3788 Motoryacht — By Capt. Bill Pike — July 2000
|Part 2: Bayliner 3788 continued|
Shortly after breakfast, the 3788 returned to her berth, discharged her passengers, and settled down to wait while I hauled test gear aboard and installed it on one of her 315-hp Cummins 330B diesels, a durable, easily maintained engine in my experience. Accessed via three hatches in the saloon sole, the engine room is simple and straightforward, containing little more than the mains, sea strainers, and a couple of welded-aluminum fuel tanks against the hull sides. I like this sort of practical, uncomplicated setup–it makes it easy to pinpoint problems in an emergency and, with less stuff cluttering up the ER, facilitates maintenance. For those who don’t share the simple-is-better view, Bayliner offers an optional fuel-transfer manifold as well as an oil-changing system. While such items may make the layout complex, they certainly make upkeep easier.
Choices are even more varied when it comes to auxiliary equipment, which is either installed in the lazarette, under a big cockpit hatch, or in a utility room farther forward that is accessed near the head. Standard items include Hynautic steering hydraulics, an 8-D house battery, two Group-27 cranking batteries in the lazarette, and an Attwood water heater in the utility room. On the option front are a Trace inverter, Marine Air air-conditioning, Marine Air cabin heating system, and the array of genset choices already mentioned.
Completing the test-gear installation, I washed up in the small fiberglass sink in the 3788’s head with some stray Crystal Boat Wash, a zesty experience enlivened by a surprise discovery: a standup shower stall with a four-foot-long, molded-fiberglass bathtub at its base. What a creative idea for a 37-footer. The rest of the Bayliner’s interior was hallmarked by utilitarianism, a characteristic that nicely complements the almost overwhelming variety of options available to buyers.
Headroom just about everywhere was lofty. Whether I stretched my tape in the forward master, the foyer to the starboard-side midstateroom, the head, or the saloon/galley, the deck-to-ceiling height was at least 6'5" and sometimes more. On the other hand, the mattress in the island berth in the master was a little thin, at five inches, but it was also large, just about six-foot by seven-foot. While the raised-panel maple door to the master was nicely joined, when open it prevented access to the starboard-side hanging locker.
The midstateroom was fraught with no such problems. While its dimensions were generally similar to those of an express’ midcabin, its entrance had a raised-panel maple door like the one on the master, a foyer with standing headroom, and plenty of sitting headroom at the edge of the king-size berth, which runs athwartship and is a sit-down-comfortable nine inches off the deck.
As mentioned earlier, an optional lower helm station is available, in place of a dinette area opposite the galley. Visibility forward and to the sides from the helm seat of this station is excellent thanks to the large three-panel windshield and even larger sliding side windows, with screens. The settee in the saloon is convertible, and the ambiance of the area is bright and cheerful, due to maple accents and the wraparound windows. Joinery is fine, although not top-shelf, and a fiberglass inner liner stretching from the bulkhead at the rear of the saloon to the sleeping areas forward not only produces a crisper, more finished look, it also adds structural strength, being bonded to the hull sides with powerful Bostic 9400 urethane adhesive.
I test drove the 3788 in flat water–virtually no wind or seas for me to play with. Getting the boat on plane sans tabs was a smooth, efficient process, and the top speed of 33.1 mph I recorded was certainly respectable. Visibility was generally good from the comfy helmseat, with clear sightlines forward. The ride was solid and assured in turns thanks to a conventional, modified-V hull form with ample beam, a fairly flat bottom (a transom deadrise of 10 degrees), and lots of heft. The hull is solid glass, not cored, and laid up with conventional fabrics, polyester resin, and a vinylester barrier coat to fight osmosis. Stringers and transversals are of glass-encapsulated marine ply, and the deck and inner liner are cored with Nidacore and high-density foam. The hull-to-deck joint is secured with stainless steel bolts and more Bostic 9400.
Docking the 3788 after the sea trial was a bit challenging for me, not due to problems with the boat, but due to my own preferences and quirks–I’m used to the simplicity of single-lever engine controls, and the Teleflex controls on our test boat were split doubles. At any rate, visibility was good, with great sightlines forward again, although the extended flying-bridge overhang prevented my seeing the aft corners of the swim platform while backing down.
Tying up was an easy process for the guys doing deckhand duty onboard–there are six 12-inch cleats. As I descended the bridge with ease, thanks to an ergonomically correct fiberglass walkway instead of the near-upright ladders seen on some other cruisers in this size range today, I found it pretty easy to draw an overall conclusion about Bayliner’s 3788 Motoryacht–she’s an eminently practical mainstreamer, with custom possibilities galore. A real package deal.
Bayliner Marine Phone: (360) 435-8957. Fax: (360) 403-4235. www.baylinerboats.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.