New Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport - 04/22/2009

The first Boston Whaler was introduced at the New York Boat Show in 1958. It was only 13’ long, but it started a revolution that in a few years swept the country. Then, along came color TV (1966), the Apple II personal computer (1977), cell phones (1984), and the Internet (1992). Now after 51 years, it is time for a new 13’ Boston Whaler. It is called the 130 Super Sport and it comes in trendy colors. Colors? Yup, that stodgy old boat company that insists on making boats that won’t sink -- no matter how big they are -- has discovered five of them. They have also created a new design and come up with a lot of innovative new ideas for that 13-footer that started it all. Most exciting of all, there is an introductory base price on the boat of $9,995 with a 40-hp Merc. The 13’ Whaler has always made a great boat for the kids, something that Mom can knock about in, or a safe, inexpensive platform for all sorts of watersports play.

Boston Whaler 13' Super Sport
It’s not your grandfather’s 13’ Boston Whaler any more!

Boston Whaler says on its website that “We Create Experiences.” My, my, have they got that right. We can still remember our first time on a Boston Whaler in 1962 on Lake Wawasee, Indiana, and while we can’t remember her name we can still remember the boat. The company says that their boats are meant to be enjoyed by every generation of the family, and there is not a model in their line that holds that promise more than their smallest one – the 130 Super Sport.

Not only can you pick the color you like best, but you can also accessorize the boat from a laundry list of special options in order to tailor-make the boat to your needs. Not only that, if you want to add more things later, you can do that too, by ordering the accessories you want from Whaler’s website. The equipment will be drop shipped to you by the country’s largest marine distributor, which, like Whaler, is also owned by the Brunswick Corp.

We have not tested this boat so we can not give you the boat’s performance characteristics, but suffice it to say that with its standard 40-hp kicker it can probably go over 30 mph, and at 20 mph which is where this boat should be run, you’ll get something close to 10 mpg. You could run all season on a tank of gas.

We won’t bore you with how the boat is built, since most everyone knows by now. But if you would like to know what the optional accessories are here is a list

Tackle storage
Carry-on livewell – rail mounted
Tool holder - rail mounted
Swim ladder (dealer installed only)
Suntop with boot (black)
Storage organizers
Sport stainless steel steering wheel
Pelican box
Mesh retainer
Bowrail (dealer installed only)
Convertible sun lounge
Bow cushion
Bench seat with back rest
Bench seat cushion
Dash appliqué (available in 5 color options: Orange Blaze, Mediterranean Blue, Canary Yellow, Torch Red, Lime Green)----dealer installed only
Colored hull wrap (available in 5 color options: Orange Blaze, Mediterranean Blue, Canary Yellow, Torch Red, Lime Green)---dealer installed only

Boston Whaler 13' Super Sport baitwell
Live baitwell is an option and fits into the starboard quarter of the boat.

Boston Whaler 13' Super Sport Tackle
This nice optional tackle drawer should be a must on every boat, along with a couple of fishing rods.

Boston Whaler 13' Super Sport Pelican
Whaler even offers their own special Pelican case, which is a good idea for expensive camera gear that can easily get knocked about and wet.

Boston Whaler 13' Super Sport Dash
Note the orange “Dash Appliqué” which Mom will like.

Boston Whaler 13' Super Sport
Here you can see the optional cushions and back rests. If you lose one, no problem, just order another.

Just as was true 51 years ago there is probably no better boat to start your kids out in than the Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport. No matter how many boats you have, you can always use one of these.

For more information, visit Boston Whaler’s website…

For those of you who would like to know more about the man who started Boston Whaler, which ranks as one of the all-time best inventions in the 20th Century, and a boat that changed the way all boats under 20’ are built today, we offer the following---

Dick Fisher's Boat Company
1958 - 1969

While the Boston Whaler boat came into commercial production in 1958, the company that was making them was formed twenty years earlier. In 1938, Harvard graduate Dick Fisher and partner Bob Pierce started the Fisher Pierce manufacturing company. It began with little money and little equipment in a shed in Dick's back yard. What they lacked in capital they made up for with Yankee ingenuity and a passion for quality. Their electrical manufacturing business was soon inventing and producing products like photo-controls, sensitive electro-magnetic relays, stepper motors, telegraph relays, magnetic amplifiers and high voltage/current sensors. By the mid-1950's the business was well enough established to permit Dick Fisher to have some spare time to follow his passion for boating.

Fisher's inventive genius wasn't limited just to electrical apparatus. He began experimenting with innovative manufacturing techniques in boat building, planning to produce a small sailing board similar to the then very popular Alcort Sunfish. In the process, and with input and suggestions from naval designer C. Raymond Hunt, he invented the 13-foot Boston Whaler, a small, unsinkable outboard power boat. After showing the boat at the 1958 New York Boat show, the design became a huge commercial success.

A Boston industrial arts teacher named Bob Dougherty came to work for Boston Whalers in the early 1960's. Dougherty would become, among other things, the chief designer of the later generations of Whaler boats.

A production facility was set up in 1958 in Braintree, Massachusetts to manufacture the "Boston Whaler" boat. The first model was to be called "The Cox'n", but this gave way to a more prosaic "Standard" model. The initial product line was confined to the 13-foot hull, until the introduction of the 16-foot model in 1961. At some point, production moved to the Hingham Street plant in Rockland, Massachusetts.

The electrical company, Fisher-Pierce, (which incidentally survives to this day) and the boat building company, Boston Whaler, eventually were separated as corporate entities. Boston Whaler continued to design and produce innovative and successful products, under the control of its founder Dick Fisher.

Fisher is often described as a genius, an inventor, a tinkerer, and a perfectionist. In 1969 he was 55-years old, and he had been running Boston Whaler for over a decade. Perhaps he wanted to retire early; perhaps he wanted to get back to other pursuits, to tinker around with other inventions; maybe he just wanted new challenges. Whatever the motivation, in 1969, Fisher sold the Boston Whaler company to CML-Group of Acton, Massachusetts, a specialties marketing company. After the sale, Fisher stayed on as a consultant until 1972.