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Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport (2019-)

1 x 90-hp Mercury 4-stroke



Brief Summary

Boston Whaler is reintroducing the 160 Super Sport with a new hull design, more comfortable seating, and a host of other options. Still unsinkable, simple, and safe enough to let the kids take her out alone near shore, the boat is rated for six passengers.

Key Features

  • Single Mercury 4-stroke outboard
  • Side console helm
  • European certification C
  • Foam-filled – unsinkable
  • Twin swim platforms
  • Four seating configurations to choose from

Test Results

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM dBa
700 2.6 2.2 0.4 6.4 5.5 75 64.9 N/A
1000 3.5 3 0.6 5.8 5.1 68 59.3 N/A
1500 6 5.2 1.3 4.8 4.2 56 48.8 N/A
2000 7.3 6.3 1.6 4.5 3.9 53 46.1 N/A
2500 8.5 7.4 2.1 4.1 3.6 49 42.2 N/A
3000 13.3 11.5 2.7 4.9 4.3 57 49.9 N/A
3500 22.3 19.3 3.3 6.7 5.9 79 68.6 N/A
4000 26 22.6 4.1 6.3 5.5 74 64.5 N/A
4500 30 26.1 5.8 5.2 4.5 61 52.6 N/A
5000 32.5 28.3 7.3 4.5 3.9 52 45.3 N/A
5500 37.3 32.4 8.7 4.3 3.7 50 43.8 N/A
bostonwhaler_160supersport_chart_19.jpg

Specifications

Length Overall 17' 5'' / 5.31 m
Beam 6' 10''
2.08 m
Dry Weight 1,060 lbs.
481 kg
Tested Weight 1,917 lbs.
870 kg
Draft 10''
0.25 m
Deadrise/Transom 15-deg.
Max Headroom open
Bridge Clearance 6' 3''
1.91 m (max)
Weight Capacity 1,529 lbs.
694 kg
Person Capacity 6
Fuel Capacity 13 gal.
49 L
Water Capacity N/A
Total Weight 1,917 lbs.
870 kg

Price

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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 3.4 sec.
0 to 30 5.3 sec. (0to20)
Ratio N/A
Props 13.5 x 15 Spitfire
Load 2 persons, full fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 65 deg., 45 humid; 15-20 mph; seas: 1' chop

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 90-hp Mercury 4-stroke
Std. Power 1 x 75-hp Mercury ELPT EFI 4-stroke Black engine
Opt. Power 1 x 90-hp Mercury ELPT EFI 4-stroke Black engine

Captain's Report

Contents of Report

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

The redesigned hull of the Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport with the V-hull replacing the cathedral hulls of yesteryear, rides better.

Mission

The Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport is a simple and safe, low-maintenance day boat for watersports, fishing, and exploring.

Distinguishing Features

  • Rectangular topsides
  • Foam-filled

Design

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

The family-friendly skiff retains some of her most notable design attributes. The topsides are still rectangular providing more room, and the side helm console and bench seat are etched into many adults’ memories from childhood. The foam-filled hull is still unsinkable. Gone is the cathedral hull design made famous by Ray Hunt, replaced by a better invention of Hunt’s, the V-hull form. With a 15-degree deadrise at the stern, the boat retains much of its former stability, but now handles better.

Construction

Boston Whaler’s patented Unibond construction technique involves injecting closed-cell liquid foam between the hull and liner where it expands to fill all of the voids, giving the boat her unsinkable attribute. This method also adds some sound insulation properties, and increases strength and impact resistance. The fit-and-finish is excellent.

Comparison

The 160 Super Sport is more expensive than similarly sized boats, but her simple and safe pedigree and solid construction help justify the cost.

Boat Inspection

We had two 160 Super Sports to test, each with different options and engines (90-HP vs 75-hp Mercury 4-stroke outboards) for us to contrast.

Performance

90-HP Performance Numbers:

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

This 160 Super Sport had colored sides, a Bimini, a split bowrail, ski arch, and a 90-hp Mercury outboard.

The Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport has a LOA of 17’5” (5.31 m), a beam of 6’10” (2.08 m), and a draft of 10” (0.25 m) with the engine up. With an empty weight of 1,060 lbs. (481 kg), 13 gallons (49 L) of fuel onboard, plus two people with test gear, we had an estimated test weight of 1,917 lbs. (870 kg).

With a single Mercury 90-hp gas outboard turning a 13.5” x 15” Spitfire aluminum prop, the Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport reached a top speed of 37.3 mph at 5500 rpm. The wind was blowing 15 to 20 knots, and seas were less than 1’ (0.30 m).

When backing off to 3500 rpm and 22.3 mph, the best fuel economy with a burn rate of 3.3 gph and a range of 79 statute miles was found, all while still holding back a 10-percent reserve of the boat’s 13-gallon (49 L) total fuel capacity.

Acceleration

Time to plane was 3.4 seconds.

Zero to 20 mph in 5.3 seconds.

75-HP Performance Numbers:

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

Our 75-hp test boat had performance numbers nearly equal to the 90-hp option.

The Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport has a LOA of 17’5” (5.31 m), a beam of 6’10” (2.08 m), and a draft of 10” (0.25 m) with the engine up. With an empty weight of 1,060 lbs. (481 kg), 13 gallons (49 L) of fuel onboard, plus two people with test gear, we had an estimated test weight of 1,918 lbs. (869.53 kg).

With a single Mercury 75-hp gas outboard turning a 13.5” x 15” Spitfire aluminum prop, the Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport reached a top speed of 37.5 mph at 5500 rpm. The wind was blowing 15 to 20 knots, and seas were less than 1’ (0.30 m).

When backing off to 3000 rpm and 16.5 mph, the best fuel economy with a burn rate of 2.5 gph and a range of 77 statute miles was found, all while still holding back a 10-percent reserve of the boat’s 13 gallon (49 L) total fuel capacity.

Acceleration

Time to plane was 3.2 seconds.

Zero to 20 mph in 5.8 seconds

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

Engine Performance Comparison: We expected the bigger engine to have a bit more torque and get up on plane quicker as well as to show a slightly better WOT performance. However, what we did see were nearly identical numbers. The 75-hp engine took slightly longer to get up to speed and had slightly better fuel efficiency in the midrange, but the bigger engine looked to have a tiny fuel efficiency advantage at WOT, but in both cases not enough to quibble about. If the plan is to ski or tow a tube, we’d opt for the bigger engine, otherwise save the money, or put it toward some other option.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

Boston Whaler’s own engine comparison mirrored BoatTEST’s data – not much difference. Unfortunately, we were not able to measure torque numbers.

Engine(s)

Our test boats’ only instrumentation was a tachometer. So how did we get performance data? Fortunately, the 4-stroke Mercury engines we tested both had VesselView Mobile. This feature allows a smartphone to connect to the engines data via Bluetooth. With the module installed on the engines, we simply downloaded the free app and configured the screen to show the numbers we were looking for. The phone’s GPS capability gave us our speeds.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

VesselView Mobile is compatible with all SmartCraft-compatible Mercury outboards (2004 and newer, 40-hp and up).

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

Mercury’s 4-stroke 75-hp and 90-hp outboards both have three-star CARB ratings.

Handling

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

The 160 Super Sport exhibited very little cavitation during full speed cornering.

The Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport was fun to drive. She was responsive and had just the right cornering bite with a small amount of sliding through the corners.

Helm

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

The helm console is offset to the right side of the 160 Super Sport within easy reach of the throttle/shifter. The bucket seat option, shown here, have fixed backs, but are reversible.

The helm console is positioned on the right side of the boat. It is simple, including a five-spoke stainless steel wheel on a fixed base with a Boston Whaler logo on the hub, a tachometer, engine kill switch, a charging port, and a cup holder on the right side. In front of the cup holder is a stainless cover for the all-around navigation light. The light is stowed on the bulwark below the shifter. We’d like to see a footrest under the console.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

The side-mounted throttle/shifter has the ignition key on the back, safety lanyard on the side, and engine trim on the handle. The silver bar on the deck below the throttle is the all-around running light in its stowed position.

The console has storage on top in front of the wheel. Pull up on the lift-and-lock latch and the cover hinges forward on a single heavy-duty stainless steel hinge. The cover is gasketed and the compartment has a drain. The storage cover is lockable.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

The helm storage compartment is big enough for a large handbag.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

A smoke gray Lexan windshield is available to fit over the helm’s storage cover.

There are four seating options available. One of our test boats had two 19” (48.26 cm) wide bucket seats 17” (43.18 cm) high off the deck. Between the seats are a couple of drink holders.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

Either of the bucket seats can be turned around for watching a skier or trolling over the stern.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

This test boat shows a bench seat with fixed backs. Both the fixed-back and bucket seats have molded storage behind the seatbacks. A plain bench with cushions or seats with hinged backrests is the other two seating options.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

Next to the helm console is space for a cooler with an available cushion. This makes a good observer’s seat for watching the action behind the boat.

The space for the removable cooler is 34” (86.36 cm) wide, so there is space next to the helm console to move forward if the cooler is not in place, or to simply step over the 17” (43.18 cm) high cooler/seat.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

Inner handrails are standard equipment on the Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport. The optional bow rail comes in either full or split rail format.

A handrail, inside the boat’s port side, goes from the stern to the bow.

Bow

An optional bow rail on top of the 4” (10.16 cm) wide caprail wraps the bow from the console forward. The bow rail is 7” (17.7 cm) high above the caprail amidships, rising to 10” (25.4 cm) high on the bow. It makes an effective safety rail since it measures 29” (73.66 cm) high above the deck.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

This test boat has the optional split bow rail.

The base boat comes standard without either bow rail option but does include the inner rails.

A 33” (83.82 cm) long grabrail on the inside of the boat’s starboard side extends forward of the console for anyone sitting on the bow cushion. The deck in front of the cooler and helm console is 28” L x 5’ W (71 cm by 152 cm). The cockpit depth forward is 20” H (51 cm). The slight elevation on the forward corners of the deck has a diamond non-skid pattern just like the rest of the sole. A raised padded bow seat measures 34” L x 58” W (86.35 cm x 147 cm).

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

With the bow cushion removed, there is enough space for a casting deck when fishing over the bow. Of course, the non-skid continues here.

A self-draining anchor locker is below. The anchor locker cover hinges to the side and is gelcoat-finished on the underside. It also has a rubber post to prevent damage from dropping the cover.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

Multipurpose hardware like the bow light with grooved base acts as a fairlead or chafe-guard, while the eye in the locker could be used to secure the anchor rode or serve as a lifting eye.

The bow has a cleat centered in front of the cushion, in line with the anchor locker.

Aft

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

The aft deck between the transom and helm seats measures 5’5” W x 4’5” L (1.65 m x 1.35 m), enough room to stow skis or inflated towing tubes.

A shelf with fiddle on the starboard side measures 40” (102 cm) long.

Cockpit depth aft is 18” (46 cm). There are 8” (20 cm) cleats on the caprail on both sides in the stern. Two 6-1/2 (25 L) gallon external fuel tanks are secured below the bench seat.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

A larger 19 gallon (72 L) fuel tank, shown here, is an option that was supplied on one of our test boats. A 12v battery in a battery box with proper tie down straps is under the helm chair.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

Swim platforms with an optional faux teak pad are on each quarter. The port side has a telescoping four-step reboarding ladder to meet ABYC standards. For this setup, we’d like to see another grab handle on top of the swim platform.

This boat has lifting eyes on the transom and just like on the bow eye, Boston Whaler figured out how to make the inside of the hardware functional by providing cleats in the engine well.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

One of our test boats did not have the faux teak on the swim platforms, just basic diamond pattern non-skid, but it did have an optional powder-coated ski tow frame.

The ski tow frame is placed so it could be used as a grab handle when reboarding from the swim ladder. One note about the ski tow - it is only compatible with the 90-hp engine option.

Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport

The single axle trailer does not require trailer brakes for a boat of this size.

Price

The base price is $23,831, including the trailer ($912 value) and 75-hp engine.

Optional Equipment

Seating

  • Bench cushion ($255)
  • Bench with fixed back ($978)
  • Bucket seats ($802 ea)
  • Hinged backrest ($230 ea)
  • Cooler cushion ($155)
  • Bow cushion ($440)
  • Engine upgrade to 90-hp ($622)
  • Colored gelcoat hull (several options to choose from)

Graphics

  • Bimini ($1,410)
  • Fuel tank (19 gal.) ($481)
  • Bow ($833)
  • Split ($897)
  • Bow tie ($417)
  • Stainless rub rail ($737)
  • Windshield ($279)
  • VesselView (Eng. module) ($395)
  • Rod holders with rail mounts ($107 pr)
  • Helm applique ($205)
  • Padded wheel ($193)
  • Faux teak pads ($513)

Observations

We’re not bemoaning the loss of varnished wood that was so distinctive on the consoles and bench seats of the early Super Sports. Today, we welcome the hose-and-go approach that focuses boating on fun – not maintenance.

We would definitely opt for the fixed back seats available over the unpadded bench seat.

We had a hard time prying the wheel out of Captain Steve’s hands as he clearly enjoyed whipping around, reliving childhood memories, and testing these boats—as we are sure any family will enjoy making their own memories.


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