Boat Test Videos
Content courtesy ofCenter console-style boats were designed for anglers who needed open deck space fore and aft – and the ability to get from one end to the other when rigging, working baits or fighting fish. Boston Whaler knows that and wrote the book on doing it right. The 230 Dauntless is a good example of getting the basic layout harmonious. Features such as stand-up operation and the visibility it lends, complemented by the ease of movement on deck, also make the 230 a good platform for other watersports as well.
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.
Captain's Report by Capt. Steve--
To offer a boat with the traditional qualities of a Boston Whaler fishing model with options to expand its use as a comfortable platform for enjoying other watersports and to be functional as a comfortable family day boat.
Multi-operational bow features.
Sure the bow has cushions for lounging, and if you remove the cushions you have a casting deck. The aft end of the V- seats lift up to form forward facing loungers, and an optional bow table ($778) transforms the bow into an al fresco dining area. •
Boston Whaler's trademark design always features a wide bow that carries the beam much farther forward than your typical V- hull. Because of this, whatever activities you choose to enjoy in the bow, are so much easier.•
Aft bench seat.
The 230 Dauntless has a standard full beam bench seat with storage underneath. Additionally, the seatback flips down to form part of an aft casting deck that is molded with nonskid.•
Foam cored hull.
When the deck and hull sections come together, expandable foam is injected into the entire length of the hull to not only add flotation, but also add strength and a bonding component as well. It's an interesting process that can be seen in our Boston Whaler factory tour video. See our construction video...•
In the worst conditions all open boats are vulnerable to being swamped by breaking waves. Boats over 20' (6.09 m) are not required by the USCG to float. All Boston Whalers not only float, but float level, according to the builder. This is an important safety consideration.
Performance and Handling
The Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless has a length overall of 23'6" (7.16 m), a beam of 8'6" (2.6 m) and a hull draft of 12'' (38 cm). On test day with a hull weight of 2,900 lbs. (1,315 kgs.), half fuel, two people and the 250-hp Mercury Verado we had a test weight of 4,201 lbs (1,906 kg).The 250-hp Verado four-stroke reached a top speed of 5800 rpm, which had us traveling at 48.6 mph. At that speed, fuel burn was measured at 26.9 gph which translates to a range of 128 sm. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 24.8 mph. Now the fuel burn was only 7.35 gph for a range of 239 statute miles. We had a time to plane of 3.4 seconds, reached 20 mph in 5.3 seconds, and accelerated through 30 mph in 7.8 seconds.
Upon accelerating, the 230 Dauntless has a bow rise of 12.5-degrees, which allows the operator to maintain a clear view of the horizon. Upon entering a hard turn her maximum bank angle was only 5-degrees and a very slight slide ensured that everything in the boat stayed put, including passengers.Where she really shines is in wave penetration. She seems to be absent from any of the pounding that you might find when going through chop, and in fact seems to penetrate cleanly and smoothly through each wave. Some passing yachts creating large wakes showed that the 230 Dauntless will launch off a wave and remain in a level attitude with a gentle re-entry and penetration into the next wave.
Unlike many fishing boat models where much of the action takes place aft of the helm, good center console designs like the Boston Whaler 230 Dauntless create efficient fishing stations both on the bow and in the stern. Raised decks up front are often provided to allow sight-casters better visibility, range and room to fish. In this case, the roomy deck measures 6’2" (1.9 m) wide by 5" (1.52 m) fore and aft.By adding cushions, Boston Whaler allows the front deck on the Dauntless to convert into a comfortable lounging area when angling isn’t on the agenda. With rail height at 25" (63.5 cm), they serve as a comfortable backrests at just the right height.Underneath, there is lockable storage for three fishing rods on the port side, and a lockable general storage compartment to starboard. In the center is insulated storage that can be used as a sizable cooler or fish locker. All three lockers, plus the one for the anchor, feature stainless steel gas shocks and overboard drains. Options for the bow include a stainless anchor roller ($291), bow grab rails with drink holders ($204) and a split bow rail ($248).
The console was large enough to be comfortable but not so large that it was difficult to get around. There's 23" (58.42 cm) between the console and the bulwarks. Those bulwarks come up 22" (55.9 cm) and the rails above top out at 34" (86.4 cm). Our test boat was fitted with the optional t-top ($6,099) that provided some much-needed shade on our hot test day. While the supports were bolted to the deck on the outside of the console, they didn't interfere with either the walking space around the console or visibility from the helm. In fact, the presence of these supports not only offered good handholds for walking around the 230, but for holding on while at the helm as well.
Forward of the console is the usual forward facing seat, but this time it's not just a cushion mounted to the top of a carry-on cooler held in place with bungee cords. Here, the cushion is on top of a 15 gallon (56.8 L) aerated livewell. To both sides of this seat are three vertical rod holders and there are Velcro flaps in the t-top canvas overhead to allow longer rods to stick through. Behind the cushioned seatback is a strip containing several knife and plier holders.
The helm is very straightforward with a leather wrapped three-spoke wheel mounted to the port hand side. In the center of the panel is a switch and gauge plate that features two SmartCraft gauges at the top and waterproof rocker switches with circuit breakers underneath. Options include either a 5.7" (14.5 cm) nav package ($2,408) or a 7" (17.8 cm) package ($2,890). To the starboard side our helm was equipped with the optional VHF radio ($697) and an AM/FM stereo ($1,364).
The engine was controlled with Mercury's digital throttle and shift system which provided a no feedback feel to speed adjustments. This engine control is mounted at nearly a 90-degree angle, but because of its effortlessly smooth handling I did not find this to be a problem, even though it is ergonomically awkward. Underneath the helm was a storage shelf to either side of the engine cut off lanyard switch, and below that a foot rest, with a recessed area underneath to tuck your toes into when standing close to the helm. While I found this to be wonderfully comfortable, I would also like to see the addition of a flip down foot rest at the base of the seat so that I can tuck my feet up underneath me, rather than have them committed to the forward position. I know this is a small gripe, but small gripes are all you're going to be able to come up with on the 230 Dauntless.
Adjustable Helm Seat
Boston Whaler really got it right when they created this helm seat. Our test boat had the standard seat configuration consisting of storage under the cushion, and a 54-quart (51.1 L) cooler on a slide out tray beneath that. The beauty of this double wide bench seat is not only that it is reversible, but there are notches to the seatback to provide multiple positions on its way to being aft facing. At the full back position you are sitting back comfortably but unable to reach the wheel. This is a nice position while sitting at anchor or drifting with the lines in the water. Move the seat ahead to the first notch and now you're sitting up and able to reach the wheel and drive with your back supported. Move the seat forward to the next notch and now it serves as a leaning post to give you support while driving in the standing position. With the seatback fully forward you have an aft facing bench seat, great for watching the lines or the kids swimming off the stern. You cannot drive from this position.
The multi-function theme of the 230 Dauntless really comes through in the stern. It starts with an aft casting deck measuring 7" (2.2 m) all covered in nonskid. There are four flush mounted rod holders and two drink holders. As an option, you can add a pedestal fishing seat to this deck ($889). Of course sticking with the family theme you can opt for a simple ski pylon ($909), a tow arch ($910), or pull out all the stops with the All-Activity Tower ($1,875) that includes a polling platform, ski and wakeboard racks, and ski pylon.Put your hands underneath the edge of the casting deck and pull and you'll reveal a three-across bench seat with storage underneath. You can leave the storage as is, or outfit it with an optional fish box ($618).
Powered with a 225 XL DTS Mercury Verado four-stroke outboard the standard 230 Dauntless MSRP package is priced at $78,949; rigged with the optional 250-hp Mercury Verado and aluminum trailer, the MSRP is $87,910.
That’s a premium price for a quality boat that is worth every penny to boaters who value safety and reliability in a sophisticated boat they can customize to take full advantage of a variety of watersports. Remember those small 14’ and 15’ Boston Whalers that everyone had when we were kids? They're still around, and that’s a testimony to the longevity of the brand. The 230 Dauntless is the quintessential Boston Whaler, an award-winning, do-it-all boat that has earned its standing as one of the most popular in its class.
Test Result Highlights
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Pricing Range: $76,330.00Prices, 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.