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Author Topic:   Rarest Whaler?
David Pendleton posted 07-16-2009 05:09 PM ET (US)   Profile for David Pendleton   Send Email to David Pendleton  
A couple of days ago, I got an email out of the blue from a guy looking to buy a Conquest 23 with an IO, just like mine.

During the course of our correspondence, he told me that someone at BW (presumably Chuck Bennett) indicated that only about a dozen of these boats were built between 1999 and 2000.

Intrigued by this, I sent an email to Chuck to confirm, which he did.

Might this be Whaler's smallest production run?

Tom W Clark posted 07-16-2009 05:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Chuck told me Whaler made only four Striper 18s in 1981.
Buckda posted 07-16-2009 05:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda among the rarest Whalers ever made.

Wonder if that helps or hurts resale in 40 years?

gf posted 07-16-2009 09:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for gf  Send Email to gf     

Conquest 23 with IO for sale here: 1999-BOSTON-WHALER-23-CONQUEST-95350843

David Pendleton posted 07-16-2009 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
That's the boat the guy contacted me about.
skeepyjack posted 07-17-2009 05:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for skeepyjack  Send Email to skeepyjack     
Rarest whaler must be mine ;=) 19' Cross Tackle.
20dauntless posted 07-18-2009 02:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
Just out of curiosity, how do the outboard and sterndrive versions of the 23 Conquest compare? I can see the desire for sterndrive power in the days before modern 2 stroke and 4 stroke outboards, but they seem to have less appeal now that quiet and efficient outboards are available, at least in a saltwater environment. I'd love to hear some comments on this from 23 Conquest owners.
David Pendleton posted 07-18-2009 04:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I can see the desire for sterndrive power in the days before modern 2 stroke and 4 stroke outboards


On what planet is a sterndrive considered inferior to "modern 2 stroke and 4 stroke outboards?"

Let's see, my 5.7L sterndrive produces more power, gets better fuel economy, is user-serviceable, and costs thousands less than any equivalent outboard in production today.

Please. I'll put my small-block V8 up against any outboard engine.

RevengeFamily posted 07-18-2009 06:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for RevengeFamily  Send Email to RevengeFamily     

I agree with you.

The fact that my boat lives in a salt water environment and not on a trailer keeps me away. The idea that I can tilt my engines clear out of the water (except for an inch of the transom bracket) keeps me an outboard man.

However, something I hadn't thought of, I'm curious to know how the new 4 stroke outboards compare to IO's for fuel economy.


20dauntless posted 07-18-2009 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
David, sorry to come across so harshly in my previous post. I have a few concerns about stern drive power. First, one of the big benefits of Unibond construction is the unsinkability of our Whalers. In theory, the powerhead of an outboard on a Whaler would be above the water even if the boat was completly swamped. This would allow to keep your boat pointed the right direction while the water is drained or pumped out. With a sterndrive I'd imagine the engine would die if the boat were completely filled with water. Another concern is gas vapors in a closed engine compartment. Finally, and perhaps the most significant reason is the amount of interior space required to house the engine. Is this a big deal on the 23 Conquest or not?

Clearly you have a boat that works for you, but due to the limited production run I have to think that consumers did not demand the sterndrive model like they did the outboard model. Any thoughts on this. Again, sorry to come across harshly, just looking for some input from owners.

elaelap posted 07-19-2009 01:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Rarest BW? Chuck Bennett told us ours is unique, one of a kind...perhaps for a reason.


And yes, the cap/cabin is factory OE.

sealion143 posted 07-19-2009 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for sealion143  Send Email to sealion143     
to add to you I/O delemia. They made the 23 conquest in a gas and diesal versions
highanddry posted 07-19-2009 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
They only made a few because an I/O is like straddling a barbed wire fence, get off the fence and get an inboard or an outboard. I bet those were some stern heavy chunks.

Sometimes rare, most of the time, rare is not a good thing, it is rare because it was not worth a darn and they quickly figured out their mistake and pulled it.

20dauntless posted 07-19-2009 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
OK, here are a few more thoughts on the I/O vs. Outboard dilemma...

Sterndrives have the edge in several areas:
-Lower purchase cost
-Lower fuel consumption
-Higher speeds
-User serviceable (I assume David is referring to the 5.7L engine, which is based on a very common GM block)
-Ability to tap into cooling system to provide heat, like on a car
-Easier to fish around

Outboards have the edge in different areas:
-Safety, whether this is perceived or actual I do not totally know. Less of an advantage with Diesel sterndrive power.
-Weight, even heavy, modern outboards weigh less than sterndrives
-Saltwater use since the outboard can be tilted clear of the water
-Winterization. Outboards are self draining so they can be used all winter without concern of damage from freezing.
-Cockpit space

How do noise levels compare between the different power options? I would imagine the diesel sterndrive would be noisy, but Whaler could have used extensive sound deadening material (would have added weight). Any other thoughts?

David Pendleton posted 07-19-2009 10:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
My 5.7L with Bravo III weighs just over 1000lbs.

The cockpit was large enough to accomodate 10 people at last year's North Channel rendezvous.

I can easily get 6-8 mpg when cruising. With a 125 gallon tank this makes my range more than 600 miles.

The outboard-powered Conquest 23's required lead ballast to make them sit level in the water. This isn't necessary with the IO-powered model; my boat sits perfectly level in the water, and will plane at 14mph.

No, you can't tilt the outdrive all the way out of the water, and that has been a problem for the Bravo III in salt water. My boat is stored on the trailer so I haven't had an issue with this, and I don't boat in salt water.

I would never attempt to work on my own outdrive (apart from lube changes), but I can service nearly anything on the engine. And I do. The only thing I've had to repair in 10 seasons has been a thermostat.

If the boat were swamped, I doubt the entire engine (or more importantly, the carburetor) would be below the level of water. This boat has 3' of freeboard.

The 23 Conquest was not Whaler's only IO-powered model, but it was their last as far as I know. I don't think any of them sold very well.

20dauntless posted 07-20-2009 04:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
David, 6-8 mpg while cruising is exceptional. Are these numbers from cruising speed (and what is that?) or displacement speed? As a point of comparison Boston Whaler's performance data illustrates that the 235 Conquest with a 250 Verado gets, at best, about 3 mpg on plane. 6-8 mpg is in line with what a 170 Montauk gets with a Mercury 90.
David Pendleton posted 07-20-2009 06:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
That is crusing speed, approximately 28MPH.
Chuck Tribolet posted 07-20-2009 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Weren't there some IO Outrages?


David Pendleton posted 07-20-2009 07:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Yes, there was an IO Outrage, and an IO Frontier.

There may have been others, but those are the only two I have actually seen besides the 23 Conquest.

Tom W Clark posted 07-20-2009 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Chuck -- Yes there were some I/O 22s and 25s. Some Revenges too. They are not that rare though.

Tohsgib posted 07-21-2009 12:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
6-8gph maybe, not mpg. I have owned a few i/o's and my 21 Scarab would cruise at 30+ mph at roughly 2600rpm burning about 6gph which is roughly 5+mpg. Boat ran 62mph so loafing at 30 was as easy as it can get for a 350 I/O.
Buckda posted 07-21-2009 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
In my experience I/O powered boats are less noisy than outboard powered boats, however, the exception is the VERADO motor, which is extraordinarily quiet.

I/O engines are popular on the freshwater Great Lakes, but fairly unpopular in saltwater environments - so their dispersion is somewhat limited (or influenced) by geography. In the Great Lakes, I/O power is far more prevalent on a 23-27 ft boat than any other format, except perhaps wind.

I've seen Dave's 23 Conquest, and been aboard - I also pulled the cover to take a peek at the powerplant and was impressed that Whaler managed to minimize the lost cockpit space - you hardly know it's there, except for the missing open view of an outboard powerhead back there.

I will argue with Dave, however, on the swamped situation. With 3' gunwales, that only exacerbates the problem by allowing more water to be retained inside the boat and flood the motor. I believe, however, that if you are in a sea state that would flood the 23' Conquest cockpit, you generally shouldn't have gone out in the first place!

David Pendleton posted 07-21-2009 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Tohsgib -- I meant 6-8 MPG.

Even if your Scarab hull was even remotely similar to the Conquest hull, (which it isn't obviously) how was the engine carbureted, what lower were you running, how about prop pitch, and how many props?

The only similarity you have demonstrated is they are both boats.

I have no reason to claim numbers higher than I can actually achieve.

Tom W Clark posted 07-21-2009 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
David -- I don't think anybody here thinks you not being honest about the fuel mileage you report, but we may think you are mistaken.

I do not find it hard to believe a sterndrive can offer better fuel mileage than an outboard motor or two, that is one of their selling points.

I do, however, find it hard to believe that a boat can achieve two or two and a half times better fuel economy simply by being propelled by a sterndrive.

How do you compute your fuel mileage?

Buckda posted 07-21-2009 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Does the duoprop setup increase or decrease efficiency?

David Pendleton posted 07-21-2009 04:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
The Bravo III counter-rotating propeller setup is generally regarded as being more efficient than a single propeller. Both Merc and Volvo make this claim.

Duoprop is a Volvo trademark, by the way.

Also keep in mind these are big props. The rear prop is 14 inches in diameter, the front is 15 1/4 inches in diameter.

To arrive at my numbers, I fill the tank until the vent spits fuel, then make note of how many gallons it takes to repeat the process when I refill.

Mileage is derived via my Raymarine chartplotter.

Tohsgib posted 07-22-2009 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
That does not work David, if so my Revenge would get roughly 10-12mpg if I did it by tank-tank. Cruise MPG and tank MPG are totally different. My 115 burns roughly 4-5GPH at cruise but tank to tank is an average of less than 2.5gph. My 225 burned 12gph at cruise yet my tank to tank was about 7.

PS...a small block of say 300hp is a small block of 300hp no matter what it is pushing. At certain rpms it is going to burn roughly the same fuel if pushing a barge or a 13' sport. MPG differs because of speeds and efficiencies. My Scarab is obviously more efficient due to it's top speed compared to yours. I was swinging a Laser 2 14x23" through a 1.5:1 ratio. If you cruise at say 2600rpm at 23mph and I cruise at roughly 33mph how can you get better mpg than me?

The only way without a calibrated flow meter to know your exact mpg at cruise is to run a 3gal tank at cruise until it runs dry. Then you compute how many miles you went and how far on 3 gals. This can still be off due to wind and currents but is a pretty good way to check. The other way is to read a boatload of test reports with similar setups and get a general idea of which boats like yours perform the same way and take an educated guesstimate. For example your boat weighs xlbs, goes 40mph WOT and cruises at 26mph at 3k, etc. Test boat weighs the same, has same power and setup and runs according to what you do, not exact but will be within a couple %. That is how I came up with my mpg numbers on my 115 is because most 115 Suzukis running 4k at 25mph are burning between X & Y so I use that as a guidline and say I burn between say 4-5gph at 25mph which gives me between 5-6mpg at cruise from worse to best case scenerio.

Lastly I highly and knowingly will bet that a 260-320hp 5.7L engine on a 23' boat can and will not get better mpg than my 19' boat with a modern 115 4 stroke that probably comes in half the weight than you.

I bet if you really compute it you are probably getting between 3-3.5mpg at cruise which is darn good for a 23' boat.

Tohsgib posted 07-22-2009 04:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Lastly...salt water boats are more efficient than fresh water due to the salinity raising the density allowing it to ride higher and displacing less water than in fresh. Also although bravo 3's are more efficient on larger and heavier boats than a regular Bravo(faster holeshot, better cornering, better cruise, etc) they produce much more drag and weigh almost double than my Alpha one. Hence why you do not see them on raceboats.
Tohsgib posted 07-22-2009 04:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Better example: My 115 for argument sake gets 5mpg at cruise burning 5gph at 25mph. It however it gets 16-20mpg at idle burning less than .25gph. So 25 miles would take roughly 1.5 gals and 6+ hours to do. If I do 25 miles cruising and 25 miles at idle I burn 6.5 gals total for 50 miles driven so if I went tank for tank I would get 7.7mpg. My gph would also be a paultry 1.1gph I hope that is more understandable to all and my math is correct ;)
David Pendleton posted 07-22-2009 06:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I'm not talking about general cruising, but cruising at my most common cruising speed - 28 to 30 MPH.

After 10 seasons with this boat, I'm pretty confident in my findings.

To be honest, I'm just not that interested in convincing you.

L H G posted 07-22-2009 08:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
In the last couple of years, I have been using a 25' SeaRay "Booze and Crooze" powered with a single Bravo III V8 sterndrive, probably the same engine Dave has. I have been quite impressed with it's fuel economy, at least twice what I get in my 25 Outrage with the twin 200 EFI's, and the boat is heavier. This 4-stroke V8 is smooth, accelerates like a rocket, is quiet, and sips fuel. When I pilot it, I keep wondering where this idea came from that 4-strokes are acceleration slugs.

But when offshore in the Gulf (Casey Key FL), I don't feel safe in it, since it has no flotation, only one engine, and will sink like a rock. I also worry about a bilge pump failure and submersion of the engine. But I like it's overall performance features and economy, much more than I thought I would.

Tohsgib posted 07-23-2009 11:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Well since you want to act that way Dave...I hope SeaTow will deliver you fuel when you try and do 600 miles on one tank and realize at 300 miles you are empty.
Tohsgib posted 07-23-2009 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Well it is officially confirmed...Dave Pendleton has the not only the rarest Whaler ever made but also the rarest gas powered 350 I/o boat ever made. According to Mercruiser 4mpg is about tops cruise speed you can achieve with a 350 I/O bravo 3 setup and that would be on a hull that is above 55mph WOT. On a normal boat your average best cruise mpg is going to be between 2.5-3.6mpg. It is truly astonishing that he has a boat, even better that it is a Whaler, that gets DOUBLE what is possible to achieve. This is probably why Whaler only made a dozen of these because OPEC would have shut them down. Congratulations Dave and if you happen to see one of these rare beauties up for sale...please post it for us to buy. Section=mercruiserChecks&mercV8=15

David Pendleton posted 07-23-2009 11:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I never claimed to have the rarest production Whaler. I only asked which one that might be.

The engine tests were interesting, but my engine was not listed. Mine is not a 350 MAG or MPI, for whatever that's worth.

I was actually trying to be polite, I'm sorry you took that as acting "that way."

I'm not quite sure why it's so important to you to right some perceived wrong, but you really shouldn't worry about me or what I believe.

Tom W Clark posted 07-23-2009 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Historically, there is no question that four cycle sterndrives were, ceteris paribus, more fuel efficient than outboard motors. This may have changed a bit with the introduction for four cycle outboards and DFI outboards.

There is also no question that the Bravo III (and its inspiration, the Volvo DuoProp) is a more efficient drive.

But these improvements are marginal, not improvements of orders of magnitude. Volvo claims the DuoProp will improve fuel economy by 10-12 percent. Make no mistake, a 10 percent improvement is a BIG deal.

But to hear a report of a boat miraculously achieving fuel mileage that is two or two and a half times what it considered normal naturally leads to some skepticism.

A Conquest 23 with an outboard might be expected to achieve 3 MPG. So when David claims he "I...can easily get 6-8 mpg when cruising..." I find that, quite literally, incredible.

The Conquest 23 is close to the size of my own boat. I am not unhappy to get 2.3 MPG with my old outboards. I suspect that with a modern single outboard I *might* be able to achieve 3 MPG. If I thought I could install a motor that would allow it to achieve 6 MPG, I would make the conversion tomorrow...and do a lot more boating.

Measuring fuel mileage by noting how much fuel is consumed over the course a trip of a known length is a perfectly acceptable method of calculating mileage, in fact it is the BEST way to do so as it is measuring the very thing you want to know about, and is not a calculation based of data that may, or may not be, accurate, such as the low fuel flow rate as measured by a fuel flow meter and a speedometer, even if it is a GPS.

I also believe David is in no way trying to deceive us, and is being perfectly honest in reporting the data he has accumulated. But I do suspect that data is profoundly flawed.

David -- Could you provide an actual example of how you have calculated your fuel mileage in the past and exactly how you are using your Raymarine chartplotter to measure mileage?

Tohsgib posted 07-23-2009 12:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
A little sarcasm and trying to influx some humor I guess was taken the wrong way...sorry Dave, just busting a little chops here.

FYI- a MPI would be more efficient than a carb. With a carbed plant what hp are you 260, 270, or 300?

Lastly an I/O is a great setup on a Whaler mainly because if a bellows or shift boot gets ripped, ya can't sink. I am a big fan of 1/O's just not in salt water. It gets pretty expensive when you need to replace risers and manifolds every 4 years or so and the block will usually rot out after about 12 years, even if flushed properly. Fresh water they can last decades and maintenece and parts are cheap.

David Pendleton posted 07-23-2009 02:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I used to keep written logs of this kind of stuff, but I haven't done so for a few seasons.

My chartplotter (connected to a Ray 125 GPS) records miles travelled either as a Track or Log. I use the Track feature.

The engine is a 5.7L EFI. It uses a two-barrel carb with throttle-body injection. It is rated at 260HP.

Coincidentally, I'm installing a Flo-scan fuel flow meter in the coming weeks.

I'm off to Rhode Island for the weekend.

When I return, I'll perform the tank-to-tank test again.

diveorfish posted 07-23-2009 03:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
My 23 Outrage (same hull as 23 Conquest) with twin Optimax 135s get about 2.0 to 2.5 miles per gallon when the RPMS are about 4000 – 4200 according to my Smartcraft readouts: total trip miles / gallons of fuel burned. Usually I have a full crew and an average of 120 gallons of gas in the tank and about a foot and a half of chop. I’m usually doing about 30 depending on the wind. (My t-top can really affect my speed)

I always thought that my mileage was lousy compared to an I/O or a 4 stroke, but now I am really confused by all the conflicting information. What kind of mileage should a very heavy 23 foot boat with twins get?

Tohsgib posted 07-23-2009 03:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
2-2.5mpg on your rig is not shabby @ 30mph.
pgbj posted 07-25-2009 11:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for pgbj  Send Email to pgbj     
Dont know about Gas I/O but there are quite a lot of Conquest 23 I/O with the Mercruiser 4.2 D-tronic Diesel in Europe. Diesel was until recently untaxed in a lot of Europe and so was 3x times cheaper than Gas - inboard Diesel versus 2-Stroke back in the late 90's was a no-brainer from the running cost point of view. With current 4-stokes and the tax increased it's a less clear decision.

I wonder if BW designed the 23 initially with an I/O in mind because the static trim is pretty good with the weight of an I/O in the back. And the power trim plus tabs gives a good range of attack angles for all seas when running.

Couldn't tell you about MPG because frankly it sips the stuff and other than on a longish run I hardly bother looking.

Noisy brute though and with the Cummins/Mercuiser JV it's now a nightmare to get parts..

pgbj posted 07-25-2009 11:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for pgbj  Send Email to pgbj     
Oh and 20Dauntless has a point about vulnerability to swamping with water. I think my Diesel would keep going but the ancilliaries around the engine damage quickly. Had a bilge pump fail couple of years ago - lost the starter motor, alternator and a bunch of stuff in the main electrics box. All are relatively low mounted and dont like being dunked in rain water for a month.. The engine was fine though.
My fault of course.
David Pendleton posted 07-26-2009 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I always thought the Mercruiser 4.2 D-tronic Diesel was an Isuzu engine...

I'd like to see pictures of your engine compartment, though. If I ever had the money, I would repower with diesel, but I don't think most modern diesels would fit in there.

pgbj posted 07-28-2009 08:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for pgbj  Send Email to pgbj     
No the smaller Merc Diesels were Isuzu, the 4.2s in their various forms are VM engines - an Italian manufacturer, think Lamborghini tractors! It makes for maintenance fun - all the ancillary stuff from Merc is on Imperial screws and then as you get closer to the block it goes Metric.

It's tight in the engine bay and although it should be easier to self-maintain, it's so difficult to get your hands in the right places I also get a mechanic save for the simplest jobs.

I'll try to post a pic.

WisED posted 02-25-2010 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for WisED  Send Email to WisED     
Just my 2 cts regarding I/O vs. outboard issue. Coming from a salt water community one thing is clear, I/O's in general suffer many reliability issues in salt water, the engines do fine but the drive sections are a major headache. When you drive around in the marinas the I/O sitting on stands with the drive system removed is a very common sight. In PR there is not much fresh water boating (essentially zero) , so when my brother in law bought some parts in upstate NY for his I/O to take back home he was quite surprised that were so popular among the fresh water crowd.
tom976 posted 02-26-2010 10:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for tom976  Send Email to tom976     
Back to the original topic... As for rare boats that are around today....

I own a 1997 conquest what was purchased in 98. People actually wonder if my whaler came with the yamaha thats on it. Its a ox66 225 single efi. Its original and still runs great!

This might have been one of the last original whalers. It was the last whaler that the dealer in my area sold. (he stopped selling whalers after brunswick bought them)

Anyone else have one?


WisED posted 03-01-2010 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for WisED  Send Email to WisED     

Not to be mean, not only is it probably the rarest, it is also probably the ugliest :) :) Please tell me the windows (looks like they were "borrowed" from a trailer home ;))and the rocket launcher chair are not OEM. Its like a bulldog its so ugly its cute!!!!

Hal Watkins posted 03-04-2010 09:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hal Watkins  Send Email to Hal Watkins     
Would not the rarest Boston Whaler be...the one resting on the bottom of any body of water?
A little "I'm so sick of winter" humor.
Hal, Waseca, MN
WisED posted 03-04-2010 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for WisED  Send Email to WisED     
There are some photos on this site of a whaler tender that washed off some ritzy yatch and was a derelict for more than a year. It ended up washing up at the other side of the ocean a little worse for wear. A large portion of the starboard outer hull ripped off as well as a chunk of the transom along with the engine. It was still happily floating along upright! I guess if we just dumped whalers into the ocean they would simply become permanent fixture in the plastic debris continent of the pacific!

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