The Bayliner T24CC we tested was well-equipped for less than $80,000. Its 23-degree-deadrise hull cut through Charlotte Harbor’s wind-driven 2-foot chop and stood up to the thrashing it dished out. The firmly mounted fiberglass T-top, one of the most prominent options on the boat, shaded us nicely without shuddering under the turbulence. Its fishing cockpit was wide, deep and roomy, and the bow area featured plenty of fishing space, with removable seating cushions for day tripping.
Interior and Accessories
The list of standards on the T24CC was long, including a canvas T-top with rod holders, a raw-water washdown, dual batteries with switch, a stereo and more. Options such as a freshwater washdown in the cockpit and on the transom and upgraded horsepower are reasonably priced.
You can upgrade the 225 with manual controls to a 300 hp digital motor for $12,125, or get a midrange upgrade to the manual 250 for just $3,600. Power steering is $860.
The features on this boat are impressive, and the T24CC held up well under deeper scrutiny.
In the fishing cockpit, we had a standard 15-gallon livewell with an acrylic lid. We tossed in several dozen shrimp and a few pinfish to try our luck in the harbor. While the fish were not cooperating, the boat did. We drifted the baits across a man-made structure called Alligator Reef, which shows on the harbor map about 7 miles south of the Ponce De Leon Park launch ramp. When the shrimp did little for us, we switched to plugs and jigs, and trolled them along the reef line. The deep-V hull held its ground in the sharp crosswind; had the tides been rising or falling instead of slack, the cockpit would’ve provided a perfect place to carry on the battle. The T24CC has deep gunwales and a non-skid deck for good footing. A transom seat can be stowed while still offering padding for the thighs in a tough fight. Two rod holders in each gunwale and four shotgun rod holders keep rods secure and in action. The T-top adds four holders to keep extras ready should they be needed. Two fish boxes lay along the deck to port and starboard, and the large insulated boxes are ideal for handling big fish and keeping them fresh on ice.
At the bow, stow the seating cushions and deep-drop to the reef. Two rod holders assist in rigging. You can stand on the cockpit sole in rougher water or get up on the nonskid seating bulkheads for a higher angle. Below the bulkheads, stow life jackets or other gear. In the center of the deck, there’s a deep locker for storage or fish.
The hull design is one Bayliner once called “cab forward,” which stretches the beam forward farther than most center-consoles and accommodates the broader-than-normal seating arrangements. While the bow area is wider, the bottom stem is still sharp to cleave waves and make the ride comfortable, even in choppy seas.
If you plan to bottomfish, add at least the bow anchor roller for a nominal fee or the windlass at less than $2,000. There’s an optional cocktail table to convert the area to a picnic area.
Beneath the center console, a roomy compartment can be equipped with a head and also used as a changing room—two essential options for family fun.
The power-steering option is worthwhile for any power configuration, and I would choose it. The digital throttle and shift, only available with the 300 hp motor, is worth it for the upgrade of the motor alone. At the helm, there is room for dual Simrad 12-inch displays, and a more economical option of single or dual 9-inch displays. Sonar, GPS, embedded charting and more are standard with the Simrad systems.
The Sea Chaser 24 HFC is comparably sized but comes in at a substantially higher price. Typically powered with dual engines, it’s maximum horsepower is 350, and it is built with a portside boarding door that some boaters love and others never find cause to open. According to Sea Chaser’s website, it comes standard with premium manual Teleflex throttle and shift control cables rather than digital controls, which, as in the T24CC, are optional, depending on motor selection.
The T24CC has a base price less than $65,000 with a strong standard features list. At just $80,000, the equipment list expands considerably, and the horsepower boosts to 300 with digital controls. Is the T24CC a good buy? After our test, we decided it was not only a lot of boat for the money, but also a boat that made one ask, “Why should I spend more?”
Read Next: 2022 Bayliner Element M17
How We Tested
- Engine: Mercury 225
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/14.75″ x 17″ 3-blade Stainless Steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.75:1 Fuel Load: 50 gal. Water on Board: 0 gal. Crew Weight: 450 lb.
- Colored hullsides are standard.
- Features include finished hatch undersides, through-bolted fittings and fixtures, and a rugged, powder-coated T-top frame.
- Layout blends fishing and comfort with little compromise.
- White motors are not available as options.
- We’d like to see a set of rod holders in the bow gunwales.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$67,090 (base with test power)|
|Draft (max):||2’11” (engines down)|
|Displacement (approx.):||4,466 lb.|
|Transom Deadrise:||23 degrees|
|Fuel Capacity:||100 gal.|
|Available Power:||Mercury 225 and 300|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Bayliner Boats – Knoxville, Tennessee; bayliner.com