Bayliner Victoria 2750

Andy Adams

A standout among cabin cruisers 

In the realm of popular-sized cabin cruisers, the Bayliner Victoria Command Bridge 2750 is a standout. De-sign and construction features put it ahead of other boats in this class, but it is not priced out of sight for this type of buyer.

The 27-ft Victoria has the conventional look of a cabin cruiser but it is purposeful. The design itself is boxy and square. The bow is particularly blunt and there is little or no tumblehome in the top sides. The styling is thankfully devoid of gewgaws, but a few tasteful graphics relieve the angular appearance.

The benefit of the squared-off styling is readily apparent in the interior. Sitting in the cabin lounge, you would think you were in a 32-footer. There is ample headroom, in proportions generally found only in larger boats.

The cabin is entered by a door down one step that doesn't require much head-ducking. The entire back of the cabin is enclosed by a teak bulkhead that contains not only the door but large flanking windows as well. The side-glass areas are especially large and slide open for ventilation. The side windows have curtains although the stern does not. I was a little surprised at that because so much else is standard. For complete privacy when moored, one would have to use either the forward cabin· or the head. I would recommend fitting stern curtains.

There isn't much else to criticize. There is a bench bunk on either side of the cabin at the rear with a centre mounted table. The bunks are upholstered in a heavy-weave material that coordinates with the dark burgundy accents and hull sides. Fold-up leaves at either end of the table facilitate access around it.

The bunks convert to upper and lower berths with ample lockers underneath. The pilot seat, at the forward end of the starboard bunk, folds down flat; even in the up position, it’s unobtrusive. The head is under the helm station and it has acceptable, but not spectacular headroom. A flexible hose shower is standard. You simply turn on the shower and the entire head becomes a shower stall. Make sure the cupboard doors are closed. 

Bayliner Victoria 2750 - Bridge HelmChildren are best accommodated in the forward V berths. Adults could use them but the area is a bit cramped due to extreme curvature of the bow. It's nicely finished, and with the door closed, is completely isolated from the rest of the cabin. Deck access is through the forward hatch but you can't walk around the sides. The extra foot or so of interior room was gained at the expense of an outside walk-around. This isn't a severe criticism, it's rather a question of personal taste. It could be awkward docking or cruising with a gang of people, but gen-erally I think Bayliner made the right choice.

Storage room abounds in the galley, and everything is right at hand but the arc-type layout still leaves a good area of floor space so cooking is not a claustrophobic experience. The galley is on the port side and the side counter backs the port berth. By reversing the position of a seat back, you can turn this counter into a pleasant breakfast nook.

The other main area in this boat for people is the bridge. It covers almost the entire cabin roof, is comfortable and almost well-designed. I say "almost" because it is equipped with back-to-back folding seats. The passenger side has the ladder access

which gets in the way of the seat, preventing it from folding down completely. The driver's side does fold down all the way.

The seats themselves are comfortable, and are upholstered in heavy-grade white vinyl, so they'll stay cool and be easy to clean. Some drink holders are present and appreciated, I'm sure. Storage space is available under the leading cowl of the bridge and it could hold even very large objects such as lifejackets, flares, or a small inflatable boat. 

Most of the driving is likely to be done from the helm station on the bridge. The view is excellent in all direc-tions, as one would expect, and the reverse-airflow windscreen does a great job of keeping out the wind at all speeds. The dash instruments are covered by a smoked-plexiglass weather cover and are fairly complete. The cover attracts condensation, but the gauges are legible at all times and are well-placed.

A large compass is standard on the Victoria. It has very legible markings and is lit for night use.

Bayliner Victoria 2750 - CabinThe test boat was equipped with a Mercruiser 260 stern-drive and an aluminum prop. Performance was very good. One aspect of the Bayliner design that helps is the bottom shape. The vertical hull sides provide the largest possible planing surface. Bayliner makes certain alterations to each hull for individual models.

This is done to insure that balance and ride attitude are right on each boat, regardless of the fact that there may be three different deck models on basically the same hull. In the case of the Victoria, the hull is not tapered at all towards the stern, and the bottom is as wide as possible for the gunwale width. This gives the boat a lot of support at slow speeds and allows it to plane easily without the help of trim tabs.

Since this isn't a skiing boat, we didn't run our usual acceleration figures, but it did dig out quite quickly for its size and weight. The Victoria didn't squat on acceleration. The optional trim tabs held the plane down to 2,000. That was with both tabs all the way down and more throttle than was needed to hold 2,500 for 16 mph, but the point is that the Victoria does it in the first place. Most in this class wont.

One other feature of the very broad bottom is the boat's stability when moored. It is solid and comfortable without any noticeable rolling motion. This same stability extended to the boat 's attitude when running. Roll and pitch were well-damped in rough water or in the wakes of other boats.

The V isn't very steep, the dead rise being about 15°, and the boat won’t knife through big waves like some other hulls; but if the speed is kept down it will make a course through rough water. At high speeds the Bay-liner will take a bit of a beating.

The Victoria 27 wanders a bit at idle speed, a function of the very wide hull surface and the deep V, but handling around the docks is very good. Maneuvering to enter a slip is no problem, reversing is quite effective, and the power-assist steering is always fairly light and positive, despite the two separate helm stations. The Victoria is actually a real handler. You can crank it into a turn full bore and it heels over a bit, then tracks right through with no cavitation and very little slide. It feels like a ski boat,' not a cabin cruiser.

One design fault is the cabin windshield. It goes from cabin-top down to the deck but only half the glass is usable because the head and a fibreglass bulkhead rise at the same angle.

Bayliner 2750 - Main HelmThe glass is so close to the fibreglass that there is no way to clean between them, and I'm sure lots of dirt and small objects will find their way down. This is a small point, but everything else is so well-done that there just isn't much else to criticize. In this size range, the Bayliner Victoria Command Bridge has to be one of the big-gest and best. And it's still a trailerable!

The Mercruiser 260 is based on the 350-cubic-inch Chev block and it's a gem. With an approximate weight of 5,700 lbs the Victoria still made 39 mph on radar, turning 4,200 rpm. At a cruising speed of 25.5 mph (3,000 rpm), the Victoria returned 2.89 mpg. That's a bit lower than I expected and the boat was brand-new during the test, so this should climb somewhat after break-in. Also, speeds will go up a bit, too. Considering that many 19-ft runabouts get around 4.5 mpg with much smaller engines, 3 mpg isn’t bad.

 

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s December 1978 issue.

 

Specifications:

Engine: Mercruiser 260 / Chevrolet 350. 260hp.

Fuel Tank: 94 gallons.

Water Tank: 40 gallons

Length: 27ft

Beam: 8ft

Weight: 5700 lbs

 

Photo Captions:

Photo 1 - The 27ft Victoria has the conventional cabin-cruiser look with a purposeful, boxy and square design and blunt flow.

Photo 2 - The bridge helm station is comfortable.

Photo 3 - The cabin, large enough for a 32 footer, has ample headroom.

Photo 4 - Main helm station has restricted vision.

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One summer I sold ice cream and knick-knacks at Montague Harbour Marina. I was standing behind the counter one day, when the phone rang. “There’s a boat at anchor in the middle of the bay that’s been playing loud music for three hours,” complained an irate-sounding male voice. “Can you make them stop?”

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