Content courtesy ofThe 280 Outrage sits dead center in a line of 8 Outrageous Boston Whalers, all dedicated to being seaworthy and comfortable offshore center consoles that can fish hull-to-hull with any boat on the market. But the 280 has also been designed with the family in mind. Boston Whaler has evolved this model into what is, in our opinion, an excellent coastal day cruising boat, and she can do a lot more than just fish.
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.
It goes without saying that the 280 Outrage is designed for serious fishing with no fish features omitted.But the 280 Outrage is also designed to be a good all-around family day boat for cruising and entertaining. With seating at the helm, just forward of the outboard well, and forward of the console six people can ride comfortably at speed. Slow her down a bit and put a gang forward in the wraparound seating. Add a table, and that's a great location in the bow for lunch or cocktails at anchor -- and this is exactly how many people use their 280s.
With over 50 brands of center console boats on the market it is not an easy task for a consumer to make an educated buying decision. All of the boats look pretty in the pictures and shiny at the boat shows, so what is the difference? Further, the price differences are also fairly broad among center consoles in any class, so what is one getting for the extra money?
It is not often talked about, but one of the most important things that separate the men from the boys in the center console boat building business is the infrastructure of the builder. Few if any builders in this class have the depth of engineers, designers, service and warranty personnel that Boston Whaler has. It means that boats are not designed and engineered by a couple of people with their own ideas as to how things should be done, but rather by a team of experts who check and double check every aspect of a boats development. When something goes wrong in the after market, there is a staff to help the customer.
Boston Whaler has a "best practices" quality assurance program in its plant to make sure every part and boat is built to spec. Moreover, each boat that Boston Whaler builds is tested on the water before it leaves the plant to make sure that all systems are working.
Unibond Construction Process.
Boston Whaler pioneered the concept of foam floatation in boats and today has a proprietary process of glassing the decks to the hulls and then filling the interior with foam that produces a boat that is essentially one, large piece of composite material.
Level Flotation When Swamped.
The 280 Outrage and all Boston Whaler boats have a rated weight-carrying capacity when swamped. In the case of the 280, it is 3,500 lbs. (1,590 kgs.) which means that if the boat is swamped it will float level with as much as that weight of people and gear in the boat. The key phrase here is "float level." Boats over 20' are not required by the USCG to float level when swamped and most of them -- even top brand names -- do not. Boston Whaler is one of only a couple of center console boat builders that makes the level flotation claim in print and backs it up with the weight capacity.
Few boats in class have the soft styling that appears on the 280 Outrage with her reverse transom, tumble home and graceful rounded radius curves in the console and on most of the interior areas of the boat.
A 23-degree Deadrise at the Transom.
When it comes to comfort in a center console at speed, there is no substitute for a sharp entry and a deep deadrise at the transom. A deadrise at the transom of 25-degrees is the most we have seen on a production CC, so the 23-degrees of the 280 is nearly as deep as they come.
Most boats in the top tier of quality in this class (and price) of boats have good fit-and-finish. What sets the 280 Outrage apart in our mind is the extent to which the builder has gone to make this boat as perfect as possible, even in places that are hard to see. Details such as recessed hinges, gel coated bilge surfaces, 316L alloy stainless hardware are all examples of this level of the build.
With 2 x 225-hp.
While we haven't yet tested this boat to verify the numbers, Boston Whaler has. In its tests of the 280 Outrage powered by twin 225 Mercury Verados, the boat reached a top speed at 6200 rpm of 50.8 mph with a 47.4 gph fuel burn. Best cruise came in at 4000 rpm and 30.1 mph. At that speed, Boston Whaler reports a fuel burn of 17.7 gph for a range of 307 statute miles. Reported test weight was 8,790 lbs. (3,995 kgs.)
With 2 x 250-hp.
Bolting on 250-hp Mercury Verados with the same props as on the 225s (14-1/2"x17") paid little dividends in terms of speed or efficiency. Boston Whaler reports that the 280 Outrage's WOT speed with these engines at 6400 rpm was 52.6 mph. Best cruise was at 4000 rpm where the boat went 30.3 mph getting 15.5 mpg. We'd stick with the 225 Verados, and pocket the up-charge. Reported test weight was the same as with the 225s.
With 2 x 300-hp.
Twin 300-hp Mercury Verados move the WOT needle to 58.0 mph at 6250 rpm. At 4000 rpm, best cruise, the 280 Outrage was reported to have traveled 32.5 mph getting 1.69 mpg. Again, because of the cost differential, we would opt for 225-hp engines and save the money. Speed freaks know what to do. Test weight was not available.
What the Customer Wants
Boston Whaler had been doing some serious market research not only among its owners, but also among those of its competitors. What the builder found out was that the market had become more sophisticated and was getting particular about what it expected – and knew it could get – in a new center console.“We discovered that consumers wanted a soft, dry ride, more seats, better weather protection, greater storage, increased space behind the leaning post or helm seat, larger livewells, and finer finish even in the bilges of the boat,” said Ron Berman, Vice President of Product Development and Engineering for the company. "The 280 Outrage provides all of that and more."With a choice of nine pastel and earth-tone colors, we think the two-tone look is attractive. It also makes the freeboard appear lower than it really is. The colors will also signal to fellow boaters that this is a Boston Whaler. The lighter-toned colors are not only distinctive but also more easily repaired than are darker ones. One will not find the traditional dark, rich colors such as navy blue, British racing green and fire engine red on the option list for that reason.
Console Windshield with Hardtop
Now let's get to the most innovative part of the boat. The huge, ugly, in-the-way, vision-robbing, hard-to-keep-shiny aluminum pipes that many builders still use to hold up their hardtops has been eliminated. Boston Whaler has artfully placed the aluminum piping in the radius of the four corners of the console. There are window mullions, but no offensive piping. Most of the piping that is visible is for hand holds – and is the proper diameter for that purpose – and all are powder-coated in white. Adding the hardtop to the 280 Outrage will yield a bridge clearance of 8' 9" (2.67 m), and if opting for the radar, the clearance will then become 10' 1" (3.07 m).
Visibility is the Name of the Game
Look at the pictures here and note that there are no ugly cross bars in front of the helmsman’s field of vision. Note there are not any aluminum poles bolted to the deck in front of or beside the center console to trip over or restrict passage on either side of the console.There are other aspects of this design that are not so apparent, but they are also important. Boston Whaler has gone to some trouble to eliminate bolts and nuts going through the pipes and aluminum bases both on the deck and in the hardtop. That means one will not have bolts rattling loose, drips of water from the overhead, and stains emanating from “stainless” steel fastenings. The glass used in the windshield and side curtains is tempered, tinted and bonded to the window frame with the same materials that are used in auto industry windshields.
Designed For Offshore Work
A well-built, well equipped 26' to 30' (7.92 m to 9.14 m) center console is as big as most fishermen need for serious offshore work. The Boston Whaler 280 Outrage falls right in the middle of that range and we wouldn't hesitate to take her across the Gulf Stream to Bimini or out to the Jersey canyons on a decent day.
She weighs 6,100 lbs. (2,767 kgs.). When we compared her with five other top-of-the-line center consoles in class, we discovered that she comes out right in the middle on weight, slightly heavier than some, and lighter than a couple of others. That means that Boston Whaler designers have taken the middle course and she should be competitive in terms of speed and fuel-efficiency.Add a pair of large 250-hp Mercury Verados and she will have a weight of 7,790 lbs. (3,540 kgs.), dry.
The Console Inside and Out
Perhaps the best news of all about the Boston Whaler 280 Outrage is her price. With standard twin 225-hp CXXL DTS Verado 4-stroke outboards with hydraulic steering, the MSRP price is $170,515. This price is surprisingly competitive with other boats we have looked at the top level of boat building in class. Opting up to 250 Mercury Verados will add another $3,976, and a pair of 300s will add $10,445.
Given all of the standard equipment, the size of the engines, all of the innovations and the build quality, we’d say if the boater is in the market for a center console this size, the 280 Outrage should definitely get one's attention. She is priced competitively with her high-quality peers, and no builder has a better reputation. Moreover, few builders can make the level flotation claims that Boston Whaler has built its business upon.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Pricing Range: $170,515.00Prices, 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.