Bayliner is recognizing 60 years of Bayliner boats heading into 2017.
The roots of the Bayliner brand started when J. Erin Odson started Advance Outboard Marine in a Seattle parking lot in 1955. In 1957, he sold his first Bayliner boat.
From the beginning, Bayliner has focused on affordability and quality, says current Bayliner Brand Manager Mike Yobe.
“Look at our business today and it’s not that different,” Yobe said. “That value proposition has worked.”
Perhaps most notable was the introduction in 1982 of it’s Total Value Package. Boaters could get a Bayliner 1600 Capri, an 85-hp outboard engine and a trailer for $6,295.
“Orin and [former Bayliner executive] Slim Sommerville were the first to create the boat/motor/trailer package that caused the brand to catch on,” Yobe said. “Bayliner was the first brand in the U.S. that bundled those together and offered a very competitive price.”
By 1986, Bayliner was selling 43,000 boats a year. That same year, the company was acquired by Brunswick Corp.
The recent introduction of the Element is a continuation of that value proposition.
“The Element was my first project as product manager,” Yobe said. Jeff Behan, president of Bayliner at the time “put a challenge out there and said we need to get back to our roots.”
The Bayliner team recognized that boating was no longer affordable for many people.
“The boating industry was pricing ourselves out of consumer’s pocketbooks,” Yobe said. “The price was growing faster than inflation. … As we were going through the build of the boat, there are things that we can do here that are thoughtful and take cost out, passing that back to the consumer. And get us back to who we are as a company, what’s in our DNA from a value perspective.”
Bayliner kicked off the celebration of its 60th anniversary at its 2016 dealer meeting at Nashville’s Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The event played host to nearly 300 Bayliner dealer attendees and prospects as the company showed off its new models and celebrated its past.
At the meeting, Bayliner unveiled 21-foot additions to the Element family—in both deck boat and center console fishing configurations.
“We started with everything that has made the Elements successful, then gave them more of it. Space, safety, handling, performance and fishability—all at an exceptional value,” said Bayliner President Keith Yunger.