2006 Bayliner 245 Cruiser SB
- Stock #082121 -
FRESHWATER ONLY ! CLEAN SHAPE!!
Many boaters purchase a cruising boat with the idea of traveling to new harbors and exploring fresh places. But the realities of life usually permit two or three consecutive days at the most to enjoy boating, seldom allowing enough time to venture beyond a fairly small geographic area.
While there is nothing wrong with returning to the same few favorite spots again and again, there is something to be said for a trailerable cruiser. With a good tow vehicle and an early start, the practical range of a weekend trip expands from dozens of miles to hundreds of miles, increasing possibilities and offering a new location for each boating vacation. The Bayliner 245 was designed to fit this niche, with the roomiest layout and the most accommodations the company could fit into a trailerable boat.
On many small cruising boats the main below-deck living area converts into the main sleeping area. Bayliner thankfully avoided this by making the midship berth large enough to comfortable sleep two, and providing an extremely spacious dinette in the bow. A couple cruising on this boat will never have to unmake the bed to set up the table, or vice-versa, and the table will comfortably seat four or five for dinner. With children on the boat the dinette will have to be converted, but my experience is that most kids actually enjoy chores like folding up sheets and installing a table when the payoff is a weekend on the water. I should point out that the forward berth is spacious, but not for adult guests (unless your friends are both under five-six.) The tradeoff for having a wide midship berth and spacious interior is a shortened forward berth.
The galley is an often neglected element of the design of a small boat. Even on day trips when the cabin is hardly used, a good galley can mean the difference between a freshly made, enjoyable lunch or soggy subs picked up the night before. On many pocket cruisers the galley is provided in name only, with a tiny sink and just enough counter space to make one sandwich at a time.
On the 245 the galley is surprisingly spacious with a large sink, a real stove, a roomy refrigerator, and a decent microwave oven. The galley is set in the middle of the cabin beneath the large port side window, rather than tucked into a dark corner where many manufacturers place it. Bayliner provides an acceptable amount of storage and even a handrail just above the refrigerator, essential when making lunch while underway.
The head is unusually comfortable for a boat this size as well, with plenty of room to stand in front of the sink without tripping on the toilet. The toilet is tucked slightly beneath the upper deck, which requires leaning forward somewhat while seated, but I suspect most people will find this to be a very minor inconvenience. There is an opening porthole just above the sink for fresh air, and a large window at eye level, allowing in plenty of sunlight. A curtain and extending faucet are provided for showering.
Above deck, the 245 is equally well laid out. The helm console includes plenty of room for electronics, and everything is conveniently located. The driver's seat is comfortable whether sitting or standing. To the left of the helm, a long L-shaped settee provides a relaxing place to stretch out with a book. Alternately, the backrest can be folded flat to make a sunpad, or folded forward to make the back half of the "L" into an aft facing bench seat. A folding bench seat across the transom and removable table then form a small dinette. The stern platform is accessed on the starboard side, with a latched door to keep children, pets, or loose gear from going overboard, and the platform includes a couple of handrails and a retractable swim ladder.
The engine is accessed through a large hatch in the back of the cockpit. While the inside of the engine room is spacious and all equipment is extremely convenient to work on, the hatch on our test boat did not open as far as it could have, making it a bit tight to enter. Just making the pneumatic lifts a couple of inches longer would have been a huge improvement. For anything other than routine checks, the pneumatic lifts can be quickly disconnected and the hatch tied open, providing a far more comfortable work area than I've found on most boats.
Trailerable boats offer several advantages in addition to increased cruising area. Eliminating dockage fees, reducing winter storage costs, and lowering gasoline prices help keep boating more affordable, and keeping the boat out of the water reduces long-term maintenance requirements. Also, the ability to load and unload the boat in the driveway rather than transferring gear from house to car to boat and back saves valuable weekend boating time. While the elbow -room of a larger boat is enticing, give some thought to the advantages of a pocket cruiser, then take a look at the trailerable Bayliner 245.
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