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A Buyer's Guide to Getting a Used Boston Whaler Boat

Boston Whaler

Boston Whaler is a boat brand that is known for its "unsinkable" characteristics. If you're considering buying a used Boston Whaler, there are a few things that you need to know if you want to get a good deal on your purchase. These boats are known to hold their integrity as well as their value over time. It helps to know a little bit about the history, the different models available, and what to look for in quality and condition as you start your search. We've put together a guide to getting a used Boston Whaler with helpful tips and suggestions.

The History of Boston Whaler

It's useful to know a little bit about the history of the brand and the various used models that are available. The first Boston Whalers were built in 1953. According to Continuous Wave, the unsinkable legend started out as Dick's Fisher's Boats Company. It was known by this name until 1960. The first model was called the Standard, and it was available in a 13 ft length with a 16, and later a 19 ft added to the fleet.

Boston Whalers are known for their sturdy construction and durability. They're also among the most versatile luxury boats on the planet. They're built for creature comfort , but can be used for a variety of boating adventures. They're great for cruising and partying on the water, with larger versions wonderful for overnight or longer trips from one destination to another, and they're also delightful as fishing boats. It's important to note that throughout its history, Boston Whaler has continued to make strides in improving the design, comfort, and performance of their watercraft. Some of the older boats are as functional as the newer ones though.

The most popular Boston Whaler models

If you're wondering which used Boston Whaler boat model would be the best fit for you, here is an overview of the most popular models, and why they're so highly regarded.

The Montauk

The Montauk is one of the most popular used models currently. There are a few different versions of the Montauk available so you have sizes between 13 and 21 feet in length, seating as many as 9 passengers. The smaller boats are ideal for small cruising or fishing parties while the larger sizes are for deep sea fishing or for luxury cruising with posh accommodations and comfortable overnight sleeping quarters.

20 Temptation 2500

The 20 Temptation 2500 remains one of the most popular for cruisers who enjoy partying or fishing with large groups. The more than 22 ft length is large enough for 10 persons. This model was built between 1986 and 1986. It's now classified as a vintage boat and it is considered a collectible.

Outrage 18/19

The Outrage 18/19 is one of the most popular classic Boston Whaler boats. The older versions are desired because of their durability and most hold their integrity and value very well. The reviews have been high on the older models as well as the newer ones. It's a luxury boat that you can find for under $15,000 if it's in excellent condition. When you compare it with the cost of a newer model, it's practically a steal for what you get. The Outrage 330 model is also desired for sport fishing, water sports or cruising, with a smaller size and nimble handling.

17 Sport

If you're looking for an older model the 17 Sport was built between 1976 and 1983. This model in excellent condition may actually have increased in its value over time.

16 Katama

The 16 Katama is 16 ft 7 inches, and like the 17 Sport, it is also a collectible, now a vintage boat made from 1968 through 1975.

17 Super Sport

This model is from 1983 and 1989 and is just under 17 ft long with room for 7 adults. It follows the tradition of versatility and unsinkability, being popular for moderate sized fishing or cruising parties.

17 Super Sport Limited

This boat was made from 1986 through 1990 as a special edition that was considered the top of the line in its day. It is loaded with premium features.

Other models within the Boston Whaler line

Boston Whaler claims to have built a model line for every type of boater and lifestyle. This is why there are so many different models available. Some other popular models include:


The Dauntless is available in 6 different lengths ranging from 17 feet in length to just over 27 feet. This is a model that is designed for offshore fishing and water sports. The amenities are geared towards these activities with pedestal fishing seats, a reversible pilot seat, live well and more.


The Vantage models are a sophisticated multifunctional boat that is made for families who are active with water sports. It's made for offshore cruising, water sports and fishing in a luxurious layout that is packed with amenities. It's built to handle rough salt water but is just as capable on a river trip. This is a cabinet cruiser type that is made for passenger comfort.


The Conquest is a line of luxury cabin cruisers that is ideal for offshore sport fishing or destination cruising. The stateroom offers luxurious and comfortable overnight quarters for longer trips. it's setup for partying, cruising, water sports or fishing and is about the most versatile boat on the water today.


Another family within the Boston Whaler brand is the Realm. This is yet another luxury cabin cruiser that is made for families, and for enjoying cruising, water sports, fishing, and more. The Realm models (there are two), offers state of the art electronics with an easy to use system for piloting the boat. You can find more in-depth information about the later models by visiting the Boston Whaler website. Here you'll find a comprehensive explanation of each of the later model families to give you an overview of the standard features and amenities which are comparable to the later year models that you'll find in used condition. Visit Boston Whaler on their website.

Which one is best for you?

We've just highlighted a few of the most popular models, but there are more Boston Whaler editions listed for sale as used. Some of the most important things to consider is the length that is the most appropriate. Consider the space, how many people will join you onboard, and this will give you an idea of the length. Most Boston Whalers share a few common features such as quality, and spaciousness, but they do come with a variety of special features and amenities. For example, if you plan on taking overnight excursions, you might want to consider a model that is equipped with a stateroom and plenty of available beds for passengers. Some are equipped with a fishing package if you're into sports fishing. There are also commercial boats up for sale. It's good to have an idea of what your needs are now, and may be in the near future to help narrow down your list. If you're buying a used Boston Whaler check out the configuration to make sure that it meets your needs because some have been customized to include premium features such as a fishing package, while others focus more on cruising, entertainment, and luxury cruising. Check the layout of the boat to make sure that it's designed to meet the intended purposes.

What to look for in a used Boston Whaler boat?

When you've found a suitable Whaler you're interested in, the condition will be important. This impacts the overall value of the boat. Depending on what needs to be fixed, repairs can be expensive. Although Boston Whalers are well-built vessels, like any other boat, they are subject to the ravages of time. Accidents can take their toll, and it's important to make sure that the boat has been properly maintained through the years. Check the hull to make sure that there are no cracks or leaks. Look for any signs of repair or water damage to make sure that the hull has maintained its full integrity. Hull repairs are expensive and if the used boat is past its warranty period, you might want to consider a different option if you find that the integrity has been compromised.

It's important to inspect all areas of the boat for any signs of water damage, or rust. Make sure that all of the metal and wood components are free from rust and corrosion, and that they are free of dry-rot. If the deck is covered, sometimes you can tell by walking over it if there are any weak spots in the flooring. It's also wise to inspect the electrical and the steering for signs of wear. Make sure that the seating is still in good condition and that the upholstery has not been torn, nor water damaged. Finally, inspect the entire boat for signs of cracks or wear and tear or other kinds of damage. If there have been repairs completed, it's wise to inquire about how the boat was repaired and by whom. It's a good idea to ask about the maintenance record, how the boat was stored, and related questions to its care.

Verify the reputation of the seller

If at all possible, check out the reputation of the seller. If you're dealing with a private party, it might be a bit more difficult than if you're buying a boat through either an authorized dealer, or another type of marine dealership. You can check with the Better Business Bureau when working with a Marine dealer, and also conduct online searches for consumer reviews to establish that the seller has a reputation for dealing honestly with the public and selling products that are in fact as represented.

Consider the location

Where is the boat physically located? Boston Whalers are sold all over the world. You may want to consider boats that are closer to your geographic location. When determining a fair value/cost think about the expenses involved in moving the boat from one place to another.

How to assess the value of a Boston Whaler

It's best to make a visual inspection of the boat, and take a tour so you can get a good look at every aspect of the boat. After you've checked out the physical condition, you can get a good idea of the assessed value of the boat by consulting the information found at JD Power's listing of NADA guides. This will give you the values for Boston Whaler boats from the years 1976 through 2020.

Where to find a used Boston Whaler boat

There are several reputable dealers that offer Boston Whaler boats for sale. You can also find them in online listings from private sellers. We recommend searching through listings that are offered by sources that can be verified as reputable, but there are private parties who can also offer you a good deal. An online query will bring up several resources for you to consider.


There are plenty of used Boston Whaler models available. While these boats tend to retain their value over time, with some becoming more valuable than the original selling price, you can still find a good deal if you're careful. This guide is intended to provide you with tips and strategies to choose the right model to suit your individual lifestyle needs, and to know what to look for when determining the condition of the boat and it's fair and reasonable value. There are a lot of good deals offered on Boston Whalers, but some sellers inflate the prices beyond a reasonable cost for the value. By following our recommendations, you can easily find a Boston Whaler that will provide you with years of reliable boating enjoyment for a fair price.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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