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ContinuousWave: Whaler Performance
Construction of new hulls
|Author||Topic: Construction of new hulls|
posted 05-19-2000 06:28 PM ET (US)
In Jim Hooper's report of his tour of the plant, he mentions that fiberglass stringers were added to the molds before the molds were clamped together and before foam was injected. I hope this is not true! If this is correct, then the new people designing Whalers have changed no lonly the looks, but the hull construction of the boats also. All prior Classic Whalers, designed before 1991, did not have any stringers at all, deriving all of their hull strength from the foamed hull process, with a highly detailed interior mold adding strength. Hence the need to support them at the keel. This would be a major departure, and corruption of the design process of Whaler hulls, requiring stringers like conventionally built boats to achieve necessary hull strength. We know that the interior hull molds on the Outrages have been greatly simplified to reduce cost, and necessitating the additional weight of a third liner hull to accomplish the wells, seating, flooring and other details. But stringers in the hull, the way conventional boats, like Sea Rays, are built? Maybe so, but I hope not. No wonder the boats weigh a ton! I do know that the new 34' express cruiser, called a Defiance, does not use the conventional hull designs, and does rely on some combination of stringers & foam in the floor area only. That is why it only has, at 34' and 12' beam, a reserve bouyancy of 4000lbs, about the same as a Classic 22 Outrage. The Classic 27' hull has a reserve of 10,000lbs! And its replacement, the 28 Outrage has a reserve bouyancy of only 5800lb, so definitely something has been changing.
If anybody can verify or debunk this stringer situation, we'd all like to know.
posted 05-20-2000 12:17 AM ET (US)
It seems to me that one of the more desirablre traits of the Classic Whalers is their exceptional performance with minimum horsepower engines. This is probably due in part to their method of construction ie: the foam filled sandwich, which makes them strong (rigid) and relatively light. These are desirable for performance in any type of machine, and help create a good power to weight ratio, so to speak. I guess that if the trend at Whaler is towards heavier boats, then this trait will be diminished. Too bad, but I suppose it will only serve to make the Classics even more desirable and valuable.
posted 05-20-2000 12:26 AM ET (US)
Jim, How about some whaler radio from the factory on this subject. They will have a very interested and captive audience, all of which are customers. I personally would like to know how they are building the boats verses how they were build years ago. I think they owe it to us, thier best customers and knowledegable ones at that. Maybe they can shed some light on quality, design, parts availability etc. By the way, kudos to you, you are doing a fantastic job with this site. I would be lost without it. Kurt
posted 05-21-2000 09:00 AM ET (US)
I think they must be using a different method to build the new AccuTrack hulls. Just look at the weights.
I had (for a short time) a 17' Dauntless and it weighs a lot more than the 17' Montauk. It also was very stern heavy which made it quite difficult to plane except at high speeds.
There must be something they've added to increase the weight.
posted 05-21-2000 06:55 PM ET (US)
[Brunswick bashing elided] These new boats are heavy and not near as stable as the Smirk-design or the pre-76` design. [more bashing elided] Regards-JACK.
posted 05-22-2000 01:02 AM ET (US)
The new hulls do seem to be heavier.
Perhaps part of a sinister plot to sell larger outboards, too?
Very interesting about the reduction in detail in the liner mold for the Outrage.
I know when I look at the detail molded into the liner of my Sport 15 I am impressed with all the work that went into it. There are drain tracks, non skid, sloping surfaces, sump well, motor well, bow locker, and other details carefully crafted into the molded surfaces.
Add to that the pre-engineering to locate embedded wood or other backing material, and you see the amount of design and fabrication that goes into this part of the Whaler.
The old boats set a high standard.
posted 05-22-2000 04:23 PM ET (US)
Here-Here-JIM! Very well said. JACK.
posted 05-23-2000 04:02 PM ET (US)
I really didn't mean to start a Whaler-bashing thread here. Was just wondering if Jim Hooper's comment on Cetacea page 9 of adding the fiberglass stringers to the new hulls was accurate. No one has yet given me a knowledgeable answer, not even Hooper! If they are now using stringers within the foam cores, this would be a new technique for Boston Whaler, as before 1991 this was not done.
posted 05-24-2000 01:06 PM ET (US)
lhg.. Thanks, as an owner of a "new-style"
Whaler, I didn't take yours as a bash. I just
could not contribute any facts or user comment that seem uesful to anyone. Regardless of why Whaler has been sold and to whom, it belongs to the current owner. Having owned a 13 and 17 classic and been in many other classic's I have to agree that the classics are GREAT boats. While the new Whalers are very different, much the same way
cars today are different from the muscle cars
of the sixties, only time will tell if the
same following will develop. Who knows maybe
as the classic's get harder to find the demand for that design will force it to be
brought back. For those who make statements
about boats which thay don't own or have at least spent a good number of hours in, well most boaters know BS when they see it. I'll be happy to answer any post I can about how
my Conquest handles or holds up to wear and tear.
Just for grins; I run my Conquest in the Gulf at Gulf Shores, Ala. I launch in what is called little lagoon. To get in the gulf i must navigate a very small shallow pass and
posted 05-24-2000 04:17 PM ET (US)
Bill, I agree with your statements. I think most classic owners prefer to own a discontinued model with transferable warrantee vs the alternative.
PS are you comparing the ride of the 21 Conquest to the smaller 17? Have you ever been in a similar size classic in those conditions? Just curious.
posted 05-24-2000 08:28 PM ET (US)
Louie, I don`t choose to own a discontinued model with a tranferable warranty. I own a 1975 `17 Currituck because it is much superior in quality to the Brunswick Whalers. The transferable warrenty ran out in 1985, so that doesn`t apply. I`ll take a tri-hull Whaler or semi-v Whaler anyday over the new Accutrak deep-v hulls that have a lot more list when fishing hull anyday. Also, the euro-styling is awfull looking. Regards-JACK.
posted 05-24-2000 10:16 PM ET (US)
I see your point, but don't necessarily agree. Whalers are still one of the best boats made! Sure Brunswick (oops Searay) has changed them, but they are also selling more boats. This IMO means that you and I (the classic diehards) are the dinosaurs - not the new style owners. Our boats may outperform the new ones, but today (unlike yesterday) spouses have input (and income); their opinions (right or wrong) sway the decision making process.
Your Whalers warrantee period may have expired, but many classics are still covered under warrantee. I saw a pre-90's boat that had hit a log, the hole revealed a huge void in the foam - whaler replaced the hull with a new one! Brunswick (so far) stands behind the Whaler name.
I paid a substantial premium to stay with the old design. The new style does nothing for me, but I canít say that itís a bad boat, nor do I think they are any less a Whaler Ė just different. IMO the materials and methods used today are superior. Todays gel coats and resins canít be compared to the 70ís, everything from the glue to the foam is better, even the wood backing has been replaced with phenolic. It would be nice to see a new and old style offered Ė but I canít bring myself to bash the new Whalers.
posted 05-24-2000 11:24 PM ET (US)
There is an article in the June 2000 issue of Trailerboats Magazine (page 34) that talks about hull design to support the new, heavier 4-stroke outboards. Ken Hankinson, naval architect, writes that balance-trim problems can result when putting a too-heavy outboard on the stern of a boat. Increasing hull section aft increases hull volume and moves the center of balance aft to reduce these problems. It looks to me that this is exactly what Whaler has done with the new 16 and 18 foot Dauntless models - making boats better suited to the new 4-stroke outboards. By the way, during my plant tour I was told that sales volumes on the Montauks were down and that volumes on the new hull designs were up and surpassing the Montauk. To my eyes, though, I definitely prefer the "classics", including preferring the classic 13 to the new 13. - Jim
posted 05-24-2000 11:58 PM ET (US)
Jim: Glad to see you've shown up here. Can you answer my question regarding your plant tour where you mentioned fiberglass stringers being added to the new style Whaler hulls. Thanks.
posted 05-25-2000 07:20 AM ET (US)
Yes I was comparing the ride/handleing of my
Conquest to my Montauk. But, yes I have experience in the classic outrage same size
class as my Conquest. A very good friend
owned the outrage. It might have had a slightly rougher ride in the normal 2-3',
2-4 sec. frequency waves we get in the Gulf.
However, I can't say for sure as I've never
been able to compare the 2 under exact conditions. His was a very open transom
model and the only problem we ever had was
putting dive gear/ people to the stern and taking on water. No danger of course, just wet. We would also take a wave in the stern
at times fishing. As far as how it handled
the pass I use, I would say it was pretty much equal.
Nice to hear from others who can see both sides. If the Whaler name fails we all lose.
There is a lot of good information here from many people and I would hate lose input from anyone.
posted 05-25-2000 08:31 AM ET (US)
I tend to think that the new 1999 and newer Dauntless models are so much heavier because they are just bigger boats. At the boat show, the local searay (um I mean Whaler dealer) had a Montauk sitting next to a 16' and 18' Dauntless. Both of the Dauntless models looked huge in comparison to the Montauk. Also, the creature comforts that Whaler has added such as integral fuel tanks and bilge pumps can't be light.
I tend to think that if you want to compare apples to apples you would have to compare my 15' Dauntless to a Montauk. For the most part, the 15 does not have the creature comforts. The 15 is 15'1" L by 6'4" wide (95.5 SF) and hull weight is 850lbs. The Montalk is 16'7" L by 6'2" wide (101) SF and weighs 950 lbs. That does not lead me to believe that they have significantly altered construction.
These are just my thoughts on the extra weight. I am curious to see if anyone comes up with any fact though...
posted 05-25-2000 10:08 AM ET (US)
I am enjoying all the comments!
Modern outboards do seem to have grown in weight, even the 2-stroke "classic" engines. They all have power tilt and trim,
I saw a 13-Classic recently with a new Merc 40 HP, which I think is just the 50-HP detuned. The static trim on this boat was not good. The stern was down and the bow way up--too much engine weight.
Another thought: the speeds these newer boats are expected to obtain are much higher. I hear people talking about 50 MPH performance. Back in the 1960's only racing hydroplanes went that fast. Anticipating that kind of use may require building a stronger (and heavier) boat.
And warranty experience may have affected things, too. A builder with a 10-year warranty may find it cheaper to build a little heavier rather than have claims against warranty in the ninth and tenth year.
posted 05-25-2000 11:16 AM ET (US)
In regard to the use of stringers and the different construction of the 34' Defiance, it may be possible that the traditional foam sandwich construction is only suitable up to a certain size, from an engineering perpective. Perhaps the Defiance has exceeded some limitations that may be applicable to the foam sandwich method, due to it's larger size.
posted 05-25-2000 11:48 AM ET (US)
Dave: Here's another hull to hull comparison for you. A (2000 yr) 16 Dauntless weighs 1300 lb vs a Classic 18 Outrage of 1250 lb. 16 Dauntless beam is 7'-1", vs 18 Outrage beam of 7'-2".
So far, everything's almost identical (Outrage is a little lighter and a little wider). But 16 Dauntless is 16'-3" overall, Classic 18 Outrage is 18'-6" overall. You guys be the judge. Then there is the issue of offshore sea keeping ability for same beam and weight(efficiency). Also, a 2000 yr 18' Outrage weighs 2500 lb, only 800 lbs less than the Classic 25 Outrage.
posted 05-25-2000 12:45 PM ET (US)
I'm probably missing something here, but yes the new Whalers are heavier than the Classic. Is the bare hull weight of the two really all that different given the
design difference. My guess (keyword is guess), probably not. Now drop in the 3rd molded liner of the new models vs the adding of just a console and you probably get the weight difference. Whalers are still unsinkable, just not as spartan as before. IMO..To pay the high cost of business today the new owners believe a broader customer base is needed. Here's something you might find interesting, My "carbed" OMC 90hp on my Montauk vs my 225hp Ficht on my Conquest appear to operate at about the same efficency. I'm fishing/diving the same area's and can not document a big increase in operating cost. Heavier boat and bigger motor but marginal change in operating cost. These
new technology motors are something else. No
smoke, quite, and instant starting.
Anyway I'm headed for the coast.. see ya'll
posted 05-29-2000 10:16 PM ET (US)
lhg - I wrote the tour description from my notes and my memory. I typed out a rough copy within a few days of the tour. The best I can say is that I wrote what I wrote, and can't really elaborate one way or another with regard to my "stringers" comment. At the time of the tour, I didn't ask any clarifying questions about stringers. - Jim
posted 05-24-2001 01:17 AM ET (US)
We never really got an answer whether stringers are now being used in the boats. If Hoop's notes are correct, then maybe they are.
posted 05-24-2001 10:09 AM ET (US)
check out the posting dates; they're doing it again!
posted 05-24-2001 06:28 PM ET (US)
Hey, this is Jim's personal time machine.
posted 05-24-2001 11:51 PM ET (US)
May be you should look at the cross sectional areas of the newer (accutrack) hulls to the classic catheridal hull. My guess is that there is a greater volume in the newer hull, therefore more foam & more weight. No srtingers in the 16 Dauntless.
posted 05-25-2001 01:10 PM ET (US)
Please take this into consideration:
17 Montauk 16 Dauntless
max weight 1450 lb 1700 lb
hull weight 950 lb 1300 lb
swamped cap 2000 lb 4200 lb
The swamped cap gives you an idea of the amount of floatation the hull has (foam), using that and making ratios with the weights we find:
Conclusion: There is more volume in the 16 Dauntless hull so more foam is needed to fill the hull, therefore there is a higher floatation to weight ratio. Even though it appears to be heavy the numbers indicate there is no change in constrution.
This should be true of the larger hulls using Unibond constrution unless it is the extras added on to the hull that have increased the boats weight. Also the Duobond construction of the 34 Defiance uses less foam and reqires stringers.
posted 05-25-2001 02:08 PM ET (US)
I have noticed that the Dauntless 16 is Whaler's MOST foam filled boat, and it does not use a third liner panel. That's why they are currently using it for their advertizing. But some of the other models don't measure up so well, particularly the ones with the elaborate interior third shell.
Here's another interesting comparison:
Weight - Dauntless 16: 1300#
Beam - Dauntless 16: 7'1"
The boats have these similar dimensions, but the Outrage 18 is 2'-3" longer.
posted 05-25-2001 02:15 PM ET (US)
BW defined "swamped capacity" as the amount of weight the boat will support IF FILLED WITH WATER.
So how much water a given hull will hold also makes a major difference. Using the Dauntless 16/Outrage 18 comparison above, the Dauntless S.C. is 4000# and the Classic Outrage 3000#.
But the Outrage is 2'-3" longer and holds more water. So as the weight would probably indicate, the amount of foam would reasonably close. (the Outrage probably does have a higher percentage of glass/foam weight because of the extra length)
posted 05-29-2001 09:19 PM ET (US)
Well at least there was no dispute about the construction involving the 16 Dauntless, the only boat that I have any personal experience with. If you take into consideration the extra length of the Outrage 18 to the higher gunwales on the the 16 Dauntless, they might be even except on the swamped cap. 1200 lb.s in favor of the 16 Dauntless. I had used it also since it had been mentioned earlier in this thread.
So the real jest is that for many of the Newer Whalers the construction has not changed. It is only when we get into the larger lines is there a question. And as far as I can tell from the catalog and web site that all the lines except for the Defience still use the Unibond construction. The heaviness is from the extras they have put on the hulls to give more features to their boats, the third liner you have mentioned.
posted 05-29-2001 11:55 PM ET (US)
When Archimedes discovered the principles of bouyancy he reportedly said, " Eureka, I've found it !". Of course he said it in Greek at the time. What he discovered is that the weight of the water displaced provides the bouyancy of an object in the water. The amount of water which can fill the hull has nothing to do with the swamped capacity. What counts is the weight of the water displaced by the shell and foam of the boat when it is all forced under the water by the theoretical swamping load. Two foam donuts weighing the same, made of the same volume of the same material material but having different shapes would have the same swamping capacity. (One could have a larger outside diameter but smaller cross section)
posted 05-30-2001 01:13 PM ET (US)
Bill D: Would you be the fella that I bought a 1977 Montauk from? Just curious because boat is still great!
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