RE: Boat advice — Boston Whaler or…

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Boston Whaler 15 Outrage boat

RE: Boat advice — Boston Whaler or.

THANK YOU! For all the great advice and resources from the list members regarding my questions about boats. I feel like I collected 10 years of experience in one accelerated burst. I really appreciate the detailed e-mails comments — You have shortened my boat research greatly. Makes my annual dues for being a part of WAFlyfisher’s Forum all worthwhile. )

——Original Message——


Sent: Friday, November 30, 2001 8:00 PM


Subject: Re: Boat advice — Boston Whaler or.


Mike Santangelo has just offered you the most objective and informative advice possible. Just adding a few addional comments:

The 15-footer might be Ok on calm days or in protected bays, but it won’t be much fun in the open Sound with a wind (which is pretty much most days of the year.)

The deep V hull is able to handle chop better than something like a cathedral hull. However, that comes at the cost of lateral stability. What this basically means is that if you’re flyfishing from a boat, the cathedral hulls will not rock roll like a V-hull. Additionally, the deep-V will have more draft. Like Mike said, you need to get a good idea of what you want the boat to do for you.

An entire sub-culture exists around the classic Boston Whalers. This is a link for the Classic Whaler Forum, a collection of Boston Whaler afficionados (and a number of industry experts that participate on that forum) with just about everything you ever wanted or needed to know about Boston Whalers both old and new: Some great photos of the classics in the Cetacea section and outstanding advice in the maintenance and performance sections.

I own a 1978 Boston Whaler Montauk powered by a 70-hp Mercury with a 15hp Mercury kicker. I flyfish fish the Central and South Sound from it. Everything in the area is within easy reach and there’s no access issues to contend with. My boat does everything I want it to do for me especially since I added a casting platforms both forward and aft. I’ve not taken it to Neah bay or even into the straits yet though I have been virtually everywhere in the Central and South Sound. One of the contributors to that classic Whaler site is a guy from Seattle who had his 18′ Boston Whaler Outrage out in rough weather there several years ago. If anyone tells you the classic Whalers can’t handle chop, have them check this photo and article out: He’s either got brass b*##s or a screw loose!

Boston Whaler 17 boat

I’ve not found my Montauk to be a wet ride, but when the seas get to about 3 or 4 feet I find its a its a blast skipping the waves, but I pay for it the next day in my knees and lower back. I have canvass that will enclose the bow and the center console if needed in inclement weather (downpours actually) and it stores easily within the console when not needed. I find it very comfortable to flyfish from with plenty of room for one forward, one aft and one driving. It does take some getting used to, however. I can easily navigate the shallows since it has a 9-inch draft. Fully loaded, the boat, motors, trailer gear weigh about 2100lbs which is easily trailerable by my Ford Explorer that has an out-of-the-showroom 3500lb towing capacity. What’s really important to know about these boats is that they are usually more expensive, even used. The reason for that is the quality construction, unsinkability, and demand. Monitor Bo! for a month or two. Great deals can be found there if you are patient. That’s where I found mine at (from a guy in Seattle) and at quite a steal, I might add.

Again, Mike’s advice is right on! Opinions are like a$$h*@s and everybody has one. I agree to shop around for a used boat — the best deals (and steals) are out there. Ask boat owners questions about their rigs — they’ll be more than happy to give you a complete rundown. but be wary of overly glowing endorsements. Get it clear in your mind where you will take the boat and what you want it to do for you. Be really clear on how much you want to spend for the package (boat, motor, trailer, etc.) and what you want included in that package. GPS, Fishfinder and Marine VHF included? Could easily add an additional $1K depending on the units and needs if you buy new. Safety equipment included (flares, life jackets etc.?) Extra expense if not. Don’t let the $$ burn a hole in your pocket; be patient, know your needs/wants and then jump on it when you find it.

Boats less than 17-feet have different requirments that those over 17-feet. Here’s a link to a site that will get you linked to plenty of Washington specific info: Additionally, I strongly suggest enrolling in a Boating Safety Course even before you buy a boat — the additional benefit beyond learning requirements and rules of the road is completing a course will get you a 10% discount on your boat insurance.

I hope you find the boat you want and one that meets your needs. I can’t begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed mine since buying it in March of this year. a whole, new (uncrowded) flyfishing world comes into reach. I’m sure Mike is equally pleased with his 20-foot Revenge.


Gig Harbor, WA

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