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OLOH’s Tender – One Love

Story By: The Captain

Sometimes in boating, as in life, plans take a turn and don’t go as expected.  When you’re lucky, that turns out to be a good thing.  Such was the case with the acquisition of OLOH’s new tender.  As we’ve detailed in this article, we wanted to replace the tender that came with OLOH which, while a terrific little boat, just wasn’t right for our needs.  After attending the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to carefully peruse the options we were considering as well as anything we hadn’t considered, we still hadn’t found anything that felt like the absolute right choice.  Any boater knows that compromise is a big part of the lifestyle but given the level of importance of this choice, we were simply unhappy with the compromises we were facing.  And then something unexpected happened.

The old girl served us well but it was time to move on.

On the last day of the boat show I was sitting aboard OLOH with our dear friends Abbey and Colin, both passionate boaters and top-tier team members at MarineMax (the nation’s largest boat dealer).  After bemoaning our tender dilemma, Abbey looked at Colin and asked, “what about our friends’ classic Whaler that they want to sell?”  Colin smiled and simply said, “interesting” while my face lit up and I was overtaken with intrigue.  Tim’s very first boat was a Boston Whaler and he had mentioned more than a few times that he would love to have another one someday.  They went on to describe the boat, a classic 1983 thirteen foot skiff that their friends had spent the past several years restoring and were only thinking of selling as they wanted something bigger.  We had considered a modern eleven foot Boston Whaler Sport as a possibility but the layout wasn’t right for us.  While we thought this thirteen footer would certainly be too big or heavy for us to carry aboard OLOH, we loved the idea of having it for the upcoming season down in Key West and buying it would allow us to “kick the can down the road,” continuing our search for a replacement for our on-board tender while enjoying the Whaler.

The Classic Whaler (photo courtesy Boston Whaler).
Original catalog shot of the Classic 13 (photo courtesy Boston Whaler).

After perusing dozens of pictures and videos and learning everything there was to know about this very cool little boat, it wasn’t a difficult decision.  Boston Whalers are known for their quality and their reputation as “the unsinkable legend.”  And we were particularly intrigued by the idea of having a restored “classic” with mahogany seats and a virtually brand-new, high-tech engine.  The choice was made, a deal was struck and delivery was arranged.

Splash! With a fresh coat of bottom paint and our new chartplotter installed (Garmin ECHOMAP 74), we enlisted the help of friends in Key West and dropped our new ride into the waters of Stock Island Marina for the first time.
Maiden Voyage. Tim is once again the proud owner of a Boston Whaler and his smile says it all. Note original fuel tank and lack of seat back, all to be addressed…

From the first moment we hit the water on the Whaler we were in love and the first time Jasper was aboard it was clear that this was a great move.  While it’s obvious that the tubes of our original twelve foot tender made up a great deal of its overall size, we just couldn’t get over how much bigger this thirteen footer was.  Or that with five people and our ninety pound moose aboard how effortlessly it gets up and goes thanks to the super-smooth, thirty horsepower Evinrude E-Tec engine.  With the addition of a bimini top, chartplotter, seat back for the helm bench  and low-profile fifteen gallon fuel tank that fits perfectly under the helm seat, we now had a tender that was very capable and comfortable, not just for getting from ship to shore, but for spending entire days out on the water.

During a family visit, we enlisted the help of brother-in-law Smitty for the installation of our new seat back. As you can see, Jasper wasn’t completely confident in this decision but it eventually all worked out.
Adding this seat back was a game-changer in comfort.
Adding a bimini top was an absolute must.  Notice the new fuel tank under the helm seat.
And let’s not forget this critical mod… the perfect cup holders.
We decided to step away from the classic tan design and add a bit of a modern flair when we custom ordered these new cushions.
All you need to say is, “Jasper – Whaler ride?” and he’ll make his way down to the little boat as quickly as possible. It’s his happy place.

Now we just needed a name.  T/T OLOH seemed natural but as we were unsure if we would be able to carry it on board, we landed on One Love.  It just felt right.  If you’ve ever wondered what OLOH meant, that is as good a clue as we can give you.

After an incredible first season with One Love we faced a new dilemma.  We had grown so attached to this great little boat that we couldn’t imagine continuing life on OLOH without it.  What to do?  Do we store it in Florida?  Ship it up to New York?  Or – could we possibly carry it?  Hmmm.  We knew it was longer than our original tender.  And we surmised that it had to be heavier But we knew we had to dig deeper before ruling it out.

The first thing we needed to settle was the weight issue.  While our davit (crane that lifts the tender) has a 1,000 pound lifting capacity, we did not want to carry much more weight on our bridge deck than we already were.  We looked at as many specs as we could gather for our original tender and its engine as well as the Whaler and its engine and while it seemed like the Whaler had to weigh more, we just couldn’t estimate a clear number.  Our friend Captain Sean suggested that we weigh each of the boats using a crane scale.  Bingo!  Sourcing Master Tim quickly found a well-rated, quality crane scale and Amazon had it to us in two days.  Once we had a relatively calm day at the docks (those Key West winter winds can be a pain) it was time for the moment of truth… and the results surprised us.  Which do you think weighs more?  You’ve got to watch this…

We weighed the Whaler first and it came in at 760 pounds which was actually a bit less than what we had estimated.  With its bigger size, bigger engine and all of its wood, we figured the Whaler certainly had to weigh significantly more than our Nautica RIB. Well, there must really be something to that foam-filled Boston Whaler hull as it came in only around seven pounds heavier.  The difference between the two was less than the weight of a couple of gallons of gasoline!  Bingo again!!

The next challenge was seeing if it would fit on OLOH’s boat deck.  We removed the cradles that supported the Nautica placing swimming noodles and towels on the cradle mounts, readjusted our lifting harness and carefully raised the Whaler up top.  It took a bit more maneuvering due to its length but we eventually were able to set it down on the deck.  While the bow and the engine each hung over the edge of the deck a bit it did not look terrible.

Ultimately we decided the stern of the Whaler needed to rest on the starboard side of OLOH but we were satisfied enough with the way she sat to make the call – One Love was coming with us!

The last piece of the puzzle was identifying and installing the right cradle or chocks to securely carry One Love.  After quite a bit of research, Tim identified a fantastic solution called VersaChock.  Be sure to see his writeup on this terrific product and our installation by clicking here.

A full cover keeps One Love protected when it won’t be used for a while or we’re off on a long haul.

We are pleased to report that One Love’s size and weight have not presented any issues and we are very pleased with how it looks on deck.  We were so certain that another RIB was going to be our next tender and now it’s hard to imagine having anything other than this wonderful, big little classic boat as a part of the OLOH fleet.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Great write up and pics on your improvements. I especially liked the "how much does it weigh" video and estimates. One Love looks really good in the water and on the deck!
    1. Hello. I am trying to squeeze a 13 on to the bow of my 50 ft Post Sportfish. It’s close !! Weight was an issue but the online specs I found agree with west university got from the scale. Good to have that confirmation. Now, length. Can u tell me what it is, tip of bow to tip of motor (tilted I suppose). Thanks so much, Ed Stuart, FL
      1. Hey Ed - Unfortunately we are away from the boat at the moment so we cannot give you a solid measurement - so sorry. If you are on Facebook, there is a Classic 13’ Boston Whaler Group that should be able to provide you with the info you need. Please do let us know if there’s anything else we might be helpful with.
  2. Thanks for posting this video. It helps me determine the health of my whaler Hull. All the best, Aaron
  3. Great post, and love the site in general! Just came across the blog in my own search for a cradle for my nearly identical '78 13 Whaler that I restored, and your post was a great help! Also like those cup holders, any chance you have a link or brand for them? Thanks for sharing the adventures, great reading!
    1. Hi Peter and thanks so much for your kind note! We really thought those cup holders were a great find as they simply look like they belong. At the time of this reply they were unavailable on Amazon but here's the link: 2Pcs Boat Ring Cup Holder Stainless Steel Ringlike Drink Holder for Marine Yacht. Over this past season the upgrades to One Love continued with new custom vinyl seat cushions and a refresh of the wood. We will be posting more pictures when we've reunited with OLOH. Please let us know how you make out in your cradle search and keep in touch!
  4. Hi, I just purchased a 1962 13 Whaler Sport completely original and am planning on using it an my tender on my 54 Hatteras motor yacht. I would like to know where you purchased your hoisting strap and your boat cover, I’m very impressed with your decision, helped me make mine. Tom
    1. Hey Tom - Apologies for the delayed reply. If it's not too late, out hoisting strap is the Wichard Inflatable Boat/Dinghy Lifting Sling which we purchased from Defender. We take very good care of it and it has continued to work for us consistently without issue. Cheers!
  5. He I love watching your videos. So how long overall is your Boston Whaler with outboard? Also where did you get the fuel tank to fit under the seat? Also where did you get the backrest for the driver’s seat? And do y’all have a ladder? Thanks so much I am looking at purchasing a 1971 13’ with the exact layout seats.
    1. Hey Howard - thank you so much for the kind words! We've never actually measured the engine (we will) but it probably adds about eighteen inches to the LOA of the One Love. The fuel tank is a Moeller 031818 Topside Fuel Tank - 15 Gallon. We got ours at Amazon but it is likely available from many vendors. We cut a small notch out of the seat to accommodate the fuel gauge so we could mount the tank as far forward as possible. Do note that the added weight of the extra fuel towards the stern will affect the ride some but for us it has been a worthy compromise. The seat back came from Specialty Marine which has a whole section of parts for the year Whaler you are looking at. Fantastic boat! Let us know how you make out.

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