585 kg w/ engine
|Deadrise/Transom||16 deg.||Water Cap||none|
|Max Headroom||open||Bridge Clearance||
|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.|
|Std. Power||1 x 60-hp Mercury Four-Stroke|
|Tested Power||1 x 60-hp Mercury Four-Stroke|
1 x 90-hp Mercury OptiMax
1 x 90-hp Mercury Four-Stroke
The Bayliner 160 OB is probably as pain-free as boating is ever going to get.
Capt. Steve Says...
It’s a true story that I began my boating life on a 16’ (4.88 m) outboard. It gave me a sense of freedom that a bicycle never could, and it was a rare summer day that my best friend and I wouldn’t load that boat with a six pack of Dr. Pepper and a package of Oreos and explore every nook and cranny of Cape Cod’s coastline. Even today, I look back fondly on those days, and think of how lucky I was that I had parents who allowed me the time and freedom to grow up in this manner.
As Simple As It Gets
You can’t get much simpler than a 16’ (4.88 m) outboard. A large part of what takes the enjoyment out of boating, for most people, is maintenance, and also making payments on a boat that is not used much. On this boat, as long as you keep it clean, it should work fine, and it is so low-cost that if you aren’t paying cash, your payments won’t bother you on weekends that you don’t use it.
This is the kind of boating that takes the pain out of what you’re doing and brings back the good times. That’s also a perfect recipe for older folks ready to relax and explore remote areas of our waterways – there’s just nothing like puttering around on the water enjoying the day. And, for the kids... well, I suppose you could get into trouble on this boat but you’d really have to work at it and add a healthy dose of careless. I am a great believer in giving youngsters good boat handling experience, and then once they have proven they can handle a boat, letting them go out on their own. It is a wonderful confidence-builder.
In this case, it’s a simple matter of a basic electrical system and fuel system. That’s it. Anything else you could possibly worry about has to be something you brought onboard with you. As far as the electrical goes, if you boat in salt water, just spray a protectant on the connections.
The only electrical components are the bilge pump, nav lights, anchor lights, horn, and ignition. A single battery is under the bench seat to starboard and you can see it charging in the dash-mounted meter. If the needle goes up, you’re good to go.
A worry-free layout of seating for five, one of them behind a helm. Steering and throttle are the only real components to master.
For fuel, as long as you have some, the standard Mercury Optimax will run. The 160 OB comes with an 18 gallon (68.14 L) fuel tank that runs straight to the outboard. Keep the needle off the “E” side of the gauge and worries will be few. A full tank will keep you running over 7 hours at a cruise speed of 21.6 mph. That translates into a range of 142 miles between fill ups. At $3 a gallon, $54 will go a long way indeed.
Moreover, it’s hard for me not to see the advantage of tossing the keys to a youngster and turning him or her loose. Check your local state laws for minimum age and licensing requirements. As I already stated, it’s hard to get into trouble on this boat.
Storage is limited, as with any 16’ (4.88 m) boat, and that’s a strong argument for wearing a PFD rather than stowing it. Two small compartments in the bow will hold an anchor and line to one side and perhaps emergency equipment in the other. Aft, under the bench seat, is additional storage but again it will fill up quickly and it’s not enclosed. Remember, every boat has required equipment to carry and the less that can go in storage the better. Wear your PFD.
This aspect of the Bayliner 160 OB left no surprises either. There are no breakneck speeds to be achieved, certainly not with the standard engine, and that’s seems fine with this boat. Top speed was, in fact, just 33.8 mph and it took a bit of fiddling with the trim and a little bit of patience to get it there with full fuel and two adults onboard. Time to plane was 4.6 seconds.
It really is a docile boat, which only adds to its appeal for the typical customer looking to keep in the slow lane. Even hard turns were met with little fanfare. As the turn increases, so does the bank angle until it reaches a point where the propeller starts to ventilate and the engine over- revs. This automatically slows the boat down and you then have to slow the engine down. If you tried to get into a hard turn that passengers would find uncomfortable, the boat simply says, “you don’t want to do that and I’m not going to let you.” You basically have two choices. Turn slower or let the boat slow down for you. It’s that simple and it’s a feature that should be considered an asset to the parents that let their kids take the boat for a ride or the trip of exploration and discovery.
It is also nice to remember that all powerboats 20’ or under with a motor over 2-hp must float level when swamped.
If all this sounds like a love fest for a boat that deserves little praise due to its limited size and performance, then so be it. I left my test of the Bayliner 160 OB with a feeling of affection and praise that I haven’t felt for a boat in a long time. Certainly it had everything to do with my history, but the benefits of this gentle craft left no mistake in my mind that it has a place in the world and will be well received. The fact is, as I was leaving, I turned one last time for a parting look and sincerely thought that this is one boat that I wanted to take home for my daughter. She’d love it and I’d love seeing her in it.
= Standard = Optional
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Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!