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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
posted 09-27-2006 01:53 PM ET (US)
I have a friend considering the following boat for purchase and have told him to consider the BW Ventura instead, but here goes his description:
"2005 Bayliner 185 with a 135hp Mercruser 3.01 engine and Alpha One transmission for sale, he used it 2 seasons and sparingly at that, 30 hrs on the drive. has some nice goodies with it and includes a very nice boat trailer, it's a puff and he is only asking 9995.00 - negotiable, it includes Bimini top, Depth gauge with alarm, marine VHF radio, full cover."
Opinions both positive and negative appreciated.
I will have him check this thread over the next couple of days.
posted 09-27-2006 02:25 PM ET (US)
This is going to be fun.
posted 09-27-2006 02:39 PM ET (US)
I know...it's like fresh meat being put into a tank full of sharks. LOL. Like I said, I told him to look at a Whaler, not a 'liner.
posted 09-27-2006 02:47 PM ET (US)
Game show boat.
posted 09-27-2006 03:28 PM ET (US)
Your friend has never had a boat before, has he ?
Heck, I wouldn't even know where to start.
It's kind of like saying would you rather have a rib-eye from Ruth's Chris or a Happy Meal from McDonald's.
Ask him how many 30 year old Bayliners he sees on the water.
posted 09-27-2006 04:24 PM ET (US)
Friends dont let friends drive bayliners. I have never owned one, but what I do know is that every person that I have ever considered to have any substantial knowledge of or experience on the water has had an extremely low opinion of Bayliners. take it for what its worth. You dont see law enforcement or armed forces using bayliners for anything. I remember seeing an add in the early nineties for a guardian model that was being used for river patrols in south america during the drug war and they had tested one hull by going over it with a .50 machine gun from bow to stern, about five hundred rounds, still floating.....
posted 09-27-2006 04:27 PM ET (US)
Here's a riddle: If a bedliner lines the bottom of the bed of a truck, then what does a bayliner do? -k
posted 09-27-2006 04:38 PM ET (US)
Bayliner is to boating what McDonald's is to fine cuisine. Actually, that's an insult to Ray Kroc........
posted 09-27-2006 05:09 PM ET (US)
I have never owned a Bayliner, nor would I. I spend too much time on the water and would rather have a better boat.
With that being said, Bayliner has put a lot of people on the water for a lot less money than just about anyone else in terms of price per foot. There is no magic to it, it is a low cost / mass-produced boat that was not intended to target high-end boaters.
You get what you pay for.
posted 09-27-2006 05:43 PM ET (US)
Would your friend rather fly British Airways or Aeroflot on a transatlantic flight?
There are certain activities and areas where quality shouldn't be sacrificed for price.
While I agree that Bayliner has put more people on the water than most any other mass produced boat, the extreme rate of turnover should also be taken into consideration.
And getting back to it, when you can't get out and walk, quality becomes increasingly important. it's true in aviation, in boating and even camping/exploring in areas where you must be self-reliant.
I was giving this some thought last weekend when I was testing out my new trim tabs on a local inland lake. As I trolled around the lake, I noticed the boats - many were pontoon boats, and a lot of ski-boats, etc. There were also alot of other, smaller brand runabouts. When you think about it, I guess a low-priced/low quality brand may be a good boat to start with if you're on a small inland lake...after all, if you can swim, you can swim to shore, and if you break down, you won't be stranded for long - every square foot of the shoreline is owned and developed. Many of these boats come with "gimmicky" features that sell your wife or your kids on the boat - and for some people in some applications, that is all you really need.
But when you're venturing into an area or on a body of water where help is not so accessible, then quality and self reliance become increasingly important.
My Boston Whaler is "overkill" on a small inland lake. If that's where you buddy is boating and has no other aspirations to go elsewhere, then a Bayliner may be the right choice for him.
If he has any inkling that he may want to explore new territory, new water and bigger water, he should consider putting a little more effort into buying on substance rather than form.
I like to compare it to the following:
One other thing to consider:
From my observations, what I see used by those people who are USING their boats and rely on them for daily transportation:
I hardly ever see a Bayliner used in that capacity.
Interesting also, I don't see one particular outboard brand used most either - just a select group of boat manufacturers who seem to pop up again and again at the dock of remote island cottages. That says a lot to me.
posted 09-27-2006 06:31 PM ET (US)
The 2005 Bayliner 185 is a bow rider with an I/O.
I personally do not like I/O's on smaller boats and I do not like bow riders that much. It is what I call a lake boat. No offense intended to those of you who boat on big lakes. It is not a salt water boat. John
PS, yes there are alot of cheap, crappy Bayliners out there, but some of the older, bigger Bayliners are pretty nice looking and seem to have aged rather well. I have heard people speak highly of them.
posted 09-27-2006 07:14 PM ET (US)
As a "big lake" boater, none is taken. I like the I/O option, and understand the appeal.
I also don't like the bowrider option, however I also understand the appeal. what I don't like about most bowriders is the low bowrail, which is necessary to hold your passengers in the boat in rough seas.
I agree that it is most comfortable for use in a small inland lake. I can think of several large-sized inland lakes (not the Great lakes) where I would not want a bowrider due to conditions that are often present.
In my opinion, bowriders put you at considerable risk for a LOT of water aboard in very short order. Unlike a Whaler or other self-bailing design that would shed water if you took one on the nose, most small bowrider runabouts will very quickly swamp if you have a lot of weight up front and stuff the bow.
I've seen small bowriders such as this drown out the battery and engine with 12 inches of water on the deck after a heavyset passenger upfront combined with poor piloting resulted in a stuffed bow - on protected water - just trying to cross a large yacht's wake. I had to tow that boat back to their dock.
OTL - you are right...your friend needs a Ventura. Get that man to a showroom!
posted 09-27-2006 07:29 PM ET (US)
I came from the "V6" I/O bowrider world. So tell your friend: "I liked being able to sit seven and the protection of the windshield and the V6. The V6 was key for skiing or really boating at all. The 4 in that boat is a dog. There you have it."
Oh I forgot, don't take the I/O in:
1. Saltwater, hard to do here, recommend installing water to water cooler, about $700 for material, helps resale, been there.
Otherwise the 4 cylinder I/O bowrider is a lake putt-putt boat as others have said.
Ok there you have it. Jim
posted 09-27-2006 09:21 PM ET (US)
As long as he waits an hour after meals, and doesn't go out over his head, he should be fine.
posted 09-27-2006 09:39 PM ET (US)
Reading some of Buckda's:
Yeah I forgot about the heavy load in the bow, swamp the boat thing. I got about an 1" on the deck. My 60 something year old Dad was in the bow area, hit a large wake at idle speed, water floods over the bow, that was nice. Makes everyone feel real secure.
posted 09-27-2006 09:47 PM ET (US)
There must be something in the air the last few days, as another forum I frequent is inundated with Bayliner posts.
Smaller Bayliners tat are maintained very well in a fresh water environment are a great value, and fine for many people as a first boat. The hardware and finish are not top notch by any means, but a responsible person that maintains his or hers will have much fun on them.
Now that that is out of the way, my first boat was almost a Crownline eighteen foot bowrider, which is a "better boat" and in the same class as the Bayliner to which you refer. Last minute I got my deposit back and went and bought a Boston Whaler 160 Ventura with a Mercury 90hp two stroke on the back. That boat was a blast, although somewhat small, and I quickly moved up to a larger Whaler, where on trade in I got about 90% of what I paid. Not bad. I went with the Whaler last minute, as I felt I was being too impulsive in buying a boat to complete my Jersey Shore experience. I researched construction. I researched terms like "swamped capacity." I am glad I did, because the 160 Ventura gave me all the fun that the other bowrider would have, with its ski-towing and tubing ability ability, and did so in a safer and unsibkable package. It was also a much easier boat to maintain and clean at the dock. A Ventura will look as good 7 years down the road as the day you bought it. A Bayliner usually will not.
Tell your friend to find a used 160 Ventura instead, if his purpose is family fun and sports, cruising, and light small tackle fishing. They don't make them new anymore, and used you can find a typically great deal, as they aren't considered as "desirable" as the older Montauks and Outrages.
The 160 Ventura had two negative points I should mention. It was a very wet boat (read spray coming up in your face), and would porpoise (bounce in the chop). Probably this was due to my lack of experience with trimming the engine, my not installing a doel-fin, and my desire to go faster than is prudent with that hull. The boat is built for speed, but you had better get your skills down before you get reckless.
posted 09-27-2006 10:08 PM ET (US)
I thought you could buy a brand new 18 ft Bayliner with 3.0 liter Mercruiser motor for $10,000. I think this is where Bayliner start in pricing.
posted 09-27-2006 10:16 PM ET (US)
What the difference between a Bayliner and cup of yougurt?
posted 09-28-2006 05:27 AM ET (US)
If one is going to butcher spelling in his post, then he should at least not make it bold.
posted 09-28-2006 07:03 AM ET (US)
Now for me it's not the Bayliner thing, it is the style of boat. I have owned a 1995 2859 and been to Bimini in that boat 4-5 times, one had to come back in 10-12 footers. I looked long and hard for a 1985ish 3870 before I bought a 1985 Uniflite ACMC (tank).
I would actually rather buy a Bayliner than a Sea Ray, had to go into the bilge and engine room of my friends 53' Sea Ray on many occasions to fix wiring that was crap and alway got fiberglass cuts from poor workmanship.
This bayliner thing in my eyes is an urban myth about a boat splitting down the middle or something I have heard the tale also.
Have you all seen the triumphs? A rotationally molded boat. Now there is a POS. And I'm sure there are more.
Maybe it is that fact that Bayliners can be bought cheap which allows people that don't have a clue about boating or the maintenance needed to own these boats???
I have never nor ever will suggest that someone buys a bowrider in any marque.
posted 09-30-2006 10:47 AM ET (US)
About ten years ago, my father in law came to me and asked me: 'I am getting ready to buy a boat for the summer place. Can you give me a recommendation?"
I said without hesitation:"Don't buy a Bayliner". That was all I had to say as I knew he would not ever fork over the dough for a whaler.
He then said:"I am thinking of BUYING a Bayliner".
He did and it has been the biggest piece of crap I have ever seen.
It is rarely used as I do not feel that the extended family members feel safe on it.
It does not drive that badly. It's the way that it's made and the cheap components that bother me.
posted 10-01-2006 03:43 PM ET (US)
My name is Steve and I am a former Bayliner owner.
Is this what it feels like at an AA meeting?
It was my first boat, and coming from NYC I didn't know anybody who had a boat, so no references. That said, if not for the cheap price of that used one, I probably never would have bought one.
After a short time I realized even as a new boater it was not a quality boat. Too many unfinished edges and areas, poor workmanship, poor quality hardware, wiring, etc. Seat backings started coming apart along with other upholstered parts. Things stapled rather than screwed, etc. Staples rusted out so apparantly not stainless.
People here complain because Whalers come packaged with Mercury engines. Bayliners came packaged with Force engines, not good. The engine HP was barely enough for the boat, and it had problems with relatively low hours.
Regardless, that boat gave me the chance to discover I liked boating. I'm now on my fourth boat, and second Whaler.
Is the Whaler a better boat? No doubt about it. Is a Bayliner better than no boat at all? Absolutely.
posted 10-02-2006 07:03 PM ET (US)
Yesterday at the ramp, I pull up to an 18' Bayliner bowrider. There are two young children in the bow area, PFD's on and smiles aplenty.
I idle up to the finger pier - their father is up retrieving his tow vehicle.
"Cool!" exclaims the boy.
"What!?" asks the girl.
"Look at THAT one!" says the boy.
"Coooool!" yells the girl.
As I back my trailer down the ramp and get out to adjust the winch straps, the father is struggling with the clumsy trailer that the Bayliner dealer provided him. It's painted steel. It looks nice, but is set up all wrong.
I go over to help him. All the time his kids are clamoring over my 18' Outrage sitting right next to them.
"My kids like your boat" he says sheepishly.
"They have good taste!" I say, and then remind him that there was a lot of work owning an older boat, etc (you have to make these guys feel better about things!).
The kids kept it up as they pulled into the tie down lane after me (I helped this guy load the boat on the trailer before mine, and I was still out of the water ahead of him).
Turns out it was his first boat and he's a really nice guy. The price. I asked him if it was the price that sold him on the boat over the competition. It was indeed the price.
He commented that he hoped his boat looked as good as mine when it was 20 years old. I didn't have the heart to tell him that the boat would not likely live to see 20...not to mention that mine has plenty of age blemishes!
I'm not saying don't let your friend buy the boat - but I am saying that you should tell your friend now - up front that he should reconsider. That way, when he's whining to you about the boat costing him money and looking lousy and he's ready for another one but can't get any money for the current one, you can smile softly to yourself and tell him gently but firmly: "I told you so, but you wouldn't listen. Look at this ad for a used Boston Whaler Ventura. The seller is asking 5 times what you can get for your Bayliner of the same vintage. I'm so sorry you had to experience this. I love you and your are my friend...but I told you so."
posted 10-02-2006 10:07 PM ET (US)
I keep it simple when people ask why I am willing to buy a Boston Whaler.
Picture a sunny day with your family and your running along 20kts. Sounds great! Then you hit a 2x4 floating in the water.
What happens in the next 20 minutes defines the kind of boat you own! Are you swimming or just bummed out because a 2x4 scratched your hull?
If you have a Bayliner and many other boats I hope you're a good swimmer!
posted 10-04-2006 01:33 PM ET (US)
These Bayliner bashing threads crack me up!
I would love to hear an actual first hand account, or better yet see pictures, of a Bayliner splitting in half and sinking, but as Len (an86carrera) has pointed out, it is just another urban legend.
Yes I have heard all of the jokes as well, most of them are pretty funny, but the truth of the matter is Bayliners, of the last 20 years or so, are some of the best-designed boats out there. Now I didn't say one of best built, but I will say one of the best designed.
Late model Bayliner hulls (especially their Sequential Lift, planning hulls) are some of the most efficient, forgiving, and easy to drive designs around. Their mold work is first rate (actually take a good look at the hull of a Bayliner when you go to your next boat show). Their interior designs, especially on their cruisers (Ceira & Meridian), are some of the best layouts around with an amazing amount of features and accommodations for the given LOA. And yes, they do know how to make an offshore fishing boat, just take a long hard look at the Trophy line (which, by the way, are also part of Brunswick Commercial line).
Then there is the construction, which is where Bayliner is not one of the best, but they certainly are not the worst either. Yes they do use cheap materials and cheap labor, but that is why their boats are so affordable. Seriously compare them against others in their main market, inexpensive runabouts and cruisers, not against high-end stuff like Whalers and such.
Regarding reliability and longevity, well that is totally up to the owner and how he maintains his craft. Bayliners come with the same Mercury power that every Brunswick boat comes with, including Whalers. If it is properly maintained, it will last a long time, if not, it won’t. It doesn’t matter which boat it is in. If you leave a boat outside, uncovered, it won’t last as long or be as nice as one what it in covered storage. Even Whaler floors will rot (check out some of the outrage repairs in the reference section) and the foam will fill with water in not properly maintained. Even a properly maintained Bayliner hull will probably not last as long as a Whaler but does it need to for the price of admission:
Just for fun, lets compare the price of a new 185 Bayliner to the 180 Ventura:
2006 Bayliner Capri 185:
Length overall (LOA) 18'2" (5.54 m)
2006 Whaler Ventura 180:
LOA: 18' 6" (5.63 m)
So in 5 years, lets say the Bayliner is only holding 50% of it original price, its value would be $6,748, the owner lost $6,747.
Lets give the Whaler the benefit of the doubt and say it will hold 75% of its original price in 5 years, its value would be $32,112, but the owner lost $10,704.
In 10 years the situation gets worse (yes the Bayliner will last 10 years if it is maintained to reasonable standard)
Figure the Bayliner is only worth 25% of its original price in 10 years: Value: $3,374, Lost: $10,121
Figure the whaler is worth 50% of its original price in 10 years: Value: $21,408, Lost: $21,408
You could actually give the Bayliner away and be money ahead.
Perhaps in 20 years or so, the investment in the Whaler will seem like a good purchase, but by then I am sure it will have been repowered at least once.
Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather have the Ventura over the Capri any day of the week, but if someone just wants a runabout, the Whaler is pretty hard to justify financially.
If thediscusthrower’s friend is just looking for a cheap runabout to take is kids out tubing, the Bayliner fits the bill to a T. Now if he plans to go offshore fishing, that boat is NOT a good choice.
Honestly, the problem you see with most Bayliners, especially the runabouts, is they are owned by first time boat owners that don’t know how to operate them, tow a trailer, and/or maintain a boat. So they end up damaged yard art with the occasional blue tarp covering them. Which has given them a bad name. Even Brunswick is aware of this as is evident from the Maxum, Trophy, and Meridian lines (all still part of US marine, aka Bayliner).
posted 10-04-2006 02:13 PM ET (US)
I agree, but :
I speak about classic's, these BW hulls are functionnal and care of them is rather easy.
posted 10-07-2006 11:10 PM ET (US)
I think a bayliner is a great first boat. There's a lot to be learned about seamanship, boat handling, backing up, common courtesy and the main ingredient to happy boating; common sense. First things first ya know? Ya gotta learn to crawl b4 you can walk & run. I did'nt know a nun from a can or anything about proper anchoring ratios or radio procedure when I bought my 90' Sea ray 18 BR. I punished the hell out of that poor boat doing everything imaginable wrong over the next 5 years. There were some things however I would have learned w/ a Bayliner that I missed out on.
They might include but not be limmited the following:
1) Correct technique for bailing out unwanted water.
2) Tugging endlessly on the supplied emergency pull
cord w/ children look on as you boil over.
3) Attracting other boaters having a ball to give you a
tow to anywhere but here.
4) The correct way and time to issue a MAYDAY alert to
anyone available on the radio.
5) Trying in vain to make it look presentable when you
finally get a clue and decide 2 sell & get a real
posted 10-07-2006 11:51 PM ET (US)
This is funny.
I own Boston Whalers because they are a good investment.
I also own porsches for the same reason. Why not do something you love for free??
Buy low sell high.
posted 10-09-2006 03:30 PM ET (US)
Yea pretty funny
that 18' sea ray is such a superior vessel, LOL
So thediscusthrower, what did your friend buy?
posted 11-08-2006 09:33 PM ET (US)
Re circumcision sounds more appealing.
posted 11-25-2006 07:26 AM ET (US)
I just bourght a Sea Ray 175 - and a week later saw a Bayliner 175 - they are more or less same boat - same hull - same engine - same seats etc. i only had to pay 5000 more for the Sea Ray Name
posted 11-25-2006 11:57 AM ET (US)
The big advantage to owning a Sea Ray is you'll be invited to their special owner events where they'll show you bigger Sea Ray boats and entice you trade yours in and get another one. Seriously, that's their sales strategy. Eventually you'll move up to the big 63-foot level, and you'll meet some really cool people who also own them.
posted 11-30-2006 07:11 PM ET (US)
"I own Boston Whalers because they are a good investment".
"I have owned Bayliners because they were a good investment".
posted 12-01-2006 08:24 AM ET (US)
The only good investments I know of are real estate and vintage guitars.
Once upon a time in the 1980's I lived across the street from a family who owned a very small Bayliner on a trailer. Force engine and all, probably a 16 foot bowrider. At the time I was buying boats like nobody's business, trading up yearly, and ultimately, to a 25 foot-marina kept-twin engine Mako. Felt pretty smug compared to my neighbors rig. Got married, moved to a big house and big mortgage, and had to sell my Mako. Was plopped back into a 16 foot tin boat for 15 years. My old neighbor still had that little Bayliner, and could afford to keep and use it. A modern day hare and tortoise tale.
posted 12-09-2006 06:49 PM ET (US)
I saw an add for Bertram back in the `70s, It showed a small pic. of a 31` Bertram Sport Fisherman. It also had a large pic. of a Chinese junk. The wording said, "If you own a Bertram, everything else is just junk". So its all relative. Some people who own Bertrams, think Whalers are junk, and some people who owned Bertrams,also owned Whalers at the same time. myself included. Actually the Bertram was a pain to own, the Whaler was more fun.
posted 12-11-2006 07:06 PM ET (US)
I do not have a first hand story of a Bilgeliner splitting apart, but I do have a secondhand story from someone I trust who was running through some rough chop and happened to glance down the companionway hatch to see the galley assembly that held the sink/stove/icebox separate from the side of the boat and walk across the cabin.
posted 12-11-2006 07:11 PM ET (US)
Nevertheless I would rather own a Bilgeliner than a SeaRay. At least you are paying for what you get rather than overpaying for a name that stopped building quality boats 15 years ago.
posted 12-13-2006 12:43 PM ET (US)
Even the Whales don't like Bayliners. I remember reading a story about a Whale sinking a Bayliner. Not sure what caused the Whale to belly flop the boat but.....
Starkiss (Tuna) like Whales with good taste :o)
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