I am a newbie with boating experience looking to upgrade from my Bayliner 20' to an offshore for SoCal. Everyone on this forum gave me a great head start about a month ago to do research on an upgrade. After a lot of research, analysis, I am not limiting to, but am looking at the Baja 232 perf, 245 perf, 242 Islander, and Outlaw 25. Per all of your suggestions, I am test driving the 232 tomorrow, the outlaw 25 next week, and have to get to the dealer to try the 245. By the looks, deadrise (quality of ride), and size, I would prefer the Outlaw 25. Just one problem, gotta make the wife happy to seal the deal.
A couple of questions:
She requires this, no discussion. I talked to Wayne Earl in Placentia, CA who specialize in fairing installation, and was told I basically could do whatever I want with plexiglass (marine grade, 1/2 inch thick) on the Outlaw, but no true aluminum framed windshield. Is this definitive or does anyone know if it is possible. How high should I go with the new fairing to make wife happy, but not slow the boat down too much.
Looking at year 2000 and above, I am limiting my choices to the 454 Mag (385), 502 Mag (415), 496, and 496 HO no matter which boat I choose. Just want your opinions on which are good/bad/cheap to maintain/problem engines, ect.
I would prefer fiberglass stringers (no wood). What year did the Outlaw 25 start with no wood and should I care about this issue?
I have chosen these models for all different reasons. Family happiness, towing, storage, ect. I know the outlaw 25 is the best rough water boat, but any other opinions aside from ride on the boats mentioned above?
I appreciate all of the help.
24 pantera 28 pantera
It is a Skater Nation!
So, you're looking at 23', 24', and 25' Bajas.
Hmmm, sounds like you need a 36' Skater.
(Just kidding, but be prepared for all kinds of suggestions here.)
Of all the choices you mentioned, and living in SoCal, I would highly reccomend the 25OL. It will give you the best ride and most comfort, hands down! As far as engines in those years, I would go with the 502 or 496HO, trust me you won't be happy with anything less.
As far as windshields go, the windscreen is highly effective on the 25OL, I had one for 3 years, and it does a fine job of keeping the wind out of your face even when standing, and I'm 6'2". When sitting, you can't feel much wind at all, so she'll be happy. Good luck.
Last edited by CigDaze; 11-30-2005 at 03:05 PM.
I can answer a couple of your questions.
The thing to remember is the Peformance series are not true in length, the swim platform is part of the hull. Subtract about 12-18" to get an estimate of how much boat is in water. The Outlaw series are true to their length hull wise, then u need to add about another 18" in total length (if u have storing limits) to account for the bolt on swim platform.
I suppose someone out there could device a way to construct an aluminum framed windshield. But you would ruin the looks & probably the resell value of the boat. I have a 232 w/ windshield & absolutely hate it. The top frame is at my eye level when sitting so i either have to duck a little bit to look thru the glass, or stay standing up (which i normally do). From what i can tell, the windshield does not provide much more wind protection for wife either when at speed. Guess it depends on your wife & what she feels is too much wind.
All those engines are reliable. The 496s are nice because they have the closed cooling. The older gen of engines probably have more upgrade options of you want to add more power since the aftermarket community has had more time w/ them. The 496 HO (from what ive read) only offers a couple more mph difference over the regular 496, so you may want to save some money there.
We have an Islander (wife wanted a bow rider so kids could sit up front) but after first season, she wished we had a cuddy instead. I wanted an Outlaw from the get go, but agreed on Islander to appease her. Its a trade off on how you want to use your space.
The performance series is shorter as mentioned earlier. I'm not that familiar with all the baja models, but a Formula 252 may be a good option as it has a windshield (and looks like it belongs there). Good luck, going out on the boats is the best way to figure out what works for YOU.
Didn't we go through this a couple of weeks back.... I thought the conclusion was that you didn't have the space for a 25 outlaw ???? and were looking at a 232 ????
I have decided that if my tow rig (Acura MDX, 4500lbs.) and my space limit (27' total) are final, I am keeping the Bayliner. I cannot justify buying a Outlaw 20 just for 1 more degree deadrise and through hull exhaust and much smaller space. So I decided to look at alternativesin both space and towing. At this point, I want to decide on the boat, then arrange for the other issues after I have final weight and dimensions. Life is short, and if I go broke, I go broke smiling (just kidding, this won't break me, I think)
Thanks for the info so far
I am aware of the perf series euro transom length issue. My fear is to get the Outlaw 25 ride, I have to go up to the 272/275. I have heard those are not the same hulls either, so that is a concern as far as rough water. On the Windshield issue, I think one thing the wife is looking for is a sense of privacy the windshield gives her. Example, Had a new baby boy 3 months ago, she started to breast feed. Not an issue with the windshield glare. Now try that on an Outlaw! She also feels safer with a windhield holding the weather back. We put our kids in the front seats to heat them up in the Winter months, and it feels like a wall protecting them (they sweat up front with 50 degree weather) I was leaning to the 496's anyway. And like you, when it is all said and done, I might have to go with an Islander to close the deal with the wife! Why now does your wife want a cuddy though?
I will check out the Formula 252, but I thought I read somewhere that the 232, 252, are wimpy versions in style/perf compared to the Formual 242. No insult intended, but would love clarification on that.
Thanks again for the replies.
Chris. I currently own a old Baja 240 Sport. Basically a 24OL and close to the 25OL in size and design. I have also experienced both riding in a 232 and a 252. I would not trade in my old 240 for either one of these boats. The diference in ride and characteristics are that bad. For one, my 240 has more room than either one of the other boats. Also, its got a more solid, smooth and controlled ride. I think that with adding the plexiglass to the 25OL you will have more than enough for the wind buffeting that you need. Not to mention the higher freeboard and better ride should make the decision for you and make your wife happy. And as a driver, being 6' tall myself, I've found that the frame for the windshield on the 232 and 252 was directly in eyeline. Still. This is only my opinion. Take them all out and see which one you like the best.
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