Being first time boat owners, our search for The Bayliner Element started out like most major purchases. A lot of research online. We originally considered 3 different styles of boat. An aluminum boat, a jet boat, and the Element. With very little luck on finding any pertinent information on this boat, we are setting out to write a full review of The Element.
My husband kept trying to convince me that an aluminum boat was not going to be my idea of a typical fishing boat. Lies. It was fully carpeted and had 2 tall-ass chairs (one at each end). It was a total fishing boat. Of course we based our final decision on how we wanted to use the boat. The questions we wanted to know about this boat in particular, were as follows:
1. Will it pull an inner tube &/or wake board?
Yes! & Yes! We were curious to see if the 75 horsepower would be powerful enough for water sports. Absolutely, we were surprised at how much power this thing actually has for a 16' boat. We opted for the canopy over the sports rack mainly because of the color of the boat. You can always add the other piece later.
2. Will my jeep be able to tow it over the mountains?
Yes! Absolutely! My 2013 Jeep Wrangler tows up to 3500 lbs. This boat with the trailer weighs in at 1800 lbs. It does really well. We took it up to Baker Mountain last weekend and it went swimmingly! All summer we have been using Greg's Nissan Frontier to take the boat anywhere so it was fun to see it hooked up to the Jeep since they match each other. (Not intentional, btw, but a total added bonus!)
3. How many people will it seat?
It seats 6 quite comfortably but you could squeeze in at least 10 (more if they are kids). Since the boat is a "W" hull, it's a bit wider than a typical boat. This makes it the perfect almost hybrid boat between a water sports boat and a pontoon boat. It rides smooth and turns flat. You can probably fit 5 adults in the front bow, 3 in the very back. Or course that's not legal with the 6 person capacity and 850 lb weight limit so I would never condone or recommend it; but I'm just sayin' if the situation arises, it could theoretically be done.
4. What is the layout of this boat?
The layout of this thing is amazing! We do not have the extra cushion for the bow but it is on our list for next year so we can sleep out on Lake Washington. Yes, it's big enough for that. Yay! It also holds two people comfortably in back Plus the other 3 captains seats. It has 5 cup holders; 2 in the bow, 2 in the captain's seats, & the driver has one.
5. How is the storage?
The storage in this thing is crazy! Every seat has storage in this thing! It holds our cube UW cooler perfectly where the white cooler in the photo sits. We opted out of the cooler option. That spot also holds a playmate cooler and bag of food side by side as well. All the life vests, safety gear, tube, and ropes all fit under the seats quite nicely. There is still room left for beach towels, beach bags, purses, all that fun stuff. It does stay pretty dry under there most of the time but I still personally want to invest in a dry bag to store towels and stuff in.
6. Will it fit in the garage?
Yes again! Totally! We have a rather short garage anyway but the folding tongue trailer is a must! The boat itself is 16'. With the trailor (with a (folding tongue), it ends up being about 20'. Our garage is not very big but it totally fits.
7. Sports Rack or Canopy?
Of course the sports rack looks cooler, but we opted for the canopy mainly because of the color of the boat. The lime green boat came with the sports rack but we really wanted the black one. We ended up getting an inflatable towing ball instead and it works just fine. My thinking was with the canopy, that I thought the shade would be nice. We have really only used it if it started raining. lol.
8. How does it ride?
Pretty good! When trolling, it's smooth and flat, like glass. It turns flat because of the "W" hull which rocks. No more rocking from side to side when turning. When cruising at higher speeds, it can be a bit bumpy; especially when sitting up in the bow. I try to sit in the seat across from the driver so I can hold the dog in my lap to help break some of the bounce. (She's only 10 lbs so she will bounce across the seat if someone doesn't hold her down. (I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty hilarious!)
9. Can you use it for fishing?
Yep! Yep! Mos Def! The fishing poles fit nicely into the handles so you don't have to hold them the whole time. The other great part about this boat is that you can just hose the entire thing down. Makes it easy to clean. Also, don't forget the spot that holds the cooler. This certainly makes a good fishing boat.
If you have any questions we didn't answer, don't hesitate to message me on our connect page. We are happy to help out in any way we can. We know it's a major purchase and are here for you.
The bottom line is we love this boat! It is the perfect choice for us and how we use it. As first time buyers, we really weighed out our options but in the end, we definitely made the right decision. We purchased it in May and had to wait about a month before we could take it out and break it in. This is what happens when you buy a boat in May in Seattle. Rain. What can I say? This summer has been absolutely amazing! We've watched the Seahawks practice while sitting on the lake and even bumped into Kenny Mains. Well worth the wait.