Unsinkable—that’s the marketing mantra Boston Whaler has been using to sell its center console boats since the 1950s. Today there are many different boat builders that can make the unsinkable claim, and there’s possibly no more competitive space in boating than center console fishing boats—especially those between 20’ and 26’ in length. We spent a full day aboard the 230 to find out how this boat goes beyond just being unsinkable.
“Huge fishability and huge comfort” are the words Boston Whaler uses to describe what the 230 Outrage is all about. In this market segment that usually means a boat with comfy and convertible seating schemes, but it also means engineering a fishing machine with the hull to get you to the fishing grounds safely and angling-oriented features to help you land the big ones. On deck the 230 Outrage borrows a lot of clever tricks from the larger center console models in Boston Whaler’s lineup. Whaler has always been crafty with its interior seating elements, many of which flip in and fold out Transformer-style to create two or more different types of seating from one module. Take the helm seat, for example. In its normal position it serves as a plush and comfy helm seat. But simply release a latch or two, angle the seatback aft and downward, and you’ve got an aft-facing bench in the cockpit. Neat. There’s even a hefty plastic bait prep table/cutting surface that drops down from the seatback, when it’s in the upright position. Additional seating can be found at the at the transom, where there’s a flip-down bench. There’s also bench seating ahead of the console and twin bench/lounge units in the bow. As with all of Boston Whaler’s models, only the finest components are used to create the upholstered seating—it all feels very comfortable, but also very durable. Speaking of comfort, there’s an enclosed head under the center console unit with plenty of room for even large-framed folks.
Here's another look at the Boston Whaler 230 Outrage on video, this from the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in November, where we eagerly checked it out to see how it measures up to the competition.
It’s a difficult to combine both comfort and fishability into a 23’ center console boat without compromising either attribute, but Boston Whaler’s checked all the boxes in the fishability column. For starters, there’s a 16-gallon livewell that’s in the transom and fish lockers set not only into the port and starboard cockpit deck, but also forward, just ahead of the console. Each has its own drain. Rod stowage abounds in the cockpit, on the optional hardtop, beneath the gunwales, and even forward at the bow. Though there are line-tangling, non-pop-up cleats and stainless-steel railing on deck, Whaler’s recessed them all so as to not be a problem. Perhaps our favorite fishability feature is the helm dash, which is capable of swallowing up two 15” multifunction displays. We liked the way Whaler had one rigged for chartplotting, and the other solely to display the fish finder. Last but not least, the 230 Outrage rides on a stiff hull with 21 degrees of transom deadrise—perfect for nearshore and offshore work.
No matter which way you cut it, the max-power 350 HP Mercury 350 Verado is a heck of a lot of engine for a 23’ boat. This offers a distinct advantage for buyers with a need for speed, since many competing boats max out at around 300 HP. And we’re here to tell you that you’ll feel that extra juice when you mash the throttle down. The Mercury 350 Verado is capable of rocketing the 230 Outrage up to 30 MPH from a standstill in only 9.6 seconds, and up to a top end of 54.3 MPH at wide-open throttle. Fuel-conscious anglers will want to cruise around 20 MPH, where the Verado becomes lean and mean, burning only around nine gallons per hour. That will net a theoretical range of around 244 miles.
Among a host of many other center console fishing boats of this size in the marketplace the 230 Outrage is a worthy competitor. So if you’re looking for a rugged fishing machine that can also be a comfortable platform for lounging, relaxing, and simply having fun on the water, the 230 Outrage is worth checking out.
Other Choices: Equally plush and comfortable angling machines include the Key West 239 FS, the Scout 210 XSF, and the Everglades 243cc. A more utilitarian but infinitely capable fishing machine, the Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman 23 is also worth a look in this category.
For more information, visit Boston Whaler.
See Boston Whaler 230 Outrage listings.
|Fuel capacity||110 gal.|
|Water capacity||20 gal.|
Editor's Note: This article was originally published January 2017 and updated in May 2017.