Starter Boat

altwood8

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I will shortly be retiring to the Isle of Wight and am considering buying a starter boat (I'll need an excuse to get out of the house, there's only so much daytime TV one can stand). Don't worry, I shall do my Day Skipper course first!

I have about £15k to spend, and I'm considering a '88 or '89 Bayliner Ciera Sunbridge 2455, and having it converted to LPG to reduce running costs. I've seen a number of posts on this board disparaging Bayliners, and I'd be interested in informed comment for and against. If not a Bayliner, what would people recommend as an alternative for around the same price? I've also looked at closed cockpit sportsfishers. such as the Merry Fisher range.

Any views welcome.
 

BarryD

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Hi welcome to the board, see my PM <G> - tying to sell you MVII! Watch out for the knockers who disparage petrol and LPG. Bayliners are good boats - we looked at enough to know but slightly er.. bland inside.

Barry D.

IMHO & FWIW, NWGOI.
 

jfm

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I would take with a pinch of salt the negative comments on Bayliners and other US boats. They are what they are, provided you buy at a fair price they could be just fine for what you want, and they're well known and well understood so easy enough to trade in or sell on.

The Mercruiser engines fitted to most of them are generally excellent

On LPG, there's a big article on LPG in the current issue of MBY.

All imho. Good luck, let us know what you decide!
 
G

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Welcome to the board. "Informed comment" well we can try. As discussed bayliners are decent boats - excellent value for money. With a budget of 15k you should be able to better than an 88 2455. Try and avoid pre 1990 boats they dont have mercruiser engines but dodgy OMC ones instead.

If you are down by the water will you be using the boat to cruise and stay a few nights on board? If so a 25ft sports cruiser is a good choice. But if you intend to use exclusivly as day boat then you may be better off with something else. Current crop of day fishers look petty good, deep side decks, nice little stand up cabin for protection and diesel or frugal 4 stroke outboard options. No personal experience but worth a look.

Good luck and happy hunting.
 
G

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I agree with all said so far...... I would'nt worry too much about what you get...... after a while you will get to know what you really want..... I don't know anybody that got the right boat first time round!..... good luck.
 

tcm

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Lots of posts below are not untrue. But Bayliners come from the same country and somewhere near the same school of thought as Liberty Ships - quantity and efficiency of build.

The result is what it is - a boat. But close inspection of this will reveal some shortcomings. If you you can live with these, it will be okay. If not - look elsewhere. They're built down to a price, not up to a level of refinement. "First impressions count" and so, for example, the width of the cockpit is expanded at the expense of any need to get up and down the sidedecks of the boat, for example. If the boat sells with these narrow side decks, and it's legal - why change? The cleats are very small, and they are not plentiful. Internally, the boats are bland with large areas of plastic and little if any wood.

Americans are so positive in their salesmanship that even when they lose money it's a "negative profit situation". And so it is with the boats. What some might call flimsy, they'll call "lightweight" or "power efficient" and what others would call a "bland plastic interior" they'll call "easywipe" and so on.

It would be useful for you to look at other more expensive boats of a similar size to see what I mean. For the beginner, explaining the differences can be like explaining the difference between a 2 litre Mercedes and a 2 litre Daewoo car at half the price or less. But if you don't notice the difference - or if you notice the difference and are okay about it, buy the Daewoo. This isn't to say that Mercedes cars are utterly fabulous and invariably perfect, nor that Daewoos are junk. The same applies to Bayliner and more expensive yet similar-sized and similar-powered boats.
 

longjohnsilver

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You could also look at a Channel Island 22 for that sort of money. If you want a well made small sea boat with diesel engine(s) then you won't go far wrong. I had one for 6 years and thought it was an excellent boat, never let me down and handled big seas with no difficulty.

Really though it all depends what you are looking for out of a boat. Bayliners are perfectly adequate for what they are. What sort of use do you intend to put the boat to?
 

byron

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I got to agree John, the Channel Island 22 is in a seperate class of its own. Liken one of them to a Landrover, looks great in a quirky way, built to last and go anywhere.

ô¿ô
 

Col

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I had one of these a few years back. Everyone has given you absolutely accurate advise. If you decide on a Binladen, Check the cockpit upholstery, try and get one that has been re-upholstered, original is poor quality, and prone to cracking.
At the base of the steps going down below, is a small access hatch for the bilge pump, its only velcro'd on, so take it off and check around with your hand to feel for any soggy ( rotten ) woodwork.
Fuel tank is mild steel, and a "so & so" to get out, check for rust, you can get to it from engine space.
Fridge/coolbox door is a bit on the flimsy side, and prone to breakage at/of the hinges.
Thats about it, none of it is hard to sort, but much better if ok, or allready done.
 

Andrew_Fanner

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Partner and I looked at Bayliners, briefly and have gone for an older but prettier Fjord instead. OK, we have to shell out for a diesel engine too but there is a lot of nicely put together wood everywhere and the boat seems to be built like a brick outhouse.

Awaiting the surveyor's report...:)
 

gjgm

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There have been a few articles in the boating magazines about LPG conversions, the pros and cons. If you are new to boating, I think I would give it a while to see if this is the boat for the next year or so, and find out how much use you get out of it, before the outlay of LPG. If you clock up vast distances at full throttle you will be making the conversion in weeks, but if you find you enjoy pottering about locally when the weather suits, gaining some experience,getting to know your area,you may find the cost of the conversion doesnt make sense for the volumes of petrol you actually use. Maybe not from this forum, but lots of people dont even clock up 50 hours a year-bear in mind that is engine run time, not how much time you are on the boat at anchor,lunch,etc, and they still have great fun out on the water. Lastly, there are loads of boats for sale, especially petrol. People arent exactly queuing up for thirsty big engined cars and even more thirsty boats so take your time,look at lots and you know when you ve found a good one.
Hope you have great fun.
 

neale

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I have a 1987 2455 which will next month be converted too run on LPG.

£15 would buy you the very best 2455 of this age. £10 - £12K is a more typical price. I paid less than £10 for mine. When I was buying I also had Sealines and Fairlines on my shortlist of boats. The simple fact was, I could not buy a 4 berth 25 ft Sealine of Fairline for the same money. In fact in some cases they were twice as much.

Bayliners are perfectly acceptable boats if you accept that you are not buying top quality. TCM's refernce to a Mercedes and a Daewoo sums it up pretty well. We would probably all prefer to own a Mercedes or BMW but ofetrn settle for a Ford. It is better to have a ford than no car at all.

The comment about not touching OMC engined boats is not entorely well informed. In the trade I have heard it said that OMC is better quality than Mercruiser. OMC Cobras were subject to some specific problems relating to gear shifting which were mostly sorted under warrenty. The problem that does exist with OMC is that spares may be difficult to find in the UK although you can obtain them direct from the USA at a much reduced price. You also need to know a marine engineer that understands OMC as there are a few intricacies with them that require specialist knowledge ie how to set up the lower shift cable. In your neck of the woods L&J marine would be the people to contact.

Col is correct about the cockpit upholstery. It has been cracked on almost every 2455 I have seen from this era. I had mine recovered in 2001 colours for about £700 and it looks great.

Col's comment on fuel tanks left me confused. Mine is aluminium and has been on others that I have looked at. Having said that it can still give problems and removing it to replace would involve cuttiong a large section of floor out in the midships berth.

An LPG conversion will cost you around £3k. I am having 200 ltrs insatlled using 2 tanks. The petrol capacity of the 2455 is 220 lts so I am almost doubling my range. Petrol consumption is around 10gph at 20-22 knots. You can work out the savings for yourself to see if it is worth doing.

Petrol £3.90 gallon cruising speed 10 gph = £39 per hour
LPG £1.45 gallon cruisng speed 12 gph (less efficient) = £17.40 per hour

Saving £21.60 per hour a cruising speed

138 hours at cruising speed will have saved you £3000. Conversion paid for.

Neale
 
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