Boating NZ : FREE TO READ March 2014
and through-gunwale hawse holes with integrated cup holders to service cleats low down in the cockpit. Integrated rod racks under the coamings accept fishing rods or poles, four through-coaming rod holders are set up for trolling and there is ample dedicated rod stowage on the aft sides of the hardtop support, also useful when clearing gear after a game fish is hooked. Across the transom there is room to stow three rods, but there is no rocket launcher or cockpit side shelves – familiar features for most Kiwi-built boats. The stainless tie- down rails either side of the cockpit just above floor level are unusual, but they should be great for securing loose items while underway. There are plenty of handholds around the boat. The Boston Whaler 285 Conquest has excellent access to the foredeck with wide side decks, plenty of handholds and a bow rail all the way back to the cockpit. There’s enough clear deck to fish from the bow and the Conquest has substantial ground tackle, in keeping with the boat’s likely role in New Zealand. POWER TO SPARE While 500hp may seem excessive for what is a trailer boat in some markets, the Boston Whaler 285 Conquest is a heavy boat with a serious bluewater hull that needs plenty of power to perform at its full potential. The hull is particularly good at taming gnarly head seas and boasts wide chines that knock down spray and provide great stability at rest and underway. The 285 with its 757-litre fuel tank located amidships, a triple bank of batteries and twin 250hp Mercury Verado outboards rises onto the plane evenly, providing clear sight lines and a wide range of efficient speeds for different sea conditions. The Whaler feels rock solid and sure-footed. Williamson really threw the big monohull around for the photos, but it goes exactly where it’s pointed, without cavitating and without an alarming degree of heel. The G-forces generated were considerable in the turns, but there is plenty to hold onto and the high gunwales inspire confidence. We had a fair bit of wind with an accompanying chop, so the Bennett trim tabs got some use with the wind on the beam. The hull is a dry runner and quiet, thanks almost certainly to Boston Whaler’s double, hull foam sandwich construction – see sidebar. In the conditions we maintained a dry and comfortable cruise of 26-27 knots at 3800rpm. Top speed is a bit over 40 knots with the Verados burning around 180 litres per hour between them. The Mercury Verados impress as being quiet and smooth. Fuel burn figures are reasonable, considering they’re pushing a relatively heavy boat, and there’s no reason to complain about their responsiveness: the boat leaps onto the plane when you push the DTS; ie, wireless, throttle and shift forward. CONCLUSION The Boston Whaler 285 Conquest has a price that reflects Boston Whaler’s reputation for premium quality and durability; it won’t be on the list for budget boat buyers. However, customers wanting something a little different or who have specific requirements that only American sport fishers/express cruisers may find a well-equipped and capable Boston Whaler just what they're looking for in a boat. ➤ loa 8.51m ➤ beam 2.90mm ➤ draft approx 0.5m ➤ weight 4400kg as reviewed ➤ construction solid GRP, unibonded ➤ engine 2 x Mercury Verado 250hp four-stroke outboard ➤ deadrise 20° at transom ➤ fuel 757 litres ➤ water 113.5 litres ➤ cruising speed 25-30 knots ➤ max speed 40+ knots ➤ price as tested NZ$$358,700 ➤ manufactured by Boston Whaler, Florida, USA web www.bostonwhaler.com ➤ boat supplied by Sports Marine Ltd, Auckland, 09 274 9918 021 732 721 www.sportsmarine.co.nz Boston Whaler Conquest 285 The cockpit morphs easily between fishing HQ and picnic area. The long, insulated side lockers are for wet stowage or holding the catch; they can be pumped full of water or filled with slurry. The middle section of the cockpit sole contains a 757-litre fuel tank. The twin 250 four-stroke Mercury Verado outboards, upgraded from the standard 225hp, power to Conquest 285 to 40+ knots. 30 Boating New Zealand March 2014 Tested_Boston whaler_March14.indd 30 19/02/2014 7:47:54 a.m.
FREE TO READ April 2014
FREE TO READ February 2014