BOSTON WHALER 130 SUPER SPORT AND BOSTON WHALER 150 MONTAUK REVIEW

By: JOHN FORD, Photography by: JOHN FORD

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-11.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-12.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-13.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-10.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-09.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-08.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-07.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-06.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-05.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-04.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-03.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-02.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-150-MONTAUK-01.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-01.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-02.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-03.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-04.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-05.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-06.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-09.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-10.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-11.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-12.jpg
BOSTON-WHALER-130-SUPER-SPORT-07.jpg

Tenders can do more than ferry the crew back and forth to shore. John Ford reports on a pair of Boston Whaler tenders that could turn your holiday cruise into more of an adventure.

BOSTON WHALER 130 SUPER SPORT AND BOSTON WHALER 150 MONTAUK REVIEW
BOSTON WHALER 130 SUPER SPORT AND BOSTON WHALER 150 MONTAUK REVIEW

When choosing the sort of motoryacht for that long fantasised expedition to far-off islands, couples may take more time picking the colour of the bed linen than they do deciding on the often ignored tender. Well, ignored until the weather turns bad and the trip back to the mothership turns the dream holiday into a soaked and frightening nightmare.

A tender can be more than the lifeline to shore and accessorising your yacht with a decent one gives travellers the added variety of fishing, towing water toys, diving and the ability to safely explore locations not available to your deep-keeled and expensive cruiser or in a miniature pram-style dinghy. Adding to this, a larger tender can double as a trailerable boat for use when the cruiser is tied to its mooring at home.



SIZE MATTERS

In many ways the choice of an exploration tender is limited to size – the size of the mothership, the size of your wallet and the size of your imagination. Issue 442 of Trade-a-Boat explored the world of inflatable boats, so we now turn our attention to a leader in fibreglass boat design with a number of smaller models suitable for use as tenders.

Boston Whalers are often remembered as the boats that Dick Fisher, the original builder, cut in half and then motored away in the stern section to prove they were unsinkable. For this feat in 1961, Dick used a crosscut saw but it has been repeated in more recent advertising with chainsaws and even more dramatically by strafing the boat with a machine gun.

Originally built near Boston, Massachusetts, the brand is now based in Florida as an arm of the Brunswick Group that also produces the factory-fitted Mercury engines. Production involves the hull and liners being fused together then filled with foam while both are still in the moulds. This process ensures consistent and robust construction of the so-called "unsinkable legend".

Recent improvements in regulations mean that many manufacturers now produce boats with positive buoyancy, so the Boston Whaler claim is no longer unique, even if its hulls are reputed to exceed American statutory requirements.

While there are Boston Whalers as small as 11ft; for our test we chose two different layouts in a side console 13ft Super Sport and a centre console 15ft Montauk, so their size dictates you are going to need a motoryacht big enough to store and wrestle them aboard.



BOSTON WHALER 130 SUPER SPORT

The original Boston Whaler from 1958 was a 13-footer, so the test boat gave me a nice reference point to the legendary hull that started it all, even if hull design and cockpit layout have evolved over the last five decades. Its small dimensions mean that use of space is paramount and the mini console on the starboard side leaves a relatively good amount of flat deck area to move around.



SMALL BUT STABLE

The first thing I noticed on stepping aboard was the amazing amount of stability the hull has due mainly to the aggressive, deep chines. At the bow a raised deck acts as a boarding step, casting platform and a rear-facing seat for two passengers. (There is an optional clip-in cushion to make things more comfortable). A lifting hatch reveals useful storage space, an anchor well and a heavy-duty stainless steel lifting point. Non-skid finish to the fibreglass is carried though the floor surfaces of the boat and onto the bow step. Low grabrails run around the sidedecks and given the lively performance, we were to discover they would prove to be most welcome to passengers.

The console is a streamlined moulding, too low to offer any wind protection to the driver and just large enough to mount the steering wheel, a tacho, cupholder and a 12V outlet. A 25lt removable plastic fuel tank is stored in a secure holder under the seat and our test boat came with some sensible options, including a driver’s bucket seat that clipped onto the bench and a bimini that folded out over the helm. Scuppers in the rear corners drain any water that comes aboard, meaning the Super Sport can be left on a mooring during heavy showers.

A second lifting point is built into the transom and there is a stainless steel portside boarding ladder and tow points either side of the motor. Boats come from the factory, fitted standard with a 40hp Mercury four-stroke outboard that proved to be an ideal match, although the specs indicate it could be rated down to 25hp if required



IT FLIES

It took a while to get used to the driving position as it felt like I was sitting on the boat rather than in it. While it’s a little unnerving at first, a few quick turns dispelled any reservations I had about the boat’s stability at speed. It’s incredibly manoeuvrable and nimble, turning at full throttle into sharp manoeuvres with a flat stance and some rear-end slip as the turn becomes more pronounced.

Steering is light and responsive when trimmed out correctly and the boat accelerates quickly onto the plane with minimum bow lift at 12kts. Maximum speed was almost 32kts with the boat tracking perfectly and needing only a cursory touch of the wheel. Fuel consumption figures supplied by the factory indicate that at a cruising speed of 18kts the 40hp outboard is using 6.4lt/h for a range of 58.9nm.

Over some small wind chop the hull was quiet and throughout the test remained dry, while the ride was soft with only some occasional banging over some bigger waves. Of course the boat is open and airy and at higher speeds the late winter breeze showed it still had some bite.

There is a long list of options to turn the boat from a simple tender into something more fishing oriented, including a carry-on livebait tank and rodholders. Even without any of the options the Super Sport lives up to its name with agility and a good turn of speed in a safe and diminutive package. The added weight of the motor takes the boat to around 400kg, so it’s a practical proposition for cruisers more than 55ft with storage room on the foredeck.



BOSTON WHALER 150 MONTAUK

At 15ft and 430kg plus motor, the 150 Montauk as a tender is destined to live on yachts bigger than 60ft. It comes with more standard features than the Super Sport, making it better suited to fishing and its layout lends it to travelling longer distances.

Compared to the pared-back, sleek lines of the Super Sport the Montauk has a more rugged and purposeful look. There are similarities in the bow with a similar style, but larger raised deck, storage hatch and lifting point. However, Montauk deck fittings look stronger, including a solid bow navigation light and stainless steel mooring cleat. Our test model came with an optional fishing pack that included console-mounted rodholders, tackle drawer and a forward-mounted 34lt icebox with a cushion seat for two.

A larger console is located in the centre and a portside door opens to a good-sized waterproof storage area. I found the two-drawer tackle box and a recess for a fire extinguisher or an EPIRB built into the port side. On top of the console is a clear screen with a grabrail, while the dash has a tacho and switch panel, plus room for a small navigation screen to be flush-fitted if required.

At the transom is provision for an optional livebait tank and both sides have boarding steps moulded into the corners. A central fibreglass grill covers a bilge fitted with a pump because although the hull has 1315kg of swamped buoyancy it’s not self-draining.

A twin helm seat has a waterproof memory-foam cushion and a reversible backrest that locks into four different positions. Below the seat, and easily accessible by removing a clip-in vinyl cover, I discovered more storage space and a 49lt fuel tank for a range of 86nm at cruising speed.



HIGH FUN FACTOR

Driving the Montauk was just as much fun as the Super Sport, but with the added bonus of the screen protecting me from the cold. Its heavier weight made it feel more solid across chop and while it lacked the light-footed feel of the smaller boat it still had a precise feel when thrown into turns. Planing speed was almost the same and the 60hp Mercury wound out to 30.8kts, just short of the Super Sport. The large stainless steel wheel was light and responsive and the dash-mounted throttle was smooth and well positioned.

Around the rear half of the boat a 200mm high rail would offer added security when fishing and the centre console permits easy movement around the whole boat. The space available and the stability are such that I envisage three could fish out of the Montauk without getting too much in each other’s way.



[HIGHS]

› Safe, stable platform and good payload

› Easy to drive, even for novices

› Sporty and good range

› Good for fishing or just mucking around



[LOWS]

› Will need a large mothership to store



[TRADE-A-BOAT SAYS… ]

Either Whaler would hold its own against anything in their class-size for fishing or just mucking around on the water, while as tenders they are a standout. They would be equally at home on a sun-drenched coral atoll miles from anywhere, landed up on the sandy beach for a late afternoon sundowner as they would be screaming up Pittwater chasing a late afternoon kingfish off Barrenjoey.

There may be cheaper alternatives but their high level of floatation, build quality and exceptional handling makes them safe and easily driven by novice operators. Early examples of Boston Whalers are still in active service, so their solid construction should see these new models also last for years.



BOSTON WHALER 130 SUPER SPORT SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$25,870



OPTIONS FITTED

Bimini, helm bucket seat, and sports steering wheel



PRICED FROM

$23,970



SEA TRIALS

Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport with 40hp Mercury 40 EFI



RPM SPEED

1000 3kts

2000 5kts

2500 6kts

3000 8kts

3300 (on the plane) 12kts

3500 14kts

4000 18kts

4500 21kts

5000 24kts

5500 26kts

6000 28kts

6200 (WOT) 32kts

* Sea-trial figures supplied by the author.



GENERAL

MATERIAL Fibreglass

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH 4.03m

BEAM 1.78m

WEIGHT 290kg

DEADRISE 14°



CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 4

REC. HP 25 to 40

FUEL 25lt



ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury 40 EFI

TYPE Three-cylinder four-stroke outboard

RATED HP 40

DISPLACEMENT 747cc

WEIGHT 98kg

GEAR RATIO 2:1

PROPELLER 14in



SUPPLIED BY

Sirocco Marine South,

79-81 Cawarra Road,

Caringbah, NSW, 2229

Phone: (02) 9524 8288

Web: www.siroccomarinesouth.com.au





BOSTON WHALER 150 MONTAUK SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$40,650



OPTIONS FITTED

Fishing package, console and seat cover, and bimini



PRICED FROM

$37,650



SEA TRIALS

Boston Whaler 150 Montauk with 60hp Mercury 60ELPT Bigfoot



RPM SPEED

1000 3kts

2000 5kts

2500 6kts

3000 8kts

3200(planing) 11kts

3500 13kts

4000 17kts

4500 20kts

5000 23kts

5500 26kts

6000 (WOT) 30kts

* Sea-trial figures supplied by the author.



GENERAL

MATERIAL Fibreglass

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH 4.7m

BEAM 1.98m

WEIGHT 430kg

DEADRISE 16°



CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 6

REC. HP 40 to 60

FUEL 49lt



ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury 60ELPT Bigfoot

TYPE Inline four-cylinder four-stroke

RATED HP 60

DISPLACEMENT 995cc

WEIGHT 118kg

GEAR RATIO 2.33:1

PROPELLER 14in



SUPPLIED BY

Sirocco Marine South,

79-81 Cawarra Road,

Caringbah, NSW, 2229

Phone: (02) 9524 8288

Web: www.siroccomarinesouth.com.au

 

Originally published in Trade-a-Boat #443, August/September 2013.

Find Boston Whaler boats for sale.

 


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.