The menu of value-priced boats just got a new main dish. With a roomy interior and performance to make boaters happy, Bayliner has stepped up with a tasty morsel. Even with options like a wakeboard tower and maximum horsepower, the new 225 hits an incomparable price point.
After an inspection of the new rig, it appears that Bayliner held to a strong line on durability. Sure, you won't find a granite-topped cockpit galley onboard, nor will there be mahogany dash trim. Leave that for the bigger spenders. If talking food, we'd put this more in the category of chicken marsala - nourishing and interesting. If you're not expecting bits of lobster, you'll be satisfied.
There was certainly nothing to complain about the performance with the maximum-horsepower engine. That and the Bravo III drive gave us ultimate control and midrange pulling power. With it, we hit an awesome 17 mph minimum planing speed. Even with the base engine and Alpha drive (at a cost savings of nearly $8,000 off the MSRP), we'd still expect top speeds in the high 40s, though you might sacrifice that slow minimum planing speed some wakeboard riders love.
Visibility and drivability are enhanced with the comfortable bucket seat and glare-free molded dash panel. Instruments are all in the right place for easy, constant monitoring. A flip-up bolster on the helm seat is an optional touch.
And, for a no-nonsense family cruiser, we felt that the 225 showed some dignified style, thanks to the accented hull colors and stainless-steel rub rail. Inside, an all-fiberglass sole drains to the bilge and the optional snap-in carpet adds comfort underfoot, if you don't mind the cleanup after a day at the sandy beach.
Seating in the 225 is the result of a thoughtful layout design. The passenger lounge has a flip-over backrest that changes the seat from face-forward to an aft-facing lounge. That spills into the wraparound aft seating, not wasting a foot of valuable comfort. The final garnish is the walk-through transom hidden under the sun pad.
In the engine compartment, we found plenty of space to work at changing oil and adding fluids. Our test boat had a freshwater supply on board - a welcome addition when you want to rinse off your feet before reboarding. Storage for toys abounded in the floor locker with a fiberglass lining.
The 225 even includes a cooler with dedicated storage. Value boating is no fun without some spicy garnish and a la carte extras. Owners and guests will have a pantryful in the 225.
We went to bayliner.com to build our own 225 and equipped it for family fun and watersports (base boat, 350 Mag Bravo 3, wakeboard tower). The total price was $44,917. Now that's value.
• A Sirius-ready stereo, with inputs for an iPod or MP3 player, is a great standard feature.
• A dedicated 36-quart cooler with its own storage spot is easy to access.
• The full-beam sun pad gives sun worshippers comfort without robbing the cockpit of space.
• Stainless-steel hardware, cleats and rails add durability and bling.
• Upholstery is firm and unexpectedly luxurious from a
At A Glance...
With big horsepower and a wakeboard tower, the 225 is still moderately priced at less than $45,000.
Length Overall: 22'6"
Dry Weight: 3,750 lb.
People/Weight Capacity: 11/1,700 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 50 gal.
Maximum HP: 300
MSRP (as tested): $51,593
Test Engine: MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI Bravo III
Test Prop: 26"
Test Load: People (400 lb.), Fuel (25 gal.)
Top Speed: 53.5 mph @ 5,000 rpm
Time to Plane: 3.6 sec.
Time to 30 MPH: 9.4 sec.
Minimum Planing Speed: 17 mph @ 2,200 rpm @ 79 db