Bayliner Element F16 - A Fresh Take on the Entry Level Fishing Boat
Boat Review by: Matt Spencer
When Bayliner first introduced the Element to the world they wanted to introduce new families to boating at a very reasonable price. While this has always been Bayliner’s mandate the Element changed the game with it’s revolutionary M-Hull, hassle free interior and great performance. The element started as a 16-foot family runabout and the family has since grown and even branched into the fishing segment. Their latest addition being a 16-foot version, their fishing version of the Element, the F16.
Visiting the new F16 in Miami at the Bayliner booth, they had their new addition sitting on the outside edge of the booth right next to the aisle, giving me a chance to step back and take the whole boat in. At 16-feet 2-inches the new F16 looks a little smaller when not in the water but when you get up close you can see it makes use of every inch including the 7-foot 5-inch beam.
Now with every Element it starts with the M-Hull. Why do they call it that? Because that’s exactly what it looks like. The M-Hull has has two aggressive outer chines on each side of the hull, with a modified V in the center, the looks of which resemble an M. When doing research for the original Element, Bayliner discovered that new boaters wanted increased stability when at rest, decreased bow rise when planing and less banking when turning. Now I didn’t get to test drive the Element F16 but I did drive the original Element which is the same hull and it has all of those things. Stepping into the Element from the dock, it barely gave under my almost 200 lb frame. It had minimal bow rise and the turning characteristics are that of a go kart. It was sporty, fun and nimble, I had never experienced a running surface like that before and it’s worth a check out for yourself.
But back to the F16 - when you look at the bow you will see a large, non-skid casting deck with three hatches. Lifting these up reveals a large storage area and a flank seat base where you can put an optional casting seat for those longer fishing trips. Additionally up in the bow is a motorguide trolling motor.
The Element has the look of a bay boat made for the Florida flats but this boat has as much a place up in Canada as it does down there. When you look at the Element F16 you can see that there’s not many “soft” features, so what I mean by this is that it is a type of boat you can simply leave out for a week when you go home from the cottage and there is no need to worry about vinyls or coloured gels fading. It also has a self bailing cockpit that provides the type of hassle free boating that Bayliner likes to promote with all of their boats.
Front and center - quite literally - on the F16 is the center console. Forward of this is a single seat that has grab handles on either side. Two people could cozy up here and they can also lift the seat to toss their gear below. Flanking each side of the helm are rod holders and framing the console is a stainless steel grab handle for those who want to stand on their way out to the fishing spot.
The helm is such that you will most likely stand while you’re driving and the throttle controls are mounted as such to make it ergonomic for this. There is a leaning post however for the Captain to take a load off his feet. The helm itself is quite simple with a single multi-function gauge, your switches and lots of room to mount any graphs or chartplotters you want. Behind the helm is the stern casting deck that is similar to the bow in that it is covered with a non-skid finish but no seat base. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place to sit. Hidden in the deck are two fold up jump seats for when the fishing is done and it’s time for a little fun or cruise to get some ice cream. Center of these two seats is the live-well which is an absolute must for any fishing boat.
You will most likely find the Element with a 60-hp Mercury but you can upgrade to a 75-hp motor. That said the nature of the M-Hull is you will be able to get more performance out of less horsepower so 60 will be plenty.
When you look at the F16 it is fairly barebones, that’s because it’s very much meant to be a price point boat but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend a little on a couple options to make the boat uniquely yours. If you add in a T top, bow filler cushions and a watersports arch you could then turn the F16 into the proverbial Fish and Ski. Now your Element can pull double duty - pun intended.
I think the F16 is a natural evolution of a boat that turned out to be a rockstar for Bayliner. The Element was introduced as a fresh take on the entry level runabout. Now it’s only natural to introduce a fresh take on the entry level fishing boat, and that’s exactly what Bayliner has with their brand new Element F16.
For more information on this boat visit: Bayliner.com
2016 Bayliner Element F16 Photo Gallery
||18 US gals
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