Today’s new boats are both amazing and super expensive and, for many, dropping $50,000+ on a new, 20′ center console is unrealistic and impractical. For those people, buying a used boat is a great option. One boat that fits this category is a “classic” Boston Whaler. There are many classic Whalers that are still awesome today (Sport 13, Sport 15, Montauk 17, Outrage 18/19, and the Outrage 22). The one I’m going to focus on is the Outrage 18/19 — specifically, the ones manufactured between 1988 and 1991.
To begin with, the Boston Whaler Outrage 18 changed it’s name to the Outrage 19 in 1991. They are the exact same boats but Whaler decided to round up the number for whatever reason. The boat is great because it’s very soft riding (for a classic Whaler), stable and dry for a boat of that size and is super easy to trailer. However, the best part is you can typically, buy one for under $15,000 and there’s very little depreciation since it’s already so old. Very few boats in this world that hold their value like a classic Whaler!
FUEL TANK, BOW RAIL, DECK
The max horsepower for an Outrage 19 is 150 hp and the boat has an internal fuel tank which helps to add weight and soften the ride. However, that same internal fuel tank can be a problem today. The tanks are prone to water intrusion so special consideration should be taken when inspecting a potential boat to buy. Another thing that makes these boats great for a Whaler is from 1988-1991 the bow rail was changed to a one-piece, welded railing instead of a multi-piece held together with lots of screws. The new bow rail eliminates the excessive “rattling” that was so common on the older versions. Another thing to consider with a classic Outrage is the condition of the deck under the seats. That deck often softens over time because it’s reinforced with plywood and the plywood tends to rot. It’s very important that you consider this when evaluating a 30 yr old Whaler. If the deck needs to be re-done, you might as well re-do the fuel tank while you’re at it.
MY OUTRAGE STORY
The pictures listed in this post show a boat I purchased a few years ago. The boat is a 1990 Boston Whaler Outrage 19. I bought it through Craigslist from a person in Michigan. The boat was a freshwater boat and I knew it was in good shape based on a picture. It was a slight leap of faith but for the price I paid ($6,000) it was worth the risk. However, the one thing that didn’t make any sense to me was that the hull looked to be newer (1988-1991) but the center console and motor both looked older (1982 +/-). I later found out that Whaler replaced the hull due to a warranty issue but re-mounted the old motor and console to it. Since I’m a classic Whaler enthusiast I intended to buy a new motor and mount the correct center console for that boat. The pictures listed show the stages of restoration. The boat wound up costing me $20,000 all-in. There are very few boats that one can buy (in that condition) for that price and I, generally, always recommend a classic Whaler to someone new to boating. I do it because most “boaters” rarely use their boats and the last thing you need is having a very expensive boat depreciate and deteriorate from non-use. Start small and simple and go up from there.
The classic Outrage from Boston Whaler is one of the best boats of all time and makes a great boat to have when visiting your favorite lazy location.
Resources for Classic Whalers