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Author Topic:   Whaler Harpoon 5.2 Sailboat
BillD posted 07-08-2002 11:23 AM ET (US)   Profile for BillD   Send Email to BillD  
I saw my first Boston Whaler Harpoon 5.2 sailboat this weekend down the Cape. It was sitting on a trailer right next to a 13. Does anyone know anything about Whalers entry into the sailboat marketplace? If it is an unsinkable as all other Whalers it may satisfy my desire for a light weight day sailer that will not sink no matter how badly I screw things up.
Tom W Clark posted 07-08-2002 11:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

The Harpoon line of sail boats were not exactly Whaler's first. Technically, the 9' Squall pram was the first since it could be ordered and rigged for sail.

The Harpoon line was introduced in the early 1980's. The boats were designed by C & C and were built with the same foam filled Unibond technique as Whaler power boats.

There were three different hulls in the line, the 4.6 (15'), 5.2 (17') and the 6.2 (20')

You can lean all you want to about the Boston Whaler Harpoon by visiting:

But the Harpoons are not the only Whaler sail boats other than the Squall. They also built the 20 Boston Whaler Supercat, at one time the fastest production sailboat made.

These catamarans were not built with foam filled hulls. Whaler did not develop these boats but rather simply bought the Supercat line. I believe they were made in California.

dfmcintyre posted 07-08-2002 10:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     

They did buy the Supercat line, but it was being produced out of Riviera Beach, Florida. Was Whalers brief journey into trying to cash in on the Hobie Cat popularity in the early 80's.

It's an interesting story that led to the development and production and subsequent sales of the Supercat line to BW. I'll have to dig around my archives for the info.

We toured the plant, and met the two guys that conceived and built the line, during a trip to Florida while contemplating buying a 20' (we used to race an 18' Hobie).

Fast forward almost two decades, and we finally made the purchase, of a used 20'.

During the time in which Whaler owned the line, they made a 17', 19' and 20'.

The 17', in my opinion, was the best beach boat ever made. I'm defining beach boat is one that could be stored on the beach, with minimal rigging and derigging at the end of the day, along with a simple rig to maintain.

The 20' is a whole different beast. It was the first production cat to hit over 30kts. With a 21' beam, it can be a handfull.

I'll have to post an article and photos sometime.


goldstem posted 07-11-2002 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for goldstem  Send Email to goldstem     
I have a harpoon 5.2 and love it.
the mentioned web site is very usefull.
edfun posted 12-02-2006 11:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for edfun  Send Email to edfun     
Back in the early eighties, I worked for Supercat in So. Cal and did most of the final rigging and repairs for about a year. . It was ,at the time, the most advanced composite boat made, a blast to work on and sail. They smoked anything comparable on the water. I recently started sailing again and wish I could find an older used one! But where? Ed
PeteB88 posted 12-03-2006 12:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
I found one in Michigan last year about 30 miles from me, seemed in good shape, almost bought it for $800 bucks, 17. The owner scared his wife with it and she would never get on it again. He had it painted yellow with Awl Grip. I had to pass because I could not find anywhere to store it. I might drive by his place and see if it's still there. I was mighty close to buying it I'll tell ya!

I remember seeing them in early 80s on trip along east coast at New Port. Must have been a demo or something, sailed Hobies myself back then and saw a whole world beyond Hobie.

edfun posted 12-03-2006 11:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for edfun  Send Email to edfun     
If anyone hear's about one (Supercat) for sail(HA-HA), I might make a trip to the east coast to buy it ! Ed
fishgutz posted 12-04-2006 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz     
Check this out. It doesn't look like any of the original Supercats are still made except for the 17, now called an ARC-17.
I sailed in one of the first Supercat Nationals in Racine Wisconsin in the 80s. Crewed on a Supercat 20. I think we took 3rd, maybe 2nd. My skipper was a jerk. There was the original 20, I think 12 or 14 foot beam. A 19 with an 8 foot beam (maybe 8'6"). A 17 that is the same as the ARC-17 by Aquarius and a singlehander 15. Nice boats. Foam sandwich construction top of the line rigging. I saw a 17 go straight into the breakwall at pretty high speeds. It held up pretty good. I still liked my Prindle 16 much better.
sternorama posted 12-04-2006 12:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for sternorama  Send Email to sternorama     
there is one on craigslist-Redlands, CA area (fyi only)

Supercat 17 catamaran... $1200 obo.

sweetrevenge posted 12-05-2006 07:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for sweetrevenge  Send Email to sweetrevenge     
I'm also the new owner of a 5.2 which I bought in NH this last summer.. i post a picture of both my Harpoon and my 20' Revenge W/T
sweetrevenge posted 12-05-2006 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for sweetrevenge  Send Email to sweetrevenge     
correction: I'll be posting pictures soon...
Moe posted 12-07-2006 07:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
There's a nice 4.6 on eBay right now. Item # 250057667909


11fallerp posted 07-18-2007 06:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for 11fallerp  Send Email to 11fallerp     
Can the Boston Whaler Harpoons capsize?
My dad bought one of these as a suprise and I didn't have a chance to really look into it. If you know please tell me and any other cool or not so cool stuff about the boat.
sweetrevenge posted 07-18-2007 08:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for sweetrevenge  Send Email to sweetrevenge     
I'm also the owner of a Harpoon 5.2 and love it along with my 87 20' Revenge. I'm a long time Whaler fan!
You just missed a 20' SuperCat on E-Bay it sold for a mear $500.00 It looked great and even came with a trailer! I almost was tempted to put a bid or two in it, but I already own enough Whalers and don't have any more room.
Ferdinando posted 07-18-2007 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     
What was the aprox price of a 6.2 during it's production run???????????? Thks, Fred
goldstem posted 07-19-2007 11:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for goldstem  Send Email to goldstem     
11fallerp -
yes the smaller harpoons (4.6 and 5.2) can capsize (how do I know this!) the 5.2 is a bit prone to turtle as well. the sail has some flotation sewn into the peak to help counter that.

that all being said, it isn't easy to capsize, and I have no fears taking my family out. I have swamped a couple of times
(without family onboard!) with out going all the way over, and the self-bailing capability is appreciated.


11fallerp posted 07-22-2007 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for 11fallerp  Send Email to 11fallerp     
Thanks Goldstem
I like to captize for the fun of getting wet and just fooling around sometimes and so i was wondering. I used to sail FJs and 420s in a sailing program so we we going to buy one of those but we couldn't. My dad being a huge Boston Whaler fan(atic) he bought one of these and I was really siked but knew nothing about it. I am really satisfied with how the boat is looking and I hope to get out on it soon. Thank goldstem for helpin me out.
Tohsgib posted 07-23-2007 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
I believe the smaller Harpoons started production in 1977? The 6.2 came later and was pretty nice with a full cabin and such. I remember looking at them at the NY boat show and they were about $12k I believe around 1982.
Riptide23WA posted 07-23-2007 11:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Riptide23WA  Send Email to Riptide23WA     
I had a 1980 6.2 for a few years. Great boat. Good looking, handled well, big cockpit, top quality gear, as was the case with the way Whaler did things back then. Cozy cabin. The full keel contributed greatly to the handling, but it did make for a bit of hassle launching and trailering.

I might get the boat back someday...

grandpas68 posted 07-30-2007 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
My parents have a 5.2 they bought when they were married and my brother has a 5.2 he bought for he and his wife. They are nice boats and pretty straight forward. I haven't been impressed with that era of gel coat though.
corkyB posted 01-25-2008 04:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for corkyB  Send Email to corkyB     
I sailed a Harpoon 5.2 from 1981 to 1993. It was a 1980 purchased new with trailer in 1981 for $6600. I sold it in 1993 for $2000. I was a novice sailor and made plenty of mistakes in it. The boats had round bottoms and heeled in the slightest wind, but it was forgiving. The rail was always in the water but it never capsized until I did it deliberately by leaving the jib cleated and tacking hard in a breeze. It turtled with the top of the mast on the bottom. Three of us stood and pulled on the centerboard to get it back up. It was very easy to sail single handed. Which was good since my wife wouldn't set foot on it. It spent a lot of time in the garage while the car sat outside, but it looked like new when I sold it. The gel coat wasn't faded and the varnish was bright. I had an old 10 hp motor that I used on it which saved a lot of time but messed up the trim and really slowed the boat if left in the water. It was fast and sailed closer to the wind than most daysailers, even with the baggy sails (I used locally made sails) I had. None of the Harken fittings gave any trouble in 13 years, but I made my own stiffeners for the sail out of oak slats because I lost so many.
AZdave posted 01-25-2008 05:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for AZdave  Send Email to AZdave     
The 5.2 will capsize if you try hard enough. I brought my Outrage as a safety boat while my friend experimented with capsizing his boat. Winds were light and he had to work hard to get it over. Once capsized, it did turn turtle after a few minutes and was very hard to right. I eventually ran a line across the bottom to the opposite gunnel and backed away with my outboard. I don't think two unaided persons would have recovered the boat. The best news is that three or four powerboats stopped to offer aid if needed. If I figure out photoshop, Ill link some pics. Dave
ryanp1064 posted 02-18-2008 11:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for ryanp1064  Send Email to ryanp1064     
I am the proud owner of a Supercat 20. I sail mostly on Keuka Lake, which is one of the finger lakes in New York. I also have at any time 5-7 Hobie 14's and 8-10 Hobie 16's and 1 Hobie 17, and with no disrespect to the Hobie brand, the Supercat 20 by BW blows them all out of the water. I got the boats 2 years ago, and after a few days of tinkering and reading the original manual from the original owner, i realized that not only were all parts included with the boat, but other than poor storage which caused a baseball sized discoloration on the main sail, the boat was in pristine condition. Rigging this boat alone is a handfull, but after the first few times it gets very easy, especially once i untangled and fixed the jib furler. In a strait line in even a decent wind, this boat outruns the hobie 16's almost 2 to 1, as i've outrun a 120 hp I/O with 4 people on the Supercat and only one in the speedboat. Also with the help of the 2 5 foot daggerboards, this boat turns on a dime, easily outmaneuvering the Hobie 16's which until sailing this massive cat were my bread and butter. The first time I had good wind the conbination of speed, power and stability blew my mind. In a heavy wind this boat feels like your barely moving, until you look around. Because the hulls are so tall it takes on waves like they aren't even there. Even after all this i still had one concern. If i dumped it, i still didn't know if i could right it alone, as it has a 12 foot beam and a 34 foot mast, which seemed a tall task for me, who runs about 175 lbs. another great feature is the righting levers. These put slack in the stay in order to shift the center of gravity of the boat when it is over. The first time i dumped it i was surprised at how well the mast stayed afloat, which was because of the sealed compressed air inside, but i righted this boat by myself without even releasing the righting levers. however, there are two downsides to this boat. 1 being that it is just too big for where i sail. and 2, there's nothing i've found that's not bigger that i can race against. Whenever we have wind my friends and i rig all of our boats and race, but because of this boats amazing size and features, it doesn't make for a good race against the Hobie 16's and 17 i have. If you have space to sail i definately reccomend this boat, there's a few different features, but once you know how to use them all, a child can control this massive cat, as i've taught many kids how to sail on this exact boat.

Anyone have any suggestions of a boat that can compete with the 20 without getting much larger?

ballen posted 06-10-2008 12:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for ballen  Send Email to ballen     
Can anyone compare the SuperCat 20 to a Stiletto 23'? I had the opportunity to cruise along Perdido Key, Fl and Orange Beach, Al on a 23'. She was fast in 4-6' swells in the Gulf of Mexico. I found the cockpits took up space but loved the dual tramps. Do SuperCat 20's have a dual tramp set up like the smaller 17s?

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