BOAT TEST: BOSTON WHALER 220 OUTRAGE

By: Kevin Smith


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American brand Boston Whaler has a long-established history of producing tough and dependable boats. As Kevin Smith recently discovered, its 220 Outrage centre-console will only further that reputation.

BOAT TEST: BOSTON WHALER 220 OUTRAGE
BOSTON WHALER 220 OUTRAGE

Boston Whaler. A brand that most avid boaters know, and one which produces the kind of boat that every keen fisho probably dreams of owning. Hell, I remember a mate of mine owning a Boston Whaler centre-console many years back, one of a similar size to the new 220 Outrage centre-console we're looking at here. I remember how solid that boat was, and just how well it would ride through the surf, or carve across an ocean swell. The boat was so old back then that it'd be competing with Noah's Arc by now, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was still going today, a good 20 years down the line. So what is it that really makes Boston Whaler and its products so special?

 

 

 

TOUGH AS NAILS

 

Firstly, the obvious reason underlying the longevity of Boston Whaler's boats is their superb build quality. The Whalers have a Unibond construction that sandwiches high-density, non-absorbent foam between two walls of fibreglass. But instead of just having a foam-filled hull, Boston Whalers are foam-filled throughout, which makes them, as the builder itself puts it, "The unsinkable legend". This build process helps the 220 Outrage achieve true level floatation, even when swamped and overloaded. No wonder it has a maximum capacity rating of 10 people! This construction style also means the boat's ride is significantly quieter and therefore more comfortable.

You might see similarly-styled boats on the water, but the Whaler can be easily identified from afar. The bow design is particularly distinctive, with its unique shape - or "smirk" as they call it - and its pronounced reverse chines. It's certainly stylish and modern but for me it's this boat's design and layout that really stands out.

When you climb into the 220 Outrage you'll soon recognise its strategically planned fishing / family boat format. In my experience, dedicated fishing boats tend to have similar layouts, and the associated reviews one reads about them soon get tedious as they list each and every fitting and feature. However, when it comes to the 220 Outrage, the boat's appeal has as much to do with the quality and practicality of those angling-specific features, as it is to do with the list itself.

So what's different about the Outrage? For starters, the stern section is nice and compact, but with good room for fishing here around the motor. As compact as it is, the designers have still managed to fit in a retractable fold-away lounge seat, with a sturdy stainless steel hinge system instead of the flimsy, fold-out legs you often find on boats with a similar setup.

The Outrage's gunwales feature rodracks instead of the usual built-in sidepockets, and that's something I prefer when travelling offshore. These gunwales are at a comfortable height too, and include generous coaming bolsters, flush stainless steel rodholders, full-length stainless steel toerails and even downrigger weight holders.

Killtanks or hatches are oversized; in fact you could happily store a few monstrous fish here without turning them into contortionists. On top of that, all the hatches can serve as Esky-type coolers, thanks to the aforementioned foam filling found throughout the craft.

The console setup is neat and complemented by a slimline, quality T-top with rocket launchers. T-tops have many benefits, but I do find some designs are a bit bulky. The Whaler's, however, is anything but - through careful design it's been kept quite aerodynamic and flush against the console. The console itself is wide but not so bulky that it hinders movement around the boat. It has ample space for larger electronics, an oversized clear screen and a side entrance to a Porta-Potti.

Instead of seating, the 220 Outrage has a bolstered backrest that works well when at the helm, although personally I'd prefer a seating option. On the reverse side there's a colossal livewell and utensil holder, plus a stainless steel wrap-around grabrail.

Up in the bow there's comfy wrap-around seating with plenty of stowage space beneath. This kind of seating might take up a bit of fishing room, but it's great when you're entertaining on the water with family and friends.

 

 

 

HAMMER DOWN

 

I was expecting a violent eruption from the 250hp Mercury Verado, but propped the way it was the holeshot was far from aggressive. Nonetheless, it was still quick onto the plane and once you knocked the hammer down, all hell broke loose.

Once up and running, all it needs is a light tap on the throttle to crank things up to serious speed, and the beauty here is that the hull can handle it. I found a comfortable and economical cruise speed was around 26-30kts (48-55kmh) in all directions to the swell and chop, and, if you were prepared to hang on, the hull could handle speeds far beyond that. In flat water at WOT (wide open throttle) we managed 40kts (74kmh) at 6000rpm.

The 220 Outrage's ride is notably dry. The sponson and reverse-chine design definitely does a good job of deflecting spray down and back. The recessed electric trim tabs - a standard feature - also play a significant role. Any monohull can benefit from tabs, and if you know how to set them correctly, you can adjust the ride to suit the conditions. For a centre-console the 220 Outrage's handling and performance is impressive, and this gives you the confidence to venture further offshore, without having to worry about the run home if conditions turn ugly.

 

 

 

THE WRAP

 

If you're an enthusiastic offshore fisherman who's picky about design, finish and attention to detail, then add this boat to your wish list. When it comes to standard fittings, the Boston Whaler 220 Outrage has it all, and more. Taking all those bells, whistles and bling into account, at around $130,000 it's not badly priced, either. Still, it's not about the total list of what's on offer here, but rather the quality and finish of each and every item.

 

 

 

 

On the plane...

 

Superb fishability

Top class finish throughout

Livewell size and setup

Decent rodrack system in gunwales

 

 

Dragging the chain...


A touch sluggish out of the hole

Would prefer helm seating to bolstered backrest

 

 

 

 

PERFORMANCE

 

5.1kts (9.6kmh) @ 1500rpm

8.6kts (16.0kmh) @2500rpm

15.5kts (28.8kmh) @3000rpm

21.6kts (40.0kmh) @4000rpm

30.2kts (56.0kmh) @5000rpm

39.7kts (73.6kmh) @6000rpm

 

 

 

 

 

Specifications: Boston Whaler 220 Outrage

 

 

 

HOW MUCH?

 

Price as tested: $133,865

Options fitted: Console cover, cokpit and forward coaming bolsters, anchor windlass, freshwater shower, ski pylon, split bowrail, Clarion stereo, T-top with outriggers, and much more

Priced from: $110,200

 

 

 

GENERAL

 

Type: Centre-console deep-vee monohull

Material: GRP

Length: 22ft 5in (6.8m)

Beam: 8ft 6in (2.59m)

Weight: 1406kg

 

 

 

CAPACITIES

 

People: 10

Min HP: 225

Max. HP: 300

Fuel: 435.3lt

Water: 76lt

 

 

 

ENGINE

 

Make/model: Mercury 250 XXL L6 Verado

Type: In-line six, 24-valve, DOHC four-stroke

Weight: 1781kg

Displacement: 2598cc

Propeller: 14.25in x 18in Enertia

 

 

 

MANUFACTURED BY

 

Boston Whaler

Edgewater, Florida, USA

Web: www.bostonwhaler.com

 

 

 

SUPPLIED BY

 

Queensland Marine Centre

Cnr Nerang / Southport Road and Bailey Cres

Southport, Qld, 4215

Tel: (07) 5591 7032

Webs: www.qmc.com.au

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #269. 

 

 

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