Made the List Because: The best technology comes from identifying advantages in new components — say the Verado outboard — and using those advantages to improve other components. Whaler did so with its 320 Outrage. Most outboards tilt forward toward the transom, gobbling interior space at best or damaging the engine cowl when engine meets transom at worst. Avoiding that situation takes up space unless it’s a Verado, which tilts from the back instead of pivoting forward like most engines. The advantage saved several inches, which Whaler used to move the transom back four inches. Then, with proprietary construction techniques and materials, it shaved another four inches from the transom and looked for ways to use the space to make the boat more fun and fishable. It expanded the cockpit for better angling space and added comfort to the helm station, including a better tackle center and more comfortable seating. Add all that to Whaler’s stellar unsinkable and durable construction, and what to some looks like minor tweaks makes all the world of difference to boaters who love to fish.
Lasting Test Impression: We were confined by circumstances to a narrow waterway for our test, so when we hit top speed, we were milliseconds away from a 180-degree turn. The 320’s maneuverability made the test memorable fun.