Boston Whaler 280 Vantage: 2021 Boat Buyers Guide

The 280 Vantage is a family-friendly fisher that also excels at day cruising.

December 15, 2020
Boston Whaler 280 Vantage fishing at anchor
Anglers and cruisers alike will enjoy the secure feeling created by a coaming height 2 inches taller than the 270. Courtesy Boston Whaler

Boston Whaler balances its 60-year tradition of building unsinkable hulls with its ongoing refinement of boats built on those hulls.

The Boston Whaler brand encompasses seven distinct lines.

Super Sports are peppy load-and-go funsters. Montauks are classic, ever-popular center-consoles 15 to 21 feet. Dauntless models balance watersports and coastal fishing.


Vantage dual-console boats aim first at family-friendliness. The Conquest family has fishing-focused offshore boats with all the comforts of home. Realm 35- and 38-footers blend center-console fishability with cabin-cruiser comfort. And Boston Whaler Outrage boats are battle-ready offshore-fishing machines.

Second among primary-boat brands owned by our survey respondents, and among those most numerous of second and third boats owned by those respondents, Boston Whaler is also one of the top two brands respondents would consider for their next purchase.

Boston Whaler 280 Vantage

The new Boston Whaler 280 Vantage does so many things so well that the company calls the family-friendly dual-console boat the “Swiss Army knife of boating.”


The 280 has a degree more deadrise and a bit sharper entry than its predecessor, the 270 Vantage, for an even dryer, more comfortable ride for the entire family, no matter the activity.

But the 280 Vantage has its eye clearly on fishing, with two aft 25-gallon cockpit fish boxes, lighted 19-gallon transom livewell (92 percent of dual-console anglers in our survey said one’s enough; 75 percent say they usually carry just a few dozen baits), three gunwale-mounted rod holders (59 percent of respondents need four or fewer), plus four more on hardtop supports. Want more, Whaler can add them for you.

Anglers and cruisers alike will enjoy the secure feeling created by a coaming height 2 inches taller than the 270. So especially will parents of young children.


Dual-consoles and our survey respondents are all about the bow seating, and the 280 Vantage’s includes cushions with backrests and armrests atop insulated storage lockers. You can add a bow sunshade or table. A bow redesign accommodates both an anchor windlass and a shore ladder.

An integrated hardtop with tempered-glass windshield can be fitted with an electrically actuated cockpit SureShade and includes a standard tow bit perfect for watersports.

Standard are twin Mercury 250 hp V-8 Verados; options include up 400 hp Verados.


Survey Says: On Target

  • Unsinkable
  • Powerful Mercury Verado outboard engines

Owners Say

  • Unsinkability, safe, and speed to get to the action
  • Solid ride in all conditions
  • Good all-around boat for family, friends, fishing and diving

Brand Says

  • 405 Conquest: “The SUV of the Sea”
  • Brilliant design and advanced technology

Reader Response

  • “Boston Whalers are like old friends: reliable”


LOA: 29′1″

Beam: 9′6″

Fuel Capacity: 180 gal.

Dry Weight: 6,700 lb. plus power

Max HP: 800

Certifications: NMMA

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