World debuts of boats are not uncommon in places like Florida and Europe, but that’s not the case in Seattle.
So the world debut of Boston Whaler’s 285 Conquest Pilothouse, the company’s first pilothouse design, at the Seattle Boat Show is a fairly notable event. The boat was officially unveiled on the show’s opening day last Friday, with champagne flowing and company officials, including President Tim Schiek, flying in for the occasion.
Given the Northwest’s cool, rainy weather, the show seems as good a place as any to debut the boat, whose features include a fully enclosed pilothouse, bulkhead with locking door and an optional cockpit diesel heating system to keep boaters toasty warm.
Mark Helgen, vice president of sales at Lake Union Sea Ray, the area’s Boston Whaler dealer, said interest in the boat has so far been good — the company has taken deposits for three of them since the show opened, he said.
“We’ve had a lot of interest and appointments for people to come through and see the boat. We’re really excited about having it.”
The boat’s cockpit has fold-out seats and two in-deck fishboxes with drains and pumpouts. Down below is a cabin with a settee and table, a v-berth and mid-double berth; a galley with refrigerator, microwave and sink; and a head with a VacuFlush toilet and handheld shower.
The 285 Conquest Pilothouse is powered by dual 225-hp Mercury Verado outboards and comes with hydraulic power steering, a digital throttle and shift system and a 200-gallon fuel tank.
The boat is priced at $199,995 during the boat show (regular $237,000). Helgen sounded optimistic that it will do well among Northwest boaters.
“A lot of people like to boat year-round here, and this boat is designed for that,” he said. “We’re looking forward to seeing a few in the derbies around here.”