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Bowrider vs Dual Console
In this comparison, the classic family boat goes head-to-head with the upstart crossover. Find out which one is right for you.
The Dual Console: Boston Whaler 230 Vantage
Let’s make one thing clear: Whaler’s heritage is in fishing boats. The 230 Vantage stays true to that mission, with more family-friendly features. The boater who has no interest in fishing, or who sticks to freshwater areas, may gravitate to the runabout.
For coastal areas, the 230 Vantage suddenly becomes eminently viable. For one, it’s an outboard-powered boat, meaning its lower unit can be tilted completely out of the water, giving it a corrosion-fighting edge if you keep a boat in a slip. Also, it has a 111-gallon fuel tank, more than double that of the 230 SLX.
The 230 Vantage comes standard with some — but not all — of the fishy features that anglers crave: four rod holders installed into the wide gunwales, coaming bolsters, and a utility center — featuring a sink, cooler and cutting board — behind the helm. The livewell and raw-water washdown are options.
The dual-console sports a fully lined head with a pump-out port-a-potty, an amenity not available on the Sea Ray 230 SLX. (A head compartment is available on the 250 SLX.)
While the dual console lacks wraparound seating found in the bowrider’s cockpit, it does have a fold-down transom bench. It’s not as plush as the bowrider’s, but it creates a cockpit conversation pit. The port console seating is a double-wide bench with a backrest that can be adjusted to five positions.