By Robert Buller

A fully-enclosed wheelhouse is a smart addition to this new 28’ Whaler, giving it all-weather capability as a sport fisher, commuter or pocket cruiser.

The new Boston Whaler 285 Conquest was officially launched at the 2012 Seattle and Vancouver International Boat Shows and drew huge crowds. Officially a part of the Conquest model line, it is described as a pilothouse design, thanks to its permanently enclosed wheelhouse.

Recently CY had an opportunity to put the 285 through a full test and we came away impressed. Calling it a pilothouse may be a stretch, but this is clearly an important step in the development of the larger Boston Whaler model line. It is, in fact, a complete redesign from the keel up and was always intended to incorporate a permanently enclosed wheelhouse. This feature has worked so well that it may find its way onto other Conquest models in future.

Where previous Whalers of similar size had curtains for the aft wall of the wheelhouse, the 285 has a fully fabricated integral aft wall with door; a small window in the door slides open vertically.

The overall visual impression isn’t much different from other examples in the Conquest line. A flared bow, a tall wheelhouse, a generous aft deck, and a pair of substantial Mercury outboards on the transom – it has all the elements of a classic Boston Whaler, a fishing platform or an ultra-fast sport boat or commuter.

The addition of the permanent aft wheelhouse wall makes a big difference to the feel of this model. First, the noise – or lack of it. The twin 225-hp Mercury Verado outboards are impressive on their own and ultra-quiet at idle. Even when opened up they maintain a powerful yet dignified and quiet demeanor. Once the boat is up on plane, the only noise intruding into the cockpit was from water rippling off the chine ridges on the hull. Absolutely no engine noise came from aft.

But with the cabin door closed we found almost no intrusion of sound at all. The quiet was almost uncanny, impressing both this reviewer and our host broker Darryl Oben from West Coast Whaler dealer M&P Mercury Sales. My dB sound meter did not register at all at maneuvering speeds and showed a very modest increase to just over 70 at cruising speed, 4000 RPM on the big Mercs.

The ride was solid and confidence-inspiring.

There is a surprising amount of interior space for a vessel that is less than 30 feet long. More than a commuter or sport fisher, this Whaler could easily serve as a weekend cruiser for a couple or small family.

The wheelhouse holds a command seat behind the instruments and controls to starboard, and a pair of facing seats to port. With a slide-out table between them, this area is perfect for meals or snacks. An additional bench seat can be added to create a running seat companion to the helm seat opposite, big enough for two.

Below, the living area is surprisingly large with a U-shaped settee and an oval-shaped table at centre that can drop down to settee height to create a second berth. A small galley is located to port and a head with basin, toilet and shower to starboard. A full double berth is fitted below the wheelhouse and stretches athwartships behind the salon steps.

The galley has a two-burner stovetop and a small microwave matched to a small under-counter refrigerator. There is a small hanging locker to starboard for clothes and a variety of drawers and hatches for additional storage.

The helm chair surround has additional space for storage below and extra drawers and cabinets are accessible from the aft deck. The salon sports an overhead hatch with screen for ventilation.

Space in the cockpit area is generous given the boat’s modest overall length. Additional seating on each side and on the transom is provided by swing-away hardware that allows seats to be folded up and away, but could easily provide seating for six when folded down. The hardware is robust chrome steel and gives a solid look and feel.

Stored immediately below the aft deck are the key auxiliary mechanicals, bilge pumps, filters and batteries. Also carefully stored here just under the hatch is the cockpit table, which inserts into mounting hardware in the middle of the aft deck. Additional storage is available in drawers in the port side of the aft bulkhead.

Mooring cleats are mounted slightly above the deck but recessed into the sidewall overhang so they are out of the way. Lines for mooring and fenders go through a top-mounted hawse pipe and stand clear. Everything is tidy, and that really matters on a smaller boat.

The standard equipment list is generous. Included is a sizable compass, complete interior lighting, an audio package with Clarion radio and CD player and two sets of twin speakers, a centre-mounted 14” Raymarine C140W display with input from a 4kw radar dome, a 19” flat TV screen, and a roof-mounted spotlight.

Rod holders are incorporated into the welded steps that allow access to the roof structure and are also found inside the cabin with ceiling mounted brackets. A convenient vent mounted centrally above the windshield opens to provide airflow. When the window in the aft wall is also open, you’ll have all the ventilation needed for any summer’s day.

Performance is exactly as expected – lively. A slightly overcast day with no wind and a smooth sea awaited us in English Bay off downtown Vancouver. The Mercury outboards spooled up quickly and got us on the plane in about five seconds. Minor adjustments to the trim tabs had us at a comfortable cruising speed at 4000 rpm – about 22 knots by our onboard GPS.

In a few very tight turns, the 285 tracked perfectly true with no sideslip or bounce. Cabin noise was negligible, as noted above. Handling our own wash was easy with the deep-vee hull. An evasive maneuver to avoid a hidden hazard was accomplished easily with a drop in engine revs and a quick turn. The ride was solid and comfortable and would likely have remained so even in a chop.

The 285 stands out for the distinctly civilized ride and versatility provided by its enclosed wheelhouse. With standard equipment, it lists at $248,000, slotting squarely in the mid-range of comfortable sport and fishing craft.


Specifications
LOA    27’ 10”/8.5 m
Beam    9’ 6”/2.9 m
Dry Weight (no engine)    7,300 lb./3,311 kg
Fuel Capacity    200 gal./757L
Water Capacity    30 gal./114L
Waste Capacity     6.5 gal./24.6 L
Price as Tested    $248,000

Test boat provided and price quoted by M&P Mecury Sales
www.mpmercury.com


Performance
Engines: Twin 225-hp Mercury Verado outboards, supercharged inline 6 cylinder, 2.6 L / 158 ci, twin cam, four valve per cylinder. 4–stroke, sequential multi-port fuel injection
RPM    Speed (knots)
600    2.6
1000    4.4
1500    6.1
2000    7.4
2500    8.2
3000    10.5
3500    16.7
4000    22.9*
4500    27.3
5000    31.1
5500    34.3
6000    37.8
6500    40.1
*Cruising Speed

Performance data supplied by Boston Whaler.


Photo Captions:
Photo 1 - Officially a part of the Conquest model line, the Boston Whaler 285 is described as a pilothouse design, thanks to its permanently enclosed wheelhouse.
Photo 2 - The 285 has a fully fabricated integral aft wall with door; a small window in the door slides open vertically.
Photo 3 - Below, the living area is surprisingly large with a U-shaped settee and an oval-shaped table at centre that can drop down to settee height to create a second berth.
Photo 4 - The wheelhouse holds a command seat behind the instruments and controls to starboard, and a pair of facing seats to port.
Photo 5 - A small galley is located to port and has a two-burner stovetop and a small microwave matched to a small under-counter refrigerator.
Photo 6 - Boston Whaler 285 Conquest Pilothouse, Sport Fisher, Commuter or Pocket Cruiser.
Related Articles
Power
  • 01 May 2019
  • By Ethan

Grand Banks 60 Skylounge

Designed and built to cruise the world’s oceans, the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge offers abundant outdoor spaces with the protection of a fully-enclosed flybridge for perfect comfort in any...

Power
  • 28 March 2019
  • By Ethan

Beneteau Swift Trawler 47

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why...

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This shot was taken last week by Jessica Lee, a freelance photography pro, Albacore racer and part ...
On a sunny and windless day we led Alicia and another sailboat into New York Harbour. There were ...
It was a trip 2 or 3 years ago, and all 4 boats traveled up to the Killarney area in a ...
My name is Alexandrine GOVAN, mother of a 5 years old girl and I found your contact on internet. ...
John Booth, who passed away just a few weeks ago was one of the most amazingly gifted and ...
We left Vero Beach on Saturday morning with Alicia, a boat from Sweden, following close behind. The ...
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
It has been hot in the Abacos this winter. Whoever said this area was cool this time of year must ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
On the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had ...
A reader suggested we take a look at anchors. Anchoring seems simple enough. A weighted hook with a ...
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...

Sailboat Under Cloudy Skies

By Joan Wenner, J.D.

Sailboat under cloudy sky by Bill Cox-Unsplash

Have you ever needed on-the-water assistance due to a mechanical breakdown, running aground, taking on water (perhaps from striking a submerged or floating object), having a mishap with another vessel, or have a medical emergency and the authorities are not near, but another mariner answers your mayday or perhaps observes your predicament. Another boater is in the vicinity, but will, or should, that person offer to help perhaps at his peril? What if you were that pleasure craft operator?

Read more about Good Samaritans............

 

  

Monte Carlo 52The launch of the new Monte Carlo 52 will be one of the highlights of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2019. This 50-foot high-end motor yacht is eagerly awaited and will introduce the Monte Carlo “Smart Luxury” generation. The stylish flybridge powerboat has inherited all the superb signature features of a successful range: modern design, elegant lines, distinctive character, incredibly well-used spaces and a careful focus on details, not to mention the iconic large porthole, distinguishing the 15 m (50’) to 18 m (60’) class of yachts made in Vendée. The Monte Carlo 52 has greatly improved all these features.

 

Read more about the Monte Carlo 52..............

 

John ArmstrongOur Canadian Yachting test team, John Armstong and Andy Adams, were at a Jeanneau media event called “Throttle Down” in St. Petersburg, Florida. The media event was held to highlight the Jeanneau Power Boat Line with the emphasis on their outboard models. 

The media event was scheduled to follow their Jeanneau dealer meetings, held earlier at Thunder Marine International in St. Petersburg. The Thunder Marine location is on the water and has a cooperative agreement with Jeanneau to host the full line of Jeanneau power boats in the water for dealer demonstration to their clients.

Read More about the Jeanneau Media Event...........

Destinations

  • Prev
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...


ChicagoBy Mark Stevens

Photos by Sharon Matthews-Stevens


From my perspective on the observation deck of 360 Chicago in the John Hancock Building, I have an eagle’s-eye view of this Lake Michigan metropolis.

The city stretched out before us is a forest of concrete. Toward the lake – right below us – there’s a beach volleyball game in progress. White triangles crisscross Caribbean-blue waters in the distance. Sunday morning must be race day – just like home.

 

Read more about Chicago....................

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
When I took the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV down to Wednesday night racing, the people that came over ...
Protecting your boat from scratches and dents isn’t always easy. That’s why the Big Bumper Company ...
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Forespar has just introduced a new smaller size version of their ...
As boaters we all have a very unique connection to the water and all the opportunities it presents. ...
Edited by the Quebec Marine Association under the direction of L'Escale Nautique (producer of the ...
Blue Guard has announced the general availability of the BG-One, a solid-state bilge pump switch, ...
With the introduction of the Ion Power Basic, a safe Lithium Ion battery formulated with Lithium, ...
Finding a car brand that you enjoy while it does what you need can be tough, as they can be ...
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...