Boat Test Videos
Content courtesy ofDrawing just 12 inches to sneak into thin water, but rugged enough to head offshore, this new 200 Dauntless boasts plenty of fishing features, but also appeals to non-fishermen. This model is a completely new design from Boston Whaler, engineered not just for increased style, but also increased fishability.
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.
Boston Whaler 200 Dauntless (2012-) Line Drawing
Fish or Play
Foldable Stern SeatA Lesson in PracticalityBy Capt. Vince DanielloWhile testing Boston Whaler’s completely redesigned 200 Dauntless, I noticed one overriding principle in all of the features on the boat: I call it usability. In designing and engineering all of the components of their boats Boston Whaler seems, more so than most manufacturers, to consider the end user, even in minor details. The gas fill on the 200 Dauntless, for example, is set in a beveled recess just in front of the engine well, so any gasoline burped while fueling goes into the motor well where it can be collected without making a mess. Sure, I’ve seen similar gas fills, but this attention to detail seems evident in every corner of the new 200 Dauntless.Practical ConsiderationsSimilar thoughtful features have been in the Dauntless family for a while. The aft seat opens ready to use, with no cushions to fuss with or stays to put in place. The seat back is held up with stainless steel pneumatic stays and the wide bench seat is split, allowing access to half the storage compartment beneath without having to lift up the entire seat. Whaler also offers an optional fiberglass insert that fits under this seat, forming an insulated fishbox. This fishbox can certainly be used to store gear as well, though the tradeoff would be noticeably less space than the standard configuration. Another practical consideration are the drink holders which are placed strategically throughout the boat, even up in the bow where they are convenient to both bow seating and the seat at the front of the console. It is also evident that Whaler considered multiple end uses by designing this seat to be either an insulated drink cooler or live baitwell. Some of the optional features recognize that boats are often used for varying purposes as well. The helm seat, for example, can conceal another large livewell, whereas the standard helm seat includes a large removable cooler beneath, and the optional poling platform over the top of the engine is equipped with a tow pylon and wakeboard racks. At the HelmThe helm includes more drink holders, lots of room for electronics, and storage beneath the steering wheel for items such as a wallet, keys, fishing pliers, a cell phone and an Mp3 player. Tucked into this space is a 12-volt cigarette lighter plug to keep electrical cords out of the way. I really like the SmartCraft gauges too, which are a pair of large analog tachometers with a small digital window at the bottom that can be set to display a variety of fuel or engine information. While these small windows limit what the skipper can view simultaneously, SmartCraft includes an array of engine alarms and multiple data can be shown on many Navman, Northstar navigation, or fishfinder displays.Performance ResultsWhile I have no way of knowing whether the performance of the 200 Dauntless was meticulously engineered or just happened, our test numbers were certainly impressive. Our test boat’s optional 175 horsepower Mercury Verado outboard provided better than five miles-per-gallon at 22.5 miles-per-hour, at just over half throttle, and we traveled over two miles-per-gallon at our top speed of 44.5 miles-per-hour, turning 6200 RPM. The Verado’s supercharger likely helped the 200’s acceleration too, pushing the boat up on plane in 3.4 seconds, which is an important consideration for shallow-water fishing where a small hole may be the only chance to jump up on plane. Similarly, the boat accelerated from 0 to 30 in 6.5 seconds, which is often the benchmark used in comparing boats for skiing and wakeboarding.Is this 200 Dauntless a perfectly designed boat? Well, no, and there probably never will be one from any manufacturer, at any price, as details that one might perceive as positive another would see as negative. I for example, would have opted for a fixed red and green running light, as I’ve found removable lights are more apt not to work when needed, but others certainly prefer having a clean bow with no light fixture to snag fishing lines, and don’t mind greasing the electrical contacts once in a while to prevent corrosion. But even in this example, Boston Whaler’s thoughtfulness shows—they provide a dedicated storage place for the removable light fixture, one more simple detail often overlooked by lesser boat builders.
Test Result Highlights
Pricing Range: $47,019.00Prices, 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.
Test Results - Change Measurement Unit
All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.