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Author Topic:   Offshore In Small Boston Whaler
TrickyDogShow posted 02-06-2008 10:08 PM ET (US)   Profile for TrickyDogShow   Send Email to TrickyDogShow  
Fifty miles off the Washingon Coast, how safe are a 190 MONTUAK and a 190 OUTRAGE during the summer months tuna fishing? [Are the Boston Whaler 190 MONTAUK or the Boston Whaler 190 OUTRAGE too] small [to go 50-miles offshore into the northern Pacific ocean in the summer]?
Whalerdog posted 02-07-2008 03:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdog  Send Email to Whalerdog     
no to be smart but safe as the weather. Don't know if I want to be 50 offshore on one motor. then in rougher water you may be 2 hr. offshore
WT posted 02-07-2008 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Depends on your tolerance for adventure. I launch out of Bodega Bay and my favorite fishing spot is about a 35 mile run to the north. I love making this run alone, but I suppose you have to really trust your outboard.

There are a lot of Montauk's that go out for tuna here in Northern California around San Francisco.

Here's a picture of me with my first tuna on my 170 Montauk. First%20Tuna%20Run%208-05/?action=view¤t=DSCN1595.jpg


bluewaterpirate posted 02-07-2008 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I have to admit the first time my wife and I ventured 50 miles offshore in our single engine 210 Ventura my backside was a scosh tight. That was five years ago and since that first trip it's become an everyday occurrence. I am [very careful] when it comes keeping our boat in tip top working condition. This includes the electronics, electrical system, hull and thru hull fittings, and last but most the important the engine (OptiMax 225). Never forget your Whaler is more than just transportation to and from the fishing grounds, it's your guardian, your safety net, and your best friend when venturing into the relm of the deep blue sea.

Two things come to mind:

1. Gas capacity .... you need enough to get out and back (on a normal trip i.e. great weather & calm seas) and have a 20% reserve for the unexpected (always expect the supernatural). With that in mind the 190 Outrage would be my choice but I feel it really doesn't have the gas capacity to give you a warm a fussy reserve so you'd have to carry some extra gas.

2. Safety ..... it's a Whaler but if you run into bad weather or breakdown (which you will if you did this enough) you have to be able to survive. Even though I'm in a Whaler I carry an open ocean life raft, Florentine sea anchor, EPRIB, fish with a buddy boat, file a float plan, and always communicate with another boat on a scheduled time plan.

Bottomline ..... You can fish a single engine boat safely offshore you just have to be ready for any out of body experience that might come your way. I would say that 50% of the boats I fish alongside of offshore are single engine. You might do it once and find that it's not to your liking and that's OK but you'll still have a Whaler that will bring you years of great adventures.

My 2 cents.


Whaler_Jack posted 02-07-2008 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_Jack  Send Email to Whaler_Jack     
I've fished my 190 Montauk 20 to 45-miles offshore in the Gulf. It's a trill. I can only echo what's been said thus far. The boat can take a lot more than I can, which can take the fun out of a day on the water. Check and double check your weather have multiple back up plans. Have ALL of the emergency equipment as possible, food, water, shade. I don't carry an offshore life boat. I'm looking for 1-2 seas 3-4 only slows your journey! (that's not fun). The Gulf is a washing machine and a small thundershower can make things interesting. The 190 has plenty of fuel. I can cruise and troll up to 25hrs. so, a 10hr. day fishing trip it's ample fuel. I plan on putting a kicker on it before this next season. A buddy boat is an excellent idea thought I seldom use one. Be careful and enjoy!


boatdryver posted 02-07-2008 06:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
Not much to add to the previous excellent advice. Since you live in Washington you already know there will probably never be a day off the Washington coast with 1-2 foot waves all day.

My 2 cents would be to try to go out 50 miles in someone else's 19 footer and see if its something you'd like to do a lot. And think about how may buddies you have who would do it more than once. You may be going out alone....


jimh posted 02-07-2008 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Fifty miles offshore is beyond the intended range of a small boat like a 19-foot Boston Whaler.
montaukman posted 02-08-2008 12:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for montaukman  Send Email to montaukman     
creating a travel plan/listing of location on paper and having it available to others on land would be a very good idea too just in case you lose all means of contacting others in an emergency.
Jordi posted 02-08-2008 08:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jordi    
Both the 190 Montauk and 190 Outrage are inshore rated boats. Many good suggestions on this thread, you might also ask at the closest marina how often does the weather conditions in your area permit you to venture off 50 miles in a 19 footer.
Yiddil posted 02-10-2008 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Yiddil  Send Email to Yiddil     
I would echo Jim's response as I have made a 35 mile trip from Sandy Point on the Chesapeake Bay to the town of Chestown for a Boston WHaler sponsored event...each way maybe 35-40 miles.

The bay that day was very snotty at 3-4 footers and an occasional 5 footer thrown in. My passenger got slammed to the floor and bruised pretty badly, and although we got out of the bay and into the chester river were it calmed a bit, I was not looking forward to the return trip.

The return was more of the same...I had marlin and Ed one in front of me and one in back of me...That day Ed almost lost his engine(he has a classic), marlin a 16...we were not off shore but we were beat up pretty bad physically by the end of the day. I have had days like that on the Potomac River too, where the weather has a pronounced effect on comfort, even in my Nantucket. I would say to you that the 19s are fantastic boats, but unless your talking dead calm to 2 footers.., I'm not venturing 50 miles off shore in one. Others might even do it in 15s, 17, other 19s. Ive heard of people going to Bimini n small boats as well....

I just think they were not designed for that kind of trip and safety is number one in my boat...and should be in every ones

weather changes out that far can make a good day real bad real quick!

be careful:) Henry AKA THE YIDDIL

Kingsteven18 posted 02-11-2008 05:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kingsteven18  Send Email to Kingsteven18
David1877 posted 02-20-2008 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
If you are going to do it in a small boat, no better choice than a Whaler.

Watch the weather. Get a very good 2 way radio and a good GPS

swist posted 02-20-2008 05:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
You can take a canoe 50 miles offshore if you want. I'm sure they've gone father than that. Some people want the thrill of pushing the envelope. But boating is supposed to be fun, and I'm not at all ashamed to admit that I would be scared out of my mind in a sub-20' boat that far offshore, possibly even with twin engines.

If you worry about being that far out, then you are making my point. Go someplace with your boat you don't have to worry about.

DLee posted 02-20-2008 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for DLee  Send Email to DLee     
50 miles out sounds like a pretty lonely place.

I've felt pretty lonely in NY harbor on a 19' boat. Middle of the night, nasty weather, I can't imagine what being out 50 miles would feel like if things started to get ugly. That would be a long slow ride home. Scary. Too me.

Then again, if you've go a near coastal ticket?, maybe not such a big deal.

deepwater posted 02-20-2008 08:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
Believe me its a very humbling experience when your that far out and haven't seen another boat for hours and the sun is going down
Kingsteven18 posted 02-20-2008 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kingsteven18  Send Email to Kingsteven18     
swist: I was once a couple of miles off the shore of Islamorada in the Florida Keys in a Grumman square stern canoe in 'my younger, more reckless days'. Talk about being scared: a water spout (tornado) formed in a matter of minutes and was headed straight toward us. We were bouncing like a cork due to the winds, the tide and the waves. With the 5hp at full throttle, we were not moving. I thought I was a goner until the water spout dissipated as quickly as it had formed. Now I'm older and wiser, and would only consider doing that in a 13' Whaler.
captngrander posted 02-20-2008 10:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for captngrander  Send Email to captngrander     
If you have never ventured far offshore in any boat let alone a 19 ft boat. I would heavily advise you to first go with someone that has a lot of experience offshore. then I would take baby steps in you offshore journeys. You have to gain your respect for the ocean. It can be one of the most beautiful places in the world one minute and the most deadly the next. Good luck
lakeman posted 02-21-2008 07:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for lakeman  Send Email to lakeman     
I agree with everyone, but your degree of tolerance to a possible death wish or at least potentially a very unpleasant experience looms the larger issue. I have been in that situation many times in my younger days and returned safely, but I will tell you the farther you go off shore the smaller the boat will get, and every hick up or strange or normal noises from the engine and boat will magnify into your psyche and for some people, like me, the trip will be somewhat of a negative experience.
swist posted 02-21-2008 08:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Exactly! My limit is defined by the point at which I start worrying about (or imagining) engine noises, or wondering (or imagining) that the seas are getting rougher than forecast, or trying to figure out if the sky way off in the distance is getting darker.

I have enough job/home stress. I stopped having something to prove (in particular, to myself) years ago. But I am near 60 - I find that tolerance for this kind of adventure goes down as one's age goes up.

Ridge Runner posted 02-21-2008 10:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ridge Runner  Send Email to Ridge Runner     
Left the dock in my 21 footer with my 13 year old son at 5:00am great weather forecast 80 degrees - light winds - 1/3 foot seas, had a great sun rise started fishing 45 miles off Sandy Hook, NJ. THEN at around 3:00pm you could sense a change as it became very calm and 15 minutes later NOAA issues at warning for a strong frontal system to move through. Fired up the Yamaha 200 OX66, run at WOT for about 10 miles then BANG, the outboard dies! Can't get it restarted, so start the 9.9 kicker. Try keeping the bow into 8/10 foot seas with wind gusts over 50 knots, lighting on three sides of the boat, and you feel like you’re being sand blasted by the rain not fun and my son was terrified. Got back to the dock around 10:30pm, don't think I'd do that again without a 25 footer w/twins. It did become a great bonding experience and my son loves to tell the story. BTW the engine fried the two top cylinders, I had phase separation in the fuel and engine got straight ethanol.
jimh posted 02-21-2008 12:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Above the bar at a local establishment with a nautical theme hangs this plaque:

"Vows made in storms are forgotten in calm waters."

sapple posted 02-21-2008 06:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for sapple  Send Email to sapple     
Does anyone know what ever happened with the guy that attempted to boat from Ft. Lauderdale Venezuela in a Sport 130? The web page with the detailed story was not available.

lavieve posted 02-21-2008 09:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for lavieve  Send Email to lavieve     
As a whale owner, I have a lot of respect for my 19' outrage, it is a great boat. I have been around water most of my life, both the Great Lakes and the oceans both as a civilian and as an officer in the Coast Guard. I have a tremendous respect for these bodies of water and what you need for long distance, off shore traveling. Just about any boat can handle them in ideal circumstances, but a boat making an off shore trip must be able to answer the normal sequence of the unexpected; believe me that conditions change often and quickly. My Whaler is not that boat regardless of the safety or electronic equipment on board. Those who chose to use small craft for off shore travel are entitled to make these decisions- it is a free country What they need to understand is that when trouble occurs, and the call for help goes out, the responders are risking their lives. These responders are doing it because it is their duty. If you want to go off shore, select a boat that is designed for this purpose. To enjoy boating we must first think of safe boating.
handn posted 02-23-2008 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
I don't have lots of experience in the two boats mentioned but I do have much experience in in a 23 and a 305 Conquest in a variety of sea conditions.
My view is that offshore safety in bad sea conditions has less to do with the size of the boat rather than its individual characteristics and the experience and skill of the owner.
During a fishing tournament, we were in some really nasty stuff--with a 20 knot wind going against a strong tidal flow. When in the trough I couldn't see anything but water and spray was blowing off the tops. I watched an older 42 foot Hatteras get beamed while making a turn upsea. When it rolled, I could see almost half of the bottom and the strut for the shaft and the base of the rudder. The crew was on the bridge with no curtains. They were soaking wet taking lots of spray and hanging on for dear life in the violent rolls.
We felt safe and even comfortable in our 23 Conquest. We were dry because of the windshield and spray curtains. The roll of the Conquest was much less than the Hatteras because the boat was designed with rolling resistance rather than a deep V and sitting at the water line rather than on top of the bridge meant our motion was less. Even when our boat did roll and we were beamed by a large wave, the high gunnels and the design of the boat insured that we didn't take any water over the side.
Boat characteristics that make it safer offshore are in my opinion the following. Two engines are necesssary not an engine and a kicker. A low horsepower kicker can't manuever the boat in high seas and high winds.
The boat must be quickly self bailing and able to deal with the inevitable green water over the bowsprit without relying on the bilge pump or pumps. Cutty cabins are better because the hull over the front of the boat deflects most of the water back into the sea and only a relatively small amount gets in the cockpit.
I have been in my friends classic 19 foot Outrage. The boat handles great and is safe in normal conditions but is partially dependent of the bilge pump to remove green water. It is open so that the crew is going to get wet if conditions are nasty. It has a single engine so if that fails, things are going to get dicey.
If there is only one bilge pump, install another, but that will make the boat only marginally safer. Wiring along the bottom of the hull will short and disable the pump so make the wiring as resistent to water as possible.
Next, The boat must be very roll resistant and not take water over the gunnels when getting beamed. If the boat takes water over the gunnels, it will take more water on the next wave and will likely swamp.
Last, there has to be protection from the elements. Being soaking wet in bad weather is at best uncomfortable and probably dangerous.
My 23 had one engine and one bilge pump so it was less safe than my 305 which has two of each but if the 23 had beem comparably equipped, I think the safety of the two boats would be close and comparable to many much bigger boats.
I think those venturing offshore should have experience in dealing with rough water even if they are careful to go out only in good weather. A test cruise near shore with a buddy is a good idea assuming conditions aren't too bad. With enough hours, even a careful boater will find himself in the nasty stuff sometime.
Practice and experience with what the boat will do insure a greater degree of safety.
No boat is safe if conditions are bad enough so the best safety precaution is to avoid bad sea conditions.
deepwater posted 02-23-2008 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
handn,,you hit most all the nails right on,, you need a complete package of boat equipment and skill and most times that will see ya back to shore,,even the navy and coast guard lose a ship now and than ,,so what do you suppose they get into when their big ship sinks ^@^
FISHNFF posted 02-23-2008 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
During Albacore season here out of San Francisco/HMB, I have run 58 miles in my 17 Guardian with a Merc 90 4 stroke. 40 miles is not a big thing, DEPENDING ON WEATHER.

I carry 50 gallons of fuel, and usually go solo. Some days of bad eather I would not go 1 mile offshore. Or in the Bay for that matter.

So, my answer to the question is a definitive,...depends.


fishinchips posted 02-24-2008 02:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
exactly what FISHNFF said.
Normally would go out offshore (more than 30 miles) with boat buddies chasing after tuna IF weather permits.


David1877 posted 03-04-2008 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
I believe the Outrage is self bailing. The old Montauk is not.

I would have serious reservations about this in either boat.

I have had boats in swells that I could not see over, not a fun experience. I would not want to travel that far in similar or worse conditions.

Being that far out, you may not have time to respond to changing weather conditions and get off the water.

It takes me about 25 minutes to comfortably cover about 12 miles in 2 to 3 footers on Lake Michigan in a 20 footer.

Floodtide posted 03-04-2008 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Floodtide  Send Email to Floodtide     
I think going beyond 15-20 miles in a small boat is NOT safe. I go off-shore with my brother in a 33' Bertram 10 or 12 times a year and while it's a real tough boat, it gets small fast when the weather changes.

Trust me I have been tempted sitting off the back of the vineyard thinking 20miles off is the dump and yellow-fin.

We have been out in winds at 10-15 and within 30 minutes faced 20-25 and shortly after that 25 plus. While the Bert can cut that at 20kts a small boat is going to slow to 10kts-12kts and ride hard consuming lots of fuel. That means you will be there longer and the waves will just get bigger. Rough seas are progressive!!

While it is very rare that far out, a thunderstorm is real scary 30-50 miles off and will turn everything white in minutes. Let's not forget fog, I doubt you have radar on the whaler so now you are stuck going 5-10kts and if you are 30-50 miles out it will be a very long ride. We always see other boats on the radar, you hope they see you.

Another issue is if you lose power.. Seatow doesn't go out that far so bring lots of rode for the anchor and bring a Sat-phone. If your not sinking the Coast Guard will get you when they feel like it. We had fuel trouble at around 3pm one time and they asked us if we were sinking, we said no, they got to us around 8pm. Pop the EPIRB for engine trouble and they will charge you big bucks. Other vessels will help but most smart captains will give you a ride but not a tow.

If you go you bring EPIRB, upgrade the life-jackets and have survival suits. You will last about 1hr in 70 degree water and you are 2 hrs from help arriving.

Sorry to be so gloomy but it is what it is. Ask the Coast Gaurd and what do you think they will they say?

contender posted 03-04-2008 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
I'm not worried about the sea I'm more worried about the engine not starting again or quiting. I have a 17 whaler and have been to Bimini Bahamas from Miami a couple of times (53 miles one way). I just pick the days of good weather in the summer and go. I do however file a float plan and tell a couple of people what I'm doing. I carry plenty of fuel and its about a 1.75-2 hr trip. I have scene people pointing fingers at me from other boats that far out, but my boat will always float theirs won't. Pick your days, good luck
jimh posted 03-04-2008 10:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Engines, and whether they will start or not, are a problem no matter what size boat. If you go 50 miles out in a 17-footer or in a 170-footer, you will still need to have reliable engines. There is no reason why you can't make the engine in your 17-footer as reliable as the engine in a 170-footer.

Tom (bluewaterpirate) goes rather far offshore in a single-engine 21-foot Boston Whaler boat. He keeps the engine (and the batteries) in top condition.

There is no doubt that on certain days you can sneak 50 miles out to sea and come back safely in a small boat. I also believe that owners of Boston Whaler boats are likely to feel more confident about trying this because they feel their boat hulls are unsinkable. But just because it can be done when the weather is just right should not make people think it ought to be done or is something you can do all the time.

If you really want to run 50-miles offshore on a routine basis, fish for many hours, and get home, you are going to need to move into something bigger than a small Boston Whaler boat. That is not a denial of the sea keeping characteristics of a small Boston Whaler boats, but, rather, it is just good seamanship.

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