Our 2015 Boat of the Year, the Boston Whaler 420 Outrage, led the pack in the new trend toward oversize center consoles — outboard-powered boats that can essentially replace the traditional inboard express fisherman. Here in 2017, it still leads the pack as a standout boat.
Of course, the 420 Outrage turns heads at the dock for its stylish hardtop and raked windshield, cabin windows and the four 300 hp Mercury Verados on the transom. When you pull away from the dock (Joystick Piloting at the helm makes it easy), the 420 performs as well as it looks. It has one of the best attitudes of any large center consoles we’ve tested. That means the captain’s vision from the helm is never compromised while climbing onto plane or at cruising speeds. 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.)
Boston Whaler constructed this boat not only for hardcore fishing but also for luxury cruising. Though it 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 flip up to create recliners too. The aft cockpit offers flip-down seating on the transom and a flip-up leaning post that doubles as a bait-prep center, with the option to convert it into a summer kitchen for entertaining. Plus, a portside dive door aids in side-to boarding at the marina.
For overnight trips, the 420 has 6 feet 4 inches of headroom in the full-beam cabin, with the overhead skylight and lengthy built-in portals providing a wealth of natural light. The bright interior boasts a convertible double berth, a galley with a pricey Quartz countertop, and a private head and shower. A wood table pops up from the berth to form a dinette belowdecks. A standard 12,000 Btu air-conditioning system keeps it chill.
But if you’re all about chasing tails, there are fishy features galore, including a 24-gallon transom livewell, recessed toe rails, insulated fish boxes fore and aft, and 22 rod holders.
* Optional Joystick Piloting at the helm makes close-quarters handling a breeze.
* A separate 12,000 Btu air conditioner cools the helm.
* Deluxe bait-prep station offers an electric grill, freshwater sink and a refrigerator/freezer, as well as a cutting station, tackle drawers and an additional livewell.
How We Tested
Engine: Four 300 hp Mercury Verados
Drive/Props: Outboard/Revolution 4s 145/8″ x 19″ 4-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratios: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 500 gal.
Crew Weight: 500 lb.
$803,882 (with test power)
Boston Whaler Edgewater, Florida; 386-428-0057; bostonwhaler.com