Jeff Rohfling has been around boats his entire life. He grew up around Whalers and has always had a passion for them. He started Everything Boston Whaler in 2009 and has grown the community across multiple different platforms from Facebook, to Instagram, to YouTube.
1. Why do you have a passion for the Boston Whaler brand? Where did this start? Why did you start your community?
I grew up on boats. My family has had boats for as long as I can remember. My passion for Whaler actually started when I was young, when we had a little inflatable boat with a four horse Mercury on it. At a really young age, me and my brother would motor around the Marina, motor out into the river and that was just absolute freedom.
But you know, seeing the other little boats around the Marina, there were some people who had Whalers and I always loved them. I've always had a passion for design. Actually, by trade, I'm an industrial designer, so I would study and draw Whalers as a kid. I ended up getting one. My dad surprised my brother and I. He and I made almost a 20-hour round trip to go and get it, and that was a 15 sport. So since then I've had Whalers in my life. The boats have always meant freedom to me and the ability to get out there and that's really what I've loved and appreciated about them.
I started the community in 2009. There were a few forums that I was part of, but the majority of the new owners and traffic were migrating to social platforms. Facebook was the first one, so that's kind of why I started the group there. I wanted to connect with more of the newer owners and provide a place where they could come together.
2. Do you have a favorite Whaler? Are you biased? What's your favorite current whaler model right now?
Honestly, if I was to pick a boat in the current model lineup, it would be the 240 Vantage.
Because of the type of boating that me and my family do. We live on a decent sized inland lake, so the majority of our boating is done in the inland waters. But I do get out. We go on the Great Lakes quite a bit. So I would need a boat that’s great for my family but also easily trailable to get around.
Last year I was lucky enough to have a 405 Conquest for the day. If I had Lotto money or won the Mega Millions, that probably would be the boat I would buy. I love the 405 Conquest just because of the overall platform that it is for family and entertaining. I do fish but on the Great Lakes we get pretty crappy weather sometimes so it's great to have the pilot house enclosure.
3. So you know, you've mentioned you like to fish. So in your opinion, what is the best fishing platform Whaler has right now?
Well, immediately I’d say the Outrage is the best for everything. The Outrage is Whaler’s longest-standing center console line. When it comes to big saltwater fishing, the Outrage kind of sets the tone for what a fishing boat should be. The Outrage has been the pinnacle of offshore fishing. And it still remains that way today. The Dauntless, though, is a great platform for fishing, too. A lot of people don't realize how capable that boat is, even though people call it a bay boat. I've been out running out of New Smyrna Beach in that boat and rolling fives and sixes and I was really amazed at how well that boat does. So a lot of people say, you know, that's an inshore boat. But honestly, the Dauntless is a great fishing platform for a lot of what people do.
4. So, going back to your history a little bit more, what is your favorite whaler that you've ever owned? Or maybe that you've just gotten an experience to see?
Honestly, I've kind of fallen back in love tremendously with the Classic 15. My son and I went through a two-year refit of one that we bought. It was a camp boat that came from northern Michigan, literally had holes in the side of it. It was used by a sailing instructor and boats had run into it, so it was all dinged up.
The 420 Outrage is pretty spectacular, but there's something really unique about running a boat and being able to put your hand out and kind of touch the water as it goes by. There's a connection there, that's something that's pretty special. I also just love classics because I love the history of them. So, in all of my ownership, I think the Classic 15 has been my favorite.
5. Why do you think people are so passionate about this brand? Why do you think so many people are remodeling those classic heritage models that are handed down from generation to generation? What makes Whaler stand out amongst the other brands?
It really comes down to longevity and history. There are very few manufacturers out there who have boats that are 50-60 years old or more, still on the water. And if they're of that age, you know, due to the construction of Whalers, you don't have wooden stringers, you don't have all of these other parts that fail. They’re great, solid boats. I think a lot of people have the passion for Whaler because they grew up with them at some part in their life and they've always seen them as this aspirational thing to own.
There's a progression as well with a lot of owners. You know, as they develop in their professional career, let's say, they started out with a 13’ because that's what they grew up with as a kid and they've always held on to that. And then they'll move up. And now there are a lot of people who own brand new Whalers, everything from, you know, new Montauks, to 230 Vantages, all the way up to 380 Outrages, who still have that original 13’, 15’ or 17’ that they bought because that was what they wanted.
Forever, Whaler has been known for quality, as one of the top-tier Pinnacle brands. The
safety record as well, I think, is something that people have always just kind of held on to. This makes a Whaler such a great product to own.
Want to get in touch with Jeff or join the Everything Boston Whaler Community?
You can check us out on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, all under Everything Boston Whaler. I actually have a lot of people who message me directly as well. I'm always happy to answer questions. I try to do my best to answer every question that I get as quickly as possible. But the best place to find me and engage with me is on the Facebook platform. There are lots of other great people in the group who have tons of knowledge. I've got other moderators who are extremely knowledgeable and there's a great community there!