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Author Topic:   Alternatives to a 205 Conquest or 205 Eastport
k2chad posted 03-02-2011 09:41 AM ET (US)   Profile for k2chad   Send Email to k2chad  
I'm in the market for a 20-21 foot Walkaround. Naturally, [searches for] late model boats come up with basically the [205 EASTPORT or 205 CONQUEST] and not much else. I have been tempted by another brand with the 208 Adventure, but the Boston Whaler's level flotation keeps coming back as a main reason I love Whalers, especially after reading two very recent reports of newer boats sinking due to components failing leaving occupants in the water.

Any comments on the ride of the 205 Conquest or 205 Eastport? I mainly fish near shore and want the cabin for [my] wife and kid to take a break out of the sun and have a place for potty. I'm a bit concerned about the freeboard. Perhaps a 21 Conquest is a better boat for offshore, but the power on them I've seen is all old, and a newer Verado engine is appealing. Conquest 235 is a big boat, bigger than I need and a big step from my 18' Dauntless. Thoughts?

Hal Watkins posted 03-02-2011 11:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hal Watkins  Send Email to Hal Watkins     
Hello from Minnesota with a minus-25 wind chill this morning. We moved up to the 205 Eastport from a 170 Montauk this past summer. We cruise on the [Mississippi River], inland Minnesota lakes and Lake Superior. We were part of the Boston Whaler contingent that cruised around Isle Royale in Lake Superior last August. Our 205 has the 150-HP OptiMax, a very capable pusher of the 205. We test drove a 205 with the 200-HP OptiMax and think it even a better match. The 205 is a very capable boat. We spent several nights aboard and slept well. There is ample working deck area for fishing and lounging. The windshield and curtains make a real difference when heading into anything unpleasant. We pull it with a Chevy 3/4-ton 4WD and it handles quite nicely. The 205 trailer has surge brakes so that is an extra assurance. Not sure of your freeboard concern, but I think it is just right.

Hal Watkins
Waseca, MN

Tohsgib posted 03-02-2011 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
An older Revenge and a new engine is also a great opportunity and us clssic guys believe the quality is better pre-Brunswick.
martyn1075 posted 03-04-2011 02:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Agree, plus the cost would likely be cheaper with the Revenge and that is including a newer engine. If of course you are wanting a whaler that is not as old as the Revenge and no more than 20-21 feet length, the 205 is probably your best bet. I loved the idea and its still a nice little boat but in my humble opinion Boston Whaler laid off their creative staff on the design of this boat. It had huge potential in so many areas but came across like too many other 20 feet cuddy cabins on the market. I hope BW gives it another shot someday I still think it could be a home run for them.
Liteamorn posted 03-04-2011 07:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Liteamorn  Send Email to Liteamorn     
I absolutely love my 205 Eastport. I fish inshore almost exclusively. Mine also has a 150 Optimax and it pushes my boat just fine. My friend has the same boat with a 200 Optimax and that boat flys!
Freeboard has never been a problem for me.
Buckda posted 03-04-2011 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Watch the Marketplace space carefully. I believe a forum member is planning to sell a perfect boat for you this year, and it is in exceptional condition and rigged with great detail and care.

Dela329 posted 03-04-2011 02:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dela329  Send Email to Dela329     
I can offer a few observations that may be of interest. Formerly [owned] a 2000 Conquest 21 with OptiMax 225, and now [own] an Eastport 205 with OptiMax 200. I wanted something for primarily Michigan salmon fishing and some occasional cruising with the family. Both fit the bill perfectly. With 200-HP you’ll get there in a hurry on a glassy day. The OptiMax engines are noisy and I think it’s the cuddy design that reflects the sound and sometimes the exhaust. Both are great bay and lake boats. They will punish and soak your crew on a choppy day until you learn how it handles. At the same time, I’ve never come across a day that was too rough for the boat to handle (can’t say the same for the crew). However, I think the [2000] Conquest [21] was a lot more boat than the [205] Eastport in terms of quality and that feeling of being over-built. In addition, the Conquest [21] has better freeboard, in-floor fishbox, and great storage capacity. It isn’t really a walk-around as the gutters are pretty narrow but with the Eastport they improved that width somewhat.

What I like about the Eastport: My Eastport offers better stern area for fighting and landing fish. I suppose that’s because of the squared-off versus euro-style design. I also like the having the cuddy door on the port side rather than dead center. Mounting electronics seemed easier due to the console design too. In all, I think they improved the earlier Conquest design but cut some corners to keep costs down. I have no experience with the later Conquest models, so no opinion there. Regardless of which boat you choose you’ll be happy with the decision.

Mambo Minnow posted 03-04-2011 04:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
Last post well stated and concur. Recommend the 205 [EASTPORT] if you primarily will be fishing and the 21 [CONQUEST] if primarily cruising and over-nighting.
martyn1075 posted 03-04-2011 06:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
"Recommend the 205 [EASTPORT] if you primarily will be fishing and the 21 [CONQUEST] if primarily cruising and over-nighting"

I think currently the best of both worlds for a post classic whaler is the 235 Conquest. I am almost 100% sure that is what Boston Whaler is trying to accomplish by leaving out some bigger boat features such as built in fish-wells, hardtop, wash down, larger cabin, etc., that the 205 was cleverly missing. The 235 is the big ticket in walk-around length and to lure people away from the 205 the slightly larger way more expensive 235 boat has exactly what you need and want.

It would have been nice had they included at least some of them in the 205 at the time and my belief is that it would have been a complete success. However it probably would have killed their market for the 235 as they are really serving the same purpose. One is just a bit larger overall. (1000lbs 3 feet)

If it were me I would really look at a used 235 I think its market is far more attractive and someday when you come to sell, it probably won't change.

jimh posted 03-05-2011 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
An alternative to a 205 EASTPORT would be a classic REVENGE 20 or REVENGE 22.

I don't think you can consider the 235 CONQUEST as a comparable alternative to a 205 EASTPORT because the 235 CONQUEST is substantially larger and more expensive, as well as probably much heavier and wider to haul on the highway on a trailer.

jimh posted 03-05-2011 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Moved to POST-CLASSIC.]
k2chad posted 03-05-2011 09:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for k2chad  Send Email to k2chad     
Thanks for the replies! I'm currently scouting the used market. There are a fair number of 205's on the market near me, including one at a dealer being sold as new still...
martyn1075 posted 03-05-2011 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Jimh.... Although previously mentioned already great option if an older boat is even in the mix but Im not sure that is the case here. The 205 is the newer model and discontinued at that. Realistically Boston Whaler offers the 235 as your smallest Walkround as it essentially the same thing as a 205 with a whole lot more to offer. Of course its 1000 lbs heavier and more expensive but not so bad for a used one.

Its sill and option and for some a much better one then an old used Revenge with aging parts, equipment and sometimes the motors as well. I love the Revenge and owned one for years so not disrespect for the boat either.

k2chad if a 205 is what you are after they seem to be well respected by their owners on this website I am sure it will be a great boat for you.

Good Luck,


Buckda posted 03-05-2011 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Keep the 21 Walkaround in your calculations as well - these seem to be coming on the market more frequently lately and they were great, solid boats.

wood duck posted 03-05-2011 05:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for wood duck  Send Email to wood duck     
I owned the 205 Conquest and now have a 235 Conquest for many of the same reasons that martyn1075 has described in his post. I trailer the 235 and launch and retrieve most times by myself without any issues. I run on the Chesapeake Bay. The 235 feels much larger and capable at sea than the 3' and 1000lbs.that it exceeds the 205 by. As an owner of both boats, I would highly recommend the step-up to the 235 if you can make the sale work for you.
k2chad posted 03-06-2011 08:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for k2chad  Send Email to k2chad     
Here's the results of my scouting:
2005 and 2007 205's for around $30,000, the 2007 has the Verado 150.
2000 Conquest 21 with same year Yamaha HPDI. $28,000
2000 Conquest 23 $35,000 with same year Opti, also has hardtop.

Right now I'd lean towards the late model 205 with 4 stroke power, especially since it's a well cared for lake boat. Should be relatively easy to sell in a few years. Since I'm selling now, it seems buyers first question is always "is that a 4 stroke". The casual market places a high value on this, while the enthusiast market doesn't, but a sale is a sale and I will likely move up in 2-3 years as finances improve.

I'm going to look at the Conquest 21 hopefully this week. I feel it's a bit overpriced given it's a saltwater boat and now 11 years old but hopefully I could make a reasonable offer if it checks out. Concern would be power but everything I've read states this is a strong motor. Could potentially repower if all else is sound. Dealer has shown mild interest in a trade on my 2001 Dauntless as well since my craigslist ad has shown very little interest thus far.

Conquest 23 has the Opti which of this vintage may or may not be worthwhile. I have read several reports leading me to believe this vintage Optimax may not be desirable. But enough to get me worried.

I'm out of Gloucester MA. Realistically I only inshore fish. Stellwagen Bank is temptingly close though.

Mambo Minnow posted 03-06-2011 03:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
The Yamaha HPDI is similar DFI technology to the Mercury Optimax. The HPDI is not as fuel efficient as the Optimax. The 200 HPDI has a good reliability history but avoid the 300 HP model as it had alot of problems.
These motors seem to have more ethanol tolerance troubles with filter screens and VST.

Good luck with the sea trials.

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