Captain's ReportThe 340 Sportfish is as flexible as an acrobat and it’s one of the more versatile center console’s we’ve ever tested. She starts you out with a well-built, soft-riding hull with a 24 degree deadrise at the transom, then adds in such features as a flip-down aft benchseat, double-wide center-console, jump seats, and cuddy cabin forward. But from there on out, the boat is yours to customize depending on whether you like to cruise, fish or ski. Our test boat was set up for fishing so here’s what we found.
The aft cockpit runs nearly full beam and is protected on all three sides by deeply padded coaming cushions. The transom door makes it easy to get out to the small swim platform or standard outboard engine bracket, and it’s raised so the boat won’t ship water when backing down on a fish. An insole hatch here provides some storage and direct access to such items as the engine-oil reservoirs, but this is for sight-checking the levels only as you’ll use the remote fill pipes located in the gunwales when its time to add two-stroke oil. Put four-stroke Mercs on the back and this becomes a moot point.You wont be fishing the boat 100% of the time, and when you’re idling down the channel or cruising an aft benchseat for 2 flips down easily with one hand for extra seating, and it flips up and away just as quickly.Over to port there's a locker that gets you direct access to the battery switches along with a spigot for fresh-water washdowns, an option that comes with the sporfish packageAnd over to starboard there’s a raw-water washdown complete with its own easy-to-see-and-service pump and filter.The sportfish pack also gets you a big 30-gallon recirculating livewell when you’re fishing goggleyes for sailfish, and it’s waist high so you don’t have to get on your hands and knees and beg those little buggers to jump on the baithook.
One feature we really liked on the 340 is the extra wide walkways that lead easily from cockpit to foredeck. This is surprising given the boats 8’6” beam and you won’t find decks this wide on many competing boats. One way Baja kept the walkways wide was to keep the midships grabrails out of the cockpit and inset them in the gunwales, along with two drink holders on either side. Meanwhile you also get rod racks (non-locking) on either side under the gunwale, plus extra large insole fishboxes that are 5 feet long! That should be plenty to hold your catch of the day.
Another way Baja maximized walking space is to create a relatively narrow center console helm for two. It features twin bolster seats that drop down manually, and while they weren’t particularly easy to operate on our test boat, we did appreciate the deep padding and quality vinyl workmanship, which is done in-house at Baja.
The helm itself is on the portside and features a stainless steel tilt wheel as standard equipment along with an extra-high acrylic windshield that’s rimmed in stainless for strength. The sportfish pack also gets you Kiekhaefer racing controls with inhandle trim mounted on the centerline (steer with the left hand, throttle with the right), plus dual-ram K-plane trim tabs with LED indicators so you can really dial in the 340 at speed for a balanced ride.
Meanwhile, the basic engine gauges have an upscale look with stainless bezels, and Baja protects the lesser-used rocker switches from the elements beneath an acrylic cover.Another touch we really liked is an elbow-deep locker in the dash to stow all your personal belongings, a feature often overlooked on other center consoles. In addition, the foot rest for two really locks you and your navigator in at speed.
Fully forward, you’ll find two jump seats on either side (not recommended for seating at speed) with lockers that can be used for dry or wet stowage, and overall you won’t go wanting for either drinkholders or seating on the 340 Sportfish.
Finally, there’s a basic V-berth fully up in the bow that’s a great place to stow gear or take a little snooze while waiting for the rods to go off.
As you would expect from a performance boat builder like Baja, speed and therefore weight are everything. They kept the 340 at a fighting weight of just 6,100 pounds by using hand-laid biaxial laminates in the hull and end-grain balsa coring in the decks and hullsides. And even though she’s a hari past 34 feet long, shes’ still trailerable without a permit at just 8’6” wide.
With a pair of 250-hp Merc EFI outboards we jumped on plane in just 4.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 61.9 mph at wide open throttle. Best cruise is 27.3 mph at 3000 rpm, but you’ll more likely run the boat at 3500 rpm doing nearly 40 mph. With her oversized 272-gallon fuel tank, the 340 can cover more than 300 miles between stops at the fuel dock, and because she has a traditional deep-V bottom with no steps, she carves through high speed turns with no tendency to cavitate the props. That's helped even more by the extra length provided by the Armstrong bracket.
While many major items--including the engines which range from twin 225- to 300-hp Mercs--are optional, Baja has packaged up enthusiast "kits" into optional groups so you need not pay for features you'll never use, and get just the features and the boat you want.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Baja 340 Sportfish (Not in Production) is 61.9 mph (99.6 kph), burning 50.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 190.01 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Baja 340 Sportfish (Not in Production) is 27.3 mph (43.9 kph), and the boat gets 1.32 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.56 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 324 miles (521.43 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 250 Mercury EFI outboards.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Optional Clarion Performance Stereo|
|Trim Tabs||Standard Kiekhaefer K-Planes|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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|
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