Our first peek at the 238SS Roswell Surf Edition was in the convention hall at Monterey’s 2016 dealer meeting. It was angled upward, giving a view of the sleek lines, and the sharp chines and strakes of the hull.
The Volvo Penta Forward Drive was clearly prominent, and, though shockingly different, we nodded in approval the minute we looked at it. Dual props face forward, hitting solid water before the gear case breaks it up, as seen with outboards and rear-facing sterndrives. The props are tucked up under the transom, nearly as far forward as an inboard V-drive’s propeller, and Volvo Penta boasts added safety from the forward position.
In our tests, this forward drive shouldered the sterndrive advantages of articulated thrust and easy maneuverability that makes sterndrives popular. Volvo Penta says the new drive will revolutionize water-sports boats. It also uses a special trim tab to tune the wake. Our tests showed that this new boat and drive would encroach on the inboard turf.
As exciting as the propulsion is, the design of the 238’s interior and exterior styling is thrilling. Even without the bodacious wakeboard arch and graphics, the 238 could stop traffic for its mirrorlike finish, and abundance of sturdy, gleaming stainless-steel hardware and trim. That’s not cheap to do; Monterey has graduated from making great boats at a great price to making premium boats at a great price.
The 238’s aft sun-pad treatment is also top-shelf. It was chic when Monterey began including it in its boats several years ago, but Monterey hasn’t stopped evolving it to meet this modern design. Lay it down for a fantastic sunning area, incline one side for a side-by-side chaise lounge, or flip the back aft for more forward-facing seating.
Your first peek of the Monterey 238SS Roswell Surf Edition will change your perspective on sterndrives and water sports.
*Roswell coat of arms on the metal-flake finish is the most radical graphics package yet.
*Fusion stereo is insane, with an array of Roswell biaxial cannon speakers on the tower and amplifiers.
*Speed control and ballast systems with surf-trim plates let the skipper tune the green room.
How We Tested
Engine: Volvo Penta 5.3L 300 hp Gen 4
Drive/Prop: Forward Drive/K6 stainless-steel propset
Gear Ratio: 2.32:1
Fuel Load: 45 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
$85,214 (as tested)
Monterey Boats Williston, Florida; 352-528-2628; montereyboats.com