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Author Topic:   DAUNTLESS 16
slids posted 12-06-2005 11:58 PM ET (US)   Profile for slids   Send Email to slids  
I am interested in purchasing a 2000 16 Dauntless with a 2001 90-HP Mercury two-stroke. I live on Long island Sound and will use it mostly for local cruising, tubing, and hopefully some skiing and wake boarding. I am concerned about how the boat will do and how stable it will be with the 'chop' on the sound. Does anyone have any opinions about this boat?



derf posted 12-07-2005 01:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for derf  Send Email to derf     
16' is small, whatever kind of boat you're looking at. The Whaler will handle chop better than most other 16' boats. A Whaler is a "high-end" boat so it will cost more than some other similar boats. But, I think you will be pleased with the Whaler. Ask the current owner for a test run in the chop.
homey posted 12-07-2005 07:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for homey  Send Email to homey     
If you plan on tubing and skiing, look for an 18....
jimh posted 12-07-2005 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[This discussion has been moved to the POST-CLASSIC area.]
Marlin posted 12-07-2005 11:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
I run a 160 Dauntless with a 115 4-stroke on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake is roughly comparable in size to Long Island Sound. The Bay is generally shallower, which makes the chop a little worse, but the Sound has an east-west orientation that will usually give more fetch in summer's prevailing westerlies. Let's call it even for rough comparisons.

The 160 Dauntless has an exceptionally solid ride for a 16-foot boat. However, it has a short waterline length, which makes it impossible to span several wave crests at once when the waves get larger than about 1 foot. This results in a rough ride in 2-3 foot chop. Seas like that are best taken at a very slow planing speed, perhaps 18 MPH. A lower-unit hydrofoil is an enormous help in keeping the boat planed off at those low speeds. The ride is tolerable and fairly dry, but my friend's 190 Nantucket looks a whole lot smoother in those conditions.

I've done a lot of tube pulling with the boat, and it's fine for that. Skiing should also be no problem, though if we were to do that a lot I think a second prop would be in order, perhaps a 14" pitch instead of my current 16".


G MASTER posted 12-07-2005 01:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for G MASTER  Send Email to G MASTER     
I agree with Marlin who I consider the resident expert on the Dauntless 160. I have a 160 Dauntless with a 115 classic 2 stroke. I fish in the shallow Texas Bays where there is a lot of chop and I think no other under 18 ft boat can handle the chop equally. Obviously a larger 18 ft and above boat will handle chop better. I previously owned a 15 ft BW striper and the 160 Dauntless is far superior to handling chop. I also use my boat for skiing and tubing which it handles well. I agree with Marlin that a hydrofoil on the motor helps immensely.


skred posted 12-07-2005 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
My former 1999 16 Dauntless with Honda 90 handled the chop on northern Lake Michigan without any problems at all. I do recommend stashing gear, etc. in the bow area, since the 16 sits a bit low at the stern with a full load of fuel. With the bow trimmed down, the ride was was vastly superior to my '91 Montauk. Granted, you're not going to blast through 4-5 footers at 20+ mph, but that's beyond "chop". I never took any spray - even in the 5-footers... Four your stated purposes, you'll find it an excellent choice.
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 12-07-2005 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
I would suggest you at the 18' or 21' Ventura. The 21' is the older outrage hull and has many more amenities than the teenie dauntless. Also much better ride.
Marlin posted 12-08-2005 08:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
Well, I can't disagree with Trafficlawyer; the 18 or 21 will certainly have a much better ride. Of course, those Venturas are dual-console rather than center console like the Dauntless, but there are also the more-or-less equivalent center-console 18 Dauntless and 21/210 Outrage from the same era.

The problem with the bigger boats, of course, is:
a) They cost a lot more to buy.
b) They cost somewhat more to operate.
c) You can (just) tow the 16 with a 3500# tow vehicle, which includes most minivans, small SUVs, and some passenger cars, while you'll need at least a 5000# tow vehicle for the 18 or 21.

More than once I've wished I'd gotten the 18 Dauntless instead of the 16, but at the time, reason c) clinched it for me. Since then I got a V8 Explorer, but now that we're startiing with college campus visits, it will be a while before I'm in the market for something bigger!


RLSmith posted 12-12-2005 09:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for RLSmith  Send Email to RLSmith     
I have a 2000 16' Dauntless with a Suzuki DT 115 (2-stroke EFI). I boat mostly on the inland waters of Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Occasionally out in Chesapeake Bay. Obviously no problems with the inland waters (Broad Bay, Linkhorn Bay, Lynnhaven Inlet, etc.) but in Chesapeake Bay swells and chop can really slow me down. I have heard many complaints about this hull porpoising in chop/swells. I have trim tabs that I use to plant the bow down to prevent this. Planting the bow also makes the ride much smoother for passengers. I gather from frequent postings here that proper motor height and trim might overcome this problem without needing trim tabs.

I really love this boat, particularly the durability. I have never been on a Dauntless 180 but that looks like a great boat also. The extra two feet would be essential if I went in the bay a lot. I didn't want the extra purchase/maintenance expense.

I don't know how my Suzuki 115 compares to the Mercury 90 you are considering. I tube and water ski. I start on one ski initially at full throttle and don't have much trouble. But several other skiers have failed and resorted to two skis. The boat is heavy. If you are water skiing you might need to select an appropriate propeller to get you going fast enough. I use a bridle since I didn't spring for the ski tower - that might help a bit. The ski tower would be a great help tubing so I will get one eventually.

andygere posted 12-14-2005 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My dad has a 1999 Dauntless 16 with a 2-stroke Mercury 90, and I've spent a fair amount of time running it. It's a nice little boat, and handles the chop in Cape Cod Bay and Pleasant Bay very nicely for a boat of it's size. It has a much softer ride than my 1979 Montauk 17 had, however it is a much heavier boat and the performance with 90 h.p. is a bit lackluster. My main complaint is that the boat is a little bit slow getting on plane, and has a bow up attitude while doing so. I am sure a hydrofoil would help, but the 115 h.p. motor would be better. I agree with others that a lower pitch prop would be needed for satisfactory water skiing performance, but it would be just fine as is for pulling tubers and wake boarders.

If you can get that particular boat at a decent price, I wouldn't pass on it because of the 90 (vs. a 115), as long as you have reasonable expectations on how it will perform. Overall, I think it is a very nice little boat, and my dad's regularly carries a load of 6 adults a a few toddlers without problems, so long as the load is balanced (with at least two sitting on the cooler seat or bow cushion). The built-in boarding ladder works well, making it a much easer boat to get into than my Montauk was. On fair days, we take it out through Nauset Inlet or the Chatham Cut to fish for stripers, and I always feel that it is a safe, capable boat.

Boboe posted 12-17-2005 08:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
I just completed my first year with my 2004 Dauntless 160 with a 90 HP 2 stroke. I run the boat out of Indian River Inlet in Delaware and frequently take the boat out a good 8-12 miles out. While you have to pick your days, I find very few days that the bigger boats are going out and leaving me behind. Typically, if the weather is bad we all stay in.

Friends with other boats are amazed at how well the 160 handles the chop. The hull realy keeps us dry even in serious chop. True, I can't run the boat as fast as the bigger boats do, but on a choppy day we all go a bit slower. On a 45 minute run they probably beat me in by a good 5 minutes or so (big deal).

While I would certainly prefer a bigger boat, the 160 allows me to do things bigger boats don't like keep it in my garage. I bought the two stroke because of weight and fear of porposing. As stated in a prior post, the boat can be stern heavy. I do not experience porposing but really miss the qualities the 4 stroke would bring to the table, mainly easy start and idle, incredibly quite engine (you can hardly tell these things are running) and of course fuel efficiency. If I was sure I won't have a porposing problem I'd go with the four stroke.

All in all....a great boat. I don't think you can find a more solid 16 footer.


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