Bayliss Boatworks GameBoat 60 Boat Review

Mama C was built to be a fast, durable fishing machine, and she is all Bayliss

February 14, 2018
Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

The 60-foot Mama C is the first of the new highly anticipated GameBoat series from North Carolina’s Bayliss Boatworks. These boats are designed to chase billfish, be durable and fast, and to clean up easily at the end of the day. The GameBoat is everything you would expect from Bayliss, yet refined to be a simpler fishing platform with all the necessary features required to be a global tournament competitor.

According to John Bayliss: “When we returned to the marina after fishing in Costa Rica, I noticed that the docks were empty during the evenings. Most people were staying in the condos or local hotels, not on the boat, with the exception of a captain or mate. So we realized we needed a boat that had the amenities for a small crew and the ability to be cleaned up quickly at the end of the day. Based on our experience fishing our 30-plus-year-old charter boat in Los Sueños, we liked the simplicity but realized there were some gaps we were missing, like better speed, modern ­accommodations, and storage.”

Bayliss Boatworks GameBoat 60 Boat Review
“We realized we needed a boat that had the amenities for a small crew and the ability to be cleaned up quickly at the end of the day.” Courtesy Ray Matthews Photography

So what makes a GameBoat different from other Bayliss boats? In terms of construction, fit and finish, there is no difference. Bayliss offers multiple layouts for the GameBoat that focus on rod, tackle and bait storage, with interiors and systems that deliver a low-maintenance fish-chasing boat. The components — the paint, hinges, door latches, hardware and ­mechanical items — are identical to those found on other Bayliss boats. In addition, Mama C is the first Bayliss without a tower or bridge brow mask, maintaining the builder’s focus on easy cleanup and low maintenance.


Cockpit and Mezzanine

The cockpit continues the theme of the GameBoat series with a Carolina-style transom fish box for the day’s catch. The cockpit centerpiece of the first boat is a Release Marine rocket launcher for chasing sails on light tackle, although a full-size fighting chair can be swapped in for blue marlin. The ­mezzanine layout consists of four compartments: two refrigerated ones in the lower floor for drinks and bait, and two dry-storage areas in the upper set beneath the seats. The port side contains the ice dump, while the starboard stores cleaning products. On each side under the seats is two-drawer tackle storage for quick access to any supplies needed while fishing. The engine room is accessed through the center step, allowing easy access below just in front of the Seakeeper 9 gyrostabilizer mounted on the boat’s centerline.

Interior Layout

Entering the salon through the electric-powered ­faux-teak door, the layout is spacious and bright, with storage found throughout. Just inside, cabinets to port and starboard store phones, keys and other small items. Custom sofas with cavernous storage for tackle and gear sit on each side just aft of the galley islands, with each island containing a set of Sub-Zero double-drawer refrigerators. In addition to plenty of pantry and dry-goods storage, the galley boasts a Viking microwave and a Wolf two-burner ­induction cooktop.

The interior woodwork is what you would expect from Bayliss Boatworks, with a twist. The Bayliss team utilized vertically grained stained-teak veneer cut from the same tree, then turned it 90 degrees so the grain runs horizontally throughout the salon. It’s an unusual look that, when combined with fully radiused corners and no-slam hinges, produces a travel-ready and strikingly beautiful interior. The countertops are quartzite, and the galley floors are Amtico; both are low maintenance and allow the crew to focus on fishing rather than cleaning and repairs while on the water.

Bayliss Boatworks GameBoat 60 Boat Review
Entering the salon through the electric-powered ­faux-teak door, the layout is spacious and bright, with storage found throughout. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

As you enter the salon, you can feel the cool air conditioning, yet you cannot locate its origin. The teak trim that hides the seams in the headliner also hides a carbon-fiber tunnel that distributes the air equally along the length of the salon. It’s a first for Bayliss and an interesting delivery system that we might see on their future builds.

Moving forward and below, there is a spacious rod- and tackle-storage area with a large medically certified freezer to port. The freezer is big enough to maintain several weeks’ worth of trolling and dredge baits. The top of the freezer has a fiddled countertop, providing ample space for tackle rigging. This same area contains a rod-and-reel locker and an open storage area that is perfect for various fighting harnesses and belts.Mama C contains two heads, one on the starboard-side opposite the tackle area and another forward in the bow. Both feature showers and vanities with quartzite countertops, along with sturdy hardware and ­plumbing fixtures.

Bayliss Boatworks GameBoat 60 Boat Review
Mama C features a spacious rod- and tackle-storage area. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

Maintaining the theme of simplicity, rather than separate staterooms, Mama C contains four adult-size bunks along each side of the companionway. These are not typical bunks, though: The mattresses are seamed so when the storage lid below is raised, the mattress folds out of the way to reveal additional storage. Two drawers under each bunk are installed using hinges rated at 500 pounds to store extremely heavy items like dredge weights and electric reels. It’s a nice touch from an ­experienced builder.


Engine Room

The engine room ­contains the compact 1,600-­horsepower MTU 10V 2000 M96L engines, paired to Twin Disc quick-shift gears; Mama C is the first Bayliss to utilize this combination of engines and transmissions. Also located in the engine room is everything you would expect to find in a traveling boat, ­including a 21-kilowatt generator, watermaker, tool box and ice maker. Every component’s wiring is labeled, and all equipment is mounted for easy access and maintenance.

Bridge and Helm

The bridge boasts a center console with one Release Trillion helm chair aft and bench seating forward. The bridge wing seats contain customized rod storage on the port wing, while cleaning equipment and a freshwater washdown is housed under the starboard seat. Safety equipment and additional rod storage is located forward in the brow of the bridge.

The center console is laid out efficiently, housing many items within a small footprint. The focal point is a pair of 17-inch Garmin multifunction displays and a 12-inch Simrad unit — completing the chart, fish finder and radar trifecta — housed beneath a clear protective panel. There are also two Standard Horizon VHFs, Fusion stereo, Twin Disc control panel and a Blue Seas tank-monitoring display. To port is a simple switch panel for the spreader, navigation, and overhead lights and other accessories.


Above the helm chair is a sliding hatch that reveals two Miya Epoch US-9R teaser reels. Just forward is a recessed area in the hardtop for the MTU engine monitors.


The GameBoats are built just like other Bayliss boats, utilizing Okoume plywood construction in the hull for strength. The use of wood continues with fir stringers, keel and chine logs, as well as teak spray rails and bumpers. The hullsides use Core-Cell foam between the outer ­triple-planked layer and single inner plywood layer; the house and bridge, along with other components, are built utilizing foam construction for strength and light weight. The GameBoats are built without molded fiberglass parts, which allow Bayliss to provide the owner a variety of customization options.

Bayliss Boatworks GameBoat 60 Boat Review
Overhead schematic of Mama C. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

Bayliss utilizes faux teak in most areas like the helm pod, toe rail, drip cap and salon door to provide lower maintenance, while natural teak is used in the cockpit sole and covering boards. Ultimately, the construction process provides the owner with a boat that will require minimal upkeep and shorter yard stays.


Bayliss put Mama C through her paces during a gray, blustery day in North Carolina, where we were able to experience her exceptional handling. In addition, she backs downs and spins quickly, more than a match for any billfish. Working our way through the narrow channels, Mama C’s sweet spot was at 1,950 rpm, making 37 knots. She is also very fast, with a 45-knot top-end speed, even when fully loaded with passengers and fuel.

John Bayliss’ goal for the GameBoat series is a ­beautiful, well-built vessel that can chase billfish globally, with everything needed to be an efficient tournament competitor, while also providing a quick turnaround in cleaning and maintenance at the end of the day. After spending several hours on Mama C, I would agree that his goals were exceeded on all counts. This one is a winner.


LOA: 60′ | Beam: 17′8″ | Draft: 4′6″ | Displ: 73,000 lb. | Fuel: 1,350 gal. | Water: 200 gal. | Power: Twin MTU 10V2000 M96 L 1,600 hp diesels


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