Bayliner 205 Bowrider Boat Review

Bayliner 205 Bowrider Family Boat of the Year 

(4-7 metres Imported)

Reviewed: August 2009

Author: Modern Boating Magazine


Bayliner stays at the front of the pack with this bowrider.

Bayliners are production built, but they’re an excellent product of consistent quality and their research and development team continues to churn out innovative new boats each season. The 205 is a good example of just how far Bayliners have come.

Bowriders fit the bill of family/lifestyle boating—you can ski or wakeboard behind them, take the family on a river cruise, go for a fish at a pinch, or simply find a secluded bay for a picnic lunch. Bayliner offers the 205 with a ‘Fish ‘n’ Ski Package’ that includes a forward casting platform, fish finder, live-bait tank, rod racks and a wireless electric trolling motor. Bowrider and aft cockpit pedestal casting seats are also an option.

The hull design of the 205 has been improved by increasing its forward beam. This gives the driver and navigator more room to move, widens the bowrider cockpit and allows for a greater flare in the bow. The cockpits are also deeper and the grab rails are easy to reach, so passengers, especially the kids, will feel more secure. Speaking of kids, Bayliner only use the best marine-grade, stain-resistant carpets and ‘KidClean’ protected vinyl upholstery, so the 205 Bowrider will stand the test of time and retain its resale value.

Bayliners have other improvements, too, like stainless steel accents; upgraded upholstery; V8 engine as standard; designated storage areas; a convenient bow step (for easier beach access); a walk-through transom; and a custom formed dash panel with an anti-glare design. And music ? The 205 has a six-disc CD stacker, a waterproof CD head unit and six speakers positioned around the boat.

Bayliner hulls are well-proven and the new 205’s redesigned hull not only has the aforementioned wider beam, but the deadrise has been increased to 20 degrees at the transom.

The 205 is an awesome boat to drive. She’s soft riding, stable, dry and turns like a rocket on rails. Even a novice could get behind the wheel and not get into trouble, which is yet another reason why these vessels are such great family boats.

Boat Specifications

Engine Room

A 5-litre 260hp MPI MerCruiser, driving through an Alpha I leg

Boating Performance

Length overall : 6.22m (20’5”)

Beam : 2.43m (8’2”)

Weight : 1381kg

Draft max : 0.94m (3’1”)

Engine : 5-litre 260hp V8 MPI


Sterndrive : Alpha I

Fuel : 140 litres

Price : $53,990