Jupiter 38 Review

Built to run with the big dogs, this boat looks great just doing it.

July 8, 2005

Jupiter Marine recently joined the growing ranks of builders entering the triple-engine boat market with the introduction of this stylish new 38-footer. It features Jupiter’s usual level of excellent fit and finish, combined with a host of serious fishing amenities in an aggressive Donald Blount-designed hull that excels at going fast in rough water.

A lot of thought clearly went into this boat’s design. From gasketed and finished hatches that raise on gas-assisted rams to numerous cavernous fish boxes to generous livewell capacity, this new Jupiter has just about everything you could ask for in a fishing boat. And on top of everything else, it’s just plain big. You can’t help but stop and stare when the Jupiter 38 comes by.

PerformanceThree F250 Yamaha four-strokes powered our subject boat. After a slight initial bow rise, the 38 quickly levels off into a flatter running attitude. At a 4,500-rpm cruise, the 38 burns 36 gph and travels at 43 mph, for a 1.2-mpg efficiency.


Those are pretty impressive numbers when you consider the sheer mass these outboards have to push. At wide-open throttle, the F250s hit 58 mph at a fuel burn of 67 gph at 5,900 rpm. If that’s not enough speed, you can order triple Z300 HPDI Yamahas and cruise at 50 mph at 4,500 rpm while burning 58 gph. Top speed with the 300s is 61 mph.

As you might expect, the 38’s deep-V hull slices through seas effortlessly. We ran the boat on a breezy day and never got wet at any angle of attack. Larger seas might have thrown some spray our way, but the 3-footers we encountered could not. The boat rode solid at all times without a single creak or shudder. The 38 would be right at home well offshore where only large diesel sport-fishermen used to roam.

Let’s start with the insulated fish boxes. The 38 has two in the cockpit sole just forward of the transom bulkhead; each holds 104 gallons and drains through a macerator pump. Big wahoo or yellowfin tuna will fit in here with no problem.


For additional storage space, you’ll find two more subdeck storage boxes on either side of the console. Normally used as rod storage boxes, they hold five rods per side. However, these boxes are insulated and come with an optional macerator that turns them into even greater fish storage space.

A 45-gallon livewell sits on centerline in the rocket-launcher-equipped leaning-post module, with a sink and a rigging box outboard of the well. Our boat had the optional Garelick fold-up bolster seats that make running fast in rough water so comfortable. Tackle storage abounds with both large drawers and smaller trays in the helm-seat module, and rod racks beneath the gunwales combine with the aforementioned subdeck racks for extremely generous rod storage.

An anchor locker at the bow contains vertical storage space for two Danforth anchors, as well as space for an optional windlass. A separate anchor receiver holds a plow-style anchor tight against stainless-steel plates.


Design and Construction The forward seats have insulated storage spaces beneath them that drain into a common subdeck box and then overboard. These boxes may serve as rod storage as well. The bow area has four aluminum, powder-coated handrails per side so passengers have something to hang on to, and four drink holders keep your favorite beverage close by. The boat’s freshwater fill is located beneath the port spring-line hawse pipe – out of the way, yet handy.

A large hatch in the sole forward of the console conceals a huge dry box that provides ample storage for loose gear, and like every other hatch on the boat comes with a sturdy gasket and latch to dog it down and keep contents dry. The subconsole head compartment is actually roomy enough for a big guy like me to get into. Access the boat’s seacocks here, as well as the batteries and all wiring.

At the helm, triple Teleflex electronic controls (with two control levers) harness all that horsepower, and although I’ve found electronic controls difficult to adjust to, they certainly are effortless when you get the hang of them. Jupiter has designed an ergonomically pleasing command station from top to bottom, with a very large space for mounting electronics, and the helm located to port. There’s also a glove box to starboard with a 12-volt receptacle inside for plugging in your cell phone.


A large lazarette compartment on the centerline aft allows easy servicing of the boat’s pumps. The trim-tab pump, the only pump not in the lazarette, sits beneath a removable hatch located on the integrated engine platform. You can easily access the platform through a standard transom gate to starboard.

The 38’s upscale hardware throughout the boat includes items like Gemlux rod holders with no visible mounting screws, pop-up cleats and optional coaming bolsters, all of which add to fishing comfort. Jupiter builds the 38 with a fiberglass unigrid construction system and a high-density composite-cored transom. Jupiter cores the rest of the boat with closed-cell PVC foam, producing a wood-free vessel. It all results in a big, brawny and beautiful new boat that’s built well and looks good, too.


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