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TOPIC: NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300

NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 02:50 #1

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It’s been a while since US Marine has released a brand new cruiser, and the 3055/305 line has been around for 9 seasons, so it should come as no surprise that there is a brand new model inserted into the upper end of the line to take its place. Say hello to the Bayliner 300.



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Sure, it’s smaller than the 305…on paper. However, what the engineers and designers have done with this slightly smaller footprint is nothing short of amazing.

Down below, the layout is virtually identical to the 305, just a little more “compressed”, and the head and aft cabin entry point have swapped sides. A single-level Karadon countertop, Norcold refrigerator and Origo range equip the galley, and there is easily as much storage space in cupboards and drawers as the 305 had.



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Opposite the galley is a crescent-shaped seating area for dining, along with a matching table. Under the seats, once again, 3 storage lockers.

The head is easily large enough to shower in; I am 5’11” and my head never touched the ceiling. Storage in the head is basic, limited to one undersink cabinet and a small area behind the mirror.

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The aft cabin is good-sized, with sitting headroom, good lighting and a storage area behind the headboard. Matress is double-sized, slightly smaller than what was offered on the 305.

Continued.......

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Mike P
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 02:53 #2

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However, where the use of space truly shines is in the cockpit. The area is perfectly set up for socializing, and seems larger than many flybridges found on larger boats. The seating is situated fully around the cockpit’s perimeter, with all on board facing inward. The double wide helm seat swings 90 degrees, to allow it to face the lounge on the port side. Further, the seating wraps around the inside of the transom in an L-shape. A cockpit sink and cooler storage round out the port side.

The bifold doors are gone and we now have a sliding door which disappears under the helm. Molded into the door are full-width steps for foredeck access. There are no walkaround side decks on this boat. The door is pretty slick, but I wouldn't want to be in the process of stepping onto it just as someone coming up from down below was opening it.

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It’s worth noting that a great innovation this year is that Bayliner boats have designated storage areas for all removable items, such as tables and cushions from convertible seating areas. Also, those who struggle with engine bay access will be glad to know that the 300's engines can be accessed without moving a single cushion or even removing the table. Simply lift the hatch and everything is engineered to move out of the way. Even with all carpets in place.

Even on their smallest twin-engine cruiser, Bayliner now provides stainless steel portlights, rub rail and thru-hulls.

As well, Bayliner has finally put all of the utility deck plates (waste, fuel and water) in one easily-accessible spot. Gone are the puzzling locations of years past.


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But…enough lounging around this great layout in the warm Knoxville, Tennessee sun, it was time to take this baby for a spin.

The 5.0 MPI engines fired up immediately, and the lines were thrown off. We idled out of the slip and cleared the no-wake zone, moving out into Fort Loudoun Lake.

I hammered the throttles and she came up onto plane in about 11 seconds. The first thing I noticed about this boat was how incredibly quiet it was. We could easily speak to each other at wide open throttle, no doubt due to all the effort that has gone into sound control on this new model. We settled into an easy cruise, showing 3200 rpm and 30 mph, which seemed to be the “sweet spot” for this boat. The slalom test passed with flying colors, cutting into turns like it was on rails, and popping back up to level instantly. At WOT, I did a 270 degree turn without blowing out the outboard prop, coming back onto my own wake. The boat crossed the wake softly, without any pounding whatsoever. This was what I noticed the most about this hull…no matter how large of a wake I encountered, the boat always landed softly, compared to the 305.

Choosing a long stretch of smooth water, I firewalled the throttles. Within a short time, we were showing 4800 rpm and an impressive speed of 46 mph. At this speed, with the drives trimmed out, there was no porpoising and I always felt in full control, with no skittishness.

Coming back to the marina, the forward-raked arch, while not my favorite style, did make for excellent visibility backing into the slip.

I believe that Bayliner “got it right the first time” with this model. Try as we might, we couldn’t find anything to criticize…and we tried.

I liked:
Very social cockpit with lots of seating
Quiet while at cruise speed
Excellent visibility from helm
Pivoting helm seat

I didn’t like:
I'll think of something!

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Mike P
The Bahamas
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 02:55 #3

  • Kåre L
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Yes, but does it come with Volvo's? :D

Kåre

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Kåre
1990 3288 MY twin Ford 351's "Celuna"
Lighthouse Marina, Lake Murray, SC

NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 03:53 #4

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Funny in a conversation 3 years ago with a Bayliner engineer he asked for top 5 peeves.

It looks like they were listening.

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Jim and Debbie McNeely
New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
Brighton, Michigan USA
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 04:07 #5

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So Mike, when did you start to work for bayliner???? :kidding

Nice review... Glad the 5.0's are good for this size boat. Is that standard or is the 4.3 the choice among retailers???

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Doug ;}
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 04:09 #6

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They are definitely listening, Jim. And they are reading this forum. So members shouldn't be afraid to suggest some solutions to problems.

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Mike P
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 04:12 #7

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Glad the 5.0's are good for this size boat. Is that standard or is the 4.3 the choice among retailers???

Doug, our test boat had the optional 5.0s...the standard engines are 4.3 MPI.

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Mike P
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 08:15 #8

  • Roel Jansen
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we have a black and a blue one 300 wit the 6 cylinder 4.3 is a little noisier it seems but boat performed extremely well.
black or blue ? Matter of taste? Rain or water drops are better seen on the black hull but....
I have been told this is the successor of the 285?
Strat very good review!

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Roel Jansen
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 12:40 #9

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Roel, apparently that is a common misconception. It is not a successor of the 285, it actually replaces the 305. The 300 is a true 30 footer, the 320 is a 32 footer and the 340 is 35 feet LOA.

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Mike P
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 15:07 #10

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Mike; according to Bayliner, the 300 is 30'6" LOA, is that a real 30 footer?
The 320 is a 32'6" LOA, and the 340 is 35' LOA, I would like to know the real length not LOA, can you please get that information?

By comparing length, beam and weight, there is also something weird, there is only 400 pounds of difference in between the 340 and the 320, that caught my attention.

I analyze several boats before buying my actual one, and as you bring it to the table with the new 300, I want to share what I found.

Just my 2 cents.

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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 15:37 #11

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Yes it is a real 30 footer. LOA includes all the fiberglass parts but not anything that's bolted on, such as an anchor roller or bow rail.

The "true" length is what they call "length rigged". It does include all the bolt-on goodies.

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Mike P
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 25 Sep 2007 20:45 #12

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I think the cockpit is spectacular. I think the table at the dinette is WAY too small for any cruising with 4 people. I don't care much about two engines, but many will like that part.

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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 04:04 #13

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Engine bay access and cockpit are probably the two biggest selling points for this boat as far as I am concerned. I consider the engine bay my second home so anything that makes access easier is an improvement. Other pet peeves that I have are:
- I can't see from the pic but in a twin engine installation the gauges really need to be paired. For example I have my two oil gauges on opposite sides of the dash, and that's just silly.
- In my opinion battery switches do not belong in the engine bay. I like the transom hatch so you can turn off power as one of the last things before you leave (leaving after dark is not uncommon for me). Or how about having a timer on the cockpit lighting like new car headlights?
- I agree with the comment the table in the salon is too small for use as a dining table. What happened to table leaves? They used to be popular in the 80's and 90's.
- The absence of side decks may be more a matter of taste. I like the ones I had on my 2355, even though they were only four inches wide. It made it easier to clean the canvas, hang fenders.
- Given that boats in general last longer than sanitation hoses, I think it should be easier to replace them when they're due.

I am impressed how Bayliners have improved in design and features over the last decade or so. I hope they will still be able to hold their price position relative to the competition.

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Kåre
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 13:18 #14

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Great review, Strat.... I wish I may... I wish I might....

Just one nit pick from me on the "sociable" cockpit. That undoubtably is true, but, on a stormy day or a foggy night, I would much rather have my co-pilot, navigator, lookout, fishing buddy, or Admiral seated in a forward facing, alert, and secure position ready to spot traffic, navaids, logs, or whatever on the port side. Seems to me that Bayliner could easily address this by designing the co-pilot seat to swivel from an operational to a sociable position just like the helm seat does. Are you listening, B/L?

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Blue Highways
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 14:12 #15

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the captain's chair is a double, tho.

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Tally and Vicki
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 15:03 #16

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although it looks good...and seems to perform well...atleast they went with the Maxum rub rail and stainless portlites....I added one in the midberth and love it....do they have one there to get some air and light into the batcave??

what is the cockpit lighting like??..did they go with led lighting??...the boat looks really good but I have never been a fan of the fwd radar arch...
I do love the swivel helm seat...but that takes alot of storage out of the helm box...(where I keep my giant 25meg candle pwr flash light)....

thanks for the really nice review...the pic's look good and the colors are very pleasing inside...
at the helm...where was the vhf placed..??...the one thing I think bayliner/maxum falls down on was dash design....they always put the radio down at your knee...can't hear it when underway.....
looking fwd to reading more...:arr arrrr
man I'm green with envy...sounds like you guys had a great time!!...

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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 15:14 #17

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talman;72332 wrote: the captain's chair is a double, tho.


I suppose that depends on how large the Captain is... ;)

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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 15:19 #18

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Thank you Mike, I enjoyed reading your review. Now I want one.


Dear Santa,

:rolleyes:

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Boatless (SOLD!). Former Boat:
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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 17:48 #19

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Sea Mag. this month has a 1 page write up on the 300 with twin 4.3 ltr engines:arr arrr

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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 18:52 #20

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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 19:03 #21

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seapuppy;72352 wrote: what is the cockpit lighting like??..did they go with led lighting??


Are those 2 LEDs I see on the underside of the arch?

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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 19:56 #22

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Doesn't 11 seconds to get up on plane seem like a long time? And that was the 5.0L. The 4.3L seems like it'd really be a push to get up ("...okay, everyone move forward....")

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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 21:11 #23

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cosmo777;72444 wrote: Doesn't 11 seconds to get up on plane seem like a long time? And that was the 5.0L. The 4.3L seems like it'd really be a push to get up ("...okay, everyone move forward....")


Hey Cosmo,

My 2855 takes about a day and a half to get up on plane. I thought the new boat was like a rocket. :kidding

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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 22:24 #24

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The one thing I notice from various pictures is how the hell do you get forward if you have all your canopy( camper top ) buttoned up in position. There doesn't appear to be any footway from the stern until you are past the front windscreen.I know lots of you guys boat in sunny weather where your canopy is rolled up but some of you guys also in the PCNW and Canada must also go out in weather similar to northern Europe where you don't roll up your canopies.If your coming in to moor up I don't see how you can get to the bow from the stern. On the 300 I know you have the hatch in the forward cabin which I guess you can open up to get to the bow but I 've noticed on a few boats under 30ft that the footway on the side of boats is either non existent or at least uncomfortably narrow.
All the publicity shots always show the boats with the canopy off, but come on guys not everyone boats that way.

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NEW BOAT REVIEW: 2008 Bayliner 300 26 Sep 2007 22:34 #25

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Like all of Bayliner's cruisers, whether they have side decks or not, the center windshield panel opens up and (as mentioned in my review) there is a set of steps molded into the cabin door. Foredeck access is dead easy.

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Mike P
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