“When you’re at home, you feel like you’ve got to clean and do laundry,” Meghan says. “But the condo is far enough away that it just allows us to have family time.”
Whaler Fleet Through the Years
The Barters currently own a 2016 370 Outrage and a 2018 240 Dauntless Pro. They’ve landed on these models after several Whaler purchases from MarineMax in Pensacola, with the help of Kit Bodree. “He’s more than just a salesman,” Aaron says. “He’s a friend. Just having that camaraderie. When you go into MarineMax, you actually feel special.”
The family started off with a 2012 280 Outrage and then added a 170 Dauntless to the mix. They eventually traded the 170 Dauntless for a 240 Dauntless in 2014. Meanwhile, they traded in their 280 Outrage to buy their current 370 Outrage. “Then when the Dauntless Pro came out,” Aaron says, “I had to have the new one; I’m not going to lie. And it’s easy that Kit has my credit card number and can just add on any boat he wants,” he adds with a laugh.
All joking aside, Aaron and Meghan say they like walking out of the dealership knowing they’ve received a good deal. Plus, they feel like they can’t go wrong when buying a Whaler. “Everything with Whaler is first-class,” Aaron says. “The fit and finish is far superior to what you get on any other boat. You get so much more for your money.”
Adding to the value are the vessels’ engines. The 370 Outrage runs on triple 300s, and the 240 Dauntless Pro has a 350—all Mercury FourStroke Verados®. “They’re dependable and so quiet,” Aaron says.
He tells the story of picking up the Outrage at MarineMax one day after it required some routine maintenance. He headed down to the dock where the service folks had it ready for him. “I tried to turn the engines on, and they were already on,” he says. “I couldn’t hear them!”
Hanging Out Onboard
The Barters use the 370 Outrage for a mix of fun and relaxation. The Emerald Coast has a smattering of islands to explore. They’ll head to one for the day and use the built-in grill onboard for lunch or dinner. The boys like to jump off the back of the boat and swim or toss a ball on the beach. “If the kids are wanting to be lazy,” Aaron says, “they can go down underneath and stay in the air conditioning.”
The family is also trying their hand at fishing when they have the time. Early summer is red snapper season, so they’re gearing up for that. “It’s nice that the boat is multifunctional, and you’ve also got the safety of a Whaler,” Aaron adds.
The Barters like using the 370 Outrage as a basecamp for other activities. They’ll load the boys’ kayaks onboard and let them head out down an area called Old River. “They get to be free, but yet we’re following behind them,” Meghan says.
In addition to quality family time, Meghan appreciates the boat for its ability to hold her crew of sorority sisters and their families when they all gather for a week in the summer at the Orange Beach condo. They enjoy taking the boat out to watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform.
The Outrage, called Captains Daughter, is named after Meghan since she’s the daughter of a retired naval captain, but it also signifies how much Aaron treasures the boat. “I don’t have a daughter. I have two sons,” he says, “so this is my daughter.”
They use their 240 Dauntless Pro, which they unofficially call The ’Bama Boat, as more of a water taxi and to get into tight spaces. “It’s kind of a shuttle-around boat,” Aaron says. “It’s easy to get in and out of if we’re going to a restaurant or whatnot.” The Barters have several favorite on-water eateries they frequent, and they like to make dining out part of their weekend adventures.
Ultimately, no matter what they’re doing or which boat they’re on, the Barters like both Whalers for securing time with their boys as they enter their teenage years and grow increasingly busy with sports and developing their independence.
“Nowadays there’s so much you don’t get to do as a family because stuff gets in the way and we’re always running around,” Aaron says. “Boating just brings our family together.”