New Boat: Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless

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By John Page Williams

Like all models in Boston Whaler’s Dauntless line of center consoles, the 270 is family-oriented, with especially good balance and lots of deck space. Further, its well-designed, shallow-draft hull can handle choppy nearshore seas while still providing great access to interesting rivers, creeks, and coves. Such a hull also lends itself well to swimming, tow sports and beach picnics. In the 270 Dauntless, the center console sits over the deepest part of the hull, providing maximum space for a changing room and a head that fits even adult men.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 8.55.03 AMThe 270 is relatively long and slender, which gives the hull the abilities to bridge multiple wave peaks in a typical Northeast chop and to run level at all speeds. The length also provides plenty of volume along either side of the centerline, which is the primary contributor to stability, making the 270 a comfortable platform for multiple waterborne assignments. Thus Whaler’s experienced design team has been able to build both fishing and general amenities into the layout.

The bow above the waterline squares off to allow lots of space in the interior, including an anchor locker and an (optional) folding ladder that makes for easy beach access. It also provides room for a pair of seats along the hullsides port and starboard that can serve as fishboxes or general stowage. At their aft ends, folding backrests turn them into lounges. Complementing them in the center at the front of the console is a double-wide lounge with arms (and massive lockable storage beneath, including racks for 5 rods and receptacles for two 5-gallon buckets). A table mounts between the bow lounges to make the space particularly sociable (it stores securely in the console). The optional hardtop even provides a mounting point for a sunshade that covers the whole bow area. With the optional bow casting platform in place, though, put down the sunshade, remove the cushions, and the area turns into a wide-open fishing space.

The roomy console interior is well-lit and -ventilated, with plenty of headroom and a well-designed door that allows easy entry even in a seaway. It holds a portable toilet with dockside pump-out and provides access to the rear of the console’s electronics panel. That panel, by the way, is broad enough to hold a pair of 12′ Raymarine multifunction electronic displays, a VHF radio, and a stereo. At the helm, the skipper and a companion sit or stand on a leaning post that can be as simple as a frame with modest storage and a cooler beneath or a deluxe model with a freshwater sink and either a live well or a counter top and storage drawers.

The hardtop not only offers good weather protection and handholds, but floodlights, overhead lifejacket storage, rod holders on its aft edge, and a mount for radar if desired.

Astern is a transom door to starboard, plus a three-quarter-width stern seat whose fold-down back converts the space into another casting platform. A sturdy but removable pylon serves for tow sports fun.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 8.54.50 AMThis hull is light enough to run well with a single engine, though twins are an available option. We had the opportunity to sea-trial both arrangements. With twin 225-hp Mercury Verados, the 270 topped out at more than 45 knots (52.7 mph). Choose this configuration if you plan on carrying a crowd or towing multiple skiers.

By contrast, the single-engine option, with either the 300-hp Verado on our other test boat or Mercury’s new 350 Verado, offers plenty of speed for bay conditions (top at 35 kt. with efficient cruise at 16-25) and solid but comfortable acceleration. Oh, yes, and a savings of more than $20,000 on the purchase price, plus less expensive maintenance and more space around the transom swim platform. If you plan on spending any time prowling creeks and harbors at low speed, the single engine is far more economical. For most uses of the 270 Dauntless, we heartily recommend the single larger Verado, which is now a well-proven, smooth and quiet engine.

Boston Whaler’s 270 Dauntless represents a new sort of big crossover boat, designed thoughtfully for both family and angling use and capable of handling rougher seas than most people are comfortable with while being at home in shallow water. Getting the most out of the design, though, still requires careful thought. Choose well. She’s a sweetheart!

 

Details

  • LOA: 27′ 4″
  • Beam:9′
  • Draft: 17″ (engine up)
  • Transom deadrise: 18 degrees
  • Weight: 4,800 lbs.
  • Fuel: 152 gals.
  • Water: 18 gals.
  • Horsepower range: 300-450
  • Bridge clearance: 9′ 3″ w/ hardtop
  • Base prices   $95,000 (w/ single 300-hp Verado); $98,000 (w/ single 350-hp Verado); $120,000 (w/ twin 225-hp Verados)

 

Test results with single 300-hp Verado

RPM   KNOTS GPH ANGLE SOUND

1,000   3.4       1.0       0                59

1,500   5.6       1.6       1                66

2,000   6.8       2.6       2                70

2,500   8.2       3.8       3                76

3,000 11.4       6.3       4                82

3,500 15.7       7.9       4                83

4,000 20.3     10.3       4               82

4,500 23.4     11.8       4               84

5,000 27.6     15.6       4               86

5,500 30.9     20.5       3               86

6,000 34.0     28.3       3               88

6,200 34.9     29.0       3               90

Test Gear

Single 300-hp Mercury Verado outboard, Enertia 15″ x 15″ 3-blade

stainless steel propeller, 1.85:1 gear ratio, 40 gal. fuel load, 400 lb. crew

Test results with twin 225-hp Verados

RPM KNOTS GPH ANGLE SOUND

1,000   4.8         2.3       0 65

1,500   6.2         3.4       1 70

2,000   8.0         5.7       3 73

2,500 11.9         7.6       4 78

3,000 19.6       10.1       4             81

3,500 24.9       13.3       3             82

4,000 28.6       16.0       3             82

4,500 32.9       21.8       2             83

5,000 37.5       27.0       1             85

5,500 41.4       33.6       1             86

6,000 45.7       46.0       1             90

Test Gear

Twin 225-hp Mercury Verado outboards, Enertia 14 1/2″ x 17″ 3-blade

stainless steel propellers, 1.85:1 gear ratio, 58 gal. fuel load, 400 lbs. crew

 

 



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