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Author Topic:   130 Sport vs. 170 Montauk
sapple posted 03-23-2008 09:51 AM ET (US)   Profile for sapple   Send Email to sapple  
I took my first boating trip yesterday on my new 170 Montauk after upgrading from a 2007 130 Sport and have some initial impressions. The trip was for about six hours on the Chickahominy river in Virginia. The temp was about 60F and the winds were 10-20 mph. First impression is the big difference in size and room to move around. I was skeptical about CC boats but the ability for both me and my wife to easily stand and move around the boat safely and comfortably while underway was an unexpected big plus. I am now sold in CC boats. Getting up on plane was a very strange feeling, because in the 130 Sport, it felt like you are running up a ramp then level off on plane for a typically bumpy ride. With the Montauk it was like popping up and shooting forward. Because of the lack of ramping up sensation and smooth ride I did not even realize I was on plane, at first, until I looked at the GPS and saw I was going 23 mph. The power to weight ratio seems a lot bigger with the Montauk than the Sport. The ride was an order of magnitude smoother and it cut through wakes much better. We crused at about 23-24 mph at about 3400 rmp. In the 170M, 24 mph does not feel nearly as fast as it does in the 130S. There is much less list when moving around the boat or bending over the side rails, etc. There was absolutely no tendency to porpoise or other sensations of instability no matter what the weight distribution was. At one point some storm clouds came in, the wind picked up, and in a large open expanse of water the chop was 1-2 feet with white caps. We were able to plane at about 24 mph with a very stable (but a bit bumpy) ride in these conditions. I would not have attempted to plane with the 130 Sport in these conditions. Despite some rough water, the ride was dry, I never had to use the bilge pump. Fuel economy was better than I expected. I figure we used mabey about 4-5 gallons all day. Most of the day was spent crusing, but mostly going pretty slow, about 6-7 mph, less than 2000 rpm.

Docking and getting the boat on the trailer was more difficult with the 170M than the Sport. Mostly because the sport seems to have much finer (forward, neutral, reverse) control with the throttle. With the 170M, the slowest forward speed (before popping into neutral) was still faster than I would have liked when doing tricky docking manuvers like manuvering around a crowded marina in wind and current and driving the boat onto the trailer. Also, wind effects the 170M more during such manuvers and it is harder to control the boat by hand due to its larger size and wind impact. With the S130, the trailer was much shorter and I used to easily manuver the boat on to the trailer by hand. This required me to wade into water up to about my knees. With the M170 the trailer is a lot longer which makes wading into water less desirable (especially in 40 degree water) because I have to wade further down the ramp into deeper water. My solution was to drive the boat onto the trailer. That was OK since I had help (like tossing a line to my wife after pulling onto the bunks) but I will need to improve my retreiving-to-trailer technique when I have to do it alone. Its hard to compare towing because my wife forced me to get a new tow vehicle for this boat (Toyota Tundra). Previous tow vehicle for the S130 was a Volvo XC70. This combination seemed to tow very well. Although only a TWD, the Tundra pulled the boat up the ramp with no problem.

Overall, the 170M is a huge improvement and my wife is happier and more willing to go boating with me which makes me happier.

BlueMax posted 03-23-2008 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for BlueMax  Send Email to BlueMax     
Glad to hear that you really like your new purchase and can look forward to much enjoyment.

I have a 2007 170MT - it didn't take very long to get the hang of docking and manuevering - going from one size boat to an entirely different size and configuration is going to take adjusments and getting used to regardless. When re-trailering, what I do is simply back the trailer into the water until the wheel wells are just about covered and the pull the boat over and into the trailer as far as it will come using a line off the bow cleat. If need be I can stand on the trailer itself and pull the boat in. Then I hook the whinch cable to it and whinch it up the rest of the way. Takes me all of about 90 seconds to back down the ramp and pull the boat onto the Karavan trailer - and I barely get my feet wet.

GreatBayNH posted 03-23-2008 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
I concur. That is the exact same way I get my 2006 Montauk 170 on the trailer. I learned it the hard way though thru trial and error.
jimh posted 03-23-2008 03:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have found that launching from and loading on the trailer can be greatly improved if the depth of immersion of the trailer is set properly. If the trailer is not immersed to a sufficient depth, the boat will be difficult to launch or load. Also, if the trailer is immersed too deeply, the boat may launch easily but can be harder to load. Generally there is an optimum depth for each function.

To make it easier to position the trailer at the optimum depth, I use a depth gauge mark on the trailer to indicate the depth of immersion. The mark is positioned so that it can be seen in the rear view mirror of the tow vehicle. When backing the trailer down the ramp, the water depth is easily observed and the trailer is easily position to the best immersion.

On launching it is hard to be too deep, but it is easy to be not deep enough. As long as my mark is submerged I know the boat will come off the trailer.

Loading can be more difficult if the trailer is too deeply submerged. I position the trailer right at my depth mark, and I find the boat loads very consistently and easily.

Also, my loading technique may involve adjusting the trailer position during the loading. On some ramps I find that the last few feet of travel of the boat onto the trailer can be made much easier if I back the trailer in another foot or two. This gives more buoyancy at the stern and lightens the boat on the trailer bunks so that it can be pulled forward by the winch more easily. The need to do this depends generally on the slope of the ramp.

I also recommend using tall guide posts at the very rear of the trailer. Tall guide posts will help align the boat to the trailer, keep it aligned if there are cross winds, and also provide a perfect place to mark the depth of immersion.

BlueMax posted 03-23-2008 05:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for BlueMax  Send Email to BlueMax     
Also known as "back the trailer into the water until the wheel wells are just about covered" layman's terms....for the 170 Montauk on a Karavan trailer (whether it be launch or recovery).

Works for me every time at every ramp.

^@^ (that's for you deep)

sapple posted 03-23-2008 07:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for sapple  Send Email to sapple     
Question for responders: Do you drive your boat onto the trailer or guide it on by hand?

Has anyone mastered a technique where they do not have to wade into water to launch and/or retrieve the boat when boating alone? I find that crawling over the bow on to the trailer is very difficult when the boat has bow rails.

For retreiving, I find that backing the trailer into the water until the front tips of the bunks are just above the water is helpful to help guide and center the boat onto the bunks.

Casco Bay Outrage posted 03-23-2008 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Casco Bay Outrage  Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage     
Sapple -

To aid in trailering, install roller guides on the back of the trailer. It makes loading, unloading so much easier. I do not recommend the PVC poles if you use a unprotected ramp.

Mine look like this photo#5077894157687870178

With these installed my time putting in or taking out went down to < 10 minutes, regardless of waves or wind.

As for driving on, (a.k.a. power loading) note that some ramps do not allow this due to the prop wash damage on the ramp. With a boat that size, I do not think you need to power load.

I never get in the water. Try walking on the trailer frame to hook/unhook the bow strap. If uneasy doing this you can install steps.

Practice will help you find the sweet spot for the trailer and the techniques.

You might want to casually watch other owners and observe them. Note the things they do right and wrong.


HuronBob posted 03-23-2008 10:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob  Send Email to HuronBob     
Thanks for the comparison between the 130 Sport and the 17', interesting reading...


erik selis posted 03-24-2008 04:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
The 170 Montauk is a tricky boat to get used to when it comes to slow speed manoeuvring. The boat is very sensitive to side winds indeed. I have had the opportunity to operate many types of Whalers and my 170 Montauk takes some serious getting used to. Always make sure you have the wind in front of you when manoeuvring. Take it slow, very slow and let the wind slow you down. Shift between you minimum forward speed to neutral quite often to keep your speed slow. Hit reverse very briefly when you're at the spot you want to be to come to a standstill. Be very careful for the side-ward motion of the boat when hitting reverse. Your boat will tend to go to starboard because of the propeller effect. These 170 Montauks are also very sensitive to that. I think these sensitivities (wind and side-ward motion) are because the hull is totally rounded off from the middle of the hull to the stern. The older version Montauk is much easier to manoeuvre at slow speeds. It is also less rounded at the stern.


Feejer posted 03-24-2008 05:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Unlike CBO I recommend the trailer guides with the PVC Poles. They are cheaper and do the same thing and the roll trailer guides. What I really like about them is the flex. I have mine set about 2 inches off the rub rail at the boats widest point. They are a real help on a windy day, the Montauk trailer is the 3rd and smallest trailer I have had them on.
GreatBayNH posted 03-24-2008 07:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Where can one get a pair of rollers just like CBO's?
Feejer posted 03-24-2008 07:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     

But I prefer these

Casco Bay Outrage posted 03-24-2008 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Casco Bay Outrage  Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage     
Let me give additional background on why I recommend roller guides.

I trailer all the time in the ocean and rivers. Conditions are often crummy, to put it mildly. A few weeks after getting my first whaler, a 1987 Montauk, I was loitering off my local ramp practicing low speed maneuvering. (Someone here suggested practicing maneuvering up to a bouy from different angles).

I watched two boats being loaded on trailers. Both boats were 16-20 ft and the same dual console type I/0. The guy with the guides went forward and was pushed by the wind. Once he touched the stern roller, the boat centered and he kept moving forward. He hopped out and did the drill. Total time ~ 5 minutes. The other boater got the boat loaded but it took him 3 attempts. The stern kept getting pushed off due to the wind. Total time ~ 20 minutes and frustrated.

While I have mastered trailering, rigging the trailer with guides makes it somewhat idiot proof (I consider myself to be one). If a new boater, it allows you to overcome one of the more anoying things to master.

As for PVC guides, they do work well. I find they don't work well if it is really windy and there are waves. My ramp is exposed and often it is blowing 15 with 2'ft waves and ship wakes. When I retrieve, I want/need to hit the trailer 1st time, scoot, hookup and get out fast.

An installation tip - I would mount them as far back on the frame and as close to the hull as possible, 1 1/2- 2" is good.

Seth - I obtained mine from productID=5190&categoryID=220 because my boat sits inside the frame and wanted a heavy duty set.

Hope this helps

Feejer posted 03-24-2008 04:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Great post. Different strokes for different folks. I do agree 100% that you want the post as far back on the trailer as you can get them.
GreatBayNH posted 03-25-2008 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Thanks GBO, Part ordered!
GreatBayNH posted 03-25-2008 11:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Make that CBO.
Tohsgib posted 03-28-2008 11:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
I have trailered boats up to 24' and the only time my feet get wet is by accident. There is no need to wade into the water. If you have the PVC poles or ?? you just pull her onto the trailer with a bow line. Walk down the trailer tongue and hook up the winch and winch her up the last few feet. A 2speed winch set on low is ideal. None of my trailers have any rollers...just bunks.

If you think the 170 catches wind...try driving my revenge withat goofy-ass windshield.

GreatBayNH posted 03-28-2008 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Try doing that in the one of the strongest tidal currents on the eastern sea board. There's no "just" doing anything up here. I agree however that getting in the water should not have to happen if you do it correctly.
Feejer posted 03-28-2008 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Seth, that's why se have kids. They are the one's who get their feet wet
Tohsgib posted 03-28-2008 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
GB I have been on a few rivers that cook...real biotch trying to load up. My 13 does not have poles and it kept floating away even though I was behind the wheel with people on shore trying to hook it up. I hear ya! I am just too cheap to spend $70 on poles right now but I need them. Actually I have one that I found at a ramp..looking for an orphan to match.

The main reason I like the PVC poles is when the trailer is empty, you can see where you are backing it to. You can also mount the lights to it so they don't get wet when you launch and get more than a season or 2 from them.

Feejer posted 03-28-2008 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Don't come crying to us Seth when you scrape some gel coat off your new boat. With the poles you don't have to worry about it, but take a good look at the bar holding those rollers. All it takes is one good bump and you'll wish you had those 48 inch poles on your trailer. : )
GreatBayNH posted 03-28-2008 02:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
I went with the roller guides. They just came in today, UPS. My trailer lights have enough issues as it is to have me playing with remounting the tail lights on poles. Plus I have LEDs and disconnect them before entering the water every time. So far so good. No lights yet need to be replaced...well, except for the one marker light I smooshed putting the trailer in the river at low tide. It fell off the end of the cement and landed on something hard. I imagine it was a rock.
GreatBayNH posted 03-28-2008 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Ask anyone about the current at Peirce Island ramp in Portsmouth, NH. Those people that use it know it's not fun. I've been told not to use it and drive to Maine where I can PAY to use the Eliot ramp. Well, FREE vs. PAY, hmm, let me think I'll take the current any day. That said, I'd snap your little toothpick PVC pipe in a jiffy. Moreover, I intend to have the boat hit the rollers, not the metal.
sapple posted 03-30-2008 03:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for sapple  Send Email to sapple     
I just put poles on my Montauk trailer. I have used them once. Putting in, not too bad, except now I have to flip the rope attached to the bow cleat over the pole to get free of the trailer. Retrieving; still having a problem with all-dry technique. I can't see how one could use a bow line to lead the boat onto the trailer without getting into the water unless the trailer is very close to, and along side of the dock. Even then, the rear end of my truck is over the water line so that to get up on the trailer behind the winch still requires me to get into water, but only a few inches deep. That is unless I climb into the truck bed and access it from behind. Mabey I am putting the truck too far back but I am going with the water-just-over--the-trailer-wheel-fender rule of thumb. Its not so bad now anyway because the water is getting warmer. Its just a PITA to change from long pants and regular shoes to shorts and water shoes before each launch and retrieval. Mabey I should search utube for a video of expert technique. Anyway, I am still having fun with my new Montauk.
GreatBayNH posted 03-30-2008 05:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Why wouldn't the trailer be close to the dock? I get as close to the dock as possible, hop on the rear bumper on my tow vehicle, then onto the tongue of the trailer where I winch her up.
Feejer posted 03-30-2008 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Thats the ticket Seth, Or just get a slip : )
GreatBayNH posted 03-30-2008 06:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Slip?! So I could bottom paint my boat? So I could age my boat exponentially? So I could add to the overall cost of my boating season?

I have no reason to get a slip when I have a place to store the boat (back yard) 1 mile away form a free ramp with access to the ocean.

A friend at work offered a free mooring last year. I had to turn him down based on the same points I outlined above. If I ever sell my boat, the new owner will love me for it.

Let the debate begin! ;-)

sapple posted 03-30-2008 06:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for sapple  Send Email to sapple     
I took my own advice and went to utube and searched on "boat launching" and "boat retrieving". There are a lot of videos there, mostly about what not to do. If you want some amusement check out some of these videos.
Casco Bay Outrage posted 03-30-2008 07:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Casco Bay Outrage  Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage     
Sapple -

Don't feel to bad. It is a new skill that takes time to learn.

Each person has their own "technique" and you just need time and practice to find yours. When I got my Montauk I spent several days over a few weekends early in March practicing unloading and loading. While the ramp was practically deserted, I got some funny looks. I figured it was better to make mistakes with no one around to see. For what it is worth, here is mine "routine".

At the launch prep area: (dock is on starboard side)

I get out of the truck, unplug the lights, walk down the port side get in the boat, install plug, turn on master power (under the stern seat). Get out and walk around the stern checking the engine is tilted correctly, up the starboard side, unfurl stern line, pull stern bumper, raise the VHF antenna, pull out bow bumper, unfurl bow line. At the bow I loosen bow strap by 6" and re-lock, take off safety chain from bow eye.


I back down next to the floats as close as possible. 6-12 inches is good. (this takes a lot of practice) When at the proper distance, open door, step on the door sill and up onto the float. I walk back to the rear, step on bumper (SUV), holding on to the air dam on the roof. With both feet on the tongue and holding on to the bow rail, loosen bow strap and unhook. Push bow up and out, Walking on the trailer frame, I push the boat 1-2 feet out and grab bow line and step off trailer frame on to the float. Secure boat to dock.


After docking, I shut down the electronics, kill the engine, tilt up. After retrieving the trailer and positioning it in the water. I untie bow, then stern. To move the boat, I take the stern line, walk up to about next to the console. I pull on the stern line and use my other hand on the bow rail to fend off the boat.

When she is 1/2 way on the trailer, I throw the stern line in the boat. I walk forward to the bow, hold on to the bow rail and step on to the trailer frame and walk up the trailer frame, grabbing the bow line as I pass it. When at the head of the trailer, loosen winch and play out winch while still holding bow line just in case. Pull boat in by hand till she stops and hook up. Winch in the boat while standing on rear bumper and trailer frame. Step from bumper onto float, holding on to the air dam.

Setup area:

Reverse of launch prep.

Note - I do not let people help me because it messes me up and I always forget something. While some may feel I am unthankful, it is actually faster for me to do it all myself. I have only slipped and stepped in the water 4 times in 5 years. I think most of these were due to being distracted.

Regardless of what I described, use the boat and you will find the routine that works. Just don't get discouraged.


sapple posted 03-31-2008 09:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for sapple  Send Email to sapple     
CBO, thanks for sharing your technique. Your routine sounds pretty close to mine except I still get into the water on the ramp and don't attempt to walk on the trailer frame to stay dry. Actually my technique is relativley fast and effective, its just that I have to get into the water to do it. Question: you mention a "float" several times in your posting. What is that referring to ?
sapple posted 03-31-2008 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for sapple  Send Email to sapple     
CBO, after reading your post again I think I know what the floats are, but I will wait for your reply for confirmation. That brings up an important point: I like to boat in a lot of different places and each boat ramp configuration is different. Therefore a specific technique that works at one ramp may not work with another. In some cases, the dock may be below the top of the gunwale, even with it, or one or two feet above it. Tide also influences this. Also, on some ramps there may be a gap between the edge of the cement ramp and the side of the dock which limits how close along side of the dock you can position the trailer without risking getting a trailer wheel stuck in an underwater ditch. So far, the technique I am using has worked at all of the 5-6 boat ramps I used last and this season. Your method seems to require your trailer to be very close along side of the dock. That is something that I have not been doing but now that my backing up skill has improved significantly I will start working that into my routine.
erik selis posted 03-31-2008 10:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Most of us here in Europe don't have bunk trailers and only have rollers to support the keel and sides. I have also noticed that most of my American and Canadian friends drive their trailers fairly deep in the water to retrieve their boats. I guess this is because of the bunks and the fact that the boat doesn't slide very well on these bunks.? We usually back the trailer in the water until the wheels are 1/3 to 1/2 submerged. Many of my buddies have an anti-slip walking-plate welded or screwed to the top of their trailers, just below the centerline of the rollers. These allow you to walk to the back of the trailer and hitch up the boat without getting your feet wet. Of course, you have to winch the boat all the way up the trailer, but with good running rollers this isn't such a difficult task. Also, a power-winch can be very handy. An advantage of not going to deep in the water with your trailer is that your brakes don't corrode as quickly. Could also be better for your bearings and your towing vehicle is often on dry surface for better traction.


Feejer posted 03-31-2008 10:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Just out of curiosity what are you guys paying for slips or rack storage up their. I keep mine in indoor rack storage for $975 a year in MD.
Feejer posted 03-31-2008 10:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
I would never paint my bottom either
Casco Bay Outrage posted 03-31-2008 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Casco Bay Outrage  Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage     
Sapple -

Float refers to the courtesy floats.

I too have issues with launching locations having different setups. The Eliot ramp (on a tidal river) has courtesy floats that are 1-2' higher than my local ramp. It is a real bear to climb up. They also have pilings on one side of the floats. Depending on timing, you have to launch or retrieve on the side with the pilings. That can be hairy with the strong current.

For the 4 or 5 ramps, I tweek the routing to suit the ramp just as you said.

Sounds like you are in good shape!


BTW - Hey Feejer and GB - Why don't you guys take your conversation off-line.

Marsh posted 03-31-2008 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
I am glad you like your 170. I have a 2004 model 170, and have found it to be a great boat for my needs. One interesting note, however: I am not sure I can get mine on a plane at only 23 mph. Maybe I carry too much crap with me, including my 20 gallons or so of fuel (26 gal. Moeller tank, my fishing dog, Jake, bait, tackle, 3 batteries, troller, extra ice/cooler, etc., etc.

Then again, maybe I haven't really observed it closely enough. 23 mph just seems might slow for a planing speed. Best I recall, mine is closer to 27 or 28 before planing off. I find that 34-35 is an ideal cruising speed for me, and, like you, am often pleasantly surprised at fuel consumption of less than expected amounts.


GreatBayNH posted 03-31-2008 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
courtesy float = courtesy dock

here is a article in the reference section regardng trailering if you have not read it already. If you have I appologize in advance.

sapple posted 03-31-2008 05:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for sapple  Send Email to sapple     
Marsh, I have been out 4 times on my new Montauk and am certain I am planing at 23mph. I definately don't carry as much stuff as you do. So far it has been me, my wife, two 6.5 gal fuel tanks and a few items abord like towels, drinks, camera, etc., and some safety gear. I have only one battery. Mabey its my technique. To plane, I throttle up to about 4000 rpm then as the boat picks up speed grdadually throttle down to about 3400-3600 rpm. That puts me at about 23-24 mph in good weather conditions according to my GPS. I know its mph vs. kph becuase I set the GPS it to read in land speed as opposed to water speed units.

GreatBayNH, thanks for providing that link about different ramp configurations. I had not seen that before and found it to be most informative. I am certainly glad that Virginia ramps have service docks. I boat alone a lot and would not want to launch and retrieve without a dock.

Tohsgib posted 04-01-2008 10:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Heck...stick the wife up front and tuck in the engine I bet you can plane at 18mph or less.

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