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Author Topic:   18 ft Dauntless Opinions
LuckyDog posted 05-11-2000 11:51 AM ET (US)   Profile for LuckyDog   Send Email to LuckyDog  
Am seriously looking at buying a 1999 18 ft. Dauntless center console with a 135 Mercury Optimax. Just looking for any opinions on the boat and any handling characteristics. The boat would be used a lot in inter coastal bays and occassionally on short trips offshore. The accutrack hull looks like it would provide a somewhat soft entry and dry ride. Any opinions or advive would be much appreciated. Also, any quality problems to look for?
whalernut posted 05-11-2000 04:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
If it is anything like the 1999 Montauk I test drove, keep away from it. The new Whalers seem to me to be very cheap quality. The Montauk I test drove had bad fit and finish and looked just as cheap as it was in quality. I would say buy a pre-90` Whaler, in you`re case an `18-`20 Outrage and I think you will be much happier! Also the new Whalers with their euro-styling is disgusting to say the least. Brunswick has ruined them, I only hope they bring them back to quality or sell Whaler to someone who will. Regards-JACK.
dave_maggio posted 05-12-2000 08:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for dave_maggio  Send Email to dave_maggio     
My $0.02 worth. I took a look at the 18' Dauntless at the boat show and it seemed like a real nice boat. As far as the quality of new whalers go, my '96 15' Dauntless is a darn nice little boat. All of the hardware on the boat is solid, the upholstery is a heavy grade and under the console the wiring is tied and covered the way it should be.

I bought it in Feb and have already had it out 13 or 14 times this season. I have really come to enjoy the soft and dry ride compared to the 13' sport that I sold to buy it. The drawback to the good ride characteristics is the boat is not as stable at rest as a Classic 13 or 17. I don't imagine that this would be as much of a problem in the 18 as it is so wide and heavy.

I was running down the river next to an 18 two weeks ago. The guy had a 135hp Merc on it, and he was keeping up with me (about 35mph cruise.) As I recall, the boat had 3 guys on-board (a fair load.) Good luck getting the boat that you like and you want.


jimh posted 05-12-2000 12:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I think new Whalers are fine, quality boats. They're expensive, though.

Some contributors to the FORUM have rather vocal opinions. You have to take some of them with a grain of salt(water). One test drive does not cast an entire company's product line into oblivion.


LuckyDog posted 05-12-2000 03:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for LuckyDog  Send Email to LuckyDog     
Thanks for the advice so far. Trust me, I know everyone has their opinion on certain issues. That is what boards like this are for. I can tell you that I have been around boats for many years and can often tell what makes up a well manufactured boat. Maybe some of the newer whalers are not up to snuff quality wise as in years past. As with anything, I think you can buy a good item or an occassional "lemon". I did spend a great deal of time inspecting this boat and found the fit and finish to be excellent. The wiring and stainless is all top quality. Hardware is good, doors and accesses flush. Components are all good. I really don't think on this particular boat many things are not high quality. I was really interested in anyones opinions on ride, handling characteristics, etc. Thanks again.
Joe Merchant posted 05-12-2000 04:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Merchant  Send Email to Joe Merchant     
I have owned a 1999 Dauntless 18 since January.It is a fantastic boat, I sold my 1999 Mastercraft Maristar because it was to single purpose. Some weekends al we do is fish, some weekends we put up the ski pylon and tube or ski and sometimes wedo all of the above. My oldest daughter call it the transformer boat because you can add or take away accessories and do what everyou want. It is super easy to keep clean. The ride is stable and dry and the boat has plenty of room for a family of 4 plus friends,yet small enouhg to keep in the driveway. The only change I want to make, because I am so tall is to replace the windshield with a little taller model for the cold mornings heading out.
lhg posted 05-12-2000 04:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
LuckyDog: I have test driven the EXACT boat you are looking at. I am the Owner of a 1986 Classic Outrage 18, and with me were another owner of a 1992 Classic Outrage 18, and the owner of a 1991 21 Walkaround. We took the boat out on Lake Erie in fairly calm water, but we all agreed this was no offshore boat compared to what we were used to. The ride and stability seemed to be fine, and the engine was a powerhouse. But the boat did not seem like it could handle the "big ones" that we often encounter on the Lakes, even though it was a larger boat than the Outrage 18. We all agreed that we'd not want to be out in big waves in this one. The broad and high bow section of the Classic Outrages simply was not there for rugged offshore use. Sure enough, later that same day, after a "poker run" 15 miles down the shore of Lake Erie, the waves picked up to about 4' in our face on the return to harbor, and the last boat back, by quite a while, was the Boston Whaler rep in the new 18 Dauntless. He looked roughed up a bit, and when we asked him how the boat handled the weather & waves, he said "well, it's no 18 Outrage!" In all fairness to Whaler, they do advertise it as an "inshore" boat, something Boston Whaler would not even consider doing in the old days.

I would consider looking at the newer & larger 22 Dauntless, or the new 18 Outrage if you want a new Whaler. Or, search out a good used Classic 18 Outrage.

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