Our trail run with this 850-pound pony started gently. Maybe it was the little tip we felt when stepping aboard; we made a mental note to watch weight distribution, as we would on any 15-foot shallow-draft boat. With safety lanyard hooked up and life jacket buckled (there’s no obvious place to stow multiple jackets, which compels everyone to wear them), we idled into the calm lake water.
When the first series of boat wakes approached, we quartered them carefully. No problem. We pushed the throttle harder, made some progressively sharper turns, stopped and accelerated, hit our own wakes and repeated. The rolled gunwale, or lip, along the bow turned away water. The narrow beam and sharp forward entry tamed mild chop. The back end slid through turns like a go-kart instead of catching and pitching. We wouldn’t go looking for a rougher challenge, but any skepticism about running hard on the busy test lake, alertly, had been relieved.
Stress relief, affordability and simplicity are the ultimate attractions of the Bay 155. From the helm (no gauges, just a big, stainless spoked wheel), we could sit and reach into the livewell with our left hand. Without moving from that driving position, we could also access a vertical storage compartment on the front side of the aft casting deck, which doubles as a helm seat. We could easily keep an eye on the portable fuel tank’s level.
At 850 pounds the Bay 155 can be towed with most anything stronger than a mo-ped, and a big cockpit drain means all it needs is a hard hosing down at the end of the day. Best of all, you don’t have to be as gentle as you think.
• A 36-quart cooler with removable seat pad is bungeed into four corner braces forward of the console.
• The livewell has a gasketed hatch to prevent water from sloshing out in chop.
• A thick rub rail all the way around makes docking a little more casual.
• The big locker in the bow is more than you’d need for an anchor; it will be used for other storage as well.
Test Drive * Test Engine: Yamaha F50TLR * Test Prop: 13 Pitch * Test Load: People (190 LB.) Fuel (3 GAL.) * Top Speed: 36.5 * Time to Plane: 4.7 sec. * Time to 30 MPH: 11.5 sec * Minimum Planing Speed: 16.5 MPH Vital Stats * Length Overall: 15’5″ * Beam: 5’11” * Dry Weight: 850 LB. * Seating/Weight Capacity: 3/610 LB. * Fuel Capacity: Portable * Max HP: 60 * MSRP: $11,707 (as tested) * NMMA Certified: Yes
Starcraft Marine – New Paris, Indiana; 574-831-2950; starcraftmarine.com