By: JOHN FORD, Photography by: JOHN FORD

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The Bayliner 192 Discovery bowrider is one versatile family boat with a whole lot to offer…

The Bayliner 192 Discovery. Bayliner dominates the bowrider market, but this one has a familiar cuddy-style layout.

While Bayliner dominates the bowrider market - we certainly see plenty of them in TrailerBoat - there are other strings to the company's bow, as you'd expect of the world's biggest boat builder. In actual fact, Bayliner produces a wide range of sportsboats and cruisers up to 10m.

Sitting in relative isolation in the range is the 192 Discovery - a heady brew of sportsboat and cruiser with a slurp of fishing boat thrown into the mix. Its layout will be familiar to Aussies used to the cuddy-cabin style, but it retains a distinctive Bayliner look and follows the American penchant for sterndrives.


The Discovery packs a lot of room for relaxing into 6m and with two long berths and a portable toilet down below in a lockable cabin, the boat even lends itself to occasional overnight trips - more camping than five star. In the cockpit the fore-and-aft passenger seat lies flat to make a sun lounge and the two jump seats at the transom can be raised to higher settings to make a full-width sun pad across the engine bay.

I liked the look of the cockpit where a full liner wraps up inside the hull, keeping things neat. While the 'glass and upholstery are white there's a bright blue accent that creates a tidy, uncluttered appearance. A self-draining deck and a fibreglass non-skid floor mean cleaning it is a simple matter of hosing the boat down at the end of the day. Two underfloor hatches are lined and drained so they can be used as killtanks or iceboxes.

A wide bi-fold door allows access to the cabin and once inside it's quite roomy, with good head height once seated on the berths. Even if not used for camping overnight, the cabin is a great place for young ones to settle and the light and airy space is a welcoming retreat for an afternoon kip.

There's nothing flash or exceptional about the dash layout - in fact its grey finish and flat panel is a bit ordinary compared to many Bayliner sportsboats. It's all there though, with a full display of speed, revs, fuel, oil pressure, voltage and a standard trim gauge, while a Furuno FCV-620 fishfinder and a Jensen stereo are fitted to the lower section of the dash.

The driver seat is comfortable and it's fitted with a bolster - ideal if you like sitting a bit higher when driving for better vision, or simply to get some fresh air on your face. The wheel and seat are adjustable for different drive heights and the seat rotates 180 degrees for socialising.


Access to the bow is helped by climbing three steps moulded into the bulkhead and stepping through the split screen and across the non-skid cabin roof to an anchor locker and a split bowrail. Most people could also reach the anchor through the hatch in the cabin roof if conditions were a bit rough. It's a step up from the usual equipment in Bayliner bowriders to find such useful anchoring equipment - another indicator of the Discovery's multi-purpose nature.

To push this theme even further the test boat had some optional equipment that lent it some genuine fishability. A stainless steel rocket launcher and two rod holders each side means you can easily carry enough fishing tackle for a serious afternoon of angling. To make more room for fishing the jump seats at the rear can be moved to allow access right to the back of the boat. Admittedly the swim platform is something of an impediment to fishing, although it does keep lines well clear of the prop.

While these angling options broaden the boat's appeal, its real essence is its sportiness and cruising ability. There are options for either a 135hp four-cylinder or a 220hp V6 (as fitted to the test boat), and the bigger motor seems to be a perfect match for the boat if you have a need for speed. Out of the hole the boat easily gets on the plane at 2100rpm and 9.2kts (17kmh). The hull is easily driven to a top speed of 42kts (79kmh) at 4800rpm.

It feels happiest in the 3500 to 4000rpm range, where it lazily eats up the miles at around 35.1kts (65kmh). It handles well, turning smoothly and predictably into even the sharpest of turns. Across some of the prevailing Sydney Harbour chop the stiff hull feels a bit bumpy at these speeds, but there was no hint of banging or shaking. Across the chop and wake from other boats the hull spray was swept aside and we stayed dry. Backing off a bit, we headed down to the Heads to check out how it handled the conditions outside. While not necessarily in its element, the boat felt capable in the 1m chop and low swell, demonstrating it can be taken offshore in the right conditions.


There's a lot to like about the 192 Discovery. It's the consummate all-rounder, with ample power to tow water toys, a seaworthy ride to cruise your favourite waterway, room for the family to spread out, and enough space downstairs to overnight - and you can still wet a line and then hose it out at the end of the trip. But best of all, it will propel you at over 40kts (74kmh), for an early-morning blast to remind you there's more to life than bloody Twitter or sitting in traffic on the way
to work!


9kts (17kmh) @ 2100rpm - on the plane

18.8kts (35kmh) @ 2500rpm

26kts (48kmh) @ 3000rpm

32kts (60kmh) @ 3500rpm

37kts (69kmh) @ 4000rpm

40kts (74kmh) @ 4500rpm

42.6kts (79kmh) @ 4800rpm - WOT


Lots of room to relax

Good all-rounder with overnighting ability

Sporty ride

Selfdraining cockpit

Lots of storage


A bit bumpy over sharp chop

Specifications: BAYLINER 192 DISCOVERY

Bayliner 192 Discovery price: $56,790

Price as tested


Options fitted: Sounder, rod holders and rocket launcher

Priced from: $51,690 with 135hp engine


Type: Monohull cuddy-cabin

Material: Fibreglass

Length: 5.89m

Beam: 2.41m

Weight: 1412kg (BMT: 1860kg)


People: 7 (2 berths)

Rec. HP: 135-220hp

Max. HP: 220hp

Fuel: 87lt


Make/model: Mercury 220MPI

Type: Fuel-injected, 4.3lt, petrol V6 with Alpha 1 stern drive

Weight: 352kg

Displacement: 4300cc

Propeller: 21in Black Max


Berowra Waters Wholesale
PO Box 373
Narellan, NSW, 2567

Avante Marine
210-212 Silverwater Road
Silverwater, NSW, 2128

Originally published in TrailerBoat magazine, 2012

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