Boating is one thing one great thing, of course but cruising is quite another altogether. Cruising delivers all the pleasures of boating, but without having to stop at the end of the day. It rolls in the thrills of travel and discovery, as well as the adventure of sleeping beneath a blanket of stars. Bayliner generously thinks that cruising is something that should be available to everyone. With the release of the 245 Cruiser, the company is putting its berths, heads and galleys where its mouth is.
The 245 is great for young and growing families. It boasts plenty of space, solid construction and a price that doesn't dent your budget. It's equally attractive to "empty-nesters" who no longer need their large boat and want something that's comfortable for a cruise with occasional weekend guests. Bayliner succeeded in combining many of the features of popular cruising layouts with dayboat versatility to give you more of the pleasures you want. The 245 also delivers progressive styling and well-designed side windows that allow significant ambient light into the cabin, making for an interior that feels large and airy.
With its 24-foot length, the 245 has a cockpit area that becomes much more useful for entertaining. Instead of a bench seat in the aft cockpit, the 245's seating layout is roomier and more socially inspired; it incorporates design elements that are commonly seen on cruisers in the 28-foot range and larger.
Deployable portside lounge seating is adaptable for either forward or aft viewing while underway or on the hook. The well-upholstered unit also has built-in cup holders and armrests that keep the crew comfortable. Instead of an exposed removable cooler located in the cockpit as seen on boats of similar size, the 245's cooler is snugly hidden under the lounge seat for a clean interior. The molded swim platform has a textured-grip surface to ensure safety when getting into and out of the water. Engine access is outstanding; the entire cockpit ?oor hinges upward on gas-assisted lifts. The whole engine is exposed with the hatch up, so service and routine-maintenance tasks are simple. And speaking of maintenance, practically every surface of the 245 vinyl, ?berglass, even the helm is specially treated and protected so that clean-up consists of not much more than a wash down.
The comfortable helm seat faces a dashboard that is ergonomically ideal with a full complement of readable gauges close to your line of sight on the upper panel. The middle flat is left available for your electronics choices, and there's plenty of room for a GPS and VHF. The wheel has power-assist steering, and next to it, two rows of toggle switches handle the electrical systems. Circuit breakers, below, are rubber booted for extra water resistance. And to block oncoming wind and occasional spray, the 245 features a sporty molded windshield dressed in smoked glass that lessens glare for captains who love to chase the sun.
When you enter the cabin of most pocket cruisers, you will see a V-berth, galley and head basic overnight requirements. It's clear Bayliner wanted to give this cruiser the feel of a bigger boat by putting a lot into it. For example, the mid-cabin berth offers plenty of width and length and it is colorfully upholstered perfect for the kids or a couple of guests. Plus, a portlight provides ventilation and natural light. The removable, solid wood dinette table for the V-berth is big enough for the whole family to get around, plus there's additional storage space beneath the wraparound seating. The galley station is also quite accommodating and is accented by luscious real wood cabinetry. It's well featured to handle large-meal preparation, and the amount of storage is impressive for its size. The enclosed, molded-?berglass head has everything you need a standard portable toilet (a marine head with holding tank is optional), vanity, pullout shower (with the dockside power package) and opening portlight.
So how can Bayliner build a boat with all the bells and whistles without breaking the bank (and therefore, your bank)? It's not done by cutting corners. The answer is by building many boats so that there are sizable savings both in production costs and in quantity purchases of everything from stereos and refrigerators to engines. Today Bayliner also does it by combining resources beyond just supplier sourcing.
Let's drill down further with a look at the largest individual component of a boat, the propulsion package. Where do you end up? At a Mercury-MerCruiser plant. The engineers there are building products for Bayliners, for Sea Rays and for a host of other premier Brunswick brands, so everything that leaves the ?oor is of the same industry standard-setting quality, regardless of line.
This unique process of synergy begins when a new Bayliner is conceived and modeled at Brunswick's fiberglass recreation research and development complex in Merritt Island, Florida. It continues when that model is manufactured at Sea Ray and Bayliner's joint production facility in Knoxville, Tennessee. And Bayliner's 245 Cruiser is among the first in a series of boats to be developed in this manner. Regardless of the line of boats, Brunswick's honest and hard-working employees share one common goal: build boats of the highest quality and desirability. Indeed, the 245 packs it in. But the spaciousness and comfort that remains will have you wondering how Bayliner's designers and engineers made this dream cruiser a reality. It'll all make sense when you're cruising under the night sky, counting the 245's attributes like the innumerable stars above the total package is nothing less than stellar, and astoundingly affordable, to boot.
KICKBACK, OR FORWARD: THE 245'S PORTSIDE SEATING (ABOVE) ADJUSTS TO FIT YOUR CRUISING MOOD. SEE MORE OF THE 245 CRUISER ON WWW.BAYLINER.COM.