It was clear from the beginning that the first Outrage was something special. A 1971 review in Popular Science noted that the series’ debut model “[bore] little resemblance to the familiar Boston Whaler, either below the waterline or above.” At 21 feet 4 inches, it was the largest Whaler model to date, and its hull was a sign of things to come.
With its pronounced center keel and three longitudinal strakes, the new Outrage struck a balance between the performance benefits of a V-hull and the stability of Whaler’s traditional tri-hull. As company founder Richard Fisher wrote in a press release, “While extreme deep-V boats may race faster upwind in heavy seas, few others equal ‘Outrage’ on all course directions and none with comparable light weight and draft will even approach it.”
Inside, the boat offered a purposeful array of features and options that made it equally well suited for serious fishing and family fun, including ample rod storage, available outriggers, loads of comfortable seating and a beautiful solid teak console. Whaler fans who had been craving new boating pastimes and bigger boating adventures had found their answer.
Today, the spirit of that original Outrage lives on in a bold lineup of offshore performers ranging from 23 to 42 feet — including the new 420 Outrage Anniversary Edition. And while technology has certainly come a long way in 50 years, the underlying commitment to challenging the limits of possibility remains as strong as ever.
To celebrate this milestone and reflect on the proud legacy of the series, Boston Whaler hosted a special homecoming event in Quincy, Massachusetts, on September 10, 2021. Guests were treated to live music, refreshments, presentations and a champagne toast. The first Outrage ever produced, Hull #001, owned by the Marine Biological Laboratory, was on display alongside the new 420, marking a union five decades in the making.
“This event is a unique moment in Whaler history,” said Boston Whaler Director of Marketing Melanie Whaley, addressing a crowd that included customers, dealers and members of the boating press. “We’re proud to bring together our latest Outrage, the new 420, with the very first Outrage ever built — right here in Massachusetts, the birthplace of our brand.”
For its part, Outrage Hull #001 has quite the storied history. In 1971, the boat was sold by Dick Fisher to the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), a non-profit research and education lab that studies a wide range of marine species and ecosystems. Based in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the MBL team relies on four Boston Whalers to conduct its studies, including work contributing to Nobel Prize-winning research. Remarkably, the boat is still in use after 50 straight years of service.
For the evening in Quincy, the MBL hosted a research display, complete with live marine animals, and shared details about their work with guests.
“This boat has been in continuous operation since 1971,” said MBL Director of Marine Operations David Remsen. “Think of it as a 50-year field test demonstrating the durability and legacy of the brand. We’ve used this vessel as a work boat. It hasn’t been pampered.”
In appreciation for the important work the lab is doing, Boston Whaler partnered with Nauset Marine to treat Outrage Hull #001 to a special 50th anniversary gift: repowering the boat with a new 200-hp V6 DTS Mercury® FourStroke engine. Nauset also gave the boat a thorough cleaning and detailing.
“The donation of the engine will, both symbolically and literally, push this Outrage forward into its second half-century,” Remsen said. “The MBL is grateful to the donations of Boston Whaler and Nauset Marine for putting their faith alongside ours for another 50 years of service, adventures and discoveries. We look forward to joining you with this boat in 2071 for the Centennial celebration of the Outrage.”
MarineMax Boston (formerly Russo Marine) was also honored during the event for its own anniversary: 50 years as a Boston Whaler dealer. As a gesture of appreciation, Whaler Director of Large Boat Sales Wil Rogers presented Sr. Vice President Larry Russo, Sr., with a crystal statue.
“MarineMax Boston has been an incredible ambassador for us,” Rogers said. “Year after year, they have taken such great care of our customers, always providing an outstanding experience with our brand. We thank them for their loyal partnership and dedication.”
The Quincy celebration was part of a larger Homecoming Tour, in which the 420 Outrage Anniversary Edition will complete nine stops along the East Coast. The tour began on August 12 with a media and launch event in New York City. At each stop, Boston Whaler partners with a local dealer to host an experiential gathering and conduct sea trials for customers and members of the boating press. The tour will conclude in Fort Lauderdale in late October, coinciding with the 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
“From the first Outrage to today’s breakthrough 420 and beyond, the history of Outrage is one of innovation and limitless possibilities,” Rogers remarked during the evening's champagne toast. “Cheers to the past 50 years of the series and the many exciting developments to come.”