Boston Whaler has been touting the un-sinkability of their boats for decades, and with good reason. It’s like Christie Brinkley says… “if you’ve got it flaunt it!” The company responsible for so many classics, has re-tooled its mid-sized center console for better performance, and – we fervently hope -- a softer, dryer ride. For Whaler this is an important new boat, because the old Outrage was a classic and this is the sweet spot of 20-foot boats sales. We look forward to testing the new Boston Whaler 250 Outrage this fall, but since we can’t wait, we asked Capt. Steve to take a look and give us his opinion.
Urethane console visor
Power-assisted hydraulic tilt steering
Portable head with pump-out
Molded tempered glass windshield with aluminum frame
Electronics surface that accommodates two displays (12")
Transom-mounted rod holders (3)
Transom door with stainless steel latch
Integral swim platform with covered telescoping swim ladder with stainless steel grab rail
Boston Whaler 250 Outrage (2011-) Captain's Report
Captain's Report by Capt. Steve Larivee:
This picture gives a good idea of the size, freeboard, and potential of the 250 Outrage. Check out that hardtop with glass on all three sides. Notice that there are no aluminum pipe frames taking up valuable fishing room.
The new 250 Outrage is an improvement on the old one because the company has redesigned the hull with the intention of giving it a smoother, drier ride. The fully integrated helm console with three windshields and hardtop is the latest wrinkle in Boston Whaler's continuous evolution of its product line.
The windscreen mullions serve double-duty by becoming the frames for the windshield and replacing the old system of aluminum tubes supporting the hardtop. This is the SOTA system and is found on the best center consoles.
The aft flip-down seat is a comfortable spot while running. Check out the stainless toe rail (at right) for giving that extra edge of safety to grab onto. Note the heavy hardware on the seat and the fact that there are no legs resting on the fiberglass sole. There is 33" (83.2 cm) from the transom bolster to the hand rail on the bait prep console at right. The cockpit is 28.5" (71.9 cm) deep at the transom.
Some Unique Features
The deluxe leaning post with livewell aft has an adjustable captain’s seat. The companion seat is stationary. The 40 gal (151.4 L) aerated livewell is pressurized to keep the bait alive through the chop, and with a clear top window and blue interior, the critters should feel right at home. There’s also a trash can. That’s an item that’s missing from a lot of boats and I never know why. This will prevent any scrap of line and general trash from going overboard from the spot that generates it the most. There’s also a freshwater system with 26 gallon (98.4 L) tank and sink at the leaning post.
Here's the business end of the boat and like everything on the 250 Conquest it is well done. Look at the hand hold, the cup holders for stuff, the gasketed bait well, slots for knives and even a place for pliers.
Forward of the bait prep counter is a "deluxe" leaning post, or helm seats, however you want to think of it. The picture above is in leaning-post mode. Note the foot rest for the navigator when the seat is down.
Now we are in seat mode. These seats are big and plush, but firm. They are just as comfortable as they look -- sort of like the seats in a BMW, not too soft and not too hard. Both bolsters and arm rests flip up.
Of course, the boat I saw, and virtually every picture I’ve seen of the 250 Outrage, had the optional hardtop (add $10,000). It includes an electronics box, an integrated tempered glass split windshield, a single cockpit floodlight, dual bow area floodlights, two built-in speakers, a dome light, five rod holders, and the requisite life jacket storage.
Forward of the console is the standard seat and cooler. Note the wide clearance on either side of the console thanks to the absence of large aluminum pipes to hold up the T-top.
There’s a second version that includes Radial outriggers as well ($11,881). And man… does all this add to the look of the boat. It’s all molded right into the console so there’s no fishing room being taken up by bulky aluminum pipes getting through-bolted into the deck. An electric windshield vent and optional wiper round out the features.
A pretty standard console layout except for the black sun-shade visor over the nav screens. Note the powder-coated aluminum T-Top supports that double as hand-holds. Look closely to the left and the right on the gunwales and you will see the optional "trolling seats" in the fold-away position. When they're down you sit facing aft. We are told that these are a Boston Whaler innovation and we like them.
The console itself has plenty of real estate for either dual 8.4” screens or dual 12” units with radar. I also like the fold-away jump seats on either side of the console. These are an ideal place for anglers to sit while trolling. Because they are under the T-top, they may even be in the shade.
The aft seat on the transom can flip away in a hurry. This gives anglers a comfortable place to sit while speeding out to the fishing grounds. Whaler uses heavy stainless steel hardware to make sure this cantilevered seat can hold even the heaviest anglers. Most center consoles these days have a fold-away transom seat, but some builders cheap-out on the hardware that holds the seat and folds it away.
There is 70" (1.77 m) of headroom in this head under the center console. We like the grill for the shower sump. Note the step at the bottom of the picture. The door to this relatively spacious compartment is a bit tight -- 17" (42.9 cm) wide by 37" 93.3 cm) high.
Standard power on the 250 Outrage is a single 300 XXL DTS Mercury Verado Four Stroke. Because Boston Whaler is owned by Brunswick, all of your engine choices are black. At press time, twin 150-hp Verados add $9,784, twin 200-hp Verados add $20,636, and twin 225 Verados add $25,222 to the base MSRP. If you want alternative power you will have to talk to your BW dealer about that.
Based on Boston Whaler’s performance numbers, I’d pick the twin 150s option, even if price were no object. Rigged with the 150s the 250 Outrage is said to have a WOT of 44.4 mph (38.6 knots) and a best cruise of 26.8 mph (23.3 knots) and gets 2.27 mpg. Powered by the 300 XXL, Whaler says that the 250 has a WOT of 43.0 mph (37.3 knots) and a best cruise of 24.7 mph (21.4 knots), getting 2.23 mpg. (These are Boston Whaler's numbers, not ours.) While the twin engine set-up is only slightly faster and very slightly more fuel efficient, I like the redundancy of two engines.
There is an argument for going with just a single 300 besides price -- less noise. Unfortunately, Whaler does not publish noise readings so we do not know if the single 300 is quieter than the twin 150s.
Noise considerations aside, the real trade-off between these two engines is subjective: The added get-home capability of twin power vs. a single and the $10k savings in initial cost. I'll let you pick that one. As far as the large twins go, they are faster at both WOT and best cruise and burn more fuel, says Whaler, top speed being 56.3 mph (48.9 knots) with twin 225 Verados. I don't need to go that fast and when it's rough you can't go that fast without beating up the boat and yourself anyway. So, who needs it?
The access hatch to the pump room in the cockpit has two gas assist struts. We see lots of "best practices" here: gasket on hatch lid, color-coded hoses, drains on hatch gutters (out of sight), separate screw-off inspection plate for fuel tank connections.
While all good builders put double hose clamps on all below-the-waterline thru-hulls, few builders use the protective plastic chicklets on the often sharp ends of the hose clamp bands.
The Boston Whaler 250 Outrage has a base MSRP (as of 5/11) of $99,773.00, plus dealer prep, taxes, etc. with the 300-hp Verado. If you’re inclined to check off every option, including everything you don't need, you can reach a max of about $190,000. But why would you want to do that?
I would want to have options that amount to about $26k for things like a console cover, VacuFlush toilet, deluxe T-top, premium package, and some other "necessities." In addition to that you can add whatever electronics makes you happy. So, you are probably looking at $150k MSRP, plus taxes.
At the 2011 Miami Boat Show where I took the pictures seen on this page, the model shown with the options aboard had an MSRP of $167,053. Those options were: 2x 225-hp L-6 Verado engines, DTS, forward bolsters, anchor windlass, premium package, trolling seats, marine head, shore power converter, hardtop with Radial riggers, stereo, and a 14" Raymarine C140 W electronics package. The show special was $143,995*. (Don't ask me what the "*" meant.) So, between my MSRP price with options with twin 150s, and this special price with 225s, buyers can get a pretty good idea of what a new 250 Outrage will cost.
A lot of thought has gone into this integral molded fiberglass outboard motor bracket. The outboard surfaces are flat for standing, and note the flat "stepping stone" in the middle for helping one get to the other side. The stern cleats are canted inward which means that mooring lines are intended to cross the stern to the opposite side.
Boston Whaler is the only builder that I know of that publishes its "swamped capacity" for each boat. It states that the "swamped capacity" of the 250 Outrage is 2,890 lbs. (1,311 kgs.). That means that it will hold that much weight and still float level when swamped. I think that actually the "level flotation" claim is even more important because a boat that is swamped, no matter how many people it is holding, will easily capsize because of the free surface effect of the water in the hull.
When a boat capsizes, particularly in cold water, level flotation offers the only possible hope for avoiding hypothermia. While it is unpleasant to think about the ultimate boating disaster, the fact is that Boston Whaler has made its reputation on this very scenario, so I don't mind bringing it up. That unpleasant mental image has been the primary ingredient of Boston Whaler's secret sauce since its founding in the 1960s. It is the reason that Whaler has been the best-selling center console in its class for decades.
Ironically, after all of these years, while salespeople for a number of other builders will say that their boats float level, only one or two other builders make the level flotation claim in print, the only place that it counts. And it is that simple concept which founder Dick Fisher came up with in 1960 that has seen this brand successfully through good times and bad. For the last 20 years or so the Brunswick Corp. has owned Boston Whaler, and it has steadily gotten better over that period. Today, its boats can go toe-to-toe with nearly anything in the marketplace on quality, fit-and-finish and performance.
Nothing unusual here, but everything is done with terrific fit-and-finish. The depth of the cockpit at the right side of the picture from the sole to the rail is 33" (83.2 cm).
Before buying any new boat we always recommend carefully reading the fine print of the warranty. I assure you that they are not the same for all brands. Boston Whaler offers a 100% limited warranty to the "original retail owner" against a "structural defect" in the boat's "molded shell and integral structural components" that is a defect of "material or workmanship" and which "causes the boat to be unfit or unsafe for general use as a pleasure craft under normal operating conditions" -- for 5 years. For the next five years that warranty is prorated at 90% in the 6th year, 70%, 50%, 30%, and 10% in the 10th year.
There is a 3-year limited warranty on components manufactured or installed by Boston Whaler. We would say this is above average as most companies warranty components for one year, and only a few warranty them for five years.
Items such as upholstery, canvas, teak, and powder coating have a one year limited warranty.
The trim tabs on the 250 Conquest were not an afterthought. Note that the actuating ram is nestled in its own molded in compartment, and the tab itself comes off the bottom of the boat right below the transom bracket.
The 250 Outrage is a finely finished boat that has most of the fishy amenities one could ask for. It is well built, performs on a par with other boats in class, and has a sterling reputation as noted. Like a lot of things in life, making the right decision in boat buying is largely a matter of avoiding a mistake. If you can afford the 250 Outrage, it is not a mistake, in my opinion.
At something on the order of $150,000 the 250 Outrage is expensive compared to other good boats on the market in this size range, but in my opinion the premium being paid for the brand name, its level flotation, and its potentially faster sale on the used boat market, makes it a vessel well worth serious consideration.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Boston Whaler 250 Outrage (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Washdown: Fresh Water
Washdown: Raw Water
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Boston Whaler 250 Outrage (2011-) Warranty
Boston Whaler 250 Outrage (2011-) Warranty Information
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.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Boston Whaler 250 Outrage (2011-) Price
Boston Whaler 250 Outrage (2011-) Price
Base Price (MSRP)
Price as Tested
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.
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