Captain's ReportTested by Capt. Chris Kelly You’d never believe that the Baja 38 Special, referred to fondly as “Old Faithful”, has been in production for a decade. It has a sleek, modern look, and although truly a high performance boat, it’s smooth to the touch and easy to handle. The 38 Special has a wider beam than traditional offshore boats, enabling it to have a more spacious cockpit with plenty of different seating arrangements. The cockpit area of the 38 Special, is in a word, impressive. It has great looking upholstery and colors, and the layout of options makes for a comfortable and fun ride. The wraparound aft bench seat allows seating for up to five people, and if you’re really in the mood to lounge, the bench seat can also be folded down to a full size sun bathing area, while still allowing access to the wet bar. The padding around the sink and refrigerator are notably a nice touch, covering all angles for your guests’ safety.The HelmThe 38 special’s helm is easy to customize to your own liking, from the tilt steering wheel to the bucket seats with drop down bolsters. The 38 we tested had Mcleod power bolster seats, which I really appreciated when we were hitting speeds of 60 mph. Once underway you’ll find the windshield does a good job of deflecting the wind up and over your head with an unobstructed view. The Gaffrig shift and throttle controls are placed comfortably and operate with ease. As far as the layout of the gauges goes, they like the rest of the helm, make sense. They’re large and easy to read without taking your eyes off the waterway.Sun PadThe sun pad stretches the entire beam of the transom and doubles as the engine hatch. It’s contoured and fitted for lounging, and without too much effort you can easily go from the sun pad to the swim platform, which is seamlessly integrated into the hull and also offers a retractable stainless steel swim ladder.The CabinOnce you enter the salon of the 38 you’ll be captivated by its original design. In the forward portion of the salon is the main berth, which is separated by an oval shaped entryway and privacy curtain. The cabin is spacious and features wraparound seating, with plush cushions which lift up to reveal a good amount storage space beneath. These areas combined, can easily accommodate four adults for an overnight stay. With overnights and entertaining in mind, Baja has equipped this salon with a full galley featuring a microwave, sink, stove and refrigerator, as well as an entertainment center with TV, VCR, and Clarion performance stereo. There’s also the expected amenity of a head with sink and pull out nozzle for showering.The EngineWhen Baja designed the engine compartment it wasn’t space they had in mind, but rather how to pack over 800 HP and a Kohler generator into this vessel. You’ll have no problem accessing the tops of these dual 425hp MerCruisers to perform your pre-departure checklist such as oil and fluid levels, but any work requiring you to dig deeper may take the expertise of your technician due to the limited space.Specs and Test RunThe Baja 38 special has a generous beam of 9 feet 3 inches, which provides more stability and allows for more room in the cabin. She has an overall length of 37 feet 7 inches, and weighs in dry at 9,600 pounds. The deadrise on the 38 at the transom is 24 degrees, providing a nice deep-V for holding tight in the turns at high speed.Testing the 38 was a pleasure and certainly fulfilled my need for an adrenaline rush. The twin 425 hp MerCruiser 496 MAG HO’s gave this vessel a top end of 60.4 mph at 4500 rpm, and optimum cruise was found to be 42.1 mph at 3500 rpm. With a fuel capacity of 225 gallons she has a range of 289 miles.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Baja 38 Special (Not in Production) is 60.4 mph (97.2 kph), burning 63.7 gallons per hour (gph) or 241.1 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Baja 38 Special (Not in Production) is 42.1 mph (67.8 kph), and the boat gets 1.46 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.62 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 289 miles (465.1 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 425-hp MerCruiser 496 Mag HO.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|