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Author Topic:   Minium draft for Montauk???
delasource posted 04-24-2005 09:08 PM ET (US)   Profile for delasource   Send Email to delasource  
I have a new Montauk which I'll be taking delivery toward the end of May. We're using it on an inland lake near Petoskey, MI where the lake levels are very low this spring. 12" where we would like to dock the boat.
The dock installer wants to be sure that we have enough depth and are asking what is the " minimum operational draft" on a new Montauk. I assume that this would be the BW specified 9" hull draft plus the additional depth needed to allow the prop to propell the boat with the motor trimmed to its highest level.

We called BW Customer Service and were told to go out and measure the boat. We let them know that it hasn't been delivered and their response was that they did not help as they did not have any specifications on this area. A very unsatisfactory first contact with BW!

Our dealer believes that the prop can be trimmed to the boat's 9" draft plus an additional 2" for weight for passengers, fuel & equipment. (We're small people)

This BW Montauk is a life long dream. Can anyone help shed some light on what depth we need?


P.S. This was posted on the GAM site under "Montauk Genuine Draft???". One of our fellow BW'ers suggested that this is a better site for Montauk readers. I'm not trying to be a site hog, but really would appreciate hearing from someone who can help.



bigjohn1 posted 04-25-2005 02:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
IMHO, this may well be asking for trouble depending on how you proceed. 12" is not alot of depth and, although your boat may be ok when trimmed way up, the inevitable will happen at some point and something will get damaged - hopefully, its just the prop.

Question: can you get a permit from the applicable authorities in your area to have a limited dredge operation performed around the immmediate area of the dock? I'm sure this is not cheap but who knows..another thought is can you dock the boat somewhere else with deeper water? It just hits me that after attaining the dream of owning a Whaler then docking it in 12" is not the best of ideas. Is this 12" the low level or high level...meaning is the lake going to get deeper or even more shallow than this 12" around your dock?

delasource posted 04-25-2005 07:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for delasource  Send Email to delasource     
Big John,

We are being told that this is exceptionally low for the lake due to lack of snow melt and spring rains. They have opened the locks this past weekend and we're hoping that this will add depth.

Dregging is not within our budget.

Pickerel Lake is a very calm lake with very little wave action. Docking would be in this shallow area, then we'd motor out 50' to deep water.



bigjohn1 posted 04-25-2005 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
That considered, my thoughts change then to perhaps installing a skeg guard/protector on the lower unit and maybe even a keel guard to help protect the hull. Is your lake bottom rocks, mud, grass or what? I don't fall under the school of thought that its just a boat and have fun and don't worry about a few scratches. I likely go overboard as I generally baby my equipment.

I don't really have much experience with ss props and have only run aluminum ones. Perhaps someone with more experience in this area can chime in with comments on whether its beter to run ss or aluminum where contact with the bottom is a real possibility. I think the short answer is that ss would be best but if your bottom is rock, perhaps the repair/replacement cost of aluminum would be better economicaly over the repair cost to an ss prop.
Hopefully, they'll open those locks and your current problem will be short lived.

delasource posted 04-25-2005 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for delasource  Send Email to delasource     
Big John,

Thanks for the suggestions.

The lake bottom is mud, a few tree trunks but haven't seen any rocks.

Like you, I'm obsessive about my stuff and will worry about the hull & prop.

It is a SS prop. I think that the skeg guard is a good idea. Any model/mfg. suggestions for skeg for a Mercury 90HP/4 stroke?

I just heard from my neighbor and he confirmed that the lock opening should add 6" bringing the water levels to 17 - 18", which should make this situation much better. He experiences a 2" drop in late summer. Worse case would put the Montauk in 14-15" at the dock.


Moe posted 04-25-2005 10:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I've done the how shallow can I run drill with my 2" shallower draft 150 Sport, and don't think I'd run the motor in 12" even with it. Prep for this included angling the boat on the trailer at about the same angle as it would be in the water, propping up a 4' carpenter's level from the transom to simulate the water surface, tilting the motor up and taking measurements and pictures. I can't seem to find them now. Then I tried it on the water.

- 12" water isn't 12" everywhere. The bottom varies and there are rocks and trash on it.

- With the motor tilted that far up, the first initial contact with something on the bottom isn't going to be the skeg, it's going to be the gearcase.

- The tilted up prop is sucking up stuff like sand off the bottom for the water intake to ingest. It's worse when the lower unit drags.

- With the motor tilted that far up what was forward thrust pushes the transom deeper in the water, even a bit at idle.

- With the motor tilted that far up, the upper portion of the prop (and some of the exhaust hub) is out of the water and the stern wants to walk to starboard fairly strongly.

- With the motor tilted that far up, steering control is dramatically reduced, if not eliminated. Not fun with the stern crabbing to starboard.

- With the motor tilted that far up, the water pickup is dangerously close to the surface and can come out of the water in light waves or wakes.

If you've got to operate a 170 in a foot of water, I'd think push pole out those 50'.


delasource posted 04-25-2005 12:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for delasource  Send Email to delasource     

Thanks for all the good points. Poling would avoid most disasters.

What about a trolling motor to get out into the deep? I don't want to consider using a kicker due to cost and a potential major change in the boat dynamics.


Moe posted 04-25-2005 01:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I wouldn't go though the expense, weight, and battery charging hassle of a trolling motor and battery(ies) for just getting 50' out to deep water... especially if the future of the lake looks a little deeper. Keep in mind it means if you hit something, you're gonna hit it harder than poling. If you're gonna use it as a trolling motor for fishing, fine, but I'd put it and the battery(ies) up on the bow. The transom is already deep enough without additional weight. A gas kicker or batteries at the stern would make the draft deeper. From the sounds of that lake, I'd want to keep a pole on board anyway.


Buckda posted 04-25-2005 01:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Having been on Pickerel Lake last year in my 18' Outrage and the year previous in my 15' Sport, I hope I'm qualified to comment here.

I'd suggest that you simply plan to use the oar. Motor in as close as you dare and then paddle the remaining distance.

Like Moe said, if you're planning to have a trolling motor as a matter of course for fishing, then go ahead and use that, but given that the lake levels will rise again, you really only need a temporary solution to this problem, because the problem will largely go away when the levels rise again.

The benefits of the trolling motor might be realized, however, on those breezy northern Michigan summer afternoons, when paddling would not be any fun!

One other solution I've seen in the Upper Peninsula: If you were planning to have a docking station (Lift), consider asking the contractor to install it out that additional 50', with a short 15' length of dock alongside. You can then use an existing boat (like a rowboat or canoe) to paddle out from your dock to the docking station. Not sure how strict the DNR is on the inland waterway about things like that. Depending on what part of the lake you're on, it could also be considered a navigational obstruction (But if you've got it in 16-20 inches of water, hopefully there aren't too many boats running at speed there. Reflective tape is a must have for this type of setup too.

Regards, and good luck - hope to see you on the waterway this summer, as I try to get up there at least once a year.


delasource posted 04-25-2005 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for delasource  Send Email to delasource     

Thanks, I'll use the oar or pole out to the deep water. It's so simple, why didn't I think of that?

As an alternate to using a docking station, what is your opinion on mooring buoys? I could anchor to one in the deeper water when storms are expected.


Buckda posted 04-26-2005 11:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Mooring buoy's are fine but check with the DNR, and your insurance carrier.

The concern is that it's not a designated mooring area...I'm not sure how far out you can have your buoy (before the DNR will get upset about it) and there might be liabilities involved for injuries to waterskiers who could hit it. My grandfather had trouble in the UP placing a mooring buoy for that reason, if I remember correctly (was years ago now). Other than those two major concerns that should be easily addressed, I'm all for them - if the boat is going to sit in the water at the dock anyway, there's actually less chance of the boat getting banged up on a buoy, since there's no dock to smack against.

The inconvenience is the same as the loading platform/shore station combination I mentioned above, but it's much less expensive.


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