You know the name, and you may even have seen one of the company’s boats cut in two, cruising at a local boat show, demonstrating how seaworthy they are. That’s the primary image most people probably have when they think of Boston Whaler – unsinkable. The redesign of its popular Dauntless series, particularly the 180, will change that perception slightly.
As with any good redesign, the good things were left alone. One area of major focus, however, was to add more storage room, and that has been done. At 18.5 feet, the 180 offers a center-console design with storage from stem to stern and plenty of room for fishing gear, including folding undergunwale rod storage. Built with Boston Whaler’s unsinkable Unibond construction, a freeboard of 20 inches and a transom height of 25 inches, though, the 180 is ideal as a bay and nearshore platform. The new deep-V Accutrak hull system, with sponson-type reverse chines and full-length running strakes, provides a smooth, dry ride and lateral stability while drifting. And while the 180 won’t get you into the skinniest water, it draws only 12 inches, which makes it a versatile fly-fishing platform.
With a beam of 8 feet, the 180 offers plenty of fishing room for anglers both fore and aft, with a fold-down rear seat that converts into a full-width aft casting platform. A portside stern livewell comes standard, and an additional optional livewell is available in the reversible pilot’s seat. Most of the deck hardware is recessed, and the bow can be omitted to clear up the forward section for casting. A bow-mounted trolling motor is also optional, as are hydraulic trim tabs and tackle drawers.
The standard power package includes a 125-hp XL Mercury engine, but options include 135 and 150 XLs. Coupled with the 60-gallon fuel tank, the 180 Dauntless offers a considerable range.