

Here's that thread.

Vic Holmstrom posted 12-02-2004 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Vic Holmstrom  Send Email to Vic Holmstrom     
divefan & andygere,

Thanks for our replys. I will definitely plan for davits and use a trailer until they can be installed.

Does anyone have experience with the Montauk 170 and 90 Optimax. Information I have seen from the Whaler website and various magazine reviews indicate I can expect about 5 mpg from the 90 4 stroke at 25 mph cruise and 6.82 mpg from the 90 Optimax at about the same cruise speed. The whaler website prop test also shows the Optimax as quieter.

We plan on buying sometime in 2005. It appears the classic 90 is no longer available and that may not be a good choice with the 6 gallon tanks. Should I go with the proven 4 stroke, which many forum members seem very satisfyed with or the Optimax?


TexasWhaler posted 12-02-2004 10:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for TexasWhaler  Send Email to TexasWhaler     
From the info I've seen, and that you've posted, the Optimax seems to have more pros than the 4-stroke.

The Optimax has:
- better fuel economy
- quieter operation
- greater torque for skiing and faster time-to-plane
- emissions are equal to 4-stroke (3-star rating)
- Optimax DFI has been out for a while, and has long since had all the bugs worked out if it.

My vote would be for the Optimax.

Moe posted 12-02-2004 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
It's a tough call between the Opti and 4-stroke. Electronically managed fuel over a carburetor is a big advantage in my book, but so is four-stroke over two-stroke. And some prefer the simplicity of troubleshooting carbs vs electronics.

Whether you'd be selling or trading up anytime soon would be a factor. Public perception is 4-stroke good, 2-stroke bad. Fair or not, the Opti has a reputation for failure that it may never live down. I just think it would be easier to sell the four-stroke, especially since you could honestly say it's a Yamaha, versus the "infamous" Opti.

I honestly don't know which I'd choose between the two, if I had to.

AQUANUT posted 12-05-2004 06:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
well its been awhile since I have here goes.

please excuse any redundency by my post,

1st there are specific guidelines for the installation of all fuel holding tanks on vessels that "go to sea"...I work for a boat dealership that is owned by a boat manufacturer,
that produces excess of 400 boats yearly. There are many inspections by us coast guard prior to approval of each new hull design.

2cnd,I install and operate optimax and fourstroke outboards on a daily basis.

there are subtle differences in the optis and the fourstrokes in the fuel consumption, maintenance, operation categories....where on may take a category..the other takes the next one.

I personally chose a 115hp 4stroke EFI over the 115hp optmax. mainly beecause I am in an area where the climate varries from 115 in summer to 20 in the winter and altitude varries from 0ft sea level to 5000ft above sea level.
the efi adjust and compensates for these changes more easily and quickly than any two stroke.

enjoy your whaler!

p.s ran my 2004 montauk with my 115hp 4 stroke EFI last weekend at 2000ft...20 degrees temp.....due to the density of the air...I picked up another 200 rpm...and bumped my rev limiter @ 6200rpm.....{WOT}....wide open throttle...incidently wide open throttle on a two stroke 115/90 is 5800...wot on 115/90 fourstroke is 6000..I guess that equates to evening the score in controversy...being that the 4 stroke is heavier...and has a higher top end...

TexasWhaler posted 12-06-2004 11:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for TexasWhaler  Send Email to TexasWhaler     
Are there any legalities involved in rigging these Montauks with outboards that over the hp limit? Or is it at the discretion of each dealership?
AQUANUT posted 12-08-2004 12:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
As far as legalities, liabilities, and availablities.

My only comment must remain as such, I have been boarded by law enforcement and inspected three times...hp rating was never an issue discussed.

I am currently insurred by a major boat insurrer in the U.S. with the 115hp...

I can not speak for any dearlership on their policies or procedures concerning upgrading to the 115hp swap.

I, personally did the conversion on my montauk170.
I am aphrehensive that most dealers would not be too motivated to sell new product with it rigged as such..
however,,,,once the vessel has been delivered...I suspect few would deny the wants and wishes of a customer with the desire to have it converted.

just my opinion, as dennis weaver says...but it could be wrong.


sweetdreams posted 12-15-2004 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for sweetdreams  Send Email to sweetdreams     
I thought it might be useful to some of you out there to here my take on the stock montauk fuel tanks and an easy inexpensive solution. I own a 2003 montauk with 4 stroke 90. I love this boat and use it on average 2 times a week. The two 6 gallons tanks are a joke. This is one of the last real whalers with the classic hull ect. and can do anything you ask of it. I'm sure the target price tag for this boat is the reason for the weenie tanks but I think some very poor judgement on Boston Whalers part is to blame. Anyone who actually uses the boat for more than an occational Sunday will want to replace these tanks. I spent many hours reading about Pate tanks and every other possible tank to put into this outstanding boat (did I say I love my boat). The pate tanks in all the installations on this site have the tank sticking out from under the seat so that the fill hole is excessable. This requires mounting the tank further aft than is needed to accomidate the tank under the seat and valuable space is lost. Now I know it's only inches but this isn't a large boat and I hate to waste value foot room. I purchased a 28 gallon tempo (about 100.00) and installed it as far forward as possible with the fill hole under the seat. It was a simple job to hinge the seat with a piano hinge from Lowe's. The only question for me was which way to mount the hinge front or back. I reasoned, if I ever needed to check the fuel gauge while underway I wouldn't want it to catch the wind and fly back, so I mounted the hinge on the front part of the seat. The hinge is invisible as the cushion is snapped on over the installed hinge.
mikeyairtime posted 12-15-2004 11:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
I did just the opposite. My 04 170 had no cutout under the seat so I bought a deck hatch about the same size as the top of the seat then cut out the top of the seat and installed it. Then I moved my 27 gal. Pate about 3 inches aft. Now I unsnap my seat cushion open the large access hatch under it and have room for 4 adult life jackets and my tool kit and a few other misc. items. Storage is a real problem on the 170 and I fish with the wife and two kids. This frees up my console enough to fit all the junk 4 people need for a day on the water. I also found that with careful packing I can fit 4 sets of foul weather gear in a 5 gallon bucket and still snap the lid on. The 170 will teach you to be resourceful.
timsr posted 12-16-2004 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for timsr  Send Email to timsr     
Mickey where did you purchase the hatch and what size was it?


newport jack posted 12-16-2004 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for newport jack    
I really think the largest portable tank, is about nine gallons. I had Tempo 9 gallon tanks on my Newport, and they were manageable to fill at a station and then carry and put into the boat. I've moved up to a 20ft Revenge now, with 77 gallons and I still fill at the stations just had to have the boat in tow, when on the water I have to support the gas docks, but 77 gallons goes a long way for me. I was thinking about going with the Pate tank on my Newport, with the 90hp Johnson it would last pretty long, and probably would have if I didn't move up. Only problem I have with the big tanks is when filling in the boat the gas fumes, can probably collect in the bottom of the boat, as for venting in use it would be the same as the portable tanks that are venting also. Oh yeah, my 9 gallon Tempos had nice handles molded into the ends to carry...enjoy your new boat....Jack
Moe posted 12-16-2004 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
There are no 9 gallon Tempo tanks. The 9GAS tank they've sold for years doesn't hold that much, and after many consumer complaints, their catalog finally specs it at 7.5 gallons. Some squeeze more in it than that. Check it out:


mikeyairtime posted 12-16-2004 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
Timsr, here it is. It takes careful packing to get it all in but it fits. I did all my packing and based the tank location on that. Two vests in front of the tank and two on top with a Plano tackle tray with tools in it between the two on top. I cut down the protruding lip of the hatch lid so it would close.

Bomar 10x27 access hatch

Boaters World Catalog # 326610052 $59.99

One cobalt jig saw blade @ Home Depot

timsr posted 12-16-2004 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for timsr  Send Email to timsr     

Thanks. Looks like a perfect solution to access that space under the RPS for not only the gas tanks but more stoarge.

Does the hatch lie pretty flat?

mikeyairtime posted 12-16-2004 11:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
Yeah, when it's all buttoned up you can't tell it's there even when sitting on it.
sweetdreams posted 12-17-2004 07:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for sweetdreams  Send Email to sweetdreams     
What a great idea mickeyairtime. This boat is so short on storage space I wish I had thought of that instead of foot room when I planned my tank install. Has anyone purchased a forward shelter from mills for the montauk?

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