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Author Topic:   180 Dauntless Hull Design
podosky posted 12-21-2006 10:03 PM ET (US)   Profile for podosky   Send Email to podosky  
We have a 2006 180 Dauntless with a 150 Verado. We have completed our first season and find the boat to be very dry and seaworthy. We love the boat! On several occasions we have been caught in less than favorable conditions and the boat handled better than many of the larger boats around us.

I consistantly hear comments from other boat owners about the poor ride of a Whaler, which we do not find to be the case. I always chalk this up to the other person not having a Whaler.

How did this stereotype get started? Have there been significant changes in hull design of the Dauntless series over the years? I would be interested in the history of the Dauntless if anyone has this information.

This is my first post and any information may be helpful to answer my "critics."

jimh posted 12-22-2006 07:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The reputation of a Boston Whaler boat for having a rough ride is probably historical. Back in the 1960's the early 16-footers, due to their strength and seaworthiness were often used in open ocean conditions, and they probably ran in seas which were too big for them. The boat held together but gave its occupants a very rough ride.
fno posted 12-22-2006 08:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
It's a simple fact that the Boston Whaler boat can take much more abuse than the human body. That and the fact that they don't sink, lead many to run the boat in conditions that would otherwise send them packing to the dock. I remember as a kid,riding with my dad's friend in a 17' Nauset out of Sandy Hook in NJ with small craft warnings out. He'd fish all day until the boat had 6 inches of water in it. He'd start the motor (mercury 115 hp tower of power) and pull the plug. He only had two speeds also, stop and go.
K Albus posted 12-22-2006 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I own a 2002 Dauntless 180. I have also previously owned and/or operated about a dozen other boats of varying types and sizes.

While I agree that the Dauntless 180 is a very dry-riding boat, I also believe that it can be a very rough-riding boat. I have posted in the past about my experiences on Lake St. Clair with a relatively-small but confused chop. Even at minimal planing speed my boat had a very rough ride. In calm water, the boat rides like a dream.

All-in-all, I am very pleased with my boat. It has had some minor fit and finish issues, but no major problems. The boat is very versatile, and is about the biggest boat that will fit into my garage. I've owned it for five seasons, and I plan to own it for at least a couple more.

With regard to the history of the Dauntless 180 hull, there are numerous posts in the archives which describe a change that occurred around 2000 or 2001. The earlier hulls had a notch in the lower rear portion of the hull, just in front of the motor's lower unit. I believe that hulls with the notch were reported to have a substantial problem with bow rise when trying to get on plane. The notch has been eliminated, and bow-rise problem seems to have been mitigated.

podosky posted 12-22-2006 06:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for podosky  Send Email to podosky     
Thank you all for your responses!

K Albus: we also considered one of the benefits of the 180 Dauntless to be that it is one of the largest boats that could fit in our garage. It almost seems to be the best of all worlds to have a boat that fits in the garage and is able to fish offshore. On the appropriate weather days regularly fish the artificial reefs 5 to 8 miles off South Jersey. Sometimes when we reach the reef we will drift up next to some very large boats in many instances they can be fitted with tuna towers. Other than an acknowledgement with a friendly wave fron the other boaters, I am surprised that no one even seems to pay attention. I expected there to be some negative comments as many times we may be one of the smallest boats out there.

Inshore we cross Great Egg Harbor Bay quite often and it always seems to have a large chop. The Dauntless seems to eat it up with little difficulty. Is it possible that the hull could have changed again in the years following the production of your model? I am impressed with the solid feel of the boat in these conditions, its ride inspires confidence.

David1877 posted 01-11-2007 03:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
I owned a 2001 Daunt 18 and 135 Optimax. The rig was very stable in rough conditions but a rough ride when on plane in chop.

Very capable of off-shore adventures but you may not get there as fast a boats with a deeper V.

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