Bayliner 212 Cuddy Review
Issue: December 2003
I must admit to feeling a tinge of fear as I travelled down to review this latest offering from Bayliner. You see, the last Bayliner I tested literally swallowed me up! Yep, I feel into its cavernous underfloor storage area camera and all, down through the opened hatch and my ribs are only just recovering from the accident. So, first things first, the 212 had in-floor storage, but no gas-assisted ram holding the hatch open, phew I should be OK. But by the end of the day I was more than OK, I was as happy as Larry, because we encountered some rough conditions that allowed this large, but light package to show off her best side.
We launched near Silverwater on Sydney’s Parramatta River and promptly made our way down the waterway toward Sydney Harbour proper. It seemed like no time before we were powering around Double Bay where a developing gusty Sou’wester made the conditions extremely choppy. The Bayliner 212 showed that a fast cruise speed of 40mph was great for long runs, but when things got rough a bit of extra trim ironed the bumps out effortlessly.
Pushing the hammer down we hit a top speed of 50mph, which was aided partly from the minimalist interior that cut down overall hull weight. The 19-degrees deadrise and low weight, removed any need for trim tabs to balance the hull, which responded well to trim from the sterndrive leg. In fact, this craft was spinning a standard 21′ aluminium prop and I reckon if she had the better grip derived from a stainless steel prop with a little more cup, the hull could handle even more trim and achieve a greater top speed.
The helm provided a comfortable driving position with the throttle and trim control placed in an ideal spot for the average size bloke. From the helm the driver had good all-round visibility, while the windscreen effectively forced the slipstream up and over the cockpit and was also easy to see through. The moulded dash featured full instrumentation including: speedometer; tachometer; voltmeter; fuel gauge; oil pressure gauge; temperature gauge; trim gauge; integrated LCD with clock; trip log; distance; hour meter; and trip hours.
There were also switches for the horn, nav light, blowers etc. The standard CD stereo player was controlled from the cabin. Essentially, the 212 was designed to keep the whole family happy by delivering a open harbour boat with the convenience of a small basic V-berth cuddy cabin and ‘Porta Potti’. There are no bells and whistles down below ‘ no onboard water or kitchen sink ‘ just somewhere to have a nap, go to the loo, keep dry, or get some privacy. But there is no doubt that practical use of this space would allow a day out with the family to flow seamlessly. Access to the forward cabin is via folding plastic doors on the port side.
On the test craft these didn’t lock open, sturdier doors with a better locking mechanism would work well, because things tend to move around unexpectedly when you are embracing a solid chop at 50mph. The roomy cockpit is where most of the action will take place on the Bayliner 212. The craft has seating for six on twin back-to-back bucket seats and two aft seats either side of the engine box. With a bit of fiddling both back-to-back bucket seats converted to sun lounges.
The integral swim platform combined with padded stern strip would be popular for anyone wanting to catch a few rays, while the swim platform’s sturdy foldout ladder allows easy access to the boat after a dip. There was no deck wash, or shower, but as I mentioned earlier ‘keep it simple’ is the principal behind the 212, so you won’t be finding fridges, coolers, freshwater tanks, or bow thrusters on this craft and the price reflects this. As with all Brunswick built boats they know their place.
If you were looking for more bells and whistles then the Brunswick Corporation also builds the more expensive Sea Ray boats, but it won’t deliver the top speed of the lighter Bayliner package. But there are some options available for the 212 including a transom shower, camper covers, bimini and sock, dual batteries and a stainless steel prop. Access to the bow was via the hinged centre section of the windscreen and small steps on the console to help you go forward.
On the bow there was a self-draining anchor well and cabin hatch. The bow rail was big enough to provide a good handhold, but still low enough to get over when alighting from the bow. Storage wasn’t a problem with spaces under the seats, in the floor, in the side pockets and there was more areas for storage in the cabin. Simply removing the engine cover accesses the engine and with the side seats removed there is quite a lot of room for working on both sides of the block. The hull’s handling and performance was the keystone of this Bayliner package.
By the end of my session with the 212 the harbour chop had picked up and the day was dominated by one of those Sydney Spring westerlies that often put a damper on the average persons plans for boating. The craft embraced the chop with enthusiasm. Even when coming under the Harbour Bridge we were able to comfortably hold a cruise speed around 35mph and the light hull produced immediate response to throttle, so when conditions became slushy we could manoeuvre our way though it all while still keeping our hats on.
In calmer waters the hull carved through the turns, held a good line and responded quickly to changes in trim. It didn’t take long for the hull to wind up to near top speed and the 21′ pitch prop felt like the right choice although a bit more cup would have helped get more air under the hull.
Overall the Bayliner 212 fulfils its brief of being a fast runabout and overnighter. The craft delivers great performance and handling with a balanced offering of creature comforts to keep it at an accessible price point
Bayliner 192 Classic Review
Issue: June 2004
What do you get when you develop a craft that is economical to run, has family appeal and falls below the $40,000 barrier – the Bayliner 192 runabout. I haven’t reviewed a boat out of Berowra waters for some time and I had forgotten what a nice part of the world the Northern Sydney, Bayliner dealership has found itself in. I hastily drove my vehicle onto the new car ferry that accesses the Marina and from that moment, things changed ‘ I slipped into Berowra waters time. Mobile phones don’t work, the waters are calm, the locals have a leisurely sway about them and a just launched Bayliner 192 was nestled alongside the fuel wharf waiting for me.
To add to the ‘mellow’ the + rst mile leg out of the waters is a 4 knot zone, so no matter how fast the boat can go, a river cruise past an eclectic selection of moored clinkers, cruisers and the odd riverboat is mandatory. On this moderate Sydney summer afternoon, the Bayliner 192 didn’t have to work hard to win me over, because it was one of those water days that would have the average punter sold before they even boarded the craft for a test ride. The Bayliner 192 has a simple approach to family boating. In Aussie terms she is a half cabin runabout, with a small ‘ not enough headroom for a grown-up ‘ cabin and a Porta Potty.
The cabin has a light down below and some storage and that’s about it. The vee berth would be good for a quick nap, a nappy change, or a play platform for the children, but this boat is designed for the action to happen topside. The cockpit offers seating for six, with two upholstered back-toback seats and two aft seats and they all convert to sun lounges. Grab handles are easily accessible from all seats and storage areas are located throughout the craft. Under the vee-berth, in the under5 oor locker, side pockets and aft pockets, but there are not a lot of long storage areas.
Access to the bow is via steps to the opening windscreen and once forward, the bowrail, combined with substantial deck grip, provide a good sense of security that is often lost on craft with bulbous foredecks. Getting in and out of the water is also made easy with the swim step on the starboard side of the leg, with its stainless steel handrails and a retractable ladder. This swim step will de+ nitely come in handy, because there is no doubt that the kids will want to bring the tow toys along. These can be stored well out of the way in the cuddy cabin until needed.
The CD stereo player and drink holders will no doubt be handy when the craft is in sunlounge mode, but what was noticably missing, was a cooler for the drinks, but an Esky might + t neatly down below. The simulated wooden helm tilts to provide a good driving position with the throttle located in what feels to be a very natural spot. Instrumention covers all the essentials including speedometer, tachometer, voltmeter, fuel gauge, oil pressure gauge and temperature gauge. The Bayliner 192 was powered by a 3lt, 135hp MerCruiser driving through an Alpha I leg.
This smaller MerCruiser produces a good cruise speed of around 22 knots at 3000rpm and a faster cruise speed of 26.5 knots at 3600rpm. The boat naturally found these cruise speeds where the hull was well balanced and responded to trim. This was the ‘ rst time the test craft has been in the water, even so, the 135hp produced a sprightly top speed of 38 knots (around 70km/h) at 4500rpm. At these speeds, when trimmed out the props rotation was being sent to the helm a problem easily rectified by a minor adjustment on the Alpha I leg before the next launch. Overall, this was an impressive first run for a craft straight out of the box, so to speak, the helm had good visibility and hull held a good line in tight turns. I can’t stress how much the Bayliner Classic 192 is an economical package ‘ the 135hp test craft was priced at $38,090 including safety gear, CD stereo player, bimini top with boat, trailer and rego.
The absence of a lot of extras keeps the purchase price down, but her key function of a balanced runabout is still fulfi lled. Simplicity is the key to the Bayliner Classic 192 ‘ a practical layout, some creature comforts to keep the greater family happy and an economical power package produces ample performance for a craft that delivers a choice of water activities.
Bayliner 192 Discovery Review
While Bayliner dominates the bowrider market - we certainly see plenty of them in TrailerBoat - there are other strings to the company's bow, as you'd expect of the world's biggest boat builder. In actual fact, Bayliner produces a wide range of sportsboats and cruisers up to 10m.
Sitting in relative isolation in the range is the 192 Discovery - a heady brew of sportsboat and cruiser with a slurp of fishing boat thrown into the mix. Its layout will be familiar to Aussies used to the cuddy-cabin style, but it retains a distinctive Bayliner look and follows the American penchant for sterndrives.
The Discovery packs a lot of room for relaxing into 6m and with two long berths and a portable toilet down below in a lockable cabin, the boat even lends itself to occasional overnight trips - more camping than five star. In the cockpit the fore-and-aft passenger seat lies flat to make a sun lounge and the two jump seats at the transom can be raised to higher settings to make a full-width sun pad across the engine bay.
I liked the look of the cockpit where a full liner wraps up inside the hull, keeping things neat. While the 'glass and upholstery are white there's a bright blue accent that creates a tidy, uncluttered appearance. A self-draining deck and a fibreglass non-skid floor mean cleaning it is a simple matter of hosing the boat down at the end of the day. Two underfloor hatches are lined and drained so they can be used as killtanks or iceboxes.
A wide bi-fold door allows access to the cabin and once inside it's quite roomy, with good head height once seated on the berths. Even if not used for camping overnight, the cabin is a great place for young ones to settle and the light and airy space is a welcoming retreat for an afternoon kip.
There's nothing flash or exceptional about the dash layout - in fact its grey finish and flat panel is a bit ordinary compared to many Bayliner sportsboats. It's all there though, with a full display of speed, revs, fuel, oil pressure, voltage and a standard trim gauge, while a Furuno FCV-620 fishfinder and a Jensen stereo are fitted to the lower section of the dash.
The driver seat is comfortable and it's fitted with a bolster - ideal if you like sitting a bit higher when driving for better vision, or simply to get some fresh air on your face. The wheel and seat are adjustable for different drive heights and the seat rotates 180 degrees for socialising.
Access to the bow is helped by climbing three steps moulded into the bulkhead and stepping through the split screen and across the non-skid cabin roof to an anchor locker and a split bowrail. Most people could also reach the anchor through the hatch in the cabin roof if conditions were a bit rough. It's a step up from the usual equipment in Bayliner bowriders to find such useful anchoring equipment - another indicator of the Discovery's multi-purpose nature.
To push this theme even further the test boat had some optional equipment that lent it some genuine fishability. A stainless steel rocket launcher and two rod holders each side means you can easily carry enough fishing tackle for a serious afternoon of angling. To make more room for fishing the jump seats at the rear can be moved to allow access right to the back of the boat. Admittedly the swim platform is something of an impediment to fishing, although it does keep lines well clear of the prop.
While these angling options broaden the boat's appeal, its real essence is its sportiness and cruising ability. There are options for either a 135hp four-cylinder or a 220hp V6 (as fitted to the test boat), and the bigger motor seems to be a perfect match for the boat if you have a need for speed. Out of the hole the boat easily gets on the plane at 2100rpm and 9.2kts (17kmh). The hull is easily driven to a top speed of 42kts (79kmh) at 4800rpm.
It feels happiest in the 3500 to 4000rpm range, where it lazily eats up the miles at around 35.1kts (65kmh). It handles well, turning smoothly and predictably into even the sharpest of turns. Across some of the prevailing Sydney Harbour chop the stiff hull feels a bit bumpy at these speeds, but there was no hint of banging or shaking. Across the chop and wake from other boats the hull spray was swept aside and we stayed dry. Backing off a bit, we headed down to the Heads to check out how it handled the conditions outside. While not necessarily in its element, the boat felt capable in the 1m chop and low swell, demonstrating it can be taken offshore in the right conditions.
There's a lot to like about the 192 Discovery. It's the consummate all-rounder, with ample power to tow water toys, a seaworthy ride to cruise your favourite waterway, room for the family to spread out, and enough space downstairs to overnight - and you can still wet a line and then hose it out at the end of the trip. But best of all, it will propel you at over 40kts (74kmh), for an early-morning blast to remind you there's more to life than bloody Twitter or sitting in traffic on the way
9kts (17kmh) @ 2100rpm - on the plane
18.8kts (35kmh) @ 2500rpm
26kts (48kmh) @ 3000rpm
32kts (60kmh) @ 3500rpm
37kts (69kmh) @ 4000rpm
40kts (74kmh) @ 4500rpm
42.6kts (79kmh) @ 4800rpm - WOT
ON THE PLANE...
Lots of room to relax
Good all-rounder with overnighting ability
Lots of storage
DRAGGING THE CHAIN...
A bit bumpy over sharp chop
Specifications: BAYLINER 192 DISCOVERY
Bayliner 192 Discovery price: $56,790
Price as tested
Options fitted: Sounder, rod holders and rocket launcher
Priced from: $51,690 with 135hp engine
Type: Monohull cuddy-cabin
Weight: 1412kg (BMT: 1860kg)
People: 7 (2 berths)
Rec. HP: 135-220hp
Max. HP: 220hp
Make/model: Mercury 220MPI
Type: Fuel-injected, 4.3lt, petrol V6 with Alpha 1 stern drive
Propeller: 21in Black Max
Berowra Waters Wholesale
PO Box 373
Narellan, NSW, 2567
210-212 Silverwater Road
Silverwater, NSW, 2128
Originally published in TrailerBoat magazine, 2012
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