First Year 1978 20′ Boston Whaler Outrage Project. You In?

Thar she bows

Long time fellow Woody Boater and boat finder Don Ploetner, found this amazing worn out time capsule 20 ft Whaler. This is a first year boat from its original owner, with all its original goodies. Engine and Trailer. Its condition is somewhat a gamble since it was part of an estate, and been sitting outside under an .. probable Original cover. The Snow and dirt don’t help the cause, but whalers are tough beasts, and these tan/Sand colored ones are better in aging than the original blue ones.

Love the original engine cover graphics

This is the fist of the V Hull designs and an amazing boat. Would it be worth it to do it all up like it was? maybe clean up the boat, and throw a new engine of it? Thats your call. BUT, if you are in the market for a future show boat, this is one! And can be gotten for a great price. I don’t know the price to be honest, Don is trying to find a home for a resident of Woodyboaterville.

V-20 175 V6

The smaller boat is gone already

This is like finding a Woody back in the 70’s, It feels like just an old boat now, and maybe needs to be upgraded. But one day, VERY SOON.. These original Whalers will be pure gold, and the fist year of something in original condition, is the way to start.

A little cleaning would help you

Its all there though and could be a jewel in the rough

I would move on this in a heartbeat, if.. I didn’t already have a fleet, a railway, 3 dogs, 5 cars, and a current wife! You can contact Don at!  I will take this email down after today so the spam bots don’t jump all over him. 


12 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Those pics are painful for this other AOL dinosaur to look at. No one should do that to any boat, wood or Tupperware!

  2. Rick
    Rick says:

    Matt if you picked that up the boatress would probably leave you. Problem solved. Then again maybe you should hold on to her considering beyond all rational thinking, how understanding she apparently is. Does she ever say “What were you thinking?” to you or herself?

  3. Bill
    Bill says:

    you mean youre not buying it. Jimmy lucked out on this one, maybe someday he will get a day off

  4. Mark in Ohio ( sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio ( sometimes da U P ) says:

    Looks like it would make a good project. My son bought a “project Whaler” a couple of years ago. With a lot of cleaning, buffing, and detailing. It has made him a nice boat. It is said that Boston Whalers are the F150 of the Les Cheneaux Islands.

  5. Robert Seiss
    Robert Seiss says:

    An expensive boat in its time! A 50:1 V6 monster that loved to eat up gas, 45MPH+ at full trim. I gather the drain plug was left out, if not, run away. A waterlogged hull would be more about cracks in the hull below water line than above, but that should be the main focus. Yes, looks like a NJ back yard, just sayin.

  6. LHG
    LHG says:

    As an occasional reader of this site, an admirer of all classic boats, and particularly of classic Boston Whalers, I read this day’s article with interest. I own 6 Boston Whaler show quality classics from 17′ to 25′, 1971-1989 years and am well known in the classic Boston Whaler community.

    Although I appreciate Matt’s article, including recognition of this boat as the first of the 2nd generation Whaler Outrages, and preservation interest in a restoration like this, for this particular boat I would stay away. I believe it would be TOO costly in terms of dollars, effort and time to bring it back to an original classic. Better condition versions of this same boat can still be found with a little patience.

    To one wishing to restore an old Whaler, the overriding important consideration is the condition of the hull. The hull is the source of the most time consuming, costly and difficult part of a restoration. All of Whaler’s interior components and most fittings can still be sourced one way or another, or are less difficult to restore.

    As for the hull, unlike a wood boat, avoid a bottom painted boat at all costs, since it indicates a boat left at a dock or mooring for extended seasons, and therefore extreme weathering of the gelcoat surfaces. Bottom painted classics are worth half of what a hull with an original unpainted gelcoated bottom is worth. The paint also cuts across Whaler’s distinct hull lines and destroys their classic good looks, besides hiding previous hull damage. Also avoid any boat with checked, cracked or deteriorated non-skid floor gelcoat. It simply cannot be brought back. An immediate reason to reject such a hull.

    The final conditions to avoid are areas of waterlogged foam (soft cushy floors) from poorly sealed fasteners or hull damage, a rotted wood transom, or damaged/leaking fuel tank. A topside painted hull also destroys value, since it indicates a previous restoration of a badly weathered boat. The real value in a Whaler classic is original gelcoat. All of the above are difficult, costly repairs.

    The best advice I can give for someone looking to restore a classic Whaler is take your time to find the very best specimen of the boat you want, and be willing to pay up for it. You will be thousands of dollars ahead in the end. Look for a trailer kept boat with no paint at all, freshwater if possible, often found in the upper Midwest and Great lakes states. Seasons there are cold and short, which means over it’s life, the boat will have only a fraction of total use a warm climate boat will have.

    And finally, when you find your old classic, expect to buy a new trailer and engine(s) for it.

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