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Old 09-03-2013, 06:44 PM   #1
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Bayliner 4588

We've noticed that at least a few of the regular posters/members here seem to be sporting avatars of the Bayliner 4588. It's a boat that, from these pictures and those we've seen on Yachtworld, seems roomy, relatively fast and all around gorgeous. So, based on this initial impression, we did a little (VERY LITTLE) research, and came up with this review:

BoatUS - Boat Reviews - Bayliner 4550 Pilothouse Motoryacht

The impression that the author has is generally positive, but he seems less than enthusiastic about its suitability for ocean/coastal use. In fact, he closes the article by saying "Bayliner's 4550/4588 Pilothouse Motoryachts offer a lot of boat for the money and are ideally suited for cruising the lakes, rivers and bays. And, with caution and proper planning, are suitable for coastal cruising."

We're wondering experiences those of you that pilot this fine looking vessel have had off-shore? Has your experience led you to agree or disagree with the author of the review? Is it a matter of any off-shore voyage requiring "caution and proper planning?"
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantyhag View Post
We've noticed that at least a few of the regular posters/members here seem to be sporting avatars of the Bayliner 4588. It's a boat that, from these pictures and those we've seen on Yachtworld, seems roomy, relatively fast and all around gorgeous. So, based on this initial impression, we did a little (VERY LITTLE) research, and came up with this review:

BoatUS - Boat Reviews - Bayliner 4550 Pilothouse Motoryacht

The impression that the author has is generally positive, but he seems less than enthusiastic about its suitability for ocean/coastal use. In fact, he closes the article by saying "Bayliner's 4550/4588 Pilothouse Motoryachts offer a lot of boat for the money and are ideally suited for cruising the lakes, rivers and bays. And, with caution and proper planning, are suitable for coastal cruising."

We're wondering experiences those of you that pilot this fine looking vessel have had off-shore? Has your experience led you to agree or disagree with the author of the review? Is it a matter of any off-shore voyage requiring "caution and proper planning?"
I have the newer model of the same boat, a 4788.

What I can say is that the author, when he made that comment showed his lack of sea time in the boats.

I boat out of Seward Alaska. My harbor is of course in a bay, but once you get out of the bay you are in the open ocean.
I have found that the 4788 is quite comfortable in normal open ocean conditions. It is perfectly safe in swells that will make most boaters literally fear for their lives.

The 4788 Bayliner is no passagemaker, but is perfectly suited for open ocean cruising, in reasonable conditions.
Having been beside other recreational boats such as other tt's and Nordic tugs, etc... I'd say that their motion at sea does not appear to be any less, and from the outside they appear to handle the seas similarly to other semi displacement hull forms.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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Hi, Kevin,

Yours is one of the avatars we've seen and drooled a little over.

Passagemaking is not in our future, nearly as we know now. Coastal cruising up and down the Pacific coast is a big part of what we hope to do with potentially more ambitious coastal dreams in the future.

Thanks for the response... this is what we were hoping to hear. It certainly helps add another ship to our list.

Shanty
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:25 PM   #4
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Don't know where in so cal you are but you can go to Catalina and count 3 or 4 any weekend(some could be 47's). The boat will take you anywhere you want to go between Cabo and Mr Sanders.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:50 PM   #5
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And fuel...?

The article quotes a fuel consumption rate of 18gph at 18knots (which seems reasonable going that fast. How does it do at slower cruising ("trawler") speeds?
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:04 PM   #6
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I chartered a 4588 for 8 days many years ago in the San Juans. We didn't do any open ocean cruising but did spend a day out on the Straits of Juan de Fuca in some 3'-4' waves.

I found the boat to be very stable, roomy and easy to handle. I recently had the opportunity to help take a 5788 from Seattle to Stockton, CA. My impressions of the boat were pretty favorable. That being said, when we got into some 6'-7' waves (with a chop on top of that) the boat bounced around a lot more than I thought it should. It felt light for the size of the boat. It was essentially the same length as mine and about 1.5' wider, yet weighed about 10,000 pounds lighter than mine (based on the dry weight the owner told me).

I think that when going anywhere offshore in any boat one had better keep a close eye on the weather reports.

Some friends of mine made a 325 mile trip down the Columbia River, then 180 miles up the coast of WA and through the Straits of Juan de Fuca to Everett, WA this summer....and did it in a 26' boat. They were able to do it because they kept a close eye on the water and the weather and didn't venture out if things looked sketchy.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:11 PM   #7
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Shanty, your question about fuel usage is a hard on, because so many factors go into the calculation (vessel load, environmental conditions, bottom cleanliness, etc). All that being said, you can expect a surprisingly low burn rate at hull speed or less.

Our 52' PT Overseas with Cat 3208ta (375hp per side) sips about 6gph for both engines at hull speed, and gulps 50+ per gallon at WOT.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:51 PM   #8
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"with caution and proper planning, are suitable for coastal cruising."

Go on any powerboat forum and you will run across a gaggle of Bayliner bashers. While I may jump on that bandwagon for their express cruisers, All Bayliners from 38' and up are as well built as any production boat on the water.

No they are not ocean crossers but they are every bit as capable as any of the so production so called "trawlers" for coastal cruising and runs through the Bahamas. Never owned one but I am a fan.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantyhag View Post
The article quotes a fuel consumption rate of 18gph at 18knots (which seems reasonable going that fast. How does it do at slower cruising ("trawler") speeds?

In my 4788 I get 1.5NMPG at 9 knots and better than that if I slow down from there. This makes for a 10% reserve range of just shy of 600NM.

I do not run the boat up on plane much but I get approx .75NMPG at 15 knots fast cruise.

If I want to reduce the roll in a beam sea a great speed for the boat is 1800RPM at 10 knots, or 1.0 NMPG. This keeps the runing angle pretty close to level while pushing the stern down just enough to make for a much more comfortable ride. The EGT runs around 600F at that rpm, and the boost is about 5 lbs.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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We purchased our 4588 four years ago after much research and kicking many tires. We have logged a 6-7 week trip every year to the Inside Passage and have never felt cramped or uneasy during our crossing of ‘big water'.
We normally cruise in the 10 kt range(2000 rpm) and have consistently averaged 1.4 nm/gal. As others will echo this is dependent on my factors. It appears to me that my cruising factors do not varied much.
This year we crossed the Strait of Georgia in water that was not to our liking, 3-4’ and an occasional 6’ footer. This was our doing as we missed the crossing window and the weather pickup more than forecasted. At no time did we fear for our lives, just a little uncomfortable.
Good luck on you quest!
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:13 AM   #11
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As I've posted on several different occasions over the past few years, my best friend had a 4588 and we cruised it several times to Catalina (open water for 60 miles) & Ensenada, Mexico (Same distance and open water) and had exactly no problems. They are a very roomy boat, well laid out & my only gripe would be access to the engine room. (The tightest I've ever seen!) Other than that...one hell of a lotta boat for the money!
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:30 AM   #12
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" All Bayliners from 38' and up are as well built as any production boat on the water.
I'd agree that Bayliners, Searays, Carvers, Mainship, Silverton and Meridians share a lot of build and performance quality. But to say they are as well built as a Hatteras, Grand Banks, Fleming, Nordhavn, Bertram, Marlow, Outer Reef or OA would create some discussion.

BTW Shantydog, having recently been on a 10 year old larger Carver you may want to look at one of these too.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:44 PM   #13
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I have never owned one myself, 4588 Bayliner or Meridian, but I help a friend with maintenance and repair on his 4588 on a regular basis and have done a couple of cruises with him.

They are a much better boat than their boating industry reputation would lead you to believe. As solidly constructed as any fiberglass boat and I love the pilot house design and layout.

I was a little surprised by the small-ish engine room space for that big a boat and I'm not a big fan of their Hino engine combination. But that aside, the boat has all the comforts of home and is a very comfortable platform underway. If I were in the market for a larger boat, I would opt for it's bigger sister, 4788 and hold out for Cummins engines.

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Old 09-04-2013, 12:56 PM   #14
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I am a big Bayliner fan, as they do represent excellent value for the boat buck. Also, the brand has one of the most comprehensive internet sites on the web for both current and legacy models.

I overheard a conversation some time ago about a Meridian motoryacht; the conversation made mention of the excellent quality of the Meridian, much better than a P.O.S Bayliner.....apparently he didn't know that they are pretty much the same boat
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:59 PM   #15
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In my 4788 I get 1.5NMPG at 9 knots and better than that if I slow down from there. This makes for a 10% reserve range of just shy of 600NM.

I do not run the boat up on plane much but I get approx .75NMPG at 15 knots fast cruise.

If I want to reduce the roll in a beam sea a great speed for the boat is 1800RPM at 10 knots, or 1.0 NMPG. This keeps the runing angle pretty close to level while pushing the stern down just enough to make for a much more comfortable ride. The EGT runs around 600F at that rpm, and the boost is about 5 lbs.
Thanks, All, again. Kevin, this is valuable information. LOVE the modern trawlers, but one of my newbie-esque concerns has been that a lot of them don't seem to have the pep to get up and go when one needs to... most of the time we would be more than comfortable at cruising speed, hopefully just sipping diesel, but it's nice to know that the speed is there.

We're coming to believe-- and I think that in reading this forum diligently, many here would agree-- that the choice of any boat is a series of compromises; determining what one can't live without versus what one merely desires. At this point our list of musts v. nice-to-have is an incoherent mess, barely beginning to take shape. I can't imagine the legwork that many of you must have had to put in prior to there being a resource like this one. Thanks again, all.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:02 PM   #16
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the guy who wrote the article own a sailboat.....need I say more?
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:07 PM   #17
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Shantyhag, there's a lot of truth in that middle paragraph that Edelweiss wrote above.

When you think about it, the hull is a huge part of the success or failure of any boat. Those 4588 design boats will be around for many years to come. The hulls are solid and fairly efficient. Not many boats in the 45'-50' range can get 1.4nmpg. I suspect if you bought one you'd have many years of happy cruising with it, and when it all shakes out, that's what we want from a boat.

Get a survey done on the boat itself plus one on the engines. Talk to the surveyors and let them know this is your first venture into bigger boats and into diesels and ask them to really be your eyes and ears when they are looking at the boat.

Don't be in a rush to buy one just because it's low priced. The wrong boat, even at the best price in the world, is still the wrong boat. There's enough of them out there for sale that you can afford to be picky.

Also, by way of a piece of advice I give to friends that are considering a boat....buy your second boat first. By that I mean, don't settle for less than what you want or for a boat that doesn't really suit what you want it to do. If you do that you'll be forever unhappy with it and ready to trade it in a couple of years for the boat you really wanted in the first place. THAT can be a very expensive proposition because whenever you trade boats it gets expensive.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantyhag View Post

Thanks, All, again. Kevin, this is valuable information. LOVE the modern trawlers, but one of my newbie-esque concerns has been that a lot of them don't seem to have the pep to get up and go when one needs to... most of the time we would be more than comfortable at cruising speed, hopefully just sipping diesel, but it's nice to know that the speed is there.

We're coming to believe-- and I think that in reading this forum diligently, many here would agree-- that the choice of any boat is a series of compromises; determining what one can't live without versus what one merely desires. At this point our list of musts v. nice is an incoherent mess, barely beginning to take shape. I can't imagine the legwork that many of you must have had to put in prior to their being a resource like this one. Thanks again, all.
My choice of the 4788 was a complex one. I wanted to go slow, the admrial wanted the option of faster cruising.
The 4788 was like any boat a compromise.

Take away the need to going faster and I would have made a different choice for around the same price range.
Two of my favorite approx 50' boats are the Hatteras LRC and the Defever 49 pilothouse. A little more money, and the Nordhavn 46 is a favorite.

Boats are a compromise. The more I get to know my boat the more I like it. The ability to quickly get somewhere, or to deal with a strong current, is not to be overlooked.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:16 PM   #19
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Have a friend that currently owns a 36 Moorings Cat sail...thinking of a power and/or trawler.

Is currenly looking at Bayliners/Meridians...could buy a Flemming (probably cash) but doesn't see that he would get his money's worth out of it because he's not going to live aboard.

Pretty smart guy, engineer, owner of several companies, got in on the bottom floor of plastic decking..etc..etc...

He's shopped and knows what his dollars will buy..for him...I agree in the direction he's thinking.

Badmouth these boats and you show your ignorance...to try and compare them with the top brands is just as bad...

99.9 % of the time you can get the same places in the same comfort in the same safety with a Bayliner MY as a top name brand....because it's more about the captain and maintenance that will determine the outcome than the price point.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:46 PM   #20
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The ability to quickly get somewhere, or to deal with a strong current, is not to be overlooked.
That's a biggie to me traveling in your region.
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