So the boat is extremely powerful, to say the least. It's worth discussing what the boat is, and is not.
The boat is arguably the strongest early game card in standard right now for Runners. That's right, early game. There is a common misconception that high-cost=late game, when the reality is that Netrunner's economy doesn't work like Magic's or Hearthstone's. If you want to SMC out a Unity when coming across a gearcheck like Enigma, you're paying 2+3 just for the install. Pay another 3 to break Enigma's subroutines, and you have now paid 8, the same cost as installing the boat and breaking through the ice for free.
But there's some important things to take into account: First of all, the boat can break essentially any gearcheck. If you've installed Unity, you can't break Ice Wall. You certainly can't facecheck carelessly in a world with Stavka. On the other hand, the boat will solve any ice that the corp will use to stop you in the early game. A second point to take into account is that the boat only gains more value over time as a sort of run economy card. Unity will force you to pay up for any gearcheck, no matter how small. The boat will continue to snowball by breaking ice for free.
What ends up happening is that the boat player will slam down the boat in the early game, and for the cheap, cheap price of 8 credits, they can run over all ice the corp installs. No need to keep drawing into Boomerang, no need to dig for more breakers, or even charging Aumakua. You have a boat, so you can get in. Nuts.
That said, as easy as it is to deem the boat overpowered (which it totally damn is), it isn't truly the be-all-end-all of ice solutions, because there are viable corp responses. Amani Senai can heavily punish careless boat installs, although in practice a good Runner will be cautious about installing the boat against NBN asset decks for this reason. Envelopment's ridiculous number of subs are a massive pain for the boat. Anansi and Fairchild 3.0 are obviously annoying for the boat for similar reasons.
It's also worth discussing what does not beat the boat. Public Trail+Retribution is a bait combo and you shouldn't try it. If you're in standard, Drago Ivanov with Retribution is simply too weak to be playable. Cheap gearchecks also don't work. In theory, spamming cheap ice can eat boat counters, but in practice, boat decks absolutely slaughter these types of rush decks because again, you can't gearcheck the boat. It breaks anything, and it's only a matter of time before the Runner manages to lock the remote. Hard-Hitting News also doesn't work, or at least not more than it usually does. The Runner saves money the turn the boat is installed by breaking ice for free, not to mention the fact that boat shapers are in a faction with Misdirection.
The boat has given all of the early game power shaper has wanted, and much more. Most rush decks are either on fast advance or a cheesy kill combo, because the boat+Pinhole Threading slaughters the jammy rush style that we're used to. Whatever corp deck you build, you have to answer the question, "How do I not just immediately f***ing concede on turn 2 when a boat gets dropped down." For many corp archetypes, the answer will be "you hope the runner throws the game." Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just how metas turn out. However, it can't be overstated how impactful the boat is right now.