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Author Topic:   Dauntless 14 Owner's Narrative
Whaletosh posted 07-14-2005 06:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for Whaletosh  
Guys (and a few Ladies),

As some of you know I purchased a 1999 Dauntless 14 last fall. I did the stupid thing of buying it remotely from a seller on the internet. Take my word for it, don't ever buy a boat without inspecting it. I sure learned my lesson.

I had a huge case of buyer's remorse. So much so that I was going to cut my losses and move on. I had already sold the original two-stroke motor off it, and I had purchased a left over new 2002 Mercury EFI four-stroke 60-HP. I was going to sell the new motor separately. I even had a forum member ready to buy. However, after talking to my local Whaler dealer, I was convinced that I should mount the motor and sell the whole package as it would be easier.

In the process of mounting the motor and giving the boat a thorough bath, a funny thing happened. All of the grime I thought was permanent on the boat came off easily. The bottom paint I thought I was stuck with appears as if it will come of fairly easily as well. Suddenly, the boat I thought I was buying appeared before my eyes. Yes, there are still some things I need to do, but the prognosis isn't as bleak as I first thought.

To make matters even better, my wife ad I took the boat out last weekend to break in the motor. We put in at South Haven, Michigan, and drove up to Saugatuck, Michigan. We ate lunch and drove back. The boat performed wonderfully. We only use about 6 gallons of gas. So, to make a long story short, I will be keeping my Dauntless 14.

This leads me to my question for all of you fellow Dauntless 14 owners: What motor do you have? What propeller are you running?

I need some help in getting a ball park idea of what to get for a prop. The Michigan Wheel SS Rapture propeller (10-1/2 X 13) I have may be to high in pitch as the boat stuggles to get up on plane. This was not the case with my previous Dauntless 14 with a similar motor, but I don't remember the propeller I used.

Any help would be appeciated

davej14 posted 07-14-2005 11:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Glad to see the Dauntless 14 is working out for you. I have the same boat with a 75 Mercury ELPTO two-stroke. See my post in the performance section for a comparison of the Vengeance 18P vs. Stiletto 19P props. Posted on 7-10 I believe.

How are the RPM's at WOT with the rapture propeller you now have vs. the recomended range for your four-stroke?

Whaletosh posted 07-15-2005 07:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
I'll be finding out this weekend. It was a little bumpy on Lake Michigan to try and run it up to WOT.

Have foils helped with this boat? (Doel-fins and like)

fishgutz posted 07-15-2005 07:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz     
I recently put a Tigershark VG hydrofoil on my Mercury 75 2 stroke. I have a 1999 Dauntless 14, 2 batteries, 25 gallons of fuel, me 205#, my wife 135ish# and my son 100#. I no longer have to thottle up real hard to get on plane. I can accelerate smoothly and slowly, saving gas and saving wear and tear on the motor.
No loss of top end. Far less bow rise before plane. The boat is even much more stable at higher speeds, no porpoising, less bouncing in chop. Actually I have more top end in a chop. I think the Tigershark is perhaps the only TRUE hydrofoil out there. I was very pessimistic and skeptical and very reluctant to try it but another member here, skred recommended it. I can't say enough good about it. My boat is a TOTAL joy to run.
I use a Mercury Vengeance 18P SS Prop. Top rpm is 5400. All three of us waterski, I slolom. Performance is what I would consider optimum with my set up for my use. Hope this works.

As an added note I would like to know what type of trailer you all use. I have a custom Eagle trailer. Nothing is adjustable on it. I have too much tongue weight and I can't do anything about it. I'm looking for a 2000# capacity trailer in either aluminum or galvanized.

One more thing, I'm thinking about having a custom console grab rail made that is 8 inches lower and shortening my windshield. I hate looking through that plexiglass and I don't like standing all the time. I know there's a short grabrail available for the Dauntless 14 but i would like something inbetween. Maybe that could be a winter project. Any ideas?

fishgutz posted 07-15-2005 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz     
Hope this works? What was I thinking? (end of first paragraph) I think I meant, "Hope this helps"

Tiger shark website,
Less than $40 including shipping. Very easy to install and looks great to boot.

davej14 posted 07-16-2005 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
I have a turbolift fin on my Dauntless 14. It marginally improved performance and helped subdue porpoising. Sounds like fishgutz has a better option. We had the same propeller until I recently switched to the stiletto 19P.
Whaletosh posted 07-18-2005 02:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
Well I took the boat out this weekend. As I suspected I am overpropped. The motor won't run up to the correct WOT RPM. This is what I suspected. I now know what direction to head as far as a propeller goes. Once I get a new propeller I will be marketing my Raptur prop.
skred posted 07-20-2005 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Whaletosh: glad you're sticking with the Dauntless 14! Your former 130 made the trip from Sister Bay around Washington and to Rock Island a couple weeks ago. Performed perfectly, although the weather was too feisty for me. Had to run really slow coming back in a 3-5 foot swell and chop.
It's been a great boat and a lot of fun. I'm pretty much convinced I'm going to add a Tiger Shark VG to this boat, too, as I did on my Dauntless 16. I know it will bring the bow down way faster, and plane at significantly lower speeds. I just have to get over that initial reticence to drill those 4 holes.... in a spotless boat/motor!
I expect you've seen a significant ride difference from the 130 to the Dauntless 14...
Whaletosh posted 07-24-2005 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
It tried a Mercury Trophy Sport 13 pitch this weekend. I also added a foil. The Trophy Sport definately improved hole shot ( I tried it before adding the foil). The foil helped somewhat more but did improve keeping the bow down and low speed planing.

Anybody want a Michigan Wheel Rapture prop?

cpjordan posted 04-17-2006 09:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for cpjordan  Send Email to cpjordan     
So I purchased a Dauntless 14 and I love it... need some advice, though on propeller pitch for more power getting out of the hole.

It has a 12-22 aluminum propeller on a four-stroke 50-HP Mercury 1999...local Mercury dealer said I could move to an 11-pitch, would that help?

Also stainless vs aluminum for speed to plane, any difference?


davej14 posted 04-17-2006 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Congratulations on the Dauntless 14 purchase. It is a great boat.

I suspect that it is somewhat underpowered with a 50 Hp four-stroke. What RPM's are you getting at wide open throttle with your existing prop? What brand and model is the existing prop? What set of holes is your motor mounted in?
Do you have an dole fin or similar device?

Answers to these questions will help you get a more meaningful response.

Moving to a similar stainless propeller will not, by itself, help significantly with hole shot. Moving to a lower pitch will help with hole shot but you don't want to under propeller your motor. A dole fin may help with getting up on plane. I would get the propeller and motor height adjusted first, then try a dole fin.

davej14 posted 04-17-2006 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
cpjordan, after re-reading your post, you need to double check the pitch of your existing prop. Generally the diameter is stated first followed by the pitch so your 12 - 22 may actually be a 12" diameter 22 pitch prop. If that is the case you are WAY over propped.
jimh posted 04-18-2006 09:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
At lower horsepower and lower boat speed, aluminum propellers work well. They do not suffer from as much flexing as they do in higher horsepower applications on larger boats.
Tom W Clark posted 04-18-2006 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

A 12" x 22" propeller is WAY too much pitch for that boat. I doubt that is really what you have now (I don't even think there is such a size) but if it is, that is your problem.

A 12" or 13" pitch propeller is what I would expect your boat and motor combination to use.

A good, correctly pitched stainless steel propeller will definitely improve both your acceleration and top speed.

cpjordan posted 04-19-2006 07:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for cpjordan  Send Email to cpjordan     
Thanks guys, yes...I think I need to confirm some assumptions. The Merc has a sticker on the lower unit that says:

12 - 22 1.83

I am not thinking that is an indicator of what the actual prop pitch is. I wil research and take to a Merc dealer.

I bought the dole fins but do not want to drill / attach them until I check the prop and other settings.

Tom W Clark posted 04-19-2006 10:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
That decal has nothing to do with the propeller. 12 - 22 is the number of teeth on the gears in the lower unit. 1.83 is the ratio of those two gears to one another.

The propeller will have its size stamped into it or encoded int the part number which will be stamped into it. It may be necessary to remove the propeller nut and spacer washer to read this number, or you may find it stamped on the outside of the hub itself in plain view.

davej14 posted 04-19-2006 11:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
If the information is not in view on the outside of the prop it will probably be stamped on the rear face of the hub. If this is the case you don't need to take it to the dealer. It is a relatively simple process to remove the prop yourself and it would be a good idea to do so on land for the experience.
cpjordan posted 04-20-2006 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for cpjordan  Send Email to cpjordan     
Man you guys are a big help. I found a 14P as the last digits stamped on the prop. Gotta think it is a 14 pitch.

So I think I am going to try a 12 pitch based on the above.

After that the dole fins... last question...does one always have to drill the lower unit to install dolefins / tigershark type devices?

davej14 posted 04-20-2006 12:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
I have a turbolift fin that clamps to the anti cavitation plate without drilling holes. It is made of stainless and is quite a bit more costly than the dole or tigershark fins. I am not sure it works any better. Once you put on the fin you are not likely to take it off so I wouldn't worry about it. Worst case you can epoxy the holes and repaint the anti cavitation plate.
davej14 posted 04-20-2006 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Before you rush a lower pitch prop you need to determine your RPM's at wide open throttle. You don't want a prop that will put you above the recommended max RPM's for your motor with a loaded boat.
Whaletosh posted 05-19-2006 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
11 or 12 inch pitch would be right for you. I love the Trophy Sport, but it is costly. I can run a 13 inc pitch because I have an EFI 60 HP 4-stroke. with you 50 the lower pitch props would be better. The 14 inch pitch is propbably too high.
cpjordan posted 07-06-2006 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for cpjordan  Send Email to cpjordan     
Waletosh et al

Thanks for all of the advice...I checked the max RPM's and went with a 12 pitch I need to now swap out.

2 Questions, what tools do I need (assume prop wrench, will a standard ratchet set work?), any pitfalls to avoid ?

I also have completely lost performance out of the engine, believe it may be bad bad gas and possibly clogged fuel filter.

Any advice on how I could drain the tank? Set up a siphon?

Thanks again

email me at

fishgutz posted 07-07-2006 08:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz     
Ok, How about some numbers from you Dauntless 14 owners?
I have a 75 Merc 2 stroke on mine. I get 40 MPH on the gps give or take a few tenths. I run an 18P Vengeance SS prop at 5250 rpm. Same numbers with a 19P Black Max prop.(Me, wife, son, 20+ gallons of gas, 2 batteries, 100# gear and a big lunch.) I use a Tigershark VG hydrofoil. I know davej14 gets the same performance and he's set up much the same.

How do you do with other motors? 50hp,60hp,70hp, 2 or 4 stroke?

davej14 posted 07-08-2006 12:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     

I haven't launched yet this year. I'm in the middle of an electronics upgrade adding: compass, GPS/sonar combo, NMEW2000 network, new VHF with DSC, fuel flow sensor, battery switch, new fuse panel and courtesy lights. I should have her done this weekend. I'll post some MPG and GPH numbers if the fuel sensor works.

fishgutz posted 07-13-2006 11:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz     
Check my post in the performance section for Dauntless 14 performance numbers.

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