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Old 07-27-2020, 09:43 AM   #1
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Boat Shopping, Bayliner 4788?

All,


Getting the itch for a bigger boat..... and thinking of the Bayliner 4788 for the following reasons:


Has shallow draft, which I need with my current dock.


Has a lot of room and creature comforts.
Can be single handed with helm doors and both sides of the pilot house and reasonable access to lines.


Has a quality Cummins engine which I like.


Has a reasonable purchase price, being a production boat. And has good bones, and simple mods that can make it better. Want to keep the budget in the $200K range, more or less.



Has stairs to the flybridge.


Has a crane and easy to store a dinghy.


The negatives are minor (for me). Worst is access to the engines, which folks have modified with new hatches in the salon. Doesn't have the fit and finish of the Nordhvan or Fleming, but doesn't have the price either.



Looks nice.


Are there other boats that have these features worth considering? Thoughts?


Uses will be intercoastal cruising, great loop again. Not into passagemaking.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:02 AM   #2
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I think the 4788 is a great selection. I recently sold one after 6 years and thoroughly enjoyed the boat. They are enormously popular here in the PNW. I would say that one in 3 large cruisers we see are either 4788 or 4588s.

We only had two gripes, both of which can be dealt with. One, the engine access which you discuss, the other is having to crawl into the master berth as you cannot walk around it. If this is a concern of yours it is not difficult to cut out the two small "step cabinets" on either side of the master berth which give you enough space to get in and out by the side of the bed.

Ultimately we needed (wanted) three or four real cabins, stabilizers for offshore and more storage space, which were our main reasons for sale.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:59 PM   #3
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Tremendously popular in the PNW as AlanT states. An excellent boat of which I've never heard from an unhappy owner.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:59 PM   #4
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We still have our 4788. Technomadia - Chris and Cherie - have shared a lot of good info. Join the Bayliner Owners Club at www.baylinerownersclub.org and save the motor yachts page as a favorite. You can spend hours.... I will add a few other points. At 1450 rpm we average about 7.25 knots SOG and very low fuel consumption with 330 hp Cummins. We donít have thrusters and we do have 200 gal of water. The soft chines make for a rolly ride in beam seas - which can be greatly reduced with speed and When cruising at hull speed necessitates the occasional steering acrobatics when being passed by boats putting out large wakes. I could go on but the basics are there and the BOC has a wealth of info. We had a Tolly 44 for about a year before moving to the 4788 and for the most part Iím satisfied. Given a (slightly) bigger budget a Tolly 53 would be my next choice.
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Old 07-27-2020, 01:28 PM   #5
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I recently recommended that boat to a friend shopping.

He says they usta be cheap but people finally realized they are good boats so now they are getting hard to find. The stock market is doing great so quite a few people are shopping. Supply and demand says a better boat can possibly be had. Shopping is fun. Selling is not. l also recommended a North Pacific 40. He wants to live aboard.
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Old 07-27-2020, 01:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanT View Post
I think the 4788 is a great selection. I recently sold one after 6 years and thoroughly enjoyed the boat. They are enormously popular here in the PNW. I would say that one in 3 large cruisers we see are either 4788 or 4588s.

We only had two gripes, both of which can be dealt with. One, the engine access which you discuss, the other is having to crawl into the master berth as you cannot walk around it. If this is a concern of yours it is not difficult to cut out the two small "step cabinets" on either side of the master berth which give you enough space to get in and out by the side of the bed.

Ultimately we needed (wanted) three or four real cabins, stabilizers for offshore and more storage space, which were our main reasons for sale.

Crawling into the bed is not an issue....depending on whom I'm crawling over.


The engine room is a HUGE issue, but seems like many have added access panels in the salon making it much easier. Also, someone said there's a holding talk on the outboard of one of the engines that can be removed for better access, but then have to solve the toilet issue.


Sounds doable.
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Old 07-27-2020, 01:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Beaverlake View Post
We still have our 4788. Technomadia - Chris and Cherie - have shared a lot of good info. Join the Bayliner Owners Club at www.baylinerownersclub.org and save the motor yachts page as a favorite. You can spend hours.... I will add a few other points. At 1450 rpm we average about 7.25 knots SOG and very low fuel consumption with 330 hp Cummins. We donít have thrusters and we do have 200 gal of water. The soft chines make for a rolly ride in beam seas - which can be greatly reduced with speed and When cruising at hull speed necessitates the occasional steering acrobatics when being passed by boats putting out large wakes. I could go on but the basics are there and the BOC has a wealth of info. We had a Tolly 44 for about a year before moving to the 4788 and for the most part Iím satisfied. Given a (slightly) bigger budget a Tolly 53 would be my next choice.

Patti and Gordon,


Nice to hear from you... been following your Technomadia stuff and your comments about the 4788. Good points.


I did see where you mentioned about $1500 a month on boat maintenance... did I get that right? I spent about $2900 the year I did the loop on the Mainship. Granted it's a single, but would expect the 4788 would only be about 50% more in overall maintenance. About double the engine maint, but the same on appliances, rotables, pumps, electronics, etc. What am I missing?
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:47 PM   #8
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Patti and Gordon,


Nice to hear from you... been following your Technomadia stuff and your comments about the 4788. Good points.


I did see where you mentioned about $1500 a month on boat maintenance... did I get that right? I spent about $2900 the year I did the loop on the Mainship. Granted it's a single, but would expect the 4788 would only be about 50% more in overall maintenance. About double the engine maint, but the same on appliances, rotables, pumps, electronics, etc. What am I missing?
"What am I missing?"
A few things ...
- Patti and Gordon are not on Technomadia they are just referring to their site.
- Technomadia was recently purchased and underwent many changes and updates to accommodate their living and working full time while aboard.
- We have owned a few of these Bayliner Pilothouse boats and the annual maintenance is not high at all for typically needed items.
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:50 PM   #9
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Crawling into the bed is not an issue....depending on whom I'm crawling over.


The engine room is a HUGE issue, but seems like many have added access panels in the salon making it much easier. Also, someone said there's a holding talk on the outboard of one of the engines that can be removed for better access, but then have to solve the toilet issue.


Sounds doable.
The holding tank is outboard on the stb side of the stb engine on the 4788 , its fwd on the same side behind the vanity on the 4588. We never had any real issues with maintenance access on our 4788 over the 10+ seasons we owned it.
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:00 PM   #10
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Smitty,


Thx for the update about Technomadia..... thought that was them.


And appreciate the tips on maintenance. Guess I gotta get aboard one and look closer. Been on them before, but only socializing then... not buying.


Have you done many improvements? Things you like or don't like? Things you would do again?




Thanks!
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:07 PM   #11
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I toured the factory when they were still in production. They were quite a bargain for the materials that went into the boat. We looked at one about a year ago. Engine room too tight for me amd the forward two cabins just felt a bit tight. But if you give me one I would quite happily make do.
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:42 PM   #12
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I think you have a good understanding of Bayliner 4788’s. They are the bottom of the market for fit and finish on quality boats. They were built to an impressive price point that was only possible through mass production and careful selection of materials. The 4588’s are significantly older and we haven’t seen any worrisome issues on that model.

While it’s not the right boat for me, I believe they are highly under rated.
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:51 PM   #13
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Smitty,


Thx for the update about Technomadia..... thought that was them.


And appreciate the tips on maintenance. Guess I gotta get aboard one and look closer. Been on them before, but only socializing then... not buying.


Have you done many improvements? Things you like or don't like? Things you would do again?




Thanks!
"Have you done many improvements? Things you like or don't like? Things you would do again?"

There pretty all personal choice type questions as most all of these boats have all options typically from the factory. We owned a 1986 and a 1988 45' Pilothouse and a 1995 47' Pilothouse and all of them came with 12.5 genset, 3 AC/heat units, AP, and a bunch of tankage compared to most boats this type.
Things we did on one or another were mostly cosmetic like carpet, canvas, electronic upgrades , inverter, etc.
Things we did not do on any of them were thrusters, water makers, stabilizers, hull extensions etc.
Dependent upon the year(s) you are interested in there may or may not be certain items to watch out for but its not a long list no matter which year.
If you are looking at only 1994 and later then you are looking only at 4788 boats and you want to be careful when looking at the first 6-7 hulls in 1994 (HIN will tell) as they were unique.
If you are looking at 1996 and later you want to spend some effort to make sure the Cummins engines have not been over propped/overloaded.
Things you may want to add dependent upon the exact boat and your goals may include - battery banks , inverter, power inlet configuration, extra engine hatches, and a few smaller types of items.
1994 and later you have 444g fuel, 200 gal H2O, 48 gal waste, 20 gal H20 heater, 16/16/12 reverse AC, 4 other electric heaters, refer and icemaker, compactor, microwave, full electronics, two stations, two heads with showers one with tub, and a host of other stuff.
And so as not to surprise you... they did make a few of these with gas engines ...so if you see a price that you cannot believe check the engine specs.
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:54 PM   #14
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I toured the factory when they were still in production. They were quite a bargain for the materials that went into the boat. We looked at one about a year ago. Engine room too tight for me amd the forward two cabins just felt a bit tight. But if you give me one I would quite happily make do.
"amd the forward two cabins just felt a bit tight."
Many folks moved the fwd cabin door back to the head of that hallway and removed the other combination door which combined the fwd two cabins into one.

Engine room was not a real issue for me at 6' 2" with most tasks when planned out a bit.
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:59 PM   #15
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It seems to check most of your boxes. What are you asking us for,

Go For It

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Old 07-28-2020, 12:03 AM   #16
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Smitty did a very good summary. The engine room is tight for ME - 72, pear shaped, and capable but space challenged. We’ve had mechanics do the basics with no issues. I’d take some issue (but not total) with the fit and finish comment and I will point out that a 20+ year old boat might have a cabin leak or two. But having put a 1996 3988 up on rocks (long story, not proud) I can tell you that the hulls are *stout*. Because they purchased in high volume, for the most part they used good quality components for cleats, pumps, etc.

I can’t recommend the Bayliner Owners Club site too highly. You will get to know all of the challenges AND solutions. There is a wealth of knowledge many other brands can’t match thru owners. High volume means there are still many knowledgeable resources - even for the (bulletproof) Hino engines.

I’ve drawn the following analogy in the past when discussing Bayliner big boats. In business you can have things fast, good, or cheap. Pick two. With boats you can have people space, storage space , or service space. Pick two - and Bayliner chose people and stuff. That said, we’ve never had an issue that could not be remedied even if it was something I had to farm out. As for ownership costs - assuming the bottom glass is okay and no water intrusion in decks (rare in all but the very earliest units that still used balsa cored decks), annual maintenance is no different than any other Cummins-equipped boat of this size and possibly less. Good gel coat, good stainless, 1998+ Hynautic controls, etc etc etc. 1999 or 2000 rub rail still made, pre 1999 not available. Not a big deal, but a fact nonetheless.

It’s taken us about 18 months to work thru typical little niggling “issues” and personal updates. For coastal cruising I think the 4788 value for money is about as good as it gets. At least in the PacNW.

One last word - we had a situation where we had to push the boat to the upper end of “the limit” last year. 25-35 knot south winds (and higher gusts) about 20 degrees off the starboard bow with a strong southbound ebb tide on the east side of the Straits of Georgia. Ugly. Other than laying down the standalone helm seat I was actually able to run on the original Autohelm AP for most of the 90+ minutes of crap we had to push thru. I was never concerned beyond normal caution. No untoward creaks or rattles. No unpredictable behavior. Nothing came undone. At the marina in Pender we found no signs we had just been thru 90-120 minutes of really crappy water. I never felt unsafe (but we were prepared). We just couldn’t delay and Knot Home didn’t flinch. Oh - and no cabin leaks later on either.

Okay - fanboy raving off. PM me with questions. I will go out on a limb and suggest that Smitty and some of the other 4788 owners on TF would make the same offer.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:59 AM   #17
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Question for you 4788 operators.....


How hard is single handling the boat?


Suspect on could operate from the pilot house and when close enough, throw a center line over a piling, and adjust on the center cleat to secure the boat and then motor forward to lock the boat against a dock, then tie up.


How about a similar situation backing in?


Now, I patronize a dock that is shorter than the boat and really shallow water close to the sea wall with rocks down there. Have about 30 feet of usable dock. What would you do with this boat to dock single handed?


And, anyone have cockpit controls?
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:24 AM   #18
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"How hard is single handling the boat?"
Not hard at all - we always kept our boats on a mooring so each time we used the boat one of us would bring the boat into a fixed dock - usually alone.

"Suspect on could operate from the pilot house and when close enough, throw a center line over a piling, and adjust on the center cleat to secure the boat and then motor forward to lock the boat against a dock, then tie up."
Often we used a rear line from the stern cleat led forward along the side deck and temporarily 'hooked' onto the cleat along the pilothouse door. Similar line came from the fwd cleat to the same area and temporairly hooked.Once alongside the dock go to nuetral and step off the side with both lines onto the dock. After a bit of practice my wife and daughter were also bringing in the boat alone when schedules woudl not allow more than one of us to be there at that time.

"How about a similar situation backing in?"
I did not find the 4788 any rear different from any other boat - usually backed in from the Piltohouse and then just walked back to secure lines dependent upon the destination.

"Now, I patronize a dock that is shorter than the boat and really shallow water close to the sea wall with rocks down there. Have about 30 feet of usable dock. What would you do with this boat to dock single handed?"
Have had that more then a few times - stern is just inside the dock and the bow hangs off. Most load is taken up by the stern and mid cleats and the bow line is taken back at the best angle possible to limit swinging out. Springs keep it in line with the dock

"And, anyone have cockpit controls?"
No , never.
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:31 PM   #19
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Great info, thx!
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:33 PM   #20
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Some 4788 owners have installed cockpit controls by adding a Third set of Hynautic controls to the starboard side of the boat deck ladder.

We back in. I have a Raymarine camera pointed down at the swim step so I have some visibility. Patti and I use Eartech headsets to communicate. The camera helps but turns out to be of somewhat limited value *EXCEPT KNOWING WHEN TO STOP REVERSING* (highlighted because of your situation).

I finally identified and purchased a battery powered WiFi camera that does not need Internet access to show live video on my iPhone or iPad. There is a slight delay of about .5 to 1.0 secs. I plan to mount the magnetic base on the side of the pilothouse and only put the camera out when docking. The complete set up process should take less than five minutes as part of our prepping for docking. I will be writing up a post with photos for the TF and for the BOC.

The outdoor camera is a ReoLink Argus 2, available on Amazon for about $60. I purchased it with the solar panel (total just over $100 or so) but realized that with proper mounting and only temp use I didn’t need the panel.

I also purchased a gl-iNet “Creta” travel router to create the LAN. Interestingly, the router accepts my phone as a hotspot! The router was about $50.

If this works I will purchase a second camera so I can monitor both port and starboard when backing. I will tilt the Raymarine higher so I can monitor the dinghy when I’m towing.

I also dock single handed from time to time. Like Smitty I rely on the spring line but I use a single line attached to the midship cleat just aft of the pilothouse door. It can get “interesting” but I’ve got 4 x 18” fenders mounted to the dock and 6 x 10” fenders along the port side in case I get blown off the dock toward our neighbor. Now that I’m sort of covered in bubble wrap the stress goes away and my performance improves.

Since we don’t have thrusters I’ve learned to be creative with the use of fenders by the bow for those times we need to side tie with an offsetting wind or current. Again, practice. Overall I’ve been pleasantly surprised at close quarters handling. It isn’t FD and the forefoot isn’t deep, but it’s quite workable.
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