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Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless (2021-)

1 x 300-hp Mercury V8 DTS



Brief Summary

Dauntless is Boston Whaler’s bay boat line and is a more versatile platform than its Outrage line of center consoles, which are primarily designed for offshore fishing. The new Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless replaces the 240 Dauntless for 2021 and is a keel-up redesign that was focused on making its ride more comfortable in choppy conditions.

Test Results

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM dBa
600 3.3 2.8 0.7 4.6 4 376 327 N/A
1000 4.4 3.8 1.3 3.5 3.1 285 247.9 N/A
1500 7.1 6.2 2.1 3.4 2.9 274 238.1 N/A
2000 8.4 7.3 3.4 2.5 2.2 203 176.6 N/A
2500 10.9 9.5 4.7 2.3 2 188 163.3 N/A
3000 14.3 12.4 5.9 2.4 2.1 198 172.2 N/A
3500 24.2 21 8.2 3 2.6 239 207.9 N/A
4000 33.2 28.8 10.6 3.1 2.7 253 220.3 N/A
4500 37.1 32.3 15.9 2.3 2 190 164.9 N/A
5000 41.3 35.9 20.2 2 1.8 165 143.8 N/A
5500 46.4 40.3 24.1 1.9 1.7 156 135.7 N/A
5600 47.3 41.1 24.3 1.9 1.7 158 137 N/A

Specifications

Length Overall 25’ 8”
7.62 m (w/ platforms)
Beam 8’ 6”
2.59 m
Dry Weight 3,917 lbs.
1,776.72 kg
Tested Weight 5,214 lbs.
2,365.03 kg
Draft 15”
38 cm
Deadrise/Transom 18°
Bridge Clearance 7’ 11”
2.41 m (w/ top)
Person Capacity 10
Fuel Capacity 90 gallons
341 L
Water Capacity 12 gallons
45.42 L
Total Weight 5,214 lbs.
2,365.03 kg

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 2.6 seconds
0 to 30 6.6 seconds
Props 16x18x3 Enertia
Load 2 persons; 50% fuel; 90% water; 50 lbs. gear
Climate 70 deg.; 48 humid.; winds: 15-18; seas: choppy

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 300-hp Mercury V8 DTS
Std. Power 1 x 250-hp Mercury V8
Opt. Power 1 x 300-hp Mercury V8
1 x 350-hp Mercury Verado
1 x 400-hp Mercury Verado

Captain's Report

By Alan Jones

Mission

The layout on the 250 Dauntless has more people-friendly seating for up to 10 passengers and can even handle watersports duties. Though it has enough fishing features to satisfy avid anglers, it’s designed to be a multi-purpose boat best-suited for inshore waters but with more capability than most bay boats.  

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
With 18 degrees of deadrise, the 250 Dauntless can handle the chop in style.

Major Features

  • One-level casting platforms fore and aft with flush-mounted hardware
  • Flip-up backrests in the bow form chaise lounges 
  • Increased length, interior freeboard and deadrise angle
  • Doublewide lounge with fold-down armrests in front of the console with storage underneath
  • Boarding ladder angled outward for safety
  • Easier access to head compartment
  • Convertible rear jump seats that transform into part of the rear deck
  • A wide choice of Mercury outboard power
  • Recessed cupholders within easy reach of every seat
  • Wide choice of hull gelcoat and painted colors

Handling

The hull of the 250 Dauntless is 25’ 8” (7.09 m) and is one foot longer than the 240. The 250 has an 8’ 6” (2.59 m) beam for maximum cockpit space without the need to jump through wide-load trailering hoops. With a deadrise that increased from 16 to 18 degrees and a sharper entry, she sliced through the waves cleanly. Hard turns were very stable and predictable, and no spray entered the cockpit thanks to features like the newly increased bow flare. The optional Active Trim system kept her trimmed properly no matter what speed we went and when we threw the 250 into a turn, the slight reduction in speed automatically trimmed the Verado down for better traction.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
A sharper entry and more pronounced bow flare help the 250 Dauntless cut through the waves cleanly and keep spray out of the cockpit.

Performance

Our test boat was powered by Mercury’s 300-hp V8 Verado, which uses 4.6L of displacement to generate power instead of the 2.6L supercharged in-line 6-cylinder engines of earlier generations. The hull weight of the 250 Dauntless comes in at 3,912 lbs. (1,774.45 kg). For our test, it had half a tank of fuel (45 gallons (170.34 L)) and two people on board for a total test weight of 5,214 lbs. (2,365.03 kg) including the engine.

A 16" x 18" Mercury Enertia prop harnessed the torque from the V8 well and the time to plane was 2.6 seconds. The 250 Dauntless reached 20 mph in 4.5 seconds and 30 mph in 6.4 seconds. The top speed was 47.3 mph at 5600 rpm and its best cruise speed was at 33.2 mph at 4000 rpm, which burned 10.6 gph, netting 3.1 mpg.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
The standard 300-hp Mercury Verado uses a 4.6L V8 engine block to create lots of torque.

Stern 

At the stern, the biggest improvement was to make the rear casting platform larger and all one level. The swim “platformettes” extend past the engine well and angle outward, which places the starboard-side, four-step boarding ladder farther away from the outboard’s lower unit for safety. Underneath the ladder is a hatch that gives access to one of two standard batteries. Under the companion hatch on the port side is the other battery along with plumbing fixtures and the battery selector switch, which is a little hard to access.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
The four-step boarding ladder is angled outward for increased safety.
Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
The battery switch was a little hard to reach under the starboard stern compartment.

The twin stern jumpseats are a new design that allows the rider to sit higher for better ergonomics thanks to the thick seat bottom that’s held in place with forward snaps and magnets toward the rear. When it’s time to fish, the seat bottom can be removed, revealing a hatch lid underneath that when flipped forward creates a place to stow the seat bottom and backrest, which flips down into the recess and is hidden when the hatch lid is closed.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
Stern jumpseats have angled backrests for comfort and fold down when in fishing mode.

In between the twin jumpseats is a 35-gallon (132.49 L) livewell that has a lid that’s held open with a strut and is gasketed to avoid splashing water into the cockpit when running. The livewell is insulated and can be used as a cooler when in recreation mode.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
A 35-gallon (132.49L) livewell is located between the stern jumpseats.

An optional freshwater shower supplied by a 12-gal (45.42L) tank resides at the transom near the starboard jump seat and there’s a fixture for an optional raw water washdown within the engine well.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
A raw water washdown fixture is located in the engine well.

Helm

Our test boat had the optional 42” (106.68 cm)  wide leaning post that has flip-up bolsters to allow the driving crew to stand or sit, and there are twin armrests that can be flipped up out of the way. The back of the leaning post has three drawers on the left for storage and a large cabinet to the right that has dedicated storage for a 5-gal (18.93 L)  bucket. On top are four Yeti-ready cupholders and two rod holders.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
An optional leaning post has flip-up bolsters.

The standard leaning post has a reversible backrest that locks in four positions and a cooler is underneath. There’s also an option to add another livewell.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
The standard leaning post has a reversible seatback and can be ordered with a second livewell.

We measured 23” (58.42 cm) of cockpit depth at the stern that increases to 25” (63.50 cm) inches farther forward. For added safety, there are low-profile grabrails fore and aft and on the side of the console. The gunwale cap rail measures a minimum of 6” (15.24 cm) wide and has non-skid all around.

Whaler designers used D-rails that are integrated into the console to support the hard top. Though more expensive to manufacture and install, they help create an unobstructed, 20” (50.80 cm) walkway space on either side of the console that is among the roomiest of many larger center consoles we’ve tested. 

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
D-rails support the hard top and are integrated into the console to keep the walkways clear of obstructions.

The helm’s dash has enough real estate to mount a 12” (30.48 cm) multifunction display (MFD) in front of the operator and another 9” (22.86 cm) MFD to the right (our boat had a glove box) with enough room left over for a VHF radio, a Fusion Stereo head unit, Mercury VesselView display and an accessory panel with lighted rocker switches.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
There’s enough real estate on the console’s dash for two big-screen electronics displays.

On top of the console is a recessed area covered in SeaDek that’s perfect for tossing loose items like cell phones and wallets. There are two USB plugs: one for charging and another to connect with the stereo and there’s also an induction charging plate for newer smartphones. 

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
On top of the console is storage of odds and ends along with USB plugs and an induction charger for smartphones.

Hardtop

Our test boat had the optional hardtop that was color-matched to the hull’s Glacier Green gelcoat. There are four other gelcoat colors available including the standard white and 11 painted hull color options. The supports are powder-coated, and an owner has a choice of white or black. The hardtop has an overhead light, readily accessible storage for life jackets and four rocket-launcher style fishing rod holders along with a ski tow attachment in between to add to this boat’s versatility. 

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
A watersports tow point adds more function to the hard top option.

Access into the center console’s 52” (132.08 cm) high head compartment has been improved by widening the top of the door to 18” (45.72 cm) so the shoulders fit though more easily and there’s a standard Porta-Potti with pump-out within.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
An expanded section for shoulders in the doorway makes it easier to enter the head compartment.

The Forward Lounge

In front of the center console is a new double-wide loung with flip-down armrests, which is a feature usually found only on much larger boats. The lounger creates a 27” (68.58 cm) x 30” (76.20 cm) storage compartment underneath that is tall enough for scuba tank storage racks and has a fishing rod butt holder for storing rods up to 7’ (2.13m) long (the tips protrude into the head compartment).

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
The doublewide lounge in front of the console is a feature usually only found on larger boats.
Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
Under the doublewide console lounge is rod storage for up to 7-footers.

All of the upholstery has been upgraded on the 250 Dauntless and features denser foam for better support along with more upscale vinyl and double stitching.

At the bow is another sun lounge fitted with only two cushions that can be removed to form a large bow casting platform. There is a pair of flip-up backrests to form chaise lounges and unlike many boats, there’s enough backrest angle for extra comfort, which is true of every seat on this boat. 

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
Flip-up backrests form chaise lounges in the bow.

Underneath the cushion is a large insulated compartment that’s perfect for holding the catch of the day.  There’s an anchor locker but we’d like to see a cradle to prevent the anchor from scratching the gelcoat-finished interior. There’s also no bow cleat for tying off the anchor line but this can be remedied by ordering the optional bow roller. An optional sunshade, supported by carbon-fiber poles, keeps the bow section cool on blazing days and is recommend for family use.

Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
The anchor locker could use a cradle and a bow cleat would be useful for anchoring.
Boston Whaler 250 Dauntless
Carbon-fiber poles support the optional bow shade.

Options to Consider

  • All Activity Tower w/ski and wakeboard racks, casting platform and watersport tow point
  • Bow table
  • Jackplate
  • Power-Pole shallow water anchoring system
  • Bow and stern fishing seats
  • Lenco trim tabs w/lighted indicators
  • Raw water washdown
  • Freshwater shower w/12 gal. tank
  • Mercury Active Trim 
  • 350 or 400 hp Mercury Verado outboard upgrades or downgrade to 250 hp
  • Choice of Raymarine electronics
  • Mercury VesselView display

Observations

Kudos to Boston Whaler for offering such a wide range of power. While 250 seems like too little, 400 hp seems like overkill. Although the Verado 300 was a good match, having 350 hp would push this boat’s top speed into the 50s and would give the extra performance needed if the passenger load came close to its 10-person maximum. Because of the superior flotation designed into all Boston Whalers that give them level flotation when swamped, the 250 Dauntless is a great choice for safety-conscious buyers. This boat will appeal to casual inshore anglers and will give them the confidence to go offshore when conditions are moderate.