The concept of an unsinkable boat has been met with both skepticism and fascination from people for generations. The most (in)famous boat thought to be unsinkable and then sink in rather dramatic fashion, was the RMS Titanic after hitting an iceberg. And while the Titanic was made from steel and iron, guaranteed to sink if given the chance, boat manufacturer Boston Whaler has taken a different approach to boat building, and their boats are actually unsinkable. In fact, it is part of the reason they are such popular boats. Plus, they are just super cool.
The history of the Boston Whaler
Created by three friends, Ray Hunt, Dick Fisher, and Bob Pierce, the first Boston Whaler debuted in 1958. According to Professional Boatbuilder, Fisher wanted to improve on Albert Hickman’s boat, the Sea Sled, which had several design flaws.
The first Boston Whaler was a 13-foot boat manufactured at the Fisher-Pierce company (not to be confused with the toymaker Fisher-Price) in Braintree, MA, and used Fisher’s foam-injected hull design.
The company continued to expand its production facilities, and in 1961 started producing government and military workboats, which continued to expand, eventually becoming a dedicated branch of the company.
In 1961, Boston Whaler also introduced the Nauset, which was the first-ever center console model boat. Boston Whaler was acquired by their parent company, Brunswick Corporation in 1996, and it has continued to innovate new boat designs, as well as perfecting some of their classic boats.
A boat that is actually unsinkable
Fisher developed foam-filled fiberglass skins that render the boat unsinkable. Additionally, he spent a bunch of time coming up with ways to prevent the foam from fracturing. Which he did, producing boats that are truly unsinkable.
And in 1961, Fisher stood by this claim by using a lumberjack saw to cut the 13-foot boat in half, then proceeded to use the stern section to tow the bow section back to shore. All while sitting very stoically and wearing a sport coat, fedora, and bow tie.
The pictures ran as an ad in Life magazine and modern Whaler ads use a chainsaw. Boston Whaler has continued to innovate Fisher’s original design and modifying the hull design. It also doesn’t limit its unsinkable techniques, nor testing, to recreational boats.
In 2007, Boston Whaler used 7.62mm rounds from an M60 machine gun to shoot holes in a 19-foot Guardian, a commercial boat commonly used for search and rescue. And it stayed afloat even with dozens of bullet holes.
Options for an unsinkable Boston Whaler
Today, Boston Whaler has seven different models of boats that range from smaller, sporty boats to huge, cruising boats. The 240 Vantage, for example, is a great boat for families and has been called the “Swiss Army Knife of boating” due to the wide range of activities you can use this boat for.
There are three different Vantage models that range from 24 feet to 32 feet and have a dual console design with Mercury Verado outboard engines. One of the boatmaker’s most popular models is the classic Montauk, which was introduced in 1974. There are four different models that range from 15 feet to 21 feet, and all have their classic center console layout.
If you are looking for a hardcore fishing boat, the Outrage is perfect. Seven different models range from 23 feet to 42 feet. With in-floor fish boxes and huge live wells, this boat is built for fishers. It is also an ideal yacht tender, particularly if you have a mega-yacht.
Other boat brands have boats that are unsinkable, such as Livingston Boats, although its boats are considerably smaller.
So if you want an unsinkable boat that you can use to fish, cruise, and water ski, and you also want all the luxury, Boston Whaler is a good choice. Normally, we might add a disclaimer about not actually sawing your boat in half, but if you buy a Boston Whaler and then saw it in half, well that is probably just a good life lesson.