I’ve spoken recently about the value of strong customer service as a reason to do business with a particular boat dealer. Proud as I am of MarineMax’s outstanding reputation for service, I have to say it’s easier to accomplish when you’re offering some of the best products on the market.
A prime example of that is the Boston Whaler line of boats, which continues to earn its more than 50-year reputation for durability – and unsinkability. That’s right: It’s been proven over and over again that Boston Whaler boats will stay afloat, no matter what.
It’s a story that’s famous in the boating world. Back in 1958, Boston Whaler’s founder, Richard Fisher, crafted the first 13-foot Whaler and then did his best to destroy it. He drove it up rocky rapids. He even cut it in half with a chain saw! Each half just kept bobbing there on the water, maybe a little silly looking but a guarantee of safety for anyone aboard.
Once Fisher was satisfied that his first boat was truly unsinkable, he applied the same design principles and construction techniques to every boat he built after that. And it’s still true today of every Boston Whaler model. When you see that trademark, “Unsinkable Legend,” you’ll know that it’s not just advertising hype, it’s a proven and guaranteed fact.
Now, of course, plenty has changed over the years. And Boston Whaler has kept up with new technologies and new tastes in boating. That means one of their current models can meet the needs and desires of just about every sort of boater and fisherman. Nevertheless, the great number of older models that are still dependably afloat and giving trouble-free services attests to just how well-built and durable these boats are.
The company’s line now ranges from 11 feet to 42 feet. The smallest of these are well-suited for service as dinghies or tenders for larger vessels. Plenty of the mid-size boats are seeing service in our region as both offshore fishing vessels and family recreation platforms. And the biggest of the Whalers are getting into yacht territory themselves.
Culmination of those models is the brand-new 420 Outrage. This remains true to Richard Fisher's vision of a tough, durable and unsinkable boat, but incorporates cutting-edge advances in manufacturing, design, navigation and propulsion technologies.
I have a special reason why I like offering Boston Whaler boats. Often they are the solution to what seems like an impossible conflict between two halves of a couple. I’ve seen this many times when talking to potential customers. He’s determined to have a fast, capable fishing boat. She wants to enjoy family leisure time, maybe water sports and even entertaining afloat. And they believe these goals just aren’t compatible. I had more to say about this in my November 2015 article about how men and women can reconcile their ideas about boating.
Unfortunately, many fishing boats lack comfort. And many pleasure boats lack fishing features. But as we advise our customers, it doesn’t have to be that way. Boston Whaler proves you can have both comfort and fishing amenities, and not sacrifice any quality or reliability.
When Whaler introduced its Outrage series in the 1990s, it featured a “deep-V” hull that gave the boat a much easier ride in rough water than earlier designs. But that improvement didn’t come at the cost of strength or safety. What’s distinctive about all Boston Whaler designs is what the company calls “Unibond” construction. That means that two separate layers of strong fiberglass, an outer shell and an inner hull liner, are joined in a sandwich with closed-cell foam. “Closed cell” means the foam can’t ever get waterlogged, which is the secret to unsinkability. The foam is bonded to the fiberglass while still liquid, which results in a single rigid core, and tremendous strength.
I could go on to describe the various features of individual models that make them versatile and well-suited for many uses. Those include the various rails, hand-holds and seating options that provide safety for family use and reliability for the serious fisherman; spacious coolers and generous fuel capacity for extended offshore trips; and well-designed heads for passenger comfort.
But the best way to understand these features is to come take a look. MarineMax’s showroom is the perfect place to start learning about why Boston Whaler enjoys the reputation it’s earned for so many years. And I encourage couples and families to take a “sea trial” with us, to get a real-time sense of how any boat model will fit their preferred lifestyle.
Thom Cross is the general manager of MarineMaxWrightsville Beach. Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, MarineMax is the nation’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer. Focused on premium brands, MarineMax sells new and used recreational boats and related marine products and services as well as provides yacht brokerage and charter services. For more information, visit www.marinemax.com, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarineMaxWrightsvilleBeach or call (910) 256-8100.
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