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Author Topic:   Dauntless 16 Motor Recommendations
Boboe posted 02-27-2005 08:48 AM ET (US)   Profile for Boboe   Send Email to Boboe  
I'm trying to purchase a Dauntless 16 and hearing a variety of stories from the dealers about what kind of engine I should put on this boat. After speaking to the first dealer, I was set on the 90HP Optimax with a 5 year warranty. The next dealer told me that not only is (Boston Whaler) no longer configuring the Dauntless 16 with 90HP motors, but the Optimax has a reputation of "shaking" on this particular boat. The third dealer told me I need to go to the 115HP fuel injected 4 stroke which of course is the most expensive option.

So I'm wondering if I'm getting a sales job or actually need to consider their points. One dealer has a 90HP 2 stroke avaiable and I'm thinking that may be all I really need as I'm a fisherman not a speed racer. He cautions me against it saying the resale of a 2 strokes and support will become limited as the two stroke is being phased out.

Reading info about 2 versus 4 on other parts of this web site leads me to believe the 2 stroke is not as bad as what the dealers are making me believe. Speaking with another owner he says just get the fuel injected.

Any thoughts?

Marlin posted 02-27-2005 09:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     

Looking at the BW web page for the 160 Dauntless, it appears that the 90 Optimax isn't offered anymore. Engine choices right now are the 90 2-stroke (standard), 90 4-stroke, 115 Optimax, and 115 4-stroke. Seems like an odd combination, but I guess they wanted to cut down the number of options from the 6 they offered last year (all 3 versions of both engine sizes).

I have a 160 with the 115 4-stroke. I'm very happy with it, particularly with the quietness and the very good fuel efficiency. There is a significant trade-off, though, since the boat is a bit sensitive to weight aft. For that reason, I'd recommend against the 90 4-stroke, which is the worst of both worlds- more weight and less power. I personally think that the best options are the two extremes -- either get the 90 2-stroke and pocket plenty of money to buy gas later, or spluge up front for the 115 4-stroke. I have no experience with the 115 Optimax. I don't think I'd worry about declining support for 2-strokes; it's hardly like you're going to be the only one around who owns one.

With the 115 4-stroke, my boat will cruise at about 25 MPH at 3500 RPM, and top out at 44 MPH. Owners with the 90 HP engines generally report max speeds of 38-40 MPH.

With any engine, you'll want to consider installing a lower unit hydrofoil. This hull is extremely sensitive to loading and engine trim, and is prone to porpoising. The foil really helps to reduce that, and also drops minimum planing speed from about 19 to about 15 MPH, which is very helpful in choppy water.


Boboe posted 02-27-2005 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
Thanks Marlin,

I think I was already leaning that way, however, it means everything to hear it from a real owner. I'm staying away from the Optimax as I heard there's been problems and now that BW is no longer offering it, it sounds like there may be some truth to those rumors.

Warranties are the next issue. Is it worth it? The 90 2 stroke has a standard 1 year with option to buy 3 additional for $1000. Interested in your experience with your warranty or others.

David Livingstone posted 02-27-2005 11:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Livingstone  Send Email to David Livingstone     
Boboe, at a boat shown in Halifax, NS, Canada last weekend and saw a new 16 Dauntless with a Honda 90 on it. Asked the dealer about it and was informed that customers can buy a Dauntless from Whaler with or without the Mercury Power?


Marlin posted 02-27-2005 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
David, as best I understand it, that's not possible in the US. With the right amount of money on the table, presumably one could have the dealer do an engine swap before taking delivery. I'm sort of brand-agnostic when it comes to outboards, so personally I view all the brand-swapping discussions as generating much heat but little light.
nydealer posted 02-27-2005 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for nydealer  Send Email to nydealer     
David, Marlin is right. International Dealers are able to order boats without engines. US dealers can only get them with Mercs.
CHRISWEIGHT posted 02-27-2005 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for CHRISWEIGHT  Send Email to CHRISWEIGHT     

90 elpto is a good light 2 stroke engine weighing in at 303lbs and from long time reading of the site the light weight is important to this boat.

also remember that you may never recoup the difference in fuel economy that the fuel efficent four strokes offer.

frankly my advise for what is worth would be ETEC 90 or Mercury 90 elpto which runs real well on our 16sl and has done for 9 years, 8 years with the shore patrol and the last 18 months with us.

regards chris

jimh posted 02-27-2005 03:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Move to this forum. The POST-CLASSIC forum concentrates information about boats first designed after 1990.]
Sal A posted 02-27-2005 03:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
Had a Mercury 90 two-stroke on my 160 Ventura (same hull as 160 Dauntless). It had plenty of power and could propel me and my family faster than we wanted to go, although the boat could have used trim tabs. I'd give that combo a thumbs-up.
skred posted 02-28-2005 08:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
My former 16 Dauntless had a Honda 90, and the 90 hp was plenty for the boat. I did install a hydrofoil, however, with dramatic improvements in performance. I should think the lighter 2-s Merc. would perform excellently.
bluewaterpirate posted 02-28-2005 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Our former 2000 16 Dauntless came with a Yamaha 100 four stroke .... terrific package plenty of power. Cheers
Jamber posted 02-28-2005 12:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jamber  Send Email to Jamber     
I purchased a my Duantless new with a Yamaha F100 FourStroke (386lbs). It is a quite, gas sipping, good performer, nature loving engine. I love this engine, but it may not be the best match for the Dauntless and the area I boat in. Mine is a 1999 model year Duantless, I think Whaler removed the transom notch in 01 or 02 which helps the porpoising issue, which I can fix with a trim and/or throtle adjustment on my 99.

My only real complaint is my Dauntless is very stern heavy with the 4Stroke. The scuppers are below the water line. I live/boat in a very shallow area.
When headed up the shallow river to my canal with an strong outgoing tide, it is difficult to make any headway without hitting bottom. I need to have the engine trimmed up to not hit bottom, but then I need give some extra gas to go against the current. But because of the trim angle, it forces the stern and skeg down, still causing me to hit bottom. A jack plate would let me keep the engine at more horizontal trim, but raised up, but then add even more weight to the stern.

My boat would be fine if if I did not boat in this area, but it is where I live. I see other boats up to 24 feet pass through the area at the same time with out an issue, they have their engines trimmed up less than I do and can go against the current just fine.

For now we just boat around the tides and run with a low fuel load to save weight, passenger sit on the bow when I go though this area, or if alone I add weight to the anchor locker to keep the bow down/stern up.

I thought about going to a 2stroke, but I can't go back. I love the quiteness and fuel economy of the 4stroke. I'm waiting for specs (weight) to come out on the new Evinrude E-Tech 115. It may be a perfect match for my Dauntless.
I really do like the Duantless size and features and would like to keep it.

My advice is to go with the 115 4stroke EFI if you don't boat in shallow areas, or the 2stroke 115 if you do. Or look for a different model Whaler.

If I was buying a new Whaler, I would get the Montauk 170 with a 90 4stroke, or If I could afford it, for $30,000+k a 19 Guardian with the Yamaha 115 EFI 4stroke and a Jack Plate.

Good luck

cmarques posted 03-01-2005 08:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
Marlin pretty much has it right. I have the 90 2 stroke and it has been great will top about 38 or so with a doel-fin installed- mine still has a transom notch.
I purchased a 6 year Mercury warranty with my engine (had it already figured in payments.) So far I have used it one time with a $25 deductible on about a $100 repair for a burnt fuel line.


Boboe posted 03-02-2005 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
Thanks everyone for your help. After careful analysis the weight and cost won out and I went with the 2 stroke. Bought a bran new 2004 Dauntles 16 today. With the great help this web site provides I doubt I'll need the extended warranty.

Your new fellow whaler....Boboe

Marlin posted 03-02-2005 10:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
Congratulations! Where will you be using it? Maybe you can come down from Philly and join us on the Chesapeake for an event or two this year.


cmarques posted 03-02-2005 10:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
Congrats Boboe!! You made a great choice. Welcome to the world of Whalers.


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