This boat is so big that, had we not known Whaler’s Outrage lineup of center-consoles, we could have easily mistaken it for an express. As it stands, the new 420 Outrage is not only one of the largest center-consoles on the market, but also the largest Boston Whaler ever built. With a 42-foot-6-inch length overall and a 13-foot beam, it is 5 feet longer and 1 foot 6 inches wider than the 370 Outrage, the previous flagship in the fleet. The 420’s dry weight (without engines) is 7,500 pounds more too. That’s close to four tons of extra displacement. That should give you an idea of just how large this new Outrage really is.
So the question to answer is “Can Whaler go big?” Of course it stands out at the dock for its stylish hardtop and raked windshield, sleek cabin windows and the four 300 hp Mercury Verados on the transom. But where it really shines is underway. Many of the new generation of 35-plus-foot center-consoles have issues with excessive bow rise climbing onto plane and higher-than-normal bow rise while running. They’re big boats packed with a ton of amenities with heavy outboards in triple or quad installations adding weight and drag. While it’s fitted out to the nines and hanging 2,600 pounds of outboard off the back, the 420 Outrage has one of the best attitudes of any large center-console we’ve tested. That means the captain’s vision from the helm is never compromised. Underway, the trim tabs adjust automatically, ensuring a smooth ride no matter the conditions. (They can be manually overridden to suit the captain’s preferences.) We came to appreciate this while running the boat amid traffic, because it was easy to account for all other boats in the vicinity.
With the optional joystick system, the 420 Outrage also helps you breathe easier around the docks. With the joystick engaged, the boat proved nimble in close quarters and came easily in and out of its slip. The joystick system allows the outboards to rotate independently of each other; combined with the bow thruster, the system moved the boat like a pod-drive setup. Traditional captains may cringe, but at this point I couldn’t imagine buying a boat over 40 feet without a joystick system installed.
Boston Whaler already outfits its Outrages with a high degree of fit and finish and amenities, and going to 42 feet lets the company carry that even further. Start up in the bow section. Though the bow has the requisite rod holders built into the topsides and coaming bolsters around the gunwales, the layout allows for family use way beyond fishing, with a sun pad north of the console with forward-facing recliners and a flip-up section in the middle that creates a stadium-seating effect. The tag ends of the wraparound bow lounge also flip up to create recliners. The aft cockpit features flip-down seating on the transom and a flip-up leaning post that doubles as a bait prep center, with the option to make it a summer kitchen for entertaining. A portside dive door also aids in side-to boarding at the marina.
While builders like Hydra-Sports, with its 5300 Sueños, have taken the shock value out of a 40-foot center-console, there are others building models comparable to the 420 Outrage. The Everglades 435 CC ($681,538 with four Yamaha F350s) is the most obvious comparison, since both have unsinkable construction and reputations for being well built. Being among the select few to sea-trial both boats within days of each other, we got a good feel for their similarities and differences. The Everglades is the faster boat, with a lighter (16,600-pound) dry weight and the extra 200 hp pushing it along. The Everglades we tested felt more attuned to the hard-core, blue-water angling crowd, while the Whaler had more family-oriented creature comforts, but we’re splitting hairs a bit here because the 420 Outrage is certainly well equipped to fish.
Start with the 55 square feet of open cockpit space behind the double rows of seating and stand-alone galley. There’s a 24-gallon transom livewell, recessed toe rails, insulated fish boxes fore and aft, and 23 rod holders around the boat. An inboard-swinging dive door in the cockpit to port will aid the wire man in handling large pelagics. The deluxe leaning post features an additional 40-gallon livewell and a bait prep station. Game on.
Want to run to the Bahamas (or to any outpost within range)? The 420 has 6 feet 4 inches of headroom belowdecks, with the overhead skylight and lengthy built-in portals providing a wealth of natural light. The brightly appointed interior features a convertible double berth, a galley with a faux-granite countertop, and a private head and shower. (It should be noted that the shower sump is easily accessible in the head for maintenance.) Want to get out of the elements? A wood table pops up from the berth to form a dinette for some casual dining belowdecks. A standard 16,000 Btu air-conditioning system keeps it chilled. Catch the latest show on the 28-inch flat screen or crank up the tunes on the standard Fusion stereo system. This interior, combined with the open layout the 420 Outrage affords abovedecks, means no matter where you’re going, there’s ample room to roam.
So can Whaler go big? The answer is absolutely.
Comparable Model: Everglades 435 CC