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What is the deal? It seems like someone always says when talking about other brands of boats that they were "designed by one of the former owners of Boston Whaler". I know Boston Whalers are fine boats and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but can someone lend some insight to this puzzling question? Why does everyone say this about other brands of boats? Or can some one try to draw concrete lines that give credibility to this? I am interested to find out what the PFF members think about this.
 

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Over the years many of the designers, engineers, and production people have left Boston Whaler and formed their own companies after their non-compete agreement had expired. When BW was purchased by Brunswick in the 70's if I remember right, the quality never was the same afterward. In fact, the original "unsinkable hull" is now an industry standard by federal law. In my opinion, they are way overpriced, partly because of their early reputation in the 50's and 60's. Back to the different manufacturers that claim their genesis in BW, Scout is the only one that comes immediately to mind, but I am sure there are others.
 

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Lanis McKee was whaler's chief engineer. He left in the 60's to start McKee craft. At least thats what I heard.... There is also some Everglades affiliation somehow.
 

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I looked at Whalers andthey don't compare favorably to a similar sized Key West...just my opinion. Obviously biased since I bought the KW.
 

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Owned one and never will another.Beat you to death in anything over 2.5 feet.Everything was always breaking.It was a very good hull as far as dry ride and not sinking being swamped but as far as ride goes.You will need an at home dialysis machine for after trips.
 

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I had a 1976 CC 19.4 Outrage and yea they ride a little rough but it was one tough boat with twin Hondas I took her out to edge more than few times and drove her in6ft seas and stayed dryer than my brothers 26ft Mako the hull design isremarkable on the older boats anyway. The only draw back was the lowbanana style sides rough on the knees when fightin a big fish. I had some fuel tank problems when I first got her I called theBW plant and they let me talk with one of the original engineers from that model boat. Guy was great and told me to call him any time i needed help with her. So some of there guys have remained loyal to the BW name.
 

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standrew (4/14/2010)Lanis McKee was whaler's chief engineer. He left in the 60's to start McKee craft. At least thats what I heard.... There is also some Everglades affiliation somehow.
I know there's a link between Everglades and Edgewater with the Doughertys but I wasn't aware of any Boston Whaler link.
 

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I've owned 4 small Whalers (3 were 70s and 80s, one was a 1996) and they are good boats. BUT,I think most of their reputation stems from the early years when there weren't as many other really good unsinkable boats around. They were the original unsinkable.

I also owned a 1986 14' McKee and it was a fine boat, much heavier than a Whaler.

I think when these other boats try to establish a connection with Whaler, they are just trying to capitalize on Whaler's reputation.
 

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I have been affiliated with the marine business since 1981 and have personally owned over twenty boats in the past including a BW. I currently own a Chapparral and a Carolina Skiff. To comment on other posts, the older offshore BW's were indeed rough riding when compared to other boats in its' category. So were the Montauck series until their hulls were changed just a few years ago.



There indeed has been debate on the quality control issues since Brunswick took over in the late 1980's. However their warranty repair rate has not significantly changed over the years and their warranty service is excellent - unlike a lot of other high line companies I won't mention. I also agree that they are "over priced" when compared to other boats- which is one reason I have a Carolina Skiff instead of a Montauck Whaler. HOWEVER -- their resale value is unmatched in the industry. A 10 yr. old Montauck in good condition sells for more now than when it was brand new.This can't happen unless you have a quality product and service.



As for the flotation, there is no federal mandate for whaler type construction. All boats must meet meet standards for level flotation. In other words, put the boat in the water and pull the plug and the boat top edges have to be above the water line. This is a minimum requirement. What Whaler originated and others such as Mckee Craft and Edgewater have copied is a construction method which does not use the traditional stringer in the hull of the boat. Instead the inner and outer hulls are COMPLETELY injected with a closed cell foam that permanently bonds the boat together. The result is that you can take a BW, put the engine on it, put the max. number of people/weight in it and then pull the plug. A BW will still not only have full level flotation, but the engine will also be out of the water.



To some people these things are important, to others, not so much. To everyone the boats we have today are in general far superior to what we had twenty years ago . Unfortunately so are the prices and our expectations that go along with those prices.
 

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I had a BW in the early 70's me and a buddy bought it together and ran the hell out of it for 5 years and sold it for more than we bought it for..we did make a couple of improvements..loved the boat, however in 02 when I started looking for another boat I bought a Sea Pro instead to a comparable BW as it was half the price and had more features I want for a bayboat..and I have not regretted it at all..but I'm talking a 19 ft class boat, from what I see at Boat Shows BW still makes some nice boats..but they are pricey.
 
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