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Author Topic:   MONTAUK 170: Boat Show Rep Answers Questions
SteveFC posted 02-21-2005 01:47 PM ET (US)   Profile for SteveFC   Send Email to SteveFC  
At the New England Boat Show, I asked the assembled Boston Whaler experts some of the questions that keep popping up on the forum. Here is what I was told--Don't shoot the messenger:

The console and RPS on the Montauk are essentially the same as those on the Dauntless 16, thus providing manufacturing economies. This combo gives the option to sit or to stand with the seat back as a leaning post. The designers consider the height of the console to be proportionately appropriate for boats of this size.

The factory has received very few complaints about console height on either boat, and consequently has no plans for a change.

Hot tip: Installing a tilt helm, according to a Whaler expert, would have the same effect as raising the console three inches.

Since a T-Top is a permanent structure it requires strong, heavy supports. Consequently, a T-Top can cause serious stability problems when installed on a boat that was not designed to accommodate its height and weight. It can also cause serious structural problems on a boat that does not have the requisite built in reinforced mounting pads. Neither the Montauk 170 nor its classic predecessors were designed for a t-top. My informant on this topic is a salesman who does not recommend T-Tops on boats he sells that are under 22 feet.

The factory designers and testers feel that the 115-HP four-stroke pushes the Montauk 170 faster than an entry level operator can safely handle. Consequently, they set 90-HP as a conservative safe limit.The Mercury/Yamaha deal runs another year. After that, look for the current 115/90/75 to be replaced by a three cylinder Verado, which is already in prototype.

In summary, one of my informants observed that no boat design will please everyone. The the Montauk 170 "as is" delivers price/performance that has proved to be extremely popular. Consequently, no major changes are contemplated.

timsr posted 02-21-2005 03:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for timsr  Send Email to timsr     
SteveFC--Thanks for the post. Where can you could buy a tilt helm for the 170? Is it much work to install?
Moe posted 02-21-2005 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
timsr, That info, including link to a source, and lots of pictures of the tilt mechanism on a Dauntless 160, is toward the end of this thread:


Moe posted 02-21-2005 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
In retrospect, there's no info on the installation there.
Jimm posted 02-21-2005 03:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
Mikey talked about a tilt in this this thred:

Jimm posted 02-21-2005 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
Steve, should have said "thanks" for the info. Evidently we have to call the factory and not the dealer and make our complaints. Maybe the tilt and a block under the throttle will help, but the block,unless made of KING StarBoard, will look out of place. C'mon Chuck!
Endless Wave posted 02-21-2005 05:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Endless Wave    
I own a 2004 Montauk. Last year someone from the factory called me and asked a few questions on how I like the Montauk, any pros and cons. The only complaint I had was the steering wheel and throttle height. The Whaler person said he has heard this complaint many times. He didn't mention if they were going to do anything about it or not.--Endless Wave
Moe posted 02-21-2005 05:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Given that Whaler orders and stocks the tilt wheel setup, installs it in the same console in the 160 Dauntless, and as far as I can recall, we've never seen a complaint about console height from a 160 Dauntless owner, it seems like a no-brainer to me for Whaler to offer it as an option on the 170.

Some of those folks complaining about it to the Whaler surveyor may've said the same thing on the J.D. Powers survey. The option should be an easy fix not requiring raising the base price.


jimh posted 02-22-2005 08:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Administrative post.]
Perry posted 02-22-2005 09:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
I found that tilting the helm upward while piloting my Dauntless 160 helped. I didn't have to bend over too much to steer but I wish the throttle handle was mounted a little further up. I always assumed the Montauk 170 had the tilt helm too.
SteveFC posted 02-23-2005 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for SteveFC  Send Email to SteveFC     
There is one additional item of information I picked up at the show. One particularly informative rep confirmed that a number of dealer and factory people lurk on this forum. But then made some comments to the effect that the Powers That Be at Whaler don’t attach much credibility to what they read here. So while we think we are generating a groundswell of owner opinion about Montauk 170 console height or whatever, the factory folks may be dismissing our posts as noise generated by a tiny but vocal minority. <Ouch!!!!!>

Regarding console height, he said that the factory had received so few complaints that they consider it a non-issue. So the message appears to be that if we want to influence what is done at the factory, then we need convey our thoughts to the factory, not just to each other.

Buckda posted 02-23-2005 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I may be reading into the sales guy's comments, but it sounds like the Sea Ray mantra of start 'em small and move 'em up is taking hold at Boston Whaler.

Specifically, I'm evaluating the comments about the HP for the Montauk, and how 115 HP is "too much for a beginner skipper".

Interesting to note that the company evidently views the average Montauk 170 buyer to be a first timer, and not an accomplished or seasoned skipper, and is therefore making marketing and manufacturing decisions based on that assumption.

If true, this represents a divergence from the marketing of the "classic" Montauk, which the company seemed to readily assume that captains of all ages and abilities would come to use and appreciate their little vessel. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the Montauk was a cornerstone in the "legendary" status of Boston Whaler boats.

I can't help be a little concerned that they be careful in how they market the new Montauk, lest they dilute the brand image of the model!

SteveFC posted 02-24-2005 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for SteveFC  Send Email to SteveFC     
Buckda, it may be me, not you who is reading into the sales rep’s comments. I don’t recall his exact words, but it was something to the effect that the factory people felt that the 115 pushed the boat faster than they deemed safe. I don't believe he actually used the word “beginners.” I just assumed that was what he meant. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I should have remembered what they say about that word, “assume.” Steve
blkmtrfan posted 02-24-2005 03:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for blkmtrfan  Send Email to blkmtrfan     
I believe that Buckda is 100% correct, really, why else is Boston Whaler in the boat business other than to make money. Repeat customers are surely easier to attract than new ones. Get the new ones with a nice price point boat and work them up to a high profit model ....

Buckda posted 02-24-2005 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
To be clear - I'm not criticizing this model based on profitability or sound business practice...I'm simply pointing out an apparent difference in strategy and tactic.

If true, the Montauk has really been relegated to a "starter boat" status, which is somewhat of a waste of "reputational capital" built up in the brand.

There are a lot of fellas on this board who are arguably VERY seasoned skippers, who are now captaining a new Montauk 170 out of choice - their experience level has nothing to do with the size of the vessel. Closely tying the two (i.e. equating greater experience in boating with ownership or operation of a larger vessel) is a flawed model to work from in terms of long-term customer satisfaction with your product.

In reality, I don't understand the current thinking of many premium brands - Lexus, Mercedes, etc. all are cashing in on the aspirational value of their brands by offering affordable "entry level" vehicles. The whole point of buying a Mercedes Benz is to work your butt off to achieve a level of success where "affording" a luxury vehicle actually means something.

SteveFC posted 02-24-2005 06:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for SteveFC  Send Email to SteveFC     
I’m one of those very seasoned skippers who owns a Montauk 170 I didn’t buy it to get the Whaler name at a cheapo price, and I don’t consider it an entry level boat. I agree that it doesn’t have the Lexus style creature comforts of the more costly Whaler models. What it has instead, IMHO, is no frills functionality in the tradition of the classics. That appeals to me because I’m a no frills guy and a former classic owner.

Folks who want a boat that makes a statement about their “level of success” have plenty of choices of what to tow behind their Lexus or Mercedes SUV. I couldn’t care less. All I want is a boat that helps me achieve a level of success in fishing, and the Montauk 170 suits me just fine, thank you very much. Different strokes for different folks.

Knot at Work posted 02-24-2005 06:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
Steve, I concur. I could care less what the Mercedes symbolizes ( or the stupid soccer mom in a Hummer that will NEVER be driven off road). It doesn't make me think, "Gee that guy is really cool and has all this success.." Contrary actually, when he pulls in front of my Chevy Truck, I think to myself, "what a dumbass he is, he can have a truck and a 170 with the price he paid for that!"
blkmtrfan posted 02-24-2005 07:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for blkmtrfan  Send Email to blkmtrfan     
Now don't get me wrong, I think the current 170 is a great boat. The interesting part of the 170 is that is (at least in the current Boston Whaler line) somewhat of a starter boat, but is more to those without much boating experence who always think bigger is better, you know like the type of person that would rather pay extra for the Escallade than a Tahoe. But experenced boaters realize that a bigger boats aren't always better.

So IMHO the 170 is a great boat; size and package wise and would even be better if the management at BW cared what the experenced BW owners thought. Whether they (BW managment) do care or not states how it is marketed.

Buckda posted 02-24-2005 07:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
blmktfan -

That was my point....I'm sorry that the illustration of the MB screwed it up for was more of an example of how those brands were working diligently at squandering brand reputation...or have been for some the ever frenzied chase after the almighty dollar (or Euro?!)

The point is that it seems like the positioning has changed somewhat for BW with the smaller boats. Maybe I'm wrong.

Jimm posted 02-24-2005 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
This "starter boat" theory explains why the price of the Montauk170 decreased fron the old Montauk. BW wanted to gain some "beginners" so they could move up through the ranks.
WT posted 02-24-2005 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Boston Whaler's marketing works.

I'm a beginner. I bought a new Montauk. I had never drive a boat until the day I took deliver.

When I buy another boat, it will be another Boston Whaler.


WT posted 02-24-2005 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
And I can't spell.
blkmtrfan posted 02-24-2005 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for blkmtrfan  Send Email to blkmtrfan     
Then the marketing stragity works, which is a good thing ...

We must remember that BW has been in rough financial shape in the past, a could very well be out of business today like many other once great boat companies. So if they can be sucessful and still put out some of the best boats on the market, it is a good thing, even if a few think they are duliting their heritage, at least they are still in business.

Unfortunately, business always has to think about the might buck...

erik selis posted 02-25-2005 04:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
I agree with SteveFC and Jeff (Knot at Work).

If the 170 Montauk is a starter boat then the whole Legend series are starter boats which is not the case. The Legend series are there to bring Boston Whaler back to their roots and give the potential buyer the opportunity to buy a NEW affordable, strong, no-nonsense boat just like the classic models. The other Whaler models (non-Legend), especially from the Outrage up, have become so expensive that they're out of reach for most people.(also here on the forum) What I find disturbing is to assume that if someone has the money to buy a 240 Outrage (new) they would be better boaters than someone who buys a 150 Sport i.e. because they would be so-called starters...maybe in some cases but not necessarily the majority.

At least this is my opinion.


Knot at Work posted 02-25-2005 07:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     

I take a little exception to your inference that those of us with 170 Montauk's are buying an entry level boat and are first timers or worse, we are buying an inferior product line/economy model just to have the Boston Whaler Name thus diluting the sanctity of those with more expensive boats and invading, encroaching and other wise showing up like Dangerfield at the golf club, because somehow we can now afford a Whaler now Ie: Legend? Pretty elitist attitude.

IF I wanted a more expensive boat I would and could have. I chose the 170 for a very simple reason, ease of use and maintance to achieve the same goal, coastal fishing and bay and gulf recreation. I can be in the water in 3 seconds and clean-up takes 30 minutes. It is dependable and I can hand it down to my son.

My First Boat was a 23 Foot Bayliner Capri it took all day to launch and all day to clean. This boat cost more than a Boston Whaler Outrage in 1987. I did not look beyond the 17-18 foot range this time because I wanted a easy to maintain boat with a good ride. The fit and finish are superb on the 170. I have no regrets and I still have the ability to purchase a larger Whaler. I choose not to.

Now as for you my friend Buckda? I suspect you harbor a deep fantasy for a Sea Ray. GO BUY IT Young man! I will never buy one so you can have the "Bling" without me showing up to crash your party at the yacht club.


Gep posted 02-25-2005 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Gep  Send Email to Gep     
I didn't read into it that way at all.

I don't think that was Buckda's intention at all to say that you or anyone who buys a 170 Montauk are
"buying an inferior product line/economy model just to have the Boston Whaler Name thus diluting the sanctity of those with more expensive boats and invading, encroaching and other wise showing up like Dangerfield at the golf club, because somehow we can now afford a Whaler"

What I read into it was that "IF" Boston Whaler was using this tactic to generate sales, that it's simply not true as evidenced by all of the seasoned skipper/boaters that own them.

P.S. I've met Dave and didn't find him to be like that at all.


Buckda posted 02-25-2005 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     

Gep got it...I'm afraid you and I missed each other on this point. After that first post when I brought automobiles into the equation, I knew I'd shot myself in the foot.

The comparison was flawed - but I was trying to point out exactly why considering the 170 an entry level boat (if in fact BW does this, as potentially alluded to by the above sales rep's comments) is such a huge mistake. Your comments proved my point exactly. I believe that there are a great many 170 owners who are very salty skippers - many of whom have experience that vastly outstrips my own, and I don't view them at all as entry level boaters - for whatever reason they chose to buy a 170.

The Sea Ray mentality has, for some time, been "start em small and move em up". That's a fact. It has been a successful business model for them.

I was implying that perhaps from the company's perspective, this was taking hold at BW.

At no point did I ever make the assertion that it was my opinion that this is correct, or that those assumptions about owners/buyers were true. I was talking academically, wondering about a "what if BW thinks this way?" type of scenario...i.e. "What does that mean for the brand, the customer base, etc?" I even went so far in my second post to state that this type of thinking was a waste of the reputational capital of the brand for Boston Whaler.

BTW, I didn't bring the "elitist" Legend into it. BW Marketing did...but the fact remains that for many folks, BW is an aspirational brand.

By the need to attack me, friend...your comments lead me to believe that you take more than a "little exception". We're coming from the same side....just different corners, I think.

SteveFC posted 02-25-2005 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for SteveFC  Send Email to SteveFC     
Geeze. I was just trying to share some info from the boat show, not start World War III. But I think that what we’re collectively saying here is that the Montauk 170 is a high quality no nonsense boat that appeals to a wide range of buyers ranging from beginners to seasoned veterans. Why is that such a bad thing? Can we have a group hug now?

Well, ok, the Montauk 170 lacks bling. On behalf of the folks who want that, I did a little research at an authoritative source: “Boston Whaler” becomes “Rank Dirty Poo Poo Pants.” “Sea Ray” becomes “Machete Masta Pond Swimma.” So if bling bling is what matters to you, then your choice is clear, sucka.

Knot at Work posted 02-25-2005 10:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     

I did not attack you, I simply responded without venom, rancor or curse words. I will concede a lil dry sarcasm.

I do not concur with your analogy, however misspoken it was.

I do however see from time to time the typical asides, comments or other B.S. that the 170 is somehow not up to par with the Whaler legend, reputation or brand. It wears thin. Especially from those who do not own nor skipper a legend.

I suppose I will take my place with Moe and Barney and Erik at the little kids table at the next rdvu.

Buckda posted 02-25-2005 11:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
"I do however see from time to time the typical asides, comments or other B.S. that the 170 is somehow not up to par with the Whaler legend, reputation or brand. It wears thin. Especially from those who do not own nor skipper a legend."

...From me?! (Just clarifying..)

You, Erik and Barney...and especially Moe are welcome at my table with or without your kids at any time man.

Knot at Work posted 02-25-2005 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     

No not you, you own a legend.

Buckda posted 02-25-2005 11:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Just clarifying...and I do see your point...and while I'm not in your captain's chair, I understand what you're saying about the comments about the 170 - especially after it first came out. I think when you make a "montauk" one way for as long as Whaler did, there's a natural tendency to wonder about the "newfangled" design.

I said elsewhere - people of integrity expect to be believed, and when they're not, they let time prove them right. I dont' know who first said that...but it's true.

I hope that the new designed Whalers prove to be just as rugged and long-lasting as the old ones...I hope that the resale stays strong just the same, and I think after we've seen the "new" Montauk 170 through 7 years or so of everyday abuse that hard fishing folks like you put on these boats, we'll have a very real proof that the legend lives on.

It must suck sometimes to be an engineer at BW....those marketing guys do all the hype and count on you to make a product that lives up to it! :)

cmarques posted 02-25-2005 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
Timsr- I'm not sure if the helm is the exact same on the Dauntless 160 and Montauk 170 but the tilt mechanism on the Dauntless should be a Teleflex model sh91500 with a tapered shaft I believe- I shopped around for a replacement after breaking mine last year (too much belly and a big wave). I don't know if it will bolt right up to yours but they are about a 15 minute job to swap out and install. My local Whaler dealer- Parker Boats can get one I think about $125.00 and I've seen some on Ebay between $50-$100 but always outbid. I always keep mine straight up horizontal and standing and am comfortable (I stand about 5'9")


LHG posted 02-25-2005 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
For anything Teleflex in steering, hydraulic or mechanical, see They have EVERYTHING, parts or full kits, for unbeatable pricing. I just ordered something from them over their site, and the service and ease of use is first class. I really don't think they are a surplus, leftover house at all, just a clever name. Everything from Teleflex is brand new and completely current. No high shipping cost gimmicks, like Ed's uses, either. Located in Daytona Bch, FL.

As an example:

4.2 NFB Mechanical full kit, any cable length, $170.

Baystar Hydraulic, any length hoses, $550

Sea Star I hydraulic, either side or front mount cylinder, $750.

Individual components, helms, cables, cylinders, also available.

blkmtrfan posted 02-25-2005 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for blkmtrfan  Send Email to blkmtrfan     
Hey guys, hold on, I don't see anywhere that Buckda or I said anything negative about the new 170 and how it is not up to the standards of the Whaler Ledgends...

From how I read it, his point (the one I agrre with) was only concerning the marketing stragity of the current BW management which is different than the old "Legend" days.

In other words it is a great boat, especially how it compares to the competetion. But todays boat market is different (like most businesses) than it was 40 years ago.

No matter how much you love you 170 you can not disagree that BW would like it if you bout a bigger boat in a couple of years and another bigger one a few years later...

I for one (and like most seasoned skippers) don't believe bigger is always better, but most american consumers do

SteveFC posted 02-25-2005 04:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for SteveFC  Send Email to SteveFC     
I agree that bigger is not necessarily better.

But a search on this forum for "two foot-itis" reveals that it's not just the factory that pushes some people into bigger boats. :-)

CHRISWEIGHT posted 02-25-2005 04:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for CHRISWEIGHT  Send Email to CHRISWEIGHT     
Went to the excel boat show in London last month, just one whaler dealer there. I am amazed that the 170 Montauk can be sold so cheaply in the states as $22k equates to around £12,000 pounds here, You would get a badly finished 15 foot boat with a 50hp 2 stroke for that sort of money in the UK.

A 170 whaler would never be considered a starter boat here in the uk, and I wonder if it is because at nearly double the price in real terms it represents a years average salary over here and rather smaller percentage of an average years salary in the US, which may give rise to a difference in perception.

I completely concur with the sentiment that the 170 is just the right size for a sport/fishing boat and i would be surprised if that between it and the Nantucket they didn't share the majority of sales for BW.

Barney posted 02-25-2005 07:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Knot, As long as we can have beer at the table, no problem. B
AQUANUT posted 02-25-2005 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
Hmmm...I remember my first "starter boat"...I used it to chase my plastic duckie arround the tub when I was three..
I guess starter boats have come along way since then..
by the progression has been....canoe..ghaknoe..airboat..jetboat..22ft sea ray..32ft sea ray...47ft hatteras...montauk170...maybe I am regressing...ya think?


Sheila posted 02-25-2005 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
Not regressing, Terry, evolving. For years we had (still have) a 1954 Cadillac aluminum boat. It belonged to my husband's grandfather, he learned to fish in it, and after his grandfather died, his parents towed it from Ohio to California so he could have it. We also have a canoe.

His lifelong dream has been a Boston Whaler. Last November we bought our 25 foot Revenge, and we both love it.

We're looking for a smaller Whaler to go with it. He never could get me to go into the ocean in that Cadillac, and some days we don't need the big boat.

erik selis posted 02-26-2005 03:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Knot, I'll bring a few cases of "Duvel" (beer) and invite everyone here. After those we will all be starters...believe me. :-)


Knot at Work posted 02-26-2005 08:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
Erik, sounds good! Perhaps I can come visit you one spring or summer when I can get away from Napoli. I will be moving over in September now.

Barney, beer at the table. Promise.

P.S. Buckda, mercedes benz in Europe are kinda like Mini-Vans here in the US. Most folks drive one or a similiar BMW. They are so common it is not seen as a luxury item. Except for a few models.

erik selis posted 02-27-2005 05:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
That would be great Jeff. Summer sounds nice. Maybe we could do some sea-bass fishing. I know some great spots very close by. Just let me know when.

How long will you be stationed in Naples?


Knot at Work posted 02-27-2005 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
Erik, I will be there for at least three years or until Vesuvio blows her top.


Buckda posted 03-01-2005 04:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Knot -
You're right...two years ago in Sweden, I was thrilled to be picked up by a taxi. The car? Audi A6.

...but they do add additional "trim" here in the US - or perhaps it's that they sell a more "pedestrian" model in Europe, and don't allow that "stripped" option to Americans to keep the brand image upscale....but agreed. My professional mentor moved back to London two years ago to work for a company there. His company car? BMW 5 series, right hand driver.

Very cool, think I, then see that every other working stiff in the city is driving one. Kinda like a Buick here....a little upscale, but not luxury.

Weird how that works.

Maximus posted 03-01-2005 05:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
It's clear after reading this that the 170 profit margins are much slimmer than those of the bigger Nantucket and Eastport.

I also noticed how the Montauk 170 was displayed at the NE Boat Show...away from the Nantucket and Eastport. It was over lined up with 11, 13, and 15 footers.

It is sad to hear that a company is not listening to it's most die-hard supporters, either.

Doesn't Barney have a load of beer in his pickup?

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