Author: Mike Brunn
325 feet Bayliner Cruiser 2006
Bayliner, synonymous with value, has done it again. Bayliner’s new 325 Cruiser, queen of the Bayliner fleet, may be the most sensible family boat built in America.
Fifty years of boat-building experience has given Bayliner the insight to know what its customers want in a family cruiser. Packed with innovative features and a variety of options, the 325 feet Bayliner Cruiser is the perfect weekend cruiser for the Bay and Delta. I’ve tested many “express” style cruisers over the years, and there is no doubt that the “bang for the buck” factor is off the chart with this new 325. Comfortable and inviting, the 325 is a great choice for boaters who don’t want to break the bank.
A flawless vinylester skin and blue hull accentuate the perfectly proportioned lines of Bayliner’s latest entry into the family boating market. Add to this the raked back windshield, swooping air vent covers, and narrow but effective sidedeck windows, and all will agree that this is one sleek-looking cruiser. This is definitely not your father’s Bayliner.
Besides great looks, quality is also a priority for Bayliner. The hand-laid fiberglass hull is backed by a five-year, transferable structural hull warranty. In addition, exterior carpeting and upholstery are made of heavy-duty, stain- and fade-resistant marine grade materials. Every boater will appreciate the quality of this Bayliner flagship.
Does her performance match her good looks? The answer is an indisputable yes. Equipped with the optional twin 5.0 Mercruiser 260 hp gasoline engines with Bravo III outdrives, the six-and-one-half-ton cruiser hit 44 mph at wide-open throttle. The sweet spot seemed to be 30 mph while burning less than 22 gallons per hour. Surprisingly, the boat came up on plane within eight seconds and never felt underpowered. With four Mercruiser engine packages to choose from, including a new diesel option, Bayliner has a propulsion option for any application.
Despite the three-foot chop on the Bay the day of our test, the 325 feet Bayliner cruiser performed perfectly. Solid and well balanced, our test boat kept us dry and comfortable at speeds exceeding 35 mph. The 18-degree deadrise and deep-V configuration provide an unusually soft and stable ride in less than perfect conditions. Once the 325 was trimmed, vibration and rattles were nearly undetectable. With the engines located in the stern, the standard trim tabs are essential for eliminating bow rise from a standing start. Once on plane, the 325 levels off quickly and the tabs can be brought up for maximum efficiency.
The main attraction is the 325’s enormous cockpit featuring an adjustable double helm seat that swivels 90 degrees to lie flush against the starboard side. This ingenious use of space combined with the portside lounge provides enough seating for at least a dozen people. Equipped with a standard refrigerator and sink, there is no doubt that Bayliner had entertaining in mind when designing this inviting cockpit.
Visibility from the helm is excellent. The helm includes all the necessary Faria® instruments and even has a flat panel for the addition of a plotter and radar. Another thoughtful idea from the folks at Bayliner are the molded steps that lead through the hinged windshield panel providing easy access to the foredeck.
Below, the long settee runs from the portside mid-cabin up to the forepeak and around the starboard side to the galley. If the weather turns nasty on the Bay, the large settee can accommodate 10 adults in comfort. The forepeak features a removable dinette table that converts to a cozy double berth with a privacy curtain for your guests.
Mid-cabin, starboard side, the spacious galley is fully equipped with standard features such as a built-in coffee maker, two-burner electric stove, microwave and Norcold® refer.
Functional and Elegant
Allowing for a generous amount of daylight to flood the cabin, the sidedeck windows are as functional as they are elegant. Having owned several express cruisers in the past, my wife’s number one complaint was that she didn’t like being down in the “hole.” However, the 325 Bayliner Cruiser 2006’s cabin could hardly be described as a hole. Bayliner’s use of light-colored fabrics and well-positioned hatches makes the cabin feel bright and spacious. Standard cabin features include a flat-screen TV/DVD and stereo/CD player.
The small but sufficient enclosed private head makes use of limited space by converting to a shower. The head also features a molded-in sink, vanity and electric toilet.
Pièce de Résistance
Are you ready for the pièce de résistance? This 35-ft. cruiser includes a private aft stateroom with a double berth. I could hardly believe my eyes when I opened the cabin door and saw a comfortable changing seat, hanging locker and double berth. Surprisingly, this aft stateroom is sizeable for a boat of this length.
Overall, I loved this boat, in spite of some minor flaws such as the flimsy transom door and less-than-sturdy locker hardware. Starting at a base price of $121,000, the Bayliner 325 is an affordable and practical choice for the boating family. Remember, the family that boats together, stays together.
BAYLINER CRUISER SPECIFICATIONS
- Length Overall 35’0”
- Beam 11’6”
- Deadrise 18 degrees
- Weight 12,870 lbs.
- Draft 2’2”
- Draft Max. 3’4.5”
- Bridge Clearance 10’6.5”
- Fuel Capacity 175 gallons
- Holding Tank Capacity 30 gallons
- Water Capacity 31 gallons