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Boston Whaler has asserted its authority on the bluewater with the ultimate crossover fish and fun boat, says a beaming DAVID LOCKWOOD

Boston Whaler 370 Outrage

In a perfect world, every high-speed offshore fishboat would have foam filling, float level and upright in the event of being swamped, with the engine powerheads clear of the water so you can idle forward and drain the boat. The hull would be smooth riding and dry, eye-watering fast to reach the distant fish-rich grounds first, but predictable as though on rails. The deck design, meanwhile, would be holistic not ad hoc, which is to say, configured from the keel up so everything has a place and there is a place for everything.

Then again, that might put Boston Whaler out of the market. Add all those aforesaid qualities and an amazing five-star fitout, where seemingly the 'no options' box has been left unticked, and you have the new the 370 Outrage. The whopper to end all fishy arguments - by my reckoning, the ultimate crossover offshore angling machine - the new flagship Whaler breaks new ground.

With triple, yes triple, 300hp Verado four-stroke outboard engines you can conquer the tyranny of distance without doing it tough. Farther, faster, and fishier is the mantra and, in today's adventurous fishing world, that counts for plenty. If the hot bite isn't on the front door of your city, no worries, strap yourself in and hightail it to the action 100nm to the north or south.

Back at rest, meanwhile, the Outrage 370 has a wonderful five-star fitout that lets you make a weekend of it. As such, offshore fishing takes on a whole new meaning. Hang the "gone fishing" sign on Friday night and return on Sunday afternoon, fillets in the carry on/off portable igloo that lives under the forward sunpad. The odds are in your favour on the big Outrage.




The talk of this year's Sydney International Boat Show, where Queensland Marine Centre lobbed with the new boat as much to wow go-fast metro boaters as serious fishers north of the border, the 370 Outrage doesn't hang around. Press the trim button, hit the start buttons, and the triple Verados are purring in unison.

Whaler promises a top speed of 47.4kts, according to its official data. My sea trials came up a knot short, but with more outrim and a flat track I reckon we might have beaten it. Either way, acceleration with the four-blade 19in Revolution props is brisk for a four-stroker. In just 10.8 seconds, we went from idle to comfortable cruise speed of 26-odd knots. Then beyond.

Yet it's not so much the sheer speed as how well this boat handles the rough stuff that impresses. Control is everything and the sharp 9000kg-plus loaded rig slices the waves rather than taking flight. When it does get some air, it lands with a welcome whoosh instead of a slam. Perform a hook turn commensurate with bailing out during a bar crossing and the boat snaps around reassuringly. No rolling up on its chines or driving off the bow and worse!

Of course, the 370 Outrage didn't arrive with a wave of some magic wand. Ever since founder Richard Fisher created the first Whaler in the '50s, sawing his boat in half and motoring away in the remains, the American boatbuilder has won the fishing world over. These are boats that have thought and pride built in.

Foam-filled construction is the "secret" to Whaler's success and the catchphrase "unsinkable legend" rings true. But more recent demonstrations of the Whaler's near indestructibility involve tractors driving over hulls and reports of boats staying afloat after being sprayed with rounds of large calibre machinegun fire.

Thanks to the foam filling, the 370 Outrage has a 2359kg swamped capacity. Proving as much, Whaler pulled the bungs on this boat, filled it with a fire hose, whereupon the swamped boat sat upright with 40 people aboard. Crucially, the outboards' powerheads sat above the water, allowing you to idle away and eventually drain the decks through the scuppers.

Meantime, three bilge pumps collectively rated to almost 18,000lt/h live underfloor. Everywhere you turn, the liner is smooth and bump free. Besides the safety factor, the foam-filled Whaler hull also deadens running noise, while the underfloor fishboxes benefit by being fully insulated.

Further scrutiny reveals the 316-grade stainless steel deck gear is through-bolted and seriously beefy, the wiring is tin-coated, and the battery, plumbing and electrical systems are in keeping with a cruiser rather than a blown-up trailerboat. Indeed, the 370 Outrage is made for bluewater boating.




Although a centre console or centre cabin - the most popular configurations for serious fishing since you can fight a fish right around all sides - the 370 Outrage doubles as an al fresco entertainer. Much of that can be attributed to its so-called outdoor "summer kitchen". Head offshore in the morning and catch up with the family afterwards. Or fish whole weekends away at fish-rich outer canyons and sleep aboard at nearby ports after cooking dinner on deck.

As touched on, the five-star comforts are built-in so as not to compromise fishability. There's a recessed lounge in the transom that folds out for extra seating, an electric awning that extends across the cockpit for shade from the midday sun (the kind of feature normally found on big motoryachts), while the casting platform in the bow turns into a sunpad or lunch seating area around an electric high-low table. The second lounge ahead of the console has fold-down armrests, drinkholders and iPod dock. No shortage of places to kick back.

Lift the lid on the amenities hub aka bait-prep centre behind the helm seats and you'll find a 240V griddle or barbecue, a sink with hot and cold water, and an electric hotplate for pan-frying the catch of the day. But, get this, unlike the usual Yankee sportsfisher with shorepower but no self-sufficiency, the 370 Outrage comes with a Panda diesel generator for powering its 240V appliances and air-conditioning in the cabin below. Other times, the big spread of LED lights will help keep the amperage draw low.

There's full headroom in the cabin, a double bed that converts to a settee for watching the 19in HD flatscreen television, toilet and vanity, with shower and curtain, and microwave oven, plus inverter. All told, the boat has three fridge drawers to carry the emergency steak and more in case you luck out. And the 227lt of freshwater should see you through the weekend at least.




When you're ready to go fishing, simply retrieve the rods from the lock-up cabin and/or forward sunpad storage hold, immediately ahead of the centre cabin - which also holds the carry-on Igloo, fenders, lines, buckets, and so on - and pop the outfits in the rocket launcher or rodholders. Load the gaff racks, turn-on the pump for the 90lt in-transom livebait well, and ready the insulated underfloor fishboxes for the big one.

With quick-set telescopic outriggers for spreading your lines, tackle drawers and bait-preparation centre, plus a $30,000 Simrad electronics package including radar and reversing camera, no fish is safe. A power-vent windscreen, electric helm seat, drop-down foot platform and Lenco trim tabs let you drive in comfort. Views to all corners are clear and the boat imparts a wonderful sense of authority to the skipper. Travel as one.

Extreme spearfishers will welcome the portside opening dive door with clip-in, deep-reach ladder stowed under the boat's foldout lounge. And with an upgraded JL sound system with Clarion head, you can dial-up your favourite fish-attracting tracks or playlists to keep the party humming.

Fish or fun, the Outrage 370 knows no bounds including those tossed up by Mother Nature. Our kind of offshore boat. Big bucks but big thrills.




Facts & figures




The Whalers extraordinary smooth and dry ride is thanks to the hull's 23.5? of deadrise at the transom - the deepest vee of all the Boston Whaler boats - and the pronounced reverse chines raking from the sharp bow.  Hydraulic power steering, SmartCraft computer software and digital throttles and shifts add to the driving pleasure, while Shadow Mode means you only need two levers for the three engines. Computer brains do the rest.

While triple outboards might seem like overkill, they're actually more efficient than twins. The boat's range at 3500rpm and 26-odd knots, while using 106lt/h, is an impressive 442nm. That's Sydney to the Gold Coast on a tank! Mind you, it's a 1700lt tank so you will need crew to share the fuel costs. Then again, at $650,000 as tested with every option box ticked, this no-holds-barred fishing boat isn't for the budget minded. It's a boat pitched at the angler who is prepared to pay for the best.




Triple 300hp Mercury Verado, 50% fuel, full water

RPM           SPEED          CONSUMPTION           RANGE

600             2.9kts           4.9lt/h                        1044nm
1500           7.4kts          20.4lt/h                          638nm
2500           10.8kts         69.2lt/h                          276nm
3000           16.7kts         83.1lt/h                          317nm
3500           26.6kts         106.3lt/h                        442nm
4500           35.1kts         179lt/h                           346nm
5500           44.7kts         340.2lt/h                        232nm
6000           47.4kts         340.2lt/h                        246nm

* All figures supplied by Boston Whaler




Approx $650,000 w/ triple 300hp Mercury four-stroke Verado outboards, and options




Upgraded outboards, Simrad electronics package with radar, electric cockpit awning, bow table, Taco outriggers, 'summer' kitchen, spotlight, soft furnishings, and more




Approx $580,000 at current exchange rate w/ triple 250hp Mercury four-stroke Verado outboards, and basic kit




MATERIAL: Foam-filled GRP hull
TYPE: Monohull deep-vee
LENGTH OVERALL: 11.4m (inc. pulpit or bowsprit)
BEAM: 3.5m
DRAFT: 0.6m
DEADRISE: 23.5 degrees 
WEIGHT: 6123kg (hull)




PEOPLE: 14, swamped capacity 2359kg
FUEL: 1700lt
WATER: 227lt




MAKE/MODEL: 300hp Mercury Verado
TYPE: Supercharged four-stroke outboard
RATED HP: 300 at 5800 to 6400rpm
WEIGHT: Approx 288kg
GEARBOX (ratio): 1.75:1 outboard
PROPS: Revolution 19in four-blade




Queensland Marine Centre,
Corner Nerang-Southport Road and Bailey Crescent,
Southport, Qld, 4215
Phone: (07) 5591 7032




Andrew Short Marine,
Ferguson's Boatshed Marina,
The Spit, Mosman, NSW, 2088
Phone: Ron Dickerson on (02) 9969 1017




However you approach it, the new Boston Whaler 370 Outrage is an entirely new kettle of fishboat. Fishing meccas such as Port Stephens and Jervis Bay, where the yellowfin tuna will be snapping any day now, are within easy range of Sydney. And when it comes time to hightail it back home, you can do so without shaking the fillings lose. There's even a bowthruster to help you dock. See what I mean about loaded?


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