Bayliner VR5

The Bayliner VR5 features a sporty profile, classic runabout looks and loads of space.

Bayliner VR5
LOA: 20'4" | Beam: 8'0" | Draft (max.): 3'0" | Displacement (approx.): 2,895 lb. | Transom Deadrise: 20 degrees | Bridge Clearance: 5'2" | Fuel Capacity: 33 gal. | Max Horsepower: 250 | Available Power: MerCruiser sterndrive up to 250 hp | More Information: bayliner.comBayliner Boats

In the hearts and minds of many boaters, there is no more iconic style of boat than the family bowrider. It’s trailerable, sporty, and versatile enough to handle tow sports or a jaunt around the local lake. One drawback, though, is that for a style known as the bowrider, it isn’t always so accommodating in the bow.

Bayliner VR5
Bayliner VR5Bayliner Boats

The new Bayliner VR5 aims to remedy that with a BeamForward design that carries the 8-foot width up through the bow’s seating arrangement. That means this 20-footer has room up front for folks to stretch out. That combined with the high-freeboard design makes this a small family boat with the space and security you want on the water. It’s an idea first popularized in deck boats, and adding it to a runabout form allows the VR5 to keep its sporty profile and classic runabout looks. But there’s more than just extra space to keep the crowd happy.

Bayliner VR5
Bayliner VR5Bayliner Boats
Bayliner VR5
Bayliner VR5Bayliner Boats
Bayliner VR5
Bayliner VR5Bayliner Boats

For entertainment, the standard stereo system features MP3 and iPod inputs so you can bring your tunes from home. Six cup holders adorn the boat, along with six grab handles for safety. The full wraparound windshield keeps the driver and co-pilot, as well as passengers on the L-shaped lounge in the cockpit, protected from the wind. An insole ski locker swallows up any toys you want to bring out for the day. The sun pad on the engine hatch makes a great staging area for tow sports or to just kick back and catch some rays. To starboard, a filler cushion hides the walk-through to the swim platform. To create a more spacious cockpit, Bayliner employed a design it calls AftAdvantage, which moves the integrated swim platform farther aft. The platform is a great staging area for tubing, skiing or wakeboarding, or for doing jackknives or cannonballs into the water while the boat sits safely at anchor.

Bayliner VR5
Bayliner VR5Bayliner Boats
Bayliner VR5
Bayliner VR5Bayliner Boats
Bayliner VR5
Bayliner VR5Bayliner Boats
Bayliner VR5
Bayliner VR5Bayliner Boats

As for performance, the 200 hp MerCruiser 4.5L engine in our test boat helped the VR5 climb onto plane in 4.5 seconds and race to 30 mph in 9.2 seconds. With two adults on board and a full tank of fuel, we pushed the boat to a top speed of 46.1 mph. More important, the V-hull — which tapers to 20 degrees of deadrise at the transom — felt predictable in tight turns at 30 mph and handled a light wind chop on the lake without any uncomfortable pounding. Should any water splash into the cockpit, Bayliner built in a self-bailing liner to quickly whisk the water overboard. A second benefit to the self-bailing liner is that when you take the VR5 home for the day, you can hose it off and all the water will drain overboard. Safe, secure and spacious — three words that help to define the VR5.

Comparable Model: Chaparral H20 21 Sport

Bayliner VR5
Bayliner VR5 Certified Test ResultsBayliner Boats