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Author Topic:   Center Console vs. Windshield
boatdryver posted 12-19-2005 04:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for boatdryver   Send Email to boatdryver  
Before I buy a 17-18-foot center console boat, I am reminded that my first mate is more likely to go with me more often (cool climate) if there is a real windshield. At some point, I think in the 1090's the Dauntless and Ventura models had the same hull. Other than the obvious disadvantages of the windshield for fishing, can some of you comment on the trade offs in seaworthiness and handling characteristics in protected water and offshore?


deepwater posted 12-25-2005 12:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
On my 17 I raised the windshield 18" with plexi until the top was just above my eyes. Just put your first mate behind the wheel and let her drive.
aquaman posted 12-25-2005 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for aquaman  Send Email to aquaman     
My wife actually prefers the center console over a windshield style boat. The one thing I would say is be sure you get her to dress with enough clothes. If she hasn't spent much time out in a boat it is generally about 10 degrees cooler then being on land. Also, make the ride as comfortable as possible.
WT posted 12-25-2005 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Since when do guys want women to wear "more" clothes while boating? :)
deepwater posted 12-25-2005 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
How cold can she get with you snuggled up right behind her helping her drive
SEGrin posted 12-26-2005 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for SEGrin  Send Email to SEGrin     
If you're looking at the Dauntless and Ventura shared hulls, there probably won't be a lot of difference in what the boat does. I've found the big difference to be how you handle what the boat is doing. We tested an 18 ft. Dauntless and I found that I could run the boat a lot harder standing than I could run it sitting. Using my legs to absorb shocks made a much more pleasant ride. My wife really wanted the shelter of a windshield, and the dealer had a Ventura ready to go. The clincher was an Isenglass panel that attached to the bimini and snapped to the top of the windshield. Since we boat on Lake Michigan, it made sense to have wind protection.

The first time the Lake got bumpy, I got beaten. Remembering the ride of the Dauntless, I found a taller seat base for the helm and cut it down so it was about eight inches taller than the original. With the taller seat base I can keep my feet under me which allows me to keep some of my weight on my feet and cushion my landings. It made the Ventura completely servicable on the big lake.

Now, I have the ability to put up enough canvas to stay warm and dry through the whole season. I can also see over a passenger sitting in front of me in the bow seat. Down side: my line of sight is now completely above the windshield. Sunglasses are mandatory or my eyes water so much at speed I can't see. Occasionally, I get a face full of spray. Then again, if I wanted to stay dry I'd stay on shore.

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