John martino, annapolis school of seamanship and annapolis yacht         management
The following review was written by John Martino and prepared by the marketing department of Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Mr. Martino is the founder and president of Annapolis Yacht Management and Annapolis School of Seamanship. He develops and teaches hands-on training courses for recreational boaters and professional mariners, and offers yacht delivery and onboard training services for powerboaters as well as sailors.
Sea Ray 370
NOVEMBER 2013
 
   
Length 26' 10"
Beam 9' 
Max HP 450 hp         
Draft 1' 8" 
Fuel 175 gal
Water 20 gal
Price as Tested $144,800


It is no secret that I have had a life-long love affair with Boston Whalers. But it’s hard for me to accept that it has been going on for more than 30 years. As a kid, I loved running around in 13- and 17-foot Whalers on the back bays along the Jersey Shore. Many say that Boston Whaler invented the center-console boat in the late 1960s (but there is some debate on that). And it is the center-console that we associate with the brand.

However, there are some other ideas we associate with the Boston Whaler brand as well. They are well built, seaworthy, unsinkable, simple and fun. You can take a Whaler out for an afternoon to go water-skiing, fishing, or just cruising around. When you get back to the dock, just tie it up, hose it down and you’re on your way home.

Despite everything I have always known and loved about Boston Whalers, I was not prepared for the test ride I took aboard the new 270 Vantage. When Rick Boulay Jr. from Chesapeake Whalertowne turned down the fairway at Eastport Yacht Center to pick me up, I was honestly shocked to see a bow rider approaching. But this is not your father’s bow rider. In fact, I hate to even call it that because the 270 Vantage is a Boston Whaler through and through . . . with bow seating and an offset helm!

In many ways it offers everything most Whaler lovers ever wanted but were too afraid to ask. I have to admit that now that I have a young family, I really appreciate comfortable seating, a hard top, an enclosed head with vacuum flush, a small refrigerator and a grill. When I was in my 20s I didn’t care about those things. But despite my desire for some creature comforts and versatility, I am not willing to give up performance, fishability, and the simplicity of a boat that can be hosed down at the end of the day. The beauty of this boat is that it does all of those things and it does them really well. Even the hard top has an integrated hard point for towing a wake boarder or water skiier if you’re old school.

Underway, the 270 Vantage was great to drive. The combination of the 9-foot beam and 20-degree deadrise at the transom make the Vantage capable of comfortably handling rough water. The twin Mercury Verado’s are quiet at low speed and delivered heaps of torque through the entire rpm range. Our test boat was equipped with twin 200s but you can also get the Vantage with 225s. At 4000 rpm we zipped along at 25 to 29 knots and I was still able to push everyone back in their seat by punching the throttle up from there. High speed turns were crisp and stable. I could comfortably drive from both a seated and standing position and the Mercury throttle felt precise.

Dear Santa, I want one for Christmas. Are you reading this honey?