Boston Whaler demonstrated its 60-year commitment to innovation and excellence during this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which ran from November 1 to 5. The annual event draws boating enthusiasts and industry representatives from around the world, and Whaler welcomed attendees with two vibrant displays: indoors at the Convention Center, and on-water at the Bahia Mar.
Visitors were encouraged to step aboard and explore some of Boston Whaler’s newest models, including the brand-new 150 Montauk and 170 Montauk. Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service Jeff Vaughn introduced the Montauks during a media event on Thursday afternoon: “We didn’t want to mess too much with the formula, because these have long been incredibly popular models. But we did conduct in-depth interviews with Montauk owners, and have incorporated that feedback into several upgrades that make these models even better suited to today’s boaters — features like a new integrated fish box and fuel tank, upgraded fishing packages, state-of-the-art electronics, better storage and more.”
Guests of the show were also treated to a first look at Whaler’s new model family, with the debuting 350 Realm. With all the versatility of a center console model, and all the comfort and convenience of a cabin boat, the Realm is designed to empower boaters seeking a new way to share adventures with family and friends — from long-distance trips to the Bahamas, to an onboard birthday party with the grandkids. Notable features include a robust bow lounge area, and two rows of convertible cockpit seating with massive beverage storage and a handy cockpit prep center. Fans eagerly speculated what further Realm models might join the family in the future.
Another boat making its Fort Lauderdale debut was the 380 Outrage. “Since the 380’s launch earlier this year in Miami, we’ve seen strong demand for the new design,” said Vaughn. “This boat combines powerful offshore capability with terrific onboard comfort, and purposeful features that make it equally well-equipped for sport fishing and entertaining.”
The 240 Dauntless Pro also appeared at the Fort Lauderdale show for the first time. “We designed this boat for the needs of serious inshore anglers, and included the most popular fishing options as standard features,” explained Vaughn. “It’s got a great Upper Station with dedicated port side access that makes it safer and easier to get to than your typical fishboat upper station.”
Other popular models at the show included the multifunctional 270 Dauntless; the flagship 420 Outrage, Boating magazine’s 2015 Boat of the Year; and the Innovation Award-winning 345 Conquest, with its automatically-convertible Dynamic Cabin System.
With so much to see, it was no surprise that attendance was high, with over 105,000 total visitors — an increase of 7 percent over last year, according to show organizers. “Fort Lauderdale is an important show for Boston Whaler, and a highly attended one,” said Vaughn. “As we look ahead to our sixtieth year, we’re always excited to share what’s new. The show was a great preface for what’s to come in 2018.”