Checking out the competition, there's a slew of 38' twin-stepped go-fasts, but Cigarette's 38 Top Gun and Formula's 382 FAS3Tech match up best with the full-figured PowerQuest. With the HP575SCi engines, the Cigarette retails for $372,000 and pushes the 90-mph mark. Powered like our test boat, the Formula is closer in price at $306,120 and runs in the low 80s.
POLISHED APPEARANCE. The 38 Poker Run matches up well with the more custom Cigarette when it comes to mold work. The wide deck and tall hullsides stand straight and all the graphics are applied flawlessly with crisp lines and separations.
THE HIGHS: Maneuverability and wave-flattening performance inspire confidence. Fully molded head with triple-latched door is excellent, and best of all, no carpet. Hallelujah.
THE LOWS: Engine-mount L-angles should be installed with backing plates not washers. Engine hatch should open higher. Too much glare on the all-white dash panel in direct sunlight.
Behind the gel coat, the manufacturer lays up the boat with AME 1000 resin and knitted fiberglass fabrics around balsa coring that is 3/4" thick in the deck and bottom and 1/2" thick in the hullsides. Stringers, bulkheads, and transverse supports are formed out of fiberglass-encapsulated plywood. The hull and deck attach in a shoebox lid-style joint that is sealed with Plexus adhesive and through-bolted.
I wish the 38 Poker Run's engine hatch raised higher. PowerQuest explained that the power lift on our test boat had to be moved forward on the hatch because the center section of its underside needed to be hollowed out to accommodate the superchargers. The engines were mounted on aluminum L-angles bolted through the stringers with backing washers. I'd like to see more substance here, with aluminum backing plates instead of the washers.
All mechanical accessories, including batteries in Gil Marine boxes and Livorsi sea strainers, are located forward in the engine compartment, facilitating access, but the rigging of the hoses and wiring could have been neater. After all, when you pull up to the docks, people want to see under the hatch.
CLASS OF THE HEADS. On top of the hatch is a sunlounge with grab handles along each side. The aft swim platform sports a ladder in its own locker and the grab handle on the transom is in a good spot to help swimmers finish the climb. I also like that there is a choice of cockpit grab handles. If passengers want to ride sitting on the bench seat, there is an aluminum rail within reach on the gunwale. Should they prefer to ride standing, they can hang onto the rails that tie the bolsters into the gunwales.