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February 11, 2013

Boston Whaler 270 Vantage

The Whaler 270 Vantage promises all-round fun and fishing.

Click through all the images above to see photos of the Boston Whaler 270 Vantage.

I recently tested the new 270 Vantage from Boston Whaler, and as I was going through the boat, it ­occurred to me that this boat is like a Swiss Army knife. It had so many features and stuff going on that it was a lot to take in. This is one of those boats I put in the ­non-hardcore fishing-boat category, but it sure as heck is in the ­hardcore family-boat category. 

The 270 is a dual-console boat with forward seating and a large cockpit. Our test boat had the optional fiberglass hardtop, which really completes the boat by allowing everyone to get out of the weather and sun when needed. Starting at the bow, there’s a built-in drop-down boarding/swim ladder under a hatch in the bow, an option that makes it easy to get on and off the boat at the sandbar after your day of trolling. It has a through-hull anchor chute and anchor with an optional windlass if you opt out of the bow boarding ladder. 

The forward cockpit has cushioned U-shaped seating with drink holders and handrails. There is heaps of storage under to accommodate the filler piece that makes the forward cockpit a full sun lounge. There are two insulated bins with drains and a giant under-console storage, accessed from the front of the console with a lift-up gate, with racks for fenders, optional wakeboard racks and room for all kinds of stuff on the ­starboard side.

The windscreen opens, allowing the walk-through, and there is also a door to close off the forward cockpit from the console helm area and aft cockpit. Along the centerline in the floor is a giant storage compartment for rods or skis. The port console has a walk-in head compartment complete with a wood-trimmed vanity equipped with a plumbed sink and Corian countertop, storage and head. 

Aft of the console to port is a convertible lounge seat with a big storage area underneath. However, this lounge has more gimmicks than an airport massage chair. It is a versatile and cleverly engineered piece of furniture that any family would use the heck out of. It’s a straight-up seat for looking forward, or the flip-up piece can ­create a leaning-post-type bolster. It has aft-facing seating that can be laid flat or propped up to a half-lounge with ­backrest.