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Hull Attachments

When you want to add custom accessories to your boat, you should check with your Boston Whaler dealer or check with the factory before proceeding.

DWG: Sample wood locating diagram

Accessories subject to stress, such as seats, consoles, etc., should not be attached except in areas that have wood inserts in the hull. Your safety and the safety of passengers could be affected by improper installations. Wood locating diagrams have been included in the owner's package of each new boat, or are available from the factory upon request. These diagrams are updated from time to time.


Do not install elevated transom ski hitches on 11, 13, or 15 Whalers. Because of their high center of gravity, the skier may exert enough force when pulling outside in a turn to capsize the boat. All models 9-foot through 17-foot are equipped with ski-tow eyes and interior lifting eyes through bolted on the transom. A bridle equipped with a pulley and float can be attached to the exterior transom ski eyes. The pulley will allow the tow line to traverse from side to side as the skier crosses the wake, and the float prevents the bridle from sinking and tangling in the propeller.

On 17-foot models equipped with the optional rear deck, we offer a ski pylon option for water skiing. Limited models have an optional ski pylon which is mounted ahead of the transom and engine to provide more control.


The 9, 11, and 13-foot models are well suited as tenders and can easily be towed. Their light weight offers minimal drag and drain plugs can be left open for draining when towing in rough water where spray may come aboard.

You will have to experiment to determine which towing method will work best for your specific requirements. In some cases, a single tow line will be sufficient. Other cases may require a bridle from the transom of the larger vessel, or a double bridle going back to the bow eye to reduce yawing. You will have to experiment with the tow line to achieve the boat's best ride behind the wake. It is wise to attach a separate security line from the bridle or two line to the norman pin. This line should be loose and not take any strain form the tow. This will act as a shock preventer should the bow eye fail or the towing bridle connections let go. Although the bow eye area is reinforced, high speed towing in rough water conditions should be avoided as constant heavy jerking could loosen the bow eye.

The engine can be left in position or stern ballast left in the boat. This will in some cases assist in straighter tracking particularly if the engine is in the down position.

CAUTION: Avoid nylon tow lines. These can stretch like a rubber band and in case of accidental breakage of hardware, be propelled like a missile. Tow lines should be attached to the bow eye not the interior norman pin.


All Boston Whalers 9 through 17-feet are equipped with bow towing and lifting eyes as well as stern ski eyes and lifting eyes. These are suited for tie up. We do not recommend or install conventional cleats as they can catch clothing and fishing lines. The bow norman pin can be used for light tie up duty and lines attached to the stern eyes for tying up at a slip or dock. If mooring, the bow eye should be used. Optional bow chocks provide line direction and prevent chafing.


Lifting systems are varied depending upon personal preferences, space limitations, and physical factors. When selecting davits or lifting equipment, be sure the supplier and installer know where the lifting positions are on your particular Boston Whaler. If you have any questions, consult your dealer, check with the factory, or consult your davit supplier.

DWG: Dimension of lifting points

9 and 11-foot Sport and Tenders are equipped with a bow lifting eye and two lifting eyes through-bolted on the transom. Interior wood has also been molded into the bow locker bulkhead and the rear seat platform for installation of lifting pad eyes. This allows greater flexibility in spacing dual davits or lowers the lifting point if a strong back system is used. Wood pads are molded into the gunwales opposite these bulkheads for davit locking devices.

The 11-foot Super Sport has no rear seat bulkhead and the seat back and bow rail can present some limitations on your selection of a lifting system.

13, 15 , and 17-foot Models are also equipped with a bow lifting eye and two lifting eyes through bolted on the transom interior. Dual davit, single davit, and a strong back system can all be used on these models. In some cases as spreader bar between the two rear lifting eyes will be necessary. Bow rails and seat backs on Super Sport models, as well as console rails and windshields can restrict lifting heights, so check clearance.

CAUTION—If using a single point lifting system, the apex of the bridle must be high enough above the gunwale to provide lifting angles from the eyes to prevent distortion of the lifting eyes and stainless steel shanks. This is approximately 3 to 4 feet above the gunwale. Avoid hooks which are too large for the eyes to accommodate. The hooks must swivel freely in the eyes. If necessary, use shackles through the lifting eyes. Have the bow slightly elevated and remove drain plugs.


Your Boston Whaler is built with its keel as the strongest area. The keel is designed to support the weight of the boat. For this reason, the trailer you select should contain center keel rollers to support the entire weight of the boat. Padded bunks should be located so they do not interfere with bottom spray rails and need only provide lateral stability. Leave a small space of 1/4-inch between the bunks and the boat. This will aid launching by reducing friction.

PHOTO: Keel roller trailer

Roller type trailers should not be used on Boston Whalers. Although this type of trailer is popular, it can cause damage to your boat and to the foam sandwich construction. Roller trailers do not support at its strongest point—the keel. The rollers can cause a ripple effect on the fiberglass which could disrupt the bond between the fiberglass and foam core. In addition, rollers an put excessive pressure on molded bottom strakes when the boat is being launched and retrieved.

Your trailer will be an important part in ensuring your boating pleasure. The trailer should be adjusted to your boat. The winch stand should be adjusted so the bow stop is located just above the bow eye with the winch cable just below it. This will allow a straight pull on the bow eye and located the stop above the bow eye will provide additional security in the event of a panic stop. Be sure the hook is not oversized for the bow eye or twisting of the eye could occur.

PHOTO: Bow stop detail

Tie down straps may require chafe protection over the heavy duty rub rail, particularly on long hauls or trailering on rough roads. Many trailer manufacturers offer transom tie downs with hooks and clamps. Be sure any metal components that may contact the hull are padded to prevent chafing the gelcoat.

You will find a cat walk on the trailer chassis a great convenience and increase safety in launching and retrieving. If not provided by the trailer manufacturers, one can easily be constructed using a two-by-ten or two-by-twelve plank.

When launching or retrieving, avoid submerging the wheel bearings of the trailer. The addition of grease fittings on the wheel hubs will make wheel bearing maintenance easier. Back the trailer down to the water so wheel bearings are just above the water. A trailer that is properly balanced will allow one person to tilt it, allowing the boat to slide off the keel rollers easily. Keep the rollers lubricated with a waterproof grease.

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Portions Copyright © 2005 by James W. Hebert. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited!

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Author: Adapted to HTML by James W. Hebert This article first appeared February 5, 2005.