The Boston Whaler 420 Outrage represents the largest boat the company has built and it seems the builder has thrown everything the company has to offer into this single boat. She’ll fish the Canyons for days and just as easily convert to hosting formal cocktail parties, and then transition to a family cruiser heading to a distant hidey-hole -- and once there she can serve as a dive platform. All this while maintaining the trademark "level flotation if swamped" and Unibond construction that all Boston Whalers are built on.
- Blue LED courtesy lighting in cockpit
- Molded fiberglass boarding/dive door port side
with removable stainless dive ladder with
- Fusion stereo with full function remote control
- Deluxe leaning post with bait prep area with cutting board
- Electric grill with hinged solid surface lid
- Pressurized livewell with viewing window, clear
lid and blue interior
- Fold-away stern bench seat
- Flip-up backrest at forward end of lounge providing
- Insulated in-floor storage/fishbox with drains
- Convertible double berth with filler cushion
|Length Overall||42’ 6'' / 13.0 m|
5.64 m (max)
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||5.8 sec.|
|0 to 30||14.5 sec.|
|Props||19p Rev 4|
|Load||2 persons, 102/125 fuel, 1/2 water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||82 deg., 74 humid.; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: light|
4 x 300-hp Mercury 300 Joystick Verado
4 x 350-hp Mercury Verado Black FourStrokes
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Contents of Report
The 420 Outrage is described by Boston Whaler as an “open yacht” that can do “almost” anything demanded of any other boat in this size range short of ocean passages. Certainly, all-day trips to distant fishing grounds and staying there for extended periods is high on her list of capabilities, much like a far more expensive convertible. Similarly, she can handle life as the family cruiser at a fraction of the cost of the convertible sportfish yacht. As an entertainment platform, her on deck “summer kitchen” permits outdoor cooking where grilling is the order of the day. With her opening hull side door she makes an ideal dive platform complete with storage for dive tanks.
The folks at Boston Whaler have told us that they have done extensive research and gotten customer feedback on nearly every aspect of a boat’s features. That, coupled with having its own in-house design team means that change comes easily and with full systems coordination. The result of this collaboration, the culmination of all the feedback and lessons learned, is the 420 Outrage.
• Blue LED courtesy lighting throughout
• Molded fiberglass boarding/dive door port side with removable stainless dive ladder
• Fusion stereo with full function remote control
• Deluxe leaning post with bait prep area and galley
• Electric grill with hinged solid surface lid on main deck
• Pressurized livewell with viewing window, clear lid and blue interior
• Second livewell in transom
• Fold-away stern and side cockpit bench seats
• Flip-up backrest at forward end of lounge providing wraparound seating
• Flip-up backrest at forward bow seats allowing conversion to chaise
• Insulated in-floor storage/fishbox with drains
• Convertible double berth with filler cushion
• Wet head with rain shower faucet
• Quad 350 L6 DTS Joystick Mercury Verado FourStroke power
• Lounge seating in optional tower
The Boston Whaler 420 Outrage has a LOA of 42’6” (13.0 m), a beam of 13’ (3.96 m) and a draft of 31” (79 cm). With an empty weight of 22,000 lbs. (9,979 kg), 490-gallons (1,855 L) of fuel and two people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of approximately 29,388 lbs. (13,330 kg).
With quad Mercury 300 joystick Verados powering our test boat, her top speed was just a hair under 42 knots. At that speed we were burning 119 gph giving us a range of 190 nm. Her best economic cruise was at 4500 RPM and 27.7 knots. At that speed the fuel burn was reduced to a more reasonable 52.1 gph and the range opened up to 287 nm.
Generally, with these four engines, anything above 4500 will be costly as the fuel burn increases with heavy engine loading. Even moving up from as little as 4500 to 5000 adds another 25 gph to the consumption, so the smart money stays at 4500 or below. That will still make the 80 nm run from Nantucket to the Watch Canyon a 3 hour trip, and the 130 miles from Miami to Andros a 4 ½ hour run... all while saving significant money.
She comes up on plane from a mild 5-degree bow rise and we were able to maintain a continual sightline ahead of the bow thanks to the thoughtful touch of adding a flip down platform for short captains to stand on. Planing speed was reached after 5.8 seconds, 20 mph came and went in 8.7 and we continued accelerating past 30 mph in 14.5 seconds.
Now to be fair, this boat has some significant wind resistance up high with her massive optional tower. That coupled with the winds on test day surely had a detrimental effect on our test numbers. Boston Whaler’s test captain tells us that he was able to get this same boat over 44 kts (50 mph) during their speed tests, and we have no trouble believing that. We were just 2 knots short of that target. Remove the tower option and she will clearly go even faster than that, but frankly, that’s not the goal of this boat, and as we said, running at top speed isn’t a sound plan, anyway.
From the lower station she feels every bit the strong offshore performer we expected. With Boston Whaler’s Unibond construction the entire boat remains solid as she penetrated the self generated waves from our test. Unfortunately, with the light swells on test day there was no chance of showing just where the limits lie as to what she can handle, but the feel speaks of it being a lot. Her 20-degree deadrise at the transom and solid feel only adds to that impression.
In turns she’ll come around a full 360-degrees in 30 seconds and will do so in roughly three boat lengths at cruise speed, all while exhibiting a comfortable 11-degree roll into the turns.
From the upper station, even though the optional tower is constructed from 3” main frames and 2” cross supports there’s just a slight feel of vibration as the 420 Outrage plows through a wave. The 11-degree lean into the turns is certainly more pronounced here but there’s never an uncomfortable feel, and the view is outstanding. All good reasons why Boston Whaler added a lounge to this upper station, the first we’ve seen of this concept.
She also employs Lenco’s automatic trim tabs incorporated with Boston Whaler’s dynamic running surface to keep the trim optimized at all times. It’s also the reason that she comes off plane from a relatively level attitude.
With joystick functionality, we were able to dock this boat in extremely tight confines with no problem. She responds well to slight touches of the control head, so the key is to use light pulses and let her momentum do most of the work. With the mindset of directing that momentum things will be kept smooth and slow with no harsh contact with the dock, or any surrounding boats, and even the most novice boat handler should look like a pro every time.
Being an Outrage means that this is a premier fishing machine with top-of-the-line equipment to fish any category. The features start with the 55 sq. ft. (5.1 sq. m) of open real estate in the cockpit. Padded bolsters wrap around the cockpit with a working height starting at 22” (56 cm) aft and come up to 30" (76.2 cm) forward. At deck level a toe-rail adds a little more of a measure of safety when working a fish in a seaway.
To both sides of the cockpit are fishboxes that can be fitted with optional chilled plates. Both measure 6’ (1.8 m) in length. A pair of turn-and-lock latches keep them secured. Both hatches are gasketed and are held open with a pair of gas struts. They self drain overboard.
There are two livewells within reach of the cockpit. One, located in the transom, measures 24-gallons (91 L), it’s colored blue and has rounded corners to reduce the shock effect on live bait. The hatch is gasketed and see-through and the perimeter of the opening is guttered to channel water down to the deck where it can flow back overboard.
The second livewell is in the center tackle station and this one measures 50-gallons (189 L). It has much the same features of the transom unit with the addition of this one having a sight window to the side allowing a clear view of the bait remaining.
There’s No Shortage of Rod Holders on this Boat. Five flush-mounted holders run across the transom and that’s the start of 19 going around the boat’s caprails. This is in addition to the 11 made up from 6 to either side of the tower and 5 more across the back of the tower helm seat. And let’s not forget the outriggers.
What good is having a premium level fishing machine if you can’t haul a huge fish aboard? With the 420 Outrage, there’s a standard hullside door, 24" (61 cm) wide, that will serve the purpose nicely. Additionally, there’s a swing-out grab handle to the side and a reboarding ladder that can insert into a socket in the deck making this serve double duty as a dive door.
This side door is much preferred to the traditional transom gate and small swim platform to one side of the brace of outboards. First, it is wider. Second, it is far away from the outboard engines. Finally, the whole cockpit serves as a "platform" from which to stage watersports activities. Kids will love it.
Even with the unsinkable status of the Boston Whaler lineup, the 420 Outrage features a pair of 2” (5.1 cm) deck drains to either side of the cockpit to send any shipped water back overboard in short order. This also aids in hosing down the boat, which can be done with the aid of two 50’ (15.2m) hoses under the port observer’s seat.
The Leaning Post is Loaded with Features. From a fishing standpoint there’s a washdown sink, lure pouch holders, a small cargo net, two line holders allowing a swap-over to different categories of fishing, all pump and livewell controls and a 50-gallon (189 L) livewell with a side viewing window.
Trolling Mode. Of course getting fish hooked up usually doesn’t happen right away so we need a place to sit while keeping an eye on the lines. Pull-out bench seats don’t solve the problem, deck chairs get in the way, and a dedicated fighting chair also isn’t without its problems. Boston Whaler’s solution is clever, easy, and solves virtually all problems.
The three across seating at the helm features two observer’s seats to each side that can swivel around to face the stern providing a place to sit, watch the lines, and even put feet up for added stabilization. This is a very well thought-out solution, but is just one of many on this remarkable vessel.
Of course, no proper fishing boat worth its salt would be without a tower. There’s just no better way of spotting birds, slicks, weed lines or even breaching fish from a long way off without one. So it’s no surprise that Boston Whaler offers one as an option on the 420 Outrage, but this tower takes it to a new realm.
A Mini Flying Bridge? Aside from the optional second control station, this tower comes with a doublewide lounge seat, and this marks the first time we’ve seen this arrangement in a tower, and frankly we like it. But we’ll save our observations on that aspect for the family section, but in many respects this tower is very much like a "flying bridge" because it is so well outfitted, comfortable and versatile.
From a practical standpoint the tower serves well as a secondary control station. However, once the fish is “on” it’s best to transfer control to the lower station, as the fullback helm seat offers no clear view of the cockpit while remaining within reach of the helm controls. We had to hop up on the seat and lean over to see down there, and that put the helm out of reach. Not only is the tower itself optional but options abound for it and the well-equipped test boat was rife with them. Feel free to add on the helm station, outriggers, electronics, joystick docking and autopilot.
Family Cruising/Entertaining Vessel
Certainly the 420 Outrage has many features that will appeal to the family, even if fishing is not part of the day’s itinerary. Whether entertaining a large group, heading off on a dive trip, or just spending the weekend at a distant marina, there’s an attractive set of features in each section of the boat.
Ahead of the console there’s the chaise-type lounger that is popular on the other models of the Outrage lineup, but here it’s the widest at three-across. Flip down armrests add to the comfort level and certainly these will be among the most popular seats while cruising underway.
However, these are not the only forward-facing seats that the bow has to offer. The wraparound bow seating has aft seat cushions that raise up to create two more chaise lounges, one to each side making a total of five forward-facing seats occupying the bow.
A Clever Convertible Seat. Now for more intimate gatherings at the bow, the three-across lounge seating is a bit too far away from the forward seats to qualify this area as “conversational”. But, the center cushion flips up to form a seatback that is much closer to the bow seating, and now the area becomes much more intimate with the teak table remaining for keeping the dining/cocktail aspect of the area. This arrangement adds to the boats utility by serving double duty.
The cockpit has 55 sq. ft. (5.1 sq. m). It easily converts to a seating area for cocktail parties or just hanging out with the standard flip-out bench seat across the transom and an optional fold-out bench seat for two in the starboard side. Ladies will like these seats which can hold five people. Men won't mind seating on the gunwales to port which means as many as eight adults can be entertained in the cockpit.
A “summer kitchen”, as Boston Whaler calls it, allows for grilling the steaks and burgers while never having to leave the party. A grill to the starboard side is standard equipment and the lid is on a micro-switch that shuts off the electricity to the grill when closed. Just below is a cockpit refrigerator, again eliminating the need to leave the party to get guests their chilled drinks.
While cruising, there are plenty of places to sit, as we’ve seen in the bow section. Of course, sometimes there’s the pleasure of staying under the protection of the hardtop. For those times when there are more than three people along for the ride, we’ll need something other than the seats at the helm. Boston Whaler delivers with a flip-out seat on top of the forward section of the leaning post. This adds another three seats, just behind the seats at the helm, and these also enjoy the benefits of the standard cockpit air conditioning. This is yet another example of the clever use of space that we see all over the 420 Outrage.
Another area to relax is rather unique for any sort of boat that accommodates a tower. This one is actually in the tower itself, just ahead of the helm station. Sitting in this lounge not only provides an amazing view but the safety of wrap around rails as well. While it takes a little effort to make the climb up to this station, the effort is well worth it.
The cabin of the 420 Outrage reflects a level of luxury that we just didn’t expect to find in this type of boat. There are wide curved stairs with blue courtesy lights under the treads. V-seating wraps around a hi-low table. Headroom goes from 6’10” (2.1 m) at the entrance to 6’3” (1.9 m) as we moved forward. A large skylight floods the cabin in natural light. A galley is to starboard and the head even includes a rain-shower spigot.
Now let’s move on to the operational aspects of the 420 Outrage. The helm features three across seating with room for three screens that can be filled with packages up to, and including, a trio of 15” (38 cm) screens with GPS, fishfinder, forward looking infra red displays, engine monitors and satellite weather. Other options for the panel include AIS, Mercury theft deterrent system and a premium audio system.
A feature that we’ve come to appreciate with the Outrage series is the addition of a “pump room” that gives access to all the mechanical components in one location under the cockpit deck. In this case, all batteries, bilge pumps, filters, the generator, and holding tanks are all easily accessible and serviceable.
With bowriders adding cabins and center consoles getting larger, it’s interesting to see where this trend is leading. With Boston Whaler, we think the 420 Outrage conveys a whole new category of “Open Yacht” that we think will come to serve as an important benchmark. She certainly brings a lot to the table and makes the case that an open boat can be so much more than just a center console on steroids.