The sight of four of Mercury’s 350hp Verado out-boards gracing the transom of the aptly-named Boston Whaler 420 Outrage certainly captured my attention as the crew from the Gold Coast’s Queensland Marine Centre readied it for our review.
When it comes to ‘wow’ factor, the very American Boston Whaler Outrage range is most certainly in a league of its own, with its distinctive styling, impeccable finishes and innovative designs. While on other boats a quadruple arrangement of Verados might seem almost like overkill, on the Outrage they seem perfectly at home. Almost as though the boat was designed for them.
Adding up to a total of 1400hp, the supercharged Verados almost define the Outrage – but once you step aboard you realise there is so much more to this boat.
Designers have managed to create a boat that combines exhilarating performance, with an extremely high degree of versatility, so that an owner could make any number of choices as to the type of boating they wanted to enjoy on any given day.
Having a capacity of up to 20 persons, the 420 Outrage has multiple zones to relax in while day cruising. Within the confines of the hardtop and cockpit of the centre console, the triple helm seats and rear bench/leaning posts cater for six, and boast external air-con vents to keep guests cool on summer days.
With a host of options ticked, the stern on our review boat can be transformed into a decent open-air lounge, with compact fold-away seating options and dual teak cockpit tables. Up front, the open bow is also an ideal spot to kick back and relax, with its wraparound seating, teak bow table and filler cushion, as well as a forward-facing day bed and sunshade.
Adding to the entertainment options, the galley leaning post assembly in the stern (which replaces the standard bait preparation centre) has a built-in electric grill, sink, and a stainless refrigerator with drawers and solid countertops. This is definitely the spot for summer entertaining and even overnighters, as nothing would beat cooking up bacon and eggs at sunrise on the water, or sizzling the catch of the day while sipping sundowners.
The premium audio package (with additional JL waterproof speakers) integrated into the Raymarine electronics helps to set the mood for those sultry summer evenings.
For adventurous island-hoppers or those just looking for a weekend overnighter, the spacious and stylish below-deck cabin is suited to couples and small families alike. A convertible double V-berth and convertible pull-out settee comfortably take care of the sleeping arrangements, as well as providing a luxurious lounge area.
Additional indoor features include a functional galley, premium sound system, 28in flatscreen TV, 12000BTU reverse cycle air-con, enclosed head with Vacu-Flush toilet, shower and vanity, numerous lighting options throughout and plenty of storage options.
Rigged with hardtop-mounted radial outriggers, plenty of game rodholders, a colossal starboard fish-box with freezer plate and a serious Raymarine electronics package, it’s easy to imagine chasing billfish in the deep, popping for GTs off the bow, deep jigging, or bottom fishing – or how about all of the above?
Regardless of your fishing style or preference, the 420 delivers as the ideal all-rounder and can be customised to suit. Options include a deluxe leaning post/bait-prep station, instead of having the summer galley leaning post assembly. The leaning post/bait prep station option includes an electric grill and hot/cold water sink, pressurised livewell, a single refrigerator, and tackle storage. There is even a flybridge option, which transforms the 420 into a ‘one with the lot’ centre-console sport-fisher.
There is plenty of functionality and information available at the helm, beginning with an array of Raymarine gS165 15.4in multifunction displays with sonar, GPS chartplotter, and 4kW HD digital radar hooked up to a 48in Open Array antenna. Further aiding the skipper’s awareness is a Vessel View 7 engine monitoring display, autopilot, trim tabs and Mercury’s Digital Throttle and Shift and Joystick Piloting.
Although a common site on US waterways, quad outboard rigs and 1400hp on the transom of a 42ft centre console is not exactly an everyday sight Down Under. And, not surprisingly, the level of performance on tap was not something I’ve experienced before on a boat of this size.
FOUR TO THE FLOOR
Making sure the waterway ahead was clear, I put the hammer down and the laws of physics and mathematics took over. Keeping in mind that we were on a 42ft boat weighing in excess of 13 tonnes running into a tide with a head wind of 18 knots, we had the four Verados’ 24 supercharged cylinders peaking at 6400rpm and a figure of 43 knots (the width of a fly’s eyelash off 90km/h) on the plotter. On a boat this big, I can personally vouch for the fact this is a speed that definitely gets your attention.
As for the ride, well, unlike similar-sized sport-fishers and cruisers, the 420 Outrage is quite nimble and actually feels like a much smaller craft when manoeuvring, docking, or covering water at high speeds. From hole-shot to wide open throttle, the 420 has an incredibly smooth ride, with fantastic stability. It simply annihilates chop and swell, and is nice and dry in the rough.
Not surprisingly, those same four engines and 24 cylinders have a significant thirst when the throttles are pegged to the stops. But, again referring to the laws of physics, movement requires energy and Verados are excellent devices for converting chemical energy into rapid forward motion. With throttle bodies on wide open, you will most certainly get to your destination in a timely fashion – and lighter to the tune of around 460lt if the trip happens to take you around one hour.
But if you’re happy to travel at a more sedate pace of around 30 knots (56km/h), and with the Verados purring over at 4500rpm, fuel is consumed at a more reasonable rate of around 198lt/hr for a decent range of close to 590km.
Back at the marina, the impressive Joystick Piloting system adds to peace of mind when docking and navigating in tight spots. It’s almost entertaining to watch all four big outboards act independently of each other as the joystick is twisted this way and that, causing the Outrage to move sideways, diagonally, and forward and backward with the lightest touch.
If you’re in the market for a 40ft-plus boat with style by the mile that oozes luxury, can deliver hair-raising performance, has plenty of homely creature comforts, can entertain a good-sized crowd as well as zoom out to the shelf chasing marlin and tuna, this could be the boat for you.
With a base price of $1,147,000, including the base package quad 300hp Mercury Verados and numerous standard options – in fact, way too many to mention here – you certainly end up with a lot of boat, and with a lot of ‘wow factor, for your money.
Where does it sit in the market and who does it suit? The 420 Outrage no doubt suits anyone looking for high performance combined with quality and style, and with less stress and less maintenance costs in comparison to larger enclosed sport-fishers.