In 2015 Brunswick Group organized its annual event in a quiet resort town Mandelieu-La Napoule. Very nice place and, most importantly, a great test range! Tested by my own experience: I have tried almost all the boats in the coastal area as well as in the open sea, where the waves and wind create additional conditions to demonstrate the boats' performance.
A total of 11 Sea Ray, Boston Whaler and Bayliner boats were presented. Last year we tested Sea Ray boats at the same event. This year it's Bayliner's turn. We are talking about novelties of this year, boats built already at the Polish factory of the American shipyard.
Cuddy 642: an aggressive little boy for enemies of compromises.
Of the Bayliner family of cockpit boats, this representative is the smallest. On a small area the shipyard's engineers managed to place a large number of all kinds of lockers, compartments and cup holders. Each seat is equipped with a locker for storing things. On the rear platform there is a sun lounger that can be transformed into a seat, and under it there is an ice box for soft drinks. Faucets can be hidden in the cockpit floor area, and a table can be placed between the skipper's seat and the rear passenger seat. The cabin can accommodate 2 people. Under the bed, as on all boats in this class, there is a bio-toilet. The sky can be seen through two elongated portholes that emphasize the boat's style. On the bow there is a compartment under anchor or other equipment. For safety, the boat is equipped with steel rails.
And you can use them, because Cuddy 642 boasts a great speaker. The combination of fast acceleration and responsive handling makes it a true racing boat, capable of maintaining excellent manoeuvrability without losing speed. I got a spirited, aggressive ride on waves and, importantly, not on quiet water. To be fair it should be noted that a powerful stationary engine 220 HP MerCruiser (4.3L) MPI A1 ECT was installed on the boat under test.
Element XR7: a place to hang out
The basic idea of the Bayliner Element XR7 is to make maximum use of the relatively large usable area for a 7.77 meter boat. The Bayliner engineers tried to use the space as efficiently as possible and they succeeded.
The presence of a washbasin, full-size fridge and latrine significantly increases the comfort for Element XR7 users. And not a bad 120-watt AM/FM stereo system with iPod output in the base, and a huge deck secure the title «of a party» boat for this model.
The Element XR7 is designed on a pontoon base. Thanks to the technological transformation, the engineers managed to keep the bottom of the XR7 as a conventional boat, which improved its performance. However, in case of a high wave, the boat sometimes gets buried in the nose. However, a little splash on «the party» boat can hardly be considered a significant disadvantage.
To get fishermen to their customers, Bayliner Element XR7 is also available in Fishing version. The fishing version has removed some of the seats, added compartments on the floor of the cockpit and installed fishing rods and other fishing equipment.
Ciera 8: a boat, which you want to call a yacht.
The last boat I tested was the new Ciera 8. It is an 8.15 meter cruiser with MerCruiser engine up to 300 hp. What can you say: a beautiful bright boat with a rich set.
Among the additional options I would single out a fridge, bow thruster, cockpit table, mattress on a Sundeck. On the whole, the boat made a positive impression. Alas, the engine 250 hp for almost 3 tons seemed weak. The boat goes confidently, does not chatter, only the control is rather rigid, not responsive enough. On deck there is a washbasin with a fridge, a spacious skipper's seat; on the left side there is a passenger seat plus another passenger seat behind the skipper's seat and a double sunbed at the rear of the boat folding into a sofa. There is a high radar arch, on which an awning is mounted, as well as a wide bathing platform, very comfortable. The most interesting thing about the Ciera 8 is inside.
There is a full-fledged spacious toilet with shower. In the center of the salon is a kitchen, which is equipped with even a microwave. The sleeping places are located at the bow and aft of the boat. Do not forget - it's all in an eight-meter boat! Thanks to the large windows in the cabin there is a lot of light - a very pleasant bonus. And on the ceiling there's a sunroof for a sandcat. I'd like to call this boat a yacht, well, it looks a lot like his older brothers.
The leather trim and the fittings used in the production of boats are of the highest level. The transfer of production to Poland does not seem to have affected the quality of boats at the American shipyard in any way. So if you are looking for a small but quick and relatively comfortable boat, I suggest you take a look at the Bayliner line. Their boats traditionally offer a wide range of customization options, so you can «build» a boat for every taste and wallet.