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Author Topic:   Whalers downunder
Peter Dicker posted 03-03-2000 08:55 AM ET (US)   Profile for Peter Dicker   Send Email to Peter Dicker  
well, it's a bit difficult to know where to begin! Keen bass fishermen like myself are constantly amazed by the extent and diversity of boats, products and associated industries that exist in the U.S. compared to the fledgling industries in Australia(OZ)and stumbling across this site has completely blown me away. I thought that perhaps some of the whaler enthusiasts on this site might be interested to know about my boat. I am the proud owner of an Aussie Whaler. What the heck is that you ask? Well, the specifications for the BW 13 foot GLS match exactly the specs for my Aussie whaler 4.1m centre console. The photos and drawings of the BW 13 also look so close that it is obvious to me that the AW is a replica of the BW.Testimony, I believe, to the popularity of this great little boat and the far reaching affect it continues to have in the boating world. Let me tell you a little about the recent history of my whaler and how I came to be looking for information about it on the net. The hull was built in 1994 on the Gold Coast, Queensland, by a company called Australian Performance Craft. The original owner had fitted a Mercury 25hp 2stroke outboard and sat the boat on a galvanised, single axle trailer with 13inch alloy wheels, 2 keel rollers, 2 polyurethane skids and 2 locating rollers at the rear. The boat was back traded in October 1999 on a smaller aluminium boat(we call them "tinnies") by the aging owner who wanted something lighter and easier to handle. I spotted an add for the boat in a Trailerboat trading magazine and have owned it since November 1999. I paid $6,500AUS for it and it cost me a further $200 to have it freighted to home. It was love at first sight. Since then I have built a front casting platform, moved the centre console to the side, carpeted the floor and platform, replaced the central box seat with two fold down padded swivel seats, sat in the boat(in the garage)dreaming, installed new instruments, estranged my wife and children(only kidding), put "bearing buddies" on the trailer and generally had a lot of fun. The boat performed modestly with 25 horses and a hydrofoil on the cav. plate. But when the local marine bloke showed me the '99 model 3 cylinder 40 horse Merc. he had just traded with only 20 hours on the clock I had to have it. Well, didn't that make the little whaler sit up and listen. A change in pitch from 14" down to 13" saw the engine revs increase from 5100 to 5400rpm with the boat unloaded and on my own. Flat stick and trimmed out the boat will reach 40mph on calm water and feels just a little flighty but still very predictable. I have lots more to tell you all about the boat but I've just realised that it's 1.00am and I have to get some sleep so I'll post this message now and if anybody is interested I will let you know what happened after I hit a submerged object in the river last weekend. Until then, regards Peter.
kingfish posted 03-03-2000 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Well, Good Morning, Peter!

Welcome to the forum! I for one would be more than interested to hear more about Whaling in OZ...please start out with the rest of the submerged object story-


Clark Roberts posted 03-03-2000 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Peter, I would guess that all of us are interested in your Aussi Whaler tales ! I know I am.. Welcome! Clark.... Spruce Creek Navy
Peter Dicker posted 03-06-2000 06:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter Dicker  Send Email to Peter Dicker     
Thank you kingfish and Clark for the warm welcome to the forum.
It's doubtful that there are many genuine BW's in OZ and the main reason would be cost. Not just the cost of getting them here but the massive import duties currently running at 35%. There are American boats about, particularly luxury boats, but they have trouble competing with local manufacturers who are pretty handy with fibreglass and boat design - just ask Dennis Connor!
Anyhow, the AW is a BW but lacking one all important ingredient....the foam! Something which, until the other day had not become an issue.
I slipped down the river for a couple of hours of lure tossing and got about ten minutes from the ramp when a southerly change came with a vengeance and whipped the water into a sharp three foot chop. Nearing a creek I decided to take refuge and sit it out but that wasn't to be because the bad weather was set in and it became obvious that it was going to keep blowing and raining until after dark. Time to try and make it back to the ramp. That wasn't to be either and about half way back the hull started taking water at an alarming rate, so fast in fact that I was forced to beach the boat at the mouth of another smaller creek in order to avoid sinking the lot.
The bad news is - it was low tide and two days before I was able to get the hull and motor salvaged and in that time the powerhead went under four times. Not good.
The good news is - I was able to remove the electric trolling motor and everything else that wasn't bolted down and the boat and motor were fully insured.

My beautiful Merc is dead and my precious AW is badly wounded.

In Queensland in 1994 it was not necessary for boats to comply to safety standards for floatation and not filling the hulls with foam obviously kept the production costs down but was, in my opinion, a big mistake.
Rest assured, the shipwright who will be repairing the boat will also be filling the hull with foam when he's finished.
I'm confident this will improve many aspects of the boats performance and durability. All things going well I should end up with a better boat even more like it's American counterpart and with a new Merc on the back!
I'll keep you posted on how things pan out but in the meantime here's the web address of an Aussie boat magazine site that has two road tests on the AW 4.1, albeit old ones, but at least you'll get to see a couple of photos of the boat.
<> click <BOATING> click <F'GLASS BOAT TESTS> click <UP TO 4.9m>

jimh posted 03-07-2000 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Welcome Peter!

It is good to hear from Australia!

I was just reading that although your country is rather sparsely populated in comparison with its huge size, Australia is one of the most urbanized countries because everyone lives very near the coast, really within a mile or so it. That would make for a lot of boaters.

The link to the Aussie Whaler site is .

If you take a peak at the FAQ for the forum it will show you how to include links in your postings!

There was some very interesting comments on the technique of foaming a whaler hull (as done by the factory) posted to the forum under the TOPIC "Boat Show BS". You might want to read these and pass them on to your boatwright before he undertakes the foaming.


jimh posted 03-07-2000 12:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Jump here to read about the foaming process:

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