Boat Test: 2011 Bayliner 235BR

Boat Tested2011 Bayliner 235BR
Price As Tested$54,519 CAD
Category Bowrider
Manufacturer Bayliner
Length23ft 5in / 7.14 m
Beam8ft 6in / 2.59 m
Drive TypeI/o
Fuel Capacity50

By Mike Gridley

Bowriders are the quintessential family boat; at home, at the cottage, or trailering to explore new lakes and rivers. Many boaters start out in a classic 16 or 17 footer and eventually want to move up for more space and comfort for additional guests. That’s where the Bayliner 235 BR comes in. You get a 22-foot, 6-inch boat that can handle 11 people, be decked out as a wakeboard boat, and still be trailered (with a beam of 8 feet, 6 inches).

Starting at the transom, our test boat had the optional extended swim platform��“ a must for watersports enthusiasts. The sun pad is large enough for two to stretch out and the centre cushions are removable, creating a transom walk-through. The remaining cushions hinge to port and starboard, revealing a massive amount of storage outboard of the engine. In fact, there is so much storage in the 235 ��“ under the seats, in the cockpit sole and in the gunwales, not to mention the dedicated spaces for the cockpit table and cooler ��“ that Bayliner has included a label under the starboard aft seat so you can keep track of it all.

The cockpit seating in the 235 is a large U wrapping around the transom, ideally designed for kicking back and enjoying the sunshine. The twin swivelling helm seats allow the captain and mate to join in the snacks and conversation.

Up forward, the seats are adult sized and the lounger backs are not only comfortable but open to reveal more storage. To really enjoy this area, add in the optional bow filler cushion, bow stainless boarding ladder and the stainless steel trim upgrade package to add bow grab rails, upgraded trim, fittings and beverage holders.

Getting underway, the 235 accelerated rapidly onto plane and beyond due to the MerCruiser 350 MAG with a Bravo 3 Drive ��“ a powerful choice over the base MerCruiser 5.0L MPI. Handling is top notch as well. Test day was windy with a tight chop, but the Bayliner’s 21-degree dead rise handled it well in straight line runs and tight turns.

Looking for space with a welcoming layout in your next bowrider? Then don’t pass on this offering from Bayliner.

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