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Boston Whaler "Rage" questions

Old 11-30-2011, 09:45 AM
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Default Boston Whaler "Rage" questions

I'm going to go check out a 15 foot BW RAGE tomorrow. The jet drive was blown & is totally gone (been removed, and, no longer available. I would have to find a whole different JD unit if I wanted to go back with the same set up). My understanding is that the OMC jet drives are no longer available, but, I don't want to go back with a JD anyway.

My idea is to either buy a single outboard bracket, reinforce the transom & install the bracket with a 75 H.P Evinrude, or, cut the transom down to the proper height & reinforce it and mount the motor. As far as the boat, it has everything it's supposed to, except the motor & jet drive unit. It has an aluminum trailer, and, from what the man who owns it says, everything is in excellent condition.

The asking price is $700.00, which seems more than fair if the boat & trailer is as he describes. It's a 1995 year model. So, my questions, are; Has anyone here ever done the outboard conversion on one of these, if so, is it more involved than what I describe, basically transom reinforcement, whether going with bracket or cut down?

Also, is the Rage "unsinkable" like other Whalers, and are the hulls well built, like other Whalers? Is there anything I should be on the lookout for, any issues these boats had, other than (from what I have read online) the jet drives going bad, which is a non-issue in this case. Also, just as a passing thought, if I were to locate a complete jet drive unit, would it be better to go back with one, after I were to go through the powerhead & whatever else?

I don't really need this boat, since I have a 16 foot MFG I use only a couple weeks out of each year, at this point in my life, but, I kind of like the look of Rage and, it's about the same size as my MFG, which is an old classic, and I love the boat, but, the rage looks to be a little better for my purpose (mostly lake fishing up north) because the sides are lower, and the boat is open bow, makes casting easier, etc.

Also, the rage drafts only nine inches according to what I read, where my MfG has a pretty sharp keel at the bow, and overall, she probablly drafts at least twelve to fifteen inches, which, when one is trying to slip into shallow bass coves can make a huge difference. I would never get rid of my old MFG, I simply love the old girl, but, I need SOMETHING newer to play with, but not spend a ton of $$ on. And, finally, should I decide to re-sell down the road, I figure it won't be that difficult to unload a boa like this, especially after the outboard conversion has been completed.

The owner is open to the possibility of partial cash, and trade with a pistol, which I have a couple I may be willing to trade one of them. I like deals where I can trade stuff...just my nature. So, ANY comment or input/advice would be helpful AND appreciated, greatly so. As always, I know I can expect some great input from the THT community, you folks are the best
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:55 PM
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As a jet boat the Rage was a POS, I had one, I did see a 15' rage conversion to outboard with a bracket down at Peanut island and the owner said he liked it and it did look kind of neat. Would make an interesting project. They are unsinkable as other Whalers and you could use the engine compartment for a lot of storage. Mine had the 115 OMC. $500.00 would be a better price.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:15 PM
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Default Run....

RUN AWAY!!!!!!

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Old 11-30-2011, 01:33 PM
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If your crafty or sick enough, a wave runner that was wrecked as a doner might be slick- maybe not a 350 hp one though.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
As a jet boat the Rage was a POS, I had one, I did see a 15' rage conversion to outboard with a bracket down at Peanut island and the owner said he liked it and it did look kind of neat. Would make an interesting project. They are unsinkable as other Whalers and you could use the engine compartment for a lot of storage. Mine had the 115 OMC. $500.00 would be a better price.
Besides the fact that the jet set up was sucky, what else about the boat didn't you like, what in particular made it a "POS", to you? Is the hull structure/integrity an issue? Is it a poor/wet riding boat? As far as the engine compartment, I thought the same thing...lots of storage, especially for a small boat.

Originally Posted by #1Stunna View Post
RUN AWAY!!!!!!

What do you base this comment on? If it's based on the engine/jet drive unit, I won't be going back with it. My idea was to probably mount a single engine bracket, maybe one of those Armstrong's with the hydrolic lift (Jack plate/bracket) built in? If your comment is based on something other than the powerhead/jetdrive unit, please, explain so I may make a more informed decision.

Originally Posted by Monsterfishin View Post
If your crafty or sick enough, a wave runner that was wrecked as a doner might be slick- maybe not a 350 hp one though.
Is the RAGE considered a PWC/Waverunner...or is it considered a boat??? It appears to be a bot, but the jet drive design is more like what you have in a PWC, well, sort of.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:03 PM
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Several of these conversions have been done very successfully. It all comes down to purchase price. $1000 is top dollar.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by #1Stunna View Post
RUN AWAY!!!!!!

BEAT ME TO IT

RUN HARD AND FAST, those things are POS and expensive

Had Buddy that bought one and he liked to never got it to consistently run right and when he did he sold it and the guy that bought kept trying to force him to buy it back.

RUN RUN RUN and DONT LOOK BACK
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:09 PM
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Default Pwc...

I grew up with PWC, and compared, the Rage is probably the worst boat BW ever made and a PWC is way more fun. For the $$$, I would find a PWC and go from there. My $0.02.

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Old 11-30-2011, 04:48 PM
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It's a boat not a pwc, I never had any hull related issues other than you had virtually no steering under 1500 rpm due to the jet and getting on the swim ladder to climb aboard was very tough, but no hull issues only motor issues with the OMC. For a 15' boat it rode better than my 15' Sport.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:49 AM
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Default Okay, now I have a better idea...

Originally Posted by captbone View Post
Several of these conversions have been done very successfully. It all comes down to purchase price. $1000 is top dollar.
Well, he is asking $700.00, but we discussed possible trade of a gun with a little cash. Schmaltz~Herring suggested a better price would be $500.00, and I am inclined to agree. I'll see once I inspect the whole rig, trailer (Owner says it's aluminum) and all. that's actually the figure I had in mind after researching all I need to do to covert it to outboard power.

Originally Posted by tprice View Post
BEAT ME TO IT

RUN HARD AND FAST, those things are POS and expensive

Had Buddy that bought one and he liked to never got it to consistently run right and when he did he sold it and the guy that bought kept trying to force him to buy it back.

RUN RUN RUN and DONT LOOK BACK
Understood. However, this would be a non-issue for me. As I stated, the jet drive blew & was COMPLETELY removed. I would be installing an outboard bracket of some sort, and mounting a 75 horsepower Evinrude I have sitting in my garage...the owner already has the proper steering helm/wheel assembly to convert from what came with the jetdrive, which he says doesn't work with regular outboards.

Originally Posted by #1Stunna View Post
I grew up with PWC, and compared, the Rage is probably the worst boat BW ever made and a PWC is way more fun. For the $$$, I would find a PWC and go from there. My $0.02.

I'm not looking for nor do I want a PWC. that's why i asked if this is a boat or PWC. Had it been the later, I wouldn't even go to look it over. I just want a small boat to tinker with & convert into something to suit my own purpose. I don't need a large boat at this point in my life, nor could I take proper care of one with my health issues. So, smaller is better, in my case, when it comes to a boat these days.

As stated, my 1964 MFG is all the boat I need, but, this little BW has tweaked my interest. I may get over to the boat and upon inspection decide it's not for me, but, I need to at least check it out. I have already decided at this point that I will not spend $700.00 for it, whether trade or cash, $500.00 is my limit. I figure I'll end up investing about $1,000.00 if I purchase it. The bracket for the motor is about $500

Add in materials to reinforce the transom, and whatever extras, it'll add up quickly. I don't want to have anymore than $1,500.00 in the whole deal, boat/trailer & outboard conversion all total.

Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
It's a boat not a pwc, I never had any hull related issues other than you had virtually no steering under 1500 rpm due to the jet and getting on the swim ladder to climb aboard was very tough, but no hull issues only motor issues with the OMC. For a 15' boat it rode better than my 15' Sport.
Right. This wouldn't be an issue for me, because I would have the outboard motor mounted and no jetdrive to get frustrated with! It looks like a hull style that would offer a decent ride for the size boat it is, IMO. You confirm that. So, from what i gather, all the complaints are related to the jet drive being junk, for the most part. Since I will not have the JD, but a proven, dependable, rugged, looper, one of the best designs ever built by OMC, the three cylinder 75 h.p. which, while 40 horsepower less than what came in the Rage originally, albeit, a JD, it's more than enough power for that size boat, IMO.

I'll let y'all know if I decide to purchase or not. Either way, I appreciate every reply to my inquiry, all of the replies definitely helped me with my decision to CAUTIOUSLY move forward. THANKS!
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:00 AM
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If you are converting to outboard - go for it - I have done it- they are a great little boat with an outboard on them. $700 is a good price as described. I have bought three - the most I paid was $1000 - the least was believe it or not $150 with a trailer.

Here is a pic of mine when it was done.

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:38 AM
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I have one and I like it. The one thing I did was add a temp. gauge and a huge strainer on the water intake. Yes it did take me some time to dial it in. (timing and idle were way off) but once that was done knock on wood its been running great. to get into the shallows around the Boston Harbor Island.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by sraab928 View Post
If you are converting to outboard - go for it - I have done it- they are a great little boat with an outboard on them. $700 is a good price as described. I have bought three - the most I paid was $1000 - the least was believe it or not $150 with a trailer.

Here is a pic of mine when it was done.


Very NICE!! I like it. Is that an Armstrong bracket? How involved was it to reinforce the transom?

Originally Posted by ccroke13 View Post
I have one and I like it. The one thing I did was add a temp. gauge and a huge strainer on the water intake. Yes it did take me some time to dial it in. (timing and idle were way off) but once that was done knock on wood its been running great. to get into the shallows around the Boston Harbor Island.
It sounds like you left the jet drive in place? Even so, you mention the shallows, and that's one of the main advantages I'm looking for, to be able to run a bit shallower than my current old boat. I looked at the hull on my old girl, and because of the hull design, it actually draws a good bit more water than I originally thought. Great riding boat, though.


Thanks for the input. I'm even more interested & sure about buying the boat, as long as it's in the condition described by the owner. I hope to be able to see it later this afternoon. If not, it won't be until Saturday before the owner is back.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:55 AM
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That is a nice pic of a conversion, I think you need a minimum of 90-115 hp for that baby.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:07 PM
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I was able to get 46 mph with no height tuning or prop changes. I would say you could get close to 50 with the Merc 90 properly dialed in.

I used a jack plate. About 10" setback. The conversion was pretty straight forward. Feel free to pm me your email and I will send you the details. I will be out of town till Sunday so give me some time to respond.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by sraab928 View Post
I was able to get 46 mph with no height tuning or prop changes. I would say you could get close to 50 with the Merc 90 properly dialed in.

I used a jack plate. About 10" setback. The conversion was pretty straight forward. Feel free to pm me your email and I will send you the details. I will be out of town till Sunday so give me some time to respond.
Thank you. If the deal goes through as planned, I will probably contact you for sure. Below is an account of what I found yesterday when I went & looked at the boat;

I went & checked out the boat.It was absolutely filthy, from sitting under a bunch of trees...full of pine needles, dirt, typical outdoor mold/tree crud on it. A small amount of oxidation on the hull as well. I can clean it all & bring back a great shine, this I know. Not a deal killer at all.

The transom & jetdrive area under the boat have already been filled in and reinforced at the transom from cut plywood. The ply has been all glassed in, and a good job at that. Whoever did the work made sure to add not just the ply against the inside of the transom, but, I guess what I would call "knees"? The closest thing I could think to compare it to is how the transom is designed/supported on a 14 foot Mckee Craft. The exterior has been all filled in with a fiberglass filler, and sanded flush, ready for the set back and bracket to mount to it. I know I couldn't do any better, and with that part already finished all I need do is mount the bracket & rig the steering, cables, etc. So, that's a huge positive, for me.

The only thing I am not too thrilled about; The original owner was not too good at docking. Looks like he came in on the same side (port) most of the time, but too hard & fast. On the topside of the gunnel (above the rub rail)there is a patch of stress cracks. It's not structural, but cosmetic. Left alone it would eventually get worse, so, I would need to do some sort of repair on that, sooner or later. There are also some other gel coat cracks here & there, all are in the topside, just above the rub rail, like the guy hit the dock a bit hard...I'm thinking that he was in an area with alot of strong current & had problems maneuvering at low speed with that jetdrive? So, HOW CONCERNED should I be about these stress type cracks in the gel coat?

The hull, bottom, insides, all are solid & no damage at all, that I can see (which is why I want to wash it up & spend an hour or so really going over every inch of this boat) I told the guy I would want to come by this weekend & clean the boat up and spend a couple hours going over it with a fine tooth comb, just to be sure I didn't miss anything major. He was fine with that. I'm pretty good at reading people, and this guy comes across as a straight shooter all the way, really nice guy, half my age, reminds me so much of myself when I was that age...damn, where did the years go.

BTW, the guy selling the boat is not the original owner. He got it from his friend, after the jetdrive went out, and his friend spent alot of time trying to find another JD, finally giving up.

What else, oh, the trailer is not aluminum, it's galvanized, which is fine with me. It's a pretty heavy duty trailer, alot heavier than the trailers I've seen in other photos of these boats. The tires are 14 or 15's, which is great since I would be hauling it up to Maine once a year & back. It's in very good condition, probably will need new rubber, just because of the age of the tires.No play or slop in the tires when I yanked them back & forth, so, bearings are probably okay. Other stuff, the windshield was missing, but, he may have it, I'll have to find out, it didn't cross my mind as I was more concerned with the hull. Side walls that were on both sides of the powerhead are a bit shabby...flimsy even. I think I could toss those anyway? I don't think they offer any support for the rear deck, if they do, I imagine I'd have to construct something with a sheet of ply & fiberglass, which I have an abundance of from when I put a new transom in my MFG in 2010.

He is getting all the paper work together, and we plan on closing the deal next week. I ended up trading him my Springfield Armory XD-40 pistol & $50.00, so, I will have less than $500.00 invested in the boat, which is good, but I will miss my SA .40! I still have two other 40's and a .45 & .22, so, I guess I'll survive....but, I have to justify bringing another boat home, been tough here lately, so, give up one toy to get another.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:26 AM
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How this project not turn out stern heavy? Not only was the original engine and pump inside the transom, the new motor be on a bracket, increasing the effect of the engine weight.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by evensen View Post
How this project not turn out stern heavy? Not only was the original engine and pump inside the transom, the new motor be on a bracket, increasing the effect of the engine weight.
Hmmm. Good question. I'd only be mounting a 75 H.P, about what, 260 pounds or so? With the bracket, it's only going to be about 10 or 12 inches set back, not that much. The boat itself is a pretty heavy/solid boat, from what I can tell. The fuel tank is directly under the bench seat/console.

It must work out o.k, as it seems more than a few folks seem to convert the rig to outboard power, and with more H.P than what I plan to mount?
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:38 AM
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So how's the project coming along?

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Old 01-26-2012, 09:06 AM
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???
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