The Cruisers Yachts 38 GLS is a dayboat with a spacious cockpit and bow, plus the company’s new beach door, and an inviting cabin with more than 6’ (1.83 m) of headroom. Triple outboard power enhances the boat’s versatility and makes the boat more attractive for saltwater use.
- Triple outboard motors
- Extra-wide 12’6” (3.8 m) beam
- Spacious cockpit and bow lounges
- Cabin with 6’2” (1.88 m) of headroom
- Private head compartment
- Large swim platform
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||5.4 sec.|
|0 to 30||9.5 sec.|
|Props||Enertia - 16 d /18 p|
|Load||3 persons, 3/5 fuel, 3/50 water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||67 deg., 66 humid.; wind 8-10 mph; seas: calm|
3 x 300-hp Mercury Verado
3 x VV,V8-380CE,DP,EVC,JOYSTICK,380
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Captain's Report by Capt. Martin Frobisher
The largest outboard-powered boat in the Cruisers Yachts line, the 38 GLS is designed to be a dayboat with lots of space for family and friends in the cockpit and bow. It also introduces the manufacturer’s new Beach Door, a platform that connects the swim platform and the aft seating area. Belowdecks is a seating area that converts to a berth plus a wet head with a shower.
• Beach Door creates extra recreation area
• Aft lounge with convertible backrest
• Hardtop with a large opening sunroof
• Wide beam creates a large feel to the cockpit
• Available outboard power up to a total of 900-hp
Cruisers Yachts 38 GLS Features Inspection
Aft Seating Stepping aboard the 38 GLS is safe and easy thanks to the side platforms covered in SeaDek mat. Each one measures 2’ (.60 m) by 1’5” (.48 m) To starboard, there is a four-step boarding ladder that complies with ABYC standards and just above are a grab rail and a pull-out cleat. There’s another cleat on the trailing edge of the port platform. The aft-facing stern bench is spacious and offers good rear visibility over the motors. To port of the bench are a dual USB outboard and a remote-control for Rockford Fosgate stereo. A stern shower retracts into the port gunwale. The bottom cushion on the bench lifts up to access storage.
To port of the aft bench seat, twin USB ports and the remote control for the Rockford-Fosgate stereo are in convenient reach.
Port-Utilities-locker.png. Outboard to port, the utilities locker has a cutout for the shorepower cord and utility cords
Utilities-Connections.png. Throughout the boat, Cruisers made sure it properly labeled accessories including the shorepower plugs.
Stern-shower.png. The freshwater shower retracts into a stainless-steel socket in the angled section of the stern.
Boarding-ladder.png. The boarding ladder extends out from under the starboard swim platform.
Grabrail-cleat.png. Just above the ladder on the transom is a grabrail to help the ascent and the pull-up cleat is a good choice here. If a person is using the rail, the pushed-in cleat won’t be an obstacle.
Beach Door A new feature on the 38 GLS, the backrest for the aft bench rotates to change the viewing direction. The user can face aft, forward or to starboard facing the new Beach Door, an exciting accessory on the boat that links the swim platform and cockpit, creating a large recreational area. The door opens and closes via a switch and once closed, it secures with an internal locking bar. When the engines are running, the door can’t open.
With the beach door lowered, the 38 GLS has an even more open feel.
Beach-door-up.png. When the beach door is folded up, it locks in place and when the motors are running, it won’t lower even if the switch is pushed.
Pivoting-cockpit-backrest.png. Release a latch and the aft lounge backrest can move into three different positions.
Cockpit-switches.png. When the time comes to lower the beach door, the switch is easy to find.
The Cockpit A stainless-steel gate closes the 2’1” (.63 m) wide passage that leads into the 38 GLS’ cockpit. The boat’s 12’6” (3.81 m) beam allows for a spacious design. The stern lounge wraps around to port and there’s another L-shaped bench that extends forward to the aft side of the helm seat to starboard. Install the removable high-gloss wood tables to create two small dinettes. There’s storage beneath the bottom cushions that open on tension hinges and special vinyl pouches for the tables. Overhead is a hardtop that has a large sunroof, speakers and lighting that can be illuminated in three different colors. Our test boat had the optional SureShade retractable awning that protected the cockpit from the elements.
Cockpit-passage.png. The 2’1” (.63m) -wide cockpit passageway closes with a stainless-steel gate at the leading edge.
Cockpit-best.png. When a boat has a 12’6” (3.81m) beam, designers can create a cockpit that has lots of seating space and room to move.
Cockpit-lounge-abafthelmseat.png. The grabrails on the base of the cockpit seats provide security when traveling and when retrieving contents from the lockers in the base.
Cockpit-tables.png. Cruisers Yachts is smart to use two tables in the 38 GLS’ cockpit instead of one large one. It allows for easier passage.
SureShadeExtended.png. Our test boat had the optional Sure Shade that extends to cover the cockpit with the push of a button.
Cockpit-storage.png. Cruisers continues to pay attention to the small details, using tension hinges for the cockpit lounge cushions.
Table-storage.png. The tables store in vinyl pouches to ensure that shiny finish keeps on shimmering.
The Galley Forward to port is the cockpit galley. In the countertop is a socket for a 27” (68.58 cm) flat screen TV and a removable hatch in the Corian countertop reveals the sink. To port is an electric Kenyon grill. The hatch closes on an automatic shutoff switch and controls are on a panel nearby. In the base of the counter are a refrigerator to port and a cabinet to starboard. The ice maker is in the helm-seat base. Two bar stools are on the forward side of the galley.
Wetbar-counter.png. The forward side of the galley’s Corian countertop has plenty of space for food preparation.
Wetbar-w/tv.png. The cook can always catch the game on the 27” TV while whipping up lunch.
Sink-uncovered.png. Pull aside the removable cover to use the galley sink.
Cooktop.png. The Kenyon cooktop is beneath a hatch that opens on a stainless-steel strut, is equipped with a stainless-steel heat shield and closes on an automatic shutoff switch.
Cockpit-fridge.png. The Vitrifrigo refrigerator is in the base of the cooktop counter and the grab rail will come in handy when things get choppy.
Under-sink-storage.png. Not only is there a wastebasket under the sink, there’s also a bottle rack for libations of all shapes and sizes.
Icemaker.png. Putting the icemaker in the base of the helm seat keeps the galley from feeling cluttered.
barstools.png. The bar stools are a good choice for maintaining the 38 GLS’ open feel.
The Helm Moving forward, the 38 GLS’ helm is to starboard and has a 3’1” (.96 m) wide by 1’6” (.5 m) deep seat that slides fore and aft and has flip-down armrests. Fold up the bolsters and there’s enough space for even a portly captain. The hand-wrapped and stitched steering wheel was on a tilting base and just ahead was a Ritchie compass. Two 12” (30.48 cm) Simrad multifunction displays provide data for course, conditions and engine and systems health. To port, the Rockford Fosgate control unit for the stereo is in reach and alongside are push-button accessory switches that are clearly labeled and illuminate when activated. To starboard are the binnacle controls, trim-tab buttons and the Mercury joystick. Just below the engine controls are the VHF radio and fire-suppression system buttons. Outboard in the gunwale are the Simrad VHF and a locker that contains the circuit breakers for onboard systems.
Helm-screens.png. We don’t need no stinking gauges. The Simrad MFDs provide all the information a captain desires if he needs to double check course heading, the compass is in line with the tilt wheel.
Accessory-switches.png. Push-button-style accessory switches illuminate when activated and are clearly labeled.
Controls.png. We would consider switching the position of the joystick and the trim-tab buttons. The latter are a natural reach with the levers advanced and placing the joystick abaft the controls would be a more natural reach.
Breakers-glovebox.png. In the starboard gunwale beneath the VHF radio is a locker that houses all the circuit breakers for on board systems.
The Bow Forward and to port of the barstools is the passageway to the bow. It’s 1’6” (.46 m) wide and there are two storage compartments in the gunwale. The bow is an inviting entertainment space with a filler cushion that can be added to turn the area into a large sunpad. A removable table adds versatility and there are two speakers, plus a separate stereo control panel. Our test boat also had the optional bow shade. In the foredeck, a hatch opens to reveal the Genius windlass and stainless-steel anchor that exits through the bow. There are foot controls in the nonskid deck.
Bow-walk-thru.png. The bow passageway has a secure feel thanks to the high gunwales where there are two storage lockers.
Airdam-closed.png. Close the windshield and the air dam to keep cold breezes from blowing aft into the cockpit.
Bow-no-table.png. The bow fills in partially to create a full-length sunlounge to starboard.
Bow-w/table.png. The table and fold-out armrests provide dedicated space for beverages and a place to enjoy a bite.
Bow-stereo-remote.png. Two speakers and a remote control let the folks in the bow take command of the music.
Windlass.png. The windlass, anchor and a cleat for securing the rode are all found beneath a hatch in the foredeck.
Foredeck.png. The foredeck has the control switches for the windlass separated on each side of the hatch and outboard of them are the stainless-steel sockets for the bow shade.
Accommodations Immediately to port of the helm is a sliding door to access the cabin and a screen can be slid into place in the opening to let in fresh air. To port, a compact galley has a combination microwave/convection oven alongside a refrigerator and in the countertop is a socket for the TV we saw in the cockpit. The U-shaped seating is finished in pearl white and gray and it can be converted to a berth by lowering the high-gloss walnut table. The seats on each side measure 1’6” (.46 m) wide and a forward rectangular section of the bulkhead flips up, extending the length for sleeping to 6’8” (2.03 m). For entertainment, the cabin has a coaxial jack, a 12-volt plug, dual USB ports and a stereo control panel. At the base of the stairs, we measured headroom at 6’2” (1.88 m). A wet head includes a toilet and pull-up shower. Abaft the cabin stairs is a berth that should accommodate a couple for an evening or weekend.
Cabin-entry.png. A grab rail on top of the cabin hatch makes it easier to slide and, once it’s open, the lower rail to port provides purchase for crewmembers making the trip below.
Cabin-entry-screen.png. To keep bugs out and fresh air flowing, a full-width screen slides into place.
Cabin-dinette.png. There’s space to hang out around the dinette table or it can be lowered to create a berth.
Cabin-appliances.png. The galley on our test boat had a combination microwave/convection oven and a refrigerator, both finished in stainless steel.
Cabin-TV.png. The same TV from the cockpit can be slipped into place in the cabin galley.
Head-sink.png. In the head, Cruisers Yachts kept up the luxury with a marble sink and Corian countertop.
Cabin-woman.png. This photo gives a good idea of the space available in the aft cabin. Looks pretty comfortable to us.
Mechanical Access A stainless-steel rail on the front makes it easy to pick up the aft bench seat for access to the mechanical room. The 38 GLS has a 335-gallon (1,268-liter) tank for gasoline and the fuel feeds are all clearly labeled. To starboard below is the Beach Door hydraulic pump, abaft of which is the main circuit breaker panel for the generator and primary accessories. The house battery and 12-volt DC power bar fuse are also to starboard. Power-steering pumps and vector modules for each motor are easily accessed and clearly labeled and the automatic fire suppression system is centrally positioned. Twin ProMariner 30-amp chargers keep the batteries juiced and below are the engine battery switches, thermal breakers and monitor lights. Our test boat also had the optional Onan 5kw diesel genset to port. It has a dedicated strainer and fuel-water separator, both of which were easy to get to.
Fire-suppression.png. The Fireboy suppression system is centrally positioned for maximum effectiveness.
Genset.png. Our test boat had the optional diesel generator to port.
Genset-separator.png. The fuel-water separator for the genset is equipped with hoses with swaged fittings and clear labeling.
Strainger.png. Notice the twin hose clamps for the sea strainer for the generator. They meet ABYC guidelines.
Cruisers Yachts 38 GLS Performance
The Numbers. Our test boat measured 38’ (11.58 m) long with a beam of 12’6” (3.84 m) and a draft of 3’6” (1.09 m). Dry weight is listed at 17,500 pounds (7,937.87 kgs) and with three people, test gear and 200 gallons (757.08 liters) of fuel aboard, we had an estimated test weight of 19,279 pounds (874.98 kg). The triple 300-hp Mercury 4.6-liter V8 Four Stroke outboards turned 16” x 18” (40.64 cm X 45.72 cm) three-blade stainless-steel Enertia props.
Running-port.jpg. In a light chop and 10-mph winds, the 38 GLS acquitted itself well, riding smoothly and maintaining her course.
Speed and Range Running in 10-mph winds and choppy conditions, we hit a top speed of 51.9 mph at 6000 rpm. Best economical cruise came at 4500 rpm, where we ran 35.8 mph and burned 44 gph, which translated into 0.8 mpg and a range of 245 statute miles. This was calculated while holding back a 10-percent reserve of the boat’s 335-gallon (1,343.82-liter) fuel capacity. At 600 rpm, we saw 3.8 mph and 1.3 mpg. In acceleration tests, the boat planed in 5.4 seconds. We ran through 20 mph in 5.2 seconds and continued to 30 in 9.5 seconds.
Running-3/4-rear-fast.png. With the triple 300-hp Mercury V8s running at full song, the boat topped 50 mph.
Docking When it was time to head back, in, we switched over from the controls to the Mercury Joystick Piloting system and easily backed into the slip. Because of the boat’s 12’6” (3.81 m) beam, some might expect the boat to be a battle, but with the triple outboards, she went right where we aimed her.
Starboard-idle.png. Even with her wide beam and tall hullsides, the 38 GLS felt responsive and nimble around the docks.
•Retail price with triple 300-hp Mercury 300 Verado outboards in white with joystick piloting $618,370
Cruisers Yachts 380 GLS Options to Consider (not already listed in report)
•Hardtop Black $4,400
•SureShade black $10,400
•Underwater lights $1,605
•Premium Electronics $7,630
The 38 GLS is the outboard-powered dayboat that enthusiasts would have expected Cruisers Yachts to build. With her 12’6” (3.81 m) beam, the cockpit feels huge and the luxury amenities we’ve come to expect from the manufacturer such as the hand-stitched wheel and upholstered helm are there.
Given her size and weight, we would have thought going with the triple 350-hp outboards would be the preferred power, but the 300s pushed the boat past 50 mph and had plenty of oomph to move the boat around the docks. Unless an owner really wants those extra few mph at top end, spending the extra money for the bigger motors seems unnecessary.