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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
Death of a Boston Whaler Classic
|Author||Topic: Death of a Boston Whaler Classic|
posted 06-15-2000 10:46 PM ET (US)
I'm sad to report that I have information, from a reliable source, that the current management of Boston Whaler is finally "pulling the plug" on the 42 year old 13' hull, and that year 2000 is it's last year. The 13 GLS, it's last interior configuration, will not be offered any longer when the year 2001 model year begins in September of this year. The Dealers are supposed to get this news in mid-July. Actually, none of us has to be a rocket scientist to have figured this was in the works. The boat has been treated very badly by three different owners since the Company was first sold back in 1990. The only thing they use it for is the internationally recognized advertizing showing it being cut up. (Just like they still show the bulldozer sitting on the 18 Outrage, another boat they discarded as inferior and hasn't been available for 6 years). They need to cut some of the new models into thirds, and put some bulldozers on the new Outrages! When I asked the last salesman, who ran the boat down to me, why, then, was it so prominently featured being cut up, he didn't know what to say! (But I have a single word to describe him!!)
Every new owner of Boston Whaler seems to have attempted to design a "better mouse trap" meant to replace what they considered to be an aging design, expensive to manufacture. All three companies have been messing around with Boston Whaler's true "roots" for some time now. The boat was gradually stripped of all of it's original yacht quality class, including the fine hardware, CMI rails, and varnished mahogany interiors. Since 1991 it has been given no catalog space to speak of, and the Dealer network was obviously instructed to push the current new "mouse trap". Finally, it has always been priced sky-high to discourage purchases. Has anybody noticed how hard it was to even find one on display at a boat show or dealership in the last 10 years? I have! And if you went to buy one, most dealers said they had something better for you than that hard riding hull! All of this did, indeed, kill sales of the boat, but at the same time it killed Whaler's business, as the replacements did not do well either. So Whaler lost a major market segment (Yacht & sailboat tenders and small safe boats for kids and young families) to the Jet Ski and Rigid Hull Inflatable competitors. Now every "water rat kid" is on a jet ski rather than in a 13' Whaler, and for small boats the yacht crowd, Coast Guard and commercial users prefer the RIB's. And even the Classic crowd, all of us, have not bought the new 13's in the last ten years, instead looking to find a better deal on a used one, with higher quality of components. I have yet to see one post on this Forum from a person who owns a 91 or newer 13 footer!
The Reebok people first came up with the now ill-fated Rage. A new shape for the famous 13, and a new style of propulsion. What a joke! The 13 was forgotten as the entire network pushed the jet-boat Rage craze, selling thousands of them at the expense of the 13. But it backfired, the used Rage models became practically worthless, and Whaler's reputation was damaged. One of Whaler's poorest moments if you ask me. At the same time, they stripped the 13 of it's wood, in favor of the low maintenance GLS interiors, thinking they were making it more attractive. Didn't work.
By the time Meridian came in, the Rage was almost dead, and even 115HP and another foot of length couldn't save it. (Can you imagine putting a 115HP outboard on a regular 13?!) So they came up with their 13 Dauntless. This was literally billed as "finally, a new form for the famous 13' Whaler." Even gave it more horsepower. The old 13 was intentionally priced high to switch sales over to their new model.
Brunswick/Sea Ray Division deserves some credit for attempting to revive it, I think realizing they couldn't let the 40th anniversary go by without doing something. It was probably most unfortunate to the boat itself that a defective varnish system was used on the mahogany, furhter re-inforcing the idea that wood, today, is a nightmare. But neither did they have THEIR replacement ready yet, having instead concentrated on Whaler's larger model redesigns. So the Anniversary model bought some much needed time and guaranteed 250 sales. But under Sea Ray's marketing skills, the Company has finally decided they are not going to mess around on the sidelines trying to build a better thirteen and see if it works, but instead decided the old 13 was simply going to be gone. They even took it's name for their new one, and priced the old one (with identical package)$5000., or 62%, higher just to make sure. Then they blanketed the boating mags with ads, even giving the cheap, fixed and packaged, price, and buried the Dealership network in inventory to push. (have you noticed that the boating industry is panicked over the rise of the Internet and will NOT ALLOW Dealers to advertize their pricing on NEW boats because of the instant national exposure the Internet gives?) (Instead of Microsoft, the Goverment ought to look at this anti-competitive situation.) The 42 year old boat is no longer even being given a chance to compete with the new, loss-leader priced, kid on the block. So it's finished. Except for the strange, "Euro" rounded transom corners, the new model is not a bad boat and may very well succeed. I actually like it, especially the Whaler "look" of the bow section! In 2001 it will have 40 hp. My guess is that the 30Hp was done for low market introduction pricing, but it may have backfired on them and they're moving quickly to correct it. The boat, pricing and marketing is certainly aimed at restoring Whaler's previous glory in this market segment. From years of bad decision making and design, they have lost a whole generation of kids who never grew up in a 13' Whaler, and hence are not moving up to buy the larger ones, like many of us have done. This boat is meant to correct that situation.
posted 06-15-2000 10:56 PM ET (US)
Larry, that is as sad as it gets. The `13 Sport their pushing now is not even close to the design and quality of the `13 GLS or more actually the pre-90` `13footer. I think Whaler is doing a diservice to buyers by getting rid of the Classic `13. I couldn`t say it any more ellequently as you said it! Here-Here. Regards-Jack Graner.
posted 06-16-2000 12:31 AM ET (US)
Very interesting information, and very acute observations.
Let me make a couple of comments:
There really is a whole generation that missed out on the 13-foot Classic Whaler. I remember running into a young kid on a jetSki who wanted to know "What kind of boat is that?" when he saw my 15-Sport!
I've noticed that Boston Whaler advertising and promotion plays heavily these days on the theme of "the legend". Well, if the 13-foot Classic goes out of production, it will have truly become a legend, but perhaps not in the sense of the word originally intended by the copywriters.
posted 06-16-2000 08:34 AM ET (US)
Well, as a "water rat kid" that spent most of the 80's on my 13' Sport, fishing, skiing, gunkholing (not to mention refinishing mahogany and waxing) I must say that I am sad. From time to time I miss my little 13' Whaler and I am sad to see that even if I wanted to spend $13,000 for one, I would not be able to get one.
One thing to remember is that there were a ton of these little boats made. I think that when it is time for me to get one for my kids I will be able to find one...
Hopefully, the new 13' boat is a worthy successor, maybe Whaler will cut one of those up...
posted 06-16-2000 09:39 AM ET (US)
Sad news, Larry. I'm glad I bought my old 13 last year. Looks like its destined to become even more of a classic and I'll be taking extra care with it.
posted 06-16-2000 11:02 AM ET (US)
Well more than a whole generation has missed out on the 13 Whaler (for good or bad)--- it is my guess that the classic 13 has been a tag along since probably way before the 90's buy outs --- the "bad" treatment as Larry stated, I think were these companies attempts to try and find a solution for a market in which the 13 could be a profitable boat --- simply put if it was profitable they won't have fooled with it ---
The 13 "classic" sport or standard was originally purchased by "wealthy" folks who owned as Larry eluded to yachts, large sailboats, and generally sea side property -- this wasn't an inexpensive "puppy" even back in the late 50's when introduced and as it was improved (tongue and cheek) it even became more of an expensive toy and BW marketed that way --- you never saw BW adds in the Sports Afield and that genre of publications fishing guide issues or Popular Boating the every man type of boat publication no sir you saw them in MotorBoat and Yachting and even the higher grade sailing publications --- there has always been a certain "snob" appeal to owning a BW which can't be denied. Sure the unsinkable concept was great and "common" folks purchased them that had a bent for safety but their volume wasn't the one which supported the 13!
We have a tendency in groups that form around a "subject" to become micro in our opinions and thinking of that subject. We loose sight of the macro universe in this case the boating world and how it has changed over the years --- the "little soap dish" as one writer referred to the 13's can be found all over the US probably the entire world that's for sure! How many today and recent past years were really purchased brand spanking new --- my guess very few, and the ones that were, two bits on a dollar, purchased by folks over 40 probably over 50 years old --- yep these were the kids of the late 50's, 60's and maybe early 70's that had the opportunity to experience their parents 13's either at the marina as a second boat or the little guy at the beach house used for just funning around (like the darn jet skis today), then there was always the handful of kids and adults who bought the second hand 13's and got hooked --- but second hand boats don't make a company any $$$ unless of course the "kid" moves up to a new boat from that company --- it is my guess the 13 wasn't producing that cause and effect for quit sometime now --- probably some time in the mid-80's that phenomena ceased and the sales of 13's waned --- times change and each generation is subjected to the current trends and that is the case of the 13 --- she is a "history" boat sad to say and has been one in one sense for quit a few years!
As the saying goes you don't continue to beat a dead horse --- it just ain't ever going to get up and run again ----
Just my opinion mind you and we all have them and I have mine ---
posted 06-16-2000 03:01 PM ET (US)
There you go with that horse stuff again...
posted 06-16-2000 03:27 PM ET (US)
John depends on which kind you mean!
The stuff that comes out of the back end or the front --- chuckle
Didn't mean it to be a "rain" on the parade dissertation mind you, just what I perceive has happened --- can't say it is negative it is just what happened ---
Then you might ask --- well Tom why are you actively pursuing the purchase of a 13? Well John I would say --- we want a 13 for our house up in Maine, a safe fun boat for Amy to grow up with, something relatively maintenance free (sort of a childhood memory revisited for Daddy who had grant times in a 13 back in the 60's) and the fact that we won't be taking our 27 north from Delaware Bay to Maine in the near future --- that's why we are looking for a 13 John ---
posted 06-16-2000 04:14 PM ET (US)
Tom: I can't imagine that you would call the Classic 13' Whaler a "dead horse"! It didn't die a natural death like you are implying. It has been slowly, systematically and intentionally tortured for 10 years, and now, finally put to death. (Could the Montauk be in this same precarious position?) Not necessarily blaming Brunswick for this - they inherited this mess from two prior, incompetent owners, that sent the once distinguished Boston Whaler company into a 6 year money losing tail spin, with newly designed, mostly inferior and not needed products, to which the buying public gave short life spans and corporate losses. Prior to being taken over by a gym shoe outfit, this boat, along with the 15, was a highly respected staple in the Boston Whaler line, and sometime before Reebok, the Company proudly announced that over 100,000 had been sold, more than any other boat hull in history. And I'll bet the record still stands if jet ski's are not counted as a boat hull. And the 16/17' hull is a close second.
Nobody ever said that Boston Whaler designed boats for poor people. After all, Fisher was probably a rich, Ivy League snob from Harvard in the eyes of many. You're right, the boats new have always been frightfully expensive compared to other brands, generally 30 - 40% more, and the Company bragged about it, and that was always because you got what you paid for, including the snob appeal and jealous, coveteous glances from other "common boat" owners. You didn't have to be rich to buy a new one, you just had to have a certain set of priorities, like appreciation of fine design, ultra high yacht-like quality, and safety. You could buy a new 16' Nauset, that one day could save your life, as it did for me, or you could buy a new 21' booze and cruise bow rider for the same price, complete with a fake vinyl automotive interior, and hope your friends would attend your funeral. This is the thinking that put the hundreds of thousands of Whalers in the water that now this site is all about.
I'm sure the 13' Whaler was reponsible for THOUSANDS of new Whaler sales. It was for me. But I'll bet the Rage, and the 13 Dauntless, the great boats that were to replace it, were responsible for many OTHER BRAND boat sales! My first boat, a USED 13 footer, led to 3 subsequent NEW boat purchases, and a tremendous loyalty to the Company, a pattern that has been repeated many times by others, I'm sure. When I bought my 16' Nauset new in 1971, it was a similar boat to the design lines of 13. When I bought my 18 Outrage new 1986, it was similar in design and concept to the Nauset/Montauk. When I bought my 25 Outrage new in 1989, it was still similiar to the 18 Outrage, and of even the original 13. Each was "new & improved" (there WAS such as thing as progress at Whaler before Reebok, Meridian and Brunswick) over the others, but they were all in the same family. But people wanting to do this in the 90's were confused by the unrelated design changes, and this progression stopped dead for most. It did for me. But don't blame the 13 for this.
Blame our friends the gym shoe people, who never belonged in the boat business to begin with. And blame something called "designer's ego". Why in the world would someone buy a highly recognized brand, and then systematically proceed to throw out, change, over price, and run down verbally, everything you just bought. It's because the design work of the previous designer was too powerful, too well known and recognized. The new guy wanted to hijack the Whaler name for his designs, even though his prior company went out of business with similar shapes. A really competent new chief designer at Whaler would have recognized that there was something to build on, rather than ignore, in favor of his own, completely different, work. New can be, but is NOT always, better! The male designer's ego can be a terrible thing, as anybody in the design professions knows! Then, with such a decision being made, you have to begin the JUSTIFICATION process for the new designers' boats. So you say the others were made with high maintenance materials, materials too costly, too expensive to build, were hard riding, too spartan, were slow selling (then why did you buy the Company in the first place?), overpriced, hated by women, were generally obsolete, etc, etc, etc. This is what happened to the 13, and most of the boats owned by visitors to this Forum.
Brunswick, with all their money and marketing skills, looked like a breath of fresh air for Boston Whaler, and they have done the same thing again, getting rid of all of the boats they inherited from the Reebok/Meridian days, probably with good reason, in favor of their own designs. But, logically, they have done what they know best, and it appears have gone back to their own Sea Ray roots, rather than Whaler's roots. Perhaps the new 13 Sport is a re-consideration of that idea, and that the Harley-Davidson lesson is being learned. But I still don't know what was wrong with the original. Package it up for the highly discounted $8000, advertise the hell out of it, put in the same fiberglass thwart seats & side rails, set a little steering box on top of the front seat, install a Merc 30, and dump it on the same EZ Loader. (so in reality the only thing different would be the shape of the hull - could that alone represent the $5000 extra as it is currently priced, even though it weighs 200lbs less??) It would sell like hot cakes also. Sounds like designer's ego again. But I keep thinking of that famous Vietman era Army Captain, who said he had to destroy the village in order to save it. End of story.
posted 06-16-2000 04:57 PM ET (US)
You made some very valid points --- which I appreciate === no I am not going to say "but" Larry I won't do that no rebuttal from me, your very much a gentleman and I respect your views and opinions === you outlined some points to ponder this I shall === I stated my opinion for what it's worth like all opinions it's one persons' and others have the same right to theirs and to either to reject or accept mine ---
My opinion is based on my perception of the marketing and to whom the product was marketed that is all and what may or may not have been the reason for a slow death ---
The "dead" horse analogy was only said in the vein of "hey if it's over it's over" --- doubt a handful of us are going to change Whaler/Brunswick's decision ---
posted 06-16-2000 05:09 PM ET (US)
Tom: Thanks for your reply, and I'm sorry I mis-understood your remark. I thought it didn't sound like an old classical Whaler guy like you! Obviously, you wouldn't be looking for a 13 if you thought it was a dead horse. Hope you find a good one. Gee, who started this horse stuff anyway!!
posted 06-16-2000 05:47 PM ET (US)
posted 06-16-2000 06:51 PM ET (US)
3 weeks ago I placed my order for a new Montauk through my local Whaler dealer who is an exclusive single line BW dealer. At the time of my order, since it was so late in the 2000 model year, it was uncertain whether I would get a 2000 or 2001 model.
My dealer confirmed today that it would be a 2001 model. On the 2001 models you can only get factory-installed 2 engine options; 90 Hp
in either 2 or 4 stroke versions. If you want any other Hp you have to take an engine and pre-rig delete and have the dealer install the engine. Since I ordered a 50 Hp Merc 4 stroke, he had to take the delete and have BW ship the engine and controls seperately for him to install.
Rumor at the dealer level is that at some point you will only be able to get a BW with one of the factory selected engines and no deletes. In other words, take it or leave it.
This dealer also confirmed that the classic 13 GLS is dead for 2000 and the only classic left is the Montauk. By the way, this dealer has a classic 13 GLS in stock.
posted 06-16-2000 08:32 PM ET (US)
Don, Brunswick/Whaler just keeps on reenforcing my point that they could care less about the customer. For them to to say take our engine and our engine only is the lowest of the low. They just keep backing the Whaler customer deeper and deeper into a corner to make them buy what the corporation wants you to buy, not what the consumer wants. So what their saying is you have to buy a Mercury at this horsepower only or that only, then if you want another brand of outboard, you have to sell the engine yourself and the controls, then look for another brand and have it installed. As anyone knows you could never get what you paid for the engine and rigging if you sold it yourself. I am ever so happy I have a 1973 `16 Currrituck more and more everyday. As far as I`m concerned, Brunswick/Whaler can kisss my !?*#! and when I talk about my Whaler I only bring up Rockland,Mass. and the pre-90` Whaler regeme! Regards-Jack Graner.
posted 06-17-2000 12:02 AM ET (US)
Larry, none of us could have said it any better!
more horse sounds 8>)
posted 06-17-2000 03:40 AM ET (US)
Thanks, Louie! And Don, congratulations on your decision to lay out the big bucks for a new classic Montauk. It seems like there are not many guys around like you and Louie these days, willing to go the extra mile. Sounds like it will be a very efficient rig with the 4 stroke 50. Let us all know how you like it, and how it performs, and send in some photos for everybody to see. I hope you're getting a keel roller trailer!
posted 06-19-2000 02:01 PM ET (US)
I think that it is interesting that many of the people who are lamenting the apparent demise of the old 13 do not seem to have ever owned one. No one mentions how hard the boat rides in even a slight chop or how wet it is in any kind of crosswind. In my experience, the people who rave about the old 13s have frequently never owned one.
I owned a 1975 Sport 13 for several years. In fairness, it was a solid, stable little boat that could take a beating. However, I got tired of getting my brains beat in and getting a soaking once the wind got up over 10 kts and tired of spending each spring in my basement sanding and revarnishing the brightwork. So I sold it and bought a 1982 Outrage 18, which was a great boat but too much to trailer and launch on a weekly basis.
I recently bought a new Sport 13 and, in my opinion, its design is vastly superior to that of the old 13. The new design addresses many of the old 13's problems: it has an bow locker that permits storage of items that are more than 3 inches high; it has a bow platform which is free from a norman pin so that you can stand on it and cast a fly; it is self-bailing; it has a modified V-hull which is much softer riding; it has a stern deck which can actually be utilized for fishing since the battery and fuel tank fit under the seat; and it has a console which actually has dry storage space.
All of these features were sorely lacking from my old Sport 13. I agree with whalernut - the new Sport 13's design is not even close to the old Sport 13 - it's head and shoulders better. Now if it were just a bit faster. . .
P.S. - I too wish Whaler would bring back the desert tan interior instead of bright white.
posted 06-19-2000 03:21 PM ET (US)
tbyrne, I owned and sold a 1971 `13 Sport and regret it everyday. I now own a 1973 `16 Currituck and love it, but wish I still had that 71` `13 Sport also. I didn`t care that it rode rough, it was an awsome fishing rig. The norman pin was used when it was in my dock, and in my opinion alot better quality than the new Sea Ray/Whalers `13 Sport. Mine had a 35 Evinrude and it was awsome. At least there was an option for another brand of engine then. The new sports in my opinion have cheap hardware and rubrail. I wouldn`t trade a 1971 `13 Sport straight up for a new `13 Sport. I wouldn`t trade my `16 Currituck for a new `17 Standard. Regards-Jack Graner.
posted 06-19-2000 04:23 PM ET (US)
Come on, Thomas. You're stretching the facts. The only person posting in this thread that we're not sure has owned a 13' is Louie Kokinis. BigZ is trying to buy one, and Jimh, our host, owns a 15'. That should be close enough. And a properly set up 13, 15 or 17 Sport WOULD have the Tempo or Pate wide, low tank installed under the thwart seat. They were specifically designed for that purpose. Glad to see that you like your new boat, though, and it could very well be a successful model. In 2001, it will have the 40 HP.
posted 06-19-2000 04:26 PM ET (US)
I can't resist.
I loved my '82 13' sport. It was a rugged go anywhere, ride the bumps fun machine. Hey I had the thing out in 6 and 8 foot waves in Lake Ontario. Every time I filled it full of water I just pulled the plug turned stern to the waves and ran as fast as I could.
Also, I hated my '82 13' Sport. It rode rough (my back used to kill me), got me wet in a chop, was tough to ski behind (too light,) the rails were the screwed together type and rattled...One last thing, I hate refinishing mahogany.
There it is, the balanced account.
I think that the key is that if I ever have a 15 year old child and live on the water I would buy another one in a heart beat...I looked at the new 13 and I would buy one of those as well. I hate to say it guys, but mahogany or starboard, classic or new, options or not, both of these boats are the same basic program. It's the entry level, two benches and a steering wheel Whaler...
posted 06-20-2000 05:49 AM ET (US)
If it counts I owned 50% of a 13 "Basic" a 1959 -- with my good chum Bill back in 1963,64 and 65 which we had based out of the marina his dad kept their 1954 38' Matthews (sp) sedan cruiser in Sandusky Bay, Ohio --- old Billy and I used to play (looking back a little insanely) in Lake Erie --- most weekends would find us at Put-in-Bay State Park camping and fishing during the summer --- that is if the old Merc would start --- if not which wasn't to often we'd just hop over on either the ferry or take a Tri-Motor flight and rent an aluminum 14 footer at the marina for the weekend --- regretting we didn't have our little Whaler --- particularly if the Lake decide to kick up --- the Whaler was a heck of a lot more fun when it got rough --- Tom
posted 06-20-2000 01:33 PM ET (US)
I currently have a '60 13 and I have to agree with most of you that the boat is very fun and very stable. However, I was out in the bay last weekend and let me tell you I got pounded and soaked. The 13 is a great little boat - but I think that time and nostalgia has clouded your memories of this boat. I get beat to death every afternoon when the wind kicks up. Do i love my boat - yes. do i hate my boat - yes
posted 12-14-2001 10:38 PM ET (US)
Here are some comments on the 13 classic
that I thought were worth bringing back to
the top.This topic deserved to be in the
Now they have the 13 sport for recreation,
and the 12 foot impact for Yacht tenders.
posted 12-16-2001 07:48 PM ET (US)
The interesting thing about this thread is how closely related it is to the thread "Sad Sad Thing" in general about the Montauk. And yet in the the thread "Evolution of the Hull form" they are talking about how you can still buy a brand new heavy duty commercial "classic" Montauk styled hull for less money than from the Boston Whaler recreation line.
I have always said these hulls were avalible through the CPD, and that they still have a place in this world. I am glad that some of the more prejudiced (aganist the newer whalers and parent company) members have figured this out.
posted 12-21-2001 02:20 PM ET (US)
B Bear -
I wouldn't consider myself prejudiced against the newer Whalers (having taken part in the discussion about CPD hulls that you mentioned). Yes, I ultimately do prefer the overall look of the "classic" whaler hull, but the ones I like most are not true "classics" - they simply represent one of the first generation of evolutions for Whaler...and I like them better that the original, and better than the latest.
I don't think too many people are really totally prejudiced against new whalers, just the overall "look" of them. I liken it to the Ford Taurus. I liked the early to mid 90's version of the car...but then in 96 or 97 (somewhere in there) they came out with a totally new design that did absolutely nothing for me. Today, the 2001 Taurus is a car that I could really enjoy owning and driving again. That said...the "odd looking" Taurus series did really well in sales and was a well built, high quality car.
The new whalers, in my opinion, are much like that series of Taurus....I don't really care for the overall look, removal of all wood, etc...but I trust that the quality is still there.. What it really amounts to is cosmetics.
LHG points out that the hullforms of late have been changing more often (i.e. discontinued lines, etc)...I see that as the company trying to find a new niche...and something that works for them.
The one thing that I do agree with all the "Prejudiced" guys on the Classic side on is this: There are many, many examples of companies that started with a high - cost, high - quality product at the beginning...somewhere along the way, they get really popular - a fad, if you will. When that "fad" goes away and the popularity drops off, the company often tries anything to regain that market share. (examples: Schwinn bicycles after the success of the "varsity 10-speed", Guess Jeans, Jordache, Teva's, Swatch, Huffy, Carver Amplifiers and others) In each of these cases they started with a "upper class" target market, specifically geared to customers who were in the minority (the Rich, the Informed, those in "the industry", etc.) Each time, they also became popular products and brands. When the popularity fell off, they started to search for ways to keep the market share (Carver Amps went to Circuit City for distribution, Guess Jeans could be found nearly anywhere including discount stores like TJ Maxx and others) and each time the quality suffered and the market share ultimately fell off below those levels of the original strategy.
I think most of the people in the Classic side are of the mindset that a boston whaler was not meant too be a mainstream boater's boat. It is for the experienced. The enthusiast. The boater with the means to pay for quality, and the boater who expects to keep a boat for a long time. It is the "mercedes of old" if you will....you wanted quality and safety...you paid for it. There is a reason that a boston whaler (yes, even the new ones) can pull into a yacht harbor at any port in the country, and the experienced captains in their mega-yachts and blow botes will nod and say "nice boat." You just don't say that for a chevy cavalier (although it's a fine car for it's market).
The issue isn't new style vs. old style so much as it is of fear that the new styles and marketing techniques will ultimately do more damage than good to a company that we all hope is building quality boats for our Grandchildren to buy and show our great-grandkids how to fish/ski/or just enjoy the water. Will the current sales success of the new styles make Brunswick more money? Sure. But there are some companies would ultimately be better off if they continued to focus on their niche. Focus on building great performing, high quality products for a market that will sustain them with a profit, as the "classics" have done for boston whaler for years.
For years, to the enthusiast, Boston Whaler means more than just a boat building company. To take that away from generations of boaters (past, present and future) because some mega-company wants more money is truly a sad, sad thing.
posted 12-21-2001 02:37 PM ET (US)
Buckda, sometimes PR guys get a bad rap. You response is a well thought out opinion, that even an opponent would have a hard time arguing. Wouldn't it be refreshing if our media news and the politicians could do the same.
posted 12-21-2001 02:52 PM ET (US)
There seems to be a notion, or rumor, on this site that the Sea Ray Whalers are selling better than any in the history of the company. That sounds like good press, but I doubt it. I spend a lot of time on the water and I just don't see that many Whalers 1996 and newer. I think maybe they are selling more boats than they did in the horrible Reebock/Meridian years, but that's not saying much. If all these boats were doing so well, you wouldn't have this long list of rapidly discontinued models, the sales bombs.
There are not a lot of profits being made anywhere in the boat business these days. Just look at the string of bankruptcies besides OMC.
Used Whalers are selling better than the new ones, as is the case in most other boat lines also. Most dealers are complaining they can't get enough good used models to put on their lots. The used boat market is hot, with good boats in demand and commanding high prices, while the new boat market is cold.
posted 12-21-2001 02:53 PM ET (US)
I believe you speak of "yar." I think that is the term.
As in, "That boat has yar." It is reserved for timeless classics of certain form. They are rarely any other color than white or off white, dark blue, red and a pale yellow of some sport fisherman. It is an attempt to put a name on the nameless virtue of a more than beautiful/functional boat. One that has a distinct history in addition to its present form. You know it when you see it, like a Royal Lowell or a Herreshof(sp?), their lines appear just so and illicit more than pleasure to the eye with superior functioning assumed.
Whalers have yar.
posted 12-21-2001 11:12 PM ET (US)
The Whaler plant cut back to four 8-hour days a week for a time on the production floor. It seems the workforce got acustomed to the 4-day workweek, so when the plant returned to a 40-hour basis they went to 4-days of 10-hour days. They close the production floor Fri-Sun., but the offices are still open the usual five-day workweek.
posted 12-22-2001 02:16 AM ET (US)
Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
I know that some designs are more pleasing to some people than to others so the old saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” certainly applies here.
Over the past year I have had people comment on how nice my Dauntless 16 is, and on the Honda 90 that powers her, from officers in the Maryland DNR (who themselves were on classic whaler hulls) to people walking up to me in parking lots, gas stations, and at the ramps. In essence, by Chap’s definition my boat has yar.
Boston Whaler has produced some classic hulls that have had short production runs in the past. The hulls are not bad designs, but were a process of changing to meet consumer’s tastes at that period of time. Boston Whaler has a history of change and innovation. The hulls of today are not like the “classic” hulls of the past and the hulls of the future will most likely be different from the hulls of today. Boston Whaler started off as an innovative company and still is regardless if it is owned by a larger company.
These newer hulls are not fads, I see the function in their form and design even though some can not see beyond their lines, that is the jest of the matter. I am not talking about lines, fins, or any visual influence without function except to be pleasing to the eye. This is where the prejudice lies. I can pull posts where members here have just commented that these boats are ugly, too white, have big rub rails, or have a euro transom, these complaints have no substance except it is the way they feel about the design (I can pull a ton of posts showing this mentality). There are other things that may matter to them such as weight or the displacement/planning hull, and yet these issues also have their good points. The only person so far that has made an effort to support his dislikes about the newer whalers has been LHG, I personally respect him for this, but at times I see flaws in his logic. For instance the 3-piece construction on the larger hulls which adds extra weight, yet some other manufactures point out this construction on their hulls for the added benefit of strength. There is no reason to believe that the newer hulls have any less quality, performance, and ability than what the classic hulls were designed for. If there is no appeal for them it is just a prejudice like some may have for a Ford over a GMC. Or for you, your Tarus model years.
As for cost, Boston Whaler has always been expensive when compared to or boats. More used hulls being sold than new, well there have always been more use cars and trucks sold that new they do not just disappear after the first owner is ready to move on. Used is always less than new. So why buy new? I guess some people would rather not have to put in a lot of time for repairs or maintenance, maybe they would like to be able to take it to the dealer under warranty, maybe they are not skilled enough or physically healthy enough, or they just have enough money to let someone else do those things to the boat for them. To use the premise that used classic hulls are better because more are sold is not a good one. The boating industry is a pleasure industry and the economic climate affects it almost immediately. We are now in a recession and money is getting tight, just ask Whalernut and Bones, so why wouldn’t used hulls have more sales and the plant workweek be shorted. It has nothing to do with the design, and quality of any new hull. Have you considered how much specialty hulls would cost with limited annual production, Boston Whaler and any other company is only there to make a profit. Use the Studabaker Avanti as an example, the cars produced today in limited quantity costs at least 10 times as much in yesterdays dollars as the would have coming off the production line when they were first introduced. In fact I am not sure they are even making any more of these automobiles, it is a sure route to extinction and bankruptcy. This may be the reason why the classic hulls are still avalible through the CPD, a speciality divison. They will always have a place as long as someone will want one. I was hoping that this would appeal to some where they no loner felt the need to attack the newer hulls and the company since it does still offer these hulls for sale to the buying public, at least it made me happy to know that they were still there to be had.
None of you (not you personally) seem to willing to accept that owners of these newer hulls can feel the same about them as you do about your “classic” hulls. Well Gobles said if you tell a lie long enough the people will believe it. Now I have heard it all form Porsche 911s to blue jeans. Have none of you understood why this forum has a reputation for arrogance, or why new whaler owners fade away never to be seen again. I for one have learned to take all this with a grain of salt, excusing some of this to mob mentality, some to “classic” whaler pride, some to just plain old prejudice. I do not believe that anyone has intentionally wants to be this way, and that all of you are good men at heart, but extremism with a narrow view can be damaging not only for people but for companies as well. Maybe that is why it has taken me longer to respond, I just not a forum junkie any more, and I try to remain quiet.
I know this was about Makoman who some member considered an obnoxious troublemaker, but how many others who have not had the same perspective as the “core” members have been treated like this?
“There was no taking him on, or holding reasonable discourse with him; he was simply here to cause trouble. Before JimH got his number and pulled the plug on him, a number of us had agreed via e-mail that the *only* way to deal with him was to not respond to anything he posted, for any reason; most everyone else caught on, and *that* didn't even stop him. He was a real cowboy.”
If I have offended anyone with the last part of this post, please accept my apologies this is how I feel and maybe some of the others that have been, are and maybe here in the future will share these feelings too. I do know it is not as bad as it once was, I am just tired.
So once again I sincerely Thank you for your time, consideration and thought in making your post to me. I wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year.
posted 12-22-2001 09:18 AM ET (US)
BBear (and to whom it may..)
Since it was my quote you referenced in your post, I feel obligated (and am very happy) to say that I am not offended. I am not sure that your apology was directed at me so much as to those who might have taken offense while you were using my quote to demonstrate a point, but I accept the apology anyway.
While I think I do react to some things in a curmudgeonly way (and I do believe that curmudgeonness is occasionally justified), I hope I am not guilty of the particular offense in question. And for what it is worth, particularly for the benefit of those who may not have witnessed the Makoman posts, Makoman was coming from somewhere *way* beyond prejudice; he levelled personal attacks and implied personal threats that truly were worth noticing and for which there was no room here, or anywhere else where the binding theme is a common interest in a particular form of legal personal enjoyment.
I think your and Buckda's treatment of the "Classic vs. The World" (my words) discussion is more carefully thought-out, sensitive and articulate than anything I've read yet. I applaud both of you, and wish I had said a lot of the things you both said, myself. Please keep up the good work!
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes For The New Year-
posted 12-22-2001 01:42 PM ET (US)
I was a bit surprised when this thread resurfaced recently. It began in June of 2000, and it looks like it could continue into 2002, its third year, without much trouble.
Yet I think I will put the cap on this one, in as much as we come to the end of the year and a time of good spirits in general, and also with a nod to the many eloquent remarks recently appended to this thread; I think we can leave this topic to rest for a bit.
Keep the faith!
posted 12-22-2001 01:46 PM ET (US)
Thank you, Bear. You have echoed my feelings perfectly! A little tolerance goes a long way in life.
I hope every member of this forum has a safe and joyous holiday season...celebrating the holiday and the Whaler of your choice!
posted 12-22-2001 10:10 PM ET (US)
I would like to know how many of the those that dislike the new whalers have actually test drove them? As a biologist who has used the classic whalers for work (13, 15, and 17'), there is no comparison to the newer hulls in terms of overall ride and space. My Dauntless 16 provides a soft ride and stability offshore and inshore especially in bad weather. My boat is comfortable and provides the space I need to fish in the Gulf. I believe whaler has been hammered in the past for hard riding hulls and it sales. They are just responding to what the public wants. However, the most important fact that concerns all whaler owners is that they are unsinkable. Quite frankly, I would have had a hard time buying an old whaler with the possible exception of the old outrage hull. The Montauk will just beat you up in any sort of chop. Its a good work boat where you expect that work will be uncomfortable. But not something I want for the weekends to relieve stress and just enjoy the outdoors. And that applies to the 13 and 15' old designs too.
Now many of those who own the classics love the spartan and punishing approach to seafaring. Been there and done that over the years. My D16 is an excellent boat with my yam F100 and I have no complaints about it. And believe me, when I say that if I had some, they would be in this forum.
And one more thing, the quality of this new boat is excellent just like the old ones. That is why whalers are so expensive.
posted 12-24-2001 07:48 AM ET (US)
Tallydon, I happen to agree with you 100%.
posted 12-24-2001 11:17 AM ET (US)
Happy Holidays --
Might remind you all JimH has closed this thread, in other words open a new one if you feel the need for additional discussion or comments. Z
posted 12-24-2001 11:46 AM ET (US)
I thought I did close it!
I'll have to fix that tonight...or maybe after Christmas.
Lots of good comments here, but 3-year's span is too long. Let's start a new thread if the topic is still on everyone's mind.
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