Boston whaler 320 cuddy cabin
OCTOBER 2005
 
   
Length overall  32'2"
Beam 10'2"
Draft(Hull Only)  22"
Displacement(Dry No Engine) 
9,000 lb
Fuel Capacity  300 gals
Standard power  twin 250-hp XXL Verado 4-stroke Mercury outboards


The cuddy cabin, with creature comforts like a V-berth large enough for two adults, is what distinguishes this boat from the strictly fishing center-console built on the same hull.

Take a proven Boston Whaler center console hull, keep the fishing amenities and add creature comforts for overnight cruising, and what have you got? A recipe for Boston Whaler's new 320 Outrage Cuddy Cabin.

From the helm station aft, the boat is identical to the 320 Outrage Center Console introduced in 2003. The instrument panel can accommodate up to three 10-inch electronics displays. Standard Mercury Marine Smart Craft instrumentation gives you all the running data you need at the push of a button. Trim tabs and hydraulic tilt steering are standard, as are the shore power hook-ups and battery charger.

Aft of the helm seat, there's a bait prep station with sink, tool holder, trash receptacle, locking tackle drawers and a 45-gallon recirculating livewell.

There's stand-up headroom inside the cuddy cabin and enough space to accommodate vertical rod holders, drawer storage, cabinets, and a VacuFlush porcelain toilet with a 6.5-gallon holding tank. The faucet at the sink pulls out to double as a hand-held showerhead. The interior is all fiberglass for easy cleaning and there's a sump pump in the sole. Batteries, pumps and seacocks are stowed in a lighted compartment accessible from cuddy cabin, and there's also a removable panel providing access to the wiring for the helm electronics.

The cockpit features a fold-away bench spanning the transom. There are 80-gallon fishboxes mounted in either side of the cockpit sole, each with pump-outs. There's rod storage under the gunwales, downrigger weight holders, and stainless steel toe rails.

One obvious difference between this model and the center-console is that the fiberglass hardtop extends forward to cover the bow cockpit as well. It's here, forward of the helm console, that the boat shifts from strictly fishing to more family-oriented overnight cruising comforts. An L-shaped lounge has plenty of storage underneath and there's another deep storage locker underneath a hatch in the sole. A refreshment center mounted behind the lounge and to the left of the console features a 12-volt top-loading refrigerator/freezer and storage. Just across from the lounge there's a built-in ice bucket, tackle storage and nonskid stairs leading up to the foredeck. The cuddy cabin features a U-shaped seating area that forms a V-berth large enough for two average-size adults.

I took a test ride one breezy summer day with my host, Bart Hiltabidle of the Annapolis branch of Chesapeake Whalertowne. I met him near Whalertowne's new headquarters in Grasonville on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Powered by optional twin 275-hp Verado outboards, the boat ran at 40 knots wide-open at 5800 rpm and 30.8 knots at about 4800 rpm. As expected, the Verado four-strokes provided smooth, quiet power and plenty of it. The word peppy came to mind, which is a curious adjective considering the size of the boat. The power tilt steering was smooth and responsive. Even at top speed, we turned tight circles with no loss of traction. The 23-degree deep-V hull, with its reverse chines and lateral strakes gave it a sure, stable feel. As expected, it tracked smack on.

This model was equipped with the optional Active Deck Suspension System (ADSS) which provides pneumatic shock absorption for the helm deck area. While this is quite effective in smoothing out the impact of rough seas in the open ocean, based on a short test ride I took when ADSS was introduced two years ago, it's probably not a needed option for protected waters like the Chesapeake Bay, especially at $19,427. We turned it off, locking the deck in place, and the ride across the moderate chop was just fine.