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  1. #1
    Elite Member
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    Default Boston Whaler Boats

    OK, after my recent trip back home and going out fishing and then diving around a rig and then on some rocks I have realized how much I miss the water. Therefore I have decided to buy a trailerable but seaworthy boat. After doing a bunch of research I keep coming back to Boston Whaler. I am familiar with these from way back but never owned one. The one I am looking at buying at a "nearby" dealer is a leftover and he has a good price on it for a BW. BW boats are kinda high dollar--shockingly so actually. The boat is 19 feet and has a 150 horsepower Mercury Optimax two-stroke engine. It is an enviro friendly engine using advanced lean burn and fuel injected technology. The engine was quiet, smooth, no smoke, no smell and when punched moved out smartly. It also is very efficient getting lower fuel burn than most of the Japanese 4-strokes. This being the end of boating season I have what I feel to be a good price on this new boat.
    But, there are experts here on TBN on everything so I figure someone here has an opinion on BW boats.
    This boat will be used for fresh and saltwater, ski use and diving and exploring. I plan to upgrade the standard trailer to a tandem for long distance hauling to the Gulf, South Florida, Texas and the Great Lakes--the dealer will work with me on this upgrade.
    After seeing the boat in person I am very impressed with it and confident that it is a seaworthy vessel. I used to take my 14/15 foot RIB out 20 miles or more. I still have this inflatable boat--sans engine. It was originally a soft bottom that I converted to a RIB. Anyways, what I noticed that ususally it was me, a few LARGE boats and "smaller" (17-22 foot) Boston Whalers out there. They all looked at me like I was crazy and maybe I was and am but I am still here so maybe I am not totally foolish [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]. J

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boston Whaler Boats

    Like you said, the Boston Whalers are expensive, but otherwise, they'd probably be my first choice for a boat brand. And I have the impression that you know enough about boating that you'll want either a galvanized or an aluminum trailer if you're going to be using it in salt water. Or else thoroughly wash the trailer with fresh water as soon as possible after use in salt water.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2003
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    Goffs Corner, KY
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    IH 2444

    Default Re: Boston Whaler Boats

    Boston Whalers are good sturdy boats. All that I have seen are double hulled foam filled and basically unsinkable.

    As to whether this is the boat for you, not sure as they make several different styles. Be sure and winterize it properly or it will cost ya big bucks in the spring if it freezes.

    The boats with the deeper center keel will ride smoother in waves than the ones where the center keel is shallower.

    They do have a web site as well, been there ?

    A couple of little adages here though, could not resist, btw I am a boat owner as well.

    A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into. Yep, you think tractor parts are expensive, well....

    The happiest days of boat ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it.

    Enjoy [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Ben

  4. #4
    Elite Member Gatorboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boston Whaler Boats

    Boston Whaler -- the UNSINKABLE boat.

    Growing up, we had two of them, a center-console model (17' or so) and a smaller 13' model. These were bought back in the 60's. I drove the 13' one up and down the Wolf River in Fremont, Wisconsin many summers, and did a bunch of fishing out of it as well. The larger one was mainly used for Coho Salmon fishing in Lake Michigan.

    We sold the 13-footer in 1979, and my dad sold the 17-footer about 10 years ago.

    Excellent boats.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Boston Whaler Boats

    I have a buddy with a small BW. I think around 14 foot. He took it off the California coast all the time and would fish for sharks out of it. He was also a little crazy. One thing he did do that I thought was smart is have a back-up motor. I think it was a little 10 horse. I don't remember what the main motor was.

    He felt it was such a great boat that he could do things and go places common sense told me you shouldn't. He's still around, but I wonder how long his luck or the BW will hold out. I went once and that was too much for me!!!

    One thing I think of when I buy something is will I wish I bought the one I really wanted instead of the cheaper one?



  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    JD 2210

    Default Re: Boston Whaler Boats

    That sounds like a really nice set up. I'm a Merc fan for sure and I have been for many years. I'd go with the 4 stroke Honda myself theese days just because I'm concearned about the enviornment. But I sure wouldn't turn down any Merc on even my worst day if the Big Boss was happy with the price tag ! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] Don't forget the GLoomis stix for the locker ! In spite of the price IMO BW boats are the best of their class. Re-sale in just unbelievable and they sell FAST around here. Several Years ago I chartered a 58' Sportfisherman to fish the "humps" for tuna off Islamorada. When we got 25 miles out there were two guys in a little BW ! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Super Member ronjhall's Avatar
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    SE Michigan, TX when its cold in MI.
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    Default Re: Boston Whaler Boats

    I think BW are great boats.
    The only complaint I have is the very short gunwales. For Great lakes fishing I have preferred 24" plus gunwales. Need a place to mount all the fishing gear and lean against when fighting a large fish.
    For diving the low sides should be great.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Gatorboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boston Whaler Boats

    <font color="blue"> I don't remember what the main motor was. </font>

    We had a 40 HP Merc. That was what the boat was rated for.

    I used to jump the wake of large boats and got that boat totally out of the water several times. The dumbest thing I did was do this type of activity with 3 other guys in the boat. We came up on a cabin cruiser that was making a huge wake and I hit that sucker at a slight angle and the boat went airborne and tilted to the left -- everyone was tossed from the boat and when we all came up, the boat was upside down. Cane poles, bobbers, gas cans, cushions etc. all floating around. We were able after some time get the boat to the shore and flip it over. We dried out the engine and thank goodness it started! This episode remained a secret from my parents until after we sold the boat.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Boston Whaler Boats

    IMHO, I would steer clear of the Optimax. I've run all manner of Merc's and in fact, my personal boat has a small 40hp four stroke on it, so I am partial to the brand. Optimax adds a whole lot of emission control stuff on top of a good engine that costs a lot, and is about 50 more things to go wrong. On the plus side, I think a 5 year warranty can be had with that motor.

    But seriously, unless gas mileage is a concern (and you'd have to run the boat a LOT), I'd recommend the standard efi 2-stroke. It's cheaper and it's proven. If you're worried about emissions, there are a lot of 4-stroke alternatives out there. Currently in my office we're running a 115 Merc 4-stroke efi and a 150 Merc 2-stroke efi. Both are great motors, but the 4-stroke is oh so much more quiet.

    If you just want the latest and greatest in 2-stroke technology, then by all means, get the Optimax. It's a good motor, but more complex than it needs to be.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Boston Whaler Boats

    Fishman, I understand what you are saying but problem is in the boating industry now is that many brands of boats only are available with a certain brand of engine--PERIOD. With Boston Whaler you get a Mercury or you buy some other less capable boat. The options I have on this boat are Optimax only and one smaller Merc four stroke. The Optimax is EFI direct fuel injection---nothing new there, it is lean burn, kinda new but needed for emissions and economy, beyond that there really is nothing new or remarkable or emission related equipment. Sooo, I guess it is I get an unsinkable boat with the Optimax or get a sinkable boat with a Yamaha etc. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]. The Optimax is also considerably lighter than four strokes. The OMC Johnson 135 my dad bought in 1973 is still running, rebuilt several times but it has thousands of hard hours on it. This lean burn technology requires premium materials and computer controls but this is the 21st century [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img].

    As to the buy what I want cuz I would regret cheaper, I am buying the boat I want if I can make the deal. First, this is not a cheap boat [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]--I wish it were but it is not. Secondly, I could get a larger boat but then I would have to deal with towability. Yes, people tow much larger boats than this but usually not the kinda distances I am talking about to get where I want to be so therefore a boat that is both towable and yet seaworthy is important and this particular boat fills that requirement. I really don't want to have to drive a 3/4 ton truck around 365 days a year so I can have it on hand to tow a few days a year--no thanks. I have towed large boats before anyways and it is not fun to me--others may vary on this opinion. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]
    Low freeboard--this particular model has 22 inch freeboard from inside the self bailing cockpit. BW boats among others are built to drive out of the water if swamped. In other words, if swamped by a breaking sea, punch the engine and the boat will drive back up on to the water. The lower freeboard retains less water and the lower transoms allow it to dump out along with the self bailing scuppers. That is why having a boat like a BW that when fully swamped remains level with the engine ABOVE the water is very important. I know that seems strange but high freeboard and high transoms can make a boat impossible to clear of water. BW boats are designed to clear themselves of water and remain afloat.
    Yeah, I am concerned about the engine but the four stroke stuff is very heavy. The new Mercury Verado supercharged 4 -stroke is very unprooven and will be very expensive. Given my limited choices the Optimax is about my only bet.
    Oh well, much to consider and thinking still to be done. J

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