By Jeff Hemmel
Boston Whaler 345 Conquest Boat Test Notes
Jeff Hemmel's detailed notes from the Boats.com Video Boat Review of the Boston Whaler 345
A nicely done combination of serious fishing boat and luxurious cruiser, wrapped up in an seaworthy and strong-performance package.
• Luxurious amenities of an express cruiser.
• Functionality of a serious fish boat – infloor fishbox, port and starboard bait prep centers, rodholders, downrigger ball holders, tackle drawers, toe rails, fold-out transom bench.
• Integrated windshield and hardtop offer superior weather protection, great visibility.
• Centerline helm, forward-facing passenger seats in cockpit.
• Unibond construction results in the solid, foam-filled core that gives Whalers their unsinkable reputation, dampens sound and vibration.
• Cleats and deck hardware secured into phenolic blocks, which are tapped to provide a secure hold.
• Extra-large bilge hatch raises on gas struts to offer exceptional access to genset, thru-hulls, tanks, and pumps.
• Top speed of 49.5 mph with triple Mercury 300 Verado outboards.
• Digital throttle and shift offer smooth, precise control.
• Triples can burn fuel, but .84 mpg @ 32.5 mph is impressive given the boat’s 18,000-plus pounds loaded weight.
• Excellent offshore manners, sharp entry makes for a soft ride in rough conditions.
• Agile hull, banks aggressively in and out of corners.
• Holds its line well, regardless of conditions.
• Centerline helm; plenty of real estate on console for today’s larger electronics.
• Port and starboard forward-facing seats.
• Steps integrated into the hardtop design to reach upper station.
• Island berth offers easy access; power tilt headboard.
• No claustrophobic mid-cabin berth. Open, sunken sitting area great spot for kids to play, rearranges easily to spend the night.
• Passenger cockpit seats slide inboard for more shoulder room, outboard for easier cabin access.
Boston Whaler 345 Conquest web page
- Jeff Hemmel writes for boats.com, Boating, PersonalWatercraft.com, and Powersports Business. The former Senior Editor at Watercraft World, Jeff is a multi-time award winner as well as a 2008 inductee into the IJSBA Hall of Fame. His first book, "The Anti-Pirate Potato Cannon...and 101 Other Things For Young Mariners To Try, Do, & Build On the Water," received a bronze medal in the 2010 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. For more info, visit Jeff Hemmel's website.