Best deck boats: Bayliner Element

Best deck boats: Latest models show why this is such a popular starter boat style


The question I get asked most often by those wishing to get into boating is, what’s the best boat for beginners? The answer, to my mind, is a vessel that is highly versatile, easy to own, easy to drive and doesn’t cost a fortune. Namely, a deck boat.

Boating, for me, is about time on the water, so a first boat should be usable as often as possible and above all roomy enough to entertain friends and family. That’s why deck boats are a great solution.

Think of the deck boat as the Ford F-Series of the boating world – produced in high volume and fitted with everything you need to take your family and friends for a safe and fun day out.

They are easy to launch and drive, offer lots of space and comfort, deliver plenty of performance and safety, and represent great value for money.

The best deck boats like this Bayliner Element XL are suitable for navigating shallow waters

Best value deck boat: Bayliner E18

Packages come complete with trailer and 115hp Mercury outboard, the Bayliner E18 has seating for up to nine people and can be optioned to suit almost any day boating need.

This includes a live bait well, rod holders, fishing chairs and trolling motor for a fishing focussed boat, or a sport arch with wakeboard racks for the watersports enthusiast.

The M-shaped hull is stable and quick to plane, while still offering excellent high and low speed handling. With its engine down, the Bayliner E18 only draws 2ft 5in, making it perfect for trips to the sandbar or a day’s cruising with family and friends. Offering excellent value, the Bayliner is a winner in its class.