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Author Topic:   Whaler vs Robalo
cschorer1979 posted 12-19-2005 05:06 PM ET (US)   Profile for cschorer1979   Send Email to cschorer1979  
Ok, everyone, I need some serious help.

Now first off, I fully realize this is a Whaler board and that some people may be biased, but I need some help. A few days ago I decided to take the plunge and purchase my first boat. I decided to go with a 2003 Dauntless 180 with a Mercury 115 4 stroke. The final agreed price for this boat was $30,100.00.

Now, I get a call from the dealer today and he tells me he would like me to come down and check out a boat. When I get there he has a brand new 2006 Robalo R190 with a 150HP yamaha 4 stroke. Once again, the boat is brand stinkin new and comes with a lifetime hull warranty and a 6 year warranty on the Yamaha engine. The price: $31,000.00.

Now my question for everyone out there:
I love Boston Whalers, and I have had my heart set on one for a long time. But I feel that the Robalo at that price is too good to pass down.

I would appreciate some honest feedback and what you think the best way to go is. If you could let me know I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks again and Happy Holidays!!


Tom W Clark posted 12-19-2005 05:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

If you want my honest opinion, I suggest you take your $30,000 and buy a classic Outrage 18, fix it up and buy a new trailer and a new Yamaha 150. You'll be dollars ahead and with a better boat to boot.

Buckda posted 12-19-2005 05:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Agreed with Tom, except I think you'll spend less than $30K in that scenario. You'll be right around $30K, perhaps slightly over, if you install twin E-TEC motors on it instead of a single Yamaha, but that would be a matter of your need for twins, and your preference.


phatwhaler posted 12-19-2005 06:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     
This looks much better than spending 30K on a new boat.

phatwhaler out.

TomG posted 12-19-2005 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for TomG  Send Email to TomG     
I'll start by saying that I know nothing about Robalos, so no comment on aspect of your question. Although the 2003 Dauntless 18 is a nice boat, I believe that it is woefully underpowered with that 115 hp. 4-stroke. You might do a search here for threads about SalA's Nantucket 19 with 115 4-stroke...he was very dissatisfied with the performance and repowered it with a Yamaha F150.

Besides this boat being underpowered, another possible issue with the Dauntless is that it is designed as a near-shore hull, and will not handle rougher seas as well as a comparable size Outrage. You have to evaluate your intended usuage and decide if the Dauntless is the right Whaler for you.

Repowering a Classic Whaler is certainly a good option as Tom Clark and Buckda suggested. The combinations of hull and power are numerous and you could almost certainly save a lot of money...but restoration projects and 20 year-old boats aren't for everyone.

Another possibility would be my newer '99 Outrage 18 which has been repowered with a new Honda BF150. You can look it over at: . This option gives you a modern, offshore-capable hull that is still under warranty and a new, modern-technology 150 hp. 4-stroke motor that is still under warranty.

Hope that helps...


kamie posted 12-19-2005 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     

Your right, folks here love whalers. I did a quick search and your Robalo only has a limited 10 warranty, not lifetime and while they do inject foam between the inner and outer skin, nothing about being unsinkable.
What type of boating do you intend to do with your new boat? If you aren't tring to fly across the water, you may do fine with a 115HP on the Dauntless. Have you ridden in both a Dauntless and a Robalo? Which one is better for the type of boating you want to do now and if you need to step up to a bigger boat, which one holds it value? The Dauntless is used so I assume it comes with electronics, and they are fairly new so factor the costs of new ones into the price of the Robalo and see if it's still a better deal. Also check the adds to see what the Robalo will sell for in a couple years, a 2001 Robalo, with a 150HP is selling for $15k. Assuming it was close to $30k new that means it's lost 1/2 it's value, not good if you want to move up in a couple of years.

Whalers in general seem more expensive, but it's the fit, finish and the fact that classic whalers can sell today for the same as they sold new, 15, 20 or 35 years ago. The Dauntless is a fine boat and if that's what you want, go for it.

gf posted 12-19-2005 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for gf  Send Email to gf     

cschorer1979, $30K is way too much $$$ for that used Dauntless. Never mind the fact that it's underpowered. $30K may be a fair price for a new 19' Robalo, if that's what you want.

I shopped for a new ~20' center console boat for 2 years before I purchased my McKee Craft 196. I didn't spend $30K and I sure wouldn't rush in to a purchase decision.

gf posted 12-19-2005 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for gf  Send Email to gf     

cschorer1979, just noticed that you are in Boston. You must be shopping at overpriced Russo's. I work in Boston and live on the North Shore. Email me off line if you want and I can point you in a few better directions for boat shopping. No need to do anything quick in the winter!
minitauk85 posted 12-19-2005 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for minitauk85  Send Email to minitauk85     
It makes no sense to buy a brand new boat unless you've got money to burn, all new boats depreciate as soon as you tow them off the lot! Buy something that is a couple (or more) years old and let someone else take the hit for depreciation! An older whaler hull with new power and equipment is well worth the investment-shop around in a variety of sources and start to compare prices- you'll soon come up with a ballpark of "comparables" with which you can make a more equitable decision. The salesman (all salesman) rely on impulse buying to sell brand new big ticket items, slow down and look around, otherwise you might miss an even better deal than you are looking at now! Whatever you do-have fun!-k
Sal A posted 12-19-2005 05:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
Happy Holidays right back at you.

I will first off say that although I don't own Robalo's, I have heard that the newer ones have stress crack problems on their transom. Now assuming you discount that information...

The 2003 180 Dauntless sounds underpowered to me. It is a heavy hull.

Option 3: In the marketplace section here Tigreen has his 2000 18' Outrage repowered with a brand new Honda BF150. His boat is loaded and would be gotten cheaper than the two options you offered up. Just a thought. He would also help arrange delivery etc.

PeteB88 posted 12-19-2005 07:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
If that's the same Tigreen I know the Outrage is awesome - I've seen it and agree with Sal. It has 24 hours on the Honda. His Whaler bros are trying to talk him out of selling it. Stick with the Whaler - you have friends in every port.


TC posted 12-19-2005 10:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for TC  Send Email to TC     
Compare the condition and resale of an old robalo verses an old whaler.
jimh posted 12-19-2005 11:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Please, Please, Please, do not start the same discussion in two areas. I killed the other one.
Sal A posted 12-20-2005 06:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
Some pictures of Tom's 18 Outrage:

Sal A posted 12-20-2005 06:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A
swist posted 12-20-2005 07:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
When I bought my last boat (the one before the Whaler) I was looking at fishing boats in the 21-24 ft range and could not afford a Whaler so I did a LOT of research on the next level down - I looked a lot at various Robalos and came to the conclusion that they were just so-so in terms of fit and finish etc.
Marlin posted 12-20-2005 09:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
I have the Mercury 115 4-stroke on my 160 Dauntless. It's a great engine, very quiet and smooth, hardly burns any gas, and no significant problems in 3 seasons. But it doesn't have especially strong performance out of the hole, and unfortunately, I don't think it's enough power for the 180 Dauntless.

The 180 Dauntless itself, I like. A lot.

JJN3 posted 12-20-2005 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for JJN3  Send Email to JJN3     
I had a Robalo (235 walkaround) and sold it after one year for a Whaler. The Robalo was an ok boat, but the fit/finish was no where near as good as the Whaler. After a year of fishing (mostly inshore, 10-15 miles off the beach), the Robalo had rattles in several locations and the icebox door would no longer seal. After a year of fishing in the Whaler (longer trips offshore), we have zero problems with the Whaler.


erik selis posted 12-20-2005 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
The 180 Dauntless is indeed a nice boat and the remarks concerning underpowering with a 115-hp, 4-stroke are true. You will regret it if you buy it with the 115. Mind you, the 115 Mercury EFI 4-stroke is a great engine, just not powerful enough for the 180 Dauntless.

The Robalo may also look like a nice boat but for that price you could probably find a very nice Outrage and put new power on it. I agree with the others on this one.


DeepSouthWhaler posted 12-20-2005 07:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for DeepSouthWhaler    
The Dauntless would be under-powered with a 115. The price on that boat should be more like $25K-$26K. If you like the Dauntless you may be able to find one in the model year 1999-2000 with a 135 or 150 Merc for around $21K. It is a good all around boat.
MyOutrage posted 12-21-2005 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for MyOutrage  Send Email to MyOutrage     
So cschorer1979... whatta ya think? You got the input you were looking for. You may not like what you read (because it's contrary to what you had your heart set on) but I think it's dead-on correct.
spearo posted 01-03-2006 08:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for spearo  Send Email to spearo     
I never owned a BW but I have had six boats since the late 60's, my best ever has been a 1995 Robalo 2140 I bough just one year old, today I can sell it for what I payed back then and I can say it's in just about showroom condition because of it's quality. Too bad that the new Robalos leftout some of the things I'm looking for in a boat.
Brad Maier posted 01-05-2006 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Brad Maier  Send Email to Brad Maier     
I have a Robalo 1900 and it is a great boat. It is wet however in a chop. Handles nice and is built tough.

You should look around and find a really nice used boat as your first boat. I have seen 19 robalo's for between 10,000 and 15,000.
Good Luck, Brad

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