Wake up call
WORDS + PHOTOS: ANDREW RICHARDSON
I woke up early very early. The idea of a new toy for the summer season had been on my mind for a while. The days were getting brighter sooner, and the air was getting warmer. I’d started visiting boat showrooms and brokers and reading Modern Boating, searching for the ideal boat to cruise into this summer season.
As dawn turned to day, I met up with Peter Klumper and the team from Avante Marine to test the latest Bayliner Discovery 195 bowrider. And we cracked it for a pearler perfect conditions on a perfect day.
I have to admit this situation can be a bit like ‘beer goggles’ to a boatie, so it can be hard to be objective, but this Bayliner would no doubt satisfy many a summer desire and at $37,170 (with trailer) it leaves some room in the budget for the less essential requirements like food for the kids!
Peter gave the boat a good workout for the camera, before I climbed behind the helm and tried to follow Peter’s good example.
A gutsy 135hp V6 MerCruiser powered the Discovery 195. It’s not the largest engine option for this boat, but it still delivered a top speed of 40 mph and is a lot of fun in the twists and turns.
The moderate deadrise hull can handle everything the engine dealt out, which was reassuring and made it fun trying to find the boats limits.
The 135hp is more efficient than a V8 and besides who needs a V8 when the six propels the 195 from 3-30 knots in 10 seconds.
We also found a good cruise speed with low engine noise in the mid 20-knot range and a wakeboard speed at around 3200rpm.
The comfortable helm position offers good visibility and has an array of instruments including fuel, revs, oil, volts, speed, and a trim gauge. The tilt-adjustable steering wheel helped make the driving position comfortable as did the position of the throttle/gear lever.
The vessel’s layout comprised two aft seats and two back-to-back seats that converted to sun pads and even more seating in the bow.
The vinyl non-slip floor breaks with convention, but is a good practical move away from carpets that can be hard to clean.
Access to the engine room is as easy as lifting the aft lid. Peter explained that the engine room could use some more soundproofing. But overall engine noise was quite modest across the entire rev range and only the pedantic might go for that enhancement.
Bonus features included lots of grab holds and drink holders and a very large dash stowage area that concealed the stereo with iPod jack.
Other stowage areas are located under the floor. The side pockets have a handy mesh covering to keep things from spilling out.
Value for money
Making sure you get good value for money is the key with any vessel and the 195 clearly delivers everything you would expect from a 19 and a half foot bowrider without unnecessary bells and whistles.
The MerCruiser V6 engine is fairly good on the fuel front, so ongoing costs should also be easy to handle.
The kids, and mum for that matter, will love the ‘easy over the stern’ access to the water and the big bow area, while all the grown ups will enjoy the vessel’s easy handling and smart looks.
To anyone new to boating, or to the person who just has the urge for a new toy, this ready-to-go Bayliner package, with a price that’s well under $40,000, will certainly tick all the right boxes.
Despite the price, this US-Built boat still maintains a very high build quality, which is supported by a Transferable Limited Lifetime Structural Hull Warranty. There are also some notable quality construction features that include a Vinylester skin coat on the hull for added durability.
Overall, this runabout, with seating for eight, is the kind of boat that will give Sundays a new meaning to your family and friends.
The 195 Discovery was a lot of fun and it wasn’t just those perfect day boaties’ beer goggles talking.
This boat will definitely brighten up your Christmas holidays without breaking the bank.