Read the magazines and you'll think the only go-fast boats worth having ride on stepped hulls, but that's not so: A classic deep-V hull, like the one under the Baja 30 Outlaw, takes a lot of beating, especially if carefully built so her lines are true and she's stiff enough not to warp or twist under hard running. And you don't have to be a professional driver to run a straight V-hull hard and fast without risking your neck, as with some stepped hulls; all you need is basic boating skills and common sense.
The Baja 30 Outlaw rides on a classic, time-proven deep-V hull. We've driven several Bajas, and know them to perform surely and predictably. They're easy to handle for a high-performance rookie, but provide enough thrills for the experienced driver, especially with one of the high-hp power options under the hood.
Construction is Critical
Cranked-up and running hard in even a moderate chop, a boat like the 30 Outlaw has to withstand stresses many times greater than most boats ever encounter. Start wave-jumping at 65- or 70 mph and forces increase exponentially. Baja builds the 30 Outlaw to take more than the driver can: She's laminated with hand-laid biaxial fabrics, further stiffened with carbon fiber in strategic areas, and cored with end-grain balsa. A fully bonded stringer system, capped with a fiberglass floor liner, adds even more stiffness.The hull-to-deck joint is bonded with Plexus methacrylate adhesive. Using adhesive distributes stresses all along the hull-to-deck joint; mechanically fastened joints concentrate the stresses at the fasteners, which can cause gelcoat cracking. The extremely high-bond Plexus creates essentially a one-piece boat.
Drop-seat Aero bolsters hug your hips while standing in rough going but provide comfortable seats when conditions are easier. Note the molded steps next to the helm seat for easier foredeck access, always a problem on a boat like this. Baja sets up the helm, with throttles at the driver's right hand, shifts at his left. Drive trim controls are built into the throttles, while trim-tab rockers are conveniently situated nearby.
This Boat is All About Power
Standard power is twin 320-hp MerCruiser Bravo sterndrives, but we bet not many 30 Outlaw buyers drive away with those engines. This boat is about power and performance, and that means bigger Mercs. Engine options up to twin Mercury Racing 600 SCIs are available – that's 1,200 total hp, enough to satisfy anyone but a Navy jet jockey. Engines over 425-hp get upgraded Latham external steering and K-planes instead of the standard 12x12 trim tabs.
Twin MerCruiser 496 Magnum HOs fit nicely in the 30 Outlaw's engine compartment. So do twin 525- or 600-hp Merc racing motors, if you really want to go fast.
A few years ago we tested the Baja 30 Outlaw with twin 425-hp MerCruiser sterndrives, twin 496 MAG HOs with Bravo 1 drives. At WOT she hit 70.8 mph (113.9 kph), cruised at 42.2 mph (67.9 kph). That boat was essentially the same as the 2011 model, so we expect the boat you buy today will have similar performance with similar power.
The aft bench seat is wide enough for even this lanky model to stretch out and catch rays. Note the stowage bins and drink holders on the side of the hull, near her shoulder. We also like the triple headrests.
In the Cabin
The 30 Outlaw's cabin includes an enclosed head with Porta-Potti and a galley cabinet with stowage. Two galley packages are optional: one adds a sink and d.c. refrigerator, while the other includes a microwave oven, dual-voltage fridge, electric stove, hot water and shore power. Otherwise, the cabin is typical, with facing lounges that convert to a berth. This isn't a cruising boat, but it's fine for naps and the occasional overnight.
Cabin seating is port and starboard benches convertible to a berth, as shown above. There's stowage on both sides of the cabin, and forward of the berth. Don't leave anything loose down here when running fast, though – who knows where it will end up?
At press time Baja hadn't released their 2011 prices (we wonder what they're waiting for?), but based on last year's figures we estimate a 30 Outlaw with twin 425-hp MerCruisers, a popular package, will cost about $180,000 without options; that's MSRP, so your price may vary. For comparison, the Formula 292 Fas3TECH, a few inches shorter than the 30 Outlaw but with otherwise similar dimensions, lists for $194,840 with twin 320-hp MerCruiser 377 MAG EC Bravo 1s.If you want a classic deep-V performance boat, one built to take it and with top-drawer rigging and equipment, check out the Baja 30 Outlaw. The Formula rides on a double-stepped bottom.
A swim platform is optional, and protects the drives from dockside mishaps even if you never use it for swimming. We'd add it to our 30 Outlaw.
Standard and Optional Features
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!