comforts of the saloon are commensurate with the conveniences of the teak-trimmed
galley, which include a Norcold below-counter refrigerator, a stainless
steel double sink, two-burner stove (LPG or electric), and microwave/convection
oven. When meals are ready, you can extend the leaves and raise the teak
table to dining level before the port-side settee. Stowage beneath this
settee is ample, with deep compartments taking full advantage of available
space. Likewise, there is plenty of room for belongings in the forward
stateroom in hull-side shelves, a starboard hanging locker, three drawers
built into the double berth, and a compartment beneath the mattress. The
common-access head with shower and optional VacuFlush MSD is port of a
midcabin with a recessed double berth that kids should enjoy for its novelty
and adults should appreciate for its roominess.
Access to the engine compartment is through a hatch in the saloon sole
that drops you in between the twin powerplants. You may feel cramped when
doing work on the outboard sides of the engines, but you can go at them
comfortably when taking care of routine maintenance on the inboard sides.
For major jobs, two more hatches open directly above each engine.
Our test boat was equipped with a lower helm to starboard in the saloon
in place of the second settee on standard models. Visibility from it was
good. I especially liked the view astern through the sliding glass door.
Anderson said that most rain-drenched Northwesterners were requesting
this option, but he expects boaters in sunnier climes to be more than
satisfied with the standard flying-bridge helm.
At that station, with the 3488’s dimensions in clear sight fore and
aft, you’ll feel high and mighty. As we motored through the cut between
Lake Union and Lake Washington, we towered over dedicated members of University
of Washington’s crew team rowing needle-thin boats. I envied their
heat-generating exertions; there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and hardly
any wind, but it was January nonetheless, and cold—especially when
we put the 3488’s optional twin 240-hp 4B-250 Cummins diesel inboards
to work. Her 26.7 mph at wide-open throttle (3000 rpm) was a little too
bracing. Talk about wind-chill factor! The peak of Mount Rainier suspended
to the southeast didn’t look any colder. Even at a typical cruising
rpm of 2750, we were still doing nearly 24 mph, and the chattering of
my teeth seemed a lot louder than the 77 decibels we recorded on the dB
meter. As Bayliner’s photo-shoot manager Chuck Thompson and I recorded
acceleration curves, the 3488 charged ahead like a three-year-old filly.
The brisker the better, she seemed to say, while Thompson and I wondered
just who was being put to the test here.
What a relief when it came time to check out the boat’s niftiest
option, the Integrated Control System (ICS) for close-quarters (thankfully,
slow and relatively warm) maneuvering. Including bow and stern thrusters
controlled by a hull-shaped module at the helm, the ICS might bring skippers
about as close as you can get nowadays to point-and-click docking. Push
the “bow” of the module to port, and you activate the bow thruster,
causing the boat itself to mimic the motion of the module. Push the “stern&148;
over, and the aft thruster kicks in. If you rotate the hull shape firmly
clockwise, both thrusters go to work in opposite directions and the 3488
spins on a dime. Push the module laterally, and the thrusters work together
to walk the boat sideways. It’s as simple as that—perhaps the
greatest onboard stress reliever since the invention of the dock-side
When I used this clever switch, the 3488 reacted so nimbly I even felt
a little cruel, like some ruthless puppeteer. It was, I think, the opposite
reaction I’ve seen in more than a few skippers who, just after crunching
a fuel dock, will address their vessels using terms usually reserved for
one’s most reviled enemies. As we tied up again on the edge of Lake
Union, it occurred to me that you’d be unlikely to have many arguments
with a user-friendly boat like the 3488. She’s just too easy to get
Bayliner Marine Phone: (800) 443-9119. www.bayliner.com.
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