CLAS­SICS

Soundings - - Contents - IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY JIM EWING

Bos­ton Whaler caused quite a sen­sa­tion in the early part of its distin­guished 60-year his­tory. Not only were its boats un­sink­able, but they also looked dif­fer­ent. The cathe­dral hull, the squared bow and low free­board, the open lay­out, even the blue in­te­ri­ors of the orig­i­nal models made them eas­ily rec­og­niz­able.

In 1970, the bur­geon­ing com­pany in­tro­duced an­other boat that stood out from the crowd: the 21 Out­rage. Its look was rad­i­cal. The rub rail dropped from high on the bow down to the wa­ter­line, giv­ing the im­pres­sion of the gun­wales drap­ing over the side of the boat, and six per­pen­dic­u­lar “ribs” were molded into the top­sides. Bos­ton

Whaler de­signer Wil­liam Mills Jr. re­port­edly gave the Out­rage its name when he first saw it.

With its ma­hogany helm con­sole and bench seat in the cen­ter of the boat, the 21 Out­rage helped pop­u­lar­ize the emerg­ing cen­ter-con­sole lay­out. Op­tions were few; two bow rails of dif­fer­ing heights were of­fered, along with a fold­ing can­vas weather screen for the bow. Early power op­tions in­cluded an 85-hp Fisher-Pierce Bearcat out­board.

The boat­ing pub­lic re­sponded to the Out­rage look — and the boat’s ver­sa­til­ity. More than 700 of the 21-foot­ers were de­liv­ered in the first two years of its pro­duc­tion run, from April 1970 through mid-1972. An- glers liked the sta­bil­ity, speed and easy han­dling; day boaters liked the lay­out and the fact that they could ex­plore shal­low creeks and, with the out­board up, run right up onto the beach.

The 1973 Out­rage 21 was al­most the same boat, but gone were the molded-in ribs. To­day, in the Bos­ton Whaler on­line fo­rums, boaters ex­change in­for­ma­tion and sto­ries of the “rib-side” Out­rage, and those orig­i­nal boats re­main much sought af­ter.

Mean­while, the Out­rage name lives on in cur­rent Bos­ton Whaler models from 19 to 42 feet.

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