Onboard the Cruisers 38 GLS

The boat has an expandable cockpit and speedy performance numbers.

April 7, 2020
Cruisers Yachts
Cruisers Yachts calls the fold-down platform to starboard a beach door. Courtesy Cruisers Yachts

When Cruisers Yachts debuted its 338 bow rider this past year, it was the Wisconsin builder’s first toe into the burgeoning outboard-sportboat pond. Based on feedback to that model, the Cruisers 38 GLS is far more than just 6 feet longer. This outboard-powered cruiser is an all-purpose craft, with features for dayboating, overnighting and entertaining aboard.

The most visible change from Cruisers’ first sportboat is the 38 GLS’s “beach door,” a section of the starboard coaming that folds out and converts to a deck, replacing the swim platform that would otherwise be where the outboards are. The aft-facing bench-seat backrest swivels, so parents can keep an eye on kids swimming from the deck, and two amidships dinettes allow for dining.

Stir in a galley console with a sink and fridge, and an optional grill and ice maker, and owners can have barbecue central. A second fridge and a microwave are in the cabin.


Also in the cockpit are a pair of 14-inch swivel bar stools facing aft over the raised galley counter. Sun protection comes from the cantilevered fiberglass hardtop with a nearly 6-foot-long opening sunroof.

Mercury engine
The first outboard-powered model for Cruisers, the 338 has twin Mercury Verados. Courtesy Cruisers Yachts

The skipper faces a dash with room to handle twin 16-inch displays—dual Simrads were on the boat we got aboard—as well as neatly labeled rows of flush-mounted buttons for various systems. Facing the helm is a double-wide seat with a flip-up bolster for standing abaft the tilt wheel.

The forward seating includes a triple-wide bench seat topped by streamlined headrests that face forward and U-shaped seating around a standard table that drops to become a sun pad. The Quick anchor windlass is tucked under a foredeck hatch, with control buttons on deck for safe use.


Belowdecks is a U-shaped lounge with a convertible table that becomes a berth. There’s also a stateroom aft with a berth that measures 6.5 feet by 4.5 feet. A couple can use this stateroom for weekending, and it functions as a secure place to tuck in kids for afternoon naps. Add to that a head with a shower (with 6-foot-2-inch headroom), and you have the makings of an all-purpose boat.

Triple 300 hp Mercury Verados are standard and good for a reported 46 knots, but owners can opt for up to 400 hp outboards for even more speed thrills. Carving big S-turns in Florida’s Tampa Bay was an effortless giggle, and even when crossing large wakes, the multistrake hull cast spray aside. And the motors sipped fuel at nearly 1 mile per gallon at a galloping 37 knots.

The 38 GLS we got aboard had the optional Onan 5 kW genset to power air conditioning—there are two ducts in the dash just for the skipper—as well as amenities such as blenders and a microwave.


Whether you’re planning on weekending with a family, day-cruising to a local sandbar or just entertaining a dozen friends dockside, the Cruisers 38 GLS can handle it all with the same style and quality found on the builder’s larger Cantius yachts.

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