The American manufacturer is looking to break out of its mould in several directions

American patrol and workboat builder Boston Whaler has expanded its range of patrol boats by introducing its first high speed patrol boat. Previously the patrol boats offered by this company were based mainly on the trihedral hull designs that form part of the Boston Whaler leisure range. Now Boston Whaler has taken hulls from the leisure range of sister company Baja and converted these into high performance patrol boats.

The initial design is a 28 footer but the Baja range extends up to 40 feet and there are plans to introduce patrol boats based on these larger designs.

The introduction of these high speed patrol boats comes, as the commercial division of Boston Whaler is being re-organised. Previously a Department of the leisure company, a new, independent company has now been formed called Boston Whaler Commercial and Government Products. This is based at Edgewater in Florida, alongside the parent company that in turn is part of the Brunswick Corporation, which owns Mercury Marine. The new independent company will still produce boats for the same roles as before which include special operations, law enforcement, security operations, combat, search and rescue, fireboats and workboat applications.

To expand the range of craft on offer, Boston Whaler is currently in talks with Spanish Rigid Inflatable Boat builder Valiant whose RIBs are currently being marketed by Mercury Marine. Boston Whaler has its range of foam tube RIBs and the Valiant RIBs will complement this. Also being considered, as additions to the range of craft on offer, are some catamaran designs.

In leisure form, the Baja 28 hull is capable of speeds up to 70 mph but with the extra weight of the strengthened hull and the fit out, the speeds offered on the patrol version are up to 60 mph. The design is called the Intruder Range and it has been developed for both special operations and combat use and for law enforcement roles. The hull is based on a deep vee design which has a deadrise of 24 degrees. Construction is in GRP using vinylester resins and a fully encapsulated stringer system for added strength. A new deck mould has been developed for the patrol boat role, and the interior layout can be configured to suit the role.

The Intruder 28 is powered by Mercury outboards and the powered can be selected to meet the speed requirements. The maximum power is two 300 hp units, which produce the top speed of 60 mph, but smaller engines can be fitted down to a minimum of twin 150 hp outboards.