? 18′ Boston Whaler Dauntless — Moderated Discussion Areas

30 Мар 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Boston Whaler 15 Dauntless boat

posted 02-14-2004 04:32 PM ET (US) I really like the 18′ Boston Whaler Dauntless. I presently have a 13′ 4 Boston Whaler Special tri-hull and am thing about trading up to the Dauntless. Can any Dauntless owners give me some info on it? Your likes and dislikes, Advantages and Disadvantages and especially the ride? Also, have you ever had problems with the Mercury engine that comes standard with it from BW. Give me the Full Montey on her. Thanks!

Lars Simonsen

posted 02-15-2004 03:28 PM ET (US) I have a 1998 18′ Dauntless. I previously had a 1990 Montauk. As a whole, I really like the boat. There are certain things that were cheapened by Boston Whaler from the 1990 Montauk to the 1998 Dauntless. For example, there’s no teak (whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is subject to debate; I liked the look of the teak). The biggest downgrade was the flip back seat. The montauk had a really sturdy reversible seat back. The seat back stayed basically vertical when you flipped it back and forth, and made a good leaning post as well as a seat. The Dauntless seat back just flips back and forth on a single axis. Also, the seat, in my opinion, is too close to the console. I’m not skinny, but I’m not fat either, and there’s barely enough space to stand between the seat and console/steering wheel. I have to rest one knee on the seat to stand up while driving. The final cheapening are the running lights. The montauk had very nice mounted stainless steel light fixtures (i.e. the famous bow-chock light). THe Dauntless has wal-mart quality plug light poles. I don’t know whether they improved on these things on later models. Fortunately, these are all fairly small things, in my opinion (but I bought the boat used at significantly less than the new price). Other than these things, the quality of the boat is very high.

THe hull is very stable and dry. I consider it a bay boat not an offshore boat, although it is fine offshore on the right day. While the bow has a nice V shape, the hull tapers off to a fairly flat hull in the back. This makes for a very shallow draft, stable and fast hull (I can go about 53 MPH under the right circumstances). However, because of the boat’s wide beam and fairly flat hull, it has a tendency to slam in the chop. This tendency can be minimized by setting up the motor right (i.e. mounting it high enough on the transom, and having a good cupped prop to give you some stern lift) and learning how to drive the boat in the chop. I just this week installed Bennett M-80 trim tabs on mine, and I think that will help the rough-water ride a lot, too. But I have only taken the boat out once since I installed them, and although it was very cold and rainy, the water was smooth.

THe older Dauntless hulls have a transom pocket (sort of a tunnel in the hull). I understand that this makes the hull a bit faster, but it also gives you less floatation in the back, so the boat is a bit stern heavy. I think they stopped putting the transom pocket in the hulls sometime in 2000. The hulls with this pocket are a bit harder to get on plane, and have more of a tendency to porpoise. I put a hydrofoil on my motor, and that made a big difference. For my birthday, I got myself the Bennett Trim Tabs, and from my one boat ride since installing them, think they will make a much larger difference (we’ll see).

Boston Whaler 15 Dauntless boat

My boat came with a 1998 Mercury 135 Optimax. Although I had a major problem with the motor (blown powerhead), Mercury proved to be excellent in customer service. Despite the motor being out of warranty, they provided me with a free factory remanufactured powerhead; I just had to pay shipping and installation. The new motor runs flawlessly, has lots of power, crisp throttle response, and sips gas and oil. I would not hesitate to get another mercury motor, even another optimax.

I have both the fishing package and the comfort package with my boat, so I can transform it from a family cruiser with plenty of cushioned seating, to a bare bones fishing machine (I prefer to keep it bare bones). It’s got plenty of storage in the center console, seat and the back bench seat. A lot of people on this web site criticize the Euro Transom on this boat, but since my boat is used not only for fishing, but also for tubing, swimming, snorkeling etc, it’s nice to be able to easily get into and out of the boat from the water. The Euro Transom and the swim ladder make boarding the boat from the water a breeze.

All in all, I find it to be a very nice and versatile boat. I’ve had mine about 2 years now, and I’m liking it more and more.

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