John page williams
The following review was written by John Page Williams, Editor-at-large, Chesapeake Bay Magazine. John, senior naturalist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been a regular contributor to Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 30 years, specializing in environmental issues, nature, wildlife, fishing and boats. He has been testing new and used boats for the magazine's Time-Tested and New Boat News departments since 1998.
Boston whaler 205 eastport
OCTOBER 2004
 
   
Length overall  36'5"
Beam  10'
Draft  1'6"
Weight  32,000 lb
Displacement  11,500 lb
Fuel Capacity  166 gals
Water Capacity  35 gals
Engine single Yanmar 440-hp diesel
Jets 292 Hamilton waterjets
What more could you possibly want? This dandy little cuddy- cabin cruiser has it all,powered by a single Mercury 150 Optimax, you can get 40-mph top speeds, an efficient 20-mph cruising speed, a big cockpit, plenty of seating, and space to throw the kids or to duck into when it starts to blow, all in an easy-to-maintain, 'hose-and-stow,' unsinkable hull.

It's the first of Whaler's relatively affordable Legend Series to combine cuddy-cabin convenience with a large, open cockpit and a roomy walk-around deck. At just a few inches over 20 feet long, it's small enough to be trailered easily, but it's big enough for fishing and lots of other family-oriented waterborne sports.

That's the big picture. But it's really in the details that Boston Whaler shines through. Sitting here in the 41-square-foot cockpit, I'm typing this report in one of the jump seats placed comfortably on either corner of the transom. The port-side seat base is removable for easier access across the transom to an optional swim platform. There are stainless-steel rod holders mounted on each gunwale and storage for two rods underneath. Two aft-facing seats, situated amidships, conceal an insulated fishbox/storage compartment on one side and a storage cooler on the other. 

The pilot and companion seats are a full 15 inches apart, meaning you don't have to sidle to squeeze between them. They're both mounted on pods that house self-draining, insulated storage compartments, good for keeping drinks or fish on ice.

The helm is to starboard, protected by an aluminum-framed windshield. The windshield is a single pane of tempered glass so there are no extrusions obstructing the view. The height of the windshield is thoughtfully placed so you're looking through it while seated and looking over it while standing. The bow rail stanchions are also strategically placed so there is minimal obstruction of the view from the helm.

The dash features Mercury SmartCraft analog dials for tachometer and speedometer, and there's room an 8.5-inch chartplotter on one side and a fishfinder and VHF on the other. There's a handy catch-all tray on the right to hold the pilot's pocketfuls of stuff and a 12-volt outlet to plug in handheld devices. The stainless-steel wheel has hydraulic steering.

The companionway leads down into the cuddy cabin, which is a snug, simple area with sit-up headroom at the aft end. Filler cushions make it into one cozy nest four inches shy of six feet long and nearly that distance wide. The vinyl headliners and plastic ceiling make it easy to clean. There's a portable toilet under the center filler cushions. The battery switch is just inside the companionway door and the batteries are stowed behind a fabric stowage pouch. The two side eye-shaped portlights and the overhead hatch provide ambient light and ventilation. A gasketed hatch provides ready access to the wiring behind the helm dash.

The side decks are adequate for reaching the small foredeck. This area is recessed for added security and they've notched out the bow area to provide a little more of a foothold for docking and anchoring. The anchor locker is quite deep and it's integrated into the hull, not added on, so there's little chance of moisture or even odors leaking into the cabin. A stainless steel anchor pulpit holds an adequate Danforth in place.

The hull has been broadened a bit at the entry to compensate for the added weight of the cabin, and the section most aft has been rounded to allow better performance from a lower-powered outboard.

The performance can be stated in three simple words: it's just plain fun. Okay, that's four words, but that describes it. The hull is quick to plane. The hydraulic steering seemed to me a bit stiff, but the boat tracked well and provided a surprising amount of stability resting in the wakes of passing boats.

It was a calm summer day on the Savannah River, just downstream of that lovely colonial city. Though we were miles from the mouth, we were still affected by a strong tidal current, though at the time of this report, it was just past slack and beginning to ebb. Powered by a single 150-hp XL Mercury OptiMax outboard, the 205 Eastport provided a top speed of 39.8 mph heading downstream at 55 rpm. We clocked 21.7 mph at 3000 rpm and 30.7 mph at 4000 rpm.  

The hull is built with Whaler's exclusive Unibond construction for unsurpassed flotation,the swamped capacity is 3,500 pounds,and it's backed by a 10-year transferable limited warranty.

While the Eastport 205 comes well equipped, available options include a livewell in lieu of the port storage cooler, electric trim tabs, AM/FM digital stereo with CD player and waterproof speakers, and a 175-hp or 200-hp XL Mercury OptiMax engine.