An affordable, comfortable and quality boat that is easy to maintain
Reviewed Oct 2016
I purchased this 2011 Bayliner 185 boat towards the beginning of last year's boating season. This is the first boat that I've owned and I'm glad that I opted to purchase the brand new Bayliner 185, as opposed to a good condition used boat. The price was very reasonable. I chose to purchase the Bayliner 185, instead of the Bayliner 175 because of a small price difference and an abundance of small details that really added up in my opinion. I have not encountered any mechanical problems with the boat. I paid someone to change the oil and gear lube this season but plan to learn how to do that myself next season.
All maintenance for the Bayliner 185 has been very simple to perform, even for a non-mechanic like myself. The only minor complaint that I have found is the exterior decals on the boat. They are peeling off where the black meets the white hull. Although this is not major, it definitely shows where some cost was cut during manufacturing.
Should appeal to the first time boater as well as to veteran boaters who know what they want and how much they want to spend
Pacific Powerboat Magazine
Reviewed Oct 2016
Applying full throttle, the boat responded quickly, the bow rise was approximately 12-degrees, starting to come down when she hit plane in 3.8 seconds and was firmly at her stable running angle of 5-degrees in 8.6 seconds.
The Bayliner 185 Bowrider is an easy boat to trim, just get her up on plane and set the trim to approximately one quarter on the console trim gauge. If you should set the trim too high, the bow will start to bob up and down (porpoise) and the boat will begin to lose speed. Just lower the trim until the bow stabilises...
Offers those on a budget, but still in the market for a top all-round family boat, excellent value for money
Reviewed Oct 2016
The standard engine on this model is a 3lt MerCruiser 135hp petrol engine driving through an Alpha I leg. Access to the top, front and sides of the engine, so the dipstick, pulleys and belts are fully exposed for easy maintenance, is as easy as opening the engine-box cover on its gas-assisted rams. A nylon 106lt fuel tank is installed under the floor and its aft end, and the attached plumbing, are accessible at the front of the engine compartment.
It was a little disappointing to see the gelcoat in the bilge beneath the engine was stained with rust spots. It appears these were caused by metal filings created when work was done during her initial fit-out. If you are fastidious about cleanliness you'll find them difficult to remove...
The 185SE is more fun than a barrel of monkeys to drive and does it all from quiet idling through gentle cruising to exhilarating speeds and turns. There is smart response to the drive trim, although only the first quarter or so of the range (on the dial) is needed and it’s not critical. The usual practice works best to trim right in to get on plane, trim up slightly for cruising, up a bit more for top speed, then down a little for turning. But if you’re a driver who prefers not to worry about trim, just leave it slightly up and don’t accelerate too hard from rest – you’ll be fine, and so will the boat.
There’s modest bow rise as the hull lifts on plane from rest, but then the ride angle is ideal. The boat holds course easily and banks neatly into turns that can be tightened as much as you like – most crews will give up on turn angles before the boat does. Control inputs on wheel and throttle provoke fast responses and are quite driver-rewarding. It’d be a rare skipper that doesn’t enjoy time at the helm...