Scout 380 LXF

The L defines luxury.

by Alan Wendt
There aren’t many boatbuilders left where the founder is still hard at work designing new models.


  • LOA: 38'6"
  • Beam: 12'1"
  • Draft: 27"
  • Weight: 16,870 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 405 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 51 gals.
  • Power:
  • Price: Contact dealer

There aren’t many boatbuilders left where the founder is still hard at work designing new models.

A fact that made the debut of Scout Boats’ 380 LXF at the 2017 Miami Boat Show a must-attend. Steve Potts has a twinkle in his eye like the iconic Coca-Cola Santa Claus and the unrelenting passion of the garage inventor. His walkthroughs of new models are legendary, and the 380 LFX presentation came to a conclusion with the proverbial epiphany, “I’ve saved the best feature to the end — a closet with a rack for your boat hook, cleaning brush, mooring lines and just about everything else that clutters the deck.”

Not many people can sell a broom closet on a boat — except for Steve. But after countless stubbed toes, hours pondering where to mount the telescoping boat hook, and doing acrobatics over the transom to a junk locker for all the aforementioned necessities, I could see why he was so enthusiastic about this closet.

It made perfect sense: Mold a flush-mounted door on the starboard-side center console, carve out plenty of room inside, and teach Home Depot a thing or two about vastly improving a pegboard tool holder configuration. For those who know Scout Boats, it’s more than just screwing a cheap seat cover to a lid and calling it a day.

“One of the things that clearly separates our models from our competition is fit and finish,” Potts adds. “Our 380 carries this principle forward with completely finished doors, lids, hatches, bilges and, yes, a closet.”

Taste for power

Scout’s luxury sportfish models showcase the blending of high-performance fish boats with high-end cruisers. The 380 LXF is the seventh model in this category to date and is built on Scout’s epoxy-infused, double-stepped, fuel-efficient hull, which reduces the overall weight in the boat while providing more stability in the hull. And boy did we put those claims to the test in less than ideal conditions.

If you haven’t been to the new venue at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin, be sure to add it to next year’s February flight from winter. In addition to landside displays, the floating marina has more than 700 boats in the water, many of them available for water demos on the spot. Sunny skies, temps in the low 70s, Caribbean colored water — it was enticing at 11 a.m., but my test ride wasn’t until 4 p.m. Pick your metaphor about ex-wives, flip-flopping politicians, squirrelly bosses, or just a typical Lake Michigan day: A passing cold front turned the basin into a Halloween witch’s cauldron by the time we eased through the no-wake zone, cleared the MacArthur Causeway and pointed the bow towards Key West.  

“Do not get the model perched on the center console dual lounger drenched with salt spray,” was the only instruction I got before pushing the digital throttles forward and lighting up our Mercury quad 300-hp engines. Wait. Did he say Mercs? Could have sworn the 380 LXF was rigged with Yamaha triple 350-hp back at the debut. Right on both accounts. Scout outfits the boat to the owner’s taste for power.

Just because keeping the lovely young lass dry while quartering a stiff 23 mph on the nose distracted me, that didn’t mean we were giving up on speed. Top-end is just over 60 mph, but in the shallow bay’s blender of nastiness I managed to eke out 51.

Cruising speed is closer to 37. Left, right, crossing our own wake, backing down on a pretend trophy fish, the 380 never missed a beat, and we all stayed dry! How much of that was due to the optional Seakeeper gyrostabilizer? Plenty. While gyros take a good hour to spool up, its impact is evident the instant you turn it off. If your “model” is even slighty squeamish, this $59,286 (MSRP) option could very well be the one feature that seals the deal.

A touch of James Bond

Scout has the appearance of a luxury automobile, from premium upgraded upholstery and a sleek aesthetics, to a helm rich with large touch-screen technologies; you instinctively want to trace the finish and sumptuous curves along every inch of the 38-foot, 6-inch overall length and 12-foot, 1-inch beam. The optional hydraulic portside beach platform is an ideal boarding design, set away from the transom and engines. Other impressive touches include: Gas shock-assisted hatches; flush-mount cleats; port and starboard floor fish boxes; two hardtop, retractable hoses for fresh and raw water; triple helm seating; and private jet-like seating forward of the console and bow.

Now, throw in a little James Bond and the electronically-actuated, raised, aft-facing lounge seat coverts into a leaning post option that adds a Kenyon grill, a sink and cutting board, along with a clear ice maker and tackle drawers. That’s one fancy summer kitchen!

Need more Bond? With the touch of a button, you can electronically raise or lower the hardtop-mounted rocket launchers thanks to Scout’s innovative, award-winning Articulating Rocket Launcher, allowing easy loading and unloading of rods. It also works in conjunction with the 380’s SureShade retractable awning feature; when the SureShade is engaged, the rocket launchers will also engage and lower in case you forget to lower them.

Below deck, the forward queen berth converts into a dinette. A refrigerator, a cooktop and a microwave make meal prep easy. An electric head, a vanity with sink and an enclosed shower are found in the head compartment.

Fuel capacity is 405 gallons, and were it not for the rough seas, I’m pretty sure we could have witnessed one of Key West’s famous sunsets. This was one boat test I didn’t want to end, due to the many options on-board to explore and buttons to play with, like the hardtop-mounted train horn. Up until that moment, the model was dry. Hey, I’m just doing my job!