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Author Topic:   17 Dauntless Dual Console not CC
stagalv posted 08-25-2006 11:54 AM ET (US)   Profile for stagalv   Send Email to stagalv  
Prior to the dual console models being called a "Ventura" they were called a Dauntless. I have become somewhat attracted to a 1995 17' Dauntless which is for sale in my area.
Does anybody have much to say about them - good or bad? I would appreciate any owners experiences. Also it has a 1995 130hp Evinrude looper.


PFSQUAN posted 08-25-2006 01:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for PFSQUAN  Send Email to PFSQUAN     
I fished on a 1996 17 Dauntless with a Johnson Ocean Runner 115 hp last weekend in Barnegat Inlet, New Jersey. We caught a bunch of nice fluke and an appetizing array of other Jersey seafood, including sea robin, skates, blowfish and sea bass.

I have a 1985 Montauk with a 2004 Yamaha 90 hp so it was fun to compare the two. There were three adults in the Dauntless and right off the bat, it is a better riding boat than the Montauk. The hull has more shape, is heavier, wider, but more importantly, being able to walk down centerline between the opening windshield eliminates any tipping prevalent with the deep-V of my Montauk. Walking back to the stern to get the killie bucket or a piece of squid, I noticed the boat barely moved. I was particularly impressed with the ride through various size wakes; spray stayed away, impacts were soft, even though I was riding in the bow sitting on the cushions. Fishing from the bow was easy thanks to the grippy nonslip on the anchor locker hatch. Freeboard throughout is good sans rails like the Montauk. The stern seats flanking the motor, however, are borderline useless. But the motorwell is deep, well scuppered and a tall rail adds security in the area and serves as a good anchor for clamp-on rod holders. On a nice day this boat would do well in the ocean just like my Montauk. It is not comfortable running the boat standing at the helm like you can the Montauk; there's not enough room and standing feels too awkward. Make sure whoever sits in the starboard seat in front of the operator does not block his view. Also, the helm is only adequate; my Montauk's twice as big. Another trade-off was that we needed (with three in the boat) 4,000 rpm to make time and I know in my Montauk 3,200 rpm would easily match the speed we made with the Dauntless. I think a 115 is marginal power for this boat.

The boat has a built-in fuel tank, not sure of the capacity and not as much stowage as available in the console, bow locker and pilot seat back of the Montauk. But I was impressed. It handles well, and the fit and finish were above par. My friend's Dauntless came with a factory bow cover and a windshield-to-stern cover. It was an incredible fit. Each snap in the right place, plenty of support. And here's an oddity: my friend claims the birds never dump on his red covers. The boat is on a mooring, not a dock. He says his last boat with a blue cover was an ongoing target. I have blue covers on my Montauk and I always find white surprises from the terns and sea gulls in my neighborhood. (Any CW members with similar anecdotal information on this matter may want to consider setting up a separate thread!) Just recently in the Asbury Park Press newspaper ( an ad appeared for a 95-96 Dauntless with a 130 hp Yamaha. If memory serves me correctly I think the price was 12k. Peter

stagalv posted 08-25-2006 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
Wow Peter,

What a great reply. Those are exactly the kind of comments I was looking for. I too have a Montauk now and I see the 17 Dauntless as more of a family boat which will fit me/us well. One thing I will really enjoy is the extra space as the Montauk is narrow and has very limited storage as I have placed two batteries and oil tank under the console.

Thanks again.

PFSQUAN posted 08-25-2006 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for PFSQUAN  Send Email to PFSQUAN     
Rex: on my friend's Dauntless, the batteries (he has two with a switch) are inside a compartment below the port windshield. They are not easy to get out, but I prefer this location to some of the newer Whalers with the batteries located outside the transom door. And I should mention, the windshield on the Dauntless (made by Taylor, I think) is gorgeous; well-tooled, durable finish, etc.

Another thing to keep in mind regarding performance is that speed and handling will change if you have two people in the bow. This is true of any bow rider. So when you sea trial the boat, bring the whole family, the dog, etc. and have them move about. In rough water, or during cool spring weather, for example, I would keep the tonneau (bow) cover on and the windshield closed so spray is directed aft. It will be warmer this way, too. Conversely, running in calm water with the center windshield portion open is a great way to cool the cockpit.

And I forgot to mention, the stainless-steel railing around the motorwell has a fitting to secure a tow ring for skiing and water tubing. It is well thought out 17 foot boat. Peter

john417 posted 08-25-2006 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for john417  Send Email to john417     
I own a 1995 17 Dauntless with a 115hp Evinrude Oceanrunner and I absolutely love the boat. It is a terrific compromise between family and fishing boat. I go out very early in the morning fishing and my family will meet me later in the day for cruising and tubing.

I use the boat primarily in the bays of western Long Island Sound but I have no reservations on taking her out into the Sound itself - unless its really nasty out. Hoever, I believe she could handle just about anything I'd have to deal with on Long Island Sound. The "Accutrack" hull cuts through chop very nicely.

I can get 40mph WOT measured with GPS with three people in the boat. However I found that she had a tendency to porpoise so I added a Doel Fin and that has made a significant difference.

She does have a 39 gal built in fuel tank.

One criticism that I have is that the scuppers have a tendency to let water into the boat when there are three or more people aft. I am probably going replace them with the type that use a float to close them when below the water line this winter.

I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you have about the boat.

stagalv posted 08-26-2006 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
Ok, I bought it and brought it home last night. She hasn't been hurt but has seen it's share of sunshine and has alot of spider cracks.

I tested a spot and the gelcoat will polish out nicely. I plan to remove all decals and replace them after the compound job. Plus the current decals are the teal color so I need to change that.

Cushions will be in good shape after some scrubbing.

The helm/dash area, steering wheel and throttle control are all totally faded so I plan to replace gauges, switches, etc..

One proplem I came across is that the stern light doesn't work and we traced it to a bad ground wire between the helm and the light socket. The wire is foamed in and cannot be pulled to run another wire so I am stuck. There are no wire tracks for this light (thanks Whaler) Any ideas on that?

The 1995 130 Evinrude tested out well with compression, etc.. But it too has been totally sun faded so I will strip the decals, repaint and place new decals.

I have a Montauk (Cetacea Page 41) sitting in the garage so I have to decide which boat to keep but I think I am leaning toward the Dauntless as it is more of a family boat and has alot more room.

Any ideas you have are appreciated.


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