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Author Topic:   Resistance to Abrasion
Cougar Guy posted 01-28-2004 02:22 AM ET (US)   Profile for Cougar Guy   Send Email to Cougar Guy  
Are Boston Whaler boats durable in regard to being able to beach them or would the hull get roughed up pretty easily? [I am considering the purchase of] a Montauk 170 or Sport 150 and the vast majority of the lakes up here do not have docks, but you would be beaching the boat on sand or gravel beaches and possibly even "coarser" shorelines.

I would love the safety aspect of owning a Whaler, but would the boat be destroyed after years of use like this? My other option is to go aluminum simply because of the durability.

What is everyone's experience? Do any of you use Whaler's in "rustic" type settings where docks and deeper water harbours are not an option?

prj posted 01-28-2004 09:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Cougar guy, fill out your email profile
with your location so we can determine
where "up here" is.
There may very well be a Forum member in the area
familiar with the shoreline conditions and the use
of Whaler on them.

Keel Guard or similar product.
I use one on my 15' Striper in WI lakes
for beaching on sand and gravel.
Durable and effective product.

Use the search function to come up with
several threads on the product.

Fishin Rod posted 01-28-2004 10:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Fishin Rod  Send Email to Fishin Rod     
Keel Guard is the answer you're looking for...

Have them on both my Whales. :)

Jim D posted 01-28-2004 10:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jim D  Send Email to Jim D     
If "up here" includes salt or brackish water, I would stay away from aluminum for long-term durability. Aluminum and rivets will corrode over time. Fiberglass can last indefinitely.

Jim D
Forked River, NJ

daverdla posted 01-28-2004 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla
JohnJ80 posted 01-28-2004 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
I try never to beach a boat - fiberglass, aluminum or otherwise if I can avoid it. I'm not so worried about the abrasion as having the boat bounce up and down on a hidden rock - that can do some serious damage.

Have two anchors one goes out the stern, one to the beach. Keep the stern anchor tight when you get off on the beach. Then as it will tend to pull the boat off the beach but held bow to by the other anchor.

This way you keep the boat floating in a bit of water, no abrasions, no worry about bouncing up and down on a rock.

When you want to board, pull it the couple of feet to shore, hop in with the bow anchor and away you go.

The only time this is a problem is with a strong cross wind. Its just so very much better on the boat.


Cougar Guy posted 01-28-2004 09:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cougar Guy  Send Email to Cougar Guy     
Oops, sorry everyone. "Up here" is North Central British Columbia. Shorelines can vary from really fine pebbles to craggy rocks. It would all be freshwater except for the odd trip out West to go fishing in the ocean.

I'll have a look at the other links as well. Thanks for all of the input . . . I like the sounds of the dual anchor setup.

jimh posted 01-29-2004 12:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As far as is known, Boston Whaler boats are molded with common polyester resins and finished with about an 18-mil thick layer of common gel coat resin. This is the standard "fiberglass boat" construction. In terms of abrasion resistance they are no better than the average fiberglass boat, and in fact might be considered less abrasion resistant than most.

In comparison with typical fiberglass boats, the thickness of the laminate of the hull of a Boston Whaler is likely to be thinner. The Boston Whaler boat uses thinner laminates because it does not need thick laminates for strength. Hull strength comes instead from the Unibond construction technique.

It is known that the thickest portion of the hull laminate in a Boston Whaler boat is along the keel. Absent an external keel protector--a "keel guard"--the keel of a Boston Whaler boat will be abraded by beaching in sand and other shoreline gravel/sand mixtures.

Perhaps more so than most boats, it is especially undesirable that the outer skin of the hull laminate be worn away on a Boston Whaler boat. The interior of the hull is filled with foam, and to preserve the integrity of the hull it is important that the entire structure be maintained and kept watertight.

If you anticipate having to habitually beach a boat on coarse sand and gravel, there is no fiberglass boat that can tolerate that type of usage as well as a boat made from aluminum plate (typically 0.125-inch).

There seems to be quite a cottage industry in Canada of fabricating small utility or fishing boats from welded aluminum plate. A well-made boat of this type is practically indestructible and vastly more durable than a fiberglass boat of any type. This summer while cruising the coast of British Columbia we encountered a small fleet of such boats in the port of Lund, where they were being locally made by a fellow with some fabrication and welding skills. Typically these boats lack the complex curves and shapes that are possible with contact molded fiberglass laminated boats, but they often have a rugged style of their own. They are extremely durable. With proper floatation they too can be "unsinkable."

RonB posted 01-29-2004 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     
Does anyone have an opinion as the why BW marketing would publish pictures in their catalogs of the various models on the beach? Almost gives the impression that it's okay to run them up into the sand to go look for shells.
Moe posted 01-29-2004 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I'm with JimH 100% on this one. I own a 150 Sport, and IMO it's the wrong boat, as is any fiberglas boat, for this application. I'd definitely opt for a thick-walled, welded aluminum boat at half the weight and cost. They can contain quite a bit of floatation under front and rear casting decks, thwart seats, as well as under the cockpit sole.


Cougar Guy posted 01-29-2004 09:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cougar Guy  Send Email to Cougar Guy     
Great feedback everyone. I am familiar with the aluminum boats you describe. They are VERY common around here, especially when used in jetboat configurations. They are built like tanks and pretty much indestructable.

Fibreglass boats are also quite common around here, but on most of the bigger lakes where docking is available.

I'll have to re-think this and be honest with myself about where the boat will be used the bulk of the time. Thanks for your honest feedback.

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