2021 Bayliner Element M15

Bayliner's Element M15 delivers great value and fun in an easily trailerable package.

2021 Bayliner Element M15

The Element M15 gets on plane easily and offers a stable ride. (Courtesy Bayliner Boats/)


The evolution of Bayliner’s Element Series continues with the introduction of the M15, a new entry-level deck boat that features a more open cockpit design and upgraded upholstery, with a starting price below $14,000 including a trailer. Despite being a foot shorter and nearly a foot narrower than the E16—the original Element—the M15 feels larger because it does away with the space-eating rear playpen and fiberglass dividers between seating areas. Moving the helm seat to the aft bench also creates more usable space in the cockpit. A major evolution is the integrated swim platform, which gives the boat a more graceful sheerline and creates a one-level back porch that’s perfect for key-off lounging facing rearward. Bring on that sunset!


The standard engine is a three-cylinder Mercury FourStroke 40 EFI, but upgrading to the four-cylinder Mercury FourStroke 50 EFI we ran during our test is a recommended option ($775) that pushed its top speed to a respectable 31.3 mph. The M15′s M-hull gives it admirable side-to-side stability, with 17 degrees of deadrise at the stern to help mitigate the chop. The hull also provides lots of lift, which helped it get on plane in 5.7 seconds and also allowed it to stay on plane at only 14.5 mph. The angular outer sponsons push back during hard turns to reduce inward lean.

The helm can be upgraded with a digital depth finder and a Jensen 120-watt AM/FM MP3 stereo.
The helm can be upgraded with a digital depth finder and a Jensen 120-watt AM/FM MP3 stereo. (Courtesy Bayliner Boats/)

Interior and Accessories

The few available options are bundled to make choosing a setup easy. Buyers could select the bare-bones E Package, but they should fork over an extra $1,050 to upgrade to the EX Package, which includes the choice of black or red hull color, a Jensen 120-watt AM/FM MP3 stereo, a 500 gph bilge pump, a mooring cover, and a Bimini top with boot. For another $525, the EXL Package builds on the EX Package by adding SeaDek padding to the cockpit sole and swim platform, a digital depth finder, and a bow filler cushion to create a sunning platform.

Bayliner Boats’ newest entry-level model accomplishes the mission of delivering great value and fun in an easily trailerable package.

Open cockpit design maximizes seating options.
Open cockpit design maximizes seating options. (Courtesy Bayliner Boats/)

How We Tested

  • Engine: Mercury FourStroke 50 EFI
  • Drive/Prop: Outboard/10.25″ x 13″ 3-blade aluminum
  • Gear Ratio: 1.83:1 Fuel Load: 5 gal. Crew Weight: 425 lb.

High Points

  • Open cockpit design maximizes seating options for up to five passengers.
  • Excellent side-to-side stability at rest.
  • Integrated swim platform gives it a more refined look.
  • Fun to drive and economical to run.

Low Points

  • Nonadjustable helm seat is comfortable for most drivers, but not all.
  • Absence of a bow cleat makes anchoring more difficult.
  • No Bayliner ski-tow option, but dealers can offer aftermarket solutions.

Toughest Competitor

Check out Tahoe’s T16 ($19,995) with a Mercury 60 FourStroke, Kicker two-speaker stereo, single-axle powder-coated galvanized trailer, depth sounder, speedometer with fuel gauge and trim switch, and bilge pump.

Pricing and Specs

Price: $14,774 (with Mercury FourStroke 50 EFI)
LOA: 15'2"
Beam: 6'7"
Draft (max): 2'1"
Displacement (approx.): 1,385 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 17 degrees
Bridge Clearance: NA
Fuel Capacity: 12 gal.
Max Power: 50
Available Power: Single Mercury Marine outboards to 50 hp

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Bayliner Element M15 Certified Test Results
Bayliner Element M15 Certified Test Results (Boating Magazine/)

Bayliner Boats - Knoxville, Tennessee; 865-971-6311; bayliner.com

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Restoring Marine Upholstery Using Pettit EZ Fabricoat

In this article, Boating Editor-In-Chief Kevin Falvey renews the finish and restores the color of sun-damaged and faded marine vinyl boat upholstery by applying Pettit EZ Fabricoat. See and learn the steps required and the accessories needed to complete this DIY boat maintenance task.

Restoring Marine Upholstery Using Pettit EZ Fabricoat

Boat seats take a lot of abuse. And few things make a boat look shabbier than faded, dingy upholstery. At a certain point, UV ray damage from the sun makes cleaning a waste of time. You can reupholster, sure. But you can also extend the useful life of marine upholstery--such as boat seats, leaning posts and sunlounges--by refinishing them.

What? Paint vinyl upholstery?!!

My initial reaction was probably the same as yours. But then, I had this sun-damaged cooler seat backrest aboard my boat, Pettit’s EZ Fabricoat just hit the shelves and reviewing marine accessories is what we do. So, I called up our Pettit contact and requested some EZ Fabricoat.

The author's seat back cushion before and after application of Pettit EZ Fabricoat. (Kevin Falvey/)

EZ Fabricoat is a flexible coating that refinishes marine vinyl seats, panels, wrapped dashboards, carpets, PVC tubes, simulated leather and other marine fabric materials.

It is a specially formulated flexible coating that, according to Pettit, provides excellent adhesion. Pettit said that will not rub off, crack or peel. They also said it is a high-grade marine formula that will hide stains, fading and UV damage while providing strong UV protection from the sun’s powerful rays. EZ Fabricoat comes in six colors and finishes.

Pettit EZ Fabricoat comes in six colors.
Pettit EZ Fabricoat comes in six colors. (Courtesy Pettit Paint/)

So, with a can of gloss white in hand, I set out to put Pettit’s claims about EZ Fabricoat to the test on my backrest cushion.

Application proved easy. Shake the can well and apply two-to three thin coats. EZ Fabricoat covered well, and the nozzle didn’t spatter or spurt. (Inverting the can and giving a squirt between coats keeps it clear). At 80 F/ 27 C it dried enough to recoat in about 15 minutes. I let it sit overnight before reinstalling aboard the boat.

EZ Fabricoat covers 12 square feet per can. Remeber you need two coats when factoring how much to buy for your job. You want to apply it in a well-ventilated space--I worked outside and still used a respirator. Also use gloves and eye protection whenever applying marine coatings.

EZ Fabricoat comes in Gloss White, Gloss Black, Flat Black, Satin Dark Khaki, Satin Dark Grey and Satin Grey. In addition to vinyl boat upholstery and panels, it also is claimed to be useful for refinishing Hypalon inflatable boats, and PVC products.

We’ll see how EZ Fabricoat holds up over time. But as for ease of use, the cost-to-effort ratio and the good looking end result, I can recommend this product for making faded and damaged marine vinyl upholstery look " good as new. "

Contact: Pettit Paint

Price: $17.88, defender.com

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