Captain's ReportA Combination of Just The Right StuffTested by Capt. Ron SvobodaIf you’re into performance boating, then you know the name Baja. What you may not be aware of is how many different boats Baja manufactures to suit your individual boating needs. For instance, the 245 Performance Series that we recently tested is positioned between the hardcore offshore lineup, the Outlaw, and the open bow layout known as the Islander Series.New FeaturesThe 245 is brand new for 2004 and features improved hull manufacturing techniques like a full fiberglass stringer system and the elimination of plywood from the cockpit upholstery. This boat will most likely be the replacement for the popular 232- model as she provides over a foot of extra length plus a much improved cockpit area.HelmBaja is notorious for designing sporty boats, and that styling is carried down to the details at the helm. The captain is treated to a functional and simple to use layout, with engine gauges centered above a tilt steering wheel. Mounted to starboard are the Zero-effort controls, drive and tab switches, along with a switch panel that handles the control of all the powered accessories.LayoutCockpit seating is comfortable and has room for five adults. The drop-bottom bolster seats can be manually adjusted for standing or seated positions, and supply forward seating for the skipper and companion. Friends and family can stretch out on the aft bench seat or the roomy engine hatch, which also doubles as the sun pad. The cockpit also features 6 cup holders and several grab handles, all within easy reach.CabinUnder the foredeck of the 245 is a small cabin that’s perfect for overnight trips, or just getting out of the weather. The styling of the cabin is a minimalist's dream with little to no effort exerted by the Baja designers for aesthetics. On the other hand, the basic V-berth offers a comfortable place to take a nap and conceals a storage compartment below the cushions. An optional porta-potti is available and stows conveniently under the berth.Engine AccessAt the stern of the boat, you’ll find an electrically operated engine hatch that fully exposes the engine compartment. Inside the roomy compartment, I found plenty of room to check fluids and perform routine maintenance. In addition, Baja has taken full advantage of this space to provide an anchor holder on the port side of the compartment. The 245 is also presented with an optional swim platform for water activities. Besides adding over two feet of length to the boat, the platform incorporates a folding swim ladder, ski tow eye, and a stereo remote for the Clarion CD player.SpecsWith a dry weight of 4,100 pounds the 24 foot, 5 inch long boat has a roomy beam of 8 feet 6 inches. Draft works out to be 34 inches with the Bravo sterndrive in the down position. Overall, handling and ride quality are very good with the 23- degree deadrise running surface. This is one reason Baja continues to produce boats without stepped-bottom hulls.PerformanceOur test boat was equipped with an upgraded power package, which delivered 375 horsepower. All that power accelerated the boat to a top speed of 62.5 miles per hour at 4,850 rpm. On our test run cruise speed was also brisk at 35.5 miles per hour at 3,000 rpm, resulting in just over 3 miles per gallon, giving us a range of 221 miles. Considering everything that is involved, the 245 combines performance, handling, and great looks into one package that won’t scare you off when you see the sticker price.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Baja 245 Performance (2004-) is 62.5 mph (100.6 kph), burning 29.6 gallons per hour (gph) or 112.04 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Baja 245 Performance (2004-) is 35.5 mph (57.1 kph), and the boat gets 3.07 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.31 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 221 miles (355.67 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 375-hp MerCruiser 496 MAG.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Standard Clarion|
|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|