The Boston Whaler 380 Realm is the flagship of the company’s new dayboat line. These are the first models from Boston Whaler that offer fishing accessories as options and are designed more for socializing, entertaining, and general cruising.
She is a bowrider coupe that will keep family and friends cozy and dry, yet she has the practicality and the strength of a fishing boat. Belowdecks she has a dinette that converts to a V-berth so a couple can overnight. For performance, the boat lives up to its pedigree, running smoothly through chop and providing a dry ride.
- Convertible captain’s and companion’s seats
- Multiple “social” areas
- Hardtop with sunroof and board rack
- Summer Kitchen
- Cabin with dinette/V-berth
- Stand-up head with dedicated shower
- 260-quart (246-L) cockpit cooler
- Fusion Apollo MS-RA770 stereo system
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||5.7 sec.|
|0 to 30||10.4 sec.|
|Props||16x18 Enertia Eco|
|Load||3 persons, 2/9 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||82 deg., 75 humid; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: 2|
4 x 350-hp Mercury Verado
4 x 300-hp Mercury FourStroke V8 AMS black
7 quad Mercury engines from 300-hp to 350-hp
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Contents of Report
Boston Whaler takes its hybrid-boat Realm series a step bigger with the new 380. This boat has a layout that places a priority on socializing, entertaining, cruising, and comfort, but can still easily become a serious offshore battlewagon if she is optioned out that way. Belowdecks, she has accommodations for weekending. The dinette converts easily to a V-berth, there’s a smaller galley and the head has a dedicated shower faucet and full-length mirror.
Two steps down on the starboard side and an inward-opening door to port, make it easy to board the 380 Realm from either side. The cockpit has 45-sq. ft. (4.2 sq. m) of wide-open space for dancing to tunes from the Fusion Apollo stereo or fight big game. One thing we noticed right away on this boat is that Boston Whaler stores accessories for specific functions near the location for their intended use.
For example, the boarding ladder that clips in place when the aforementioned inward-opening door is opened stores in the base of the fold-out bench seat. Having it nearby makes perfect sense. There are in-deck insulated fishboxes and at the forward end of the cockpit is seating. The bottom cushion for this seat is hinged and opens to reveal a 260-quart (246 L) cooler. There’s also a smaller clear hatch that can be opened to grab a quick drink.
The backrest for the seat above the cockpit cooler can be adjusted for forward- or aft-facing travel. Rotate the spin-able captain’s chair at the helm to create a booth-style seating where a table can be installed. Again, there are flip-down footrests. Overhead, the hardtop provides shade and our test boat had the optional power sunroof and a rack for gear.
On Deck Galley (“Summer Kitchen”)
Across from the center seating area is the 380 Realm’s prep center which is a cockpit galley with a Corian countertop. Forward, a section of the countertop swivels to reveal the electric grill and provide a food-prep area. There’s also a removable hatch over the sink that stores in a drawer just below. A wastebasket is outboard of the sink with beverage holders and at food level is a refrigerator drawer.
Boston Whaler provides additional storage in drawers and there’s even a dedicated spot for a 5-gallon (19-L) bucket. Ahead is a single captain’s chair that swivels so the companion can join in on the fun.
Most Important. With a hardtop, side windows for spray and wind protection, plus a high windshield that reaches the hardtop, the 380 Realm’s helm is cozy and protected. This is, perhaps, the most important aspect of the boat as it means the boat can be operated in nearly any condition. With the addition of cruising canvas, the 380 Realm becomes a three-season boat.
Forward to starboard, the 380 Realm’s helm has space for optional triple 16” (40.6 cm) Raymarine multifunction displays. Above on top of the panel, the compass is centered in line with the steering wheel. There is a row of accessory switches above the MFDs with air conditioning vents integrated into the dash.
We like the glove box down low on the port side of the dash. Next to that is the Fusion Apollo stereo. To starboard are the trim controls and the 9” (22.86 cm) Mercury VesselView displays. Among the features on our test boat are the cruise-assist speed control, bow hook, sky hook, and drift hook. The digital shift and throttle controls are positioned in a dedicated section of the panel and outboard is the joystick for the Mercury system.
Outboard to starboard is a dedicated panel for all the circuit breakers. Kudos to Boston Whaler for an intelligent location for this. Two other options to consider are Mercury’s Active Trim and the Theft Deterrent System Remote connectivity system known as Whaler Watch.
A passageway to port leads to the 380 Realm’s bow. Storage compartments line the outboard bulwarks with hatches that tilt inward. A door and window that close off the walkway open on gas struts. Just ahead of the door in the port gunwale, there’s a 70-quart (66.26-L) cooler with a hatch that opens on a gas strut. The bow has seating that wraps around an optional adjustable-height table that can be lowered and topped with a filler cushion to create a protected playpen or sunlounging area.
The bottom cushions for the bow lounges lift up to provide access to storage. The backrests for the forward-facing seats have flip-down armrests that have integrated drinkholders. That makes a total of 39 beverage holders on the boat. An optional shade can be erected easily to provide sun protection. In the foredeck, the anchor locker hatch opens on a stainless-steel strut to reveal the windlass, rode cleat, and chain locker.
Heading belowdecks, the 380 Realm’s cabin has a V-shaped seating area forward that converts to a berth that could sleep a couple. An added touch for comfort, the table slides forward to make it easier to enter the seating area. The small galley has a microwave oven, a sink and refrigerator, and plenty of storage. A tablet that comes with the boat can be used to monitor and control on board functions and for entertainment, there’s a 24” (61cm) TV above the berth. It’s flanked by the electrical distribution panels. A private head has standup headroom with a separate shower faucet instead of pulling out the sink. There’s also a full-length mirror on the inside of the entry door.
Fishing. If fishing is on the list of a day’s activities, there are rod holders across the transom as well as fresh- and raw-water washdowns in the aft bulwarks. Our test boat was pre-rigged for electric reels and there are insulated fishboxes on both sides of the cockpit. Freezer plates can be added to the starboard fishbox to keep things chilled.
On Board Systems. A single large hatch in the cockpit deck provides access to virtually all of the 380 Realm’s on-board mechanical systems, including the optional 12 kW diesel generator, the Seakeeper SK6 gyroscopic stabilizer, the macerator pumps for the fishboxes, the batteries and 40-amp charger, the power steering pump, and the fire suppression system. In the center are the strainers for the air conditioning and generator as well as the bilge pumps.
The Numbers. The 380 Realm measures 38’ (11.58 m) with an 11’8” (3.56 m) beam. Empty weight is listed at 17,000 lbs. (7,711 kg) and with 102 gallons (386 L) of fuel, three people and test gear on board, our estimated weight was 20,921 lbs. (9,490 kg). Our test boat was powered by four 350-hp Mercury Verado outboards spinning 16” x 18” Mercury Enertia Eco propellers.
Top Speed. Running in 2’ (.61 m) seas and 15-mph winds, we hit a top speed of 53.5 mph at 5700 rpm. In its own tests in calm water, Boston Whaler says it hit 56.8 mph, and we certainly believe that given the adverse conditions we tested in.
Best cruise came at 4000 rpm, where we recorded 34.8 mph and 45.1 gph, which translated into 0.8 mpg and a range of 309 statute miles with 10% of the boat’s 445-gallon (1,685 L) fuel capacity in reserve.
In acceleration tests, the boat planed in 5.7 seconds and ran to 20 mph in 6.2 seconds and to 30 in 10.4 seconds. At 600 rpm, she ran 4.1 mph and at 1000 rpm, we recorded 5.9 mph.
It’s rare that we get to test a boat’s ability to handle rough conditions and the 380 Realm lives up to her pedigree with an exceptional ride. This is in no small part due to her 23-degree deadrise at the transom, which is one of the greatest in class. Most builders compromise at 21 degrees in order to have a higher top speed. Boston Whaler has clearly chosen the route to a better ride since it knows top speed is not important.
She skipped effortlessly across the wavetops and pushed spray low and wide, keeping the deck bone dry. Even when we put the boat in the worst scenarios, she refused to get the topsides wet. In following seas, she showed the best handling characteristics, and around the docks, the joystick made maneuvering the boat a non-issue.
Boston Whaler has one of the best construction systems in class. The company has pioneered the concept of building boats that don’t sink and will float level if swamped. This is quite an accomplishment. The company fills all voids between the hull and liner with foam. Not only does that keep the boat from sinking and floating level if swamped, but it also makes the boat quieter when running, and gives the boat a solid feel.
Essentially the hull, inside substructure, and the deck become one unit, rather than a series of parts. That process gives the hull great integrity.
Warranty. Ten-year structural hull, three years on components manufactured or installed by Boston Whaler, one year on upholstered items, canvas, teak and powder coating.
Options to Consider Not Mentioned in Report
- 300’ (91.4 m) of anchor chain
- Prep center with livewell
- Raymarine autopilot
- Canvas cover package
With the Realm series and particularly with the 380, Boston Whaler has created a hybrid of several concepts that makes the boat designed for the times. Her helm and bridge deck are protected by a high windshield, hardtop and glass side curtains that will keep everyone cozy. By having a large bow with a table for entertaining, seats that are versatile under the hardtop, several entertainment venues can be created to fit the occasion. Her cabin makes her a weekender. Her cockpit makes her a fishing boat.
In one boat she is a little express cruiser, bowrider, and fishboat all rolled into one.
With a 23-degree deadrise at the transom, she is one of the deepest deep-Vs on the market. That means that her ride should be among the very best in class.
And, like all Boston Whalers, she will not sink.