Boat Test: 2013 Bayliner Element

Boat Tested2013 Bayliner Element
Price As Tested$11,999 USD
Category Bowrider
Manufacturer Bayliner
Length16ft 2in / 4.93 m
Beam7ft 5in / 2.26 m
Max HP60
Drive TypeOutboard
Engine MakeMercury
Fuel Capacity12
By Matt SpencerElements make up everything in this world; they represent the building blocks of the things in our day-to-day life. For Bayliner, the Element represents the building of something entirely original that takes a fresh look at boating. The 2013 Bayliner Element is built to entice a whole new group into boating by making it accessible for everyone.

At 16 feet, 2 inches long, the Element can fit in most garages and, weighing in at less than 2,500 pounds (including trailer), it can be towed with most vehicles.

Simplicity is the name of the game for the Element, so Bayliner chose a 60-hp Mercury Big Foot Four Stroke as the only power option for this boat. They determined any more horsepower on this package and you get away from the essence of the Element.

Inside the boat stands out from the cookie cutter bowrider layout as it's divided into three main seating areas. The bow seating is pretty standard with optional filler cushion. You really have to sit up there to appreciate how much bigger it feels than the numbers may suggest. Midship is a modular seating layout, with moulded-in facing seats to port and a side console helm with the same seating for the driver. The side console helm features a large seven-inch multi-function gauge and is quite comfortable considering the price point. Aft, a sun pad stretches across the width of the boat, with an optional cooler hidden underneath. These seats are all part of a one-piece deck liner - one of the ways Bayliner makes this boat easy to own and affordable.

You'll also find the removable fuel tank back here. The Element's design is in the details. It's built to be the perfect day boat, so Bayliner gives you the right amount of fuel for a day on the water - no more, no less.

But below the waterline is the ultimate detail: the Element's entirely new hull design. New boaters expressed some concerns about boat handling characteristics. To overcome these, Bayliner engineers came up with an all-new "M" shaped hull design. With two large chines on the outside and a modified V in the centre, the boat looks like an "M" when looking straight on. This design increases side-to-side stability at rest, lowers bow rise on take off and gives the boat less lean in the turns - everything new boaters were looking for.

On the water, the M hull delivers. Bow rise was minimal and turns were very fun since the boat has an almost go-kart feel as it corners flat. I tested the Element in rough waters in Sarasota, Fla., but it stood up to the two-foot chop with confidence and was begging for more. I pushed it to the limits, and the Element almost seemed to be asking, "Is that all you’ve got?"

But a professional boat tester isn't the Element's demographic. First-time boaters are and the Element proved it provides little opportunity for them to get into trouble. What it does provide, however, is lots of opportunity to have awesome, affordable days on the water.
The Bayliner Element is definitely the start of something new.
TEST BOAT ENGINEMercury 60-hp Big Foot Four Stroke outboard
ACCELERATION (mph/sec)0-20 / 9
TOP SPEED (rpm/mph)5500 / 28.8
2500 / 7.5 ; 3000 / 9 ; 3500 / 15.1 ; 4000 / 21.1
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