An all-new, smaller addition to Bayliner’s family of affordable deckboats, is this ultra-functional 197 Deck, which offers lots of seating, more storage space, and a huge swim platform for maximum water enjoyment. Power options of up to 220 horsepower make this ten person party machine the boat to watch in 2006.
Integrated bow platfrom with retractable 3-step boarding ladder
Integrated transom platform with retractable 2-step ladder
Bayliner’s new and improved 197 Deck is a well-rounded and versatile boat designed with more features, and three engine packages to choose from.
By Capt. Ron Svoboda
Last year when we tested Bayliner’s new deck boat, we though it was one of the best party platforms on the market, especially for the price. Well, 2006 brings a new, smaller addition to family with the ultra-functional 197 Deck. The designers at Bayliner have worked overtime to improve on an already great layout. This sister has added seating, more storage, and even more swim platform space for maximum water enjoyment. In addition, several engine packages are available to get this boat to quickly get to your favorite spot.
At the front of the deckboat, is a wide swim platform large enough for three adults to cool their feet in the water. A telescoping swim ladder tucks neatly into its own compartment and saves space on the platform. But the greatest feature of the new 197 is the ever expansive seating. The cockpit provides 360-degrees of plush seating with ample storage space below each cushion.
When it’s time for lunch or a game of cards, a snack table can be quickly installed at the bow. Meanwhile, beverage control is handled by an insulated cooler located under the aft seat cushion. Also in the back, on the starboard side of the aft bench seat, is the helm console.
At the Helm
The helm seat adjusts and so does the steering wheel. Just like the rest of the boat, the dash is low profile with a tinted wind deflector. The driver has full instrumentation with analog gauges, a water-resistant stereo, and accessory toggle switches complete the helm station.
The aft recreational area features a massive U-shaped swim platform and a pair of jumbo storage lockers. If you need more space for skis and boards, the locker in the sole of the cockpit should accommodate them without a problem.
Specs and Power
At only 18 feet, 7 inches long, and 8 feet wide, the 197 provides the space of a much larger boat as well as the stability of one with her 2,695 pounds of displacement. The hull draws 32 inches of water with the drive down on all three of the engine packages available. A 3.0 liter, 135-horsepower MerCruiser comes standard on the boat, but I would certainly opt for the 4.3 liter MPI that delivers a hearty 220 horses.
Bayliners have always been practical machines, and since they’re affordable, these boats have given several generations of boaters the ability to live the life, and not just dream about it. The new 197 Deck will introduce even more people to the wonderful world of recreational boating, but in a more modern way. And as one satisfied dealer said to me “This isn’t your father’s Bayliner.”…… It certainly isn’t!
Bayliner 197 Deck Boat Standard and Optional Equipment
= Standard = Optional
Bayliner 197 Deck Boat Warranty
Bayliner 197 Deck Boat 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.
Limited Lifetime Structural Hull
Limited 1-Year Parts & Components
Bayliner 197 Deck Boat Price
Bayliner 197 Deck Boat Price
Base Price (MSRP)
Price as Tested
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.
Members must log in to view the test results section.