Boston Whaler 370 Outrage Boat Test

Boston Whaler 370 Outrage Boat Test

Boat Test Boston Whaler 370 Outrage : THE DECEIVER
Author and photography: Warren Steptoe

This boat test ran in ISSUE 82 of BlueWater magazine – Dec 2010-Jan 2011

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

When I knew Boston Whaler’s new 370 Outrage was coming up for test, I took the opportunity for a sneak preview at a recent boat show. It was down one end with a crowd lined up waiting to mount a viewing scaffold. I shuffled along with the rest and I have to say, as a fishing rig, I wasn’t particularly impressed. With its plush bow lounge and a barbeque behind the console, it was hard to see the boat as anything more than a rich kid’s toy. Nope, it certainly not a serious offshore fishing boat!

Well, I’ve just completed the test and I have to tell you I was wrong on all counts! After checking out the 370 Outrage in more depth, plus a few hours at sea, I’m hugely impressed.

With the benefit of hindsight, perhaps I should have had more faith. I’ve done plenty of sea time in Boston Whalers over the years and every single one of them performed brilliantly. Their design and appearance sometimes leans towards the quirky, but when the wind gets up and the spray starts to fly, every Boston Whaler I’ve ridden in always delivered outstanding performance.

Nonetheless, this boat in a show setting didn’t come across like the rugged Boston Whalers of previous experience. It had a sun bathing lounge big enough to play touch footy, a flash bow lounge/dinette and 3 supercharged 300hp outboard motors – even an airconditioned centre console!

On the water, I discovered that converting the bow lounge/dinette into a casting deck is a moment’s work. With the lounge upholstery removed, the electrically operated table powers down to become deck.

Okay, so you could impress your mates by posing some bikini clad beauties in the bow lounge, although I’d expect BlueWater readers might be more impressed with the casting deck conversion.

Beneath the sun bathing lounge is a monster stowage compartment. It has racks for scuba tanks and lockup stowage for rigged gamerods, plus a whole heap of space for all the other stuff that always seems to end up aboard with nowhere to put it.

At Home In The Console

As you’d expect in a 37-footer, the centre console is massive. Substantial metal braces support the hardtop and are very neatly integrated into the console and hardtop mouldings. As a result, I’d have no concern about installing an upper control station atop the console. A pair of Grand Slam telescopic outriggers was one of few fishing options on our test boat.

Stepping inside, it’s time to forget centre console and start thinking centre cabin – it’s hardly cramped in here! There’s a queen-size bunk, which converts into a lounge, plus a shower and toilet.

A Fischer Panda diesel generator, installed down in the bilge below a hatch in the cockpit, supplies power to the console’s aircon, its microwave and its Isotherm drawer fridge. As an optional extra, you can have another twin-drawer fridge each side of the seating console, and freezer plates in a pair of below-deck fish boxes, which stretch aft to the transom on each side of the cockpit.

The genset also powers a ‘Summer Kitchen’ option, seen here across the back of the console seating. This includes a barbeque plate, cooktop and a sink with pressurised tap water.

Alternately, the Summer Kitchen can be replaced with a fishing option incorporating a rigging station, tackle storage, a big livewell and a single cooktop. An electrically-operated awning extends from the aft end of the hardtop over the cockpit to shade the kitchen or rigging station, if fitted.

The seating console is a work of art in itself. Three bucket seats sit across the front side. They have flip-over bolsters to convert them to leaning support while standing. The entire helm and seating area behind the console can be enclosed with clears and it’s then that the aircon vents in the top of the console work effectively.

Fully Kitted Helm

At the helm is everything you’d expect in a serious fishing boat. The dash is dominated by pair of Simrad NSE 12 display screens. These feature scratch-resistant glass screens capable of overlaying the usual mix of broadband radar and fish-finding functions with GPS mapping. An autopilot can also be integrated along with underwater and cockpit cameras, and the massive amount of engine information provided by Mercury’s ‘Smart Craft’ monitoring system.

There’s a separate (smaller) Smart Craft monitor in front of twin control levers for the DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift). Three motors and two levers isn’t a problem; there’s no tangle of throttle and gear shift cables with this advanced equipment. DTS controls the motors electronically, automatically synchronising them, while allowing separate control, or control of all 3, at the touch of a button. Near the DTS levers is a joystick for a Lewmar bowthruster – but more about that shortly.

A tilt-adjustable stainless steel steering wheel, that wouldn’t be out of place in any serious boat, serves the power steering you need with 900hp out back.

In the starboard side of the aft bulkhead, a big transom door opens on to a small boarding deck. If diving from this boat, most people would probably use the even bigger portside dive door. The portside corner of the aft bulkhead is occupied with a plumbed livebait well.

Only one aspect of this boat didn’t meet with my 100 per cent approval during our protracted transit to open water. That was how the sides supported your legs. The sides are high and the boat’s periphery is enhanced by an upholstered bolster around the inside topsides. My concern is that when leaning against this bolster, it doesn’t quite have the width to prevent your toes touching the fully moulded sides. This leg support business is something I know I harp on about and I don’t apologise, because being able to support yourself against the side of the boat without hanging on to anything is very important when fishing at sea.

The facts of a fully-moulded liner, such as Boston Whaler use, are that boat builders can’t get the moulding out of the mould with any overhang at all. That’s why Boston Whaler fit an upholstered bolster around this boat’s periphery. As I said, it’s not perfect, but it’s acceptable.

Our lengthy idling to open water had already shown that the 370 Outrage’s power steering was sensitive enough to avoid any of the side to side wanderings that fast boats often suffer at low speeds. Thankfully, the boat was still as easy to drive as a runabout half its size when, in the blink of an eye, we leapt on to the plane and were away at last. Did I say fast?

It only took a few seconds to accelerate from displacement to planing speeds and we were running out of room before we could determine precisely what the 370 Outrage’s top speed might be. Somewhere north of 50 knots will have to do!

Silent Running

Besides precise low speed steering, the other really noticeable thing before we accelerated, was an almost complete absence of noise at idling speeds. Noise from the three 300hp Verados remained minimal at higher speeds too. At 38 knots, we were still conversing in normal tones in the helm area.

Surprising quietness is just one thing that makes this boat deceptively fast. I must say that what little noise they made is definitely a big plus in favour of these outboards when compared to a pair of inboard diesels.

At sea the 370 Outrage rode like every Boston Whaler I’ve ever tested, only better. It’s soft and it’s dry and thanks to the awesome structural integrity that’s a feature of Boston Whalers, the hull performs as a singular unit – to a point matched by very few boats in my experience. While idling back to the marina at the end of the test, we noticed that there weren’t any salt water spots on the windscreens around the console. There’s actually quite an area of glass around the 370 Outrage’s console and it still blows me away that we couldn’t find a single dried salt spot. Conditions were good during our test, with maybe 10 knots of southerly across a mild chop, but there was certainly enough chop to generate plenty of spray. How not even a drop could find its way on to the glass, beggars my imagination!

Fishability

People familiar with fishing and fighting fish from inboard gameboats have some adaptation to do when fishing from this boat – or any outboard powered centre console for that matter.Outboard powered boats simply don’t back up well, placing emphasis on fishing and fighting fish out the sides of the boat instead of over the transom.

An advantage of a centre console is that when a fish dives under the boat and/or heads forward, you can follow in a flash and keep everything under control. Which is just as well; one thing the 370 Outrage does not do at all well is turn on the proverbial dime like a good twin inboard can. Even using the two outer Verados, it’s slow to react. The bow thruster, while more than handy for docking, falls short of the kind of fast pivoting that twin inboards do so well.

If there’s one kind of fishing where this boat compares unfavourably with a twin inboard, it’s clearly heavy-tackle chair fishing. Although, maybe you could mount a chair in place of the sunbathing pad and fish effectively over the bow.

Self Contained Liferaft

Finally, we come to something that should be everyone’s first priority – and that’s safety. Once upon a time Boston Whaler were known for taking a chain saw to a floating hull and cutting it into pieces to prove that their boats really are unsinkable. With their 370 Outrage they opened the bungs and pumped water in until it was full to overflowing out the dive door. With 40 people aboard – yes 40 – the 370 Outrage not only stayed afloat and upright, but the 3 Verado’s powerheads were still above the water!

Boston Whaler hulls have always been foam filled between the deck and hull mouldings. This bonds the entire hull into a singular unit, which not only provides formidable structural integrity, but apparently makes them as unsinkable as they claim.

What else needs be said, apart from advising readers again not to do what I did and pre-judge this boat. It’ll surprise you just like it surprised me.

Highlights

  • Soft, surprisingly dry ride for a centre console.
  • Complete standard equipment inventory.
  • A much better boat and better fishing boat than first impressions indicated.
  • Quiet motors.
  • Bloody hell …it’s a fast 37-footer!

Capacities

  • Maximum Rated Power: 900hp
  • Maximum Engine Weight: 950kg
  • People: 14
  • Fuel: 2050 litres
  • Freshwater: 225 litres
  • Holding Tank: 38 litres

General

  • Material: Foam-filled GRP composites
  • Hull type: Monohull centre console
  • Length: 11.4m
  • Beam: 3.5m
  • Draft: 0.6m
  • Deadrise: 23.5 degrees (at transom)
  • Weight: Approx 6125kg (hull only)

Engines

  • Make/model: 3 x Mercury 300 Verados
  • Type: Supercharged dry sump DOHC straight 6
  • Rated hp: 300
  • Displacement: 2598ccNo.
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Weight: 288kg
  • Gearbox ratio: 1.75:1
  • Propeller/s: Mercury Revolution 4 blade, 19-inch pitch

SPECIFICATIONS: Boston Whaler 370 Outrage
Options fitted: STANDARD EQUIPMENT INVENTORY Console – 8000 BTU aircon, 19” flat-screen TV, convertible settee/double berth, VacuFlush toilet, pressurised shower, screened portholes, hanging locker, glass vanity and mirror, Isotherm drawer fridge, microwave, coffee-maker, Flexiteak flooring, task lighting, Clarion stereo system and DVD player. OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT INVENTORY Stainless steel anchor, electrically operated cockpit sunshade, 3 x 300hp Verados w/DTS system and power steering, ‘Summer Kitchen’ option, Simrad NSE 12 electronics, Grand Slam telescopic outriggers.  OTHER EQUIPMENT ON TEST BOAT Hardtop, floodlights, interior and cockpit lighting, 2 x Isotherm 2-drawer fridge/freezers, power anchor winch, transom and dive doors, 4kw Lewmar bowthruster, electric trim tabs, 2 x 2000gph bilge pumps and 1 x 750gph bilge pump, 8kw Fischer Panda diesel gen set w/ 90 litre fuel tank, hot and cold pressurised freshwater system, 110 litre aerated livewell, saltwater wash down system, windscreen wipers and washers, Smartcraft display system, full coaming bolster, bow lounge/dinette, foldaway stern lounge, dive ladder.  

Boston Whaler 370 Outrage Boat Test

Boat Test Boston Whaler 370 Outrage: THE DECEIVER
Author and photography: Warren Steptoe
Supplied by: Queensland Marine Centre

This boat test ran in ISSUE 82 of BlueWater magazine – Dec 2010-Jan 2011

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