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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 bow seating area rivals the bowrider’s. Filler cushions help create a full sun pad forward. But the dual console has a more rounded bow with a flat nonslip platform for boarding. The optional beach boarding ladder ($537) that mounts in the anchor locker adds to its versatility. Both boats have options to add a water-sports arch — the 230 Vantage’s comes with four rod holders.
Note the different decks: While both have full fiberglass liners, the Sea Ray has the option for snap-in carpet. The Whaler, however, has a fast draining, self-bailing cockpit ready for duty outside the inlet.
Performance? The 230 Vantage is a 50 mph boat when powered with a 300 hp Verado; the Sea Ray 230 SLX nearly matches it with a 260 hp MerCruiser. The bigger fuel tank gives the Vantage better total range, but the SLX offers 30 percent better fuel economy: At 27.5 mph, the Vantage burned 2.7 mpg, while the SLX hit 26.5 mph while consuming 3.7 mpg.
Overall, the 230 Vantage has a ton going for it in terms of amenities, but it still can’t outclass the 230 SLX in overall sportiness.
Price: $99,872 (base boat with test power)