Boston Whaler 230 Outrage Boat Test

Boston Whaler’s 230 Outrage is a wonderfully finished, superbly appointed warm weather trailerable gamefishing boat. The second-smallest of eight Outrage models, the 230-centre console is an award-winning craft and one of the most recent models from one of the world’s best-known and respected boat manufacturers.

Boston Whaler 230 Outrage Boat Test

Boat Test Boston Whaler 230 Outrage: TOP OF THE CLASS
Author and photography: Jeff Webster

This boat test ran in ISSUE 128 of BlueWater magazine – DEC 2017-JAN 2018

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

Built in Florida, USA, Boston Whaler’s legendary unsinkable fibreglass boats are renowned throughout the world. Established in 1958 and now part of the giant Brunswick Corporation, Boston Whaler manufactures high-end, fine-quality, power fishing boats. Within their range there are some 32 models – from small tenders and open boats through to the flagship 420 Outrage we tested in BlueWater issue #124.

Most Boston Whaler models are centre consoles and have been designed with fishing in mind, particularly the Outrage models. The 230 is one of the smallest of eight Outrage models but is still very capable as a trailerable gamefishing boat. The test boat was powered with dual Mercury 150hp EFI 4-stroke outboard engines.

Award-Winner

Launched in mid-2016, the 230 Outrage is the successor to the previous 220 series model and incorporates a range of improvements, mainly to the deck and interior. The upgrades proved significant enough for Boston Whaler to win a coveted 2017 US NMMA Innovation Award, the company’s sixth in 10 years.

Chief among the new interior features is the cleverly designed helm station lean seat. This is a multi-function set-up incorporating a two-person-width helm bench seat, an aft-facing padded seat and a bait or food preparation table.

In the standard upright configuration, the helm/lean seat has the bench helm chair and a back rest with a panel that folds down to create the bait prep and rigging table. However, this elaborate back rest can also be folded further back and down to create the stern-facing padded seat, ideal for anglers wanting to sit and watch for fish activity behind the boat. Under the frame of the lean seat you’ll find a 51L removable icebox/cooler for stowing your baits, as well as drinks and food.

There is additional cockpit seating in the form of a retractable, padded bench seat which folds out from the transom wall. Impressively, this seat sits completely flush in the transom wall when you don’t need it, so there is nothing to snag your clothes or get in the way when you’re fishing.

Stylish Entertainer

At the bow there is another seating and entertaining area, complete with a horse-shoe-shaped moulded seating and lounge enclosure with padded seat cushions and back rests.

Other features include under-berth and underfloor storage lockers (with gas-strut supported lids), drink holders, vertical rodholders and low-set, stainless-steel hand-hold rails.

A moulded seat/storage box ahead of the helm console can either be used for storage or as an additional icebox. It has a cushioned lid and back rest to provide extra bow seating. All up, the bow compartment in the Outrage can comfortably seat four to five people.

The test boat was rigged with the optional electric anchor winch, with the anchor mounted on the bowsprit and anchor rode stowed in the decent-sized anchor well.

Additional fitted options included a bow cocktail table (not shown) and padded forward coaming bolsters. The table is also height-adjustable, so it can be lowered down level with the surrounding seat cushions to form a sizable sun lounge with the addition of an extra cushion.

The bow seat cushions are all optional and easily removed so you can easily convert the moulded bow seating area into an elevated fishing platform to stand and cast lures from.

Toilet In Helm Console

As a leading specialist centre-console manufacturer, it comes as no surprise to find that Boston Whaler has determined the perfect layout, size and shape of the helm console. Like the lean helm seat, the console is wide enough for two people to stand/sit side by side, while still providing ample space outside the console to walk comfortably from the bow to the stern. It’s possible to stand and fish a full 360 degrees around the boat.

The wide walkway allows for relatively easy access into the head and storage compartment tucked beneath the console, accessed via a door on the starboard side. A removable chemical toilet is also included as standard.

The console itself features an anti-glare paint finish and provides space on the fascia for two large multi-function electronics displays, such as a stand-alone GPS chartplotter and separate fishfinder. There is also space for a broad switch panel and single and dual engine instrumentation. A compass tops the dash, mounted before the single-piece acrylic windscreen offering weather protection with a clear view forward.

For the skipper’s comfort and control, the Outrage has been equipped with a stainless-steel steering wheel and binnacle-mounted throttles. Both are offset to the port side to allow a crew member to stand alongside the driver while en route to the fishing grounds.

Other features include drink/cup holders, a dual-level foot rest and flip-up front bolsters built into the comfortable helm and passenger bench seat.

Hardtop Or T-Top

Customers looking for weather protection can choose between a fibreglass hardtop and the standard canvas T-top. Both have a powder-coated alloy frame, with aft-facing rocket launcher rod storage rack and mounting plates for navigation lights and the optional outriggers.

It is worth noting that the frame for the T-Top doubles nicely as a handrail for the skipper and forward passenger. The frame is mounted directly off the console, so it does not restrict the side walkway space.

Fully-Functional Cockpit

The cockpit in the 230 Outrage is relatively small in size, with only a metre or so of length behind the helm lean seat. That said, the shape and layout is near perfect for gamefishing. Everything you need is close to hand and the floor-to-gunnel height of between 65 and 69cm is perfect for stand-up gamefishing.

Anglers are sure to be impressed with the stainless-steel toe/foot rails that encircle the cockpit and make it easy to stand and fight a fish in rough weather. The padded coaming bolsters – which are included as part of the Dual Engine Fishing Package – also make you feel comfortable and secure when fishing from the sides and over the transom of the boat.

The Dual Engine Fishing Package also includes a raw-water deckwash, transom rodholders and a pump-out facility for the two underfloor fishboxes.

The cockpit is self-draining, with non-return scuppers situated on each side of the cockpit floor. Combine this self-draining deck with the Level Standard foam floatation built into the hull and you have one very safe and solid fishing boat.

More Fishing Features

The cockpit is not only well designed but loaded with fishing and general features. As well as the underfloor fishboxes, the 230 Outrage also has ultra-wide side decks for additional rodholder installation, along with a port side transom corner livebait tank. Coloured blue and pressurised to keep your baits healthy, the livewell has a capacity of 57 litres and is easily big enough to accommodate two dozen mackerel-sized livebaits.

If you need a larger livewell there is a different lean seat option available which incorporates a rocket launcher rod rack and a bigger 114-litre livebait tank. However, for most fishing applications the standard port side transom corner livebait tank will be sufficient.

Other fishing and general features include horizontal rod storage racks under the gunnels, four stainless-steel deck rodholders, downrigger weight holders, inboard-mounted stern cleats, stainless hawse pipes, starboard side transom door with boarding ladder, and a set of Lenco trim tabs recessed into the transom.

Single Or Dual Outboards

The 230 Outrage is available exclusively with a range of Mercury 4-stroke outboards engines. The base package comes with an ultra-longshaft (76.2cm) 225hp Mercury Verado supercharged 4-stroke. This yields a top speed of 37 knots and provides solid performance and acceleration from idle through to wide-open throttle.

Next up is a pair of 115hp Mercury 4-strokes for similar power and acceleration, but a slightly lower top speed. If you want twin-engine reliability for wide offshore fishing at a minimal cost you may wish to consider this dual-engine package.

From the twin 115hp outboards you can go up in power to a single 300 or 350hp six-cylinder Mercury Verado 4-stroke. Alternatively, you can also choose dual extra-longshaft (63.5cm) 150hp Mercury EFI 4-strokes, as fitted to our test boat package.

For outright speed and performance, the single 350hp Verado is the way to go. Offering a top speed of 47 knots and blistering performance through the mid-range, this single-engined Outrage is most economical at 4000rpm where the engine burns 39L/ph for a high cruise speed of 23.8 knots.

While our test boat package did not have quite the grunt of the single 350hp Verado, it was certainly no slouch either. According to figures supplied by Mercury Marine, the dual Mercury 150hp-engined Outrage will accelerate to a top speed of 44 knots or 81.4km/h.

The test boat proved most economical at a cruise of 3000rpm for a speed of 21 knots and a fuel consumption figure of 30.3L/ph from both engines. These figures yield a maximum range on the standard 416L fuel tank (less 5% for line losses) of 262.16NM.

Handling And Ride

Boston Whaler has spent decades fine-tuning its deep-vee monohulls and this is readily apparent as soon as you step aboard one of these excellent craft. The 230 Outrage is also a class above most of its competitors when it comes to handling, ride and performance.

Through choppy water, the 21-degree, foam-filled hull rides very softly and quietly. Wonderfully balanced and easy to handle, the hull is able to turn on a dime at high speed, while still maintaining a solid grip on the water throughout the turn.

Given its handling prowess and high performance with the larger engine options, the Outrage can easily double as a social ski/tow boat, in addition to its primary role as a trailerable offshore gamefishing rig.

The 230 Outrage is surprisingly dry for a centre-console boat, largely thanks to the pronounced hull flare and spray chines. The wide 2.59m maximum beam also helps ensure it is very stable at rest.

Underway the hull remains pretty stable, but like most deep-vee hulls it will occasionally lean into a cross breeze. However, any lean angle can be easily corrected using the included Lenco trim tabs. These are inset/recessed into the hull, so you can fish over the stern without fear of cutting a line on the sharp edge of a trim tab.

Solidly Built

The 230 Outrage is a very solidly built boat and heavier than you might expect. The hull alone, with all fittings and fixtures, weighs 1724kg. That figure rises to 3200kg when rigged with the dual Mercury 150hp outboards, full fuel and water and riding on an Aussie-specification tandem-axle aluminium trailer. In light of this hefty figure, a substantial three-tonne-plus rated 4WD vehicle will be needed to haul this big trailerboat about.

Offshore Runner

The Boston Whaler 230 Outrage is a world-class centre-console fishing boat that can easily double as a family boat for day trips out on the bay and harbour. That said, this fabulous trailerboat will be most at home running offshore in pursuit of gamefish. Boasting a superb hull, clever interior layout and loads of great fishing features and accessories, this is a wonderfully outfitted craft.

Keep in mind that this level of excellence in design and build quality doesn’t come cheap. Pricing for the 230 Outrage starts at $157,000 with a single 225hp Mercury Verado and riding on a tandem-axle aluminium trailer. With options and rigged with the dual Mercury 150hp 4-stroke outboards, the price for our test boat package rose to $211,000. While that’s a tidy sum for a 7m boat, the 230 Outrage is one of the very best boats in its class right now.

Highlights

  • Wonderfully soft, dry ride.
  • Excellent cockpit fishing layout.
  • Twin-engine reliability.
  • Class-leading standard of finish and fit-out.
  • Multi-function helm lean seat.
  • Stainless-steel toe/foot rails above cockpit floor.
  • Console head compartment and storage area.

Capacities

  • Maximum power: 350hp
  • Maximum engine weight: 413kg
  • Fuel capacity: 416 litres
  • Freshwater: 76 litres
  • Live well capacity: 56.7 litres
  • Maximum load: 1400kg
  • Maximum persons: 10

General

  • Type: Monohull centre console
  • Material: Fibreglass
  • Length overall: 7.01m
  • Beam: 2.59m
  • Draft: 47cm
  • Deadrise: 21 degrees
  • Hull weight: 1724kg (approx)
  • Towing weight: 3200kg (including fuel)
  • Floatation: Level standard

Engines

  • Make/model: Dual Mercury 150hp
  • Type: In-line 4 cylinder, SOHC EFI 4-stroke outboard
  • Rated hp: 150
  • Displacement: 3 litres
  • No. cylinders: 4
  • Weight: 213kg
  • Shaft length: Extra-longshaft (63.5cm)
  • Gearbox ratio: 1.92:1

SPECIFICATIONS: Boston Whaler 230 Outrage
Options fitted: Dual Mercury 150hp EFI extra-longshaft (63.5cm) 4-stroke, counter-rotating outboards with Mercury Vessel View4 digital display, hydraulic steering, tandem-axle alloy trailer to Australian
specifications with electric-hydraulic break-away brakes, 230 Outrage Dual Engine Fishing Package (including coaming bolsters, pump-out fishbox, raw-water deckwash and transom rodholder), electric anchor winch with rode and anchor, bow cushions and table, bow tow eye, cockpit sun-shade, forward coaming bolsters, T-top with storage bag, outriggers, freshwater shower, and covers for the console and console seat box. 

Boston Whaler 230 Outrage Boat Test

Boat Test Boston Whaler 230 Outrage: TOP OF THE CLASS
Author and photography: Jeff Webster
Supplied by: Queensland Marine Centre

This boat test ran in ISSUE 128 of BlueWater magazine – DEC 2017-JAN 2018

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here