On Boats: The New Boston Whaler 210 Vantage

Boston Whaler’s new 210 Vantage shows off sleek runabout lines, but beneath them beats the heart of a seaworthy, multipurpose family utility vessel eager to take on a diverse portfolio of adventures around the Chesapeake and its rivers. 

We had an opportunity on a breezy day in January to take a sea trial aboard hull #5 in Eastern Bay with Rick Boulay, Jr., of Chesapeake Whalertowne, which had just taken delivery of this new model. Powered by a 250-hp Mercury Verado V-8, the Vantage showed off a wide range of efficient speeds, 18-33 mph (3,250 – 4,500 rpm), with a top speed of 48.3 (6,000 rpm).  The V-8 is a good choice for full loads of people, coolers, and towed toys. That said, according to Mercury’s performance reports on Boston Whaler’s website, Mercury’s 200- and 225-hp V-6 engines provide plenty of performance for most uses, with lower prices and somewhat better fuel economy. As always, think carefully through the way you’d use this boat before making a decision.

Since Boulay is a member of Whaler’s Dealer Council, he provided some insight into the design of this boat, the smallest of the dual-console Vantage model line. The general idea was to build a relatively affordable, easy-to-trailer version that would still offer all the family-friendly features of the line. Indeed, at around 6,000 lbs. on an aluminum tandem trailer with full fuel and water, it can be towed safely behind a mid-sized SUV or crew-cab pickup and launched at all but the sketchiest boat ramps. It offers an open bow with U-shaped seating, storage beneath, and an optional table. A wraparound, tempered glass windshield protects the helm and companion seats, with a hinged center section for access to the bow.  The cockpit features an optional but desirable convertible lounge to port, the helm to starboard with an optional 9” or 12” Simrad electronic display and Simrad VHF radio, a pair of jump seats at the transom flanking a pair of vertical fishing rod holders and an optional ski pylon; and swim platforms flanking the engine. The starboard platform holds a telescopic swim ladder under a hatch. Cup holders sit in strategic locations. A JL Systems® stereo with 4-speaker system is standard.

That said, what makes this Vantage stand out is its details. For starters, all Vantages have dual consoles with asymmetrical interior layouts; the port console is wider than the starboard (helm) console, reaching almost to the hull’s centerline. This feature provides space for a double-wide lounge in the bow, enough room in the port console for an optional portable toilet with pumpout and some storage (more on it in a moment), and the option of a double-wide lounge of some sort in the cockpit. 

Here’s an important detail about the port console. Because it extends toward the deepest part of this hull’s 20-degree running bottom, the headroom (50”) in even this smallest Vantage model is adequate for an adult male to sit on the (optional) portable toilet (we know; we tried it). Moreover, the extra width provides a comfortably wide entry door and plenty of shoulder room, along with room for a storage bracket to hold the (optional) detachable table for the bow.  (We do wish that Whaler would install ventilation for the compartment and a tray to hold toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies.)  

More details: In the bow, the broad port lounge faces forward but can seat two sideways around the table. The anchor locker is sized specifically for a Fortress FX-7 fluke-style anchor with chain and rode, a versatile choice for day uses around the Chesapeake. The starboard lounge seats one facing forward or two sideways. It and its back ingeniously form one curved unit hinged at the top for excellent access to storage beneath, which extends back into the helm console and offers horizontal racks for fishing rods (part of the optional Fishing Package). In our sea trial, we found the helm and sightlines comfortable either sitting or leaning against the chair’s flip-up bolster. The space behind the helm chair is open, a good place for a compact tackle box or a cooler, but it also provides plenty of space to move around when netting a fish or handling a water ski. 

In addition to the horizontal rod racks in the starboard console, the Fishing Package includes an 18-gallon livewell under the port lounge, a raw-water washdown system, and two additional gunwale-mounted rodholders. This Vantage would adapt well to Chesapeake bottom fishing with bait, jigging, and casting to shorelines, bridge pilings, or breaking fish. The boat’s running bottom includes paired lifting strakes and neatly curved reverse chines that gave us a comfortable, dry ride in our test day’s chilly, choppy water. This new, compact, multi-purpose model is going to make a lot of water-loving families very happy. The MSRP for the 210 Vantage we tested, including its optional features, is $171,142. For more information, visit The website’s BUILD feature will give you insight into all of the optional features. 

Boston Whaler Dealers around the Chesapeake:


LOA: 22’8″ (w/ swim platforms)
Beam: 8’6”’
Draft: 18”
Weight: 3,810 lbs. (dry)
Transom Deadrise: 20 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 4’11″/6’11” with suntop
Fuel Capacity: 80gal.
Water Capacity: 10 gal.
Waste Capacity: 5 gal.
Max HP: 250