Boston-Whaler braved the awful conditions at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to introduce their new Vantage series to the marine press and the rest of the boating world. With hurricane Sandy spinning just off the coast, we were pelted with rain and strong gusty winds, while huddling under the tent over Whaler’s display. But the effort was worthwhile, because these new boats are all-new, and very cool.
The Vantage is essentially a jazzed-up dual-console design, which comes in two flavors, a 23 and a 27. Both are intended as do-everything boats. They can be rigged with rocket-launcher-equipped tow-towers, hard tops, and other options that allow you to tilt the equation towards fishing, cruising, or watersports. They also feature head compartments in the passenger’s side console, large bow-riding forward cockpits, and a healthy dose of Verado power.
Despite the long list of goodies, the innovation I found the most interesting was the passenger’s side seat, which has an adjustable backrest that can sit upright, tilt forward to create a forward-facing leaning post/aft facing lounge, or sit completely flat to create a sunlounge. Unlike many adjustable seats, this one is easy to deal with: Just pull the trigger and swing it wherever you like it. The stainless-steel hardware is impressively stout, and the cushions are impressively cushy.
You’d like a closer look at the Vantage? In between the bands of rain and wind we shot a Short Take video of the 23, highlighting some of the top features. We'll have the video up on Boats.com soon. Until then, if you’d like more info, check out Boston Whaler.