Always good for a few surprises for the upcoming model year, the annual Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, which ran into the beginning of this month, saw the introduction of the first outboard-powered sportboat from Baja Marine, Inc.
Dubbed the 26 Outlaw Outboard, the 26-footer, which is powered by twin 300-hp Verado engines from Mercury Marine, is the first model in what will be a series of outboard-equipped offerings from 23 to 35 feet long.
The addition of outboard sportboat platforms is a big move for the Washington, N.C., boat builder, which until now has powered it Outlaw line exclusively with inboard engines and stern drives.
"We have been seeing a lot of customer demand for outboard-powered versions of Baja's popular Outlaw high-performance series," said Johnny Walker, the chief executive officer of Baja Marine. "With Mercury's powerful and reliable Verado outboards on the market, we felt that now was the time."
|Baja 26 Outlaw Outboard|
|Length w. platform||27’8” m|
|Deadrise at transom||24 deg.|
|Fuel capacity||101 gal.|
Replacing the inboard power package with outboards enabled Baja to use the 26-footer’s engine compartment as a large stowage locker with a wakeboard rack, and that speaks to one of the intended purposes for the boat—pulling wakeboards. To that end, the builder equipped the model with a Sport Tower. For boarders who want to jack up the wakes, the engine compartment appears to be large enough to accommodate an aftermarket water-ballast system. In a nod to expanded versatility and family use, the sportboat also features a cuddy cabin for shelter and additional storage.
The base suggested retail price for Baja 26 Outlaw with the twin 300-hp outboards, which according to the manufacturer will move the boat to 70 mph, is $147,995. The model unveiled at the Fort Lauderdale Show had several options—including an X2 package that features upgraded graphics, appointments, and LED lighting—that upped the suggested retail price to $166,001.
For more information, visit Baja Marine.