With the 285 Conquest, Boston Whaler hit the multimission nail on the head. This boat works as well for day cruising and weekending as it does for serious blue-water fishing. Its accommodations include V- and midcabin berths with a comfortable helm deck and a spacious cockpit. The hull tames gnarly head seas, and boasts wide chines that provide great stability and knock down spray. This hull, coupled with a 214-gallon fuel tank located amidships, a triple bank of Group 31 batteries and twin 250 hp Mercury Verado outboards, rises onto plane evenly, providing clear sight lines and a wide range of efficient speeds to use for different sea conditions.
Finer points I admire include the way the V-berth’s filler section rises on a pneumatic strut, creating a dining table. Better yet, the tabletop folds up, allowing crew to slide in without banging their knees. An enclosed head with 5 feet 8 inches of headroom is to starboard. Opposite is a galley with refrigerator, microwave, sink and Corian countertop.
On the helm deck, an adjustable captain’s chair with armrests and flip-up bolster earn big points, as does the ergonomic dash with plenty of space for electronics. I gave extra credit for service access to the back of the helm. Aft of the helm chair, a bait prep station with sink and storage or an optional refrigerator ($1,316) stands at the ready. Opposite the helm, the adaptable companion seating serves as either an aft-facing lounge or a pair of seats with a foldout table. This seat system can also provide a shortened lounge with a seat facing the cockpit for watching the trolling spread. Beneath that seat are three tackle drawers.