Boating NZ : FREE TO READ March 2014
The hardtop is fibreglass, supported by powder-coated aluminium window mullions, frames and heavy rear supports. Toughened glass windscreens, both panes with wipers, and curved, tinted side windows with removable clears from the tops of the windows to the hardtop keep out the weather. An electrically- operated vent above the windscreens forces air into the hardtop at head level when the boat’s underway – a welcome attribute on a warm day. Removing the clears either side would further enhance ventilation. Visibility from the helm is excellent. The driver sits up high since the sole steps up from the cockpit. The swivelling, ladder- backed helm seat is deeply padded. It’s adjustable for height as well as distance from the helm and has a fold-up bolster for lumbar support when standing up to drive. The 285 Conquest’s moulded fibreglass helm console is a clean, modern design with moulded footrests and space for the 12-inch Raymarine HybridTouch. Engine gauges, trim tab controls, windlass controls and the many switches required on a boat of this complexity are logically placed around the console. The helm seat base houses the main switchboard behind a moulded hatch cover. The vessel’s Raymarine VHF radio is beside the helm seat, with moulded trays and a deep cup holder, which complements two more to the right of the large stainless steel wheel, while an iPod-ready Fusion entertainment unit with controls takes care of the sounds; there are speakers in the cabin, hardtop and cockpit. A highly practical, three-position passenger seat design opposite the helm provides two rear-facing seats – great for watching the action in the cockpit; one rear-facing and one forward-facing seat or, by adding an in-fill, a full-length recliner. Occupants of the rear-facing seat Bow rails continue all the way to the cockpit for safe movement fore and aft. There are plenty of options for rod storage on the sidedecks and in the cockpit, although there is no rocket launcher. The cockpit fittings are heavy duty and designed so that they don't present obstacles to fishing lines; even the generous gunwale seats fold away under the coamings when it’s time to fish. The gunwales are padded all the way round. Under the sole, three generous lockers feature deep drains to prevent water ingress from the self-draining cockpit. Note the electrically operated vent above the helm, right, and roll-out awning. Unibond construction Boston Whaler makes much of the fact its boats are unsinkable, claiming you can cut one of their boats in half and drive away in the half with the engine attached. Unibond construction – bonding the moulded fibreglass hull to the moulded deck using closed cell foam – supposedly makes the boats unsinkable and offers stability, level flotation and a quiet ride. The integral foam also insulates fish boxes and lockers. This construction method produces safe, strong fibreglass boats, but it is more expensive than conventional fibreglass building. 28 Boating New Zealand March 2014 Tested_Boston whaler_March14.indd 28 19/02/2014 7:46:04 a.m.
FREE TO READ April 2014
FREE TO READ February 2014