Get rid of those costly extras and return to boating in its purest form with the Boston Whaler 270 Outrage - a small boat with a big attitude.
Toothbrush and credit-card cruising, my colleagues call it.
The principles are simple – forget about provisioning the boat with anything other than the bare necessities, say goodbye to the tiresome and often awkward process of cooking on board, and after a fine day’s boating, tie up and head for the overwhelmingly more comfortable surroundings of a good B&B.
Of course, this is what a lot of us do anyway, especially sportsboat owners. The odd thing is that despite the nature of our boating, we often burden ourselves with superfluous items like galleys, sleeping cabins and dinettes.
And that’s another £200,000 on the marine mortgage and another 20ft of boat that doesn’t really do much except take up space in the marina. Still, there’s nothing to slop you doing toothbrush and credit-card cruising in any size of boat.
Free yourself from that blokey ‘size is important’ hang-up, and the world of small-boat cruising opens up, if you don’t fancy budget B&Bs, that £200,000 you’ve saved will pay for plenty of visits to the finest hotels and restaurants.
But there is a catch. The lumpy bits you encounter between hostelries won’t get any smaller just because your boat has. For serious cruising, the smaller the boat, the better it has to be.
Driving the Boston Whaler 270 Outrage
And Boston Whaler have made their Boston Whaler 270 Outrage better than most. The hull is one of their new generation shapes with a slender deep-vee form instead of the old tubby cathedral shape.
It’s lovely to drive. The down-turned chines are wider than usual near the bow.
Approaching the top speed, I expected them to slam, but however the twin 225hp Optimax outboards were trimmed the Boston Whaler 270 Outrage gave a soft ride.
It will turn sharply even with the engines trimmed out. But trim the engines in, and the Boston Whaler 270 turns even more ferociously.
In fact, the limiting factor tends to be the seats, which don’t provide the lateral support of the usual bucket-style affairs.
However, the position of the wheel helps by freeing one hand for hanging-on duties.
The vee of the keel is rounded off ever so slightly at the transom, and I suspect this contributes to the feeling of a hull that will never bite back, even if you misbehave.
The helm looks high, but drive the boat from the standing-only position and it never intrudes.
The large dash is simply and clearly laid out, although splitting the vertical panel into three sections was silly because it limits the size, shape and position of the instruments that can be fitted.
Mercruiser’s new Smart Craft gauges are superb – it’s easy to scroll through a host of useful readings, such as fuel consumption, temperature, volts and fuel. But Mercruiser should be ashamed of their throttle controls.
To call them agricultural would be an insult to the farming industry, and it can’t be just the 270’s examples; every Mercruiser throttle I’ve ever used has been stiff, clunky and imprecise. The Boston Whaler 270 Outrage deserves far better.
Our Boston Whaler 270 Outrage sported the most powerful engine option – twin 225hp Mercury Optimax outboards that propelled our boat to 47.8 knots.
Although the prohibitive cost of non-diesel boating in the UK may make you gulp, two of the big advantages of an outboardpowered boat are the option of transferring engines between boats, and the almost limitless choice, including the new generation of highly efficient four-stroke outboards.
Detail, detail, detail
The standard of finish and the attention to detail on the Boston Whaler 270 Outrage is outstanding. Not in the slick, high-gloss Sunseeker sense, but in the rugged, practical, serious passage-making sense.
There are oodles of lockers of all shapes and sizes, and everyone is fully lined with a smooth, internal GRP moulding – forget that many of them are designed with fishing in mind, they are just as useful to non-fishermen.
You could practise your parallel-bar routine on the alloy bimini top so rigid are the tubes. And the gas struts are powerful offerings. Boston Whaler recess the trim tabs flush with the hull, making them difficult to damage.
And wherever you need service access to pipes, fuel fillers or connections, they have thoughtfully fitted an access hatch.
There’s a hard-to-define quality too – a feeling of solidity when driving the Boston Whaler 270 Outrage that you only find on the very toughest of boats from the likes of Windy.
This manifests itself as a lack of creaks and groans – even when flying along at the Boston Whaler 270 Outrage’s 48-knot top speed.
But there’s something else, a sense that the boat is not twisting or flexing as some sportsboats do.
Boston Whaler’s Unibond construction, where the hull and deck are pumped full of closed-cell foam, is undoubtedly contributing to the boat’s rigidity and providing their famous unsinkability.
One key element of toothbrush and credit-card cruising is a good heads. As my nutritionist says, it’s important to maintain a high liquid content (she probably means fresh water, but beer can be used in an emergency), so a loo is essential.
The Boston Whaler 270 Outrage’s roomy offering provides full standing headroom, the ideal place to hang oilskins, plenty more stowage, and the same elevated quality apparent everywhere else.
There is little to grumble about. Okay, the bi-fold door on the heads has nothing to hold it open. And those prone to slouching or obesity will find the otherwise useful handrail at the bow digging into their back.
However, Boston Whaler offer a raised-bowrail option, which replaces the low-profile rail. Overall, Mercruiser’s throttle controls are the only complaint on an otherwise brilliant little boat.
The last word on the Boston Whaler 270 Outrage
The Boston Whaler 270 Outrage represents toothbrush and credit-card cruising in its purest form. No galley. No dinette. No place to sleep. And no real place to loaf around under way, unless the water is dead calm and you sit up front.
What it provides instead are the bare essentials; a boat that’s capable of comfortably chewing up the miles at over 40 knots, bags of stowage, a tremendous choice of engines, and the essential heads compartment.
Most importantly, it does all this wrapped up in a package that is so well built and detailed that it easily justifies its elevated price. Some people will see the Boston Whaler 270 Outrage as expensive but, like so many things in life, you get what you pay for.
- Build quality
- Engine choice
- Stowage space
- Solid feel at speed
- Mercruiser throttles
- Helm seat support
Price from: £49,025 inc VAT ex engines
Price tested: £72,042 inc VAT with twin 225hp Optimax
Overall length: 27ft 0in (8.22m)
Hull length: 27ft 0in (8.22m)
Beam: 8ft 6in (2.59m)
Displacement: 2.34 tonnes light, 2.97 tonnes loaded (weight excludes Optimax engines), loaded = light + 100% fuel & water
Draught: 1ft 8in (0.50m)
Deadrise: 22º at transom
Cockpit depth: 2ft 4in (0.71 m)
Air draught: 8ft 9in (2.67m) inc T-top; 6ft 5in (1.95m) exc T-top
Fuel capacity: 167 imp gal (757 litres)
Water capacity: 16 imp gal (75 litres)
Waste capacity: 8 imp gal (37 litres)
Engines: Twin Mercury 225 Optimax, 225hp@ 5,5OOrpm; V6-cylinder 3.0-litre petrol outboards
Flat out: 47.8 knots, 177 miles @ 5,500rpm
RCD category: B (for 14 people)
Designer: Boston Whaler, 2002
Contact: Dorset Yacht Company
Tel: +44 (0)1202 674531