Boston Whaler 32: Ever So Clever

Your arsenal is at hand.

Much as we love to hate jellyfish, you have to admit they're incredibly interesting. They start off as polyps, little blobs of jelly, about as simple a creature as nature ever produced. But by the time they reach maturity, jellyfish have developed a complex web of tentacles and nematocysts that are tremendously effective at killing fish. Some, like the Portuguese man-of-war, have the potency to stop a 20-pound dorado in its tracks. Think of Boston Whaler's new 32 Outrage as the man-of-war of the boating world. Whalers started out as simple little 16' skiffs that were as basic as possible: a hull with a console and an outboard bolted on. Today, the idea behind that little 16-footer-lay up a hull and deck, bond them together while still wet in the mold, and sandwich foam in between to make an unsinkable boat-has evolved into a fish-killing machine with an arsenal of tools as advanced as any sportfisherman on the ocean.

DYNAMIC ATTACK. A jellyfish kills fish with its nematocysts, stinging cells that consist of a hair-trigger, coiled tubing, a harpoon, and a hypodermic-like needle that injects venom. These weapons are stowed in a small capsule with a lid. Your weapons are fishing rods, and the more stowage you have, the more fish-killing capability you have. Boston Whaler knows this, and it has tried to give anglers as much ammo as possible to fill the total 273 gallons of insulated fishbox in this boat. There are five rocket launchers on the hardtop, four gunwale-mounted holders, three along the transom, two in the leaning post, and four more uprights in the bow, so you have a safe place to quickly drop your rods when you need to clear the cockpit. Place your reinforcements in the two locking rodboxes under the foredeck, which has racks for three rods in each side. Inside the console is a foldaway rack that holds three more rods in an upright position.

The livewell in the leaning post holds 45 gallons, is lighted, and is rigged with a dedicated 1,000-gph pump. It could be kicked up a notch by adding insulation and swapping the white night-light for a red one. The leaning post also houses a rigging station with a sink, rig/knife/pliers holders, three tackleboxes, and a tackle drawer. It's ringed by a grabrail, so a good handhold is always available.

Pursuit's 3070 Offshore and Regulator's 32SF (each about $130,000 with twin 250-hp Yamaha EFI outboards) each have a livewell in the transom. Although this arrangement is convenient, it also necessitates a wider transom, eating into cockpit space and driving the angler farther from the outboards. All three boats post similar top ends, hovering right around 50 mph.

Despite all the wonderful fishing gear, my favorite touch at the 32 Outrage's leaning post was the seating. Boston Whaler went the extra mile here, with helm and passenger bolsters that flip up so you can comfortably sit or lean, tucked in by twin padded armrests. The view of the dash from this spot is great: A large electronics flat houses twin 10" displays, and there's room for a VHF radio and a dedicated temp gauge. The slick-looking lighted rocker switches on the dash are curved in toward the centerline. Key switches aren't present here but are instead housed inside the walk-in console (yup, there's a head down there), where they're protected from the weather.

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. I've been impressed by the seakeeping attributes of the last several Boston Whalers I've tested, and the 32 Outrage runs true to form. The entry is extremely sharp, a slightly reversed hard chine runs the length of the hull, and there are two sharp strakes. Transom deadrise is also aggressive at 23 degrees. But then Whaler modified this hull for better performance. A keelpad runs aft, all the way to the transom, about 10" across at its widest point. This provides a hefty planing surface that gets the stern up as the boat climbs onto plane, and reduces drag once the boat is fully on plane.

Get a peek at the 32 Outrage out of the water, and check out the step two feet forward of the transom. It also reduces drag and allows the outboards to be mounted higher. But most important, it helps the boat chop through waves easier. Huh? How does a step at the stern affect the way the bow meets waves? Remember that entry-the sharper it is, the better it slices waves and the less deceleration you face when hitting a wall of water. But sharp-V-hulls also make for less buoyancy forward. You can only make the entry so sharp before the boat starts to sit bow down because the boat's center of buoyancy-the geometric center of the hull's area below the waterline-is no longer amidships. By placing a large step aft, Boston Whaler shifted buoyancy away from the stern and increased the forward V accordingly without throwing off the center of buoyancy.

UPWARD MOBILITY. The cool design and awesome angling tools are worthy of your love, but the most remarkable thing you'll see on the 32 Outrage is the standard hardtop. The pipe work supporting it has a built-in ladder on the starboard side. Take a few steps up, undo the latch, and a hinged hatch swings back so you can perch on the top and search for fish. Always dreamed of a boat with a crow's-nest? The pipe work is designed to secure one. I stomped around on the top and found the balsa-cored, Whaleboard-backed unit stable and solid. Note that this arrangement, which would cost you at least $20,000 on the open market, is standard on the 32 Outrage. And there's more: It has built-in red and white helm lights for day or night illumination, forward and aft spreader lights, life jacket stowage underneath, and a lip molded onto the rear to divert running water to the sides, so your passengers don't get soaked every time you come onto plane before the dew's burned off.

One other thing your passengers will love: No more messing with the anchor. The 32 Outrage has its own anchoring system that includes a standard windlass. Instead of using a pulpit, the anchor rode and the plow anchor's shank run in through a large stainless-steel strike plate and hawsepipe. It's clean and hassle free, although it prevents you from using a pivoting fluke anchor such as a Danforth.

You may never throw a harpoon from the new 32 Outrage. And you won't sting your fish with a hypodermic needle. But with all this boat has to offer, there's no doubt that you'll fill the fishboxes more efficiently than you did before. In fact, you might get better at taking fish than a man-of-war.

The Highs: The coolest standard hardtop on the ocean. Awesome hassle-free anchoring system. Custom helm bolsters boost comfort levels. Advancements in hull design make for peak performance.

The Lows: Anchoring system can't accept a Danforth-style anchor. Some fishbox hatches slam too loud. Anchor locker strut should be bigger. Insulate the livewell.

EXTRA POINT: Originally, Boston Whaler designed the 32 Outrage with a transom-mounted livewell. Its relocation under the leaning post compressed the transom significantly and gained 8" of cockpit length. Factor in beam, and that nets 5.25 square feet added to the cockpit.

LOA................32'2" ** **

Beam..............10'2" ** **

Draft (max.)......2'8" ** **

Displacement (lbs., approx., w/o power)......4,300 ** **

Transom deadrise..23° ** **

Bridge clearance...9'6" ** **

Minimum cockpit depth........2'4"

Max. headroom......5'11" ** **

Fuel capacity (gal.).....300 ****

Water capacity (gal.)......40 ****

Price(w/standard power).......$139,450 ****

Price (w/test power).......$138,578

Standard power Twin 225-hp Mercury Optimax V-6 outboards.

Optional power Twin outboards to 500 hp total.

Test boat power Twin 250-hp Mercury EFI V-6 outboards with 185 cid, 3.63" bore x 3.00" stroke, swinging 15 ½" x 18" three-bladed ss props through 1.75:1 reductions.

Standard equipment (major items) Console foldaway rodrack; 4 gunwale-mounted rodholders; 3 transom-mounted rodholders; 4 vertical bow rodholders; 2 locking rodboxes; hardtop w/5 rocket launchers, fore and aft spreader lights, console lighting, hatch, electronics box, life jacket stowage; cockpit toerails w/downrigger ball holders; Lofrans windlass w/anchor and rode; anchor washdown; cockpit coaming bolsters; electric trim tabs; battery charger; hydraulic steering; transom shower; 45-gal. livewell; bait prep station w/cutting board, tackle boxes, sink, washdown; console sink w/pullout shower; vacuum-flush commode; AM/FM/CD stereo w/remote control; 3 fishboxes w/pump-outs.