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Author Topic:   Looking for Dauntless 200 reviews
Feejer posted 05-11-2008 07:45 AM ET (US)   Profile for Feejer   Send Email to Feejer  
I have my next boat almost picked out, a 2008 Dauntless 200. Which I will purchase in either late fall or over the winter. I'm looking for any reviews, good or bad. My 170 will be looking for a new home. One of the selling points for me on the boat is the all activity tower. That will be a huge plus for a teenage who like to wake board.
boatdryver posted 05-11-2008 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
Feejer, I bought a 200 Dauntless 3 months ago, after having a Classic Montauk/Honda 90 for two seasons. I loved the Montauk for what it was, and I miss the classic lines and the varnished wood. I wanted a larger Whaler to gain more interior space for just moving around the console and cooler and needed more carrying capacity and comfortable seating for 8 people.

A strong requirement for us, perhaps unusual, is easy offloading of people of all ages on the many protected beaches around here while keeping shoes on and feet dry. This is a cool climate with cool water temperatures.

I almost couldn't resist a 190 Montauk for its classic lines, had a brief fling with the idea of a 190 Outrage, and even considered a used 22 Dauntless (ruled it out because of its size for towing and its 200 Optimax) and a used 21 ft Ventura. All of these came with a high bow and high bow rails (which could have been removed).
For most people these would be desirable features.

So we settled on the 200 Dauntless as the best compromise for our intended use.

The positives (for us):

wide aft seat with backrest for 3-4 people

8ft 6 beam with lots of footroom around the console.

Console with portapotty and storage.

Huge improvement in ride from the Classic Montauk due to the new Dauntless modified V hull design and weight.

People from 5 to 70 easily hop off the bow onto the beach. (this one came with the fishing package which deletes the bow rail. We added the "forward side rails.")

built in livewell

75 gallon fuel capacity is convenient.

The 175 Verado gives spirited performance. We are getting about 4.8 mpg at 3500 rpm.

This one had a T top which gives many handholds in rough water.

This one came without trim tabs. So far I don't see a reason to add them.

The negatives:

Cost. I doubt you will get many strongly negative comments from anyone who just paid so much for a 20.5 ft skiff.

The interior of the console is tight for a 6 footer. I have a rule for the porta potty: if you use it you empty it. we carry a wide mouth plastic jar. the storage is fine.

The aft seat with backrest blocks access to the transom. This makes it awkward to flush and wash the motor in the slip

When coming from a Classic Whaler or even a 170 Montauk, one has to get used to the reverse sheer look (think SeaRay). The design of the black rubrail makes it look like a flats boat with almost no freeboard. There is actually only about 2 inches less freeboard midships than a 190 Montauk. If you boat in big chop and crosswind you'll get more spray on these seated aft.

I'll post links to some photos in a separate posting.


boatdryver posted 05-11-2008 12:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver

When you move up from the 190 Outrage and 190 Montauk a trailer is not included in the price and you get (and get to pay for) a tandem trailer either of your or the dealer's choice. This is good if one tows long distances.

Note the forward bow rails. These cover the walking area forward of the console till the bow seat begins.

The disadvantage of the fishing package is that it includes wiring for a trolling motor and deletes any chance for an anchor roller. If you anchor a lot in big water this is bad.

the shot on the trailer shows the V bottom incorporated into the Dauntless redesign starting I think in 2006 with the 180.

the integral boarding ladder in the deck starboard aft is clever.


boatdryver posted 05-11-2008 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
Correction: those forward rails are called forward SIDE rails I think. I found them on the Whaler web site under options. Our Master Dealer was not familiar with them. I think the fishing option deletes the usual Bow Rail.

Without the forward side rails or the bow rail, moving around forward of the console in rough water felt insecure.

Feejer posted 05-11-2008 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     

Thanks for your post. Thats just the type of read I'm looking for. I did a very short test ride 2 weeks ago and loved how the boat handled. Most of our time is spent on the upper Chesapeake Bay and Outer Banks. I would not be using the boat for blue water fishing so the lower freeboard is a plus in my case. The only thing I'm trying to overcome is the price of the boat. The one dealer near my had one for 48K and change. It had everything I wanted except the T-top which I really don't need anyway. If I can sell my 2005 170 this fall should be in a Dauntless 200 next spring.

Shrdlu posted 05-12-2008 03:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Shrdlu  Send Email to Shrdlu     
I have a 2008 Dauntless 200, and I second boatdryver's assessment.

I particularly like the footroom around the console (for my size 13 feet) and the activity tower, which provides great handholds in addition to its other features. I do have the trim tabs, which I find useful in keeping the boat on an even keel when it's on plane.

The one negative is that, like earlier Dauntlesses, it is tough to keep on a straight course at idle speed, which is the limit in the extensive canals and Manatee grounds around here. It could be my helmsmanship, but the boat does not seem to track as well as the Outrage hull, tending to waddle from side to side below 5 mph. Not a problem at faster speeds, though.

Feejer posted 05-13-2008 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
What size / kind of GPS/FF are you guys mounting. The one negative of the console I see is the gaues are split the face.
lurkynot posted 05-14-2008 06:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for lurkynot  Send Email to lurkynot     
I have the 18 Dauntless and steering at low speeds has never been an issue. Perhaps tricky currents may play into your situation.

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