Author: Mike Brunn
24 feet Bayliner Discovery 2008
The name Bayliner has always been synonymous with quality and value for over 30 years. Bayliner’s new Bayliner Discovery 246 is no exception. However, the new 246 has a split personality. She could be easily mistaken for a family cruiser. Take a closer look and you will notice that the 246 is rigged for some serious fishing. Which is it: family cruiser or hard-core fishing machine? How about both!
As the largest trailerable boat in the Discovery line, the 246 offers versatility and comfort. The hardtop enclosure provides great protection from the elements and the spacious cockpit has more than enough room for family, friends and fishing. Combine these aspects with interior comfort and plush amenities, and Bayliner has again proven why they are the number one selling boat on the water.
When I first looked at the Bayliner Discovery 246 in Oakland, it reminded me of the old Chris-Craft Catalinas of the 1970’s. Like the Catalina, the 246 sports classic good looks and a functional “no nonsense” purpose. I often wondered why Chris-Craft and many other manufacturers dropped this design in favor of the “express” style arrangement. There is no doubt that the 246 is not only unique but traditional.
Simple and Efficient
Simple and efficient, the bridge is protected from harsh weather conditions by the one-piece fiberglass hardtop. The bridge can also be fully enclosed with optional camper canvas. Few helms, if any, offer such great visibility thanks to large windows. By the way, the 246’s window frames are welded for greater strength and minimal leakage. The large sliding side windows offer great cross ventilation and commanding views. The helm is uncomplicated and practical. I like the fact that Bayliner provided more than enough space for two five-inch screens for radar and gps/fishfinder.
Everywhere I turned, there was a stainless grab rail positioned in the right place. I’ve seen boats that cost five times the price of a 246 that don’t have grab rails on the transom. The 246 has two grab rails on the transom for added safety.
The cockpit features aft foldaway seating and a conveniently placed cockpit door. In addition, there is plenty of storage space for safety and fishing gear under the seats and gunwales. Purchase the “fish pack” option and the cockpit will be outfitted with the following equipment: integrated tackle box; raw water washdown; stainless rocket launchers; rod holders; and rod hangers in the cabin.
The folks at Bayliner forgot nothing when it comes to the cabin. Located on the starboard side is a comfy dinette for four that converts to a double berth. The V-berth also has enough room for two and, believe it or not, there is another guest berth located aft of the galley.
The galley features a single-burner electric stove, AC/DC refrigerator and a microwave. Also included is stainless sink and attractive faux granite countertop. What more could you ask for?
The enclosed head, located on the starboard side aft, converts to a shower stall and includes a marine head with holding tank.
I know that you’ve heard me say this before but when it comes to boating, we all need to think fuel economy. Fortunately, Bayliner is one step ahead of me. Our test boat equipped with the optional 250 HP 5.7 MerCruiser, cruised comfortably at 25 mph while burning less than 12 gallons per hour. Even at wide-open throttle, the MerCruiser only burned 18 gallons per hour. Optional engine packages including a 2.8 litre diesel are also available.
Without the use of trim tabs, the 246 came up on plane within seconds. Holding her on plane without tabs was a little difficult. Getting her up to speed, the 246 cruised wonderfully at 25 mph with only a little help from the tabs.
Handling was impressive. At three tons, the Bayliner Discovery 246 felt like she weighed twice as much. While cruising down the Oakland estuary and across the Bay, there were few wakes or waves that we couldn’t cross at 30 mph.
Once again, Bayliner has put together an outstanding package in the 246. I’m convinced that the 246 will be a popular Bay and Delta boat for the small family. One weekend, the 246 can cruise the Delta with the whole family and the next, Dad can take her outside the Gate with his buddies for a little salmon fishing. Versatility, quality and value personify Bayliner’s new Discovery 246 Cruiser.
BAYLINER DISCOVERY SPECIFICATIONS:
- Length: 25’7”
- Beam: 8’6”
- Deadrise: 17 degrees
- Weight: 6,300 lbs.
- Draft: 1’9”
- Fuel Capacity: 81 gallons
- Holding Tank: 20 gallons
- Water Tank: 20 gallons