by Anthony Crawford

Bayliner has built a strong reputation for creating usable and affordable family style boats for generations and the Bayliner 190 Deck Boat is no exception. It has tonnes of appeal for families and is capable, like many Bayliner boats of accommodating multiple tasks while out on the water. Traditionally, the Bayliner deck boats were only designed to accommodate inboard stern drive power but in a major change in direction, in 2015 they’ve moved onto a new platform capable of housing an outboard motor.
This has several benefits for owners, not least of which is that Australian consumers seem more comfortable with outboards on trailer boats. The other is that by moving the power plant to the transom, you create enormous space internally as you are now unhampered by a large engine and equally large engine box — and all without sacrificing performance.

Bayliner has worked hard on redesigning this new wave of deck boats and the result is impressive. Internally, every available centimetre of space, and even left over space, has been well used. It seems that every time you lift a cushion or hatch, there’s more storage. In fact one could lose items due to the sheer number of storage compartments available to put your bits and pieces. All of this room is particularly handy for active types with space for water sports toys, fishing gear and any other items you might want for a day on the water. There’s also a wet storage compartment, which could double as an icebox, at the stern where you come aboard via the rear ladder that is ideal for snorkelling gear and means you aren’t bringing wet gear aboard.
Bayliner190Deck-wetstorage-iceboxThe layout lends itself to entertaining family or friends with the large squared off bow creating a massive space for a U shaped lounge that will comfortably accommodate four people, and even more at a squeeze. The removable centre cushion doubles for a step up to the front to access the anchor well (and two more storage compartments for ropes and other anchoring essentials) and a disembarking ladder that is perfect for easy beach access. This section is separated from the cockpit by a glass windscreen with access to the rear through the middle.
The captain gets a comfortable swivelling bucket-esque seat with a lift up bolster to provide 360 degree vision which is handy when coming into a dock or even putting the boat on the trailer. There is also plenty of seating to accommodate the other 10 passengers the 190 Deck Boat is licensed to carry. Opposite the helm there is a two-person lounge on the port side that hides yet another storage lockyer. There also is a rear seat that runs three quarter length allowing for an access way on the starboard side to the split swim platforms either side of the outboard.
The dashboard is pleasing to the eye, yet simple and understated. It has everything at your fingertips and like most Bayliner boats the dials are large and designed for quick on the fly reading of vital instruments. Just below the dials is a small lift-top compartment ideal for wallets and phones while the sporty squared off steering wheel is a nice touch. To the left of all this sits the remote for the Jensen stereo that will keep the party going all day long. The only issue for would be anglers is a limited amount of room for aftermarket electronics.

The impressive on water size of the Bayliner 190 Deck Boat may create the impression that a lot of horsepower would be needed to get this boat moving but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The four-stroke 150hp Mercury fitted to the test boat delivers a sporty feel and never felt like it was struggling. This engine is a 3.0-litre inline four cylinder setup that Mercury claims is the lightest in its class.
We were spinning an upgraded Mercury 18-inch Enertia propeller that Mercury says has been designed to complement the 150hp engine perfectly. The top end speed and acceleration were impressive while we hit a top speed of 80 km/h, certainly enough to deliver a sporty feel.

The seated position is extremely comfortable, although the windscreen frame may hamper vision for some shorter individuals. The 17 degree deadrise in the hull strikes a perfect balance between ride and planning ability and the end result is a hull that eats up the rough stuff well while being stable at rest and underway.
Pushing forward on the throttle and the hull is sure and confident and feels as though nothing would unsettle it. Turning is smooth and the hull beds into the corner as it should delivering a smooth and comfortable ride. Riding over chop is another comfortable experience as the boat rises and lands softly on the other side of any on-water interference.
The engine power is impressive with off the mark acceleration and top end speed on the sportier side of performance. The driving position is, however, anything but and feels more like a people mover than touring car.
The Bayliner 190 Deck Boat comes standard on a 4500 Series Karavan Trailer with skids.
Skid trailers require less maintenance than the more traditional roller trailer, are generally less expensive and, if set up correctly, offer more hull support. If you will be launching at a boat ramp or in deeper water where your trailer will be submerged, then a skid trailer is easy to use with the boat simply floating on or off the trailer. However, if you cannot sink the boat deep enough to float the boat onto the skids it can make launching or retrieving more difficult.
With a combined weight of just under 2000kg you are going to need a medium-size SUV for towing and even then will you will need to exercise caution as it will be right on the limit of many.

There’s no doubt that Bayliner has hit the mark with the deck boat concept. It is ideal for families who may be upgrading from a smaller vessel and are looking for more space while maintaining performance.
The Bayliner 190 Deck Boat is perfect for the inland boating conditions we enjoy on the east coast but has a hull that is capable enough to run on more testing waterways such as open harbours and estuaries.
It is aimed at those who like a healthy amount of space while retaining the performance required for regular water sports activities like wake boarding or towing tubes. Anyone stepping up from a smaller boat will still feel at ease due to the engineering of this hull and its ability to feel completely in control at all times.


  • Superb ride
  • Storage
  • Engineering


  • Visibility
  • Driving position

Price: $63,990 (as tested)
Construction: Fibreglass
Length Overall: 5.66m
Beam: 2.46m
Draft: 0.41m
Weight on trailer: 1950kgs estimated
Engine: Mercury 150hp four-stroke
Fuel Capacity: 132 litres
Water: 32 litres
Deadrise: 17 degrees