Old-school anglers might bemoan the addition of creature comforts in today’s center console fishing machines, but we welcome the trend. A boat with features such as comfortable seating — and plenty of it — keeps the crew rested so they’re ready and able when it comes time to fish.
That’s part of the idea behind Boston Whaler’s new 330 Outrage, the successor to the popular 320 Outrage. Boston Whaler has redesigned the interior with features that render this one of the most advanced models in its category.
Compared to its predecessor, the 330 Outrage also features a foot more length overall, a 16.6-percent increase in maximum horsepower rating, and what we consider a more aesthetically pleasing sheer line. Like other Boston Whalers, the 330’s foam-filled Unibond construction renders the boat unsinkable.
The most innovative new element resides abaft the helm seats. At a glance, you’ll see a 4-foot-wide, aft-facing bench, though you’ll find built-in stowage below the seat. But the best part is that the backrest lifts and pivots to become a waist-high table with room to rig lines or set out appetizers.
We like everything here except the rod holders that hang low over the table from the aft edge of the hardtop. We banged our heads on these, but raising them would be an easy fix.
If you’re serious about bait capacity, you’ll love the standard, covered 50-gallon transom livewell. Once you do catch a fish, ice it in one of the two 57-gallon insulated fish lockers that flank the aft deck.
Seating includes a new two-person, 60-inch-long lounge forward of the console. It’s a hike to get up, but once you’re there, an angled backrest and fold-down armrests make it super-posh. It also affords beaucoup stowage underneath and a dedicated space for a pair of 5-gallon buckets.
Wraparound seating in the bow begs for the optional teak table ($2,276). You can also lower the table and add the optional filler cushions ($1,284) to bridge the bow seating with the console lounge. Families will adore the versatility.
Speaking of versatility, we love the optional seats ($2,052) — Whaler calls them “trolling seats” — that fold out from the gunwales on either side. Another foldout seat spans 44 inches across the transom with the padded coaming bolster (that encircles the interior) serving as a backrest.
A beefy inboard-opening dive door on the port side of the aft cockpit makes it easy to board from floating docks. A stainless-steel, quick-release boarding ladder (that stows in the head compartment when not in use) and swing-out grab handle make it easy to climb aboard after a dip. In the starboard quarter, you’ll find a transom door that provides access to the swim platform.
Whaler integrates the hardtop by recessing the stanchions within the console to save walkway space. The wraparound windshield extends to the underside of the hardtop to shield the helm. A wiper keeps the forward view clear, and a motorized vent atop the front panel can usher in a breeze.
Twin bucket helm seats feature flip-up bolsters to serve as leaning posts. A platform folds out from the seating pod to add 5½ inches of elevation while standing at the wheel. Two tiers of angled footrests at the base of the console let you brace your feet, and fold-down armrests put the finishing touches on the helm seating.
The 44-inch-wide helm panel on our test boat featured twin Raymarine gS165 multifunction displays set in a custom black acrylic dash and networked with a Raymarine autopilot, fish finder and radar. The switch panel was within easy reach across the top of the dash.
If you’re seeking a comparison model that combines fishing features with plenty of seating, check out the Scout 320 LXF ($258,157 with twin Yamaha F300s), a center console of similar size with comparable features such as an integrated hardtop.
Our test boat featured more advanced technology in the form of Mercury Joystick Piloting, which made docking in tight quarters with the twin Verado 350s a piece of cake.
A step-down head compartment boasts 5 feet 8 inches of headroom, and a permanent marine toilet, vanity, sink and freshwater faucet.
The 330 Outrage came through with flying colors on a blustery day outside the patch reefs of the upper Keys. The deep V-hull sliced smoothly through the seas, and the 10-foot-2-inch beam proved remarkably stable at trolling speed in 4-foot rollers in the Gulf Stream. Our 330 Outrage reached 30 mph in 11 seconds en route to a top speed of 53.2 mph at 6,400 rpm. That’s 1.5 mph faster than the 320 Outrage, which we tested with twin Verado 300s in 2010.
Ultimately, however, this boat is not about speed but about melding fishing features and a seaworthy offshore design with comfortable amenities that invite you to climb aboard and stay on the water as long as you want.
Comparable Model: Scout 320 LXF
Boston Whaler – Edgewater, Florida; 877-294-5645; bostonwhaler.com