|Length Overall||25' 2''||Dry Weight||3,730 lbs.|
|Beam||8' 6''||Tested Weight||N/A|
|Draft||15''||Fuel Cap||122 gal.|
|Max Headroom||open||Bridge Clearance||8' 8'' w/ hard top|
|Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.|
|Std. Power||1 x 225-hp Mercury OptiMax|
|Tested Power||1 x 250-hp Mercury Verado|
1 x 225-hp Mercury Verado
1 x 250-hp Mercury Verado
The hard top includes a recessed channel along the outboard edge to conceal the enclosure curtains when rolled up for storage.
Ready for Offshore
Seven recessed cleats make docking easy and the high, heavy stainless steel bow rail and anchor pulpit and roller will be appreciated offshore.
Fold-Away Stern Seat
An optional identical seat can also be installed under the port gunwale creating seating for six people total in the cockpit.
Easy to Board
Extending the deck as close to the stern as possible on the starboard side makes it easy to board the boat from the swim platform.
Cabin Includes a Porta-Potti
The 235 Conquest’s cabin offers surprisingly good seating and ample room to move around with the V-berth filler cushions removed.
Boston Whaler's 235 Conquest
By Capt. Vince Daniello
I’ve often noticed that boats change size-- seeming to grow as they come out of the water onto their trailer, when approaching a fuel pump, or when it is time for the evening scrub-down, but that same boat mysteriously shrinks off shore, limiting elbow room, seating, and storage. With its new 235 Conquest, Boston Whaler seems to have avoided “shrinking boat syndrome” offering a surprisingly roomy cockpit and ample cabin, in an easy-to-trailer and economical package. But while it does not seem to alter its size, the Conquest has another peculiar quirk- it readily changes from fishing boat to family cruiser.
The Conquest’s 45 square-foot aft cockpit offers plenty of room for fighting fish or other waterborne activities. The boat includes the requisite fishing features, like twin port and starboard fish boxes, six rod holders mounted in the gunwale, and rod storage beneath the gunwale, but Whaler seems to have put a bit more thought into fishing than many boat builders do. This is most evident in the shape of the stern—the port side makes room for the built-in livewell between the stern of the boat and the cockpit, but on the starboard side, the cockpit deck extends further aft, creating a cozy corner, padded on three sides, to snuggle into with a big fish in rough seas. In fact, there is a well-bolstered stainless steel railing spanning from port to starboard across the engine well so the entire stern offers limitless secure places to lean into while fighting a fish. Three or even four anglers can fish across the transom and the padded bolster extends all the way around the cockpit so there is ample room for fighting multiple fish off the side of the boat while drifting.
While fishability may be important, I really like the way Boston Whaler used these same features to create a great family cruiser as well. One example is how they extended the deck as close to the stern as possible on the starboard side to make it easy to board the boat from the swim platform. At the front of the cockpit, twin seats also form port and starboard coolers, with large overboard drains so one, or both can be used as an extra fish box or bait cooler. Another dual-purpose thoughtful feature is the stainless steel engine well railing that forms a great place to lean into while fishing that also includes a quick, sturdy folding bench seat. An optional identical seat can also be installed under the port gunwale, robbing a bit of rod storage, but creating seating for six people total in the cockpit, plus the captain’s and companion’s chairs.
One place the 235 isn’t particularly roomy is beneath the hardtop. The helm and companion seats are great, but a family of four isn’t going stay out of the sun or rain comfortably. Then again, this is just a 23-footer, which makes it rare to even have a hardtop offered. As with the rest of the boat, Whaler wasn’t satisfied with an ordinary, featureless, run-of-the-mill hardtop. This hardtop includes a recessed channel along the outboard edge to conceal the enclosure curtains when rolled up for storage and the outrigger mechanisms are recessed as well, so they are easy to use, while not hanging down where they can bump heads. And Whaler not only included a molded fiberglass overhead electronics box, but pre-wired it with heavy-gauge wire and a fuse block, greatly simplifying electronics installations.
The helm is equally well-conceived, with good visibility and plenty of room for electronics. I should note that Whaler created space on the dash by using Mercury’s SmartCraft deluxe instrument display while doing away with customary tachometers and gauges. SmartCraft is a great feature which offers far more information than traditional gauges including increasingly important fuel economy readings and a complete engine alarm system, but some may miss the simplicity of dashboard analog gauges. That said, the helm is arranged well with easy access switches and a small storage tray for things such as handheld electronics, sunglasses, or a cellular phone with an adjacent 12-volt outlet, and an optional MP3 player input and stereo remote control. Whaler also included port and starboard storage cubbyholes outboard of the seats, with fiddle rails and divisions to keep small items contained.
Both the fisherman and the family man will appreciate the 235 Conquest’s cabin which offers surprisingly good seating and ample room to move around with the V-berth filler cushions removed. Whaler includes a functional Porta-Potti, and while there is not an option for a fixed marine toilet, the Porta-Potti’s tank is plumbed to a deck fitting so it can be emptied at any dockside pump out station without a mess. An overboard discharge pump is optional. Whaler also provided storage for small items in the cabin, and as they did at the helm they include a 12-volt receptacle for portable electronics. Since I take pride in the condition of my fishing equipment, I appreciated the port and starboard rod racks which used to be common years ago, but are seldom seen today. This seemingly minor addition keeps four rods from bouncing around in the cabin, which is where they will most likely be stored when the boat is trailered or when the rods aren’t going to be used for a while. The large opening hatch and twin portlights provide a breeze while sleeping and allow ventilation to keep the cabin fresh.
Hardware and Docking
Up on deck, it is easy to see that Whaler didn’t skimp on hardware. The seven recessed cleats make docking easy and prevent fishing lines or toes from snagging them. The high, heavy stainless steel bow rail and anchor pulpit and roller will be appreciated off shore. A large hatch allows easy access to the anchor rode, as well as the handheld remote control for our test boat’s optional windlass.
Engine Packages and Economy
As part of Brunswick Boat Group, all Boston Whalers predictably come with any engine you want, as long as it is black—Mercury black, that is. The 235 Conquest comes standard with a single 225-horsepower two-stroke OptiMax outboard. Options include a 225-horsepower four-stroke Verado, and our test power, a 250-horsepower Verado. Thanks to its supercharger, the Verado provided good acceleration, even when running twenty-five or thirty miles-per-hour, right up to our top speed of 44.2 miles-per-hour at 6050 RPM. On various boats I’ve found the Verado to be quite miserly too, as it was the case on the 235 Conquest, which traveled 1.49 miles-per-gallon at top end and 2.66 miles-per-gallon at 21.4 miles-per-hour, making the 235 Conquest not just easy to tow, but also easy to run.
Often it seems no boat is large enough offshore, and all are too large on the trailer, so perhaps it isn’t the boat that changes size, but rather our expectations. Whether you need room for fishing, require plenty of seating in the cockpit, or a want workable cabin, the 235 Conquest offers all three without the added towing weight or fuel consumption of a larger vessel, likely to satisfy demanding expectations, both large and small.
|CD Stereo||Clarion AM/FM CD player w/ optional Sirius Satellite Service|
|Washdown: Raw Water|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
= Standard = Optional
|Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.|
|Years||See Engine Manufacturer for Warranty|
|Transferable||See Engine Manufacturer for Warranty|
|Extendable||See Engine Manufacturer for Warranty|