Baja’s introduction of the 2013 version of the 30 Outlaw brings back some fond memories because I ran an older version of the boat in my last offshore race in Point Pleasant, NJ, sometime around 2005 or 2006. The idea of the article was that I was playing the role of a poker runner who wanted to step up and try his hand at offshore racing. Boating’s Associate Editor at that time, Kari Snyder, who had barely been faster than 50 mph in a boat, agreed to strap on a Lifeline vest and orange helmet and ride along with me. She was a trooper the whole weekend.
The Point Pleasant race was always run on a weekday so as not to tie up the facilities along the Jersey Shore on a busy summer weekend. Before I go any farther, I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to all my friends in New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. On raceday, the officials decided to cut the lap count in half because of big seas. We ran in steady 4-footers with a couple of 8' holes. For further proof that they made the right decision, the 30’ Sutphen, Buckshot, broke in half just ahead of the boat’s windscreen.
We didn’t win that day, but we had fun and brought the boat and crew back in one piece. The Baja 30 Outlaw proved itself capable of handling real ocean conditions and it held up well. With improvements in construction and design, the new 30 Outlaw GT should be a great poker run boat for someone on a budget. At 32'2" with a swim platform, an 8'6" beam and weight of 6,900 pounds, the boat handles predictably and the deep V with a 24-degree deadrise at the transom should cut through chop and waves.
While Baja isn’t one of the “big” names in offshore performance, it’s one of the most important. Many offshore go-fast enthusiasts started in a Baja, so to see the manufacturer making a comeback is a good sign. Hopefully, I’ll have a test on the new model in an upcoming issue of Boating, so stay tuned.