Bayliner 225 Runabout
By Capt. Rob Smith
Maybe in the past you thought that Bayliner was only an entry level boat, but you need to take a fresh look. Bayliner has upped the bling and increased the room aboard in the line as you move up from their smaller models. It was introduced at the 2008 Miami Boat Show showcasing their Next Generation design. Transom entertainment space was enhanced and rightly so as more attention is focused on enjoying the water at anchor and enjoying multiple water sports underway.
Starting at the stern, the sunpad is large enough to use to catch a few rays or relax and watch everyone play behind the boat in the water. It is comfortable for getting ready to ski or board as well. With the extended swim platform, you get tremendous space aft, as well as a bit more protection over the stern drive unit. The swim ladder is tucked under the platform, but I still prefer to have a nested or concealed swim ladder on top. Without the extended swim platform, the ladder is concealed on the integral platform. With the extension, this becomes a handy line locker or handy temporary cooler while hanging out on the swim platform or in the water. In each corner there is a space ready for the optional transom speakers which brings the tunes to water level.
Storage space on board is phenomenal! The sunpad splits open from the middle and is hinged port and starboard. The center pads lift off for a walk through and below is enough space to crawl in, close the lid and hide, but I recommend using it for storage. Anything that has a dedicated space to store it is mapped out on a label under the starboard aft seat cushion so anyone can put things away where they belong. The carry on cooler is located under the port side bench seat. Nothing special about that until you reach in to pick it up and see that the “nest” for the cooler holds the handles such that it is naturally easy to grab it and go. The under gunwale storage may not look big, but I found it easy to store one in here as well as in the sole locker.
Cockpit seating is designed for the larger family and those with lots of friends. The aft seating is more of a conversation pit with the helm and bucket seats swiveling around to join in when at anchor or in the slip for a dockside party, and there is 34” of interior freeboard that keeps the kids from easily falling overboard. You can crank up the tunes on the stereo or slip in your own mix through the MP3 port. The ergonomics at the helm were great with no issues for visibility and my hand seemed at a natural place when I rested my arm while driving.
Moving forward, more storage is tucked under the benches but reaching into the lounger back, I found a perfect spot for the ladies to stow their purses out of view as well as a handy portable dual drink holder that I have only seen on pontoon boats. This is definitely handy with a crowd! Speaking of handy, when you slip up to the beach, you will certainly be happy to have the beach boarding ladder.
Checking the 225’s measurements, she is 22’6” length overall with a beam width of 8’6”. She tips the scales at about 3,750 lbs with standard engine. Her draft measures 18” with the sterndrive trimmed up, and 36” with it trimmed all the way down. She carries 50 gallons of fuel which should keep you going for a day, and she has a 10 gallon fresh water tank for rinsing off. Her deadrise at the stern is 21 degrees. The total package price base price is approximately $39,598.
I tested with only two people on board, full fuel and about 50 lbs of gear in a brackish area close to the intracoastal waters in North Carolina. Handling was really nice and I was able to take some rather tight turns with ease. Acceleration was also very nice. She is up on plane in 4.4 seconds and she makes 30 mph in 9.7 seconds. At a comfortable cruising rate of 2500 rpm, she was clocked at 24.5 mph, while her top speed was measured at 49 mph. Since she only turned 4400 rpm at top speed, you can probably expect to reach 4800-5000 rpm with better propping.
If you need the room to entertain, the power to play and plenty of options to make your own mark on the water, the Bayliner 225 Runabout is a boat you should definitely check out.