Boston Whaler continually revamps its lineup. For 2021, the midsize Dauntless models were updated with cleaner, more roomy layouts, with added standard features and options. The 220 now boasts added fishability and comfort, offering anglers a versatile, well-equipped center-console that’s family-friendly, and easy to run, trailer and store.
The aft raised deck changed in the 2021 model: It’s no longer stepped, but rather level, affording extra space to port and starboard for casting and landing fish.
The expansive raised deck at the bow provides plenty of casting room as well and, with cushions, serves as a sizable sun pad. Two large hatches open to a dedicated anchor locker and a large fish box/dry storage compartment with overboard drains, leaving space for an optional trolling motor forward.
A bench-style pilot seat accommodates two at the helm and sits over a cooler that can be plumbed as a 32-gallon livewell, the exact setup on our test boat.
Two leaning posts are offered as upgrades: a competition model with an aluminum frame, fold-down armrests, flip-up bolsters, four rod holders and a slide-out 75-quart cooler; or a deluxe model featuring a fiberglass base with a 30-gallon livewell, and holders for cups, a knife, leader spools and four rods.
Our test boat carried the T-top with canvas shade with a rocket launcher for four rods. A fiberglass hardtop is an available option.
The console, with inside space for storage, is protected by an acrylic windshield. The helm includes a Mercury SmartCraft gauge package, a circuit breaker switch panel and hydraulic tilt steering and room for the optional Fusion stereo head, VHF radio, and a single 12-inch or a pair of 9-inch MFDs.
Options include a Mercury VesselView monitoring, a removable bow table, trim tabs, raw-water washdown, freshwater shower with 12-gallon tank, 8- or 10-foot Power-Pole, anchor roller, 36-volt Motorguide Xi-5 trolling motor and a battery charger.
Handling and Running
We took the Dauntless out for ride on the ICW in Edgewater, Florida, where the 220′s agility, pep and responsiveness were instantly on display.
The redesigned Dauntless sports a sleeker, still-unsinkable hull that takes on moderate chop with confidence, honoring its builder’s seaworthiness tradition. The 18-degree deadrise and increased freeboard (now 22 inches) make leaving protected bay waters to fish a wreck or troll the reef edge a simple decision.
In maneuverability and responsiveness, the Whaler gets our thumbs-up as well. It performed S-turns and tight, 180-degree turns with ease, even at speed, tracking faithfully without excessive leaning.
Pushed by a Mercury 250 hp V-8, the boat proved fast on the takeoff, with excellent acceleration throughout its rpm range. It took us less than 4 seconds to jump on plane, went from zero to 30 mph in just 6 seconds, and hit 50 mph at WOT. Bow rise was never a concern, and we determined the 220 Dauntless, with its highest power option, let us cruise at over 30 mph while burning less than 10 gph, while we calculated maximum efficiency at 3,500 rpm doing 22.3 mph, yielding a range of over 260 miles.
- Weather: Cloudy, 84 degrees
- Location: Edgewater, Florida
- Wind: East, 8 mph
- Sea State: Smooth
- Test Load: Two adults, 39 gallons of fuel, 6 gallons of water
Pricing and Specs
Contact: Boston Whaler – bostonwhaler.com