Content courtesy ofLast year we introduced the new queen of the family-friendly, coastal series from Boston Whaler, the 270 Dauntless. She builds upon the multi-functional Dauntless family allowing for everything from offshore fishing runs, to entertaining to watersports, and doing it all while looking stylish and elegant. This year, Boston Whaler has taken its success and added even more perks to her pedigree, the most notable being the addition of an optional "swim patio." It is very cool.
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.
The mission of the 270 Dauntless is to simply offer a boat with the traditional qualities of a family-friendly Boston Whaler while providing options to expand its use as a comfortable platform for enjoying watersports and coastal fishing, going further offshore in the appropriate conditions.
New Swim Patio.
Far and away the most distinguishing feature of the latest 270 Dauntless is the inclusion of the optional swim patio ($12,684). While it shares the characteristic of a hull-side dive door, it is intended to be a swim platform.
Ease of Use.
The patio was designed to be easy to use. In the open position it rests at a 45-degree angle to the water, kept raised from dual gas struts to either side. In this manner, raising it to the closed position is as easy as reaching out to pull it up the rest of the way. Utilizing it requires stepping out and letting it fall to the horizontal. And of course it can be kept at the horizontal position by inserting a pin into one of the struts holding it from bringing the door back up to the 45-degree angle.
Ease of Reboarding.
While it’s easy enough to simply hoist oneself onto the deployed platform, some may still have trouble, and for that reason, Boston Whaler is currently developing a swim ladder to attach to the aft edge of the deployed platform. It wasn’t on this first prototype model that we saw, but production models will certainly have it.
Being safety oriented we had to ask about some concerns we had regarding the overall safety of the swim patio. Let’s go over them and see how they were addressed.
For starters, what prevents it from opening accidentally while underway? The answer is two heavy-duty stainless steel hasps across the top that slide into the receivers in the caprail. To us, these looked like they would last the life of the boat, so no concerns of an accidental opening.
Driving Off While the Door is Open.
Here’s a genuine concern. If pilots can forget to lower the landing gear before touchdown, it’s a sure thing that someone will forget to close the patio before attempting to head off. Boston Whaler removes this concern in two ways.
, an ear piercing alarm will go off when the ignition key is turned. This alarm is loud enough to be heard even when the engines are at full power; so again the accidental opening subject is put to rest. But what about the hearing impaired?
safety mechanism is a safety cut-out that kills the power to the ignition preventing the engines from turning over while the door is open.
Okay, so killing the ignition is all well and good. But what if we need to start in an emergency? Like we’re drifting into a bridge abutment, or into a channel. In an emergency, there’s an override switch allowing an engine start, right next to the ignition. Now we can run the engines, but…. the alarm will still be screeching the whole time.
Creative Aft Bench Seating.
Where a typical center console fishing machine will have a basic bench seat that folds out from the transom, the Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless bench seat is concealed under a nearly full beam casting platform. There is storage under the seat which, depending where it is lifted from, allows for raising one or both halves of the seat with one hand. Under the deck of the storage compartment is additional storage for the ship's batteries.
Larger Fuel Tank.
The fuel capacity of this 270 Dauntless is 150 gallons (568 L). While this may be a smaller capacity than a dedicated offshore fishing platform it represents a big jump from the 79 gallons (299 L) of her smaller sibling, the 230 Dauntless.
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 transforms the bow into an al fresco dining area. (Guests will enjoy hanging out here.)
Boston Whaler's trademark design almost always features a wide bow that carries the beam much farther forward than a typical V- hull. Because of this, whatever activities you choose to partake in the bow, are so much easier thanks to the roominess.
Foam Cored Hull.
While other builders simply inject foam into some of the void areas, Boston Whaler does things considerably different. When the deck and hull sections come together, expandable foam is mechanically injected into the entire length of the hull to not only add flotation, but strength and a bonding component as well.
It's an interesting and unique process that can be seen in our Boston Whaler factory tour video. It’s this method that allows Boston Whaler to accurately add the tagline “Unsinkable Legend” to their logo.
Styling plays an important part in the Dauntless Series particularly when compared to, say, the Outrage lineup. This Dauntless has more of a subtle curve to her sheer line, actually sloping downwards as it moves towards the bow. This is indicative of a boat that is more targeted towards near coastal work and protected waters, and certainly a boat having concerns more towards family outings rather than taming Mother Nature.
Features Inspection by Function
Command and Control
Regardless of whether the 270 Dauntless will be used for fishing, tubing, or even cruising the one common denominator here is at the helm. Boston Whaler did a fine job in creating a functional console that manages information efficiently. A choice of 9” (23 cm) ($4,931) or 12” (30.5 cm) ($9,842) electronic displays will fit neatly into the open real estate of the upper panel with room for a second display of either size. On our test boat, the right hand side was taken up with the optional VHF ($690) and standard stereo ($1,433).
A black strip along the bottom of the panel reduces glare and serves as a mounting point for the waterproof rocker switches, three SmartCraft gauges and the ignitions to the far left. Having these ignitions mounted up high like this marks a good mindset on behalf of the design team at Boston Whaler as it is now impossible to bump up against the keys and bend them and they are also well out of the "knee-strike" zone.The cast stainless three-spoke wheel is mounted to a tilt base right next to the Mercury ERC or Electronic Remove System. This offers a wide range of optional features including single lever, engine sync and troll mode.
We found the helm to be a good fit from an ergonomic standpoint as even with captains of short stature, visibility is excellent and everything falls right into place. Boston Whaler's doublewide helm seat was well positioned and offers dual flip-up bolsters. We’d like to see the addition of armrests to add to the feeling of stability while underway but the footrest molded into the lower section of the console certainly adds to the comfortable feeling as well as the security. Handholds are found on the supports to the optional hardtop. This is the first year that Boston Whaler has incorporated accents into the seat, in this instance grey, to match the console.
Certainly one of the premier features of this crossover platform is its ability to handle the chores of a dedicated fishing machine. Beginning with the optional hardtop ($9,328), the 270 Dauntless can present four aft-mounted rocket launchers along with an array of fore and aft LED spreader lights, as well as serving as a mounting point for an assortment of antennas. The beefy powder-coated supports also serve as well placed handholds while doing little to interfere with visibility from the helm. Underneath the hardtop is a dome-light that switches between red and white and a storage bag for life jackets. Molded mounting points in the hardtop offer a base for optional outriggers ($2,597).
Aft Casting Deck
Boston Whaler makes a major departure from the typical design of a center console cockpit by deviating from the classic flush-mounted bench seat that drops down from the transom and instead going with a bench seat that flips down to reveal a nearly full beam casting platform. While still leaving room for a cockpit walkthrough to the starboard side this presents a massive platform that not only serves for casting a line but cast-nets as well.
Forward Casting Deck
Of course any boat that is used to partake in fishing wouldn't be worth its salt unless it had fishing areas both fore and aft. With the 270 Dauntless, simply removing the cushions from the forward seats reveals nonskid hatch covers that are more than wide enough to walk around on while fishing. If even more room is required, the addition of the casting platform ($776) will convert the entire area into a large casting deck. In addition, the foredeck is also coated with nonskid and serves as an elevated casting deck. Storage underneath the seats is self-draining allowing them to be used as fish lockers. Both casting decks will accommodate pedestal fishing seats ($464).
Beneath the foredeck hatch cover, Boston Whaler provides an optional anchoring system ($4,254) that runs through the stem of the 270 Dauntless. All mounting hardware is stainless steel and sturdy. Having the anchor running through the stem makes the foredeck much more usable as a casting platform as the tripping hazards of a bow roller are eliminated. However, the 270 still has side-mounted cleats that -- while in a somewhat recessed niche -- we would still like to see converted to pull-up cleats. The hatch is unsupported by any gas assist struts, allowing it to lay flat against the foredeck.
The standard leaning post consists of a set of dual helm seats with removable backrests, a fiberglass storage compartment and a 94-quart (89 L) cooler. Two deluxe leaning posts are offered, giving a choice of livewell, seating options, sink with pullout sprayer and storage drawers.
Two areas of the 270 Dauntless’ comfort zones will be vying for the top ranking and are in close proximity to each other. These are the forward lounge seating and forward V-seating. Forward of the center console is a doublewide lounge seat. This seat is surprisingly comfortable and in our opinion, destined to be the most popular spot on the 270 while underway.
Chaise Seating and Room for Tanks.
Grab handles are located below, and to the sides, and are a little hard to reach. But this year Boston Whaler added flip down armrests, a much needed and welcome addition. The seat itself measures 3 ½’ (1.1 m) wide by 4’ (1.22 m) fore and aft, making it a comfortable chaise. A latch at the forward end of the seat releases a back gelled and fully gasketed hatch over deep storage that can accommodate dive tanks, 5-gallon buckets, and practically anything else needing to be stored.
Of course others may argue that the most comfortable spot on the 270 Dauntless will be the forward V-seats when the boat is at rest. While being used as regular seats the height of the bulwarks serves as a sufficient backrest but I'd like to see the addition of padded bolsters surrounding the bow to add to the comfort. By lifting up the aft seat panels port and starboard, a chaise lounge position and a whole new level of comfort manifests itself. The addition of an optional side-mount pedestal table ($1,179) will certainly make this a contender for the number-one comfort zone.
Aft Bench Seat.
Certainly not to be outdone in the comfort zone is the aft bench seat. It serves as a three-across seating in its close proximity to the leaning post provides a comfortable spot to put one's feet up, also adding security during transits across choppy seaways. Drink holders are located to both sides and plenty of storage is positioned underneath the bench.
A head is located inside the console and accessed via a doorway to the starboard side. It offers 5’ 3 ½” (1.6 m) of overhead clearance and includes a portable toilet with pumpout. Hanging hooks are located on the forward bulkhead. Circuit breakers, battery switches and an access port to the backside of the helm electronics are all located on the aft bulkhead. A stainless steel opening portlight provides an element of natural light and ventilation.
While this particular 270 Dauntless was rigged more for fishing, there are several other fishing options that are available, and still others that serve to reveal another side to the cross-platform abilities.
Options for Entertaining.
A bow filler cushion turns the entire bow seating area into a large sun pad ($321) and requires the bow casting platform ($776). The cockpit refrigerator ($1,239) will be a welcome addition to any day on the water.
Pricing and Power Choices.
The 270 Dauntless is offered as a base package with a single 300-hp Mercury Verado as the power of choice and carries an MSRP of $103,433. Upgrades include a pair of Mercury 150s ($12,346), Mercury 200s ($21,470), or a pair of 225 Mercury Verados ($26,499). Previous tests performed on this model with a pair of 200s that showed a top speed of 52.9 mph and a cruise of 23.2, which turned in a fuel burn of 8.5 gph and a range of 368 miles.
Some guys will say that bigger is better, and certainly when it comes to boating those guys are right. This 270 Dauntless is a marked improvement over the 23’ (7 m) version that was previously residing at the top of the lineup. She offers more comfort and more functionality, all while staying consistent with the striking good looks that we've come to expect from a Dauntless.
Test Result Highlights
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Pricing Range: $107,894.00Prices, 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.