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Author Topic:   Conquest 23 Suitability?
prm1177 posted 12-30-2004 03:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for prm1177   Send Email to prm1177  
As some of you know, I've been kicking around the idea of moving from my 1996 Outrage II 17 to a 2001 Conquest 23. My reasons for this are to improve comfort when out in the chop of SF Bay, and to minimze the anxiety of the ladies in the family. They are always anxious that they, or the kiddies, will be tossed out of the Outrage. Needless to say, family outings are impacted.

I have one friend trying to talk me out of this transition. He's into bigger boats (Sunseeker 60 footers) and his opinion is that the 23 is still too small to ride easily in the 1-2 footers common in the bay and that the additional expense isn't worth the money. He also points to the common gripes that the CQ 23 rides bow heavy (with a single 225) and that the fuel tanks frequently rest in bilge water.

Any comments?

kglinz posted 12-30-2004 04:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
I'd probably buy the Conquest, but when it's really rough, like 1 or 2 feet, I'd bow to his expertise and use his boat.
andygere posted 12-30-2004 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I can't speak directly to the transition from a Post Classic Outrage 17 to a Conquest 23, but the difference between my Montauk 17 and my Outrage 22 Cuddy was dramatic. Ride, dryness, storage, room, comfort, privacy for head, sleeping quarters, etc. are all major improvments. It feels like at least twice the boat, and in 2-3 footers we are on plane and staying dry. I'd take the Conquest for a ride on a windy day, but I think you'll find it to be an awful lot more boat. As I recall, that's a pretty good sized 23.

I don't know if you've seen this one in Marketplace, but it looks about as nice as any I've seen. Worth the drive to Texas...

23Conquest posted 12-30-2004 05:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for 23Conquest    
I purchased a used 97 this summer w/single 225. My prior boat was a Make 20 CC and the 23 has some definate pros regarding the ladies/family.

1) much higher sides so it is safer
2) more seating than a CC & much more comfortable
3) protected with hard top from rain/wind
4) kids enjoy boating a lot more with a cabin, my girls appreciate the head
5) I am able to go out more often in this boat than with a CC

My 23 does ride bow heavy at very slow speeds and the fuel tank does sit in bilge water at rest (not very happy about this) BUT the boat does need a ballast kit (extra weight in stern) which I believe is due to having a single. Whaler claims it is also due to the Hard top. I have not added the extra weight to the stern yet, others claim the extra weight makes it right. I have been on one w/twins and did not notice it being bow heavy. I could not see tank because that boat had water tank and waste tank which blocks view.

Take a look at other posts on this site regarding the 23 Conquest, I have asked about the bow heavy problem. There are issues with hard top which only apply to older models. Also, the 225 EFI is very thirsty.

I would recommend it for the right price, most of them listed online are way overpriced. Priced right you can put on twins or a 4S 250 to resolve bow heavy problems.

bw12 posted 12-31-2004 08:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for bw12    
I have always liked the Conquest 23 but admittedly have never ridden on one. I would go with a single engine, but instead of ordinary ballast, I'd put two of the biggest, heaviest batteries that would fit in the stern, hopefully equal to the required ballast weight. At least it would provide some other benefit.
Backlash posted 12-31-2004 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

Moving up to a 23' Conquest will give your family a dramatic feeling of security and comfort over the 17' Outrage. My only reservation would be the bow heavy attitude with a single engine.

Personally, I would try to find a 1991-1992 23' Walkaround rather than the Conquest. With the full Mills enclosure this is an excellent foul-weather boat.


23Conquest posted 12-31-2004 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for 23Conquest    
According to Whaler, boat needs 200 lbs ballast. Whaler may of either started adding ballast kit when sold w/single or installed at owners request but I am not sure. Before buying mine used, it was kept on a lift, therfore tank did not sit in salt water. Whaler wants to charge me $700 + shipping for lead, I would think they would cover this since I consider this a defect but no dice. I cringe at adding lead to fix. Maybe I should keep a lifetime supply of sinkers of board (at 10 cents an ounce, it would cost $320).

This is one situation where extra weight of 4 stroke would be a good thing.

Any comments from anyone who added ballast would be appreciated. Does it fix bow heavy attitude?

Anyone have a 250 Yamaha 4S yet?

Happy & healthy new year to all

handn posted 12-31-2004 05:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
My prior boat was a 2000 23 Conquest with a 1999 Optimax 225 single.
1. My boat was comfortable in 1-2 foot chop, 3 to 4 seconds apart. The trim tabs pushed the bow down so the ride was comfortable. If the seas are any higher, the boat pounds and it is necessary to tack back and forth to maintain planing speeds, it is only a 23 foot. Trim tabs are also necessary to balance the boat. It is sensitive to passengers moving from side to side.
2. The boat was very dry. It was difficult to get spray on board whatever the manuever.
3. Cabin, high freeboard, t-top with lots of shade, bow rails, toe rails, high gunnels and a little cabin with pump out porta potty make it nice for woman and children. The boat is a great fishing platform so every one gets what they want.
4. Mine had the ballast kit and the fuel tank wasn't in the water at rest. I had two batteries at the stern and batteries alone whatever the size wouldn't solve the bow down problem. Lots of heavy gear in the cabin pushes the bow down so I had to prune down my tackle box. Ballast is necessary if the boat has a single. I can't believe BW wants $700 for the ballast kit. There is lots of room, so I suggest improvisation, old barbells maybe?
5. The boat performs very well with a single. Top speed was a little over 30 knots, cruise at 25 knots at 4000 rpm and fuel economy was almost 3 mpg overall in 1200 hours of boating. Twins would be better, but I wouldn't necessarily pass on the boat if it has a single.
In short, it is a great boat. It is at the upper end of what is comfortable to trailer but still big enough to go off shore with the big boys. Other than pounding in head seas, the boat is dry, comfortable, capable and confidence inspiring offshore, even if one gets trapped in bad weather.
A friend has an 80's vintage 19 Outrage. We got trapped in that when a squall blew up and we were wet and beat up when we got to shore. The 19 Outrage is also a great boat but I consider it a bay boat.
prm1177 posted 01-01-2005 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
Thanks all for the advice. I will be coming back at the end of the week, and will take it out for a sea trial in January waeather (should make for and interesting test). I believe the ballast kit was installed and if all the service records and necessary updates were done on the Opti 225, I think I will make them an offer based on these posts.


bsmotril posted 01-02-2005 02:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
One thing to consider if you boat in choppy water: A Conquest 23 with a single needs about 3800 rpm to plane well, which equates to 25-27 mph. A conquest with twins will plane at just over 3000 rpm and run as slow as 18mph and not fall off plane or bog down. Where I boat, that makes a big difference in the comfort factor, especially with the forward helm position of the conquest 23.
tully_mars posted 01-02-2005 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Bsmotril is very correct. My 98 Conquest with twins ran very much the same, and being able to back down to the 20 or so mph made it easier to run in rough water. My last trip in the boat I ran 50 miles back home in a 4-5 foot sea and we cruised at 19-21mph and only took a couple of waves with some light spray in them. All in all we were very dry.

I liked the boat a lot, thought it was a great boat but I would think it to be very sluggish with a single 225. My 150's seemed to just about perfect for it.

Capt. Tully Mars

23Conquest posted 01-03-2005 09:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for 23Conquest    
w/97 EFI offshore, at 4000 rpm I get close to 30 mph and at WOT 40 mph. I am able to keep on plane at 3400 rpm at 23 mph. With these stats, I feel that 225 is adequate power BUT I have not been in seas exceeding 3-4'. Not sure if I will experience problems w/excessive speed needed to keep on plane in rough seas. Good luck w/sea trail, let us know your results.
handn posted 01-03-2005 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
My 23 Conquest with a 225 Optimax single would plane at 3400 rpm which translated to 16-18 knots depending on sea conditions.
My 3 blade 15 1/4" 15 P prop would sometimes cavitate going up big rollers at minimum planing speeds.
If I still had the boat, I would expiriement with a Mirage 4 blade prop of the same diameter and pitch. 4-blade props provide greater bite.
I believe the minimum planing speed has more to do with hull dynamics than the number of engines.
None of us would dispute the fact that a great boat is better with twins for a variety of reasons but I believe that performance with a single is satisfactory for all but top speed and water skiing applications.
bsmotril posted 01-05-2005 12:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
You'll get the best minimum planing speed with the lowest blade loading on the prop. That equates to wing loading on an aircraft and stall speed (IE Prop blowout). You'll always go slower without blowout if you have two props and twice the blade area to carry the weight of the boat. BillS
prm1177 posted 01-08-2005 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
Thanks for all the opinions. I've been sidetracked by the sudden death of my father (he was just shy of 87) in Florida. However, going back to Boca Raton where I grew up with boats and boating has made me more determined to find something that my extended family will use and appreciate here in the Bay. If the ladies approve of the 23 and the sea trial goes well, I will probably go ahead with the purchase.

Thanks, all.


Sal A posted 01-08-2005 07:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
My condolences......
watercolor posted 01-09-2005 09:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for watercolor  Send Email to watercolor     
I own a 97 c23 and it is rigged with a single 225. My boat sits flat at rest, and underway, I always feel the bow is high and right. Our neighbors have a 97 outrage 17 and I have many hours on that boat. It is rigged with a 115 evenrude. I'd compare the 2 like this, classic jeep to humvee. 17 is light and nimble, gets over the chop, and rides up nice only on the prop and transom. 23 feels solid and safe in the snot, and my guests often ride below in weather. My advice is to keep the 17 for running around, and use the 23 like an suv. Sorry about your loss.....
pashopper posted 01-10-2005 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for pashopper  Send Email to pashopper     
This guy describes the Conquest 23 very well in his site. You may want to take a look.

ivansfo posted 01-10-2005 04:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     
The 23 Conquest is a fine boat for use in SF Bay and the surrounding waters. I have the same boat rigged with twin 135 Optimax and use it in the same area plus waters extending out the Golden Gate Bridge.

This boat will handle just about any sea conditions you can expect inside SF Bay. Typical wind chop I see are 1-3 footers and I feel very safe inside this boat. The ride can be bumpy but always safe.

I have the hardtop with weather curtains so we are protected from spray and the fierce winds you always get in the spring & summer months. When fishing for halibut and bass inside SF Bay, I find the boat very comfortable as we are protected from the winds.

I have taken my 70 year old dad out fishing & crabbing many times and he always has a good time.

Before buying this boat I was looking at the Outrage series but decided on the walkaround style for comfort of my family and I. After fishing this boat for 3 years, I have no regrets on it. There are days when I wish I did have a smaller center console but owning 2 boats is not an options for me.

The only downside is that this boat is rather heavy to tow. With so many hilly terrain in the bay area, this boat really stresses my Ford F250 pickup. So I have to limit my launching to nearby ramps.

Good luck,


prm1177 posted 01-12-2005 06:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
Last question on this topic:

Assuming these two boats are the same price, would you recommend I opt for:

2001 CQ 23 with Opti 225, bottom paint, and basic rigging


older CQ 23 (97, I think) with twin Opti 135s (300+ hours on them), no bottom paint, and a trailer.

The boat with the single is in SF, the twin's I'd have to arrange to pick up somewhere between here and Texas.

David Pendleton posted 01-12-2005 07:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Pashopper--that site belongs to bsmotril, and you're right, it is a great site.

Why does everybody ignore the CQ23 I/O?


pgbj posted 01-13-2005 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for pgbj  Send Email to pgbj     

There don't seem to many of us with the I/O! But having a 1300lb diesel at the back sure sorts out any bow-down attitude problems! That must be close to 2.5x an Opti 225. Doesn't do much for top speed though...


jmarlo posted 01-13-2005 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jmarlo  Send Email to jmarlo     
Does the 23 CQ have a separate head (in its own compartment) or is the head under a cushion in the cabin? If the 23 does not have a separate compartment, what is the next size up that has this feature (either classic or post classic)?

The amount of hours I get to spend on the water boating is directly related to happiness of my wife, and it seems that she is not content with using the porta potti I currently have in the Revenge (I envy you guys whose wife/girlfriends will pee in a bucket).

Its a shame a guy's boat layout has to be driven by such things as an enclosed head, but I guess it could be worse.

bsmotril posted 01-16-2005 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
The 1st generation Conquest 23 has a portapotti type head with vacume pump out mounted under a lift up panel/cushion on the starboard side of the cutty bunk. It is directly in front of the helm position, IE, take the first right when you enter the cabin ;-). The holding tank on mine stacks under the portapotti top half. The two pieces can be separated for cleaning. The top half contains the flusher tank. There is no separate enclosure for it. But, the cabin doors are tinted very dark and it is impossible to see in there in daylight with the cabin hatch and door closed.
jmarlo posted 01-16-2005 06:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jmarlo  Send Email to jmarlo     
Does this layout change on subsequent generation CQs? I guess I'm asking when/if did an enclosed head appear on a 23, and if not, what is the next size up that has an enclosed head. Thank you.
prm1177 posted 01-18-2005 08:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
I know that the 28 ft Conquest had an enclosed head in 2001. Can't find any info on the 26 of that period.
Ed Stone posted 01-19-2005 08:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
The 26 conquest that was changed to 275 conquest
has a separate head area.The 23 conquest never had
a seperate area for the head.
Ed Stone
prm1177 posted 03-13-2005 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
OK. I took the SF boat with the single 225 out on a sea trial yesterday. Conditions were good for testing, as the wind was up in the Bay and we had the usual 2-3 foot bay slop to deal with. The boat rides well. Smooth and very dry for its size. The single 225 performed adequately. Cetainly not as perky as my 17 with the Opti 135, but not bad. The load was myself and a friend and a full load of fuel. The boat had the ballast kit installed to static trim was fine.

I judged the boat to be under-propped as WOT got us only around 5000 RPM and the hole shot was languorous. We may try a different pitch, 4 blade on it to see if we can get to the 5700 RPM redline.

My last concern is that with a full load (family of 6, or 4 fishermen with gear) will the 225 still be adequate if propped correctly? My final checks in this saga are to see what the shipping costs (flatbed) would be for the Texas boat with the twin opti 135's. I had considered towing it back, but past experience dictates that you tempt fate towing even a new boat trailer 2000 miles.

handn posted 03-13-2005 09:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
Before you re prop, check to make sure you are getting wot at the engine with the binancle lever in wot position. I purchased a new lower pitched prop only to discover wot throttle rpm was the same and the problem was clunky cables not allowing full throttle travel.
A four blade is a good idea because the boat breaks loose and cavitates going up big rollers at slow planing speeds and the 4 blade (or twins) makes a difference in solving this problem.
I had six on board a few times and noticed little difference in performance other than a sluggish hole shot on my 225 h.p. single. I forget what it is exactly but the swamped capacity of the boat is huge and six on board poses no safety issue.
bbrunner posted 03-14-2005 11:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for bbrunner  Send Email to bbrunner     
I have the same boat with similar performance with a 15 Mirage prop. It doesn't change too much with more people on it for me. I had it out on lake erie with 7 people and a full tank of gas.

I used to have a 4 blade Offshore(Vensura) prop on the boat and after a lower unit replacement, it performed horribly: wouldn't plane under 4500 and at WOT (5500) it only got up to about 32 mph. The new lower unit caused a change in the water flow around the prop. (Prior to the change I had 43 mph at 5700 rpms)

Anyways, I like the 3 blade, but would like a little more holeshot and more on the top end.

Please post if you change out props and have different performance. Or if anyone else has a different experience with their 225 on the back of the 23 Con.

bsmotril posted 03-14-2005 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
On a big V6, a misfiring or dead cylinder will give you a 600-800 rpm drop at WOT. Might be a bad plug, or loose wire. A bad injector would give you an engine fault alarm.
ivansfo posted 03-14-2005 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     
Don't let the long tow discourage you from getting a better boat for the price. I think if you prepare for the trip well like bringing all the tools you might need and getting a capable truck, you should be fine.

I towed my boat home 800 miles each way with my two best friends and still today, I have fond memories of the trip.


prm1177 posted 03-14-2005 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
Thanks for the input. I'm still checking into Bill Smotril's 98 with twin 135s in Texas. Getting a quote on shipping in a couple of days.
jimh posted 03-14-2005 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I think that if a trailer makes it the first 50 miles it can probably make the next 2,000 miles. Usually bad bearings, bad brakes, bad tires, etc., show up rather fast. After that, it is up to the driver and the tow vehicle to stand up to the task of a long haul.
prm1177 posted 03-29-2005 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
Just want to let everyone know that everything checked out and I'm buying Bill Smotrilla's 98 Conquest 23 and having it shipped from Texas to SF Bay. Bill's done a great job outfitting and maintaining this boat, and I hope to keep up the tradition. Thanks to everyone for their advice. I'll let you all know how the shipping experience goes.


Sheila posted 03-30-2005 12:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
Congratulations, Paul! I'll be eager to hear how the transport goes.
andygere posted 03-30-2005 02:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I think you got a terrific boat. I can't wait to see it at the Rendezvous.
jimh posted 03-30-2005 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Excellent news on the Texas Conquest! I had admired that boat many times via its fine website.
prm1177 posted 04-11-2005 06:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
She arrived late last night and we pulled her into the marina yard this morning. 48 hours from Austin to SF is not to bad, eh. Now I need help in identifying several new species of bugs found on her now.

Thanks to everyone for their input.

prm1177 posted 04-13-2005 12:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
Bill's boat and trailer were too small to schedule on to a flatbed load, so A-1 boat transport handed it off to TLC Marine Transport. They bumper pulled the boat from Austin to San Rafael, CA in just 2 days.

Here are a couple of pictures in transit:

elaelap posted 04-13-2005 04:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
She looks great, Paul, and she apparently brought the good--or at least better--weather with her from Texas, just in time for the good early salmon bite. I look forward to seeing you out there, and hope you can make it to the NorCal rendezvous next month. Congrats...!


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