Boat Buying Input

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
  • Oct 19, 2012
    2,567
    2,927
    California
    Name
    Shewillbemine
    Boat
    Chips N Guac
    Hi Folks,

    Would love input as I take the leap into my next vessel. It's important for me to hear from a mostly west coast crowd since that's where I am.

    I'm looking at two boats: 2016 Robalo R180 and 2016 Boston Whaler Montauk 170

    For the stuff that sticks out in my mind between the two:

    1. SIZE/DESIGN - The Robalo is obviously the longer boat but it's also significantly noticeable in its freeboard. It looks like a tank and feels sturdy. The Montauk is obviously a Whaler (and all the legacies that go with that) but it's more like a casting deck with a "tub" feel. That's not a bad thing; just my description.

    2. AMENITIES - The Robalo is the flashier looking of the two with its gauges, cleats and even its self bailing deck drains. There Robalo also has a porta-potty, although that's something I'll never really use. The few times I have the wife with me and our young son, that should come in handy. The Montauk is far more spartan. I can tell it's quality but there's nothing "upscale" about most of it. I dislike the outer gas tanks of the Montauk both in look and capacity, and the first thing I'd change on the Whaler is an upgraded, larger gas tank.

    3. SEATS/LAYOUT - The Robalo comes with padded passenger seats and again, has an upscale look to it. The Montauk doesn't have padded passenger seats though it does have molded seats. I could buy aftermarket to get pads in the Montauk.

    4. USAGE - I love fishing inside harbors (big fan of mid-west/southern bass fishing) so I do putt around Newport Harbor to fish the docks a lot. This would be far more doable in the Montauk and a little strange looking in the Robalo because of how high its freeboard is. I can easily pitch/flip in the Montauk but I'd have to try not to hit the gelcoat in the Robalo. However, I'd like to try fishing a couple miles offshore from time to time or even do some Catalina runs (always with a buddy boat and in great weather). Though the Montauk can "do" this, I'm sure the Robalo will handle chop better due to its hull shape. If I'm honest, the majority of my fishing will be within view of land (it's a comfort thing).

    5. COST - Currently rigged, the Montauk is $1300 cheaper than the Robalo.

    6. RESALE - Though I think Robalo has steadily improved its reputation, we all know the Whaler will hold its value so much more.

    Any input/opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
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    Fishbones

    Your wife thinks about ME
    Nov 7, 2005
    8,483
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    58
    Chula Vista
    Name
    Rich
    Boat
    One Off 28' Custom Built Skipjack (SOUTHWESTERN) & 18' Sylvan (Short Runs)
    What motors are on the boats ? Whalers in that range are going to ride wetter. I prefer a higher freeboard so Robalo for me depending on the motors
     
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    agarcia

    Almost A Member
    May 19, 2006
    246
    146
    Nor*Cal
    Name
    Art Garcia
    Boat
    rowboat
    #4 speaks volumes. Buy the boat that will fit the majority of the conditions/style of fishing you will be doing. There's always going to be tradeoffs, just make sure that the sacrifices you make don't limit what you will be doing most of the time.

    fwiw, I had a 22 wac that eventually needed major rework. I bought a 16' whaler nauset (killer price, couldn't pass it up), to take its place while I slowly brought the bigger boat back to life. For a smaller rig it was very versatile in the ocean, bay and lakes/delta. I even started fishing for bass again.

    It hasn't been a very good substitute for a larger boat, you sacrifice the ride, elbow room, comfort and overall protection of a larger boat but it can get the job done if you mind the ocean conditions decide to take it offshore.

    Sent from my SM-G928T using Tapatalk
     
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    got2fishsd

    Member
    Jun 21, 2005
    862
    307
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    Oceanside
    Name
    Eric
    Boat
    Maritime 20d
    I currently have a 1996 montauk with a 90 etec on it and I love it. I took it to the 312 last week with my 6 year old son. We didn't leave the harbor until 3:00. The whaler is a safe and dry boat. I know guys say they pound or ride wet, as far as the pounding I think it rides very well for a 17' boat. And as far as a wet ride, if I am quartering the wind chop that is really the only time I get wet. I down sizes from a 22 hydrasport and fish the montauk way more than I ever did the hydrasport.

    With the flatter hull design of the montauk it is really stable, 2 guys leaning over the same side to gaff a fish and it never feels like it is going to tip like some other deeper v boats do.

    The only thing I don't really love about the montauk is riding down swell coming home. It feels like I am going to pearl the next wave but it has never happened.


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    Ed Y

    Member
    Sep 19, 2003
    577
    559
    Huntington Beach
    Name
    Ed
    Boat
    BW Montauk 170
    I recently purchased a Montauk 170. Like you, I looked at the Robalo R160/R180 and opted for the Montauk.

    For me, the price and value counted towards the decision. Additionally, I wanted to go simpler and smaller. The easier to trailer, launch, recover and clean (especially solo), the better. Rationale: the less of a hassle the more apt I'll be to use the boat.

    While I've only had the boat for a couple of months, the times I've taken it out, I couldn't have been happier with the performance and ride.
     
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    calicopro

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Nov 20, 2003
    1,175
    97
    La Mesa
    Visit site
    Name
    Larry
    Boat
    17' Boston Whaler Montauk.... "Chocolate Bass"
    Additionally, I wanted to go simpler and smaller. The easier to trailer, launch, recover and clean (especially solo), the better. Rationale: the less of a hassle the more apt I'll be to use the boat.

    I would say this ^^^^^ is one of the most important things to consider. Having a simpler, and cheaper boat to operate/maintain is something that should not be overlooked. My first rig was a Mako 23 footer, which was crazy expensive on gas, and a pain to clean, and maintain by myself (which is how I fish most of the time). Downsizing to my whaler has made fishing cheaper, and allows me to get more time on the water, which is something I think we all are after.
     
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    tanner.s

    Fish Slaughterer
    Oct 18, 2012
    1,896
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    San Diego
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    Tanner
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    1997 Proline 23 W/A
    Why not buy one a few years old and put that money towards gear/gas? You'll fish more and better.

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    Arima-bob

    Ship faced aquaholic
    Mar 9, 2012
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    Too far from water
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    Beeulzebob
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    uh....
    From what I hear, sounds like the Montauk is the better option. The Robalo is fancier and may have a few more creature comforts, but the Montauk can easily have most of those comforts added.

    As for running offshore, I run a 17' boat and have cruised along with a few 17' Montauks. Many of them have made the voyage to Catalina and beyond. They are very capable boats.

    I agree with Tanner, buy a used one and save some coin. There's always a few on the market.
     
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    Unassailable

    Professional Amateur
    Aug 26, 2009
    1,328
    730
    San Diego
    Name
    John B
    Boat
    BW
    #4 speaks volumes. Buy the boat that will fit the majority of the conditions/style of fishing you will be doing. There's always going to be tradeoffs, just make sure that the sacrifices you make don't limit what you will be doing most of the time.

    ^^This. The 170 is different than the the smirked Montauks so many of us love. It is a drier ride (supposedly) and handles chop better as it is 500lbs more.

    You are comparing apples to oranges here, but from just the description you are giving, the Montauk would still be my choice.Super versatile and can still take it out on any lake/river. Fits in a 2 car garage, and super easy to launch/retrieve solo.

    Granted, I have a Montauk 17 and already am looking to move up, but damn, I enjoy launching solo, hitting the local lakes, and moving the boat around by myself at the house.

    See if you can find a 17' outrage. That would fit the bill,but then again I've been looking for a few years now :)
     
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    Shewillbemine

    "should of" is NOT a thing
  • Oct 19, 2012
    2,567
    2,927
    California
    Name
    Shewillbemine
    Boat
    Chips N Guac
    This is all great advice guys, thanks.

    I'm still searching for the next boat and the roster has been updated to these choices:
    • 2016 Robalo R180
    • 2016 Seafox 186 Commander
    • 2016 Boston Whaler 170 Montauk
    • 2016 Seafox 200 Viper
    • 2007 Boston Whaler 190 Montauk
    The oddball here is the 2007 Whaler. It would be shipped all the way from the East Coast and although it costs the least on the list, I wonder if it's worth it. I'd be saving at least $6,000 buying used but it would be a 9 year old boat.

    Another thing I'm scratching my head about is buying a bay style boat (the Viper/Montauk) or an offshore style boat (Robalo/Commander).

    If any of you care to chime in, I'd love input. Thank you.
     
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    dcarlisle

    Captain
    Jun 25, 2008
    668
    459
    The Island
    Name
    Dave
    Boat
    Boatless
    I owned a Sea Fox 17'(Sea Era back then) for 10 years and absolutely loved it. Fished everything from the bay to offshore with it. Put 3200 hours on it when I decided it was time for something bigger. It was cheaper than the other brands, but not quality wise by any means.
     
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    tanner.s

    Fish Slaughterer
    Oct 18, 2012
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    San Diego
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    Tanner
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    1997 Proline 23 W/A
    Offshore Vs bay style - it depends. If someone asked you what you normally fish, do you answer Inshore or offshore? If it's Inshore with the occasional bank run, go bay boat and pick your days. If it's offshore with Inshore back up plans, go the opposite route.

    Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
     
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    Shewillbemine

    "should of" is NOT a thing
  • Oct 19, 2012
    2,567
    2,927
    California
    Name
    Shewillbemine
    Boat
    Chips N Guac
    Offshore Vs bay style - it depends. If someone asked you what you normally fish, do you answer Inshore or offshore? If it's Inshore with the occasional bank run, go bay boat and pick your days. If it's offshore with Inshore back up plans, go the opposite route.

    Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk

    Tanner, I don't know why but you summed up and clarified my "dilemma" in like two sentences.

    Thanks man.
     
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