You say you’ve been aboard pontoon boats and found them eminently comfortable, but you’d rather have a fiberglass V-hull underfoot? A deck boat might be the best answer since this design carries its beam far forward and maximizes seating and relaxation space, much as a pontoon boat does. And one of the newest deckboats riding onto the scene—atop a 20-degree deep-V—is the Bayliner DX2200.
The layout of this boat provides as much comfy seating as you can hope for in a 22-footer, with bow cockpit U-seating that can be expanded with a filler cushion to create one massive padded lounging area. Across from the helm pedestal seat the passenger’s seat has a flip-flop backrest, so you can sit facing forward or swing it the other way and enjoy an aft-facing lounger. The transom, meanwhile, is essentially one big settee, again with the adjustable backrest to allow for seating in either direction. The boat has a max capacity rating of a dozen people. When you put your entire family on it, you’ll realize you could have invited another family out for the day.
Creature comforts include a head compartment integrated into the passenger’s side console, a wet bar with sink, stowage, and countertop, an integrated drink cooler, extended swim platforms on both sides of the outboard engine, USB/12-V accessory outlets, and a 120-watt AM/FM/MP3 stereo system. Those extended platforms are a feature that sets this model apart from much of the competition, which essentially bolts an outboard to the back of the platform and calls it quits. Those extensions Bayliner adds reach all the way aft to behind the outboard, and in total they provide around 50 percent more swim platform territory than the norm. Swing down the telescopic swim ladder and as you go into and out of the water, your feet and legs will be aft of the engine and prop rather than right next to it.
You say you’d rather beach the boat and dig your toes into the sand as opposed to swimming? Not a problem. There’s a second telescopic ladder hidden under the anchor locker hatch in the bow to make for easy ingress and egress here, too.
If your kids are even the least bit adventurous, you can bet they’ll want to try wakeboarding or waterskiing behind the DX2200, so it’s a good thing there’s an integrated ski/board stowage locker in the deck. We’d give a strong recommend to get the ski tow pylon to make ‘em happy—or you could go one better, and opt for the Xtreme Tower and wakeboard racks, which gets you an integrated Bimini top as well as an elevated tow point that makes jumps and tricks a bit more exciting. And if you think the kids might enjoy fishing now and again (we certainly hope that’s the case), you can also order the DX2200 with a fishfinder, a bow casting seat, and a 24-volt trolling motor rig.
One thing we found a bit surprising about this boat is how dressed up it is, despite being a price-conscious model. The inwales are bolstered all around, for example, and the vinyls are two-tone with diamond-stitching. White, blue, black, or gray hull gelcoat colors are all stock with the option to mix any two of the above, and similarly, the interior comes standard with two tones of gray and white or chestnut and white.
Don’t give up on enjoying the comfort of a ‘toon just because those boats aren’t always ideal for running across choppy waters. Truth be told, from the waterline up the DX2200 is likely to be just as comfortable as any type of boat on the market. But from the rubrail down, the 20-degree deep-V hull is ready for a Chesapeake chop. Take one for a sea trial, and we’ll bet you agree.
By Lenny Rudow
Bayliner DX2200 Specifications:
Draft (max.): 2’9”
Displacement: 5500 lbs.
Max HP: 200
Fuel Capacity: 55 gal.
Price (MSRP): $37,874
Local Dealer: Riverside Marine in Essex, MD, (410) 686-1500 or riversideboats.com