Attention coastal inshore anglers with kids who like watersports: Boston Whaler has built your boat. From wakeboarding to casting for redfish to charging through a nasty chop, the new 200 Dauntless is ideal for your active lifestyle.
Whaler’s just-introduced All-Activity Tower ($1,340) helps make this boat so vivacious. It’s a poling platform/tow tower with rocket launchers and waterski/wake-board stowage racks on the sides. The tow pylon is aft of the engine to prevent interference with the tow line, and its elevation will make big air under your board. The pipework is curvaceous, too.
You need a head onboard? No prob – this is one of the smallest boats to offer an enclosed head, and Whaler pulls it off without making the area too cramped. The company has also managed a nifty solution to the common lack of fish stowage in a boat with no deckboxes: Reach under the flip-back leaning post and grab the 78-quart Igloo cooler. Pull two pins, and it slides out on a tray. That means no more dragging coolers across the deck or trying to secure them under a leaning post without ruining the easy access. Now check out the bolts securing the leaning post to the deck. The beefy hardware is secured with phenolic backing plates, which will never rot, rust, or deteriorate. Another killer feature is the aft bench seat. Sure, you’ve seen foldaway transom benches before. But this one is special. When closed, the back of the seat functions perfectly as an aft casting platform. When open, it makes a triple-wide seat with stowage beneath. And because it raises on gas-assist struts, making the change is hassle-free. The seatback, like all the hatches on the 200 Dauntless, is finished on both sides thanks to two-piece molding.
Ready to hunt down some stripers or specs? Between that folded aft bench and the foredeck you’ll find plenty of casting space. Plus, the 1′ hull draft and the All-Activity Tower mean you can pole into backwater coves and creeks. Six vertical rodholders provide plenty of rod stowage, and there’s a standard livewell under the forward console seat. You prefer electric trolling motors? The 200 Dauntless is prewired for one. In fact, you could also say this boat is hard-wired – for fun.
High Points: Magnetic catch on console door secures it open, eliminating the swinging door syndrome. All-Activity Tower is one of a kind. 75-gallon fuel capacity blows away the competition.
Low Points: Small split dash flats mean tiny electronics screens if you flush-mount. Little room to binnacle-mount electronics on top of the dash. No standard raw-water washdown.
Toughest Competitor: Everglade’s 211 CC is 1″ longer but 4″ narrower and carries 66 gallons of fuel. Like the Whaler, it has excellent fit and finish, unsinkable construction, and a solid list of standard features, though it includes a raw-water washdown. It goes for a hair under $50,000 with 200 horses on the transom.
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Draft (max.): 1’9″
Displacement (lbs., approx., w/o power): 2,400
Bridge clearance: 6’1″
Transom deadrise: 19
Max. headroom: 4’6″
Fuel capacity (gal.): 75
Water capacity (gal.): 12
Price (w/standard power): $44,488
Price (w/test power): $46,700
STANDARD POWER Single 150-hp Mercury OptiMax outboard. ** **
OPTIONAL POWER Single outboard to 175 hp. ** **
TEST BOAT POWER Single 175-hp Mercury Verado four-stroke supercharged in-line-4 outboard with 105.7 cid, swinging a 17″ x 19″ three-bladed ss prop through a 2.08:1 reduction. ** **
STANDARD EQUIPMENT (major items) Integrated swim platform w/ladder; bow trolling motor flat and wiring; 2 stern-mount rodholders; portable MSD; compass; hydraulic steering w/ss tilt wheel; insulated livewell; stern seat w/folding backrest; SmartCraft gauge package; battery switch and wiring.** **
Boston Whaler – Edgewater, Florida; 877-294-5645; bostonwhaler.com