Thoughtful refinements improve an already winning design
One of the best-known big water fishing boat manufacturers in the world, Boston Whaler has built an enviable following over the years with its innovative designs, high build quality, and dependable reputation as the unsinkable legend.
In particular, the company’s center console lineup enjoys worldwide popularity. With the design’s 360-degree direct access to the water, ample storage space, versatile layout and ability to handle both big and skinny water with equal aplomb, these durable, easy-to-maintain boats continue to set sales records year after year. Boston Whaler’s 240 Dauntless model set a new benchmark for center console design when it was introduced in 2015, incorporating a number of family-friendly amenities that made the Dauntless so much more than a hard-core fishing boat. And now for 2017 comes the Boston Whaler 240 Dauntless Pro model, which takes this appealing design one step forward to an entirely new level.
First the good news – the Boston Whaler 240 Dauntless Pro keeps everything that made the original 240 Dauntless such a runaway success, including its massive bow with comfortable, forward-facing chaise lounge seats. You can still pop in a removable table to transform this space into a super-comfortable lunch spot and, as with the original, you can still pop in filler cushions to convert the entire bow into a huge sun pad. Remove the cushions altogether and the bow transforms into one of the largest casting decks you’ll find in a boat of this size. The area below decks in the new boat still offers multiple locking storage compartments that accommodate a wide range of oversized gear, including fishing rods, boat hooks and so on, each self-draining with fully gasketed lids enabling these spaces to double as a cooler or fish box. The port compartment has integral rod lockers for convenience, while a big bow anchor locker up front also features an overboard drain.
As in the original Dauntless, the center console in the 240 Dauntless Pro features a built-in head for additional comfort on the water – an attractive feature in a boat that will also see its share of time taking the family for fun rides.
But for many prospective buyers, the even better news is that the 240 Dauntless Pro gains a few improvements on the original design, and nowhere is that more evident than in its oversized center console. Now called the Pro Angler’s Tower, this new console design lets you climb on top of the helm for a raised vantage point for uninterrupted, long-distance visibility when searching for bait fish. A dedicated port-side access ladder lets you get up on top of the console where a second helm station awaits, complete with a cushioned leaning post and state-of-the-art Raymarine electronics. This second station is essentially a copy of the primary station on the main deck, giving the driver full access to everything they need for confident command in any position. And, it’s designed so that you can comfortably operate the boat from the upper post not only while idling through no wake zones or cruising through shallow flats looking for birds or baitfish, but also while running at full speed. This is a big plus.
On the hardtop of the Boston Whaler 240 Dauntless Pro, a glass windshield and optional side curtains lend extra protection against the elements. The cockpit’s cushioned, function-forward leaning post with flip-up bolsters provides ergonomic support for the captain while driving, then serves as a go-to spot for fighting fish. Four rod holders on the leaning post keep rods at hand, and dedicated cooler space below ensures a cold drink is always within reach.
Another change from the original Dauntless 240 is the elimination of the rear deck jump seat, replacing it with a purpose-built stern casting deck with an integrated live well and storage. The Boston Whaler 240 Dauntless Pro is very much aimed at serious anglers, who will prefer a live well in this space over an upholstered seat. In its place, aft plug-in seating drops into the transom to provide additional versatility when needed. Seat cushions snap into place atop the storage bin and live well lids, while corresponding seat backs plug into place via four flush-mount receptacles.
The 240 Dauntless Pro is rated to accommodate outboards of up to 350 horsepower – a 50 hp gain over the original design. With a Supercharged Mercury 350 Verado running at full throttle, this boat delivers a top speed of 57 mph with a range of 149 miles. Cut the throttle back to a more leisurely 3,500 rpm and around 27 mph, and that range nearly doubles for fuel economy in the 3 mpg range. That’s pretty impressive for a 24-foot boat with 350 ponies strapped to the transom.
The Boston Whaler 240 Dauntless Pro builds on the solid platform of the original design by adding features that will appeal to serious anglers. Expect to see plenty of these new models on the water in the near future.
Boston Whaler 240 Dauntless Pro
Length: 23’ 11”
Beam: 8’ 6”
Dry weight: 3,300 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 90 gal.
Passenger capacity: 9
Maximum power: 350 hp