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2021 Bayliner Element M15

DATE POSTED:July 30, 2021
The Element M15 gets on plane easily and offers a stable ride.
The Element M15 gets on plane easily and offers a stable ride. (Courtesy Bayliner Boats/)

Overview

The evolution of Bayliner’s Element Series continues with the introduction of the M15, a new entry-level deck boat that features a more open cockpit design and upgraded upholstery, with a starting price below $14,000 including a trailer. Despite being a foot shorter and nearly a foot narrower than the E16—the original Element—the M15 feels larger because it does away with the space-eating rear playpen and fiberglass dividers between seating areas. Moving the helm seat to the aft bench also creates more usable space in the cockpit. A major evolution is the integrated swim platform, which gives the boat a more graceful sheerline and creates a one-level back porch that’s perfect for key-off lounging facing rearward. Bring on that sunset!

Engine

The standard engine is a three-cylinder Mercury FourStroke 40 EFI, but upgrading to the four-cylinder Mercury FourStroke 50 EFI we ran during our test is a recommended option ($775) that pushed its top speed to a respectable 31.3 mph. The M15′s M-hull gives it admirable side-to-side stability, with 17 degrees of deadrise at the stern to help mitigate the chop. The hull also provides lots of lift, which helped it get on plane in 5.7 seconds and also allowed it to stay on plane at only 14.5 mph. The angular outer sponsons push back during hard turns to reduce inward lean.

The helm can be upgraded with a digital depth finder and a Jensen 120-watt AM/FM MP3 stereo.
The helm can be upgraded with a digital depth finder and a Jensen 120-watt AM/FM MP3 stereo. (Courtesy Bayliner Boats/)

Interior and Accessories

The few available options are bundled to make choosing a setup easy. Buyers could select the bare-bones E Package, but they should fork over an extra $1,050 to upgrade to the EX Package, which includes the choice of black or red hull color, a Jensen 120-watt AM/FM MP3 stereo, a 500 gph bilge pump, a mooring cover, and a Bimini top with boot. For another $525, the EXL Package builds on the EX Package by adding SeaDek padding to the cockpit sole and swim platform, a digital depth finder, and a bow filler cushion to create a sunning platform.

Bayliner Boats’ newest entry-level model accomplishes the mission of delivering great value and fun in an easily trailerable package.

Open cockpit design maximizes seating options.
Open cockpit design maximizes seating options. (Courtesy Bayliner Boats/)

How We Tested

  • Engine: Mercury FourStroke 50 EFI
  • Drive/Prop: Outboard/10.25″ x 13″ 3-blade aluminum
  • Gear Ratio: 1.83:1 Fuel Load: 5 gal. Crew Weight: 425 lb.

High Points

  • Open cockpit design maximizes seating options for up to five passengers.
  • Excellent side-to-side stability at rest.
  • Integrated swim platform gives it a more refined look.
  • Fun to drive and economical to run.

Low Points

  • Nonadjustable helm seat is comfortable for most drivers, but not all.
  • Absence of a bow cleat makes anchoring more difficult.
  • No Bayliner ski-tow option, but dealers can offer aftermarket solutions.

Toughest Competitor

Check out Tahoe’s T16 ($19,995) with a Mercury 60 FourStroke, Kicker two-speaker stereo, single-axle powder-coated galvanized trailer, depth sounder, speedometer with fuel gauge and trim switch, and bilge pump.

Pricing and Specs

.tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg th{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; font-weight:normal;overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg .tg-0pky{border-color:inherit;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-0lax{text-align:left;vertical-align:top} Price: $14,774 (with Mercury FourStroke 50 EFI) LOA: 15'2" Beam: 6'7" Draft (max): 2'1" Displacement (approx.): 1,385 lb. Transom Deadrise: 17 degrees Bridge Clearance: NA Fuel Capacity: 12 gal. Max Power: 50 Available Power: Single Mercury Marine outboards to 50 hp

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Bayliner Element M15 Certified Test Results
Bayliner Element M15 Certified Test Results (Boating Magazine/)

Bayliner Boats - Knoxville, Tennessee; 865-971-6311; bayliner.com