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Boston Whaler 420 Outrage Boat Test

Boston Whaler’s flagship 420 Outrage centre-console makes an exciting offshoresportfisherman. With stunning performance from quad 350hp Mercury Verado supercharged 4-stroke outboards coupled with Boston Whaler’s superior build quality, legendary safety and excellent fishing fitout, this unsinkable legend is not only a versatile alternative to a traditional flybridge gameboat, it’s also a great entertainer and a lot of fun to drive!

Boston Whaler 420 Outrage Boat Test

Boat Test Boston Whaler 420 Outrage: OUT FOR A RAGE
Author and photography: Jeff Webster

This boat test ran in ISSUE 124 of BlueWater magazine – JUNE-JULY 2017

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

Large centre-console and dual-console boats are enormously popular in the US, particularly in the warmer regions. This style of boat encourages fresh-air gamefishing, as opposed to a traditional cabin cruiser of similar size where you tend to be closeted inside much of the time. These powerful open boats are not yet prolific in Australia, but this is starting to change as more boaters come to appreciate their versatility. This is a craft with the capability and layout to chase gamefish wide offshore, but can also easily double as an entertaining platform for day and overnight cruising.

While more than a dozen big-name brands in the US offer a wide range of these boats, none are better known than Boston Whaler. This longstanding Florida-based boatbuilder is famous for its unsinkable centre-consoles and now boasts nearly two dozen models in its open boat fleet, including the Outrage models specifically designed for offshore boating and fishing.

The flagship of the Boston Whaler fleet is the stunning 420 Outrage. This high-performance sports boat and offshore fishing rig is now available in Australia from Queensland Marine Centre on the Gold Coast. At more than 13m in length and with a width of nearly 4m, the 420 Outrage is a big rig. The hull has a 22-degree deep-vee bottom and high topsides concealing a surprisingly large downstairs cabin with accommodation and galley, plus an enclosed head and shower. The boat also features a large bowrider lounging area in the bow. However, the real business will be conducted in the rear of the boat, where the large, uncluttered cockpit is ideally suited for gamefishing.

Lots Of Options

The 420 Outrage is wonderfully appointed and equipped in standard form, but there are plenty of options for customisation. Our test boat was rigged with quadruple Mercury Verado 350hp outboards with joystick piloting. It also included a high-end Raymarine electronics package – complete with separate 40cm gS165 displays for the fishfinder, GPS chart plotter and radar, as well as a suite of convenience features.

Our test rig was optioned with a hardtop canvas enclosure with drop curtains, a canvas cover package that included stern seat backrest cover, helm and console cover, forward lounge and seat cushion cover and a lean post cover. It also had an all-chain anchor rode, premium audio package with additional JL waterproof speakers, a starboard side fishbox converted to a freezer, hardtop-mounted radial outriggers, a split stainless-steel bowrail, a starboard side fold-out bench seat, bow sunshade, teak bow table with filler cushion and canvas cover, as well as two aft teak cockpit tables.

The test boat was also optioned with Boston Whaler’s Summer Kitchen Leaning Post assembly behind the helm station, which provides dual fridge/freezers, a sink with faucet and hot and cold running water, an electric grill, bench space and storage/utensil drawers.

Instead of the Summer Kitchen option, standard boats come fitted with the Bait Preparation Centre, which retains the sink and cooking facilities, but has a 150L pressurised livebait tank instead of the second fridge/freezer. Offshore anglers will probably prefer this set-up, although there is a second livebait tank of 90L capacity built into the transom on the port side.

You might also consider the optional flybridge tower and overhead helm station. This will add significantly to the package price, but the height makes serious gamefishing even more effective with far better vision across the surface and trolling spread.

Gamefishing Cockpit

As you can see, our test boat did not have the optional flybridge tower and second helm station, but it was still superbly set up for offshore gamefishing. The cockpit is self-draining and offers plenty of freeboard (73cm minimum at the transom door), while the coamings are nicely padded to protect your knees and thighs while hooked-up. Around the cockpit you’ll find stainless-steel toerails for safe footing in a sloppy sea, fresh and raw water deckwash with 15m hoses (housed under the port side co-pilot seat), internal cleats, power sockets, and under-gunnel storage shelves, complete with holders for downrigger weights.

Dual 1.8m sub-floor fishboxes with overboard drains cater for the day’s catch and can also be converted to fridge/freezers if required. Additional in-deck lockers are situated on each side of the console walkway.

There are five flush-fitted stainless-steel rodholders stretching across the transom, four built into the coamings on the starboard side and two down the port side. For reef fishing or gamefishing on the drift, you’ll find four more rodholders in the coamings at the bow.

On the port side is a boarding/dive door with a removable, stainless-steel boarding ladder, which also makes it easy to haul large fish aboard or to revive a billfish before release. There’s also a smaller starboard side door leading out to the rear boarding platform.

The hardtop supports provide three rodholders on each side for stowing rods while en route to the fishing grounds. There’s also under-gunnel horizontal rod storage for three more outfits.

A lazarette compartment beneath the cockpit floor provides easy access to the batteries, plumbing, steering gear, seacocks, filters and more. It also contains a 10kw petrol generator to run onboard electrics.

Seating And Storage

For entertaining with family and friends, the 420 Outrage offers expansive seating areas. In the bow alone, you can comfortably seat six to nine adults in a seating configuration cleverly designed to convert individual seats into chaise-style sun lounges.

The wraparound bow seating caters for three or four people, while the chaise lounge seats ahead of the console can accommodate three more. Cushions on the wraparound bow seating lift up to form a backrest and can convert the u-shaped bow seating area into two more forward-facing chaise lounges.

Storage is available beneath the moulded bow seats and in a series of subfloor lockers. The test boat was fitted with an optional teak table between the bow seating, which is height-adjustable, so it can be lowered to create a large sun pad.

For entertaining in the rear cockpit, two additional (and optional) tables slot into the cockpit floor, while comfortable padded bench seats fold out from the transom and starboard side. The bench seats are superbly designed, comfortable and practical when folded out, yet barely noticeably when folded away. They do not protrude into the cockpit at all, so you can stand comfortably up against the padded coamings to fish.

Helm And Hardtop

Three comfortable bucket seats are provided at the helm, with flip-up bolsters making the trip comfortable whether sitting or standing. The two outside bucket chairs can be rotated to face aft, sothe crew can watch the trolling spread. Behind the row of bucket seats is a convertible bench, providing seating for another three people.

From the skipper’s viewpoint, the dash and fascia are well designed, with electronics, engine gauges and switch panels all immediately to hand. The steering wheel, throttle and joystick controller are also within easy reach.

The anti-glare coloured fascia provides for three flush-fitted electronics displays, such as the triple 40cm Raymarine gS165 displays fitted to the test boat. There is also a radio box beneath the hardtop for the included Raymarine VHF radio.

The full-height, deck-to-hardtop tempered-glass windscreen with wiper provides excellent visibility forward, and welcome shelter from the elements when it gets blowy or wet. For those days, clears attached to the sides of the powdercoated hardtop drop to enclose the helm and provide further weather protection. A vent at the top of the windscreen can also be opened to provide airflow on warm, stuffy days.

Other features include triple-level footrests, multiple storage areas, drink holders and a retractable cockpit sunshade/awning, which automatically folds out from the trailing edge of the hardtop with the switch of a button.

The hardtop’s rear awning is standard, but you can also option the boat with a bow sun shade with supporting poles which slot into the rodholders in the bow coamings.

Air-Conditioned Cabin

The 420 Outrage has a surprisingly large, air-conditioned cabin with loads of headroom. It is accessed through a lockable cabin door to the port side of the helm console, via a series of wide steps with blue courtesy lighting that descend to the lower level.

At the foot of the stairwell you’ll find a long settee on the port side, stretching into the forepeak. The forward section converts into a double bed when the dinette table is lowered to fill in the space between the two sides.

The aft section on the port side converts into another berth once the cushions have been shuffled around. In total, you can sleep three adults comfortably, although the cabin can accommodate up to four if you’re happy to get cosy.

There is ample natural and artificial lighting to the cabin, with side windows, an overhead skylight with sun-shade, LED reading and ceiling lights, as well as blue mood lighting to match the cabin steps.

The enclosed and spacious head compartment with toilet, vanity and overhead shower is situated on the starboard side of the cabin, aft of a second galley area which incorporates a fridge/freezer, sink with faucet and running water, microwave oven, plenty of storage space and an overhead 71cm flat-screen LCD TV.

Other cabin features include horizontal rod storage lockers, a clothes locker, Fusion stereo, a pull-out rubbish bin and USB charging ports. You can even get your own iPad networked into the boat’s control systems, so you can monitor and change functions while away from the helm.

Thrilling Performance

The 420 Outrage comes standard with four 76cm ultra-longshaft 300hp Mercury Verado supercharged in-line six-cylinder 4-stroke outboards with digital throttle and shift, as well as Mercury’s Vessel View7 digital engine display. Included with this engine package is a bow thruster for easy, low-speed manoeuvring and docking. However, if you option the Verados with Mercury’s Joystick Piloting then the bow thruster is omitted as it’s not needed.

With the standard quad 300hp Mercury Verados, Boston Whaler quotes a top speed of 43.5 knots for the 420 Outrage – an impressive pace for a 13m vessel. For this rig, the most economical cruise speed is 28.6 knots at 4500rpm, at which point the quad outboards burn 199L/ph.

For even more power and acceleration, Aussie buyers can upgrade to four 350hp Mercury Verado 4-stroke outboards for a combined power output of 1400hp. As with the 300hp engines, you can opt for either black or white engines and select with or without Joystick Piloting. However, when you’re spending over a million dollars on a boat, ticking the Joystick Piloting option is a no-brainer as it significantly improves manoeuvrability, docking speed and your ease of use.

Boston Whaler has recorded a full suite of performance figures for the quad 350hp Mercury Verado engine option. With a top speed of 46.5 knots, that rig is not a whole lot quicker, although it does provide more power in the mid-range. Importantly, the higher power engine package is also more economical.

As with the smaller engines, the 1400hp rig cruises most economically at 4500rpm for a higher speed of 30.7 knots while consuming 197.6L/ph. This equates to a maximum (on-plane) range of 335.1NMon the standard 2271-litre fuel supply (less 5% for line losses). The maximum range at the same rpm with the smaller engines was slightly less at 310NM. It’s clear from these figures that the bigger engines do not have to work as hard through the middle rpm range.

Exceptional Handling And Ride

With its sharp bow and fine entry smashing through 2.5m chop like a sledgehammer, the 420 Outrage felt big, strong and nearly indestructible on the water. Our ride was wonderfully soft, stable and surefooted. Although there was plenty of spray thrown about, most of it was pushed out to the sides and clear of the boat, keeping us dry.

After steaming out through the Gold Coast Seaway entrance we turned and headed directly into the teeth of a 25-knot southerly wind. As we accelerated to just under 4400rpm, I remember looking down at the digital engine display and noting a speed of 27.4 knots. It was a wonderful display of the big Boston Whaler’s prowess through the wind and chop at sea, further proving its ability to gobble up long distances even in adverse conditions.

Also impressive was the Lenco Autoglide Boat Control Trim Tab system, which is included as standard with the 420 Outrage. With the system set, there was never any need to touch the outboard
engine trim as the Lenco auto tabs did all the work for you, trimming the boat for optimum fuel economy and to suit the prevailing conditions.

After heading south and into the sea, we turned in a wide arc back toward the Seaway. This confirmed that the 420 Outrage is as comfortable, safe and sure in quartering and following seas as it is when powering straight into the waves. With 1400hp on the transom, the test rig was no slouch either, accelerating strongly from idle through to full speed with excellent throttle response.

Unsinkable Safety

There’s a lot to like about Boston Whaler’s flagship model. The 420 Outrage is a magnificent craft, superbly built and outfitted. It also features a deep-vee hull that is safe, soft-riding, seaworthy and –very reassuringly – unsinkable due to the floatation foam built into the hull. The 420 Outrage excels as a high-performance sports boat for day cruising and entertaining yet is equally capable as an offshore gamefishing platform. Add the optional flybridge tower with second helm station and there’s not much more you could wish for.

In Australia, the 420 Outrage is only available with quadruple Mercury 300hp or 350hp Verado supercharged in-line 4-stroke outboards. Prices for a standard boat start at around $1.1 million but can rise to over $1.5 million depending on the options fitted.

Highlights

  • Unsinkability integrates life raft safety.
  • Class-leading build quality.
  • Power, reliability and performance.
  • Superb ride and handling.
  • Speed maximises fishing time and long-range capability.
  • Versatile layout and design for multiple purposes.
  • Excellent fishing cockpit layout.
  • Vast seating areas for entertaining.
  • High resale value with trusted brand.

Capacities

  • Maximum power: 1675hp
  • Maximum engine weight: 1542kg
  • Fuel capacity: 2271 litres (2 x 1135L tanks)
  • Freshwater: 227 litres
  • Livebait tank: 91 litres
  • Toilet holding tank: 76 litres
  • Maximum persons: 20

General

  • Type: Monohull centre-console hardtop
  • Material: Fibreglass and fibreglass/composite
  • Length overall: 13m
  • Beam: 3.96m
  • Draft: 79cm
  • Deadrise: 22 degrees
  • Weight: 9979kg (dry, no engines)
  • Weight: 11249kg (with engines, fuel, water)
  • Flotation: Level Standard

Engines

  • Make/model: 4 x Mercury Verado 350hp outboards
  • Type: In-line 6-cylinder, 24-valve DOHC EFI 4-stroke outboard
  • Rated hp: 350
  • Displacement: 2.6 litres (supercharged)
  • No. cylinders: 6
  • Weight: 288kg (lightest model)
  • Shaft length: 76cm ultra-longshaft
  • Gearbox ratio: 1.85:1

SPECIFICATIONS: Boston Whaler 420 Outrage
Options fitted: Four Mercury White Verado 350hp 76cm ultra-longshaft 4-stroke outboards with Vessel View7, digital throttle and shift and joystick piloting, Raymarine 260 VHF radio, three x Raymarine gS165 40cm multi-function displays incorporating fishfinder, GPS chartplotter and 4kw HD digital radar with 1.21mOpen Array antenna, Summer Kitchen Leaning Post assembly, bow tender towing eye, six dive tank holders, starboard fishbox with freezer plates, outriggers, bowrail, white rub-rail with S/S insert, starboard fold-out bench seat, bow sun-shade, teak bow table, two aft teak cockpit tables and more.

Boston Whaler 420 Outrage Boat Test

Boat Test Boston Whaler 420 Outrage : OUT FOR A RAGE
Author and photography: Jeff Webster
Supplied by: Queensland Marine Centre

This boat test ran in ISSUE 124 of BlueWater magazine – JUNE-JULY 2017

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

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