Coincidence or not, the timing could not have been better when Boston Whaler's engineers decided to "cool-ify" their brand with two all-new models known as the 130 Super Sport and 150 Super Sport. As we see it, these boats fall right in step with the sudden penny pincher known as the American consumer.
This is why we fawned over what was the smallest boat at our test roundup of 2009 models. It was different. It was well built. It was … a Boston Whaler?
Whaler called on a fresh mind in 24-year-old Charlie Foss, an associate designer who went to the drawing board to develop something his friends would want to own — and could afford. The solid-color hull wrap grabbed our attention as non-Whaler-esque (normally white on white), as did the full range of a la cart accessorizing — buy only what you want. This immediately proves that Whaler is not too tied to its past accomplishments to reach out to young would-be boaters.
Solidifying this as one of the year's best is that Whaler made the boat affordable without trimming back on quality. The handrails and hardware on the boat we tested were solid, as was the ride on mostly calm water. This is not the case on some price-point boats we drive. But in attracting budget-minded boaters, Whaler refused to roll the dice on quality. Good for them.
MSRP $13,995 (w/ 60 hp Mercury)