Bos­ton Whaler 380 Out­rage

Power & Motor Yacht - - NEW BOATS - Bos­ton Whaler, 877-2945645; boston­whaler.com

Driz­zle damp­ened the docks, the air was cool and skies were gray. By most ac­counts it was a bad day to kick off the An­napo­lis Power­boat Show. These days have a hid­den ben­e­fit, how­ever: They sep­a­rate the se­ri­ous boaters from the tire kick­ers. If you were on the docks this morn­ing you were highly in­ter­ested in see­ing some new mod­els.

It was in­ter­est­ing to watch flocks of se­ri­ous buy­ers grav­i­tate to the new Bos­ton Whaler 380 Out­rage. In­tended to han­dle much worse el­e­ments than a lit­tle driz­zle, the aft sun­shade was de­ployed and kept show­go­ers dry while they in­spected the fea­ture-rich cock­pit. From aft-fac­ing seat­ing that con­verts to a ta­ble for mak­ing lunches—or prep­ping baits— to the 60-gal­lon livewell, fold-down gun­wale seat­ing, and slide-out drawer that fits a bucket, this boat was clearly de­signed by ac­tive boaters. This small touch—the space that locks a bucket in place, out of the way—re­minded me of fish­ing trips where we left a bucket filled with thaw­ing bait in the cock­pit only to have it slosh all around. Or how I’d try to stash a bucket of soapy wa­ter in a cock­pit for a mid-cruise wash-down only to have it fall over and spill ev­ery­where. It was a de­tail that was sim­ple and sat­is­fy­ing.

The wow fac­tor on the 380 for many, my­self in­cluded, was the heat and air con­di­tion­ing at the helm. I’ll let that sink in for a minute… Yes, the helm of a cen­ter con­sole has a heat­ing/air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem with vents right be­hind the helm seats. Cer­tainly se­ri­ous fish­er­men that leave and re­turn to the dock in the dark hours of the day would ap­pre­ci­ate a break from the brisk bite of the air.

Speak­ing of the helm, I could tell from the dock that for­ward vis­i­bil­ity would be good, even when com­ing onto plane. But what makes that vis­i­bil­ity go from good to great is a fold­down plat­form that raises you 3 inches off the deck when stand­ing at the helm. It’s a cool touch that I think would help chil­dren and adults alike bet­ter see what’s com­ing over the hori­zon.

Chil­dren—that re­minds me. Bos­ton Whaler’s de­sign team must know that the way to the hearts of to­day’s young peo­ple is through a fully charged smart­phone. There are USB ports ev­ery­where, from the helm to the arm­rest in the for­ward sun­pad. Main­tain­ing your kids’ in­ter­est in boat­ing is some­thing we can all agree is #awe­some.

Belowdecks is a dou­ble berth, head, and gal­ley; good for an overnighter or two. One thing I re­ally liked in there was the rod stowage along the bulk­head. I learned that most Whaler own- ers keep their rods atop their cool­ers and bags in the stowage locker be­neath the for­ward sun­pad. That’s all well and good un­til, well, you need to get to the cooler or your bag, and then you have to pull out all your rods and reels. Mov­ing that stowage be­low just make sense. There’s even an ac­cent light that turns your reels into a work of art. Fine art and new reels are com­pa­ra­ble in price, af­ter all.

These brag-wor­thy fea­tures, when com­bined with the per­for­mance and sea­keep­ing that has al­lowed Whaler to not just sur­vive but thrive for 60 years, make the 380 Out­rage a very pop­u­lar model, even on a rainy day. — Daniel Harding Jr.

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