Bayliss Boatworks 78 | Boat Review

Custom elegance and top-shelf performance from the popular North Carolina boatbuilder

September 9, 2020
A white and blue sport fishing boat on the water.
Blue View cruises at 38.5 knots, thanks to a pair of MTU 16V2000 engines producing 2,600 hp each. Top speed: 44 knots. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

As previous owners of a 68-foot Bayliss, the family-oriented owners of Blue View knew not only what they wanted in a new boat, but also that John Bayliss and his highly talented team of craftsmen could deliver on those expectations with a vessel that would be exactly what they wanted, and then some. The result: Hull No. 24, the 78-foot Blue View, a product of over 71,000 man-hours and 32 months in construction.

With the decision to move up to a larger vessel, the ­owners had several key features in mind. They wanted an additional stateroom and a larger salon to accommodate their ever-growing family, as well as a day head and a gyrostabilizer to smooth out the seas when fishing in Florida, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Isla Mujeres, Mexico. But they also wanted a boat with beautiful lines in the correct proportions, just as their beloved 68 had showcased.

The helm and cockpit of the Bayliss Boatworks 78, Blue View.
The helm houses a trio of Garmin 22-inch multifunction displays; additional electronics are in the drop-down panel in the hardtop. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

Cockpit and Flybridge

When I stepped aboard Blue View at her home port in Ponce Inlet, Florida, those gorgeous proportional lines immediately hit home. Enhancing that first impression is a full natural-teak package, with hand-selected teak boards comprising the transom, cockpit bulkhead, half-round, toe rail, salon door and helm pod. The traditional black mask and full tower from Palm Beach Towers adds to that visual appeal. No question about it, the boat is drop-dead gorgeous.


Blue View’s cockpit is a statement in functionality, from the sliding doors on the undergunwale gaff and mop storage to the placement of the electric outlets for the dredge reels, which are up high and closer to the tower legs for a shorter, neater cord run. The mezzanine contains the ice dump plus refrigeration and freezer storage along with a dedicated bin for dredge mullets and a separate one for rigged baits, both with double-stacking, perforated stainless-steel trays. On the starboard side is a Gaggenau grill located above the tackle locker. In the lazarette, a sea chest supplies raw water for the transom fish box, which can be converted to a livewell, although the team admittedly doesn’t live-bait fish too often. A Release Marine 11-rod rocket launcher offers plenty of rod storage, a sign of the family’s preference for fishing stand-up with light tackle. Just forward of the leaning-post stanchion is a hatch to access the Seakeeper 30SHD.

Watch: Check out our video of Mama C, a Bayliss 60.

On the flybridge, a center-console design offers easy access, with ample seating and rod storage on either side of the bridge deck and a massive freezer space beneath forward bench seating. Electronics include a trio of Garmin 22-inch multifunction displays under a spray cover, plus a 12-inch Garmin in the hardtop dropdown, allowing the captain to easily and quickly touch the screen to check waypoint distances or perform other tasks without having to open the console cover. The controls for the Furuno omnidirectional sonar are under a protected cover on the starboard side of the helm, perfect for right-handed operation; a Simrad autopilot, FLIR thermal imaging, 25 kW Furuno radar and Icom VHF radios round out the primary electronics package. In the hardtop, four Miya Epoch US9R teaser reels, as well as hard-wired auto-retrieve push buttons for the Lindgren-Pitmans in the cockpit, allow Capt. Taylor Hansen to control all the ­teasers and dredges from the helm; an additional set of remote controls, along with a 12-inch Garmin MFD, also resides in the tower. “I like to pull short-rigger teasers as well as squid chains, so having the extra set of teaser reels really helps,” he says. “And I don’t have to say anything to the mates—they can concentrate on the bite rather than clearing the teasers.”

The interior guest stateroom of the Bayliss Boatworks 78, Blue View.
Air-activated Pullman berths drop from hidden panels in the VIP and master staterooms. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks


As with all Bayliss builds, a single teak log was utilized for all the veneers in the interior in order to ensure grain consistency. In Blue View, the teak was finished with a dark stain, which really highlighted the exquisite character of the wood. A U-shaped couch arrangement is to port, along with a table that converts from low to high with foldout leaves and extensions to create additional dining space. The dinette is forward to starboard, with hidden air-actuated rod storage below; to port is the galley, well laid out with Sub-Zero refrigeration and a Miele speed oven. Having an oven in addition to the usual microwave/convection system greatly increases the dining options. Throughout the boat, the striking leather-finished Persian Camel granite beautifully complements the teak woodwork. Rather than being a separate piece, the granite cooktop insert slides forward and up for quick, secure storage. The upper level also includes a walk-in pantry and the aforementioned day head, with hidden washer and dryer concealed by teak cabinetry—a smart use of the available space.

Several fishing reels and rods in storage.
The tackle room has storage for the boat’s heavy tackle plus bins and drawers to keep everything easily accessible. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

Heading below, the boat’s tackle room is to starboard just off the companionway, and it’s stunning. Nearly the size of a guest stateroom, it has customized reel storage plus plenty of cabinets and drawers for all kinds of accessories. No more rummaging under a sofa or bed in search of that one box of hooks or swivels.

The interior stateroom storage solutions of the Bayliss Boatworks 78, Blue View.
Beneath the VIP berth is storage for the Release Marine Trillion series fighting chair. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

Blue View has a four-stateroom/five-head layout, with the VIP to port. Beneath the VIP berth is another of the boat’s unique custom touches: storage for the unlimited-class Release Marine fighting chair. Fishing heavy tackle, or hosting guests who don’t feel comfortable standing up? No problem—the crew can swap out everything in just a few minutes, even in a distant foreign destination. A nod to the boat’s family-based adventures is air-actuated Pullman berths that drop from concealed locations in the VIP and master staterooms, a perfect spot for kids or grandkids to spend the night aboard. Both staterooms also feature beautiful olive ash inlays that really pop against the dark teak. A third stateroom with bunks offers additional sleeping space. The crew’s quarters are located down a teak spiral staircase, featuring a private head as well as access to the pump and engine room.

The interior engine room of the Bayliss Boatworks 78, Blue View.
A pair of MTU 16V2000 M96L diesel engines reside in the engine room, along with a pair of 38 kW Northern Lights generators and emergency pump-out valves. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

Engine Room and Performance

In the spotless engine room resides the boat’s powerplant: a pair of MTU 16V2000 M96L diesel engines rated at 2,600 hp each. Sharing this space are a pair of 38 kW Northern Lights generators and emergency pump-out valves. The air-conditioned pump room is home to the Dometic chilled-water air-conditioning system, dual FCI ­watermakers with dockside purification capability, and Bayliss’ unique freshwater cooling system for all mechanical components.

And while the passing of Hurricane Isaias off Florida’s east coast precluded an extensive sea trial during my visit, Blue View’s performance numbers are just as impressive as the rest of the boat. The MTU-recommended cruise of 2,150 rpm yields a speed of 38.5 knots. Back off the throttles to 1,950 rpm and she’s doing 35 to 36 knots; push her up to wide open and you’ll see 44 knots even—pretty incredible for a 78-foot boat that is displacing 150,000 pounds. Her 2,700-gallon fuel capacity means she can make the trip from North Carolina to Bermuda without the need for additional fuel bladders.

On her inaugural ­voyage from North Carolina to Florida, the Blue View team released two blue marlin, proving she’s an eloquent fish-raiser right out of the box. With a program that includes travel to some of the world’s finest destinations, she’s sure to bring many years of enjoyment to her owners and their families.


Read Next: Read our review of the 62-foot Tarheel, Capt. John Bayliss’ personal boat.

Bayliss Boatworks 78 Specs

  • LOA: 78′
  • Beam: 21′8″
  • Draft: 5′10″
  • Displ: 150,000 lb.
  • Fuel: 2,700 gal.
  • Water: 450 gal.
  • Power: TWIN MTU M96L 16V 2,600 HP
  • Gears: ZF 2.5:1
  • Propellers: VEEM
  • Climate Control: Dometic
The interior salon of the Bayliss Boatworks 78, Blue View.
The dinette with monitor raised. This can utilize a variety of feeds, from the boat’s electronics to the owner’s laptop for Zoom meetings. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks
The interior salon of the Bayliss Boatworks 78, Blue View.
The dark-stained teak displays its beautifully book-matched grain in the salon, perfectly complimented by the Persian Camel leather-finished granite countertops. Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

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