Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

The 270 Vantage is the perfect boat for the fisherman who likes to do more than just fish.

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

LOA: 26'10"
Beam: 9'0"
Draft (max): 1'8"
Displacement (approx.): 5,200 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 20 degrees
Bridge Clearance (with hardtop): 9'1"
Fuel Capacity: 175 gal.
Max Horsepower: 450
Available Power: Twin Mercury Verado outboards to 450 hp total

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

Boston Whaler’s 270 Vantage rides the wave of boaters buying top-shelf fishing platforms with more on their mind than hooking up. To be sure, fishing is still the main motivator for buying these luxury day boats, but today, the full spectrum of play includes cruising, beachcombing, diving, snorkeling and even water sports like tubing and casual wakeboarding. To accommodate these activities, Whaler softened the hard edges of its core fishing platform and gave a nod to luxury and comfort, while maintaining its fishable DNA.

A dual-console design is the perfect platform for this blending of fish and play because it affords a more protected cockpit that accommodates more seating options with less exposure to the elements. The wraparound windshield protects from spray and so nicely matches its sleek lines that you hardly notice it until it stops wind-driven bow spray on a chilly spring day. The optional hardtop ($14,173) protects from the sun, and instead of the skimpy width found on some center-consoles, this hardtop is nearly as broad as the Vantage’s beam. Laddered aft supports may just be a style point, but hints at the possibility of a small cobia tower but Boston Whaler dismisses that possibility, believing other models are more apt to sport such options.

The 270 Vantage handles the crew with plenty of stability and some enjoyable performance characteristics as well. All boats offer a “dry ride” when properly handled, and on snotty days, there is little one can do to pilot through beam seas and winds without taking some spray. But Boston Whaler’s DNA includes proud chines that deflect spray downward in all but the windiest conditions. The gull-wing-shaped bottom of early model Whalers gave a rougher ride. Today’s refinements retain the stability and give a crisp ride that eliminates pounding. It’s a sharp stem and keel that offer the soft re-entry. Compressed structural foam, for which Boston Whaler has become famous, also unites hull and deck in a single structure that can slam into rogue waves without buckling, creaking, cracking or complaining in any other way. And yes, like all Whalers, this model is unsinkable.

EdgeWater has also entered the world of fun-over-fishing with its 280 Crossover. This dual console with hardtop option is equipped with twin Yamaha outboards and Command Link digital instrumentation, throttle and shifting. It also boasts structural foam-filled construction techniques that make it sturdy… and unsinkable. Its 28-gallon baitwell is a standard feature. It retails for $209,624, but its base power is a pair of Yamaha F250s.

The 270 Vantage’s stellar performance gives credit also to the highly refined Mercury Verado DTS outboards. I clocked more than 52 mph for top speed and cruised smoothly, burning only 13 gallons per hour at 3,500 rpm and 25.1 miles per hour. The boat cornered easily without chine tripping, slipping or blowing out.

The helm station was equipped with a factory-installed GPS and a VHF. Boston Whaler offers Fusion stereos with its patented iPod dock. My test boat included an amplifier and subwoofer to boost the music quality. Hydraulic steering is standard, as it should be with high-horsepower offerings. The helm seat is comfortable, adjustable and rugged looking. Armrests swing away to ease entry or exit, and a bolster flips up offering a leaning post or elevated seating.

Whaler’s unsinkable quality is its heritage, and complementing that is its constant R&D on hardware that is both functional and ornamental. An example is the optional polished stainless-steel through-stem windlass and anchor system; you’ll have to forgo the popular bow boarding ladder to accommodate it.

Hardware inside the cockpit adds beauty and functionality. The portside lounge is multifunctional, and unlike most similar seating arrangements, this lounge can be worked smoothly by any clumsy kid, leaning it forward for an aft-facing lounge, midway for a passenger leaning post or fully aft for a forward-facing seat. Lay it down and it creates an oversize sun lounge. Lift up the back cushion and now the sun lounge faces forward.

The latch and hinge system is “overbuilt” polished stainless that gleams and resists rust. The Vantage’s relentless parade of multifunction luxury also includes an aft couch that pops out of the transom. The common thread in these systems, besides comfort and versatility, is the highly polished stainless-steel hardware that Boston Whaler’s engineers construct to work well and last for the life of the boat. Take away the glistening polish and these hinges and latches would be right at home on an armored Humvee.

The Boston Whaler 270 Vantage makes you feel as confident at the helm as you might in an armored vehicle, but the breeze blowing through, the seas rushing by, and responsive acceleration and handling remind you that Whalers are built for fun over everything.

Comparable model: EdgeWater 280CX