Boston Whaler
Overview
Boston Whaler is a boat company that builds foam filled fiberglass boats. Boston whaler was founded in 1958 by Richard T Fisher, and is still in business today.
Richard T Fisher was the designer of the original Boston Whaler. Fisher graduated from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1936 and majored in Philosophy. He was running an electric relay company, but he was interested in building small lightweight boats out of balsa wood.
Encyclopedia
Boston Whaler is a boat company that builds foam filled fiberglass boats. Boston whaler was founded in 1958 by Richard T Fisher, and is still in business today.

History of the Design

Richard T Fisher was the designer of the original Boston Whaler. Fisher graduated from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1936 and majored in Philosophy. He was running an electric relay company, but he was interested in building small lightweight boats out of balsa wood. He designed a rowboat and got the materials to build it, but he never built it. Raymond Hunt, Richard Fisher's friend, was a naval architect and was designing boats for a living. They formed the partnership that would design the first Boston Whaler. In 1954 Dick Fisher found a newly released product that was called polyurethane foam he immediately saw this foam as a potential boat building material. Fisher saw this foam as a “synthetic balsa wood”. The first boat that Fisher built with this foam as a base was a small dingy, that was inspired by the Alcort Sailfish. Fisher was very pleased with this new building materal that he showed it to Ray Hunt. Ray Hunt was very impressed with the little boat, but he realized that a boat powered by an outboard would sell better than a sailboat. Fisher decided to design the first boat after the Sea Sled design, which was built by Hickman in the 1920’s. Dick Fisher built a boat out of Styrofoam and epoxy. "It had two keels," said Fisher, "one inverted V between the runners and an anti-skid, anti-trip chine." Fisher tested the boat all that summer and thought it was “the greatest thing ever”. That fall, when Fisher started running the boat in the rough weather, a flaw was revealed. When the boat had a heavy load and was not planning, the cavity in the middle of the hull forced air into the water that was going into the prop. This caused the engine to run rougher because the engine was getting air with the water. Fisher brought his problem to Hickman, the original designer of the Sea Sled. Hickman was no help and thought his design needed no modifications. Fisher thought that he would have to "put some stuff on the bottom to move that airy water out the there." He used a method of trial and error to fix the problem of airy water. He would lay fiberglass on the bottom of the hull at nine am and run the boat behind his house when the glass cured. If the design did not work, he would bring it back to his house and start over. This prototype boat began to have a slight V bottom and the two runners on the sides. Fisher then called Hunt to come over and look over the design changes. Hunt added his own design changes to the prototype; his changes included a third runner in the center of the hull. Fisher then built a copy of the prototype that would serve as a plug for the production mold. Fisher and Hunt took the boat on sea trials. One of these tests was to run the 13 foot boat from Cohasset
Cohasset
Cohasset can refer to:PlacesIn the United States:*Cohasset, California*Cohasset, Massachusetts**Cohasset **Cohasset Rocks, an alternative name for Minots Ledge, a reef off of Cohasset, Massachusetts*Cohasset, Minnesota...

 Massachusetts to New Bedford
New Bedford
-Places:*New Bedford, Illinois*New Bedford, Massachusetts, the most populous New Bedford**New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park*New Bedford, New Jersey *New Bedford, Ohio*New Bedford, Pennsylvania...

 and back, which is roughly 120 miles. During these sea trials, Fisher found another small flaw in the boats design, it was "wetter than hell." "A lot wetter," he said, "than the other boat had been." The reason this boat rode wetter than the other boat was the nine inch sole that was throwing all the spray into the boat. Since they had already made a mold for the boat, the modified the mold by adding to the flat center and turning it into a V shape. When they built the boat from the modified hull mold, in 1956, it was the original Boston Whaler 13 hull. The boat that emerged from that original design was very stable and had great carrying capacity. These two features, along with the great performance and rough weather handling made it very desirable. Also since the Whaler was so light in weight compared to the other boats at the time, it could be propelled by lower horsepower engines."

Market

While most Boston Whaler boats have been sold to the recreational market, many Boston Whalers have been purchased by coast guard
Coast guard
A coast guard or coastguard is a national organization responsible for various services at sea. However the term implies widely different responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to being a volunteer organization tasked with...

 and naval units worldwide. Boston Whalers were used in the Vietnam war by both the Navy SEALs and the Coast Guard for rescue and river patrol missions. "The unique Boston Whaler boat has attracted an intensely loyal group of owners and fans." Active discussion forums on the web attest to the broad allegiance to the brand. It is used for sport fishing, water skiing, as a runabout
Runabout (boat)
A runabout is any small motorboat holding between four and eight people, well suited to moving about on the water. Runabouts can be used for racing, for pleasure activities like fishing and water skiing, or as a ship's tender for larger vessels...

, and as a tender
Ship's tender
A ship's tender, usually referred to as a tender, is a boat, or a larger ship used to service a ship, generally by transporting people and/or supplies to and from shore or another ship...

 on larger yachts.

Although originally Boston Whaler boats were manufactured in Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, the current manufacturing facility is in Edgewater
Edgewater, Florida
Edgewater is the name of some places in the U.S. state of Florida:*Edgewater, Broward County, Florida*Edgewater, Volusia County, Florida*Edgewater , a neighborhood within the City of Miami...

, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. Boston Whaler is currently operated as a subsidiary of the Brunswick Boat Group
Brunswick Boat Group
The Brunswick Boat Group, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States, is the largest maker of pleasure boats in the world. In 2008, the company's net sales were US$1.7 billion...

, a Division of the Brunswick Corporation
Brunswick Corporation
The Brunswick Corporation , formerly known as the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, is a United States-based corporation that has been involved in manufacturing a wide variety of products since 1845. Brunswick's global headquarters is in the northern Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois...

, located in Lake Forest
Lake Forest, Illinois
Lake Forest is an affluent city located in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The city is south of Waukegan along the shore of Lake Michigan, and is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the North Shore. Lake Forest was founded around Lake Forest College and was laid out as a town in...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. Brunswick also owns Mercury Marine
Mercury Marine
Mercury Marine, founded in 1939, is a division of Brunswick of Lake Forest, Illinois, in the United States. Mercury provides engines for private, commercial and government sales. Mercury also has its own line of very successful racing engines tailored for power and speed. The company's primary...

; as a result, new Boston Whalers, like all other Brunswick boats, ship from the factory already equipped with Mercury engines.

Current recreational models

Current recreational production models range in length from 9 to 32 feet (2.7 to 9.8 meters). Models include:
  • Sport (11 feet
  • Tender (11 feet [5-25 hp outboard] (Stick Driven))
  • Super Sport (13 [Mercury 40 hp outboard]http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BostonWhaler130SS2009_1.jpg, 15 [60 hp outboard], or 17 [90 hp outboard]) feet
  • Montauk (15 [40-60 hp outboard, ideally a high torque like Mercury BigFoot], 17 [80-100 hp outboard], or 19 [90-135 hp outboard] feet)
  • Dauntless (18 [135-150 hp outboard], 20 [150-200 hp outboard], or 23 [225-250 hp outboard] feet)
  • Ventura (18 [115-150 hp outboard] or 21 [135-250 hp outboard] feet) is not manufactured any more
  • Outrage (32Cuddy model has a cabin and 37 model has cabin)(19 [115-150 hp outboard], 21 [135-225 hp outboard], 24 [225-400 hp outboard], 27 [400-450 hp outboards], 32 [400-600 hp outboards] feet), 32 foot Cuddy cabin (400-600 hp outboard), or 37 foot Outrage has 3-300 hp outboards.
  • Conquest (all with cabins) (20 [135-200 hp outboard], 23 [175-250 hp outboard], 25 [250-450 hp outboard], 28 [300-450 hp outboard], 30 [400-600 hp outboards], 34 [550-750 hp outboard] feet), or 34 foot Open Cockpit[550-750 hp outboard]

Advertising claims

Boston Whaler has, for years, sawn boats in half to illustrate their rugged durability, performance, smooth ride and "unsinkability". The original 1961 Life magazine ad pictured Dick Fisher sitting in a floating 13' Whaler with a crosscut saw
Crosscut saw
A crosscut saw is a saw that is specially designed for making crosscuts. A crosscut is a cut made horizontally through the trunk of a standing tree, but the term also applies to cutting free lumber...

 half way through the hull. After the cut was completed, Dick used the stern section to tow the bow section back to shore. Modern Whaler advertising uses a chain saw. Due to the foam core construction, the Whaler will remain afloat when sawn completely in half. Boston Whaler boats would also remain afloat when completely swamped (full of water). Because of these attributes, Boston Whaler's trademarked sales line was and is "the unsinkable legend."

Today this "unsinkable" attribute is not exclusive to Boston Whalers. All motorboats (and certain other boat types) under twenty (20) feet manufactured for sale in the United States are required by law to have positive flotation so that a completely swamped boat will still float. This is accomplished by the use of closed cell foam or other non-permeable material. Boston Whaler does claim to exceed the Coast Guard requirements.

Further demonstrations have been done to prove how unsinkable the boats are. In March 2007, a 19' Guardian was shot with 7.62mm rounds from an M60 machine gun. The boat did not sink, although it was full of holes. The engine was unable to start because of its having been destroyed during the test.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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