By Brett Becker
A Little Something Extra: Baja’s 247 Islander
This 24 footer makes a great day boat for a large family. It also just happens to perform well.
When a restaurant in New Orleans sends your table an appetizer you didn’t order or comps your dessert, they’ll call it “lagniappe,” a wonderful French word that means “a little something extra.” It’s such a great experience and it’s part of what makes New Orleans such a distinctive place.
Baja’s 247 Islander runabout bears a similar distinction. It’s a roomy, comfortable and fully featured family runabout. The lagniappe is that it also performs well.
For family day-boating, the 247 Islander lacks for nothing. For example, the first question most moms ask is whether a boat has a head, and the 247 delivers a nice roomy compartment beneath the windshield on the port side. The vacuum-infused door provides privacy and a 12-volt light illuminates the compartment.
“It’s a great family boat. There’s no question about that,” says Reggie Fountain, president of Baja Marine and Fountain Powerboats. “It’s a sports boat with an open bow, and it makes a lot of sense.”
On the starboard side, the 247 features a generous stowage compartment. There is more stowage below deck between the port and starboard cowls and still more beneath all the bow cushions. The bow lounges are long enough for even the tallest passengers to stretch and relax.
The cockpit is treated with nonskid, and you can get optional snap-in carpeting. Both front bolsters give driver and observer the option to either sit or drop the seat bottoms and stand, which is great for rough water conditions. In the rear, the deep bench cushion combines with the 8-foot 6-inch beam to create a seat large enough for four adults without feeling cramped. There are cupholders and more stowage in the upholstered coaming panels.
As for performance, well – it’s a Baja, so performance is deeply embedded in its lineage. The hull features a sharp keel, with four lifting strakes and 23 degrees of deadrise, which means the 247 Islander is a runabout you can take out on open ocean.
“It has a sharp keel,” Fountain explains. “You get more directional stability if it’s sharp at the keel instead of radiused. It tends to hold the tail more steady, particularly when you running 50 or 60 mph. It tracks better because of that bottom.”
Engine options range from 300- and 320-horsepower small blocks to 380- and 430-horse 8.2-liter big blocks, all from MerCruiser. Fountain said most buyers opt for the big blocks. Pricing for the 247 Islander with the 380-horse big block, which pushes the boat to 60-plus mph top speeds, is $81,543. A trailer is optional.
“I think that’s a pretty competitive price,” Fountain said, “but they’ll get a deal a lot better than that because we’re wheeling and dealing right now.”
For more photos, visit the gallery below.
Baja 247 Islander
A clean dash with easy to read gauges [img src=http://features.boats.com/boat-content/wp-content/flagallery/baja-247-islander/thumbs/thumbs_247_detail01_08.jpg]280247_detail01_08
The open bow makes the Baja 247 great for large families. [img src=http://features.boats.com/boat-content/wp-content/flagallery/baja-247-islander/thumbs/thumbs_247_detail13_08.jpg]240247_detail13_08
Easy access to the engine, whether big block or small [img src=http://features.boats.com/boat-content/wp-content/flagallery/baja-247-islander/thumbs/thumbs_247_run01_08.jpg]190247_run01_08
The sharp deadrise makes it a good sea boat too. [img src=http://features.boats.com/boat-content/wp-content/flagallery/baja-247-islander/thumbs/thumbs_247_run05_08.jpg]190247_run05_08
Sunset cruising - perfect with family [img src=http://features.boats.com/boat-content/wp-content/flagallery/baja-247-islander/thumbs/thumbs_247_run12_08.jpg]150247_run12_08
Another sunset shot [img src=http://features.boats.com/boat-content/wp-content/flagallery/baja-247-islander/thumbs/thumbs_247_set01_08.jpg]170247_set01_08
The 247 Islander at rest [img src=http://features.boats.com/boat-content/wp-content/flagallery/baja-247-islander/thumbs/thumbs_247_set05_08.jpg]170247_set05_08
Ready to go for any adventure [img src=http://features.boats.com/boat-content/wp-content/flagallery/baja-247-islander/thumbs/thumbs_247_set03_08.jpg]160247_set03_08
A great platform for family fun
- 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 Boats.com, he regularly writes and shoots for BoatTrader.com. 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.