Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-)
(w/ 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG)

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Times are tough and we all want to save a buck where we can. So at times like this, the idea of a single engine cruiser is a very attractive one. But there’s a limit to what size constitutes that fine line where you really should be using twins instead of a single. So when we saw the Bayliner 285 Sunbridge being billed as a single engine, we thought 28’? That may be stretching the line a little thin. But it’s been done before, perhaps it may work again... perhaps not. We needed to find out for ourselves so we sent Capt. Steve to give it a full test with an eye specifically focused on close-quarters handling. Surely even he would have to agree that single engine docking on a 28’ cruiser is not for the faint of heart!


Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-) Specifications
Length Overall 28' 7''
8.7 m
Dry Weight 8,056 lbs.
3,654.1 kg
Beam 9' 11''
3.05 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 41''
104.1 cm
Fuel Cap 89 gal.
473.2 L
Deadrise/Transom 17 deg. Water Cap 28 gal.
127.3 L
Max Headroom 5' 9''
Bridge Clearance 10' 0''
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 285 Sunbridge (2010-) Engine options
Std. Power 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI Bravo III
Tested Power 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG
Opt. Power Various MerCruiser up to 380-hp

Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-) Captain's Report

Bayliner 285

Capt. Steve’s Report

The Bayliner 285 is not a new boat, but for this model year it’s been redesigned. Bayliner went back to the drawing board and made a couple of key changes. First, they moved the salon’s aft bulkhead forward, which added more room to the cockpit. A few minor changes to the hull configuration and we have a tad less length (from 28’9”/8.75 m to 28’7"/8.71 m), a touch more breadth (from 9’10”/2.99 m to 9’11”/3.05 m), fuel capacity dropped from 102 gallons (386 L) to 89 gallons (473.2 L), draft increased from 3’1” (.94 m) to 3’3" (.99 m), and a beefier hull to increase the dry weight from 7,266 lbs (3,296 kg) to 8,056 lbs (3,654.1 kg). Added a second engine? Not on the list. Great... a 28’6.5” (8.70 m) boat with a single engine. Let me guess, it’ll handle like a truck and dock like a sailboat. Been there, done that. At least I’ll get to report on the layout.

Bayliner 285

The cockpit seating allows the guests to face each other for conversation; a pedestal table stores under the manually opening engine hatch. The aft facing seat has storage for a carry-on cooler.

The Layout

Actually, the layout has a lot going for it. Our test boat had the optional extended swim platform which added enough room for plopping a tender or PWC on the aft deck. The transom door was on the port side, as was the integral boarding step into the cockpit. The starboard side had seating, so from a fixed dock you’ll want to be port side to. The transom door had a full length S/S piano hinge to one side and a full length integral notch in the transom that prevented the door from opening outward, even when throwing my full weight against it simulating a trip and fall. No worries there. A hot and cold shower is also recessed into the doorway.

Bayliner 285

Note the wide passageway through the windshield.

Normally I complain about the size of the entrance to Bayliner engine compartments, but not so here. I found plenty of access room and once inside, room to get all around for daily checks and preventive maintenance. Our test boat has an optional refrigerator/freezer under the cockpit sink.

Moving forward, a port side lounger allows for seating sideways to face the captain, or aft to watch the world go by. The helm seat was double wide with a single flip-up bolster for the captain. I found this bolster difficult to operate, and the molded composite that the seat was mounted to, stuck out into the backs of my legs as did the slider adjustment. So naturally, I’d like to see the mount modified a bit, and the seat adjustment moved to the side.

Bayliner 285

As you can see the throttle is at the proper arm's length from the skipper when standing.

The helm was textbook Bayliner with full instrumentation and one empty space allowing for the installation of the optional depth gauge. Below the instrument cluster was plenty of space for an 8” nav display. To the right was the joystick for the optional bow thruster. To activate the electric thruster, push and hold the button, while simultaneously moving the joystick to the side. A triple beep let’s you know it’s ready to go. Leave it for 10 minutes and it shuts itself off with two series of triple beeps, the first set to presumably warn you of the impending shutdown.

Bayliner 285

We would add 20' of chain to this ground tackle before going to rope.

Bayliner 285

In dining mode...


Moving down below I was met with an optional teak and holly sole, galley to port and dinette to starboard. Our test boat had a Corian countertop, but Formica is standard. To starboard of the companionway is the wet-head and to port another door that I assumed would be a locker. Not so, it was access to the private aft cabin. Even on much larger and more expensive cruisers, this is usually only a curtain.

Entering the aft cabin there is storage directly in front, and the ship's electrical panel. Headroom is 5’9”. You then kneel to access the berth with 3’3" of headroom, and when lying down, from your chest to the foot of the berth features 2’1” of overhead. The berth itself measures 6’5"x4’3”.

Bayliner 285

In sleeping mode...

Bayliner 285

The mid (or aft) cabin is a sleeping or storage space.


I was surprised to find the Bayliner 285 was not a bad performer even with a single engine. With full fuel our test weight was 8,751 lbs and we were powered with the standard 300hp 350 MAG MerCruiser. Ambient temps were hovering around the 75-degree mark and relative humidity was 85% (you heard me). Top speed was found to be a comfortable 38.6 mph reached at 5120 rpm. Pulled back to a best cruise of 4000 rpm showed a 27.1 mph speed while burning 12.1 gph for a range of 179 miles with a 10% reserve. Not too shabby at all. Time to plane was 7 seconds and time to 30 mph was 16.4 seconds.


Driving the 285 was not a hard task. Bow rise was modest so don’t be afraid to push the throttle forward to get up on plane as soon as possible, or stand-up to maintain forward visibility. I took a shot at the trim tabs to lower the bow at cruise and was met with a significant decrease in speed. You’ll want to leave the tabs up for cruise. The view while sitting on the bolster had me looking straight at the windshield frame. Putting the bolster down was the way to go as I was then looking right out the windshield. The best visibility was standing, of course.

When turning to port, be sure to look behind you first to be sure the area is clear. The 285 leans about 10-degrees into the turn and if you have the bimini up, as I did (c’mon, I’m Irish and we were a mile from the sun) visibility is blocked. Turns to starboard are a non-issue.

Back to the trim tabs. I didn’t need them for cruise, but I did for countering distribution of weight. Every time our portly cameraman moved from one side to the other, I found myself chasing level with the tabs. It was elusive, but only because I had our inclinometer stuck to the dash. Without it, it probably wouldn’t have been so bad.

Bayliner 285


Well, handling during cruise passed the single engine muster -- now for docking. With the camera rolling to record my sins, I set about to dock in all sorts of scenarios: bow in, stern in, port side to, starboard side to... let the chips fall where they may. To my pleasant surprise, this was the easiest handling boat I’ve ever docked, this side of joystick control. That’s saying a lot coming from a BoatTEST captain but I kid you not.

I had the 285 doing ballet between two finger piers and never touched the dock harder than I wanted and could have stepped off to tie her up myself. I even had her moving sideways. It was poetry. Then, as if to add frosting to the cake, when adding the bow thruster you would swear the 285 was a pod drive. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.

If you have any hesitation or self doubt that this is will be a difficult boat to handle at the dock, watch the video. If you think that a single engine will be problematic for you to dock, watch the video. If you think that this boat isn’t worth the effort with a single engine, watch the video.

At the end of the day, any misgivings I had about the performance and handling of the Bayliner 285 were out the window. Bayliner targeted the customer who doesn’t want the expense or complication of twin engines while still enabling him or her to buy a capable cruiser, and from what I’ve seen, Bayliner nailed it.

Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-) is 38.6 mph (62.1 kph), burning 22.9 gallons per hour (gph) or 86.68 liters per hour (lph).

  • Best cruise for the Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-) is 27.1 mph (43.6 kph), and the boat gets 2.24 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.95 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 179 miles (288.07 kilometers).

  • Tested power is 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.

Standard and Optional Equipment

Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Marine Electronics
GPS/Chart Optional
Air Cond./Heat Optional
Battery Charger/Converter Standard
CD Stereo Standard
Head: Fixed Standard
Shore Power Standard
Trim Tabs Standard
TV/DVD Optional
Water Heater Standard
Windlass Optional
Microwave Standard
Refrigerator Standard
Exterior Features
Arch: Electronics Standard
Carpet: Cockpit Optional
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Transom Door Standard
Transom Shower Optional
Wet bar Standard
Bimini Top Standard
Cockpit Cover Optional
Full Canvas Optional
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Bow Thruster Optional
Generator Optional

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-) Warranty

Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While 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 5-year
Deck Warranty
Years 5-year
Engine Warranty
Years 2-year

Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-) Price

Bayliner 285 Sunbridge (2010-) Price
Pricing Range $91,456.00
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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