If you’re in the enviable position of trying to decide between 35 feet or 42 feet of a triple-outboard-powered Scout, you’re in luck: Scout can meet you in the middle with its new 380 LXF. At 38 feet 6 inches long and a hair over 12 feet wide, the 380 LXF we tested used three Mercury Verado 350 outboards (Yamaha engines are also an option) to punch on plane in 9.4 seconds and from dead idle to 30 mph in 10 seconds flat. Top speed was 56.4 mph at 6,500 rpm, with the Verados turning 18-pitch Mercury Revolution 4 XP propellers.
The 380 is second in command to Scout’s line-leading 420 LXF, but it gives up little ground to its larger sibling.
We ran the 380 through some sloppy wind-driven chop and big-cruiser and workboat wakes in Charleston Harbor. As might be expected, the Scout had no problems carving on the river. It took the largest wakes at well over 40 mph with no slamming or jarring, and only at full tilt did we get a little air. Slicing turns at a hard-over angle proved an easy exercise as well. The pronounced Carolina sheer-line flare keeps riders dry, because spray is deflected effectively for those riding in the bow as well as amidships. Though the Scout is as serious an offshore angling bucket as can be, it’s so nicely appointed and beautifully crafted that nit-pickers like me would nearly go postal at the prospect of fish scales.
Hull design and construction is state-of-the-art, starting with the epoxy fiberglass layup that’s hand-laid and infused for maximum weight savings and strength. The hull, stringers and deck are all infused fiberglass, with no wood core to rot over time. All fasteners are through-bolted, so there’s no wood screws to vibrate and pull out. Finish is, of course, high-gloss gelcoat in a variety of rich tones; a close inspection of the entire hull and deck found zero flaws, showcasing Scout’s typical attention to detail.
The hull is double-stepped for better planing and speed, which helps release the wetted surface for higher efficiency, especially in calm water. The three outboards are securely mounted using Scout’s massive offset transom bracket system. This system is integrated into the 380’s transom and gives the triple engines leverage to lift the long hull. With a combined triple-outboard weight of well over a ton, the Scout bracket mounting grants security and strength. The setup also gives efficiency; while fuel mileage is probably not foremost on the minds of purchasers of triple-engine Scout packages, nevertheless, it’s good to know that this rig can achieve best cruise speed at 4,500 rpm (just under 35 mph), burning 38 gph (0.9 mpg) with a range of 330 miles, with 10 percent of the fuel left in reserve.
The deck and interior layout are very much Scout, patterned after the line-leading 420 LXF. At the bow, just behind the standard concealed-anchor-windlass compartment, the feel is much like that of a large bowrider — a set of plush facing cushions flank a pop-up cocktail table that can be set higher for snacking and onboard dinners, or positioned lower and fitted with a center cushion to form a larger sunbathing area. Just behind, the center-console features a luxury lounge seating affair, boasting forward-facing chairs with foldable armrests. A recessed, stylized powder-coated security grab rail encircles the deck, within easy reach yet not obtrusive. Dry stowage is seemingly everywhere; there’s more than enough to stash gear out of sight.
Opening the portside access doors on the console reveals a well-appointed mini-cabin belowdecks. A twin queen berth is surprisingly roomy at 6 feet 5 inches. For quick overnights or even an extended stay, it’s perfect. Everything needed is there and well-executed: galley, head and shower, entertainment system and air conditioning. Cabin rod stowage is standard, but can be replaced by a cedar-lined locker and shoe rack. Topside, the console’s command center is completely electronic and connected. Every functional control is accessed via the console’s flat screen, with redundant backup controls (traditional buttons and switches) just in case. The triple Verados are controlled using Merc’s excellent digital throttle and shift, so operation is smooth. The digital-dash cool factor is upped to the nth degree by Scout’s patented bow camera, which allows the pilot to see under the bow as well as forward.
The pilot’s station is fitted with a bolstered triple helm seat; behind is a module with built-in tackle drawers and/or a refrigerator and ice maker. Rod storage is abundant under the gunwales. At the transom, port and starboard in-deck fish boxes are 92 gallons large, with more dry storage abaft and a 100-gallon transom baitwell. The electronics and rigging access is excellent, and the wiring, hose and routing are well-thought-out and no-nonsense.
In the huge center-console market, Scout has some stiff competition. Boston Whaler’s 380 Outrage comes to mind, because it’s rigged with the same power and starts at $527,570 for the base rig. EdgeWater’s shorter 368 CC is rigged with triple Yamaha F300s and starts at just under $400,000.
- Seakeeper gyrostabilizer keeps the hull stable in rolling seas.
- Contoured, recessed grab rail encircles the cockpit.
- Anchor washdown hose helps keep mud and salt off the anchor and rode.
- Gelcoated underdeck surfaces (including the bilge) make for easy, splinter-freecleanup, inspection and service.
- Bow camera proves a helpful safety feature, especially just before casting off.
- We’re guessing the fold-up stern seat is meant for short stints.
Price: $647,780 (base); $898,392 (as tested)
Available Power: Outboards
How We Tested
Engine: Triple Mercury 350 hp Verado four-stroke outboards
Drive/Prop: Mercury Revolution 4 14.625" x 19"
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 226 gal.
Crew Weight: 700 lb.
Scout Boats - Summerville, South Carolina; 843-821-0068; scoutboats.com