Issue: July/August 2005
There is an interesting trend developing in the marine market. While trailable boats up to 6m remain the bread and butter of the Australian marine industry, there is now a huge interest in boats from 9m and upwards.
In Queensland alone the number of registrations in this category has doubled and in some cases tripled over the past few months. It seems more and more families are getting into boating to spend their weekends on the water.
The Bayliner 265, new for 2005, fits right in the middle of this market. It’s aimed squarely at the couple or a family who want to regularly get away for a day, the weekend or longer.
The 265 is a neat boat and Bayliner has packed a lot into it for its size. It has all the amenities of a bigger boat, but it’s more compact. Although it is designated a 265 cruiser, it is actually 8.23m (27ft ) in overall length from the wide boarding platform to the bow anchor roller.
Just like its bigger brothers there is a boot in the transom that contains the battery switches and can store fenders and mooring lines.
The aft cockpit has a rear lounge and the backrest on the lounge opposite the driver can be swung forward to give more seating around the removable table. All the upholstery on the test boat is finished in an attractive two-tone blue and white marine vinyl with clip-out carpet on the floor.
On the starboard side is a sink with hot and cold water and a locker. Instead of the locker door swinging out, it can be lifted up to form a serving table next to the sink.
The driver’s seat is extremely comfortable and the all-round view is excellent. The dash is done in a single mould and is finished in dark grey to stop glare, with Burl inserts housing the instruments. The test boat included a Navman VHF radio, a remote anchor winch control on the dash, a depth sounder and a bimini top that comes with clears and camping covers.
Access to the bow is through the split windscreen. But instead of a couple of small steps on the side of the helm station, Bayliner has extended two steps right across the sliding cabin door. This makes it easier for the less agile folk.
But it is down below that Bayliner designers have excelled themselves. The beam is only 2.59m and is smaller than the previous model. The smaller beam was introduced so that the boat could be towed on a trailer. It is legal in the United States, but would need a special permit in Australia. But this is the type of boat that would normally be kept in the water or on a cradle on the hard.
Bayliner normally takes the beam well forward in its hull designs and this adds extra room up front. It would be wrong to call the seating up front a vee-berth; it’s a lounge which seats at least six people around a table that converts to a big double-berth.
The galley is neat with solid, marblelook bench tops, a deep stainless steel sink, fridge and a single-burner metho stove that also operates on 240V. Yes, the 265 does have 240V shore power as well. A nice touch is the wood insert on the galley floor, which saves spills on the carpet.
The microwave is located directly opposite, next to the walk-in head and shower. And there is another big doubleberth under the cockpit. The lined cabin top has a good 1.8m of head room and the long windows down each side let in plenty of light and people sitting in the cabin see what’s going on outside.
Powered by a MerCruiser 350 Magnum, MPI, 300hp engine with a Bravo II leg, the boat is fun to drive. It comes with trim tabs, but these are only needed to balance the boat in a side wind, or when the passengers are all sitting on one side. A very comfortable cruising speed was around 3400rpm where the GPS showed a speed of 24.2 knots. It didn’t wander around much at a slow 5.9 knots at 1200rpm in the six-knot zone either.
At 4000rpm it got along at 28 knots and at wide-open throttle and trimmed out to 5000rpm, the top speed was 35.5 knots. Even at this speed it tracked straight without any sign of torque trying to turn the boat to one side. Ladies will feel very comfortable driving the 265.
But the big surprise of this test boat was the price. All this for just $109,990, which includes safety gear and registration. The Bayliner 265 is an extremely competitive package for people looking for a great getaway weekender.
The 265 is powered by a MerCruiser 350 Magnum, MPI, 300hp petrol engine driving through a Bravo II leg, which does the job extremely well.
With two adults onboard and a full load of fuel the Bayliner 265 produced the following rpm-tospeed figures.
Speed To RPM: 5.9 knots @ 1200 rpm, 24.2 knots @ 3500 rpm, 28.0 knots @
4000 rpm, 35.5 knots @ 5000 rpm.
DRAFT: 0.56m (leg up)
DRAFT: 0.99m (leg down)
FUEL CAPACITY: 284lt
DEADRISE: 17 degrees
+ Great weekender
Excellent value for money
– Needs towing permit
The word from Bayliner
According to the team at Bayliner, the latest 265 is a unique boat that is built so owners can do it all. Entertain, cruise, or try their hand at water sports. The optional ‘sports’ tower can be used to mount electronics, or to help turn family members into would-be skiers and wakeboarders. Plus, the 2ft-wide boarding platform makes gearing up to get into the water easy. And with flexible seating arrangements, cooler storage and a wet bar with an integrated preparation table, entertaining on deck is a breeze. Overnighting on the 265 is a true getaway. Anchor in a secluded cove and gaze at the stars before retiring to the spacious interior with more than 6′ of headroom. Two private cabins, a well-appointed galley and a dinette that cleverly converts into a berth provide the comforts of home for a crew of six. Once you have experienced the 265 for yourself, you’ll see why Bayliner owners love their boats.
Story and Photos by Kevan Wolfe