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Author Topic:   2006 170 Montauk bow rail design change
Rich M posted 06-19-2006 11:58 PM ET (US)   Profile for Rich M   Send Email to Rich M  
I stopped by my local dealer and saw a new 2006 170 Montauk that had just come in. The first thing I noticed is the improvement in the bow rail design. The forward stanchions have been moved parallel to the bow cleat (nearly 4 inches forward) and cant sharply toward the center taking up all the slack in the sloppy center section. This bow rail won't vibrate like the 2003 style and seems substantial enough to permit boarding from the bow with out fear of bending the previously unsupported center.

I wouldn't be surprised if the old style's vibration tendencies contribute to the weld failures we're hearing about. Either way, the new style looks and works much better, I wish my 170 had one!

Incidentally, price with Mercury 90hp EFI 4 stroke, fishing package and swim platform was $25,400.

fishin8tor posted 06-25-2006 02:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishin8tor  Send Email to fishin8tor     
Great news that they finally improved the bow rail, but it doesn't help my 2005 Montauk. Does anyone have any pictures of the 2006 bow rail? I would like to add a support to my 05 Montauk rail. Does anyone have any rail support designs or ideas? Thanks.
Marsh posted 06-25-2006 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
See thread posted 5/31/06 in this forum by "Whalerdude".

The discussion includes a description and materials list for repair done by "Imko"


Marsh posted 06-25-2006 09:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
I am IT-challenged, but here's the link:


GreatBayNH posted 06-25-2006 03:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Rich M, are you sure you weren't seeing the bow rail of the new Montauk 190? Your description sounds like the 190 bow rail. I just bought a 2006 Montauk 170 and the bow rail is the same as previous years as far as I know.

Do you have a pic of this new bow rail mod for the 2006 Montauk 170?

GreatBayNH posted 06-18-2007 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
I had the pleasure of meeting a CW member for an ad-hoc rendezvous this weekend. He had a 2006 Montauk with the bow rail modification so it is confirmed Boston Whaler took action for the Montauk 170 bow rail stanchion issue mid year in 2006.


Rich M posted 06-18-2007 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
Seth, thanks for confirming, it's pretty obvious when you see it first hand.

That floppy center section of bow railing and the lack of stern cleats were two huge over sights on the part of Boston Whaler for the early 170 Montauk.

At least they rectified the problems, doesn't do me or other pre mid 2006 model year owners a lot of good though.

GreatBayNH posted 06-18-2007 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
I have stern cleats. I think that was earlier model 170's that didn't, no? The bow rail will really only be an issue if the forward stanchion welds fail. So far so good.


fisherman posted 06-18-2007 06:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for fisherman  Send Email to fisherman     
Check your e-mail, photo of 2006 170 provided.
Floodtide posted 06-18-2007 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Floodtide  Send Email to Floodtide     

I would afree with if it aint not broke don't fix but this may not be totally acurate in this case. If it breaks the rroblem grows.

My rail broke and the fix requires a weld near the gelcoat so they will need to remove the rail to weld. Plus my rail ended up slightly bent from the lack of support and people cralling in an out.

After mine broke I did the I did the mod mentioned on the other thread and it added to the cost to get the rail fixed. The mod is to add a single stantion from a plate at the bow keet yo the rail. It looks factory and cost it reaonable.

I see you are in NH so if you are looking to get it done I recomend you use KentFab in Honover MA he just did mine and he did a great job.

I wish Boston Whaler would have added the extra rail. Even the new design looks like the are spreading a lot of rail over too few stantions.

Knot at Work posted 06-19-2007 04:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
I wrote Boston Whaler about the cleat delete on my 2003. They told me to report to Killinger (Marine Max) and get my cleats installed free of charge.

I grew instantly and forever loyal to Boston Whaler after that great customer service.

GreatBayNH posted 06-19-2007 07:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
How does one write to Boston Whaler? I would like to do the same.


Feejer posted 06-19-2007 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
I just noticed on my 2005 Montauk their appears to be cracks in the chrome were both of the bow stantions meet the rail. I have contacted my local dealer about this. They advised me to shoot an email off to BW addressing my observations. It sounds like the dealer won't do a thing unless the bow rail breaks. Time will tell.
GreatBayNH posted 06-19-2007 09:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
A copy of my e-mail to Boston Whaler. We shall see..

Re: Bow rail design change for the mid year 2006 Montauk 170 and newer.

I purchased a 2006 Montauk 170 (in April 0f 2006) before the implementation of the bow rail forward stanchion modification to correct a known issue with forward bow stanchion weld failures over time (caused by excessive vibration in the bow rail). What are my options to have the bow rail modification applied to my 2006 Montauk 170 before the welds fail? I'd rather be pro-active than wait for the welds to fail which is being reported more and more in the field as the Montauk 170 line, pre mid year 2006, ages.

Thank you in advance for your time.


Feejer posted 06-19-2007 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
From BW.

If there is an issue with your bow rail, I would recommend setting up an appointment with your nearest Whaler dealership for inspection/evaluation. They will forward pictures and findings to their customer service representative (at the factory) for consideration.
According to your zip code, the nearest dealer should be.

To be honest, I don't think I'll do a thing this season unless the rail breaks. My boat is 75 miles from a Whaler dealer and my rack storage is paid for the year. Maybe I can send my own photo's to my local dealer.

GreatBayNH posted 06-19-2007 07:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Yeah, I expect a similar response however I think we need them to admit the design change mid-year 2006 was a reaction to a known design flaw and should be covered when (not if) it goes bad. Wishful thinking I know.


Feejer posted 06-19-2007 08:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Hmmmm, getting BW to admit to a mistake? and a dangerous one to boot, Don't hold your breath. I'd be happy with mine lasting until the end of the season and the dealer adding an extra support over the winter. In any case I'm out $$$.
GreatBayNH posted 06-19-2007 08:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Not so fast! Read the following post.

It reads to me like someone (whalerdude) got the new rail installed for free.


Knot at Work posted 06-20-2007 04:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
mine is the old style and even though it vibrates it has not shown fatigue nor cracked yet. Then again I do not sit on my rails.

I hope it lasts and if not, I will pursue the replacement when and if it happens but I am not going to lose sleep over it.

Have a cold beer in the shade while you admire your little whalers great virtues.

GreatBayNH posted 06-20-2007 08:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Don't lose sleep. I'm not. But if your weld(s) fail 2-3 years down the road, and it comes out of your pocket to fix or replace, don't you think it wise to be pro-active and get something in writing now that it is a known design flaw and weld failure is a certainty over time?
GreatBayNH posted 06-20-2007 08:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Boston Whaler's first response to my inquiry.

Good Afternoon Seth,

I am looking into this issue. I should have a response for you tomorrow.
I thank you for taking the pro active approach.

The plot thickens!


GreatBayNH posted 06-21-2007 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Here it is folks. Boston Whaler's reply to the bow rail issue should you be pro-active and call in before its an issue.

Good Afternoon Seth,

I spoke with my boss on this issue, and we have noted your concern on this issue. The bow rail on your boat should be just fine.
If you experience any issue with this bow rail we will be glad to pay under warranty for the repair that would be recommended.
The new bow rail has stantions in a completely different place this would cause you to have significant patches in your boat.
There has never been a service bulletin or recall on this rail. Actually, we just had a design change. Please feel free to let me
know if you experience and problems with your boat. If you have immediate concern on any issues, don't hesitate to take your boat into
your authorized Boston Whaler dealership for evaluation.
Again thank you for being a pro-active customer. This not only helps our relationship with you, it will allow you to enjoy your boat
for many years to come.

gbcbu posted 06-22-2007 06:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for gbcbu  Send Email to gbcbu     
Well I think it's a fair response if you subscribe to the ole' saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it" especially in light of the comment that there would be significant patches if you were to change the rail. Beyond the warranty period I don't believe that BW has an obligation to fix it even with the knowledge that there is/may be a design problem. However it is my opinion that if anyone were to be injured as a result of the design defect even beyond the warranty period then there just may be a products liability issue caused by a defective design. Personally I'd be more concerned about someone needing the rail for support sometime and then having it fail.

Most respectfully, you may consider, adding the additional middle stanchion which I saw posted here from a CW member I believe who is in Holland. I think that looks great. A call not a letter to BW and an offer to split the cost or ask for an additional 3 years on your motor warranty or a similar compromise might be fruitful. Just my 2 cents hope it's helpful.

GreatBayNH posted 06-22-2007 08:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
The warranty is over for the rails. The hull is 10 years, the engine is 5 years, everything else is 1 year.I think what they meant was they noted the issue and will take care of it if it breaks. Or at least that's my hope. I'm going to keep it factory and see what happens. I like the center stanchion idea but doubt I'll be taking it to a shop anytime soon to have that level of expertise in welding done.


GreatBayNH posted 06-22-2007 09:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
I just e-mailed BW to get clarification on the repair coverage offer. Basically I asked if the boat has to be under warranty or if they will cover the issue regardless since I pointed out the metal fatigue (design flaw)issue.

tic toc tic toc...


GreatBayNH posted 07-09-2007 04:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
Boston Whaler support e-mailed me back. They said they would most likely cover any failure of the forward stanchions due to metal fatigue since I alerted them to the issue in advance. They said they should be able to cover it under "good will" if in fact they do fail.
gbcbu posted 07-11-2007 07:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for gbcbu  Send Email to gbcbu     
That's great. I suggest that BW's "customer satisfaction" approach is fantastic. For the manufacturer to stand behind their product speaks volumes for the company and should bring a high level of confidence to a new purchaser of a Whaler. I know that the long time members of CW might be saying to themselves "so what's new" but for those of us just getting back in, to hear "fresh" first hand accounts like this and your windshield issue is "priceless". Do I see bigger Whalers in your future :) Congrats
BlueMax posted 07-11-2007 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for BlueMax  Send Email to BlueMax     
I didn't see an answer for "How does one contact Boston Whaler" - can someone please post the email or snail mail address that they used? I tried filling out the new owner survey on the website and it failed when I tried to submit ("object error") and the only email addresses I could find on the net (or through their site) was for commercial/government sales personnel. I wrote them with no reply. I am having a few problems with my new 2007 Montauk Whaler such as inoperable guages and small "spider web" cracks in the fiberglass on the bow. I am not so pleased with the dealership that sold me this particular vessel (there were a few other things to be found wrong and inop upon delivery) and would like to inform the manufacturer of my dissatisfaction so far with the quality of their sales personnel (MarineMax) as well. I'm thinking od f posting a separate complaint on this site - but it would be just that - acomplaint on the site that doesn't get Whaler's attention or action.

Thanks in advance for any info - this site has already been a boone of informationa nd entertainment for me.


GreatBayNH posted 07-11-2007 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for GreatBayNH  Send Email to GreatBayNH     
I simply used the Parts & Service contact page on Boston Whalers Official web site.

Once they responded I was in an e-mail dialog with an actual person and the e-mails were quite candid.

BlueMax posted 07-11-2007 10:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for BlueMax  Send Email to BlueMax     
I figured it would be something simple - I am their site right now - this time the survey completed properly (it had failed twice previously).

Thank you!!

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