Baja 247 Islander

Muy Caliente! Spicy, hip, and full of zip.

The 247 Islander's genetic material comes straight from Outlaws. I'm talking about the power-hungry, speed-seeking, hard-core offshore runners Baja built in the early 1990s. I was glad for that when on test day a magazine editor from another publication was briefly behind the wheel. He realized-while running wide open-that he was 10' outside the channel and the amount of water under the hull was shrinking quicker than Shrinky Dinks in a hot oven. No worries. He whipped this go-fast bowrider hardover, and the boat instantly obeyed. We were back in the safe stuff in mere seconds.

Of course, don't try that at home. But if things go amiss as sometimes happens, at least you'll be snug in the standup bolsters with dropout seats. The chairs are bolted through the sole in eight places, so they're not going anywhere. And the aft three-seater bench is well bolstered, too, with cockpit freeboard high enough for little ones to feel safe and remain out of the spray. Also, the backs of the port and starboard seats offer molded-in grabrails that are within easy reach of bench passengers.

For watersports, my test boat was equipped with a funky wakeboard tower ($4,750) that sports a Bimini and board racks. All your other gear can be divided among the insole locker, the carpeted closet space forward of the helm, the catchall under the steering wheel, the gunwale pouches, or under the bow seats. If that doesn't cover your stowage needs, use the enclosed head in the port console for the leftovers. What's more? A fiberglass extended swim platform ($917) added a welcome 2' of usable sport space to the length overall.

Performance? The 247 Islander hopped on plane in four seconds with an acceptable amount of bowrise. And the standard 350 MAG paired with a Bravo One produced a top speed of 50.9-perfect for a sporting family or for a bandit on the run.