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May 24, 2011

Boston Whaler 345 Conquest Open

This boat performs exceptionally well — perhaps better than any Whaler that has come before.

Fishing
Being an open (express-style) boat, you can drive yet remain two steps from the cockpit action.

Whaler worked closely with Rupp Marine to create the perfect (optional) tower-mounted, 23-foot outriggers.

A pullout cooler in the tackle center comes standard, but can be optionally replaced by three more tackle drawers and a large storage compartment. In fact, the tackle module overall features tons of storage space. It also has a terrific optional Kenyon grill.

Once your tackle proves successful, store your prizes in fish boxes outboard on each side of the cockpit. Each 345 comes standard with two rod holders in each gunwale, two forward and three across the transom, plus under-gunwale space for two rods and downrigger ball holders on each side.

Design and Construction
Nothing has changed in Whaler’s unsinkable, Unibond construction: Hull, deck and associated parts are clamped together, and closed-cell ­flotation foam is injected into the air spaces under pretty intense pressure, where it bonds molecularly with the curing laminate. Even the front enclosure is solid fiberglass.

For those who need height ­flexibility for low clearance, the 345’s buggy top collapses and raises effortlessly. The stretched Stamoid material keeps the top light to avoid a higher center of gravity and attendant momentum stresses. Stamoid tops also cost much less than a hardtop. By the way, you can retrofit the upper station on an existing 345.

The windshield’s center pane opens for better ventilation.

You’ll find copious storage in the cabin. Above the settee forward is a comfortable berth. And to combat the “cave-dweller” syndrome, frosted-glass inserts over the in-hull port lights combine with LED lighting in the windows, so whether it’s day or night, you can enjoy ambient light.

I owned an original 13-foot Whaler too many years ago to even consider. Today’s Whalers are light-years more advanced, more comfortable and more seaworthy.


Specifications


LOA......35 ft. 11 in.
BEAM......11 ft. 8 in.
DRAFT......1 ft. 10 in.
DEADRISE......20 deg.
WEIGHT......14,200 lb.
FUEL......347 gal.
MAX POWER......Triple 300 hp OB
MSRP......$358,140
(Base w/ twin 300 hp Verados)