VIDEO: Boston Whaler 350 Outrage
When our seasoned senior boat tester came back from the Whitsundays crowing that the Boston Whaler 350 Outrage was “one of the greatest experiences of my long life in boating” we jumped to attention
Is the Boston Whaler 350 Outrage the ultimate Big Boys Toy? It’s gotta be damn close: 35 feet of big, ballsy, seaworthy hull, the ultimate sportsfishing layout, three hooting-big 350hp Mercury Verados thundering away and a full suite of Raymarine electronics to guide you. Oh yeah, this is one outrageous watersports machine.
Boston Whaler has long held a reputation as one of the USA’s front runners. Who can forget the chainsaw incident, where a hull was cut in half and still floated almost unperturbed due to the innovative foam flotation? You’ve got to be exceptional to build a big reputation in the mammoth Yankee market and maintain it for so long but with offerings like this new 35 Outrage you can expect it to stay ahead of fleet for years to come.
Thirty-five-foot outboard-powered boats were once restricted to drug runners and offshore racers – perhaps a bit of both! However, efficient new technology means big multi-engine rigs are now a suitable alternative to inboards, shafts and legs. But boats of this nature aren’t just about making sense. In fact they’re more about creating fun-filled nonsense!
The 350 Outrage is a sporty and luxurious day boat bursting with fun and function. It’s certainly not a purist fishing or dive boat; quite the opposite. Andrew Bennett from Australian distributors Queensland Marine Centre tells me that perhaps 30 per cent of his customers are dedicated offshore fishos while the bulk are experienced multi-purpose boaties who aren’t looking for floating gin palaces but want big, fast, comfortable and sporty machines. They’re heavyweight commuters it seems, and I just love the idea of a 35-foot hull with no sleeping quarters – it speaks volumes about the attitude of the boat. Have a great day on the water, no matter your interest, then go to the comfort of the mother ship, motel or home mooring at night. If you want sleeping quarters, take a look at her bigger sister 370; the 350 is purely serious boating business.
Boston Whaler claims: "Every element combines to produce an exceptional experience no matter what the day brings. On a Whaler, you are safe, secure and always ready for more with confidence that never wavers."
She’s certainly very comfortable, physically, aesthetically and practically. Out front a full chain winch is recessed into a neat compartment, while the anchor retracts into its own moulding, with stainless roller, under the gunwale line and virtually out of sight. There are pop-up cleats all around and recessed grab rails under the line of the coamings. The large forward lounge with pop-up backrests can be a comfortable double sun lounge on the front of the centre console, complete with drink holders and folding armrests, but add an insert and it’s a full casting platform. It’s a terrific arrangement to soak up some rays and you can even set up a detachable table for a cruising party.
The sun lounge tilts upwards on quality gas struts allowing access to a cavernous storage area with SCUBA bottle and fishing rod racks, as well as space for an inflatable raft, a large Esky, fenders and more. Behind all this is a terrific centre console with tons of shade and features.
You’ll be pleased with how well this console is built, and even happier about how it looks. Many competitors start with a large fibreglass console then construct the tubework to hold the roof or tower separately. It may look tough but it’s quite inefficient so Boston Whaler has instead constructed a fully integrated console and T-top module with smooth flowing lines using a combination of beautifully engineered products. Underneath the console, a large side-entry door reveals a convenient enclosed head with VacuFlush toilet, plus vanity and shower with faux-timber cabinetry, mirrors, fibreglass lining and Flexiteak flooring. This is one of the largest bathrooms I have seen in this class – easy to get into and most inviting. The ladies certainly won’t mind using this one and its no-compromise practicality will help everyone stay out longer in comfort.
T-TOP? OR CENTRE CAB?
Overhead, the large T-top roof provides both shade and a strong mount for radar, aerials, outriggers and rocket launchers. There are ladders both sides plus a large access hatch to port. It’s a great spot for life rafts and toys but can also be used as a base for a tuna tower, for the game fisho who wants to go further.
The helm is a ripper. The stainless steel wheel is centrally mounted, leaving room for a passenger either side, all protected from the wind and spray. I’ve criticised many centre consoles for leaving the driver and first passenger exposed but the Boston Whaler’s large, slightly curved and tinted safety glass windscreen gives some real protection and panoramic vision. There’s also a wiper/washer out front, and small side windows.
The top of the dash is huge, though I’d add some custom trays – teak would be nice – to retain all the knick-knacks, otherwise you’ll want very long arms to retrieve items that will inevitably roll forward.
The driving position, dash, controls and instrument layout is terrific, with the dual binnacles and full complement of Raymarine electronics right in front of you. There are dual 15in Raymarine GS165 displays, with Quantum Radar and an Evolution Autopilot. The 1kW transducer tells you exactly where you are, what’s under you and where you’re going, with the radar clearly defining what’s around you. The Mercury VesselView7 provides compact yet highly visual engine diagnostics, and there are further controls for a bow thruster, trim tabs and rocker switches for all instruments, lights and pumps. Premium features include a SiriusXM-ready Fusion stereo system with multiple waterproof speakers, and an overhead console is a terrific enclosure for communications or some quick-grab safety gear. There are also plenty of cup holders and spaces to keep phones at hand, as well as terrific grabrails for security when the throttles get planted.
The main seating and control console is another class act. There are three beautifully upholstered bolster seats with full backrests side by side, the helm seat in the middle. The comfort is good for this style of boat, seated or standing, and there are footrest mouldings topped off by a Flexiteak floor for an added splash of class.
Our demo boat featured the optional ‘summer kitchen’ behind the seats. A flip-top lid cleverly encloses a pressurised livebait well; there’s also a sink and cold tap, and an electric grill to cook your catch immediately. Underneath are cabinets for tackle and cooking components – we had a bar-size compressor fridge backing up the Esky.
A great many American boats fill their cockpits and transom work stations with intricate mouldings, kill and bait tanks and awkward seating units, then set the centre console so far back there’s no rear deck space, destroying the fishability. Not this Boston Whaler – she’s as good for a blue marlin session with stand-up short strokers as she is for a bottom bounce at anchor. There’s ample deck room and a non-skid gelcoat finish combined with a good coaming height for added safety.
The plumbed livebait tank, recessed rear folding lounge, folding side seat, rear door and optional port-side dive door with ladder form a design and construction masterpiece. Kill tanks are concealed under each side of the deck, while in the middle another large compartment houses the batteries (six in total) and switch gear, and gives access to bilge pumps, fuel filters, seacock and through-hull transducers. And there’s the concealed storage rack for the pull-out table as well as plenty more storage for ropes, oils and other bric-a-brac.
This beautifully laid-out cockpit and work area is neatly finished off with thickly padded coamings to make long fights with large thrashing pelagics more comfortable.
GET UP & GO!
There’s no shortage of power and performance in this Outrage – it feels simply sensational on the water. Triple Mercury Verado 350hp FourStroke stormtroopers look like they were moulded to the sleek lines of the hull. In icy white cladding, these knights punch out a gutsy performance from the full-width engine well.
This big Yankee Doodle will surprise you both with the soft and quiet seamanship of the capable seagoing hull, and the expertly fitted and tuned performance of the big Verados. It’s little short of a magic carpet ride on still water, with exceptionally low noise as the hull glides along, turning beautifully without a hint of cavitation. When I looked down to the Raymarine electrics and VesselView7 I simply couldn’t believe the speed we were doing.
She rises well out of the hole with very little bow lift and running a slightly bow-high attitude without even touching the trim tabs. She’s planing by about 3000rpm and 15.5kt, possibly a bit less. Throttle up to 4000rpm and she’s comfortably travelling at 29kt, and relatively economical – 118 litres per hour isn’t bad considering the weight, size and horsepower, let alone the four passengers and 600 litres of fuel we were carrying.
The engine/hull combination felt better and better with every extra rev until we reached a thrilling – if not sensibly sustainable – wide-open throttle speed of 48kt and 6000rpm.
This is living! Driving the Boston Whaler 350 Outrage with the power of triple Verado 350s was one of the greatest experiences of my long boating life. To do it in the beautiful waters of the Whitsundays between Hamilton Island and the world-class Whitehaven Beach was a thrill I’ll always treasure. Don’t think about it – do it!
Plenty of cockpit space
Great layout and kitchen
Versatile entertainer or serious sportsfisher
Centre console and seating
Availability is low
FACTS & FIGURES
Boston Whaler 350 Outrage
Summer kitchen; dive door; radial outriggers; refrigerators; fold-out bench seat; Euro shore power (220v); stainless steel anchor; graphics; enclosure curtains; SCUBA tank rack; self-levelling tab system; spotlight; aft cockpit table; anchor windlass chain; Australian certification; Raymarine nav pack; Quantum radar; Evolution autopilot; bow tow eye
PRICE AS TESTED
TYPE Centre Console
WEIGHT 4990kg (dry, hull only)
ENGINE Triple Mercury 350 Verado’s
PEOPLE (DAY) 14
Queensland Marine Centre
Unit 10, 71 Shipper Drive, Coomera, Qld 4209
PHONE +61 (7) 5591 7032
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