If you demand the kind of confidence it takes to run dozens of miles offshore, clash with canyon-dwelling carnivores, and then get home safely no matter what the ocean throws at you, a boat like the Boston Whaler 320 Outrage might already be sitting in your slip right now. But for some, three-foot-itis is a terminal condition. If you liked the 320 yet feel the need for a little more LOA, you’ll be glad to learn that Boston Whaler has just introduced the 350 Outrage – and it’s ideal for scratching that three-foot itch.
Boston Whaler covers a lot of territory with this series, from the 190 Outrage on up to the monster of the fleet, the 370 Outrage. The 350 is the newest, and for a lot of die-hard anglers, it’ll also be the best. The first thing I noted while crawling through the boat was the jazzed-up cockpit. I call it jazzed because it has the unexpected fishing accoutrements and accessories that make an angler like me ache to do the tuna-tango, mano-a-mano.
Check out that leaning post, for example. It houses a 40-gallon livewell, a bait prep station, tackle stowage drawers, a slide-out cooler, slide-out five-gallon bucket stowage, and knife/pliers/rig holders. Wait a sec—don’t go anywhere before you take a closer look at that livewell. It’s rounded, lighted with red LED’s to preserve your night-vision, and has a baby-blue interior which helps calm your baitfish. Many builders fail to employ one or more of these details, which together ensure you have frisky baits on the end of your line and thus attract more of the predators you’re hunting for.
Coaming bolsters line the inwales, and rodholders line the gunwales. Stainless-steel toerails line the decks. Rod/gaff/mop racks line under the gunwales. Yeah—everything you die-hard fishers are looking for is there. So you know that this boat is ready for some serious action, right out of the box.
But you can’t catch fish if you can’t get to the fishing grounds, even when the seas get nasty. And this is another department in which the 350 Outrage shines. Naturally, a good bit of credit goes to Whaler’s tried and true construction method of pumping pressurized foam between an inner and outer hull, so it cures into a single rock-solid structure. But also consider how additional parts and pieces are put together. The hard top, tempered glass windshield, and windshield frame, for example, are fully integrated. The unitized transom can’t rot or delaminate. And solid Phenolic Whaleboard backing plates give cleats and hardware a super-solid status. Put these factors together, form them around a 35’6” long, 10’10” wide platform on a 23-degree transom deadrise deep-V hull, and you have the makings for a boat that can head offshore—even on days when most anglers will be sitting at the dock, praying that next weekend brings calmer seas.
Now let’s say one of those windless weekends actually arrives—can anyone remember the last time that happened? You and 200 other boats are all going to be gunning for the same hotspot, 50 miles offshore. The first dozen or so boats that arrive are likely to hook up several times, the next dozen have a decent shot at getting a fish or two, and by the time half the fleet gets there, all that traffic is sure to shut down the bite. Will you be among the lucky ones? Running a 350 Outrage, darn straight you will. Whaler rigs the boat with up to 900 horses, courtesy of triple 300-hp Mercury Verados with DTS control.
Triple 250’s are standard and upping the ante to the 300’s adds—big deal—around $9,000 to the boat’s cost. Considering that the 350 will sell for several hundred grand well-equipped, going for the bigger outboards is a no-brainer. Do so, and you can tear through the ocean at speeds up to 56.8 mph. Take the throttles back a notch and cruise at a sane RPM and you’ll run in the upper 30’s or lower 40’s, which will still leave the bulk of the fleet in your wake.
|Test conditions: Air temperature 80 degrees, water temperature 74 degrees, POB – 2
Performance figures courtesy of Boston Whaler.
|Power||Triple 300-hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboard Props – 19 Rev 4/20 Rev 4/19 Rev 4, stainless-steel|
|Propellers||19 Rev 4/20 Rev 4/19 Rev 4, stainless-steel|
Though the 350 Outrage is, without a doubt, targeting the owner who holds a bait knife in one hand and a frosty canned beverage in the other, it does make some accommodations for those times when the implements of war are set down and a cheese knife and wine glass are picked up. The forward console seat has arm and backrests and is extended and wide enough to be accurately called a lounge, and the bow has port and starboard seats with adjustable arm and back rests. Speaking purely as an angler I’d rather have a flush foredeck, but speaking as a family man, including those seats is a good move. Inside the console you’ll find a head compartment that includes a stand-up shower, a sink and vanity, a vacuum-flush commode, and synthetic teak flooring. Air conditioning (and/or a cockpit misting system), bow and stern cockpit sunshades, and a convenience package with microwave, coffee maker, and a water heater are all optional. Same goes for a “summer kitchen” option which puts an electric grill in the back of the leaning post, but remember that if you get the grill you’re trading away some of your bait and tackle rigging station space.
Another segment of the boating population which might be drawn to the 350 Outrage includes dedicated scuba divers. They’ll like the center-port dive door, which opens up the entire gunwale to deck level. There’s also an optional dive tank rack, located in the bulk stowage compartment under the forward console lounge. The rack was installed in the 350 I tested, and while I could respect its utility for those who like to swim with the fishes, again, you’re making a sacrifice to get it. In this case, what you give up is a mammoth bulk-stowage compartment that could be used for electric reels, kite rods, dredges, and the other over-sized tools we love to whip out at the canyons.
|Transom Deadrise||20 degrees|
|Fuel capacity||400 gal.|
|Water capacity||45 gal.|
So if three-foot-itis has you in its grip, why fight it? This is one disease we boaters can learn to live with—especially when the symptoms can be squelched by a boat like the Boston Whaler 350 Outrage.
Other Choices: The Everglades 355T runs in the same waters, but gets a power boost from another 150 horses courtesy of triple Yamaha F350’s. The Yellowfin 36 also carries 1,050 horsepower and runs significantly faster than most competitors, but on the flip side, doesn’t offer as much creature comfort. A third high-powered, high-end monster center console to check out is the Deep Impact 36, which runs on a stepped hull and can be built on a semi-custom basis.
For more information, visit Boston Whaler.