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Sea Ray vs Bayliner (7 Things to Consider)

When deciding what boat to purchase, you may have considered how Sea Ray vs Bayliner boats compare. Both boat brands are owned by the same company, Brunswick Corporation, and some people assume they are the same boats. However, having the same manufacturer doesn’t mean there aren’t differences between the two. Read on to learn more about how Bayliners compare to Sea Ray boats, so you better know which one is best for your needs.

Sea Ray Overview

Sea Ray was established in 1959 and was the first manufacturer to build boats with fiberglass. The Sea Ray brand prioritizes meticulous craftsmanship and is committed to customer satisfaction and support. Their prices can also be rather high since they prioritize safety and use the best materials to build their boats.

They used to produce boats ranging up to 60-feet long but have since cut it down to boats between 19 and 40 feet. You can purchase sport boats, deck boats, or cabin cruisers with outboard or sterndrive engines. Their signature Sundancer series gave them popularity over the years. However, today they also have boats in their SLX, SDX, and SPX series, including those suitable for fishing.

Sea Ray Pros:

  • Quality-built boats
  • Reliable, durable, and safe
  • Good longevity
  • Family boats contain a lot of space
  • Has a decent resale value

Sea Ray Cons:

  • On the more expensive end
  • Some models are underpowered
  • Older models have had issues with exhaust system design

Bayliner Overview

Bayliner was established in 1957 and was the first manufacturer selling packages of a boat, trailer, and motor together. They produce unique boats for cruising, fishing, and watersports as well as have over 400 dealers in more than 60 countries worldwide.

The types of boats available for sale through Bayliner include bowriders, center console boats, heydays, and deck boats. They range in size between 15 and 26 feet. Their boats have a reputation for being introductory-level boats that are good for beginners.

Bayliner pros:

  • Affordable range of options
  • Good for beginner boat owners
  • Recent models have higher manufacturing standards
  • Easy to maneuver and trailer

Bayliner cons:

  • Plywood in the hull is treated with a primer rather than sealed
  • Not as reliable or durable, especially in older models
  • Resale value not as great
  • Smaller boats with less space

Sea Ray vs Bayliner

Below are more detailed comparisons of the specific features of Sea Ray vs Bayliner boats.

1. Affordability

Bayliner offers a variety of affordable boats that are aimed at people who are new boaters and want something within budget and good to go. They have plenty of options starting at around $15,000, making them a popular budget brand. You can also get their 22-feet boat starting at around $44,000 and a 26-foot model just over $50,000.

In contrast, Sea Ray boats are more pricey and considered premium boats, especially for family cruising and fishing. They directly compete with high-performing boats, such as Boston Whaler or Grady Whites. New Sea Ray boats typically range between $40,000 to $150,000, depending on their size and technical specs.

2. Premium Features

Don’t expect many bells and whistles on a Bayliner boat since they are designed to be an affordable option. However, you can expect them to be easy to tow and maneuver due to their small size.

In contrast, most Sea Ray boats come with premium features, including large space for entertaining and a bigger cabin and head. You can expect touchscreen displays, a fusion premier audio system, and a dynamic running surface. Sea Ray also has a Quiet Ride feature providing a quieter and smoother boating experience by minimizing noise, vibration, and harshness.

3. Resale value

Sea Ray has a better resale value than Bayliner. This is mostly because there is a more limited production of Sea Rays and it can be easier to keep the boat in good condition. In contrast, Bayliner is a budget brand with more boats available on the market, including used boats, so the abundance of availability drives the resale value down.

4. Engines and motors

When it comes to the engines and motors in Sea Ray and Bayliner boats, the newer models have little difference. Since both are manufactured by Brunswick, which owns Mercury engines, you can find Mercury/MerCruiser engines on both boat brands. Some people have reported that the engine quality is a little underpowered for the higher price of a Sea Ray. Having said this, some of Sea Ray’s new SLX-R models have added power with the twin Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines.

5. Durability

Sea Ray boats are well known for quality construction and their use of high-quality materials, making their boats durable and long-lasting. The fiberglass used contributes to the durability and most recent models have reported few issues.

Although Bayliner boats from the 90s and 2000s had a bad reputation for bad built quality, their more recent models have improved significantly. If you buy a new model, you can expect your boat to last a decade or more with proper care and regular servicing.

6. Offshore boating

Although both boats are better for good condition waters, Sea Ray has more boats that are suitable for offshore purposes. Sea Ray has models that are at least 30 feet and can easily navigate the larger waves offshore. In contrast, the smaller lengths and low bows of most Bayliner models make them unsuitable for choppy waters or offshore purposes.

7. Warranty

Sea Ray has a more inclusive factory warranty than Bayliner and has two different packages: SURPA5S and SENTIN3L. The SURPA5S is a 5-year factory warranty that also includes a limited lifetime structural hull or deck warranty for some of their sport boat models. SENTIN3L is a 3-year factory warranty with a 10-year limited structural hull or deck warranty for specific models.

Bayliner offers one standard warranty package for their Element, Trophy, Bowrider, and Deck boat models. Their warranty includes the following for the original owner:

  • Lifetime limited transferable hull warranty
  • 5-year limited deck warranty
  • 1-year parts and components warranty
  • 2-year limited mercury engine warranty


If you are a beginner boat owner with a budget and don’t need premium features, you can find a decent deal with a Bayliner to satisfy your boating needs. However, if you want a long-term investment with a boat that has longevity and durability, consider going for a Sea Ray that offers a more luxurious boating experience. With this information comparing the two brands, we hope you can now decide which boat to choose for your next purchase.

Happy boating!

Written by OutdoorMotives

At outdoormotives.com we talk about all types of outdoor activities. We answer common questions and recommend the best products to help you enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.


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