Captain's ReportA Runabout Designed to Satisfy the Water Lover If you're in the market for a family runabout, then you need to take a look at what Baja Marine brings to the market. Their ‘Water Adventure Vehicle Series’ of boats exhibit bold and innovative concepts for the water loving consumer. We had the opportunity to test their mid-sized entry into the market, the 242 Islander, and this is what we found.At 25 feet, 10 inches, the Islander is a good sized boat to start with. The Baja designers utilized every inch of space to build a boat that makes you feel like you’re in the cockpit of a large express cruiser. Starting forward, you will notice that the signature bow is not like your ordinary bowrider configuration. The walk-through is on the port side, this provides space to have a love seat with a wraparound seat and a chaise lounge. This is the best seat in the house because two people can stretch out and soak up the sun or enjoy the ride while blasting about the lake. There are plenty of cup holders up here and lots of storage too. A small table is available for the bow, as is a filler cushion that converts the bow into a big sun pad. Moving aft, we transition through the offset wraparound windshield. The molded, console walk-through door doubles as the cabin door when in the open position. By using this offset console configuration, Baja was able to use the space underneath the helm to provide a small cabin. When I say it is a small cabin, I should probably call it a large head. Either way, there is plenty of room for the porta-potti and for changing into your swim gear. With a beam of 8 feet 6 inches, the 242 Islander has a roomy cockpit. Drop bottom bolster seats are at the helm, while an aft bench makes up the seating in the rear. The helm layout is like all the other Baja models, functional and easy to use. Faria gauges and Kiekhaefer controls are complimented by the custom steering wheel. To port is the companion seat with access to the marine grade Clarion CD stereo and a large glove box. At the stern, you have two choices of deck configurations. First is your typical performance boat layout, with a beam width aft bench seat and large engine hatch sun pad. Or, you can opt for the dual transom access version that has a narrower bench seat in the center. Which ever way you go, the 242 incorporates a large swim platform with a recessed swim ladder to make re-boarding a breeze.The V-bottom hull and end-grain balsa construction provide a solid, comfortable ride. Getting up on plane was quick at only 4 seconds. At wide-open throttle, we recorded a respectable top speed of 58 mph. These numbers were achieved with the optional MerCruiser 496 HO Magnum engine that puts out 425 horsepower at the prop. The standard engine is the MerCruiser 496, which delivers 375 horsepower. This boat weighs in at just under 5,000 pounds, so I would go with the HO engine. Once you have the opportunity to look at the 242 Islander, you’ll appreciate her smooth flowing lines and colorful graphic options. Baja has done a great job with design functionality and aesthetic appeal. The family runabout market is a tough field with so many competitors and too many choices. But Baja has set themselves apart from all the rest by producing something totally different and very satisfying to the eyes and to your speed gene. By Capt. Ron SvobodaTest Captain
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Baja 242 Islander is 58.3 mph (93.8 kph), burning 29.9 gallons per hour (gph) or 113.17 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Baja 242 Islander is 33.5 mph (53.9 kph), and the boat gets 3.25 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.38 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 234 miles (376.59 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 425-hp MerCruiser 496 MAG HO.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Standard Clarion Performance Stereo|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
|Cockpit Cover||Optional Sunbrella|
5-year Limited Warranty
Yes - Limited
||5-year Limited Warranty http://www.bajamarine.com/index.asp?display=ownerswarranty&tab=4&|
3-Year Limited Warranty
||3-Year Limited Warranty http://www.bajamarine.com/index.asp?display=ownerswarranty&tab=4&|
|NMMA Certification Other Certification||Yes IQ Certified|