There are an awful lot of anglers out there with small center consoles, 19’, 21’, or even 23-footers like the Boston Whaler 230 Outrage, which get the job done but leave you wishing for a slightly larger boat—like the 250 Outrage. Just how big of a difference does a couple feet of LOA make? Plenty. Note, for example, that moving up from the 230 to the 250 also gets you another six inches of beam and 1,550 lbs more displacement. Those are substantial increases, and they make a substantial difference out on the water. Join us for a day on the 250 Outrage, and let’s take a first-hand look at just how big a deal two feet of LOA can really be.
Now that you’ve had a chance to look at the boat, let me reiterate: the size-jump makes one heck of a difference. Especially when it comes to heading offshore in less-than-ideal conditions, it makes for reducing the roughness of the ride. As you could see, there were plenty of waves rolling through the open Atlantic when we ran the 250 Outrage out through the inlet. But at the end of the day my back didn’t ache and my knees weren’t throbbing.
We touched on the boat’s unusual construction in the video, but it’s so important to why this boat rides smoother and feels firmer underfoot that we should drill down a bit deeper.
Most boats are built with a hull and a deck, which are “screwed and glued” together. If you’re not familiar with the process, take a look at Boating Tips: What to Look For in a Hull to Deck Joint.
After the two components are affixed to one another, in many cases closed-cell foam is pumped into the larger voids and cavities. This is good, but not ideal. There are still gaps, corners, and crevices that contain nothing but air. And if the boat is constructed on a sloppy assembly line, only a small portion of the voids may get filled with foam. That leaves open areas to reverberate, and does little or nothing to help bond the hull and deck together.
With Whaler’s Unibond method, however, securing the hull and deck together inside of the two-piece mold allows them to pump in the foam under pressure. Vent holes let trapped air to escape and the foam keeps getting pumped in until it spouts out of these vents. The two-part epoxy-like foam cures in contact with both the inside of the hull and the underside of the deck, from gunwale to gunwale, stem to stern. When it’s cured, the hull and deck are essentially one single, solid unit. You can feel it underfoot, as the hull strikes each and every wave. There are no excessive vibrations, no hollow thrumming sounds, and the deck really is quite rock-like underfoot.
Oh, and did we mention the safety factor? When they say “unsinkable,” they mean unsinkable.
Along with all the goodies you spotted in the video—comfy seating, the easily accessed, relatively large head compartment, and the flip-down bolster leaning post—one thing we didn’t talk about was how dry this boat ran. Now, no 25-footer on the face of the planet is going to give you a bone-dry ride in all conditions. That’s simply not possible. But considering the sea state, when we ran our oceanic trial I fully expected to catch a bit of spray in the face. It never happened. And for those rougher days when spray does start flying, notice that the helm of the 250 Outrage is protected by glass on both sides, as well as at the front. Remember the days of leaking canvass? They’re ancient history. Just remember to order the optional windshield wiper; we’d call this a must-have for a helm that’s enclosed on three sides and we wish it were a standard feature.
Another comfort-boost we need to call attention to is the vinyl and cushioning Boston Whaler uses for seating on the 250 Outrage. We noticed two specific things during our day of testing: first, that they remained cool to the touch even in the blazing Florida sunshine, and second, the cushions are designed so they don’t trap water inside the vinyl. You know how on many boats, first thing in the morning all the cushions are saturated? How you can’t sit on them for hours, without getting a wet butt? That’s a non-issue.
Similarly, we need to call out the bow seating arrangement. On many boats it’s not very comfortable to lean back against the inwales, even if they’re padded. The angle it forces your back at simply isn’t ergonomic. But the bow inwales are angled, and we found leaning against them more like sitting in a “real” seat than like perching yourself on top of a cushioned stowage compartment. A small detail, perhaps, but one that you’ll come to appreciate after years of sitting here or there on your boat.
Despite the paying an awful lot of attention to the comfort factor, Whaler doesn’t ignore the fishing angle one bit. Die-hards may argue that forward seating just gets in the way, but pull those cushions off and leave them at home in the garage, and you have a forward casting platform. So the bow’s fishability factor is as much a matter of how you fish, as it is of comfort versus fishing.
Back in the cockpit, the 30-gallon leaning post livewell is a winner. It’s pressurized (so sloshing water won’t beat up your bait), baby-blue on the inside (to keep that bait calm), has no sharp corners (so your bait doesn’t beat itself silly against the fiberglass), and is lighted by both red and white LEDs. Rodholders are a high-point, too. Not only does the 250 have the standard-issue pair of flush gunwale-mounted holders on each side, it also has three flush-mounts gracing the transom. Finally, take note of the stainless-steel toe rails and gunwale bolsters. You can lock yourself in and lean comfortably whether you’re fighting big seas or big fish.
Getting you to the fish quickly is, of course, another thing this boat does well. We covered performance in the video and you can scroll down to see all the numbers so we won’t harp on it here, but the bottom line is that with twin 225 HP Mercury Verado outboards on the transom, we nipped at the heels of the 50 MPH mark. Whaler says they’ve hit 52 even and since our test rig was fresh from the factory and loaded with fuel, we don’t doubt it. The big variable to consider here is, of course, whether or not your current rig would allow you to run at those kinds of speeds without bashing yourself around. And if the answer is “no,” then the cure for your three-foot-itis might be found in the Boston Whaler 250 Outrage.
Other Choices: The Scout 255 LXF runs in similar waters and is a bit less expensive, but doesn’t have the Unibond construction of a Whaler. The Everglades 255cc is another boat that will be of interest for those looking to move into this class of center console. And if you want to look at a boat with a more traditional construction and design, try the Regulator 25.
For more information, visit Boston Whaler.
See Boston Whaler 250 Outrage listings.
|Fuel capacity||172 gal.|
|Water capacity||26 gal.|
|Test conditions: Winds of 5 – 10 knots, ¾ fuel, 2 POB.|
|Power||Twin Mercury Verado 225 outboards, swinging 14.625” x 17” three-bladed stainless-steel props.|