Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
  Lake Superior Boat suggestions

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Lake Superior Boat suggestions
SuperiorShepherd posted 06-12-2006 10:41 PM ET (US)   Profile for SuperiorShepherd   Send Email to SuperiorShepherd  
Well boys, I live on the big lake (Superior) and have access to all kinds of inland lakes as well, but would like just one trailerable boat.

The family wants to feel safe on the big lake. Boat will be used to fish (75%), and cruise the western end of Lake Superior, Apostle Islands, St. Louis River, etc along with some scuba diving and waterskiing.

I am new to BWs and we do not have a local dealer, so do not have a lot of hands on, ondeck experience with a BW. What would boat/engine/options might you recommend? Thanks for your thoughts!

prj posted 06-13-2006 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Welcome to the Forum, Shepherd.

You've placed a fine restraint on our recommendations
with your stated desire of "just one trailerable boat."
As I'm in a similar situation at the opposite corner of the state,
that is, a need for an inland boat and a Lake Michigan boat,
I opted for 2, a 15' Striper and an Outrage - 18'.

That might define your constraints right there.
Not knowing your inland lakes or their sizes, and based upon
a 75% Superior usage, I'd recommend the following:

190 Outrage with a 150 HP outboard

Outrage-18/19 with a 150 HP outboard
Outrage 17 or 17 II
or a

Good luck with the search, and further recommendations
might be refined with either a budget or a new/used preference.

Buckda posted 06-13-2006 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Welcome to the forum!

To borrow a line from the movie JAWS..."[you're] gonna need a bigger boat."

On Superior, you will want the protection and dry ride that a Conquest provides with a windshield and cabin, and a hard top for your navigation equipment.

An Outrage will be fine, but cold in the early and late season. I wouldn't go below 20 feet.

That said, a 235 Conquest is a mighty large boat for an inland lake!

But since you plan to be on Superior most of the time, I recommend that bigger is better, and the cabin and windshield on the Conquest lineup is great for getting out of the cold, damp environment that you may often find out on the lake (your wife will especially appreciate that).

My choices of new models would be a Conquest 235 or an Outrage 240.

For classics, it would be a Revenge 22 or Revenge 25 (walk throughs) or an 22-25' Outrage..or even (if you can find one) a 21' Walkaround (from 1992-1994 or so).

My 18' Outrage feels like a very small boat in Lake Superior...and I am happy to have the full canvas for wind protection as that lake generates COLD wind.

You should also strongly consider the benefits of twins or a kicker, as well as a Sea Tow Membership.

I hope Plotman chimes in here - he's running a 22' Outrage with twins out of Duluth, and can give you great advice.


highanddry posted 06-13-2006 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Thing is he asked for a trailerable boat in the NEW Whaler forum. True, a center console is going to be nippy though you could buy the Mills shelters etc. We were up there late last summer and noted that it can get cool.

I would not bother with looking for a used boat unless that is truely what you want. The newer Whalers have numerous advantages over the older styles including a warranty and a new engine with a warranty.

I would recommend for a trailerable boat with emphasis on trailerable the Conquest 21 and the Outrage 190 (aka Nantucket 190)

Both are trailerable but much larger than these boats you need specialized tow vehicles or at least vehicles that are larger than what many prefer to own for daily use.

Nantucket 190 with 150 Opti Max:

Top soeed per GPS light and trimmed way out is right at 48 MPH
Fuel economy, at 24 MPH we get very close to 6 MPG, at 30 MPH we are very close to 5 MPG, at 29 MPH it is a solid 5.1 MPG.

They will try to tell you the new boats are heavier and less efficient--nope--they are heavier because they are LARGER than the older models foot for foot and good design still produces an efficient hull as demonstrated by my excellent economy.

That Lake Superior is rough, it is not at all like the ocean, the waves are more like chop than open swells, so it is true, a small boat on that lake does seem, well, small.

Yeah, big boats are nice on any water, just cannot tow them well for any distance.

Towing, ok, behind a Tacoma DC TRD with capper, running 60 to 65 I get about 13, somtimes 14 MPG. On my typical commute cycle I get right at 20 or just under and on the highway 22ish give or take depending on how fast I go.

Good luck. J

prj posted 06-13-2006 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Another new option,
the 205 Conquest with a 200 HP outboard.
Buckda posted 06-13-2006 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Yes PRJ..I forgot about the 205 Conquest - good option!

The one thing that spurred me to suggest larger boats is the mention that the family wants to feel safe.

I can remember going out in many different boats as a kid.

Our 25' cuddy cabin boat was the one I felt safest in, vs. runabouts and center consoles.

Part of feeling safe is feeling comfortable. True, lots of canvas can keep you comfortable. But were I to regularly boat on lake Superior, I'd want a cabin/windshield model...or at the very least, a Outrage Cuddy.

Since the only current model Outrage with a cuddy is the 320 Outrage Cuddy...well, I think you'd feel plenty safe! But your banker might not like the results of that purchase!

A 1500 Suburban or truck with the heavy tow package will tow a 230 Conquest or a 240 Outrage, although it will be at the limits of the vehicle. Going up from there, you would probably want a HD vehicle or a diesel.

I don't know what you currently have, so I'm not taking a tow vehicle into consideration.

You will certainly be safe and fine with even a 170 Montauk out on Lake Superior, in most conditions you will encounter...but your family may not feel safe, which is part of the objective.

I also agree that the 190 Outrage is a great boat and would be fine in Lake Superior..but again, I think it will not feel as safe as a Conquest to a family on board.

I imagine that the 190 would feel/respond a lot like my 18' Outrage. Running around in Superior in the 18 is fun, but then again, I'm a fairly experienced captain, and have a small thrillseeker streak in me...


Plotman posted 06-13-2006 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     

I’m clearly biased, but I think we have some of the best boating available anywhere out of Duluth. Pretty much anything you are looking for within an hour or two of home, and awesome options inside of 10 minutes.

As Dave pointed out, I have a 22 outrage with twin Yamaha 130s. I fish a fair amount, but I am more into exploring, hence my very strong desire to have two engines on the boat, either of which can comfortably get it on a plane. Were I fishing primarily, I might lean more towards a big single and a kicker from an economy perspective. Redundancy of some sort is important because there is no such animal as Sea Tow up here. The coasties will come and get you, but they will leave your boat behind.

A 22 is a bit big for many inland lakes – more so in comparison to what else is going to be out there – but not so big as to generally be a problem getting it into the lake. It also depends on what inland lakes you are talking about. There a lot of really big inland lakes around here where a 22 has been great to have. I’m talking lakes like Lake Nipigon, Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake, Lake Vermillion, The Gull Lake Chain, Mille Lacs, etc. There have been days when I have been out on these inland lakes and been comfortable when folks in smaller boats have either had to stay in or gotten beaten up. I’ve even had it in Island Lake and once in Nebagemon, though that was a bit silly.

A 22 is also small enough to be able to tow comfortably and launch solo, yet at the same time big enough to handle most of what Lake Superior is going to throw at you – at least to get you off the lake alive if you get caught in a squall. I’ve made numerous crossings from Twin Points and Silver Bay over to the Apostles 25-30 miles, a couple trips to Isle Royale from the north shore, and if the weather works out right, have a crossing planned from Madeline direct to Isle Royale in July.

Whether you should go with a center console or a cabin boat, and whether you should look new or used is really a matter of personal preference. I’m a die-hard center console guy, but I’d probably get my wife out on the water more if I had a Revenge. A conquest would be nice, but not a reality anytime soon. Having a mills forward shelter make a huge difference for my family. It has saved many a day as far as my kids are concerned.

I think a 22 Revenge would be about the perfect boat for this lake. Well, for just on Superior, my dream boat would be a 27 offshore, but you are obviously in a whole different realm at that point, and inland lakes of almost any kind are out.

Hope to see you out and about. My boat is spending the week in the driveway because of out of towners coming in for Grandmas who will want to get out on the lake, but after that will probably spend most of the rest of the summer out on Madeline Island.

highanddry posted 06-13-2006 02:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
I meant the Conquest 20.5, aka Eastport, top of the former Legend Series and now the bottom model in the Conquest line. Sorry about that.
Plotman posted 06-13-2006 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
If I were looking at a new boat, I would be most interested in a Conquest - either 205 or 235, and Outrage 21 (probably my first choice) or 190, and perhaps take a look at the Dauntless 22.

Nisswa Marine (near Brainerd) is probably going to be the closest Whaler Dealer that keeps a decent inventory of larger boats.


JMARTIN posted 06-13-2006 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
Before buying new, I would look at this boat.


David Pendleton posted 06-16-2006 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I boat Superior all the time. My 23 Conquest handles it well.

If I had to choose the perfect (trailerable) Whaler for L. Superior?

1999-2001 28 Outrage.

SuperiorShepherd posted 06-16-2006 02:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuperiorShepherd  Send Email to SuperiorShepherd     
Thanks for your thoughtful and enthusiastic responses! I'll stay in the 19-23 foot range, probably a center console with canvass . I'm trying to connect with Nisswa Marine, but budget would prefer 'pre-owned.' If you come across a good boat in the near future, do let me know. Thanks again. Dave
Plotman posted 06-16-2006 03:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Dave P- In 2002 and 2003 they called the boat the 290 Outrage, though everything I have seen says it is the same boat.

The other Dave (Superior Shephard)- just keep your eyes open, on this board and large classified sites like You may need to travel for the right boat.

If you haven't been out on a 22, drop me a line and we can find a time to have you take a spin.


Royboy posted 06-18-2006 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Keep an eye on too. Irish Boat Shop advertises some brokerage boats on there, and they have a dealership in Harbor Springs. Not exactly around the corner, but not too far over The Bridge either. I bought my Whaler through them and it was a positive experience.


Royboy posted 06-18-2006 10:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Oops, just looked at a map. Superior is a world away from Harbor Springs. Still, lots of Whalers on


Mambo Minnow posted 06-20-2006 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
1998-2001 Conquest 21....big 21 footer and the cabin/gunwales will make family feel secure. Plus, more trailerable than a 23 if you like to hit the road and explore new places.
uidb5298 posted 06-21-2006 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for uidb5298    
Hi Shepard,

I just purchased the 2006 190 Outrage for usage on the big lakes and inland lakes as well. I had this boat out last weekend in Saginaw Bay with 25 mph winds and 3-5 foot waves. Seven hours on the bay and the boat handles the water amazingly, we didn't get wet at all. I will be taking this boat to all of the Great Lakes for mostly fishing trips and I have no problems with feeling safe. I have also taken the boat to some smaller inland lakes and had no problem dropping it into a 100, 300, and 75 acre lakes. I think if you're looking to do some fishing in Superior as well as doing the inland lake activities the 190 Outrage is a great fit. I know it's working for me.

Here's some pic's. 150 Verado.

SuperiorShepherd posted 06-22-2006 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuperiorShepherd  Send Email to SuperiorShepherd     
Thanks for sharing the great pictures! Looks like a fine boat, but doesn't look like it is going to get through a standard garage door!
Do you mind sharing what options you chose and what you paid in MI? You can email me directly if you don't want to post.
Enjoy the ride!
Superior Shepherd

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.