THE UNSINKABLE LEGEND
B O S T O N
W H A L E R
B O A T S
volume 8 issue 2
M A G A Z I N E
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for 60 years, boston whaler has designed
and manufactured peerless boats that are not only unsinkable, but also unsurpassed in comfort, performance and ease of use. That’s because behind every Whaler is a talented, passionate team, dedicated to delivering the best quality boats on the water. With a proud lineup that spans from 11 to 42 feet, today’s Boston Whaler demonstrates the spirit of leadership that has always defined the company — and the belief that every boating experience can be legendary.
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A LEGEND AND A LEADER CELEBRATING A PROUD LEGACY OF INNOVATION
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whaler president’s letter Keeping the legend growing.
President, Boston Whaler
Nick Stickler Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Customer Service
Jeff Vaughn Director of Customer Experience
Nate Abdalian Manager of Content & Event Marketing
Traci Davis Marketing & Sales Event Coordinator
Anna Collins Digital Marketing Specialist
Katie Toot Marketing Administrative Assistant
This year marks Boston Whaler’s 60th anniversary—a huge milestone for us all. We’re proud to celebrate 60 years as a legend and a leader, dedicated to upholding the spirit of innovation and excellence that has defined us since the beginning.
Amy Wideman Senior Editor
Editor at Large
Jennifer Chesak Editor at Large
What started with founder Richard Fisher’s inspired method of foam-injected hull construction remains at the heart of every Whaler to this day: Our story is and has always been about driving the industry forward with advancements in design, engineering and manufacturing, all with the goal of providing customers not just “Unsinkability” but also empowerment, confidence and enjoyment. Early in 2018, we broke ground on a new addition to our Edgewater, Florida facility, an expansion project that will enable us to continue to grow, innovate and lead. As we look back at the history that brought us here, we also turn to the future with a sense of excitement and possibility. The Boston Whaler community is thriving—as evidenced by the wonderful families you’ll meet in this issue of the magazine. We We wouldn’t wouldn’t be here without your passion and enthusiasm, be here without and we remain committed to empowering your boating your passion and lives in new and remarkable ways. Cheers to the next 60 years of the Unsinkable Legend, enthusiasm. and many more beyond.
Digital Creative Director
Kraig Devenport Art Director
Justin Goode Photographers
Mike Calabro, Steven J. Conway, Robert Glover, Richard Steinberger
Whaler magazine is published two times a year for Boston Whaler by Dino Publishing LLC. Any correspondence should be directed to: Dino Publishing 350 W. Hubbard St., Suite 400 Chicago, IL 60654 www.dinopublishing.com email: email@example.com
President — Boston Whaler The opinions expressed in this magazine are not to be considered ofﬁcial expressions of Dino Publishing or Boston Whaler. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject all editorial or advertising matter. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, or artwork. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph, or illustration without prior written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright © 2018 Boston Whaler.
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volume 8 issue 2
More to Explore
A 270 Dauntless empowers one couple’s adventures on Lake Michigan and beyond, turning a can-do spirit into fuel for endless adventures.
A Legend and A Leader for 60 Years
As Boston Whaler celebrates its 60th anniversary, we reflect on some of the key moments that define the Unsinkable Legend.
Once a River Family, Always a River Family
The Cliffords share Minnesota boating traditions of yesteryear with the newest generation on their 315 Conquest.
Past Meets Future
Introducing the new Montauk series, infusing the beloved classics with cutting-edge enhancements in design, comfort and capability.
Past Meets Future
Navigate Meet Whaler’s all-new model family, plan your next boating vacation, find out how new technology can give you an extra set of eyes, and more.
Towing Chart a course through the state of Utah and enjoy a brilliant array of lakes, reservoirs and natural wonders with this trailering itinerary courtesy of GMC.
Adventure Whaler owners Bill Vogel and Jim Jacobsen head into the Everglades, where a 130 Sport proves the perfect vessel for exploring uncharted territory.
Oh, What a Feeling
For Dave, Jeaninne and Lucas Kulon, the Florida boating life is a dreamcome-true, brought to life by a high-performing 240 Dauntless.
On The Cover: Dick Fisher's doppelgänger recreates the moment that spawned the Unsinkable Legend, proving that even a sawed-in-half Whaler will stay afloat.
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HOOKS, NEWS, GEAR AND INFO volume 8 issue 2
CELEBRATION Boston Whaler turns 60 To kick off the anniversary in style,
Whaler hosted a weeklong celebration in August that included a media event, a dealer meeting and 60th gala, and a customer retail event, all held at Florida’s beautiful Hyatt Regency Sarasota. Throughout, more than 20 Boston Whalers were available for test rides, including three models making their World Premiere (see next page). A reenactment of Dick Fisher’s half-boat stunt was among the highlights. “Our goal was to celebrate the entire Whaler community—from our dealer and supplier partners, to our passionate employees, to the customers who inspire us to keep doing what we do,” said Whaler President Nick Stickler. “The week proved a perfect opportunity to reflect on our successes as a team and to reaffirm our enthusiasm for the next 60 years and beyond.” For a timeline of key moments in Whaler history, turn to page 24.
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A WHOLE NEW WORLD What better time than a major anniversary to introduce a brand-new model family? Boston Whaler debuted the 350 Realm to great acclaim during its 60th kickoff celebration, and will unveil the second in the series, the 380 Realm, at February’s Miami Boat Show. The Realm models are unique in how they seamlessly combine the comfort and convenience of a modern cabin with the robust capabilities of a center console layout. Plus, they feature several design innovations that elevate their status as superior entertaining platforms, including two rows of convertible cockpit seating, a robust under-seat cooler and adjacent cockpit prep center, a social open bow, and much more. Naturally, you can count on Whaler’s unrivaled engineering to deliver a smooth, powerful ride, and count on an array of purposeful amenities to empower any activity. With the Realm, you’ll experience a whole new mastery of the water— one that will open up new worlds. Learn more at bostonwhaler.com.
The New Classics Whaler’s beloved Montauks are enjoying their own time in the spotlight this year, with all four models newly revamped for 2018. Don’t worry, these nimble performers have retained all the qualities that Whaler owners love about the series, with some enhancements that make them even better than ever. Turn to page 38 to learn more.
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THE FREEDOM TO EXPLORE Whether you’re dreaming of a big vacation or just looking for new ways to enjoy your Whaler, Snag-A-Slip makes it easy to find marinas and rent boat slips online—with no booking fees, ever! The new Snag-A-Slip website and mobile app feature hundreds of locations, from the Pacific Northwest, to the Gulf of Mexico, to the Caribbean, to the Northeast. Verified reviews from real boaters provide helpful insights. Even better, with Snag-A-Slip you can boat more and spend less. Create an account to be eligible for rewards and get one free night for every 12 nights stayed at a marina! Get started today: Visit snagaslip.com to plan your next escape.
Weighing your boat insurance options? Let the experts at Boater’s Choice help find the right coverage for your needs. Their team of savvy marine underwriters have access to many A-rated carriers, so they can suggest the best price and coverage options for you. For a personalized, no-obligation quote, visit boaterschoiceinsurance.com.
Aerial Perspective For more than three decades, Sea Tow has been providing Boston Whaler owners with extra peace of mind, with a fleet of captains on call 24/7 to assist on the water, should you ever need them. Now, those captains are using drones to make day-to-day operations safer and easier. “The drone’s aerial perspective lets you figure out how to get a grounded boat out to deeper water without putting divers in the water,” said Sea Tow Central Connecticut Captain Tom Kehlenbach. Drones also serve an educational function, providing a bird’seye view that’s useful to Sea Tow’s crew as well as boaters and surveyors. To learn more about Sea Tow and its exclusive benefits for Whaler owners, visit seatow.com.
ASK THE PAINT PROS Caring for your Whaler’s hull shouldn’t leave you scratching your head. AkzoNobel’s Interlux, makers of the industry-leading Micron Technology range of antifouling paints, provides helpful advice on choosing the right products for your boat, with a vast support section to guide you through all kinds of jobs. Wondering the best time to apply antifouling? Seeking an efficient method of applying a new topcoat? Head to interlux.com for all the answers.
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EXTRA SET OF EYES With Raymarine Axiom with FLIR ClearCruise™ Combine Raymarine Axiom with the FLIR M132 or M232 thermal cameras and take advantage of ClearCruise™ thermal object recognition technology. FLIR Thermal ClearCruise™ elevates your awareness with visual and audible alerts when boats or obstacles enter the camera’s field of view. This powerful video analytics technology works both day and night and makes your time on the water safer and relaxing. Visit flir.com/marine and watch the video
Visit raymarine.com for more information
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GOING STEADY Seakeeper® joins forces with Boston Whaler to deliver a more comfortable boating experience than you ever thought possible. Available on the new Realm family and select Whaler models, Seakeeper’s innovative gyro-stabilization technology virtually eliminates boat roll and provides the solution to a host of excuses to stay ashore, like motion sickness and the fatigue that can set in during rough conditions. It’s the first truly practical, and only modern, anti-roll gyro, and it’s definitely worth checking out. For a closer look at this remarkable technology, including videos and product demos, visit Seakeeper.com.
Powerful performance meets sophisticated comfort in the 2018 GMC® Sierra® lineup. From the convenient and flexible interior storage space, to the beautifully craed finishes, to the intuitive, cutting-edge controls, each Sierra reflects GMC’s commitment to Professional Grade engineering. So whether you’re towing your Whaler to the boat launch, driving to the office or tackling your weekend to-do list, you’re sure to enjoy the journey. Visit gmc.com for more information.
Top-Quality Canvas For decades, Boston Whaler owners have trusted Great Lakes Boat Top as the go-to source for marine canvas replacements. Great Lakes Boat Top has more than 22,000 original canvas patterns to choose from—including bimini tops, cockpit covers and enclosures—helping to ensure that your new canvas fits perfectly and looks sharp. For more information or to shop for canvas, visit greatlakesboattop.com/boston-whaler. Through February 28, 2018, Boston Whaler owners get 15% off any order by using promo code BW218.
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bw.boaterchoice.ad_Layout 1 1/26/18 4:22 PM Page 1
To truly relax and enjoy your time on the water, you need to be confident that you have the right insurance. Boaterâ€™s Choice is one of the most respected names in boat insurance, offering broad coverage at competitive rates. And you have our guarantee that should you have a claim, our professionals can be reached 24/7 to assist you with prompt, professional courteous service.
Exclusive Offer for Boston Whaler Owners Boaterâ€™s Choice is offering $10,000 worth of personal effects coverage including fishing equipment free of charge.* * Offer available only on OneBeacon Policies. Underwriting restrictions apply.
For a no obligation quote, give us a call today.
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Enhanced Vision Now you don’t have to be a superhero to enjoy super-powered vision: Raymarine® Axiom systems, available on many Boston Whaler models, pair with FLIR M132 and M232 thermal cameras to offer ClearCruise™ thermal object recognition.
Born in the U.S.A.
This impressive technology provides visual and audible
Since 2013, Boston Whaler has been proud to feature JL Audio® marine
alerts anytime a boat or obstacle enters the camera’s field of
loudspeaker systems and components on nearly every model, either
view. Day or night, enjoy a whole new level of awareness. See
standard or as a factory-installed option. What you may not know is that
the technology in action at flir.com/marine.
JL Audio is an independent, privately-held U.S. company and one of the few marine audio providers to manufacture almost exclusively on U.S. soil. Their 160,000-square-foot facility in South Florida relies on unique assembly techniques and proprietary technologies to create products specially designed and tuned for an open-air boating environment—delivering the
peak quality sound you deserve for your Whaler. Learn more at jlaudio.com.
REFINANCE WITH CONFIDENCE
From accessories for your home to clothes for the whole family, the Boston Whaler Apparel Store is your one-
Considering refinancing your Whaler to lower your monthly payments?
stop shop for Whaler pride. Check out the selection
Trusted partner Essex Credit can help guide you through the process.
of exclusive 60th Anniversary merchandise, including
With competitive fixed rates, extended loan term options and quick
keychains, jackets, beach towels, tumblers and more—
turnarounds, Essex Credit will work hard to find the plan* that’s right
including the new Boston Whaler 2018 Calendar, filled with
for you and your boating lifestyle. Don’t let your refinancing questions
spectacular vintage and modern-day photography. Find
go unanswered; visit essexcredit.com to get started.
gis and goods to celebrate the Whaler spirit all year long: Head to whalerapparel.com.
vol. 8, issue 2
*Subject to consumer loan program requirements and credit approval. Certain fees, closing costs and restrictions may apply.
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For over a century, a league of canned crusaders have been fighting to keep boats safe from barnacles, slime, algae and other aquatic evils that rob your boat of its true performance. With advanced know-how and unique capabilities, each antifouling is tailored to different conditions, and has the power to defeat fouling in all its forms. Micron® Extra leads the charge in all waters. Using its signature dual-protection with boosting Biolux® technology, it provides high-quality, multi-season protection that survives hauling and relaunch without the need for repainting. For super-powered antifouling protection and proven performance, choose Interlux®.
The hero your boat deserves!
All trademarks mentioned are owned by, or licensed to, the AkzoNobel group of companies. © AkzoNobel 2018.
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A GMC Sierra Denali and a Boston Whaler Outrage form the perfect combination with which to experience Utahâ€™s many beautiful sights, including (clockwise from top left) the Great Salt Lake, Deer Creek Lake and Utah Lake.
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All that Jazz
The state of Utah offers boaters a brilliant array of lakes to explore and enjoy.
Story by Colleen Tolan | Trailering photo by Mike Calabro
Expansive red rock mesas and swelling purple skies paint Utah in stunning colors almost every day of the year. It’s no wonder this picturesque state boasts twelve state parks, preserving all its natural beauty. Considering Utah is the second driest state in the nation, it may come as a surprise to learn it’s also home to more than 600 lakes and reservoirs—647, to be exact, which puts Utah in sixth place for the largest amount of boatable water per capita in the U.S. Which also makes it the perfect place for a GMC® Sierra Denali and Boston Whaler Outrage to team up. The following itinerary samples just a few of Utah’s many great boating spots.
Bear Lake They call it the Caribbean of the west: Bear Lake’s turquoise blue waters and rocky backdrop make this state park a scene to behold. Start your trailering excursion by steering your vehicle northeast towards the Utah-Idaho border. Garden City, situated on the edge of Bear Lake, offers a developed marina and convenient boat ramps, making the waters accessible by Whaler. Be sure to bring your fishing gear—you might just catch a trophy-sized cutthroat trout. End your time in Bear Lake at the all-natural hot springs, complete with two hot mineral pools. Located at the northeast corner of the lake, these healing waters provide serenity sure to leave you feeling recharged and ready for your next stop. Deer Creek Hop into your GMC and drive south. Just beyond the Wasatch Mountains lies one of Utah’s most popular camping grounds: The Deer Creek Reservoir. Deer Creek attracts families and friends from all over as it offers a little bit of something for everyone. Explore by boat, and don’t be afraid to dive right in to experience the cool waters of this natural reservoir.
Spend your nights camping under the stars right off the shoreline at one of the area’s many campgrounds, but not before catching at least one sorbet-shaded sunset from the cockpit of your Whaler. Pack a picnic and prepare for a scene you won’t soon forget. Utah Lake Drive 30 minutes southwest from Deer Lake and find Utah’s third largest city, Provo. Here, the lower Provo River finds confluence with the expansive Utah Lake. Take advantage of the state park’s newly renovated facilities, which include four boat launch ramps, boat slips, courtesy docks and a fishing area for the physically challenged. After you’ve cruised Utah Lake to your heart’s content, dock your Boston Whaler and spend a night or two exploring by foot. Home to Brigham Young University, Provo is more than just a college town. With multiple bars that host live music every night and more than 60 restaurants in the downtown area, Provo provides endless entertainment. The Great Salt Lake Conclude your trailering journey with a visit to the Great Salt Lake. Reigning as the largest lake west of the Mississippi, the Great Salt Lake is 75 miles long and about 35 miles wide. Though its salty waters may not make for the best fishing, the lake offers terrific boating and once-in-a lifetime views. White sand beaches rim its shores and snow-capped mountains peek over the horizon. The lake itself is home to the Spiral Jetty, a landart installation constructed in 1970 by American sculptor Robert Smithson. This spiral form of salt-encrusted basalt boulders jets up like a marine crop circle during times of low water-levels. The installation can be seen from a bird’s-eye view even on days when waters cover its form. Venture on a helicopter tour or hot-air balloon for a priceless photo-opp before returning to your trusty rig.
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Jim Jacobsen (above) and Bill Vogel captained a trusty Boston Whaler 130 Sport on a trip through wild and remote areas of Floridaâ€™s Everglades.
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Whaler in the Wilderness
A 130 Sport proves the perfect vessel for exploring uncharted territory Story and Photos Courtesy of Bill Vogel, with assistance from Jim Jacobsen and Bobbi Vogel
Florida is known for its waterways: oceans, coastal shores, lakes of all sizes, rivers, streams and swamps that pique the curiosity of those who love boating and the outdoors. However, the southern tip of Florida and, more specifically, the Everglades National Park, contains areas so remote and narrow that they often elude boaters. Recently, 130 Sport owner Bill Vogel set out to explore this wilderness firsthand—and wrote to share his tale: The National Park Service has marked a 99-mile inside water route from Everglades City, south of Naples, to Flamingo at the southern tip of Florida. The waterway winds through the mangrove-laden wilderness of the Everglades National Park. The Park Service recommends that only canoes, kayaks and small craft drawing less than two feet attempt this journey due to tides, vegetation and underwater obstacles. My good friend Jim Jacobsen and I were determined to successfully navigate this waterway in both directions. Without question, we knew that my 13-foot Sport, powered by a 40-hp FourStroke Mercury® engine, was the ideal boat for the trip. The Whaler draws only seven inches of water and is extremely economical. Currently owning four Whalers between us, Jim and I knew that the Sport was up to the task. After checking in at the ranger station at Everglades City, we launched the Whaler in nearby Chokoloskee on a beautiful January day. We traveled through shallow creeks and bays with names like Sunday, Oyster, Huston and Alligator, and arrived at our first campsite at the Rogers Bay Chickee late in the afternoon. After a hearty meal and a good night’s sleep, we departed early for Flamingo, more than 60 miles south. We slalomed at a fast cruise through the winding channels of the Broad River and reached the Gulf in about 45 minutes. Our chart had us make a loop in the Gulf, returning to the waterway at Broad Creek. The entrance proved difficult to find, but eventually we located it and continued our journey up the creek. However, the creek grew narrower and narrower until it was completely overgrown with vegetation and impassible. Just one of the challenges of the wilderness! Reentering the Gulf, we headed South and traveled through Little Shark River, Joe River, lower Whitewater
Bay, Coot Bay and the Buttonwood Canal. We arrived at Flamingo just before lunch, right on schedule. The Mercury had used only 10 gallons of gas in the 99-plus miles we had traveled thus far. After lunch, we spotted two Florida crocodiles, basking in the sun. We steered the Sport north toward Highland Beach, some 60 miles away, and entered the Gulf again through Little Shark River. The Gulf had a light chop, but the Whaler provided a comfortable ride as we cruised about two miles offshore to avoid sandbars. Later that afternoon, we arrived at our campsite in Highland Beach. We had covered more than 125 miles but weren’t the least bit sore because of the Whaler’s smooth ride. We set up camp, anchored the boat, had dinner and fell asleep watching a beautiful Gulf sunset. Up early the next morning, we were pleased to find the mosquitos dormant from the cool night. We packed up quickly as the warming sun was sure to awaken the “swamp angels,” as the locals call them. We’d been warned by a group of kayakers of an impending cold front and were eager to get home before it set in. The fact that these were the only people we’d encountered during our trip also made us wary. We were making good progress when we encountered a significant fog bank off Plover Key, coming from the east over the mainland. Almost immediately, we were blanketed entirely by fog and land had disappeared! We deployed our handheld GPS and found our position, decreasing our speed and keeping close watch. Here lay the biggest challenge of our entire trip: Navigating unmarked Rabbit Key Pass using only our GPS, surrounded by shallows and oyster bars in a dense fog. Jim kept us in the channel until it became so narrow we had to slow to idle speed. Two local fisherman passed by and we followed them the last half mile until we saw the famous Smallwood Store and Museum through the fog. We reached the boat ramp just before lunch, then loaded up the Whaler and headed to the ranger station to report that, in spite of the fog’s best efforts to slow us, we’d safely completed our trip. All credit goes to the value of preparation, teamwork, and the amazing Mercury-powered Boston Whaler Sport for our successful trip through Florida’s Wilderness Waterway!
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A 270 Dauntless empowers one coupleâ€™s adventures on Lake Michigan and beyond
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Story by Amy Wideman Photos by Mike Calabro
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spend a few minutes in conversation with chris o’shaughnessy
and you start to wonder if the word “can’t” even enters his vocabulary. the michigan city, indiana, resident and his wife, kathy, embody the spirit of can-doit-ness that defines many a whaler owner. it’s a mix of confidence, enthusiasm and know-how that leads to countless adventures on the water.
The forward lounge seat is one of Kathy’s favorite spots on the 270 Dauntless, which she and her husband, Chris, use to explore Lake Michigan and the Midwest’s many inland lakes and reservoirs.
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A LEGEND AND A LEADER FOR 60 YEARS
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The red-roofed East Pierhead Lighthouse stands sentry over the entrance to Trail Creek at the northwestern edge of Michigan City. In the warmer months, the area is a popular gateway to the Great Lakes.
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Being able to just get up and go is a huge thing for us. The fact that it doesn’t take much effort to be out enjoying the water— whether it’s a fast ride or a longer trip or just soaking up the sun— is the best.
Adventure is something quite familiar to the O’Shaughnessys, and they relish their 270 Dauntless for allowing them to seek it on a moment’s notice. “We love that the 270 is small enough to trailer yet big enough to handle coastal ocean boating,” Chris says. “The seaworthiness is amazing. The Unsinkable Legend thing is true; you feel really safe even when you get into uncomfortable seas. It lives up to its name.” “Being able to just get up and go is a huge thing for us,” Kathy adds. “The fact that it doesn’t take much effort to be out enjoying the water—whether it’s a fast ride or a longer trip or just soaking up the sun—is the best.” The 270 Dauntless is the couple’s third Whaler; they started out with a 170 Montauk in 2008, moved to a 200 Dauntless in 2011, and went for the 270 in 2016. No strangers to boating, they’ve owned
other brands concurrently with their Whalers, but nothing seems to hold their favor quite as well. “We had a cabin cruiser, but honestly we weren’t using it much. It started to feel like this floating cabin just sitting around,” Chris says. “We wanted something we could easily fish with, more of an everyday boat. Something easier to get around in and more conducive to trailering, fishing, a variety of things. The Dauntless fits the bill like nothing else.” It also has the right amenities to keep everybody happy. “Having the large center storage compartment and the head down below has made some very long days out on the water more comfortable,” Chris explains. “It’s got all our needs covered. And there’s enough seating to bring friends along and everyone has room.” The Midwest offers plenty of fertile boating ground to explore, and Chris and Kathy work to maximize their time between the colder months. With the Whaler in tow, they frequent destinations all around the region. Patoka Lake, Indiana’s second-largest reservoir, is heavily stocked with bass, bluegill, catfish and walleye, tempting them to wet a line. It’s also prime for swimming and waterskiing. South Haven, Michigan, is another favorite spot, offering up nature trails, golf courses, fine dining and nightlife—and, of course, easy access to and from Lake Michigan. Farther afield, the charms of Mackinac Island draw the couple all the way to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from time to time. Limited to transportation by horseand-buggy, bicycle or foot, Mackinac’s historic architecture, bustling downtown area and world-famous fudge all do their part toward making the trip worthwhile. A LEGEND AND A LEADER FOR 60 YEARS
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Chris and Kathy gave their Dauntless a name that cleverly reflects their own, as well as their passion for waterways of all types: the O’Cean-n-Seas. (Above) The couple stretches out to relax for a beat before cruising on to dinner.
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Wherever Chris and Kathy wind up cruising, they’re not shy about putting hours on the Dauntless’s engine. Chris says they average 120 to 150 hours in a six-month season, easily. “We have the 350 [Mercury] Verado on it and couldn’t ask for anything better,” Chris says. “Great speed, agility, all the other pieces that go along with it. And the 150-gallon fuel capacity gives us a very, very long range. That helps make it a well-rounded boat.” The O’Shaughnessys keep their boat at Marina Shores in Portage, Indiana, which is just a quick 5 miles from their home. “It’s great: You get off work at 4:30 or 5:00 and head down to the dock, get on the boat and go,” Chris says. “There’s no excuse not to be boating when the weather’s nice.” Their good friends Bob and Lori McKean often join them on impromptu outings. They cite the Stray Dog restaurant in New Buffalo as a favorite hangout, a place to soak up harbor views from an upper deck. More often, though, you’ll find the two couples more directly engaged with the water. “Bob and Lori are a big part of our boating life. We spend as much time together as we can,” Chris says. “We basically take
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It’s great: You get off work at 4:30 or 5:00 and head down to the dock, get on the boat and go. There’s no excuse not to be boating when the weather’s nice.
turns: our boat, their boat. It’s a great friendship.” “No day is the same,” Kathy adds. “We’ll go exploring, or go 2 or 3 miles offshore and drop anchor and relax.” Chris and Kathy also enjoy making overnight trips to Chicago, where they’ll keep the Dauntless at Burnham Harbor and stay with friends in the city. Their adventurous streak continues on land: They typically bring their bikes onboard and navigate downtown Chicago’s busy streets on two wheels. “Her new bike is a Pepto-Bismol pink and
mine is neon green. You can’t miss us!” Chris says. Everywhere they go, they seem to meet fellow Whaler owners who share their enthusiasm. In part, it’s because Chris wears his love on his sleeve—literally. “I have almost every Whaler shirt you can buy,” he says with a grin. “Mugs, coolers… People think I’m a rep for the brand. Even the back window on our truck has a decal.” They welcome the attention it draws. “Whaler guys are really the best. You see another Whaler owner or boat, and you can count on an hour-long conversation right there,” Chris says. The O’Shaughnessys have been customers of B&E Marine since 2008, when they purchased their first Whaler, and have nothing but praise for the dealership. “Our sales rep, Terry Belue, is phenomenal. He does everything he can to make the buying experience—well, maybe ‘fun’ isn’t the right word, but he goes the extra steps,” Chris says, laughing. A tour of the Boston Whaler manufacturing facility in Edgewater, Florida, was another highlight of the process. “Really neat to see where the magic happens!” they agree. Florida showed the couple a good time all around. They took the 270 Dauntless to Boca Raton before cruising down to Miami and checking out the sunny beaches of Key Biscayne. “We’re so used to being up on Lake Michigan, it was great to do some open-water boating,” Kathy says. Wherever their next adventure takes them, they’re sure to embrace it with open arms. And if those arms happen to be clothed in a Whaler shirt, all the better. A LEGEND AND A LEADER FOR 60 YEARS
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For 60 Years A Legend and a Leader
On their Boston Whaler 315 Conquest, the Cliffords share A timelineMinnesota of key moments in Boston boating traditions of yesteryear with the newest generation Whaler’s six-decade history illustrates
the evolution of the brand Story by Jennifer Chesak
Photos by Robert Glover
PHOTOS | BOSTON WHALER
This year, Boston Whaler is proud to celebrate 60 years as the “Unsinkable Legend” and a leader in the marine industry.
Since its inception, Whaler has crafted peerless designs that meet boaters’ diverse and changing needs, ensuring safety, comfort, ease and enjoyment of use. It began back in 1958 with founder Richard Fisher’s ingenious new construction method for injecting foam into the hull of a boat. This became known as Unibond™ construction, and it continues to be a defining feature of every Boston Whaler manufactured today. Not only does this proprietary method create Whaler’s famed unsinkability, it also contributes greatly to the ride quality and overall boating experience. Boston Whaler has always challenged the limits of possibility and, in doing so, has empowered its owners to do the same. For the Whaler team and for its customers alike, “unsinkable” has always meant more
than staying afloat; it means surpassing expectations— and delighting in the process—with a confidence that comes from the very core. The 60-year milestone is a valuable opportunity to reflect on how Boston Whaler came to look as it does today, and to look forward at what the future may hold. The following are just a few highlights from six decades of unsinkable history.
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SE ACCUM A
THE BIRTH OF A LEGEND 1958
The 13’ Whaler makes its debut at the New York Boat Show. Sold under the brand name Boston Whaler and built by the Fisher-Pierce manufacturing company in Braintree, Massachusetts, the boat is met with critical acclaim for its exceptional stability and carrying capacity.
Before the company officially began, Richard “Dick” Fisher filed a series of patents for a foam-injected hull process. The 1957 patent reveals the revolutionary steps taken by Fisher to ensure the durability of his boats, including the precise ratio of foam.
Whaler introduces its first Outrage® model.
As government and military use of Boston Whalers continues to grow, a dedicated branch of the business is established to produce boats for the commercial and government sector.
Whaler celebrates the opening of a new 33,000-square-foot facility in Norwell, Massachusetts.
The first Montauk® enters the marketplace.
Whaler partners with Volusia County and the state of Florida to open a factory in the coastal community of Edgewater, where it resides fully today. Production on the Whaler 25, 27 and 31 Walkaround models moves to the Florida facility.
The 1992 Rage® kicks off the jet boat craze.
The 15’ Mischief is unveiled in time for the company’s 30th anniversary.
Further proving its boats’ unsinkability, Boston Whaler conducts a demonstration during which a 19’ Guardian (BCGP model) is shot with 7.62mm rounds from an M60 machine gun. The Guardian stays afloat despite being riddled with holes.
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Boston Whaler earns its first Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Award from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Since then, the company has received a CSI Award for 14 consecutive years, the result of scoring 90 percent or higher in independent customer surveys.
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ACCUM AUT HARUM ALIA PORE
A LEGEND AND A LEADER FOR 60 YEARS 1959
May 19, 1961
Dick Fisher secures a 20,000-square-foot facility located on Hingham Street in Rockland, Massachusetts, and by 1960 is using the new address in print advertisements for Whaler boats. The space would house operations for the next 34 years.
Fisher’s now-famous photograph appears in Life magazine. The image captures the founder— wearing his preferred tweed jacket, bow tie and hat—seated calmly in the stern of a Whaler as a saw slices through its hull, providing incontrovertible proof of the boat’s unsinkability.
Whaler begins producing government and military workboats, some of which are used in the Vietnam War. Demand for commercialized Boston Whaler boats grows steadily.
Boston Whaler’s distribution is expanded coast-to-coast.
The Boston Whaler Nauset®, the first-ever center console model, is introduced.
The first Boston Whaler Dauntless® arrives on the scene, offering families a versatile new option for day boating.
A group of owners and Whaler staff members embark on the first annual Bimini Rendezvous, a weeklong excursion to the Bahamas where beach games, conch feasts and island rhythms heighten a shared appreciation for the Whaler life.
Boston Whaler is acquired by parent company Brunswick Corporation for $26.6 million.
The Conquest® family launches, bringing rugged sophistication to new generations of anglers and pleasure boaters.
The new 13’ Sport reignites Whaler’s small boat business.
Demand for commercial and government boats becomes so overwhelming that the business is incorporated as Brunswick Commercial & Government Products (BCGP).
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The largest Unibond™ Whaler to date, the 345 Conquest, is introduced. (A future iteration of this offshore champ will go on to earn an Innovation Award from the NMMA for its ingeniously convertible Dynamic Cabin System.) 2008 also marked an Innovation Award win for the 230 Dauntless.
Also at Miami, Boston
Whaler is recognized by the NMMA for excellence in customer satisfaction for the 14th consecutive year, earning a 2017 Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Award.
The new 370 Outrage earns an Innovation Award from the NMMA in the Cruisers category and is named 2010 European Powerboat of the Year.
Boston Whaler unveils the flagship 420 Outrage, a highly capable offshore performer and a brilliant entertaining platform featuring innovations including Mercury® Joystick Piloting and Dynamic Running Surface hull technology. Shortly after its debut, the 420 is named Boating magazine’s Boat of the Year.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held to commemorate the addition of nearly 60,000 square feet of under-roof manufacturing space at Whaler’s Edgewater facility. The expansion helps Whaler meet the unprecedented demand for its largeboat models and results in the creation of more than 120 new jobs.
The new 230 Outrage receives a coveted Innovation Award during the Miami International Boat Show, bringing the company’s total to an impressive six Innovation Awards.
Whaler acquires 60 additional acres of land adjacent to its Edgewater headquarters. Says President Nick Stickler, “The opportunities for growth in terms of manufacturing, job creation and product innovation are now exponentially greater. We couldn’t be more thrilled to begin this next chapter.”
by the book
Mahew Plunke’s in-depth look at Boston Whaler’s history is a page-turner, capturing the ins and outs of the Unsinkable Legend and the people behind it
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A LEGEND AND A LEADER FOR 60 YEARS
The Super Sport family grows with the addition of a third model, the 170 Super Sport, offering boaters an accessible new choice with the same superior utility and quality of the 130 and 150 Super Sport models.
Also in 2011, Boston Whaler launches its lifestyle and support app for mobile devices, helping to make Whaler product and event information more readily available for users on the go.
The Vantage family bursts onto the scene, presenting a bold new view on the possible with its user-friendly dual-console layout and best-in-class amenities. Two Vantage models will go on to win Innovation Awards.
The same year, Whaler also unveils the new 270 Dauntless, flagship of the multifunctional Dauntless family. With premium amenities including a new swim patio design, this coastal champ is met with immediate acclaim.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Founder Sam Calagione and his son travel 600 miles up the northeastern seaboard on a 19-foot Montauk in a campaign to raise money and awareness for The Nature Conservancy.
Boston Whaler kicks off its 60th Anniversary year with a gala celebration in Sarasota that includes a dealer meeting, a media event and a consumer event. Whaler also unveils two new Montauk models that put a modern spin on the beloved classics, and debuts the 350 Realm, first in an exciting new family of boats.
To prepare for writing Unsinkable: The History of Boston Whaler, author Matthew Plunkett embarked on the research trip of a lifetime, interviewing notable figures from the company’s past and present to gather a complete, unbiased picture. Drawing on dozens of interviews from employees, executives, dealers and boaters, Plunkett weaves a fascinating tale beginning with how Dick Fisher came to create Boston Whaler and detailing its evolution over the past six decades. The resulting book is rich with previously untold stories and never-before-published images, including photos from the families of Fisher and legendary designer Bob Dougherty. It’s an intimate and honest look at Whaler’s influence both within the industry and
The Groundbreaking Ceremony for Whaler’s new land features a frontloader being driven onto the hull of an unbreakable 210 Dauntless. As a team holding shovels lifts the symbolic first batch of soil, Nick Stickler addresses the crowd: “Thank you again to all of our partners—our dealers, our customers, our community—for helping to make this growth a reality. We look forward to celebrating our successes together for the next 60 years and beyond.”
with the greater community of Whaler customers, and it captures a spirit of Unsinkability that’s about so much more than simply staying afloat. As Fisher’s grandson, Clint Fisher Crowell, shares in the book’s foreword: “The Unsinkable Legend is more than a boat; it’s more than Dick Fisher’s inquisitive tinkering and obsession for perfection. More than innovative thinking and collaboration. It reflects the strength and beauty, grit and camaraderie inside each of us as we pursue our dreams. It’s you and me and our stories of adventure throughout the years in a Boston Whaler that keeps the legend alive.” A LEGEND AND A LEADER FOR 60 YEARS
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once a river family, always a river family On their Boston Whaler 315 Conquest, the Cliffords share Minnesota boating traditions of yesteryear with the newest generation Story by Jennifer Chesak
Photos by Robert Glover
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Adult sisters Melissa Clifford and Tasha Bredeson
don’t have to crank the memory reel to take them back to childhood. Instead, they hop on their parents’ Boston Whaler 315 Conquest and let their father push the throttle. Squishing their bare toes in sand, squealing as they plunge into sparkling Minnesota water and letting the wind whip their hair when the boat gets up on plane will never go out of style.
“They’re really jazzed about us having this boat so they can come out and enjoy the same things with their kids that they remember doing with us,” says their father, Tim Clifford. “They have the opportunity to recreate some of that.” When Melissa and Tasha were growing up, Tim and his wife, Melanie, spent every summer weekend they could onboard a boat. But then, as children tend to do, the girls became adults and moved out. The boat sat idle while the Clifford daughters were busy starting their lives as independent young women, so Tim and Melanie sold it. But eventually, both Melissa and Tasha had daughters of their own. Tasha and her husband, Erik, have Taytum (8) and Makyla (5), and Melissa has Kennedy (2). Suddenly Grandma and Grandpa sensed it was time to get everyone back together in one place.
(Above) Melanie and Tim Clifford love the way the Whaler anchors their Minnesota family in one place. (Left/clockwise) Makyla’s got a growing grin for her grandparents’ vessel. The crew waves to the mighty Empress. Grandpa captains the Whaler back to port. Melanie gets cheeky with Harry the Pom. (Opposite) Tasha and Melissa pass down a sisterhood of boating traditions.
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A LEGEND AND A LEADER FOR 60 YEARS
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That place is the St. Croix River, which runs along a portion of the Minnesota-Wisconsin border just east of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. “It’s a gorgeous river,” Tim says. “It’s one of the cleanest in the nation.” For their adventures, Tim and Melanie bought a Boston Whaler after they saw a 320 Vantage at a boat show. Tim had never seen a larger Whaler before and was immediately smitten. “I said, ‘You know what? I don’t think there’s anything here that’s going to sway me away from a Whaler,’” he recalls.
Although they liked the Vantage and spent nearly two hours looking at it, Tim and Melanie wanted a cabin for overnighting near the state parks they frequent. “The Conquest was the obvious choice for us,” Tim says, “and the 315 just seemed like the nice sweet spot between the 285 and the 345.” They bought their boat through MarineMax Bayport and slip it at the facility’s marina, located right on the St. Croix River, just 20 minutes from the Cliffords’ home. “They’re great,” Tim says of MarineMax, “just a first-class operation, top to bottom. Everybody we interact with is professional and enjoyable to deal with.” The Clifford family routine is good, simple fun—as it always has been. They cruise the Minnesota-Wisconsin shorelines and find a spot to anchor, or they scout out a beach where they can pull up and let the kids off to play. Tim says that Erik is the resident chef in the family, so he’s often in charge of manning the pull-out cockpit grill on the boat’s optional Summer Kitchen. Naturally, everyone gets into the water—except for Harry, Tim and Melanie’s Pomeranian. “Harry’s content as long as he gets to come along,” Tim says. “He’s not much of a swimmer, but he likes to sit up on the dash and look out the window. He loves to travel. If he’s moving, he’s happy.” Everyone’s happy out on the Conquest. Melissa and Tasha reminisce about endless days spent splashing in the water until their skin turned to wrinkled gooseflesh and they climbed back aboard to let (Above) The gleaming new St. Croix Crossing Bridge connects Minnesota and Wisconsin for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. (Left) Sisters Taytum and Makyla get a kick out of an afternoon on the water, while their parents, Tasha and Erik, enjoy the ease of letting Grandma and Grandpa take the helm.
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sun and snacks warm their bones. They watch with knowing smiles as their own girls turn the beach, the river and the boat into their personal play kingdom. Grandpa likes to pull the kids around on the tube, and he’s thankful for the Conquest’s versatility. “It’s just so much fun and it’s fast,” he says. “It handles like a runabout, so it’s kind of like you have a sport boat and a cabin cruiser all in one.” Long before they had their Whaler, Tim and Melanie used to have a large cruiser with a double cabin, but they say it was just too much boat for what they like to do. “I see no reason to have something big just for the sake of big,” Tim says. The notion that the Conquest is often purchased as a fishing boat isn’t lost on him. “I hate to admit it, but I’m not much of a fisherman—yet,” he says. He expresses an ambition to get more serious about the sport he dabbled in as a child. “Well, you know, when you have a platform as good as this, it becomes almost a necessity.” For now, Tim is thrilled with the Whaler’s layout, perfect for entertaining his family. “It has a lot of flexibility for where people want to sit or which way they want to look,” he says. “And it’s more than adequate for overnighting as a couple. And, of course, we have the mid-cabin, where the grandkids can camp out. It’s their little domain.”
The twin 300-hp Mercury® Verado® FourStrokes are also a huge plus. They provide the best dose of get-up-and-go, durability, and ease of use on the St. Croix. “The engines are quiet,” Tim says. “And they’re extremely responsive and smooth.” The St. Croix joins the Mississippi in a scenic region called the Great Rivers Confluence Area that encompasses the towns of Hastings, Minnesota, and Prescott, Wisconsin. The confluence offers the Cliffords the opportunity to go on longer adventures, but they’re in love with their native state. “The sky is the limit if you want to put some miles under the keel,” Tim says, “but we like hanging around here because the water is so beautiful and the setting is nice and natural.” Mother Nature ushers in some epic Minnesota winters, equally as beautiful as the summers, but the idea of tucking the boat away for the season makes the Clifford family appreciate every day they can of sunshine and fun. “In the summer, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be,” Tim says. “The weather is warm, but it’s temperate. The place is green and lush. I like the quality of life here and the general attitude of the people; they have a very health-conscious mindset. It’s just a great place to live.” Using the boat as a way to wrangle the family on weekends also helps Tim maintain a good work-life balance, something that’s hard for the always-on entrepreneur. Tim runs his own construction
The sky is the limit if you want to put some miles under the keel, but we like hanging around here because the water is so beautiful and the setting is nice and natural.
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“ ” You know, it’s the whole premise of how they approach building a boat. It just spoke to me—the quality and the thoughtful touches and the purpose-built mentality.”
The whole gang from left to right: Harry the Pomeranian in Melanie’s arms, Kennedy, Taytum (in back with hands in the air), Melissa, Makyla (in back), Tasha, Erik and Tim.
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company, focusing on single-family residential homes. His builder’s eye came in handy when choosing a boat. He recognized good craftsmanship when he saw it. “I just thought, ‘These people speak my language,’” Tim recalls. “You know, it’s the whole premise of how they approach building a boat. It just spoke to me—the quality and the thoughtful touches and the purpose-built mentality.” He lauds the Whaler’s durability and reliability, but he’s also noticed that his Conquest has turned a number of heads for its clean, classic lines. “The compliments that I get are just nonstop,” Tim says. “We’ll anchor out, and people will motor up in their dinghy just to tell us how impressed they are with the boat. They’ll say things like, ‘Now, that’s a real boat!’ And this is a river that’s full of big cruisers.” When the whole Clifford clan can’t go along, that doesn’t stop Tim and Melanie from getting out on the water. The Conquest is a frequent fixture at Wisconsin’s Kinnickinnic State Park. There, they can find a protected area to anchor, relax on the beach, or enjoy the company of those circled around a fire ring. “Most of the people we know on the river, more often than not, we’ll run into them at the Kinni,” Tim says. “It’s a lot of fun.” Melissa and Tasha love the boat as a springboard back to their childhood and a way to craft the same cherished memories with their own daughters, but Tim and Melanie are also finding that it’s a springboard to fresh horizons, where they can make new friends and traditions and reinforce the strong bonds they have with each other.
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Past meets Future
Just in time for Whaler’s 60th anniversary come the new Montauks, born from a legacy of innovation and excellence
Story by Amy Wideman
| Photos courtesy of Boston Whaler
Regardless of the time or place, Montauk has always been a symbol of steadfastness, the boat at the center of cherished moments—a boat that could be relied on to never give you any trouble, so you could focus on the important stuff. When Boston Whaler’s product development team set about updating the Montauk models in conjunction with its 60th anniversary, they were determined to preserve everyFor some, it was summers spent on a grandparent’s thing boaters know and love about the series: “Hose-and-go” readiness. Easy operation and trailerability. Smart use of 17-foot Montauk, learning to rig lines and fish for space. Classic good looks. bass or trout. For others, it’s a memory of teaching At the same time, they sought to bring modern-day entheir kids to waterski behind a 210, patiently making hancements to the boats’ comfort, capability and style. After all, even a classic can stay current. lap after lap to retrieve a nervously eager ath“The Montauk has always been about effortless utility and lete-to-be. And for others, all it takes is a whiff of purposeful design,” says Jeff Vaughn, Boston Whaler’s vice sawdust or epoxy to be whisked back to president of sales, marketing and customer (Above and opposite) The new 170 service. “We worked to maintain that clean school holidays spent in mom and dad’s gaMontauk proves its readiness as both simplicity and ultimate reliability, while a family-friendly watersports vessel rage, patiently restoring a hardworking and an easy-to-use fishing machine. also leveraging customer feedback to impleWhaler to its original glory. ment strategic upgrades. The new Montauks
For countless Boston Whaler owners and fans, there’s one boat that comes to mind when they think back on a lifetime of boating memories: the Montauk.
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Rugged utility and effortless operation make these the perfect craft for fishing, exploring and pleasure boating… combine everything our customers love about the series with improvements in versatility and design that bring them squarely into the future.” The first of the new Montauks, the 150 and 170, were unveiled in Sarasota, Florida, during Whaler’s weeklong 60th anniversary kickoff celebration. As part of the festivities, Whaler reenacted the birth of the Unsinkable Legend with a Dick Fisher doppelganger standing aboard a 170 Montauk as it was sawed cleanly across the middle—this time by chainsaw—and remained afloat. The 190 and 210 Montauk are slated to premiere in February at the Miami International Boat Show, an event that draws boating enthusiasts from around the world. Neither of those two will be sliced apart, but the front half of that fated 170 will be available for photos. All four boats feature a precision-crafted hull that delivers a remarkably soft, safe, dry ride, reflecting the latest advancements in naval engineering and design. Rugged utility and effortless operation make these the perfect craft for fishing, exploring and pleasure boating with family members of all ages; the Montauks are also well-suited to (Clockwise from top left) The new 210, 170, 190 and 150 Montauks.
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yacht tendering duties. Captains from novice to expert will appreciate the intuitive helm console with stainless steel accents, and can count on a Mercury® FourStroke engine for reliable, efficient performance. Anglers can choose from numerous options to customize the Montauks precisely to their needs, from large cooler seats and convenient tackle storage to state-of-the-art Raymarine® navigation and fishfinding electronics. In addition, the 170, 190 and 210 each feature a newly integrated fuel tank and an integrated forward fish box with overboard drainage—two features that voice-of-the-consumer surveys revealed were highly desired. Adding a stylish new option befitting Whaler’s anniversary year, the Montauks are available with a Teak Package that includes teak boarding steps and swim ladder flooring, lending stylish “vintage” flair that coordinates beautifully with the boats’ clean, timeless aesthetic. For model year 2018, these boats will also feature a custom 60th Anniversary badge. And because ease and empowerment have always been an underlying theme of the family, the new Montauks each include a standard galvanized trailer with swing tongue, disc breaks and LED lights for safe, seamless transport. Stowing the boats in a compact garage or driveway is eminently practical. “Boston Whaler has always been committed to getting boaters out on the water quickly and easily. We design every Whaler to maximize capability and comfort while eliminating barriers to success,” said Whaler President Nick Stickler. “The new Montauk models celebrate that spirit of functionality and ease. We’re proud to debut them as a cornerstone of our 60th anniversary celebration.”
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oh what a Story by Amy Wideman Photos by Mike Calabro
For Dave, Jeaninne and Lucas Kulon, the Florida boating life is a dream-come-true
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A Although they’ve lived in Cape Coral for less than two years, Dave and Jeaninne Kulon had suspected that Florida was their destiny ever since Jeaninne’s parents retired to the state 20 years ago.
They reminisce about early trips to Siesta Key, with its powdered-sugar sand, and Sanibel Island, where the abundant shells rustle like wind chimes in the breeze. There was just something about the combination of pristine beaches, warm weather and easy-access boating they always found irresistible. “We’d be on the beach and look out at the water and see these boats zipping around,” Dave recalls. “We’d say to ourselves, ‘I wonder what that would be like…’” The Michigan natives grew up around the water, Jeaninne on her ski boat and Dave on friends’ and family members’ boats. They both had their own slalom skis and leapt at any chance to use them. “We were always on the water,” Dave recalls. “Either in one of the Great Lakes, on Traverse Bay, or any of a half-dozen small lakes near where we lived. Waterskiing, tubing, fishing, you name it.” So when the time finally arrived for Dave to retire, there was no doubt about their next move. “Florida was my big retirement dream, and it didn’t take a whole lot of convincing to get Jeaninne and Lucas onboard,” he says.
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(Opposite) Dave and Jeaninne cozy up under the Dauntlessâ€™s hardtop and (above) at the helm. (Left) Lucas drops a line in the canal near the Kulons' home, where a variety of fish species can be found.
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(This page) The family takes turns with the rod. (Right) With Lucas driving the boat, his parents can kick back and enjoy the ride. Dave raves about the Mercury engine’s quiet operation: “You can actually have a conversation while you’re underway!”
In late 2016, the Kulons settled into a home on the water in Cape Coral, where they were guaranteed easy access to the Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico, among many other waterways. Their next step was finding the boat with which to explore them. Boston Whaler was on their list, though not the first brand they tested. “We looked at other boats, but to be honest, we were a little disappointed,” Jeaninne says. Dave continues, “Walking around them, opening and closing things, trying to move seats, and nothing worked very well. You’d be on a brand-new boat and open a cabinet and it would fall in your lap!” he says. “So the first time we looked at a Whaler, it really struck us that everything worked. Not only worked, but worked well. The fit and finish of other boats didn’t even compare.” “Then there’s the seaworthiness of a Whaler. From our first sea trials, we were blown away,” he adds. Jeaninne was similarly impressed from
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the get-go. “I like that when you’re on the boat, it doesn’t rock. No matter how rough it gets—you don’t get seasick!” she says. “I had a ski boat in the past and it just rolllllled with the waves. But with a Boston Whaler… it’s like, ‘What’s a wave?’ It’s so nice to be a passenger on.” Though both the 240 and 270 Dauntless caught their eye, ultimately the 24-footer made the most sense for their goals. It checked all the boxes: Center console. Shallow enough draft for inshore fishing. Capable for skiing and tubing. Not to mention easy on the eyes. Of all its traits, the Dauntless’s safety and stability have played the biggest role in luring the Kulons’ adult kids and their families down to Florida and out onto the water. Their daughter Stephanie and her husband, Steve, bring young Ava and Joe; daughter Amy and her husband, Ben, bring their kids, Grace and Simon. Daughter Lisa, newly engaged, enjoys hopping aboard when she can. Their fourth daughter, Nicole, and her husband, Patrick, have yet to make it down for a visit, but plan to show little Owen and Sullivan the magic of their grandparents’ boating life one day soon. Even the Kulons’ cockapoo, Rocky, joins in the action from time to time, clad in his own pup-sized life jacket. For Dave and Lucas, there’s a certain thrill in being able to go fast. “A deciding factor for me with the 240 Dauntless was the way it performed getting on plane,” Dave explains. “Ours has the single 300-horsepower Mercury engine. From a standstill, you take off and punch the throttle. I always tell people, ‘When you do that, every guy’s face on the boat will smile.’ It planes out in 3 or 4 seconds! That’s exciting.”
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I like that when you’re on the boat, it doesn’t rock. No matter how rough it gets—you don’t get seasick! I had a ski boat in the past and it just rolllllled with the waves. But with a Boston Whaler… it’s like, ‘What’s a wave?’.
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(Left) Lucas recalls catching a Spanish mackerel on his most recent birthday, down by the Sanibel bridge, then learning to filet it in time for dinner. “I expect there will be lots of birthday fish dinners in the future,” says his dad.
Similarly excited, Lucas hustled to finish the boating courses he needed to get his license “in like a day” and was soon right at home behind the wheel. “The boat is so responsive and so smooth,” he says. “You cruise down the river and then floor it. It’s amazing to drive, a great piece of machinery.” His parents credit the sixteen-year-old with being a natural, particularly when it comes to the Dauntless’s Raymarine® 12-inch display. “Lucas took to the navigation system immediately,” Dave says. “You’ve gotta be careful about the depth in some of the places we go. Lucas is skilled at finding the best way. He’s zooming in with his fingers on the chart, handling the technology like it’s nothing.” Dave speaks with obvious pride about his son, and says he’d made it a goal to retire before Lucas finished high school so they could spend plenty of time together. “Most of that time is on the boat,” he says. “Lucas does about 70 percent or more of the driving. The only downside is, I don’t get to drive as much! But it’s pretty neat, he can be driving and I can be trolling. It’s a great father-son thing.” They often bring a group of Lucas’s high school friends along, too, for fishing as well as swimming out in the Gulf, where the clean, ultra-blue water provides ample entertainment. “We can go fishing literally anywhere now. Part of the adventure is finding new spots,” Lucas says, citing snook, trout and mackerel as just a few of the many species they’ve caught. “And sharks! We caught a bunch of little bonnetheads, catch-and-release.”
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The Kulons credit MarineMax sales executive Brian Kemmis with making their purchasing process seamless, and with enhancing their boating life since. Brian and his wife, Trudi, host day trips to explore the local canals, visit waterfront restaurants, or tie up near a secluded beach for a day of relaxing and socializing. Of the gatherings, Dave says, “I haven’t met too many boaters that aren’t nice people. I’m not sure what the secret is. Maybe it’s just that they’re happy because they’re on the water.” In the months ahead, the Kulons plan to get lots of use out of the new tow rope they purchased for their tube. They also have a long list of on-water restaurants left to try. “One of the nicest things about having a boat here is pulling up to a dock and having lunch or dinner, spending part of the day getting there and getting back,” Dave says. “I love being out on the water at sunset,” Jeaninne adds. “I think the nature and the beauty of it all is my favorite thing.” And the best part is, that magical Florida feeling is available to enjoy as often as they like. “You get on the boat and everything suddenly seems to look better,” Dave says. “It changes your mindset. You stop thinking about your list of to-dos, and you’re just enjoying yourself. The Whaler has made that possible in ways we didn’t expect. I’ve dreamed about maybe getting a bigger boat someday, but you know what? I think we’re going to enjoy this one for a long while.”
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1/31/18 2:24 PM
Mia, nice meeting you last night. About our date...would you like to join me on my boat tomorrow?
12 sec ago
It has a Seakeeper, right? 4 sec ago
ONCE YOU FEEL IT, YOUâ€™LL NEVER BOAT WITHOUT IT. SCHEDULE A DEMO RIDE TODAY
1/26/18 5:41 PM