Boston Whaler calls its new family-friendly, dual-console 280 Vantage “the Swiss Army knife of boating,” with the unsinkable boat covering such a wide range of activities so well.
The latest from Boston Whaler—and centering the award-winning series of boats 23 to 32 feet long—the 280 Vantage stretches 11 inches longer and 6 inches wider than the 270 Vantage it’s meant to replace, with one degree more deadrise and a sharper entry. This produces an even dryer, safer and more comfortable ride for the entire family, whether cruising, fishing offshore or pursuing watersports.
Standard enhancements include added fish boxes and a livewell, a visually and structurally robust dive door with removable ladder and swing-out grab bar, and a more-pointed bow to accommodate both an anchor windlass and a shore ladder (optional).
Two inches more coaming height adds to the crew’s sense of security. Sprayers at bow and stern draw from a 20-gallon freshwater system.
Bow features include cushions with backrests and armrests, a cooler, and drink holders. Side rails add security, and handrails are an option.
Storage, always a family value, is generous, including a centerline cooler and insulated bow storage lockers—all with overboard drain. There’s also storage in the console, cockpit and head.
Access to the head, by the way, is through a gasketed, lockable door in the port console. Lighted and lined with molded fiberglass, the head has a portable toilet with pump-out, a sink with a faucet, Corian countertop, stainless-steel grab rail and storage hooks, storage locker, and even a clever shelf that can be placed over the toilet for more organized stowage.
The helm console features a compass, courtesy light, visor, drink holders, generous electronics-mounting surface and starboard windshield wiper.
Captain and passenger enjoy footrests, with the captain on a deluxe Boston Whaler seat on a high-low pedestal. The portside lounge transforms into several configurations: facing forward, aft, reclining or prone (all atop gasketed storage compartments). There’s an aft-facing seat at the starboard prep station, whose sink and storage compartment can be replaced by an optional electric grill, Corian countertop and refrigerator.
An integrated hardtop and tempered-glass windshield provide both great visibility and protection from spray and weather. That hardtop can be fitted with an electrically actuated cockpit SureShade, and it also features a tow bit—swap it for a fifth hardtop rod holder if you like.
Power comes courtesy of a pair of Mercury 250 hp V-8 Verado engines, fed by a 185-gallon fuel tank. Options include Verados up to 400 hp each, the Joystick Piloting system and Active Engine (automatic) Trim. A generous menu of electronics available include Raymarine multifunction displays, autopilot, radar and VHF units.
Other options include console rod storage, shore power, stereo packages, spotlight, bow sunshade, bow table with filler cushion, cockpit table, raw-water washdown and VacuFlush toilet upgrade.
Fishing? The 280 Vantage comes with handily placed rod holders, including three gunnel-mounted and the standard four on the hardtop; a lighted 19-gallon transom livewell; and a pair of aft 25-gallon cockpit fish boxes with pump-out. A family-handy transom bench seat easily folds away to create fishing space, and the increased cockpit depth creates a feeling of security while battling fish.
Boston Whaler 280 Vantage Specifications
LOA with platforms: 29’1”
Weight (dry, no engines): 6,700 lb.
Weight (with engine, fuel, water): 9,610 lb.
Maximum Weight/Persons: 3,911 lb./12 persons
Maximum Horsepower: 800 hp
Fuel Capacity: 185 gal.
Water Capacity: 20 gal.
Waste Capacity: 6 gal.
Bridge Clearance (with hardtop): 8’5”
Bridge Clearance (with hardtop and Radar): 9’1”