Love Me Tender
Anybody who has spent any amount of time as a boater knows how important it is to have a good tender. While the big boat is the place for comfort, security, and luxury, the tender is all about fun. And fun is why you’re out on the water in the first place, remember?
There are tons of options out there to choose from in the tender market. Maybe you’re looking for a simple inflatable rowboat to get you to and from the dock. Or perhaps you’re one of the rarefied few who will commission a fully custom powerboat that will live inside the gull-winged bow of your mega yacht. Regardless, if you’re in the tender market, one company you absolutely need to investigate is good old Boston Whaler. The venerable American builder, famous for building unsinkable boats thanks to its high-density foam coring process, has an entire line of boats designed to get you to the beach, the dockside restaurant, the dive spot, or anywhere else your little heart desires.
For example, at the entry level in the Whaler line is the 110 Tender, the perfect no fuss dinghy. She weighs just 424 pounds (dry and sans engine), and draws a mere 7 inches, so you can go explore any skinny-water mangrove forest or bonefish flat you can think of. She can easily handle a 15-horsepower outboard, but she’s also got oarlocks in case you feel like going green—or just want the workout. If you like the small size and shallow draft of the 110 Tender, but want just a tad more boat, take a peek at the 110 Sport. As you might have guessed, this boat has similar specs to the Tender, but can manage ten more horses—a number which may not seem like a lot, but goes a long way on a boat this size.
If you’d like your tender to have just a bit more oomph, take a look at Whaler’s 130 Super Sport. The Super Sport is notable for a high level of customizability for a boat this size. Different hull colors, a canvas bimini, and fishing features like a carry-on livewell and an extra fishing seat are all available options. But be forewarned, with undeniably sleek lines and a sharp, stainless steel steering wheel, this is one dinghy that puts your primary boat in serious danger of being upstaged. If you’re ready for a big step up, the 350 Outrage may be just the boat for you. Say you’ve got a big fishing boat—a Viking 82 or a Carolina custom build for example—and that boat’s great for dropping anchor in the Canyon all night, but you also want a boat that’s a bit less intense. The 350 is your girl. She can follow along right behind the big boat, but easily zip you into port, or over to a cool snorkeling spot with the kids, or the ladies can head into town to do some shopping while the boys go out and fish.
A rugged, wave-splitting hull with 23 degrees of deadrise at the transom provides a smooth ride, while a maximum horsepower of 1050 ensures that ride is one to remember.
A similar vein to the 350 is the all-new 330 Outrage—a boat which could easily shine as a primary boat but also works incredibly well as a tender. The 330 can hit a rollicking top end of 46 knots when fitted with twin 350-horsepower Mercurys. Just imagine yourself blasting along at those speeds while your favorite tunes blare out of the boat’s standard Fusion stereo system. When it comes to the 330, you may just opt to ride in the tender over your primary boat!
The largest entry in the array of Boston Whaler tenders is the 420 Outrage. That boat is offshore-fishing capable thanks to tons of tackle storage and a livewell. What’s more, her center console houses a comfortable cabin with HDTV, a shower, a hanging locker, and much more. She’s a hell of a boat in her own right, but when paired with your primary boat, they’ll make for a team that will dominate the water no matter what you plan on doing out there.
Whaler also offers an entire other family of tender ready boats, the Dauntless line, which boasts five boats from a 170 to a 270. All of them are more than ready to crush their role as your dinghy. So get out there and have some fun. With Boston Whaler, that’s what it’s all about!