Boston Whaler's second hull design, the 16-footer, was first introduced in 1961. The hull was produced in that same form until 1976, when both the cockpit and hull molds were reworked to create a new "17" foot version of the boat. (The actual length was 16-ft, 7-inches.) In the 16-foot boat's first two years of production, only two models were offered, the NAUSET (pronounced "NAW-sit") and the EASTPORT, both variations of a mahogany center console open boat. In 1963 the SAKONNET came along, adding a new style of seat, the Reversible Pilot Seat, along with a standard forward fishing platform. Some or all of these models were available as late as 1975. These are really the "classics" of the classic Whalers.
Bruce Montgomery from Seattle, Washington, completed the restoration and repowering of his Nauset in September of 2001. The boat looks as good today as it did when shipped from Rockland, Massachusetts in 1968, some 34 years ago. Bruce writes:
"I just finished restoring a 1968 16-foot Nauset. I am enclosing a series of [digital images] of the final product.
"I have owned the boat for 11 years. My wife found it on the way to the grocery store. I had been looking for five years for this model. The prior owner had died young, and it had spent at least a decade in a garage. After 11 years of hard use by my family, it was looking sad and also needed repowering again.
"The fiberglass was spot repaired where needed, and the hull was then polished and waxed. New decals were added. A new rub rail, the three part design, was installed. The first complication was that the bow light did not fit. I used a piece of teak to elevate the bow light. The rails were restored with parts from CMI Marine. I replaced all the worn standoffs, Tees, and some of the stainless steel rails where holes had been drilled for fishing rod holders. Under my nom-de-net, beachedwhale, I have been posting in the repairs forum on this aspect of the project.
"The old fish deck was painted fir and in sad shape; I got my Father-In-Law to make me a duplicate in trade for an old outboard. I knew I had married well when it showed up in teak, instead of fir! Some of the teak was remilled from wood salvaged from an old battleship.
"I repowered with a 50-HP Four-stroke Mercury. I thought that this motor was the closest to the old 55-HP BEARCATs that were common in 1968. Installation was tricky as the lower mounting holes of the new engine are below the bottom of the engine well. I made a 12-inch long 2-inch X 2-inch 'L' from stainless steel, drilled holes on 9-and-7/8ths-inch centers and welded the bolts tops in place. This was embedded in the well below the original gelcoat level, with the bolts facing out thru the transom. The motor well gelcoat was then patched. SeaRay in Seattle, a Boston Whaler dealer, did the excellent work. The salesman could have sold the boat at least 20 times while it was in the shop.
"The boat took first place in the Island County Fair (Washington State) parade. I had to teach my 80-year-old mother on her birthday how to do the parade wave (a slow wave). My brothers had me enter it and her as a lark.
"The boat is back in the water, tubing, fishing, and whaling. On the ferry, dock, or gas station, it gets more attention than anything I have ever owned.
"I learned everything I needed to know on the continuousWave website, and I encourage others to try. I will need to change my nom-de-net, as I am now off the beach and on the boat."
A beautifully restored NAUSET makes a wonderful trailerable boat.
PhotoCredit: Bruce Montgomery - Reference: 53-01
Forward Deck Platform
This boat has a beautiful forward deck platform option. The platform was standard on the SAKONNET model.
PhotoCredit: Bruce Montgomery - Reference: 53-02
Refitted Bow Chock/Navigation Light
Because of the newer style rub rail, the bow chock/navigation light fitting must be mounted on this teak riser.
PhotoCredit: Bruce Montgomery - Reference: 53-03
Center Console Cabinetry
The original mahogany center console and seat have been replaced with these beautiful duplicates. The forward deck is a teak duplicate of the painted fir original.
PhotoCredit: Bruce Montgomery - Reference: 53-04
Console Close Up
There is something very nautical about varnished mahogany!
PhotoCredit: Bruce Montgomery - Reference: 53-05
Engine Mount Adaptation
The lower mounting holes of this modern outboard are set on studs encapsulated in the transom and then glassed over. Note original hull number stencil on the transom centerline.
PhotoCredit: Bruce Montgomery - Reference: 53-06
The new technology of a modern 4-stroke outboard finds a comfortable home on the transom of this boat from the 1960's. For the most part, you are looking at 34-year-old gelcoat that has been restored, buffed, and waxed. It looks terrific!
PhotoCredit: Bruce Montgomery - Reference: 53-07
After all the work and expense of the restoration, it is fun to just get in the boat and take it for a spin around the shore. That classic Whaler hull looks beautiful, and the new engine seems to be producing perfect trim while on plane.
PhotoCredit: Bruce Montgomery - Reference: 53-08
For more information on the classic 16-foot Boston Whaler, see articles in the REFERENCE section of the website. Bruce mentions the original BEARCAT-55 engines. You can read about the BEARCAT outboard engine, another Fisher-Pierce company product ahead of its time, in the HISTORY section of the website.
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This article first appeared February 9, 2002.
Last modified: Sunday, 09-Jul-2006 09:24:33 EDT
Author: James W. Hebert