Bayliner 288 Flybridge


The UK client was looking for a mid sized cruiser and after several discussions, our search quickly centred on the Bayliner 288 Command Bridge model.  The 288, though similar in hull form to its sister the Bayliner 285, is a different beast, with a small flybridge, a deep separate aft cockpit and a large single cabin with windows providing eye level views from raised seating inside.  Our budget was around GBP 45,000 and 2003 or newer.

We started looking, both in Florida and the Northern states.  Boats from up North can appear better value but then they live in a harsher climate and are rarely lift kept.  A combination of brackish waters and stray (AC) currents can make such boats an unwise choice.  We drew up a short list of three, all priced around USD 40,000.  Our first choice was a 2006 model in Miami advertised at USD 42,500, a one owner, mostly lift kept example, fitted with the fresh water cooled Horizon version of the Mercruiser 350 Mag MPI / Bravo III drive package and a Kohler Genset.  Even at this price the boat was keenly below market.   This was a private sale with the boat represented by the person employed by the owner to maintain the boat. 

Stage 1 was to negotiate the deal and prove ownership.  Initially holding at USD 38,000 we finally agreed the deal at a very acceptable USD 39,000.  The Owner was awaiting the Title documents so we then waited a few days until these appeared, confirming his ownership and the absence of any finance (lien).

Stage 2 was to inspect the craft and this was undertaken by our US partner along with their mechanic who also performed the requested compression check and plugged into the ECU to verify the hours (187) and fault code history.  Inspection over, the boat was taken for a sea trial, just to make sure.  The boat was in great shape and other than a few minor issues was good to go.  Though the boat had bottom paint it had spent all but the first six months of its life on a lift rented by the owner.  Thus we could be confident that Osmosis and Galvanic deterioration were unlikely to be issues.

Stage 3 was the purchase transaction.  As this was a private sale we agree to use the brokerage and ESCROW service provide by our US partner who is a licenced Florida broker.  The fact that he would collect the boat at the time of final payment meant that the monetary risk was minimised for the client.

Stage 4 was to pick up the boat and deliver it to our partner yard in Lantana.  This was performed by our US partner (who is also a qualified skipper/captain, with appropriate insurance cover) who delivered the boat by sea from Miami to Lantana.  On arrival the boat was hauled and blocked in the yard ready for works and bottom paint.

Stage 5 was to undertake the repairs and maintenance works prior to shipping.  The options were presented to the client for consideration.  Those selected were fully costed and agreed prior to starting work.  These included a full service for  the engine and drive, new rams for the drive unit, cleaning the engine room, design, manufacture and fitting of a new flybridge tonneau cover (inhouse expertise) and refinishing of some of the seating and window frame anodization.  Lastly, new bottom paint was applied, the hull and deck buffed and waxed and the boat shrink wrapped (having removed the arch to reduce shipping height).  The boat was then transported to Jacksonville Port where it was loaded onto its shipping cradle.

Stage 6 was the shipping, from Jacksonville to Southampton via Bremerhaven.  This took about three weeks with the ship eventually delayed by two days.  This caused the UK stages to slip a week, also, in no small part due to sub-zero temperatures, ice and snow.

Stage 7 was for Gablemarine to meet the boat and undertake the CE assessment, rectification of non-conformities and conversion of the AC electrics, prior to delivery and launch at Portland.  In practice, some of these works were undertaken on the dock at Southampton (waiting for the transport which was then ice bound in Plymouth) with the remainder the following day in Portland.  The boat had been collected at the end of the first day, held in secure storage overnight, before being delivered first thing to Portland.

With our works complete the boat was launched the following day and driven to her new home in Weymouth by her new owner.  Even in sub zero temperatures on the flybridge it was hard to miss the grin of a happy customer...

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