|Deadrise/Transom||21 deg.||Water Cap||
|Max Headroom||N/A||Bridge Clearance||
|Std. Power||1 x 300 MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI Bravo III|
|Tested Power||1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI|
She has both the performance and the features.
This beam forward design has its pluses, because it certainly gives a much larger feel to the boat for its size.
Open layout design offers comfortable accommodations and convenient amenities.
Anyone who enjoys entertaining will enjoy the large galley in this wide open cabin.
The cabin gets plenty of natural light.
Under the cockpit is another berth with 42” of room at the head and 28” at the foot.
Family Cruising At Its Best
Tested by Capt. Bob Smith
Bayliner invited us to their annual dealer meeting being held in Ft. Myers at the Sanibel Harbor Resort Marina this year and I had the pleasure of testing several of their latest models including this year’s 285 Cruiser. They were especially proud of the “beam forward” design, which sounded like the cab forward design of a popular car manufacturer. This beam forward design had its pluses, because it certainly gave a much larger feel to the boat for its size.
Boarding this model was a little cumbersome from the fixed dock at low tide. The radar arch is swept back and impedes a bit when trying to step down into the cockpit from the dock. This is a small price to pay for the utility of an arch. Three steps are molded into the front of the dash for access forward to the anchor management area. There’s already space provided here to install a windlass, which I highly recommend to make cruising less effortless while on the hook. Although there is a narrow walkway along the sides, it is narrower than my wide feet are. The benefit to keeping this narrow is more room below. The wrap-around windshield is firmly supported and has a flip-over center for getting back and forth from the bow. There is also a starboard windshield wiper, for use during inclement weather.
The beam forward design benefits are apparent below, with the spacious cabin this 28-footer offers. It sports a full-featured galley with a sink, single alcohol/electric dual burner and microwave oven. The galley also includes a dual voltage refrigerator to keep the food ready to eat. There is space to install a coffee maker above the galley with sliding door storage next to it.
The V-berth is a full six feet down the centerline, and there are storage shelves above and on either side. Over on the starboard side are two facing benches with a table that drops down to form another berth at night. There is a full wet head compartment with nice ceiling heights. Under the cockpit is another berth with 42” of room at the head and 28” at the foot. Plenty of natural lighting from portals abound in this set up.
At the Helm
Back up in the cockpit, the helm station includes an adjustable seat for the helmsperson with a bolster. The split seat is extra wide for a companion to join you at the helm. Analog gauges are arranged conveniently so you can keep a sharp eye on the operation while cruising along, and aircraft style flip switches give you control of all powered accessories from the helm. Across from the helm is a large L-shaped seat which converts into a sun lounger with a flip over backrest facing either forward for underway or backwards for more room in the lower cockpit area.
A large engine hatch in the floor has two pulls, but the starboard pull is the only one that is truly useful. The hatch springs up easily, and has gas-assist shocks to keep it open. I had plenty of room below to work around the engines in the monster engine spaces. Molded in steps on the side decks make getting up to a dock at low tide easier while you have a walk-through transom for access to the swim platform. The swim platform is also a spacious area for playing in the water. They have an integral 20” deep platform with deployable ladder and handle for easy boarding. Along the stern is another handrail for safety while hanging out back here on the hook. Storage for fenders and lines is molded into the back.
The 285 Cruiser measures in at 28’9” length overall and 29’6” fully rigged and ready to travel. She is 9’10” in the beam and has a 21-degree deadrise for best stability and ride. She weighs in approximately 7241 lbs with the standard engine which is a 350 Mag MPI MerCruiser with Bravo III drive. She can carry up to 33 gallons of fresh water and holds up to 20 gallons of wastewater before looking for a pump out station. Her fuel capacity is 102 gallons. She carries a hull draft of only 20 inches and a draft with the outdrive down of 37 inches.
Performance and Ride
The ripping currents of the resort marina proved her to be a good handling boat both in docking as well as playing the intercoastal waterways. We measured a time to plane of 6 seconds and a time to thirty miles per hour of 16 seconds. She cruises best around 3500 rpms. At this rate she is moving at 20.7 mph and burning about 12 gph. At cruise you can expect to travel about 182 miles before filling her tank again.
Top speed was found at 5000 rpms turning 30.7 mph. At this speed she is burning 18.8 gph and has a range of 172 miles. Her sound levels were good enough to keep the conversations going, which is always nice when you’re confined to a small area on the water. She starts out at idle with a reading of only 60 dBa, and cruise readings were 82 dBa, and top end readings were 87 to 89 dBa.
The 285 Cruiser from Bayliner is a good choice for taking the family on a long weekend or an extended trip around the coastline wherever you may be. She has the room to stay comfortable topside and below as well as all the amenities to stay comfortable overnight aboard. This model has both the performance and the features to give you a lifetime of pleasure entertaining your friends and family on the water.
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
= Standard = Optional
|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.|
|Years||5-year Limited Structural Hull|
|Other Certification||Meets applicable USCG standards|
|Price as Tested||$83,304.00|