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Author Topic:   Dauntless 160
Santiago posted 08-28-2009 08:00 PM ET (US)   Profile for Santiago   Send Email to Santiago  
I am considering buying a 1999 Dauntless 160. I would appreciate any comments you can offer on this model.

Thank you.

frontier posted 08-28-2009 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
The 16 Dauntless has a serious weight problem - 1300# (boat only).
And many came with gas guzzling 75-90 HP Mercury 2-Strokes.

Look at a 1994-98 15 Dauntless (850#), or any Classic 17 hull at 900-950#.

dburton posted 08-28-2009 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for dburton  Send Email to dburton     
I have a 2003 Dauntless 160 and think that it is great boat. It is a heavy boat and runs best with the 115hp engine. Because it is heavy it runs through the chop quite well. The boat has a lot of storage (for a 16 foot boat).

Many have complained about the hull porpoising, I have not had any problems and have not used a hydrofoil or other remedy.

There is a slight difference between the early dauntless and later ones called the "notch." This difference is part of transom. It has been discussed at length on this forum, Do a search on dauntless notch.

A forum member, Marlin, is the undisputed expert on the performance of the Dauntless 160. Do a search on Marlin.

This summer I took my Dauntless up to Puget Sound. I thought it was a great boat for those waters. If you are planning to go off shore then it is the wrong boat.

Like all boats, if it does what you want it do a decent price then it is a great boat.


Marlin posted 08-29-2009 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
"Undisputed expert" -- well, I don't know about that, but thanks anyway!

I don't agree with frontier that the boat has a weight problem, but it is certainly a heavy boat for its size. It's also almost certainly the "biggest" 16-footer you'll find anywhere. The boat is extremely solid and has a reasonably good ride in chop, if you have a lower-unit foil that will help keep the bow down -- to me, the foil is a must. I've been in as large as 4-foot breaking waves with safety, if not exactly comfort.

The 160 is a much bigger boat than the Dauntless 15, much more so than the 1-foot difference would suggest. It is similarly sized to the 170 Montauk, though arguably with a bit less interior space. However, it has a 45-gallon internal tank that the Montauk does not -- there are many threads that compare and contrast the two boats.

Because of the boat's size and weight, you will probably find that a typical car or car-based SUV with a 3500 lb. towing limit is not ideal. I got a lot happier with towing when I switched from our Volvo V70 to a Ford Explorer V8.

I would not recommend the boat with the 90 4-stroke, since the engine is relatively heavy for its power. The 90 2-stroke or 90 Optimax are fair choices, but really I'd recommend any of the 115s. I've been very happy with my 115 4-stroke (the older version with the Yamaha powerhead). The boat will make about 38-39 mph with a 90 and 44-45 with a 115. After experimenting with a few props, I've been very happy with a Mercury Trophy Plus 40-blade 17" prop with medium vent plugs.

I recently took the boat on the around-Manhattan rendezvous. We made 80 miles on that trip, with 5 people on board, through varying conditions. The boat can go anywhere, within reason.

Feel free to ask about anything in particular.


There are a handful of photos of my boat at .

East Bay posted 08-30-2009 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for East Bay  Send Email to East Bay     
Marlin, I am considering buying a 2000 Dauntless 16 and wonder if I could ask you some questions------since you seem to know a lot about this boat. The boat I'm looking at has a 100 hp Yamaha. How does this motor perform with this boat? Would it tend to porpoise, or have difficulty getting on plane? I've heard that raising the engine to the second hole (from top) would help, as well as adding a hydrofoil. Would it perform OK with four people aboard? Would using the rear seats make the boat plane poorly? What speed should I expect with the 100 hp, and what max rpm should it be at? I would use the boat on inland lakes, some fairly large. Would the boat handle windy conditions on these lakes? If I put an electric trolling motor on the bow, would the boat be a good fishing boat? By that I mean slow trolling in some wind. I'm sorry I'm so lengthy here, but I could really use the help. Thanks a lot!
Marlin posted 08-30-2009 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
East Bay-

I'm not familiar with the 100 Yamaha, but I assume it's a 2-stroke engine. If so, the boat should perform reasonably well with that engine, much the same as with the Mercury 90 2-stroke. Over the years, others with that engine have reported a top speed of 38-39. In general, the boat does have a tendency to porpoise, especially with the heavier 4-stroke engines. I found the lower unit hydrofoil to be an enormous help. The boat should perform well with 4 people, though if you ski you might find that you want a second propeller with a few inches less pitch.

The boat is indeed slower to plane with people in the rear seats. With my original 16" Vengeance the boat was very difficult to plane with 4 or more people and a full tank. Just tonight I was out with a very full boat, and the 17" Trophy Plus got the boat planed off somewhat slowly but successfully. Regardless of your motor, propeller selection is an important choice. You will certainly want a prop that allows you to get all the way up to the engine's maximum RPM rating, which is probably somewhere aroun 5500.

This boat handles rough conditions very well for a 16-footer. I usually boat on the Potomac River or the Chesapeake Bay, where I've encountered rough conditions up to 4-footers. Of course, it's only a 16-foot boat, so the ride is not smooth in waves over a foot, but the boat has proven to be very seaworthy. The foil really helps keeping the bow down and smoothing out the ride.

I can't really help you on the trolling motor question, other than to note that there is reinforcing backing material on the port side of the bow. There is also a rigging tunnel that runs from the center console to the bow, but unless the bow trolling motor panel was factory-installed, I don't think there's any way to get at the forward end of the tunnel.


East Bay posted 08-31-2009 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for East Bay  Send Email to East Bay     
I'm sorry, I should have said the Yamaha 100 hp is a 4-stroke. I guess that would mean it's heavier and would tend more to porpoise with difficulty getting on plane. As much as I would like to get the boat, the more I read it seems to have its problems. I also read on this site that the actual weight of a 2000 Dauntless 16 is more like 1500 than the 1300 advertised-------that Whaler glued in an amendum to their catalog thru the 2000 year stating the 1500 weight. If true, that would somewhat answer the problem of trouble planing, porpoising, etc. I really like the boat, but I don't want to regret the decision should I buy it. What are it's good qualities?!!
TheWhalerStore posted 08-31-2009 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for TheWhalerStore    
Here is an excellent video demonstrating the true differences between four stroke engines and two stroke engines. It is self explanitory and funny at the same time.
cmarques posted 08-31-2009 08:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
My 2002 dauntless 160 makes a great fishing boat. I added a trolling motor and a panel a few years ago. trolling%20motor%20mounted%20on%20Dauntless%20160/

There is a wiring conduit from the console to the bow as seen in one picture. It will take about 9-10 feet of wire if I remember right to go from the panel to the console and battery. I found Anchor brand 6 gauge wire will fit through the conduit. Other wire brands with heavy insulation may not fit. I have a 12volt 55lb Minn-Kota Riptide that works very well but is hard to hold on windy days although it does move the boat around very well. If you can stuff 3 batteries in the console then I would go for a 24volt motor instead.

Member Jamber has or had a 160 with the Yamaha 100. If you search Jamber and Dauntless it will bring up some of his thoughts about that combination.


Marlin posted 09-01-2009 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
The Dauntless 160's "good qualities", compared to other similarly-sized Whalers, are in my opinion its abundant storage and the extreme range/duration provided by its 45-gallon internal fuel tank. I like my 2003 model very much, and I have a hard time imagining a better 16-footer, but the model is not a perfect boat -- none are -- and is not necessarily the right boat for you.
rsantia posted 09-01-2009 10:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for rsantia  Send Email to rsantia     
Hello to all,
This is a first post for me, even though I been visiting this site on a reg basis for several years. - just more of observer than partipant, but have learned alot about BWs from this site.

Have owned 2001 dauntless16, Yam F100 since summer 2001(Purchased new). Do 99% boating in LI Sound. Trailer boat to Keys often. It has been a great small boat. I agree pretty much with Marlin's assessment of boat. Main Points:

1- It's an inshore boat
2- Hydrofoil improved ride (reduced pounding)tremendously
3- Boat is trim sensitive, with practice porpoising can be. eliminated
4- Easy to tow and launch but not for litewt. tow vehicles.
5- If had to repower would go with F115.
6- Yamaha engine has been great-do my own maint. no major isssues.
7- 17 pitch ss prop is best for heavy loads, max revs, and hole slot. 38 mph gps top speed. 4.8 mpg avg. fuel economy on fillups based on dist. travel(gps).
8- Fits in 10x19.5 garage like glove. 8ft door ht requires trailer tongue to be full down for console to clear
9- Max fishing comfort no more than 3 people total

This boat has made boating affordable for me and is generally adequate for the sea conditions in LI Sound. With 45 gal tank it has great range. I often think about upsizing (I like the 01 Outrage 21)but when I weigh out the increase cost factors (fuel,storage, etc) common sense tells me to stay with my current boat. Heck if I did upgrade I'd probably keep my 16 footer.


East Bay posted 09-06-2009 07:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for East Bay  Send Email to East Bay     
cmarques, I have a few questions about you trolling motor installation. Which Minnkota trolling motor did you mount, and is it a 12 or 24 volt? Where did you put the batteries? If 24 volt, do 3 batteries fit under the console? Does the motor deploy under the bow rail OK? How did you mount the trolling motor, with wood screws, thru hull bolts, etc.? Does the motor need to be slid forward on the removable plate to deploy? How did you know where to cut the hole for the plug-in panel? How it difficult to run the wires to the console? Sorry for so many questions, but I want to do the same thing as you did.


cmarques posted 09-06-2009 11:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
East Bay
The motor I have is a Riptide rt55 12 volt. I have two batteries in the console, one starting battery and one large trolling battery with a 40 amp breaker and a 2 bank 4amp charger (Bass Pro) wired to both. I think three batteries should fit side by side but the steering cables may get in the way or have to be moved around a little.
I mounted a Minn-Kota motor plate and drilled and tapped three bolt holes in the whalerboard that is in the bow and ran stainless bolts in. The motor will deploy under the rail with a little clearance without having to slide the motor although it will hit the rail if trying to raise the motor for shallower running. My next plan is to extend the mounting plate by about 12-14 inches and mount the motor further forward so I can raise the motor height more for shallow water.
I saw a Dauntless 160 with the fishing package installed and also on the wood diagram for the Dauntless it shows a conduit or rigging tube for the trolling motor wiring. Stood there with a drill for awhile hoping there was actually a hole on the otherside of the fiberglass (it will sound hollow if you knock on it there) and there was. The conduit is very undersized and the only 6 gauge wire I could find to fit two wires was Anchor from West Marine. I ran a fish wire through and pulled and pushed the wires and it was a tight fit.
If you could make three batteries fit o.k. I would go with a 24v motor (I think the dimensions are all the same)the 12 volt is good and moves the boat fairly well except on real windy days and very weedy water. I have fished side by side with a friend's bass boat and could go anywhere he could until the weeds got thick. His 24 volt motor will hack through and keep going where mine gets weeded up real quick.


RLSmith posted 09-07-2009 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for RLSmith  Send Email to RLSmith     
This information might help East Bay... The prior owner of the 2000 16' Dauntless I purchased in 2002 had it rigged for fishing in the St. Johns River near Jacksonville, FL. It was ordered with the fishing package so is pre-wired to the panel above the front deck (either 4 or 6 gauge, cannot remember), and has no bow rail. The prior owner installed a MotorGuide Great White 24V 80lbs thrust motor. It was mounted on a MotorGuide breakaway Gator mount, which was in turn mounted on a quick-release bracket. This allowed the entire assembly to be easily removed from the boat, leaving only two approx 6" rubber disks screwed into the phenolic on the port side of the bow deck.

The starting battery plus the two trolling batteries were lined up across the floor of the center console in Attwood battery trays. A Guest 12/14V battery charger was connected to the two trolling batteries. The circuit was protected by a Blue Sea Systems circuit breaker.

Zoom in the appropriate outfit sheets on to see the location of the panel. This is not dimensionally detailed but there isn't much room to play since the panel fills up most of the space.

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