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Author Topic:   205 Eastport reviews
Dela329 posted 10-12-2010 06:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for Dela329   Send Email to Dela329  
In a moment of weakness I sold my Conquest 21 and bought a hard top tub nicknamed "Scary Larry." On [Lake] Michigan, life is too short to fish out of anything other than a Whaler.

To the point--I'd like to get the group's opinion on the Boston Whaler 205 Eastport. I'm looking at one equipped with an 2005 Mercury OptiMax 200 and less than 50-hours on the rig. I like the improvements of square back, walkaround gutters, and cuddy door placement, but I think this was the first year for that model, which I guess they renamed in 2006. I see many of them for sale at competitive prices which makes me wonder.

What is the overall opinion on this boat and motor pairing? My former 2000 Conquest had the OptiMax 225 which really screamed but was prone to catastrophic failures, plus it was loud and smelly. Now that five years have gone by, what are the feelings on the 2005 OptiMax?

Appreciate any feedback. It'll be a long time before the finance minister allows me to change boats again. I really have to make a good choice this time!

Mambo Minnow posted 10-12-2010 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
I had the same [decision] to make a few years back. I went with the Conquest 21.

The Eastport or Conquest 205 had lower freeboard which for the Great Lakes sea state that concerns you is a "con." I thought the cabin door placement was poor. It shortens one side of the cabin for overnighting and for the port helm passenger left no place for foot placement with the door open.

The Optimax 200-HP has all of the attributes you describe. The quietness of the Verado is a big plus, but how much more weight on the transom effects the trim and ride? I think 150-HP I have seen on some for sale is too low.

The Conquest 205 seems a step down from the other Conquests. A dealer told me they stopped production because the price point was too low compared to cost of manufacture.

Robert V posted 10-13-2010 07:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robert V  Send Email to Robert V     
I have owned my 205 Conquest for a year now and am very pleased with the boat. I have the 150 HP Verado and top speed is 40 MPH. I think the 200 Optimax would push the boat to mid-upper 40's. I have never owned an Optimax but I understand the early problems were resolved in later production years (post 2001).

I like the layout of the boat and the spacious cockpit area. The cabin is on the "smallish" side, but we do not use it for overnighting. It is nice to have the cabin for the storage space, place for young kid(s) and a useable head. There are not alot of frills on the boat but I think simple is better. Sal A, on this board, has owned one and could offer some more feedback about this model. Feel free to contact me with any specific questions, I'm happy to help.


Hal Watkins posted 10-13-2010 11:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hal Watkins  Send Email to Hal Watkins     
I test drove a 205 with the 200 Optimax...53 MPH on was scary fast. I bought a 205 with a 150 Optimax...38 MPH on GPS. I put 198 miles on it during the Isle Royale trip in August. Averaged 3.75 MPG...used 1.1 gal of oil. We came back from IR in 5'ers. Thankful for a full canvas set. We took a few over the bow but the ride was excellent. The cuddy was cozy and quite adequate as a small cruiser. We trailer a lot so the 205 fits our need well. Quite a different ride from our '06 170 montauk...which is still for sale.
Hal, Waseca, MN
Liteamorn posted 10-14-2010 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Liteamorn  Send Email to Liteamorn     
I have a 2005 Eastport with a 150 Optimax. I love everything about the boat. The cabin is fairly roomy, although mine is used just for storage.

My 150 Optimax sips gas. I burn 7 gal an hour while cruising @ 4000 rpm and doing 27 mph.

I was a little disconcerted with the lack of a windshield wiper but i rarly miss it, the hull really throws the water down and away. a little Raindance helps keep it clear too.

She is a sharp looking rig, I always get comments @ the dock and in my opinion she is all Whaler.

I have no major complaints about this boat, I hope I have it as long as I am boating (albeit maybe a new engine or two).

My friend has the same rig with a 200 Optimax and that boat screams. His engine has had a few problems and his filters cost a lot more than mine.

I fall in love with my Eastport every time I take it out and I recommend it highly.

Davm posted 10-16-2010 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Davm  Send Email to Davm     
Go for it! I have the 205 Eastport and have had no problems, except keeping that darned nonskid clean. It is a fish killing machine. I also have a buddy who put a 200 Optimax on an older Glasply which is a similar weight 2 years ago. We now call it the a GlasFLY. 50 mph and consistently over 4 mpg at around 35 mph.
ryland posted 10-17-2010 03:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for ryland  Send Email to ryland     
I have a 205 Eastport, 2005, with 135hp Optimax, 130 hours. Love everything about the boat.....trailerable but still very seaworthy. I was very skeptical of the power of the 135 but was happily surprised, so far reliable, plenty of power and very efficient.
Dela329 posted 10-19-2010 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dela329  Send Email to Dela329     
Thanks for the feedback. Appears there is plenty of interest and good information in the 205 Eastport on this forum.

Mambo Minnow - my last Whaler was a 21 Conquest. I appreciate the info on lower freeboard since this was really nice safety feature when you're leanin out for a rigger weight. Didn't think about the passenger footing and placement of the cuddy door - that's worth considering.

Robert V, Hal Watkins, Liteamorn, Davm and Ryland thanks for the candid evaluations of your boats. The feedback on motor choice is useful. I was wondering how a 200 Opti would push this hull. But after hearing that you guys are satified with the performance ranging from 135's on up, I'm less concerned.

I'm going to look at the boat this weekend (6 hour trip each way) as I've only looked at images of it on the web so far.

New question:
On the 205 Eastport, has anyone mounted a kicker recently? I'm curious what kind of backing they've included in the transom to support it. I was on the water this season in a boat that konk'd out 10 miles from shore. Only choice was to call 'tow boat' which took 1.5 hours to get there. Weather moved in and we drifted miles from our original position before they arrived. $500 bucks later we were back on dry land. IMO - a kicker is a must on Michigan.

Hal Watkins posted 10-19-2010 10:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hal Watkins  Send Email to Hal Watkins     
My 205 has factory trim tabs and a swim platform/ladder. I would like an aux power supply but it is just not possible as is. Hal
Robert V posted 10-20-2010 09:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robert V  Send Email to Robert V     
I agree with Hal Watkins, if you have trim tabs and swim platform, installing a kicker would be a no-go. If the boat does not have trim tabs, this may be a possibility. Here is the link for the wood locating diagram from Whaler;
This may help to locate the reinforced areas on the transom for the installation of a kicker. There are other drawings for the 205 Eastport/Conquest that can be found on the Whaler site, look under "owners" and then click on "owner resources". It may also be a good idea to contact Whaler customer service and speak with Chuck Bennette. He has always been a good resource for technical questions. Sorry I could not pass along any direct experience with a kicker on a 205 Conquest. Good luck with the purchase, I hope you will send along some pics of your new boat (if you buy it!).


Dela329 posted 10-20-2010 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dela329  Send Email to Dela329     
Thanks for the tip. I took your advice and contacted Chuck Bennett at BW to ask about the kicker installation. He responded almost immediately with good news:
"Yes, there is laminated marine plywood across the entire transom of the 205 Eastport/Conquest, so a kicker motor bracket could be mounted on the starboard side if you'd like. One after-market supplier that quite a few customers/dealer uses is Tanner"

This bracket provides a 13" standoff so your kicker won't interfere with the trim tab. They have several pictures of whalers with the bracket installed. Kind of expensive compared to the Panther mount I was planning on using. But at least I've confirmed that the transom is kicker ready.

Robert V posted 10-21-2010 06:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robert V  Send Email to Robert V     
That is good news, nice to know you can use a kicker with trim tabs. I'm sure some other members can benefit from this information. Now, go get the Conquest!


Jay Gee posted 10-22-2010 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jay Gee  Send Email to Jay Gee     
I have a 2005, 205 Eastport with a 150 opti. This boat rides well and it is very efficient. It is on a bunk trailer, tows well with my Jeep Cherokee (4.7 V8) and I have docked it in “tight” slips without a problem.

Friends with larger boats have gone fishing with me (any more than 3 is tight) and they can’t believe how much of a nice package is is. We fish the back bays on the south shore of LI, NY and go 2-3 miles out of the inlet at times.

I went with this model mainly to enjoy it with the family. It is rare when you find something that can please everyone in the family and this boat does it well. We fish, cruise, tube and really enjoy it all.

Whaler changes its models and names all the time. The quality is still very good and you really can’t say that about too many of the other mfg’s.

The only thing I wish it had is a wash down pump. I thought about installing one but haven’t yet because I don’t want to drill the hull.

Anyone have or see one in these models? Any comments?

Dela329 posted 10-23-2010 11:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dela329  Send Email to Dela329     
Well it's a done deal. Excellent condition and low hours (<50) so I couldn't pass it up.
Thanks for all the input and useful information from those who posted.

ConB posted 10-23-2010 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for ConB  Send Email to ConB     
Dela, did you buy the Eastport 205 that was in Kalamazoo? That one looked like it might be a good deal to me.


Dela329 posted 10-24-2010 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dela329  Send Email to Dela329     
Yes, it was the one from Kalamazoo. Based on others I was looking at online it seemed reasonable considering the low hours and overall condition. Really looking forward to getting it on the water before it gets too cold.
Sal A posted 11-03-2010 09:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
Great boat. Had one before I simplified. Great Boat.
martyn1075 posted 11-13-2010 02:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
I had one of the old Otimax engines and hated it for all the reasons mentioned. However, the next Whaler I bought had newer 2007 Opimax engines and I thought to myself ok here we go again but I had full intentions to sell them. I never did sell them because I have to say they are a different beast from the older models (pre 2005 blue stripe logo). I think they got it right after all the years they were troubled. I know for certain they burn less oil then the previous models, offer plenty of power and are a nice Hybrid between the traditional two stroke and Four Stroke engines offered today. I think if I was buying a 205 which is a good boat that many people will probably desire more now that they are gone, I would look for one that has an Optimax over the Verado. I have heard the older Verado's seem to be a little bit finicky with problems which are not major, however can just add up to be a little costly unless you are a mechanic and of course can diagnosis and fix for next to nothing. I am sure Mercury will work them out over the years but why trouble yourself when the Optimax is now proven. I guess it comes back to the two stroke for four stroke debate but lets not go there.

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