- The 2019 Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless is bay boat that combines family-friendly cruising with true angling necessities. Standard features include the stainless-steel rodholders at the stern, the fold-down aft seat that turns into a casting deck, a leaning post with four rocket launchers and a 94-quart Yeti, and fishboxes under the bow seats.
- Looking for power? Upgrade to the power package with twin 225 Mercury FourStrokes, which tops out around 58 MPH at wide-open or cruises in the low- to mid-40s. To keep costs and maintenance expenses down, opt for the single 350 HP Mercury Verado.
- See Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless listings, or read our reviews on other Boston Whaler Models, including the 190 Montauk, the 380 Realm, and the 320 Vantage.
Designing a boat for light tackle casting often means utilizing the bay boat design, with features like low gunwales, elevated casting decks, shallow draft, and a relatively small footprint. But there are numerous down-sides to such a design: the boats often have rather flat hulls that throw spray or ride rough, and they usually aren’t great for many activities beyond fishing. Then, you find a boat like the Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless. Better yet, you spend an entire day on one, running it both in the bay and through the inlet. You cast from it, you cruise on it, and you relax on it. Let’s see what you discover.
As you saw, one of the most surprising things about running the 270 Dauntless is how dry it is. True, it was relatively calm on the day of our sea trial. But we ran it full-tilt in the open Atlantic and hopped across many sets of steep boat wakes, without ever being spritzed much less doused at the helm. The smoothness of the ride surprised us a bit, too, because this boat does have a mere 18 degrees of transom deadrise. Keeping the deadrise relatively low is important on a bay boat, as deeper Vs lead to deeper drafts and reduced stability.
So, what gives? We have to credit Whaler’s construction method as much as anything else. Unlike other builders, they don’t lay up a hull and a liner, bolt them together, and then call it quits. Instead they clamp the two pieces inside of a steel mold, and blast pressurized liquid foam between them. The foam undergoes a chemical reaction in which it heats up to over 400 degrees, expands, and solidifies. During the process it fills in every air pocket and gap between the fiberglass pieces, while bonding to the fiberglass itself. When it cures you have a single-piece glass-foam-glass sandwich. And out on the water, when you start smacking into waves there aren’t any of the hollow drumming sounds and vibrations that you hear and feel on most other boats—you can feel the solidity underfoot.
Another feature of the 270 Dauntless that made a significant impression on us was its family-friendly nature. Most bay boats are designed to fish, period. In part because of its size (remember, this is the largest model in the Dauntless family) and in part because Whaler makes a concerted effort, the 270 can be adapted to activities like watersports, diving, or just lounging around. Extending the forward console seat into a full-blown lounge is one way they do it, and it does provide one heck of a nice spot to kick back and relax even if it does cut a bit into open deck space. The mass stowage area beneath it is a nice bonus perk. Put tank racks down there, opt for the side gunwale door and platform mentioned in the video, and you have a dive boat as well as a fishing boat.
If fishing plays second-string to getting the kids out on the boat end enjoying multiple waterborne activities, there are other ways the Dauntless can adapt, too. One feature we didn’t demo in the video was the convertible Sunshade, which can be ordered for the bow or stern and attaches to the T-top and removable supports. Another is the ski pylon. And you can also get a dinette table for the bow.
We anglers, naturally, won’t want that stuff getting in our way. Fortunately, all of these items are removable, collapsible, and stowable. Down sides? Get the aft Sunshade and you lose the rocket launchers on the T-top, and if you opt for the tow pylon, it’s not compatible with the Pro Angler package (which includes, among other things, a hydraulic engine bracket).
Still, even rigged for joyrides and family time, the Dauntless can be outfitted as a serious light tackle casting machine. Standard features include the stainless-steel rodholders at the stern, the fold-down aft seat that turns into a casting deck, a leaning post with four rocket launchers and a 94-quart Yeti, and fishboxes under the bow seats. Opt for the Delux leaning post and it includes a 30 gallon livewell (the Yeti shrinks to 35 quarts) plus a raw water washdown. You can also add outriggers, a trolling motor and battery charging system, an anchor windlass with through-hull anchoring, and a slew of factory-installed electronics options from Raymarine.
One more rigging choice you’ll have to make: the power package. As you saw in the video, with twin 225 Mercury FourStrokes this boat practically breathes fire, hitting 58 MPH at wide-open throttle and enjoying a zippy cruise in the low- to mid-40s. But you can also get the 270 Dauntless with a range of single and twin engine options from 350 to 600 HP. With the single 350 HP Mercury Verado, for example, top-end drops to 44.6 MPH and cruise is in the upper 20s, but efficiency hits 2.3 MPG at that speed, while initial cost and maintenance expenses go down.
Yes, in case you hadn’t guessed at this point, it’s true that when buying a 270 Dauntless you’ll be presented with a lot of choices. And not all of them will be easy choices to make. But however you get this boat rigged and whatever options you may decide to add or forego, one thing is for sure: this is one fishing machine that can serve well as a light tackle casting platform, while still making the entire family smile.
Other Choices: The Pathfinder 2600 TRS is another large bay boat with oceanic capabilities. Different versions are available, which are more or less family-friendly. A slightly smaller but still thoroughly beefy option would be the Grady-White 251 Coastal Explorer.
See Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless listings.
|Fuel capacity||152 gal.|
|Water capacity||18 gal.|