Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010)
(w/ 1 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 L MPI)


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Everywhere we looked on the new Bayliner 205 we found thoughtful, usable dry storage and each item had a designated storage location. One of the updates we liked most was the use of good-quality upholstery throughout the interior to add to the new look and feel as well as a generous use of stainless steel accents from bow to stern.

Key Features

  • Standard fiberglass cockpit liner
  • Disc brakes on trailer
  • New dash design
  • Color-matched canvas
  • Stainless steel hardware standard
  • Helm bucket seat with flip-up bolster
  • Easy bow and stern access from beach or dock

Specifications

Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010) Specifications
Length Overall 20' 5''
6.22 m
Dry Weight 2,838 lbs.
1,287 kg
Beam 8' 2''
2.43 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 3'1''
.94 m
Fuel Cap 37 gal.
140 L
Deadrise/Transom 20 deg. Water Cap none
Max Headroom open Bridge Clearance 7'1''
2.16 m
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010) Captain's Report

Bayliner 205 Bowrider

Can you believe that the boat pictured above is a Bayliner?! We’ve long said that the days of thinking of Bayliner as “cheap” and down-market are over. While the brand still may be “affordable,” it is taking a comfortable place among the middle-market brands.

Capt. Steve Says...

It seems like we keep singing our old song about Bayliner over and over again. Regular readers know that we have been saying that Bayliner is now a serious, well-constructed boat. But the fact is, old impressions die hard, and unless you get on one and touch and feel, it’s hard to be convinced.

Getting in the Bayliner 205 recently, I was reminded yet again how far this company has come and how nice their boats are today. In a year or so, our preambles about the new Bayliner level of finish will be a thing of the past as consumers everywhere learn for themselves.

When I saw the 205, I couldn’t wait to turn the key.

Bayliner 205 Bowrider

Plenty of storage and lots of cockpit room. The sole storage was easily large enough to get equipment in and out without bending anything. Note the grab handles on the engine cover. Pulling on them caused the cover to open.

People Pleasing Options...

For starters, Bayliner has become sportboat trendsetters in the layout options arena. The Bayliner 205 comes in no less than three layouts that are sure to please anyone. First, there’s the bucket captain’s seat, back to back seats on the passenger side, and jump seats in both stern quarters. Option two: dual back-to-back seats and the two jump seats in the stern. Option three: dual bucket seats and an L-shaped bench seat at the stern. It’s like they say in the Burger King ads: “Have it your way.”

Beyond that, the options list also has some notable items that are worth adding onto your Bayliner 205. The “family fun pack” was on our test boat and consists of a bimini with boot, your choice of hull color (red, blue, or black), a deck gel stripe (NOT TAPE!), and a steering wheel upgrade (add $686). [Go for it!—Ed.]

We were missing the digital depth gauge (add $307) and the empty black space in the instrument cluster seemed to be mocking that decision at every glance. We did have the extended swim platform and standing on it, and seeing the extra play space it provided, was enough to move it to the “must have” side of my brain (add $764).

Bayliner 205 Bowrider

One look at the extended swim platform was all we needed to be convinced that this was the way to go. The swim ladder was hard to deploy from this option though.

Let’s Beat Her Up...

I knew going in that this was a nice boat. I mean I’ve been on enough Bayliners recently to need little convincing, but her handling totally caught me off guard. Test day saw a stiff breeze going across the 20 mile long lake, and we actually had to find some hidey-holes to get accurate test figures (this isn’t an offshore boat after all), but while transiting to these protected areas, I had a chance to beat her up a bit.

Only she didn’t get beaten up at all. She took a following sea of moderate close chop with such grace that my jaw dropped instead of the hull. What I expected was to be coming off one wave and slap hard into the next, water flying all over the place. What I got was a launch off one wave and a gentle entry into the next, a mild dip into the trough followed by a gentle rise to meet the next.

And at 30+...

It was all very comfortable... at 30+ mph! Turning into a beam sea, was more of the same. The head sea had some pounding to be sure, I mean you can’t drive over speed bumps without getting jostled, but it wasn’t that bad. In fact, I launched headlong into the waves, the boat came out of the water, and the landing was like a motorcycle coming down off a jump. We’d hit stern first, only the heavy slap of the bow hitting never came! What happened was more like a relaxed lay down from the stern to the bow, and it made me want to keep doing it rather than run for shelter. It was very cool.

Performance Numbers...

Once in the calm water, we did the performance runs, and got a top end speed of 49.2 mph, and a best cruise of 28.7 mph burning 6.6 gph, which gave a total range of 145 miles with a 10% reserve.

The Bayliner 205 has as its “standard” engine the 220-hp 5.0L Mercruiser w/Alpha 1 outdrive. This is a carbureted engine with older, cheaper technology. Our test boat’s engine was the smaller, but equally powerful 220-hp 4.3 MPI Alpha 1, and that saved 81 lbs (36.7kg). It is an $800 upgrade that I’d highly recommend. It pushed us nearly 50 mph, and it has newer, more fuel-efficient, more emission-friendly technology, and it is “CARB compliant.”

If you think you need more muscle, you can have a 260-hp 5.0 MPI (add $3,036).

ABYC “Turn Testing”...

Performing turn tests at various speeds showed her to be completely, and safely maneuverable at her top-end speed, with a little slide that made the grab of the turn very manageable. I never felt that the boat was trying to throw me out into the water. We made tight turns, but safe turns. Turning the wheel hard over and then shoving the throttle to the stop gave an 8-10 deg. heel and a turn in the boat’s length. No hanging on for dear life, one hand gently holding the wheel hard over.

Most important, I conducted the ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) – the outfit that sets the standards for recreational boat building – proscribed test for turning the boat 90-degrees at the fastest speeds under which I felt comfortable. I threw the wheel hard over at WOT – which was 49 mph – and I felt comfortable doing it. Please note that I had gotten to that speed gradually and had a good idea of how the boat would perform before I conducted the “ABYC Turning Test.” I do not recommend that boaters operate a boat this way as it can be dangerous for a number of reasons, but it is good to know what the boat will do.

Bayliner 205 Bowrider

High points for Bayliner putting the stereo at the helm instead of a remote control. This is the upgraded steering wheel and it was very comfortable. The visors over the gauges were surprisingly effective.

Some random measurements...

The standard swim platform comes out 22” (56 cm) fore and aft and is 6’7” across (2 m) and the extended comes out another 26” (66 cm) and is 7’1” (2.1 m) across. The swim ladder is a three step and goes down 2’5” (.7 m) from the bottom of the swim platform. Distance between the operators seat and the passenger seat is 25” (63.5 cm), distance between cockpit bolsters is 6’5” (6.9 m), and from the deck to top of the gunwales is 30” (76 cm).

Some Down Sides...

No boat is perfect, and this one was no exception. Some notable items that could use a few touches here and there… to the starboard of the steering wheel is a niche for stowing stuff. I’d like to see it angled down so that it doesn’t dump your “stuff” into your lap; or, the addition of elastic netting-type material there to hold stuff in.

The grab handles were on the engine cover, if they are grabbed it tended to open the cover itself because there was no latch to keep it closed. Seat cushions were built to such close specifications that they were hard to get in and take out when accessing storage underneath. Over time there will be an excessive wear issue.

On the extended swim platform, the swim ladder had a rubber stretchy cord that is secured to a knob on its bottom. Standing behind the boat on a trailer, I had an extremely difficult time getting the cord off the knob. In the water, fuggedaboutit! Pulling the cord will only pull you into the boat. I couldn’t get it off at all from on the platform. This certainly is an easy fix. Also, on the standard platform, the ladder is under a lid that I found it hard to open. The ladder has only three steps, which is standard on most boats, but four steps make reboarding much more pleasant.

Bayliner 205 Bowrider

These side panels opened up to allow access to storage behind.

Specifications and Power...

The Bayliner 205 has a LOA of 20’ 5” (6.22 m), a beam of 8’2” (2.43 m), which I’d rather be brought up to the trailerable max of 8’6”, and a draft of 3’1” (.94 m). Her dry weight is 2,838 lbs (1,287 kg).

Summation...

I really liked this boat. It wasn’t a love fest, but I could easily see that her $30,600 base price, coupled with her comfortable features and good handling characteristics will make this boat a serious competitor for other brands. The only problem is, you still have to get on board to appreciate her virtues, but your local Bayliner rep will be happy to accommodate you, and you’ll be glad you made the effort.

Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010) is 49.2 mph (79.2 kph), burning 14.4 gallons per hour (gph) or 54.5 liters per hour (lph).

  • Best cruise for the Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010) is 28.7 mph (46.2 kph), and the boat gets 4.34 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.85 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 145 miles (233.35 kilometers).

  • Tested power is 1 x 220-hp MerCruiser 4.3 L MPI.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.


Standard and Optional Equipment

Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010) Standard and Optional Equipment
Systems
CD Stereo Standard
Trailer Standard
Exterior Features
Carpet: Cockpit Optional Runners
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Tower: Watersports Optional
Canvas
Bimini Top Optional
Cockpit Cover Optional

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010) Warranty

Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Hull Warranty
Years Limited Lifetime Structural Hull
Transferable Yes
Deck Warranty
Years 5-Year Limited Structural Deck
Transferable Yes
Certifications
NMMA Certification Yes
Other Certification Meets Applicable USCG Standards

Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010) Price

Bayliner 205 Bowrider (2009-2010) Price
Pricing Range $30,645.00
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.


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