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Author Topic:   16 SL or What?
thruhike posted 03-08-2010 08:31 AM ET (US)   Profile for thruhike   Send Email to thruhike  
First, let me start by saying this is my first boat purchase. My family had a BW when I was younger and I LOVED this boat so when it came time to buy, naturally I wanted a Whaler. Here is my dilemma: I have a wife and three year old that would rather ride than fish. I have been looking at a very well kept used 16 SL. I have read through all the forums and posts but need some more advice. I need a boat that will be used for joyriding, tubing, ect. with the family but versatile enough for me to take a buddy or two fishing when I can sneak out for a long weekend. Comfort and ride are big items for the family but finding a boat that is a good fisher too is hard to find. The 16 SL looks like this boat but constantly gets bashed on the posts and then others praise its ride and versatility. If not the 16 SL (limited budget of $10k for everything including taxes, title, vests, ect.) then what do you guys suggest??? I do not want to make a $10k mistake only to fork out more $$$ after a year of unhappiness. Thanks!
btb posted 03-08-2010 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for btb  Send Email to btb     
I have had a 16SL for a few years and for my purposes its great. For fishing trips I install a live well. I have fished it with four people, but its ideal with just two. I have taken friends out sightseeing.

Its small enough to fit in a garage, its easy to handle - one person can launch it.

It handles pretty well - its only a small boat and only has a semi-deep vee, but I am comfortable out in the Pacific in it, I have done fishing trips of 65 miles round trip out to the Coronado islands etc. It has a lot of storage for a small boat.

So the bashers bash it for silly reasons (it looks funny, according to them) and of course it has no precious wood to rot out - but all those who have one think they are great.

At the end of the day, its up to you.

Demps posted 03-08-2010 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Demps  Send Email to Demps     
You will be well served by the 16SL. Take it for a sea trial and see what you think. If you like it, bring the wife along to see if she likes it. Focus on the good reviews and the testimony of owners, such as btb.

Now if I were looking for a do-it-all boat (within reason), I'd be looking at a 17' Newport. I don't think there has a been a negative word about the layout or the ride.

Good luck and enjoy your search...its half the fun!

20dauntless posted 03-08-2010 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
There was one at the marina that I kept our Whaler at last summer and the family seemed to enjoy it for messing around on Lake Washington. I saw them tubing and skiing and it was equipped with a kicker so I imagine they fished with it some as well.

Other Whalers to look at would be the dual console Dauntless model (like mine) as well as the Ventura models.

RMS posted 03-08-2010 03:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for RMS  Send Email to RMS     
The 17' Super Sport Limited ("SSL") would fit the bill as well. Bob
thruhike posted 03-08-2010 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for thruhike  Send Email to thruhike     
Looked at the SSL and Dauntless online but there is not much around here except for a few beat up Whalers closer to the coast. Thanks for the suggestions.
RFK posted 03-08-2010 11:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
The 16SL is a very nice samll boat which will the activities you have outlined. Go for it.
daveweight posted 03-10-2010 03:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for daveweight  Send Email to daveweight     
Take the 16SL for a test ride and I think you will be pleasantly surprised, they are well built, easily maintained and a good ride. We use ours for fishing, tubing, a general runabout and as a safety boat for dinghy races at our yacht club. All in all a very useful boat with loads of storeage space.
We have owned ours for 8 years now and wouldn't change it.
Dave Weight
RFK posted 03-11-2010 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
We have had our 16SL for 18 years. By all means test it. Hope you love it as much as we do. Not perfect. but very versatile
and easily handled by one person. Travels well and has an incredible amount of storage for its size.

bobgilsp posted 03-17-2010 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobgilsp  Send Email to bobgilsp     
Give the 16 SL a thorough sea trial. It can porpoise if not trimmed precisely & if theventilation oplate isn't at the correct height. It has quality hardware & seems to have the quality construction of whalers. Not many werre sold. Too expensive when new.
The center ski locker is handy for long objects other than waterskis. The other lockers are also handy. Good to have the 24 gallon gas tank below deck.
thruhike posted 03-22-2010 06:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for thruhike  Send Email to thruhike     
Thanks for all the help and input. Picked up the Whaler 16SL on Saturday after the test ride. Of course the weather turned from 75f to 50f with rain and wind the next day so it not been back on the water. Great riding boat but I can see what you mean as far as the trim as it is a little touchy. I think it will take a few runs to get used to the handling and trim of this boat. This boat was taken well care of and loved by the previous owners. It was in fantastic shape!!! If you can tell me how to post pics I will snap a few and post. Although it is not the "classic whaler" design I think it will be a great fit for family boating and fishing. Thanks again and good fishing to all!

daveweight posted 03-24-2010 02:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for daveweight  Send Email to daveweight     
Congratulations on your new boat, we used to stress a lot about porpoising but it now just seems intuitive and we trim in or out until it goes away. No problems at all, we don't need trim tabs or any other handling aids just a feel for the boat. Have fun.
Dave Weight (Possibly co-owner of the only 16 SL in the UK).

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