The Cruisers Yachts 38 GLS is a dayboat with a spacious cockpit and bow, plus the company’s new beach door, and an inviting cabin with more than 6’ (1.83 m) of headroom. Triple outboard power enhances the boat’s versatility and makes the boat more attractive for saltwater use.
- Triple outboard motors
- Extra-wide 12’6” (3.8 m) beam
- Spacious cockpit and bow lounges
- Cabin with 6’2” (1.88 m) of headroom
- Private head compartment
- Large swim platform
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||5.4 sec.|
|0 to 30||9.5 sec.|
|Props||Enertia - 16 d /18 p|
|Load||3 persons, 3/5 fuel, 3/50 water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||67 deg., 66 humid.; wind 8-10 mph; seas: calm|
3 x 300-hp Mercury Verado
3 x VV,V8-380CE,DP,EVC,JOYSTICK,380
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By Capt. Martin Frobisher
The largest outboard-powered boat in the Cruisers Yachts line, the 38 GLS is designed to be a dayboat with lots of space for family and friends in the cockpit and bow. It also introduces the manufacturer’s new Beach Door, a platform that connects the swim platform and the aft seating area. Belowdecks is a seating area that converts to a berth plus a wet head with a shower.
- Beach Door creates extra recreation area
- Aft lounge with convertible backrest
- Hardtop with a large opening sunroof
- Wide beam creates a large feel to the cockpit
- Available outboard power up to a total of 900-hp
Aft Seating. Stepping aboard the 38 GLS is safe and easy thanks to the side platforms covered in SeaDek mat. Each one measures 2’ (.60 m) by 1’5” (.48 m). To starboard, there is a four-step boarding ladder that complies with ABYC standards and just above are a grab rail and a pull-out cleat. There’s another cleat on the trailing edge of the port platform. The aft-facing stern bench is spacious and offers good rear visibility over the motors. To port of the bench are a dual USB outboard and a remote-control for the Rockford Fosgate stereo. A stern shower retracts into the port gunwale. The bottom cushion on the bench lifts up to access storage.
Beach Door. A new feature on the 38 GLS, the backrest for the aft bench rotates to change the viewing direction. The user can face aft, forward or to starboard facing the new Beach Door, an exciting accessory on the boat that links the swim platform and cockpit, creating a large recreational area. The door opens and closes via a switch and once closed, it secures with an internal locking bar. When the engines are running, the door can’t open.
The Cockpit. A stainless-steel gate closes the 2’1” (.63 m) wide passage that leads into the 38 GLS’ cockpit. The boat’s 12’6” (3.81 m) beam allows for a spacious design. The stern lounge wraps around to port and there’s another L-shaped bench that extends forward to the aft side of the helm seat to starboard. Install the removable high-gloss wood tables to create two small dinettes. There’s storage beneath the bottom cushions that open on tension hinges and special vinyl pouches for the tables. Overhead is a hardtop that has a large sunroof, speakers, and lighting that can be illuminated in three different colors. Our test boat had the optional SureShade retractable awning that protected the cockpit from the elements.
The Galley. Forward to port is the cockpit galley. In the countertop is a socket for a 27” (68.58 cm) flatscreen TV and a removable hatch in the Corian countertop reveals the sink. To port is an electric Kenyon grill. The hatch closes on an automatic shutoff switch and controls are on a panel nearby. In the base of the counter are a refrigerator to port and a cabinet to starboard. The icemaker is in the helm-seat base. Two bar stools are on the forward side of the galley.
The Helm. Moving forward, the 38 GLS’ helm is to starboard and has a 3’1” (.96 m) wide by 1’6” (.5 m) deep seat that slides fore and aft and has flip-down armrests. Fold-up the bolsters and there’s enough space for even a portly captain. The hand-wrapped and stitched steering wheel was on a tilting base and just ahead was a Ritchie compass. Two 12” (30.48 cm) Simrad multifunction displays provide data for course, conditions, and engine and systems health. To port, the Rockford Fosgate control unit for the stereo is in reach and alongside are push-button accessory switches that are clearly labeled and illuminate when activated. To starboard are the binnacle controls, trim-tab buttons, and the Mercury joystick. Just below the engine controls are the VHF radio and fire-suppression system buttons. Outboard in the gunwale are the Simrad VHF and a locker that contains the circuit breakers for onboard systems.
The Bow. Forward and to port of the barstools is the passageway to the bow. It’s 1’6” (.46 m) wide and there are two storage compartments in the gunwale. The bow is an inviting entertainment space with a filler cushion that can be added to turn the area into a large sun pad. A removable table adds versatility and there are two speakers, plus a separate stereo control panel. Our test boat also had the optional bow shade. In the foredeck, a hatch opens to reveal the Genius windlass and stainless-steel anchor that exits through the bow. There are foot controls in the nonskid deck.
Accommodations. Immediately to port of the helm is a sliding door to access the cabin and a screen can be slid into place in the opening to let in fresh air. To port, a compact galley has a combination microwave/convection oven alongside a refrigerator and in the countertop is a socket for the TV we saw in the cockpit. The U-shaped seating is finished in pearl white and gray and it can be converted to a berth by lowering the high-gloss walnut table. The seats on each side measure 1’6” (.46 m) wide and a forward rectangular section of the bulkhead flips up, extending the length for sleeping to 6’8” (2.03 m). For entertainment, the cabin has a coaxial jack, a 12-volt plug, dual USB ports, and a stereo control panel. At the base of the stairs, we measured headroom at 6’2” (1.88 m). A wet head includes a toilet and pull-up shower. Abaft the cabin stairs is a berth that should accommodate a couple for an evening or weekend.
Mechanical Access. A stainless-steel rail on the front makes it easy to pick up the aft bench seat for access to the mechanical room. The 38 GLS has a 335-gallon (1,268-L) tank for gasoline and the fuel feeds are all clearly labeled. To starboard below is the Beach Door hydraulic pump, abaft of which is the main circuit breaker panel for the generator and primary accessories. The house battery and 12-volt DC power bar fuse are also to starboard. Power-steering pumps and vector modules for each motor are easily accessed and clearly labeled and the automatic fire suppression system is centrally positioned. Twin ProMariner 30-amp chargers keep the batteries juiced and below are the engine battery switches, thermal breakers, and monitor lights. Our test boat also had the optional Onan 5kw diesel genset to port. It has a dedicated strainer and fuel-water separator, both of which were easy to get to.
The Numbers. Our test boat measured 38’ (11.58 m) long with a beam of 12’6” (3.81 m) and a draft of 3’6” (1.07 m). Dry weight is listed at 17,500 lbs. (7,938 kg) and with three people, test gear and 200 gallons (757 L) of fuel aboard, we had an estimated test weight of 19,279 lbs. (875 kg). The triple 300-hp Mercury 4.6-liter V8 FourStroke outboards turned 16” x 18” (40.64 cm X 45.72 cm) three-blade stainless-steel Enertia props.
Speed and Range. Running in 10-mph winds and choppy conditions, we hit a top speed of 51.9 mph at 6000 rpm. Best economical cruise came at 4500 rpm, where we ran 35.8 mph and burned 44 gph, which translated into 0.8 mpg and a range of 245 statute miles. This was calculated while holding back a 10-percent reserve of the boat’s 335-gallon (1,344 L) fuel capacity. At 600 rpm, we saw 3.8 mph and 1.3 mpg. In acceleration tests, the boat planed in 5.4 seconds. We ran through 20 mph in 5.2 seconds and continued to 30 in 9.5 seconds.
Docking. When it was time to head back in, we switched over from the controls to the Mercury Joystick Piloting system and easily backed into the slip. Because of the boat’s 12’6” (3.81 m) beam, some might expect the boat to be a battle, but with the triple outboards, she went right where we aimed her.
Options to Consider
- Hardtop in black
- SureShade in black
- Underwater lights
- Premium electronics
The 38 GLS is the outboard-powered dayboat that enthusiasts would have expected Cruisers Yachts to build. With her 12’6” (3.81 m) beam, the cockpit feels huge and the luxury amenities we’ve come to expect from the manufacturer such as the hand-stitched wheel and upholstered helm are there.
Given her size and weight, we would have thought going with the triple 350-hp outboards would be the preferred power, but the 300s pushed the boat past 50 mph and had plenty of oomph to move the boat around the docks. Unless an owner really wants those extra few mph at top end, spending the extra money for the bigger motors seems unnecessary.