Boston Whaler is something of a legend in sailing circles. Their boats carry the bold claim of being unsinkable, while the interiors prove you don’t have to choose between style and comfort or utility and technical features. Their dinghies carry the same promise as the rest of their range, although fortunately, the price is a little less than on some of their larger models. But what should you be looking for when it comes to buying one of your own? Are there certain features that you should be prioritizing? Certain ones you should be avoiding? Yes to both. Essentially, the same criteria applies to buying a Boston Whaler dinghy as it does any other dinghy. You’re going to want something that’s made of a strong, durable material, that’s big enough to fit the number of passengers you need it to without being so cumbersome as to be unwieldy, and that can be towed. A bit of extra bling can be a nice little touch too.
Some dingies need to be rowed. Others have a motor that does the hard work for you. Boston Whaler likes to give their dingies some oomph, attaching an onboard motor to pretty much every model. But before you think a motor is just a motor, be sure to check out the horsepower on the spec. A model like the 110 Tender comes with a maximum horsepower of 15 HP – strong enough to get you from A to B without making you draw a sweat in the process.
Bells and Whistles
A dingy isn’t just a dingy anymore. It might be designed for little more than getting you from A to B, but choose the right one, and you’ll be getting far more than just a basic ride. If you need storage, Boston Whaler makes options with bow lockers with a fiberglass cove: perfect for stashing your gear. Sleek stainless-steel rails are available on several options, adding a very reassuring (not to mention rustproof) safety net, while a swim ladder might also come in very handy, depending on how you intend to use the dingy.
Ultimately, a dingy isn't intended to replace a full side boat, and it’s certainly not designed to compete with one in terms of size. Dinghies are, by nature, fairly small… but that doesn’t mean they can be shoved into any old space. When you’re choosing your Boston Whaler dingy, look for one that’s got a large enough capacity for your needs, but isn’t going to cause you problems when it comes to storage.
As go-sail.co.uk writes, it’s not just the storage you need to be thinking of when it comes to considering the size of the dinghy. Some lighter options can be car-topped, but most (especially of the kind Boston Whaler makes) will need to be towed. Make sure your car’s up to the challenge of the dingy before you invest – you’ll probably find it slightly easier (and certainly a whole lot cheaper) to choose a different dingy than choose a different car.
If you want to make life easier for yourself, choose a dingy with a trailer. If you buy second hand, you might have to consider investing in a separate one (unless the previous owner is selling the two as a package). If you buy a new-to-market option, you shouldn’t have too many problems in that department – check out the added options list against the model spec to find out what you can get. Most of the trailers come with some nice little perks, including LED lights, tie downs, torsion axle, trailer jack, and winches, all of which are going to make the problem of transporting your dingy that much easier.
No matter how much you use your dingy, it’s going to go through periods of downtime. Protecting it from the elements is, then, something you’re going to have to take into account. Check out what kind of cover is offered as part of the deal – a canvas topping might not sound like a deal-breaker, but it’ll make a big difference to the longevity of your dingy.
Operating a dingy isn't rocket science, but it does take a bit of effort. When you’re choosing yours, do as boats.com recommends and pick a design with enough handholds for you to push, pull, and handle the vessel from all sides.
Not all dinghies are created equal. Most place value on functionality but forget about the comfort of the passengers. On that score, Boston Whaler is a cut above the rest. As well as offering great utility, their dinghies also offer a level of comfort that elevates them above much of the competition. But no two people are the same, and no two people want the same from their dingy. Before investing, check out the layout and seating arrangements to make sure it’s suitable for your needs. As vesselvendor.com notes, models like the Boston Whaler 110 come without a console, allowing extra space for seating. If you’re intending to use the boat to its full capacity, choosing something similar will save you and the rest of your passengers from having to get too close for comfort.
One of the big selling points of Boston Whaler vessels is the huge range of customizable options available. If you want to personalize your boat, check out just how much you can configure it to your liking on the official Boston Whaler website. Just a few of the options you can play around with include color, graphics, and power. Conveniently, a running total will let you know just how many bucks you’re adding to the end price as you add each extra option. You’ll also be presented with a very realistic representation of the final product before you commit – something that’s not only fun, but could potentially save you from making a very costly mistake.
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Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker