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Author Topic:   Capabilities of the Montauk 170
fedguy posted 06-15-2005 02:02 PM ET (US)   Profile for fedguy   Send Email to fedguy  
I'm finally getting close to buying my first boat. I have always love Whalers, especially the Montauk. I need a boat that I can use for fishing off the North Carolina coast. The big question I have is how well does the Montauk handle "big water"? Would I be better of with the Nantucket?
prj posted 06-15-2005 02:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
If your primary use will be for "fishing off the NC coast",
then yes, you will be better off with the Nantucket
for every reason that the boats are different.
fedguy posted 06-15-2005 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for fedguy  Send Email to fedguy     
Thanks, so can I surmise that the Nantucket would do fine on most boating days?
WT posted 06-15-2005 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Here are some pics of Montauks at work 24 miles offshore near San Francisco. It was a relatively calm day.

I've been out in waves that exceeded 6 feet and it might have been a little nicer to be in a Nantucket.


bluewaterpirate posted 06-15-2005 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Yes .... it has a 60 gallon fuel capacity just make sure u put a least 135 hp motor on it if u buy new. Don't under power it. You should be able to fish 20 miles off shore on good days with no problems ..... TOm
LabRtvr posted 06-15-2005 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for LabRtvr    
If your fishing out of Oregon Inlet, NC a 21' Outrage would be the bare minimum, IMO. I would not take my 170 Montalk there on the best of days.
fedguy posted 06-15-2005 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for fedguy  Send Email to fedguy     
Great pictures! Looks like you guys had a fantastic day. Thanks.
Buckda posted 06-15-2005 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I'd agree with everyone else here, but go one step further:
Unless its a financial decision, I'd look at either the 19' Nantucket of step all the way into an Outrage. Beyond those two, the only other option would be perhaps the 20' Eastport.

The only reason I give this suggestion is because you've not commented about a concern for space (garage, etc) and you want to use the boat offshore.

The Montauk is adequate, but was not really designed for big water. The fuel capacity is less (even with mods), and it carries the weight higher. The boat is such a great all-around, versatile hull that it CAN be used offshore (and probably has been way more than it was originally intended!) and is adequate for the task when the conditions are favorable, but the Outrage or Nantucket will do better when the conditions are average or worse, and were designed more for this type of use.

Since you plan to use it offshore more than "occasionally," I'd either buy new and step into the larger models, or if money is a concern, look for a good strong, used 18 or 22 Outrage.


fedguy posted 06-15-2005 03:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for fedguy  Send Email to fedguy     
Space was not a concern. Just wanted to get a Whaler that was capable of being used off-shore, trailerable, and affordable. Thanks for your input.
TRIDENT posted 06-22-2005 09:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for TRIDENT  Send Email to TRIDENT     
I would get the biggest Outrage you can afford.
17 bodega posted 06-22-2005 05:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
I don't know the water in that area but you have to weigh the pro's and con's of the boat size. I think you can go anywhere in the 170 as long as you have the fuel. If the weather gets nasty, you will get wet, but I don't think the Nantucket is safer, just drier and bigger. I was told that a "small craft advisory" applies to boats under 30 feet. The difference in the 17 and 19 wouldn't be life or death but I'd like to see what other more experienced boaters say. I'm sure there are some conditions that would favor the 19 over the 17, but not by much. I've heard some say they feel safer in smaller boats for a number of reasons. Any time you have very steep waves with a short time interval, you are at risk for capsizing a "small craft". I've been in my little 16/17 skiff where a wrong turn would invert the boat. Nobody should be out in boats in that stuff except the self righting coast guard boats rated for 30 foot seas.

I find that my hull "surfs" a big swell like an oversized surfboard. I was in morro bay last week in 8-9 foot waves doing 25 mph having a blast. No wind chop just a big lazy slow swell. I almost prefer that to flat calm. Lots of fun.


guido19 posted 06-22-2005 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for guido19  Send Email to guido19     
The question you pose says something to me and it says it loudly, and that is you are not an experienced boater. A lot of the people you hear from will tell you that they go 20 miles offshore in their Montauk. They don't mention that they have been boating for years, not all, but most. I own a 21 ft. Outrage and I can tell you that it gets real small the further from land I go. I am not an experienced boater yet, but I am pretty comfortable with the boat. You must realize that on the water a lot can happen quickly, even on the best of days. I talk to many fishermen who say you need two engines to go far from shore etc. Again a lot of people do take their small boats way out there, but I guarantee they know what they are doing. My advice would be to get the outrage learn the ropes and then venture out. If you start small you will pay more in the long run. Good luck!


bigjohn1 posted 06-22-2005 11:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Have taken my 170 MONTAUK 20+ miles off-shore in some really ugly water. Dave summed it up best I think in his comments. I love my boat but if the cost was not a factor, I would have gone with the 190 NANTUCKET. For me, the Nantucket would have been 50 grand inclusive of shipping and I just couldn't justify that kind of money for ANY 19 foot boat.
mikeyairtime posted 06-22-2005 11:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
I moved down to a 170 Montauk from a custom 22' aluminum commercial fishing skiff. It was a big 22 footer and other than having a cuddy wasn't terribly more seaworthy than the 170 and it got 2 miles per gallon. A day of fishing was a 50-70 gallon proposition. What I have learned is that the cost of the boat is one small part of the overall. A 170 is cheap to buy which makes it cheap to insure. It will run well over 100 miles on a 27 gallon tank. My last trip was an all day Catalina Island run and I used 18 gallons. I can easily splash it in the water for a quick 2 hours of fishing after work and have it cleaned up by dinner time. If you want to go fishing tomorrow I'll be there even if it's 35 miles out (weather permitting) and 2 weeks after pay day and I won't need to shake down any guests for gas money. It fits in the garage so 20 years from now it will still be in excellent shape if I don't ever get confused and sell it. Buy a 170 Montauk or a classic 17 Montauk or a classic 18 outrage and then keep it forever, repower when needed and resist the temptation to ever buy another boat.
highanddry posted 06-23-2005 04:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Everyone will usually steer you to something like they own. I will be no different. I have owned a few other boats and dived and fished offshore in other boats. I have a Nantucket. It has not been on big water yet but I find this to be one VERY solid boat. I believe it to be fully capable of taking on 20 mile offshore missions in decent weather and if things go bad it will get you back--soaking wet maybe. OH, the hull rides dry thus far in everything I have found.
I would get the Opti 150 engine to take full advantage of the Nantuckets capabilities. Why buy a nantucket instead of a larger Outrage--well---do you trailer---do you need to garage it--do you have a budget--do you wish to get max capability in a small package?? The Nantucket seems to be very fuel efficient, especially at speeds in the 25 (4.8 gpm) to 30 MPH (6.0 gpm) range. I suspect with tabs which I have decided are an eventual requirement for me that the Nantucket would be able to cruise easily at as low as 22 MPH or such and burn very little fuel.

My boat is still new and my fuel numbers are not ironclad--just from memory on a glance. Bigger is always better if you don't trailer, can afford 3 buck gasoline for twin engines, don't garage etc.

jimh posted 06-23-2005 07:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
WT posted 06-23-2005 11:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

Since this is your first boat purchase, keep in mind some add ons that you might want.

1) Kicker motor if you plan on fishing offshore.
2) GPS/Fishfinder and handheld backup gps.
3) Additional battery/batteries
4) 24/27 Pate gas tank
5) Downriggers
6) Bimini top (My wife wants me to get one)
7) Electric trolling motor
8) Trim tabs (Nantucket)
9) Mooring cover
10) Swim platform
11) Spare tire for trailer
12) Upgraded trailer (I trailer up to 360 miles round trip)
13) Mounted VHF and backup handheld vhf.
14) Trim gauge
15) Livewell

It's easy to spend an additional $10-15K on enhancements. If on a budget get the 170 Montauk loaded for the price of a bare bones Nantucket.

My 2 cents,

WT posted 06-23-2005 11:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT

I find that my Montauk is perfect for 2-3 total fisherman on the boat.


strain posted 06-23-2005 11:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for strain  Send Email to strain     
Hey Warren,

Looks like you're from the Bay Area. Where did you get your boat graphics done?



Perry posted 06-23-2005 12:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
highanddry, your fuel numbers are interesting. What do you mean by "gpm"? Gallons per mile? Gallons per minute?
highanddry posted 06-23-2005 01:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Perry, sorry about that, I was not thinking, I meant GPH--gallons per hour. I had been working on some turbo pumps last night and the functional test were in gpm--gallons per minute and it was just stuck in my head. I would imagine you would understand that the readings are from Smartcraft guages that give readouts in GPH.
WT posted 06-23-2005 04:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     

Graphics done at Outboard Motor Shop in Alameda by an outside independent contractor they referred.


Perry posted 06-23-2005 04:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
highanddry, as a firefighter, I often think in GPM's too. My Nantucket does not have the Smartcraft guages because it doesn't have a Mercury on it. I will probably buy a floscan meter soon.
strain posted 06-23-2005 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for strain  Send Email to strain     
Thanks WT!
Yiddil posted 06-23-2005 09:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Yiddil  Send Email to Yiddil     
For what its worth....If your going off Shore...then prepare to buy a boat that can handle the elements off shore...yes the montouk and the Nantucket can go off shore and get you back...but they were not designed for that I belive...when you start hitting 4-5 and up size waves, your really going to feel that and its not going to be fun unless your into Roller coaster rides at an amuzement park!

My Nantucket is a fine boat, and the Montauk is as well, but theres a big difference in weight between the two and there rides are different as well...

Ive had the non- pleasure of being out in the Chesapeake Bay in 5 footers coming from three directions...and I didnt perticularly care for that...Yes the Boat handled it fine, but the people didnt like it;)

If your trully going off shore, then you should be looking at a 26, 27, 3o footer...not these near coastal boats...Things can go from great to pretty bad very prepared with the right boat and the right the right water..BE SAFE!

bobeson posted 06-27-2005 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobeson  Send Email to bobeson     

I own a Montauk 170 that I have taken offshore in the Pacific off Northern California many times. I don't have any experience in the Nantucket to directly compare to. That said, I would guess that the difference between the two in heavy seas will be relatively minimal. Yes, the Nantucket is bigger and heavier, but I don't think it will make that much difference in the heavy stuff.

In my experience, I find the Montauk handles the heavy water just fine - even though the ride gets rough, the boat can take it, and I can tolerate a fair amount of bumping around. However, what makes a rough day really miserable for me is the wind-driven spray hitting me in the face. In my estimation, the Nantucket will have a slightly smoother ride, but it will still be pretty rough, and the spray will probably be unpleasant as well. With either boat, I'd still venture pretty far offshore, but only on good weather days. I don't think the I'd get to go out much more often in the Nantucket than the Montauk because of differing capabilities between the two boats.

If you want a boat which takes you out in rough conditions with an appreciably better experience than a small, open cockpit boat, I think you need to look at something like 25-foot pilothouse boats. That class of boat will have enough bulk to withstand substantially more wind wave energy before the ride gets uncomfortable, and the pilothouse will make the wind-driven spray only a minor inconvenience rather than a miserable experience.

Perry posted 06-27-2005 04:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
I have owned both Montauk and Nantucket and can tell you from first hand experience that the Nantucket handles big seas much better than a Montauk 170. The Montauk is a capable boat but not in the same arena as the Nantucket or Outrage.
JOHN W MAYO posted 06-27-2005 05:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for JOHN W MAYO  Send Email to JOHN W MAYO     
I took a captains class awhile back and the guy who taught it,30 years in the CG, stated " they don't like to go looking for someone on a Whaler 100 nm off shore".

I think what he was implying was to use good judgement even if you have a Whaler.

I fish off NC 20-30 nm in a Revenge 19. Watch the wx and know your limits.

Buckda posted 06-27-2005 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Good points about getting wet and comfort offshore.

Canvas goes a long way to provide comfort on any of the Whalers that I have seen, however it can inhibit the fishability of the boat (canvas can get in the way!).

The Outrage series has greater fuel capacity - it hurts when you pay for fuel, but it makes a big difference for when weather conditions change while you're offshore. Being 20 miles out in an Outrage with older 2-stroke power might burn 10 gallons of fuel on the way out, but may burn more like double that on the way back in, fighting waves and wind, and at a slower, less economical speed. These are important considerations when calculating range.

The Nantucket or Eastport should be fine. The 170, being more like an 18' Outrage (classic) is adequate, except for the limited fuel capacity; and the Outrage series is your best bet.

Now let me get onto my storytelling stool and spin a yarn.

Last year on the Georgian Bay rendezvous, forum members Gep and Home Aside and I set out to cross the top of Manitoulin Island in the North Channel of Lake Huron. The afternoon had provided plenty of sunshine, but the wind was up and from the West, providing for rather lumpy wind-driven waves running between 4 and 6 feet. Gep and I own classic 18' Outrages (1981 and 1986 models), and Home Aside has a classic 17' Montauk (1982). The Outrages were able to run faster and harder into the waves than that poor Montauk. Were it not for the desire to stick together as a group and make sure everyone made it in safely, Gep and I surely would have left the Montauk in the dust. We were catching spray and some serious air from time to time, but were generally able to run on-plane at about 20 MPH through the conditions. The Montauk was forced to run on and off plane (further reducing fuel efficiency, etc). We only had to run a few miles in these conditions, but had we been offshore fishing all morning, that Montauk might not have had the fuel capacity to get home, operating in a much less fuel-efficient range than it would have on the way out.

Apples to oranges, I I said - the 170 Montauk rides more like the classic 18' Outrage....but the fuel capacity is not even close. I tank 63 gallons in the Outrage, and record similar economy figures.

I occassionally run my 18 offshore (20+ miles out, not along shore) in Lake Michigan or Lake Huron, when the conditions are nice and after I've listened carefully to the forecast. The only other time I'd do it is when I'm in the company of other boats that I know would help if I had trouble.

Go with as much boat as you can afford (and that you need). YOu won't regret it. If you plan to go offshore often, consider buying a classic Outrage (22 or even a 25) and repowering it if necessary. If you must buy new...the Nantucket is the minimum I'd consider for that use.

I totally respect Warren (WT), but I do disagree with him in this regard. That Montauk is legendary for a reason...but if you're regularly venturing offshore, you should go bigger.

Buckda posted 06-27-2005 06:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Oh...and I'll add that Warren's posts about upgrades was spot on...expect to spend that money right away and capitalize it into the cost of entry. You'll definitely want a kicker or twins for offshore use.
WT posted 06-27-2005 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Anyone that goes offshore would be better off with a larger Whaler. There have been times I wished I were in a 22 Outrage.

Fedguy wants something capable of going offshore, trailerable and affordable. A 170 Montauk fills the order. A 22 Outrage fills the order too. It depends on definitions of offshore, trailer ability and affordability.

My 170 Montauk has a 24 gallon Pate tank and I also have my two stock 6.5 gallon tanks. I can carry 37 gallons and with a 4 mile per gallon range, that equates to 148 miles. So if I follow the 1/3 rule, I can go out 50 miles. :)

I hope to be chasing tuna within the next couple of months and I will probably carry even more fuel.

FYI, I don't plan on going offshore (more than 20 miles) unless I run with other boats.


elaelap posted 06-27-2005 08:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
I used to fish my little smirkless 16'7" Katama out to about 14 miles, but always in good weather with other boats around. She had a kicker in case of main engine failure emergencies, two VHFs, two GPSs, emergency rations, double dose of USCG approved flares, a Very pistol, two anchors, etc, etc. I think some of the folks who are somewhat tentative about offshore small boat cruising fail to consider that in many ways it's safer and more comfortable off the coast a bit...usually smoother swells and less confused seas, no risk from wash rocks, fewer crab pots, fewer boats per square mile to slam into you, no chance of running aground, only casual navigation required until it's time to return to harbor, and more cubic meters of seawater for mo' big fish. Out where Warren often takes his Montauk 170 north of San Francisco you'll find scores of even smaller classic Whalers on almost any day, the only real constraints on offshore distance being fuel capacity and weather
I'd feel safe accompanying Warren in his MT 170 out thirty or forty miles in good weather after albacore (hint, WT!), just as I wouldn't mind making the same trip in my Outrage 18 with proper precautions.


WT posted 06-28-2005 02:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
I guess my point is that the 170 Montauk is a very capable boat. Just pick your days going offshore. I ride jet skis so the jumping of wakes (waves) is not that big of a deal to me.

Would you want to take it out when wind waves are 5 foot or more? No

Would you want to take it out in square waves? (5 foot/5 seconds, 7 foot/ 7 seconds...) No

Most fishermen probably wouldn't want to be out in these conditions no matter the size of their boats anyway.

Tony, I’ll give you a shout when the posse makes the tuna run.


Traveller posted 06-28-2005 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Traveller  Send Email to Traveller     
I have a question about the Montauk 170 and whether it could recover from being swamped offshore. I have read several accounts that if the classic Montauk was swamped, it could be powered forward and dump most of the water over the transom. Does the Montauk 170 have this ability?
mikeyairtime posted 06-28-2005 12:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
I was 21 miles out on Sunday fishing Makos on the Avalon Bank (got 3, and 5 blues) on my 170 and a guy went buzzing by in a 15 classic on his way to Catalina. I carry 51 gallons on my 170, one 27 gallon Pate and two Tempo 12 gallon tanks in the stern corners. Fuel is not an issue.
Buckda posted 06-28-2005 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Traveller -

Yes...sort of. The "notch" in a classic 17 isn't as large as the "notch" in the classic Outrage series...but in general, the answer is still yes.

Mikey - you proved my point waaaay up there above....the Montauk name is legendary because it can be used as you describe. The question becomes if you want those extra tanks on deck when regularly using the boat offshore, or would rather carry the majority of your fuel in a below-deck tank? For occasional use, what you describe sounds pretty good...heck, even LHG rigs his 18 with tempo's under the RPS 'Montauk style' for long offshore runs.

"I need a boat that I can use for fishing off the North Carolina coast"

Sounds like more regular use....I'd stick with the bigger platform if I could afford it.

mikeyairtime posted 06-28-2005 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
I'd be more inclined to base size on my passenger manifest. The 170 is perfest for 2 grownups. It works with 2 grownups and two kids. I wouldn't want to fish it seriously with four grownups on board. For that I'd want something about 25 foot.
RonB posted 06-28-2005 04:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     

I would opt for a Whaler that is self bailing only for the piece of mind that should you ship a lot of water when all hell breaks loose (i.e. taking a large amount of water over the bow or stern in severe conditions) you will not have to think about your bilge pump pumping it out or having to leave the helm to pull the drain plug to run the water out.

Some of us may never experience this and I hope most of us never do, but it is always in the back of your mind when it gets nasty out there and confused seas and high winds materialize out of nowhere to rule the day.

I loved my 2003 Montauk 170 but I can honestly say that I made a mistake in purchasing it once I better understood my usage pattern, which frequently placed me in the middle of rough seas. It was my first small boat purchase after coming ashore from a career at sea on oil tankers. I guess I wanted my own "little oil tanker". I kept my Montauk for close to a season and then traded it in for a 2000 18 Outrage. I've had my Outrage for three years and am happy with the move to a bigger boat.

The Nantucket is a fine boat and worthy of all the accolades mentioned above. I have spent quite a few days fishing in one and it rates favorably with my own Outrage, better in some areas and less than in others, again depending on your usage pattern.

In my opinion, for the money of a new Montauk you should be able to pick up a lightly used Outrage that will give you a more secure feeling on the water. If you are really confused about the decision, see if you can arrange a number of rides in a variety of Whalers which should help in your decision. Best of luck and welcome to the Whaler family.


fishinchips posted 07-05-2005 12:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
it all depends on what you want to use your boat for.
The 170 montauk is a versatile boat.
I use my for ab diving, salmon fishing, rockcod fishing, halibut fishing and wirelining for stripers.

Plus, the boat will fit my garage. Insurance is cheap. And it sips fuel compared to my larger boat.
So basically its cheap to keep.

The 19 nantucket is a nice boat, but it won't fit the garage. Deeper V so its a smoother ride. Larger gas tank so you can go out further. If you got the space for keeping this boat on your property, then it will be really nice.
If not, then it will cost you in storage space.


an86carrera posted 07-06-2005 04:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
As a bystander so far in this conversation I have noticed one thing, the west coasters here are more willing to go offshore in their 'PACIFIC' ocean than us east coasters.

I have lived, boated and surfed on both coasts. I understand both sided to this story but this guy is in NC. My suggestion to him would be, buy the biggest boat you can afford if you are going offshore into the gulf stream.

I have made many (15-20) crossings to the bahamas and have done it only once when I would truly have been comfortable in anything under 22'. That gulf stream changes dramatically with a change in wind direction.

erik selis posted 07-09-2005 06:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
I frequently use my 170 Montauk off the Belgian/Dutch coast and also the large rivers leading into the English Channel or North Sea. I also tow my boat to Spain each year and do plenty of boating and fishing on the Costa Dorada on the Mediterranean Coast line. Both sea's are totally different. I prefer to boat in the Med. First of all there is hardly any current. The swells are larger but the frequency of the waves are smaller. In the North Sea the water is relatively shallow (max 120-ft) but there is a very strong current. When the wind is blowing against the tide you can get some very nasty, confused seas with small waves in short intervals. The river inlets can be the most dangerous depending on wind direction, speed and tidal currents. In the wrong conditions any boat can be in danger, even if it's relatively nice weather.

With a small boat like the 170 Montauk you must choose your days, closely follow the weather forecasts, study the tide movements and the charts. Learn about the waters you're sailing, because they are all different. Make sure you have sources for communicating and backups.

One thing though: There is something amazing about being 32 miles out on the Med. in a Montauk on a clear, beautiful day...riding the house-high swells at a comfortable planning speed and seeing dolphins swimming at a short distance from the boat. If the conditions permit, well you could probably sail all the way to Ibiza.:-)


(longing for Spain....3 more weeks to go)

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