Boston Whaler’s new 280 Vantage takes dual-console family boats to new heights. Tech features that packed our tester included twin 300 hp Mercury Verado V-8s, joystick control, twin 12-inch Raymarine displays, VHF, AIS and radar, all integrated. Family features included a summer galley, electric head with holding tank, bunk in the starboard console, and tow points for water toys. The integrated hardtop offered shade and protection from rain.
Our test boat was owned by a family that keeps it busy. They love the forward cockpit for boat rides, easy anchoring, and dropping the bow ladder at a sandbar. The port console’s head pleases the husband. “People love it,” he said. Even the owner’s linebacker-size boating friend found he could use the 280 Vantage’s head. “We love the three-way port lounge and use it a lot. Ditto the fold-down stern seat. We can stash two Yeti soft-side coolers under it.” They optioned-up their boat’s starboard utility center to the summer kitchen, replacing the sink with a grill.
“The portside cockpit swim door is a big success,” he continued. “Our boys don’t like being around the engines’ propellers, even tilted up, so the side door is perfect.”
There’s plenty of power for towing and cruising, even with a couple of families, coolers, food and ice aboard. Merc’s 300 Verados are silky-smooth torque monsters. With its 22-degree V-running bottom and sharp forefoot, our tester loped through 2- to 3-foot chop at 30 to 37 mph, with a top speed faster than most people will ever need (55.6 mph). The hardtop offers storage and rigging options for rod holders and trolling lines. With the transom seat folded up and the bow cockpit cleared, there’s space for multiple anglers to bottomfish, jig and cast lures to breaking fish while the skipper watches sonar and chart details.
Whaler’s new 280 Vantage is a thoroughly 21st-century vessel, built with heirloom quality to serve families on active day cruises. Like all Boston Whalers, it’s unsinkable and full of safety features. Access to fuel, wiring and plumbing systems for maintenance exhibits the Whaler design team’s attention to details.
- Integrated hardtop looks sleek and adds the functional purposes of providing shade, rain protection, and storage for fishing rods.
- Interior features of this boat reflect careful thinking about how families will use the boat.
- Portside dive door with stowable ladder serves to provide both convenience and safety.
- Bow compartment offers both an anchor with windlass and a telescoping ladder for beaching.
Dry Weight: 6,700 lb.
Seat/Weight Capacity: 12/3,911 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 185 gal.
Price: $279,179 (with twin black 300 Verados and JPO)
How We Tested
Engines: Twin 300 hp Mercury Verado V-8
Drive/Props: Outboards/Twin Mercury Eco Enertia 16″ x 20″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratios: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 116 gal.
Crew Weight: 540 lb.
Boston Whaler – Edgewater, Florida; 877-294-5645; bostonwhaler.com