Even the best express cruisers leave something to be desired when the weather turns nasty. And sooner or later that's bound to happen in coastal settings or along the Great Lakes. The largest trailerable model in Bayliner's new Discovery series, the 246 was developed to take boaters virtually anywhere--come rain, wind or worse.
The boat has the same physical toughness as many of the specialty boats built in the upper northwest where conditions are gnarly. So, while you rarely see a hardtop on a 25-foot overnighter, here it is standard. A high windshield and side windows with screens can be used for full or partial protection. The electronics, including the stereo system, are waterproof, and the cabin floor is vinyl for easy maintenance.
Belowdecks is a fiberglass head and shower, fed by a six-gallon water heater to take the chill out when necessary. There's also an alcohol/electric stove, a refrigerator and a stainless sink in the galley, alongside the dinette that converts to sleeping quarters. The real kicker is that buyers can have this all-new model for around $58,000, leaving room in the budget for the optional fishing package. It would add another layer of outdoor function to an already rugged overnighter.
MerCruiser 5.0L MPI Bravo III, 260 hp $59,322
MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI Bravo III, 300 hp $61,550
Fuel Cap.: 81 gal.
Max HP: 300
Seating/Weight Cap.: Yacht Certified
ENGINE: MerCruiser 5.7L Bravo III, 250 hp
Discovery 288 Cruiser
This Discovery model aims at the long-term cruiser segment, with a bridge for cruising on calm days and a fully enclosed helm station as part of the cabin. It's priced at barely six figures in a variety of power options.
Discovery 289 Cruiser
An extra two feet over the featured boat adds enough cabin space to make the 289 more of a vacation model. It's a safe haven in all conditions because of the hardtop and fully enclosed windows.