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.