Here’s a little something to consider when shopping for your next runabout: Limit your search to companies that also make yachts. Think about it. It’s reasonable to assume yacht buyers would insist on a certain level of luxury and quality. And if that same company builds runabouts, it’s also reasonable to think some of that same luxury and build quality would trickle down to the smaller boats it builds. With that in mind, let’s look at the Cruisers Sport Series 338 Palm Beach Edition Bow Rider.

Yes, at nearly 33 feet in length, it’s hard to call it a runabout, but that’s how most buyers will use it, for days spent on the water with friends and family. How it’s used is up to the owner, but how it’s built is notable because Cruisers makes yachts, from 35 feet long to 60 feet, and the materials, amenities and techniques they use in those boats often find their way into the smaller craft, like the 338. Let's get a closer look at the 338 Bow Rider OB at the 2018 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show:


Take the stern lounge and swim platform on the 338 for example. It serves as an aft lounge that faces the interior, but it also has an aft-facing bench that overlooks the swim platform, which comes in standard form or an optional platform that extends and additional 3 feet.

Then at the touch of a button, it converts to a full sun pad with a headrest that can be raised at the rear. It’s a yacht-like quality, which continues throughout the cockpit and especially the helm. It’s laid out smartly, with an array of analog gauges up top, navigation display to the left of the wheel and controls to the right, flanked by toggle switches.

The intricate details are hard to miss on this outboard-powered bow rider—built by a luxury yacht builder whose trickle down effect is definitely noticeable. 

The 338 is a bow rider, but it also has a mid-cabin with a bamboo-wood-like veneer, nice wide lounges and an enclosed head compartment. The head includes a sink, commode and a shower system. The bow area is unique too, in that you step down into it. There’s stowage beneath the step, the deck and a removable cooler in the forward-facing seat. A dinette table pops in place in a deck receptacle and there’s a full anchor locker up front. The anchor features a windlass assembly that feeds through the forward-most section of the hull rather than over the top of the deck, which creates a cleaner profile and doesn’t drag seaweed up onto the deck when you retrieve the anchor. Again, lessons learned in building yachts.

It would be difficult to outline all the features of the 338 in the space we have, but the importance of the lessons learned in building yachts can’t be understated. With its elegant lines and black cherry gelcoat, the 338 Palm Beach edition is somewhat understated, yet makes a bold statement at the same time.

See all Cruisers Yachts 338 Bow Rider listings.
Displacement11,000 lbs
Fuel capacity154 gal.
Water capacity325 gal.

Written by: Brett Becker
Brett Becker is a freelance writer and photographer who has covered the marine industry for 15 years. In addition to covering the ski boat and runabout markets for, he regularly writes and shoots for Based in Ventura, Calif., Becker holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in mass communication from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.