I'm looking at buying a Boat, Got any input? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: I'm looking at buying a Boat, Got any input?

06-20-2001, 07:10 AM
Thinking about buying a Boat. It's a 1970; 17' Boston Whaler; needs wood work on the console. It has a 100 hp Johnson same year as the boat. Does anyone have any advice or input on guying and older boat? What kind of money would be a fare price for a boat of this vintage. The person who has it now says the hull is in good condition.

06-20-2001, 07:40 AM

I'd say shop the internet and the classified mags. We got our 15' 60's vintage with a '90 50hp Merc. for 1350. The deals are out there if you look hard enough.

06-20-2001, 07:45 AM
Before getting into the oldness of the boat, where will you be doing most of your fishing? If it is anywhere but very protected waters, be advised that whalers pound like hell and are wet.

THey do make tough hulls though. We still ahve a 13' '76 Whaler. The real problem is the engine. Regardless of how many times it has been rebuilt, I think you are asking for trouble with an outboard that old. If you are really serious, you should get a survey done on the hull to see if it has any rot or cracking issues...

As far as value, try www.nadaguides.com or something similar.
I can already tell you the value of the engine is functionally $0.00.

Sorry, hate to be the voice of doom.

06-20-2001, 11:54 AM

I recently purchased a 17ft 1978 Boston Whaler Montauk with a 1978 Mercury 70hp and a 1988 Mercury 15hp kicker after months of search and research for a boat to fly fish Puget Sound from. After thorough examination and testing, my local marine mechanic reported that with proper care and maintenance, boat and motors should see a very long life. I’m saving the pennies, however, since the 70hp Mercury is the weak link in the system and will probably need to be replaced in some future year. Several things I learned along the way during my own search:

Age of a Whaler shouldn’t deter your purchase of one although condition of one should be a consideration. I’ve learned one needs very few skills to make quality, professional looking repairs and most repairs can be very inexpensive. The most important factor is to obtain proper guidance for the project at hand. My Montauk is now “near showroom” in appearance and I’ve invested less than $150 in materials and probably 15 hours personal labor to get it that way; it doesn’t look like the same boat we purchased and the price of it would have been a great deal more had the previous owner done to it what I did. The teak I restored now looks absolutely beautiful. I’ve never owned a boat before and my mechanical skills leave much to be desired.

Boston Whalers are known as the Unsinkable Legend. They will float level even when swamped and severely overloaded or even with large holes in the hull. This factor alone puts it into a class by itself; a true safety consideration other manufacturers can’t claim. The ride might be a bit rougher in 3-5 foot seas, but the boat’s lateral stability and invincibility far outweigh that for me. The USCG, U.S. Navy, DEA, FBI, U.S. Border Patrol as well as many local law enforcement agencies and fire and rescue units all use them. Must be a good reason for that. A good example of a Whaler's seaworthiness can be found by paging down to the photo on the following link: http://continuouswave.com/whaler/cetacea/cetaceaPage40.html ... Yeah, the ride can be a bit rough :o ;D

Those “blue books” that purport a boat’s value don’t really give an accurate picture of the vessel’s true market value though it may serve as a starting point. They list their values based on calculated depreciation from the original MSRP of the hull only. Many things affect a boat’s price such as onboard electronics, optional or additional equipment and intangibles such as varying demand in different areas of the country. Decide what you are willing to spend on a boat, be clear on what essentials should be included in that price and then search for one in your price range. http://boattraderonline.com/ is a good place to begin.

An entire community of Boston Whalers aficionados exists online at the Classic Whaler Forum http://continuouswave.com/whaler/ Many true industry experts here with an unbelievable wealth of knowledge in all aspects of Whaler ownership and operation (maintenance, repair, care, sources for parts, history etc.) If you were considering a Whaler, you would be remiss not to review the material contained there. The free exchange of quality information and advice from these folks has proven invaluable to me.

Whatever boat you eventually decide to purchase, I hope you get as much enjoyment and use out of it as I am from my Montauk.


06-20-2001, 03:48 PM
I know where you can get a '95 21.5' SeaSwirl cuddy hard T-top 5.0 lt. Ford fuel injected V-8 low hours w/trailer elect winch and boat gear for $15K...?!

06-20-2001, 04:07 PM
Craig -

Bargain the deal down to the price you would pay for the hull, and buy a nice four stroke to push it with.

Life Magazine 1958

(Great link Greg!)

06-20-2001, 04:56 PM

I thought you might like that shot of Tom Clark skipping the waves at Neah Bay. Did it bring back memories? ;)

The photo you supplied is that of Dick Fisher, the marine architect who designed the first Whalers and whose original design exists today with only slight conformation modifications (e.g. angling of the chines.) The shot is from the company's early advertising emphasizing the unsinkable nature of the vessel. As I understand it, the company repeated that "experiment" in the late '90's cutting the hulls in two with chainsaws...same result: everything floats. Boston Whaler retains all patent rights on the construction process which is why they remain in a class by themselves.

06-20-2001, 06:37 PM
Actually, yes there were memories invoked! We used to run to Swiftshure in 18-21 ft boats, which as you know means running across the opening of the straits past Duncan Rock and the shipping lanes and well into British Columbia waters.

If the waves were too mountainous we'd run the hole in the wall (the gap between Tatoosh Island and Cape Flattery) where the margin of error was pretty small to avoid going around Tatoosh to hang around and fish the tip.

The run to Swiftshure could be flat as a pond on the way out there and the stuff bad dreams are made of on the way home.

Boy there is nothing like casting bucktails to 15 plus pound hooknoses busting herring on the surface in a good old Neah Bay slop though. Especially if a pod of orcas decides to pay a visit in the middle of the feeding frenzy. I will have to convert some of those 8mm to mpeg.

Some wild times out there, I am very glad I got to do it and I owe a lot to my friend and mentor Ken Morgan and his circle of angling buddies who organized annual trips to Al Seda's Big Salmon resort right smack in the middle of the fishing village we know as Neah Bay. I learned so much from him - the fishing and more importantly an appreciation for the merits of a *HARDCORE* fishing excursion. He fished bucktails off a levelwind rod and reel but was amused watching me battle leaping hooknoses as I started bringing my flyrod. It was the things I saw and learned with him were what led to the awesome FF@ hooknose clave of 1991 or 1992 (can't remember) where I met Tony Gades, Bob Schmelzle, and others from the region in the nearby setting of Sekiu Washington. We had the pleasure of landing several coho in the teens and some of them sight casted with small sand eel patterns near the kelp beds of Moussolini Rock as they chased candlefish on the surface.

And that's the short version... ;-)

Let's just say "yes, lots of memories". I hope we *do* get to chase the ocean salmon on a fly this fall together.

best regards,