Captain's ReportSurvival of the FishiestIn the early days of sport fishing, boats were not designed as much as they evolved. Wooden boats, which were individually crafted, were altered with each successive hull until the ideal proportions were derived. Through years of trial and error boats such as Hemingway’s Pilar incrementally became the sportfisherman of today. With the prevalence of fiberglass and mass production techniques, this evolution process has slowed and in some cases regressed. For example “tumblehome” hull sides, where the cockpit is wider at the waterline than at the coveringboards, was common on wooden boats. While ascetically pleasing, this feature is actually utilitarian. With tumblehome, when the mate handles a billfish, he is reaching directly underneath his shoulders, rather than awkwardly back toward his feet. Unfortunately, tumblehome is difficult to incorporate into a fiberglass mold; therefore it has all but disappeared in sportfish design. Outside of a few custom yards such as Rybovich, Scarborough, and Merritt, one of the few places to find an uncompromising sportfish design is in the Carolina charter fleet where many boats are still built of wood, one hull at a time. That is until today. Out Island Sport Yachts has introduced a 38 foot Express Fisherman that is true to the “Carolina Custom” design heritage while utilizing modern, low maintenance construction techniques. While her sharp entry, flared hull sides, and high bow are decidedly that of a Carolina boat, her designers have incorporated the best features from the entire sportfish family tree, such as a “Palm Beach” helm console with single lever controls for easy maneuvering on a trophy fish. Her curved transom backs well into a sea and aids in fighting fish from a chair. Tumblehome sides, a transom door, and two large fish boxes help to handle the catch. A baitwell is built into the transom and a huge tackle center incorporates a bait prep sink, drink cooler or optional bait freezer, and drawers for organized storage. The tackle center and cockpit feature rounded corners and smooth curves, and are devoid of nooks and crannies that collect debris. The non-skid surfaces are “popcorn”, a finish similar to the textured ceilings in many homes. While this profile generally works well and is easy to clean, the non-skid pattern on the test boat could be a bit more aggressive.Fishing involves the whole boat, not just the cockpit; therefore everything has been designed with maintenance in mind. This is particularly true in the engineroom. All corners are radiused. Fiberglass surfaces are smooth gelcoat and painted with industrial Imron™ for easy clean up; and overhead sound insulation is covered with perforated, powder-coated aluminum panels. The bridge deck raises on hydraulic rams and the storage lockers in the seats have removable inserts, providing unsurpassed access to the entire engineroom. A small hatch forward of the helm is convenient for engineroom checks and light maintenance. The prototype we tested had a fixed engineroom ladder that obstructed access to the front bulkhead, but according to the manufacturer, future boats will be equipped with a removable ladder.One feature typically not found on a Carolina boat is the Out Island’s deep-vee hull. Seventeen degree deadrise at the stern and thirty degrees forward of the engines cut through the seas well. Our test boat, equipped with optional 500 horsepower Yanmars, cruised comfortably at 30 knots, able to leave many larger boats in her wake even when the wind picks up.The cabin sleeps four with a double bed forward and a convertible dinette to starboard. The galley to port features a microwave, two burner stove, and refrigerator. Aft of the galley, the spacious head incorporates a separate shower stall. Numerous lockers and drawers provide plenty of storage, including a rod locker concealed aft of the dinette. While the maple interior is beautiful, the fit and finish of the boat we tested was not in keeping with the extraordinarily well crafted exterior. This is not uncommon on prototype vessels. A visit to hull number two, which was not yet commissioned at the time of our test, revealed solid craftsmanship and superior attention to detail. An electric pedestal raises the convertible dinette table at the touch of a switch. Full extension drawer slides increase access to the contents of the drawers. The optional teak cabin sole contrasts the maple well, and other interior wood selections are available. Unfortunately, with the teak sole headroom was only about 6’1’’; although the manufacturer has redesigned the cabin sole and promises more on future boats.Not just boats but fishermen evolve as well. For some, what was once occasional amusement became a burning desire, a quest, even a crusade. If your peccadillo is fine fishing and fine fishing boats, the Out Island Sport Yachts 38 Express may satisfy your lust. This thoroughbred was born to fish, with a Carolina Custom skin and a fisherman’s heart. One more advantage, because she is not a custom boat, her gestation period is only 10 weeks from the fiberglass mold to the ocean. Try that with a custom boat!By Capt. Vince DanielloTest Captain
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Out Island 38 Express is 38.2 mph (61.5 kph), burning 51.6 gallons per hour (gph) or 195.31 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Out Island 38 Express is 19.3 mph (31.1 kph), and the boat gets 1.04 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.44 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 470 miles (756.39 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 500-hp Yanmar 6CX-GTE2 diesels.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!