Boston Whaler debuted their new 2002 170-MONTAUK model at the Miami Boat show in February of 2002. Other than showing it in Miami, the factory was not exactly running a promotional blitz campaign, and awareness of the new model by anyone other than Boat Show attendees was pretty much limited to readers of this web site, which is where Ray Beaugrand of New York City and Stowe, Vermont, found out about the new boat. To jump ahead to the end of this story, Ray put his money down right away, ordering a 170-MONTAUK with the 90-HP 4-stroke upgrade, and by jumping in early he was able to take delivery in April, in time for a little spring boating and fitting out of the new Whaler. I'll let Ray back up and tell the rest of the story:
Ray Beaugrand writes:
"I had been out of boating for 18 years after selling my 35-foot MAGNUM Sport Fisherman in 1984. My girlfriend Monica knew how much I always loved boating and said, 'If you love it so much, why don't you just buy a boat!'
"I was reluctant, but since she lives on the water in Branford, Connecticut I was constantly tempted by all the boats on Long Island Sound. Last summer we used a 10-foot Avon inflatable with a 3-HP motor that I had stored all these years. It was just the perfect reintroduction to boating that I needed. After giving it much thought, I decided I wanted a boat that would fit in a garage bay so I could work on it at my leisure and not have to deal with any marinas.
"Next came the decision: what to buy? We went to the New York Boat show in January. We both liked the (old) Montauk, although Monica had some concern about the freeboard since we would be using it in Long Island Sound. I finally convinced her that it was the best boat for our needs.
"After searching the entire East Coast for my best deal, I ended up at Woodard Marine in Vermont. He had a blank 2001 17-Montauk and would give me a great price deal on it. I placed a deposit on the boat saying I would pick it up no later than April 30th.
"Then I got hooked on this wonderful FORUM and saw the pictures posted of the new Montauk 170 at the Miami show. I immediately got on the phone to Bob Woodard and transferred my deposit to the New 170-MONTAUK. He was very nice about it, but he didn't even know there was a new Montauk and had not seen any photos of the new boat! I sent him the Miami photos and he placed the order immediately in February.
"He was able to get me a list of options with prices. I ordered the Fishing Package, the Swim Platform, the extra Bow Cushion ($225) and the Sun Top (which I now regret). Had I known the top wasn't made by Mills I would not have ordered it. The Mills Sun Top folds toward the bow and does not cover up the rear seats. I also ordered the 90-HP 4-stroke motor upgrade.
"I took delivery of the boat on April 13th approximately 6 weeks from ordering it. I lucked out because most people at that time didn't even know there was a new 170-MONTAUK. I think if you were to order from scratch today, it might be early August before delivery. For some people the thirteenth is unlucky, but for me it was a great day.
"Only have three complaints (maybe four). I ordered the boat with the optional Fishing Package, Front Bow Cushion, Swim Platform, and Sun Top. The Fishing Package comes with a compass, which in my opinion is cheap looking. I went to a marine store and purchased a new Ritchie Model 1000 in white that fits in the same hole and has a much larger dial. It would have cost Whaler another $75 to upgrade. Total cost of new compass was $130.
"The boat came with a 90-HP 4-stroke. Whaler gives you two plastic 6-gallon tanks. I guess this was a place they felt they could cut corners. I had ordered a Pate 27 gallon tank in advance (and yes it does fit under the new seat). Whaler should work out a deal with Pate to offer this as an option.
My suspicions (about the horsepower required) were right; to make this the ideal boat Whaler should have offered the 115-HP EFI. My understanding is that there is a shortage on the 115's now, and that may be the reason they will hold off offering it until next year.
My test run was made in the rain, fog and awful conditions. I took my GPS aboard and at Wide-Open-Throttle (for only a few seconds) read 38-MPH. I am sure that the boat in normal conditions will do 40-MPH at WOT. Again, my gripe with Boston Whaler is not the top speed; it is the smoothness of the EFI and the torque of the 115-HP. On my test run there were 4 people on board (three were men and I would guess the total weight was around 700-725 lbs) as well as two full 6-gallon gas tanks.
"An annoying thing for me was that there is a bow cleat but in the stern nothing to tie the boat up except for the stern tow eyes.
"Another annoyance is the Sun Top. It only folds down to the stern, right in front of the two little stern step-seats. I spoke to Mills and they are redesigning a Sun Top to fold down to the bow under the front rail. (To clarify, the Sun Top from Whaler is not made by Mills.) If I were ordering it again, I would not order the one from the factory; I would order it directly from Wm. J. Mills & Sons; Mills charges about $200 less than the factory!
"THE RIDE...THE RIDE...THE RIDE. It's awesome.
"There is no comparison in the ride of the new versus the classic. The new Montauk ride and handling is awesome. It's very stable and smooth. I didn't get beaten up at all. I thought I was in a much larger boat. The finish is as good as the classic.
"The fishing tackle box installed in the console is a nice addition (even though I am not a fisherman yet). It looks very nice, and it alone makes you want to order the fishing package.
"The additional room because of the wider beam is really nice. You have the feel of space. Not cramped at all.
"The trailer is very nice and trailers very easy. I ordered a swing tongue from EZ Loader trailers (not from the factory) so that I could fit the boat in my available garage. Except for the hole I made in the rear sheetrock wall, the boat just fit in. Remember: if anyone orders a swing tongue YOU MUST BLOCK UNDER THE BOW FOR SUPPORT before swinging that tongue away.
"A pleasant surprise: the 4-stroke motor upgrade includes a stainless steel Mercury Vengeance prop at no additional cost.
"The boat sits nicely in the water. It seems that the additional weight of the 4-stroke does not affect it. The 4-stroke on the Classic made the stern sit very deep in the water.
"All in all I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOAT. I hope that Brunswick makes more of the 115-HP so that they can start offering it on next year's model. With the 115 it would blow all the competition off the map.
"The boat graphics on the side of the boat were done by Typestries Marine Graphics. Their web site is www.boatgraphics.com Toll free number is 888-597-3399. I am very pleased with the job. It was done completely over the internet. I sent them what I wanted and they sent me samples. Total cost was $201.00.
"I am just starting to install all the goodies I bought for the boat over the last few months.
"The boat is really fantastic, it has surpassed all my wishes. Whaler did a wonderful job this time (except for the horsepower issue).
"THANKS, WHALER, FOR MAKING SUCH A NICE BOAT."
2002 New 170-MONTAUK
This is Boston Whaler dealer Bob Woodard, of Woodard Marine on Lake Bomoseen, Vermont, turning the boat over to Ray (after he paid for it).
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-01
Here is dealer Bob Woodward, again, backing the boat off the trailer for the first time. A quick sea trial followed.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-02
On the Road
After everything checked out, the boat was back on the trailer and on the highway for the haul back to her new home.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-03
Four Stroke on Transom
One advantage of boat and motor packaging by the factory is their test and selection of the propeller. The 90-HP 4-stroke upgrade includes a stainless steel VENGEANCE prop which propels the boat to 43 MPH. The swim platform is an option. Note the rounded corners of the hull at the transom.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-04
Cockpit Bow Area
The cooler seat and bow cushion shown here are options.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-05
The forward locker has an overboard drain. Note the nice details in the mold like the anchor rode slot forward, relief for opening, and the drain lip around the hatch perimeter. Of course, the hatch is finished on both sides. These are typical details of a Boston Whaler boat's high level of finish.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-06
Ray replaced the OEM compass (left) with a Ritchie SS1000 (already installed). It fits perfectly in the original hole. A Garmin 2006C is going to be installed on the right console top. Now where to put the radio? (The red highlights are reflections from the sun top.) The factory standard gauge package includes a Tachometer, a battery voltmeter, and an engine cooling water pressure gauge. Below the gauges are breakers for HORN, NAV LTS, BILGE PUMP, and ACCESSORY circuits. There is also a 12-Vdc power outlet. Between the wheel and the throttle controls are the Ignition/Start switch and the safety lanyard or KILL switch.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-07
Motor Well Details
By running all the control cables and hoses through a tunnel, the rear cockpit is very clean. The cables exit the motor well bulkhead through a rubber gasket high on the starboard side. An electric pump keeps the sump dry. The red trim on the engine makes red the color of choice for the boat's trim.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-08
Ray added hull graphics to give the boat its name, which makes the red sun top and red trim quite appropriate.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-09
Cruising In Style
"When I am out in this new Montauk, I feel like I am in a much bigger boat," says Ray. It does seem to throw a helluva wake, though.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-10
The final layout of electronic accessories is shown in this view of the center console. The GARMIN 2006C takes the prime spot atop the console under a waterproof cover. Inset into the console is a BLAUPUNT Stereo/CD Player, coupled to four PIONEER speakers (two unseen on console front bulkhead). A HORIZON VHF Marine Radio and a RITCHIE S-1000 Compass complete the add-on's.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-11
Ray removed the OEM 6-gallon tanks and replaced them with Florida fiberglass vendor PATE PLASTICS' 27-gallon molded gasoline tank. A see-thru sight gauge serves as a ullage pipe. Ray contacted Boston Whaler to make them aware the deck access hole for the fuel line should be moved forward about three inches. The present position for the fuel line access forces the Pate tank to stick out unnecessarily. (The factory may change this on future boats.) Says Ray, "I am very happy with the tank." There does seem to be an issue with filling it to the brim; see this thread for comments.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-12
The additional weight of modern outboard engines was factored into the design of the new hull. As a result, there is plenty of reserve buoyancy aft. No evidence of loss of freeboard in the stern is seen here. Here Ray navigates the Branford River in Connecticut, an estuary of Long Island Sound.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-13
The "Smirk" c.2002
Here is the first look at the new hull in the water. The lines of the bow, which look rather odd when seen on stands at a boatshow, present more kindly in the water. The depth of the reverse chine grows as the chine line sweeps back from the bow. In the classic Montauk (and other older hulls) it remained more or less constant.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-14
Ray continued to work on TABASCO and in the summer of 2002 added a few improvements, shown in the photographs below.
The most significant addition was changing the engine from the original 90-HP 4-stroke Mercury to a 115-HP 4-stroke Electronic Fuel Injection model. The selling (Boston Whaler) dealer was reluctant to participate in the engine change, perhaps concerned about liability for powering the boat beyond the rated horsepower. Ray located a Mercury engine "discount" dealer who was willing to make a trade, and swapped his 90-horse (with just a few hours usage) for a 115-HP model. However, even the engine seller was unwilling to install the new engine, going only as far as removing the old engine and laying down the new one in the boat's cockpit for transport. Ultimately a local boat yard was hired to install and rig the 115-HP motor. The two engines weigh the same, and all the mounting holes and control lines fit without trouble. To accomplish all this cost much more than the $500 difference in retail price of the two motors, but Ray reports the EFI engine runs more smoothly and has better acceleration. And, yes, the boat is insured (by Progressive) for operation with the higher horsepower engine. (For more discussion regarding computing horsepower ratings, there is already an excellent series of articles in the forum archives.)
Ray also kept the special fitting (which attaches to the water jacket) from the original engine as the new one did not include that accessory, needed to connect the hose to the water pressure gauge on the console. And, of course, the stainless steel performance Mercury propeller, included in the intial 90-HP upgrade package, must be kept; the new motor did not come with a propeller as part of the package.
He also installed a trim/tilt gauge (not shown) to the instrument panel, mounting it on the starboard side of the original panel, adjacent to the two smaller gauges, where there is a natural spot for a third small gauge. His local Boston Whaler dealer had the necessary parts (about $80). Ray finds it very useful to have the trim gauge as it eliminates having to turn around to gauge the engine trim by eye.
To clean up the bimini installation Ray added rear support legs, allowing the top to be stowed in the upright position and keeping it off the rear cockpit gunwales and seat. The Wm. J. Mills & Co. supplied the stainless steel supports and hardware (about $100). Finally, the two rear cockpit seats were treated with cushions, made by Halls Nautical Upholstery [no longer in business in 2021] which cost about $175. The back rest cushions are a Whaler part, used on an OUTRAGE 17 model.
Four Stroke Power
The boat was delivered with the standard 90-HP Mercury 4-stroke, but shortly replaced with the larger 115-HP 4-stroke engine. The horsepower decals have been removed. The engine cowlings are the same size, and the engine weight is nearly identical.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-15
The Whaler OEM Bimini is now held up by a pair of Mills rear struts. PVC covered guides have been added to the trailer. The console railing holds the GPS receiver's antenna.
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-16
Cushioned Seats and Rod Holder
The two rear cockpit seats were treated with cushions. The seat cushions were ordered from Hall's Nautical Upholstery. The backrest cushions came from Boston Whaler, where they are used on the OUTRAGE 17. The two match very nicely. A four position BIRDSALL rod holder (about $135) looks like it was designed for this boat!
PhotoCredit: Ray Beaugrand - Reference: 58-17
Although Ray's early bird purchase enabled him to be one of the first owners to take delivery of this new model Montauk, sales of this new "legend" were strong, and soon there were many of them in the hands of forum followers. We steal a bit of the Cetacea spotlight from TABASCO and shine it on another, James Gotay's FREE SPIRIT, for a close up look at some additional owner-added details.
James Gotay, an engineer from Port Monmouth, New Jersey, took delivery of his 170 MONTAUK in July of 2002, and sent these fine images to show a few of the added details of his boat. He opted for the Mills canvas package, dual batteries, and several other refinements from the Boston Whaler factory set up.
The boat electrical system was upgraded to a dual battery installation. A new OFF-1-BOTH-2 switch (GUEST brand) has been installed. The black device adjacent to the switch connects the bilge pump directly to the battery, bypassing the original console AUTO/OFF/MANUAL switch. On starboard, port, and aft sides of the console three PERKO brass/chrome courtesy lights are mounted, and the back side of one of them is seen here between the two Clarion loudspeakers.
James Gotay - Reference: 58-18
From dead-ahead one can see the substantial reverse chine line that provides bow lift and throws spray downward, contributing to the boat's nice ride characteristics. This view also shows the Wm. J. Mills & Co. Tall Bimini installation. The cord cross ties connecting to the console's "shepherd's crook" rail are a trademark of a Mills installation; they keep the frame from shaking laterally. A cylindrical GPS receive antenna is also mounted on the console railing.
James Gotay - Reference: 58-19
Mills Bimini Top
The Wm. J. Mills & Co. tall Bimini installation. The main support strut for the bimini has a strategic bend in it near the hinge so that it can collapse forward and stow in the bow. Note the mounting of the VHF Marine band radio antenna; this is a 4-foot antenna and it looks like the top can be folded forward while the antenna is up.
James Gotay - Reference: 58-20
Helm Console with Extras
This view of the helm console shows several additions. The compass is a Ritchie Power Damp Plus model. A third gauge has been added, an engine hour meter. A SIMRAD Model CE-33 combination WAAS GPS and SONAR takes the top position. A Clarion XMD2 AM/FM receiver and CD player fills in the starboard panel. An ICOM-502 VHF Marine Band transceiver is mounted on the lower face and a DIGITAL 528-VW 4-foot antenna with hinged base is close by on the side of the console.
James Gotay - Reference: 58-21
Stern Cockpit Details
James also installed stern seat cushions, again made by Halls Nautical Upholstery. A three-position BIRDSALL rod holder mounts against the cockpit side of the splash well dam.
James Gotay - Reference: 58-22
From the stern more details come into view. The multiple function (speed/temp/sonar) transducer for the SIMRAD Sonar is mounted on the starboard side of the transom. A 27-gallon Pate fiberglass fuel tank is visible under the Pilot Seat. Stern cleats have been installed, and the tail lights have been raised to the top of the added trailer guide-on posts. The clearance between the fenders is rather tight; an extra inch or two would be appreciated.
James Gotay - Reference: 58-23
Beginning with model year 2004, the 170 MONTAUK boat began to be delivered with a different brand of trailer. A KARAVAN trailer replaced the EZ LOADER model used previously. Kevin Smith sent some photographs to show the new trailer. The KARAVAN trailer includes a hinged tongue that may be swung aside when storing the boat. Reducing the overall length by about two feet will help the boat fit into more garages. Kevin's boat is also equipped with a replacement fuel tank, this time a 24-gallon model from Pate Plastics.
Pate Fuel Tank: 24-Gallon Model
The 24-gallon model of the Pate fuel tank fits under the pilot seat with more clearance than its 27-gallon cousin.
PhotoCredit: Kevin Smith - Reference: 58-24
Beginning in model year 2004, Boston Whaler began to supply a KARAVAN trailer with a hinged hitch as part of the standard package on the 170 MONTAUK. It looks like this arrangement can save about two feet in the over length of the boat/motor/trailer combination. That may be just what is needed to fit into certain garages.
PhotoCredit: Kevin Smith - Reference: 58-25
Karavan Trailer Tail Lights
A close up view of the details of the rear end of the trailer.
PhotoCredit: Kevin Smith - Reference: 58-26
Karavan Trailer Fenders
The fenders are a bit more widely spaced on this trailer. Some users have reported that the plastic fenders act as guides when loading the boat, and the tight clearance is not a problem.
PhotoCredit: Kevin Smith - Reference: 58-27
More details of the Boston Whaler 170-MONTAUK are available in the Reference section.
Before the October 2003 revision this page had been viewed over 23,000 times, making it about the all-time leader in the CETACEA collection, except possibly Cetacea Page One, which had a head start and a big advantage being at the top of the list. Rather than using this recent set of nine new photographs to start another Cetacea article, I thought it best to append them to this one. In that way all of the information about the 170 MONTAUK is kept a little more together.continuousWave --> Whaler --> Cetacea
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Copyright © 2002 by James W. Hebert. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited!
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This article first appeared May 17, 2002.
Author: James W. Hebert