Many custom-boat owners try to build the perfect boat, with every option and newest gadget imaginable. Hull No. 21 from Bayliss Boatworks, the 77-foot Wave Paver, was built for a knowledgeable tournament-winning owner with just three parameters: The boat must look good, ride well and be an outstanding fishing platform. John Bayliss and his team of experienced craftsmen raised the bar on all three points.

Bayliss Boatworks 77 Boat Review
Wave Paver was built to travel.Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

I caught up with the team during the Pirate's Cove Billfish Tournament in Manteo, North Carolina, just after the boat's delivery. Wave Paver owner Jr. Davis, Capt. Russell Sinclair and Bayliss met me at the dock for a day of fishing. Right away, I noticed the beautiful teak work on the transom and in the cockpit. Unlike some of Bayliss' previous boats, Wave Paver did not have a teak bulkhead or mezzanine cabinets, nor did it utilize faux teak. According to Davis, "My wife says that sometimes less is better." It's an understated yet stunning look.

Cockpit and Mezzanine

Wave Paver was built to travel, so storage and refrigerated space abounds throughout the boat. The lazarette access houses a massive refrigerated fish box as well as a ­conventional transom fish box. Since the team likes to fish light tackle, the cockpit centerpiece is a Release Marine 13-rod rocket launcher. Moving on to the mezzanine, there is dry storage along with a grill on the starboard side, and five chiller storage areas for bait and drinks. The engine room is accessed through the center seat, which raises to allow an easy step-down just in front of the Seakeeper 12 gyrostabilizer, one of two Seakeepers the boat.


Entering the salon through the electric-actuated teak door, you immediately notice the striking teak-veneered cabinetry, all cut from the same tree. To port is a U-shaped sofa with a custom walnut table, which can be raised to dining height and contains four leaves to create a dining table capable of seating 10 to 12. The starboard side is home to a sofa in front of a teak cabinet with a hidden flat screen that rises from within, while the sofa seats reveal cavernous tackle storage below. Just inside the salon door is a cabinet with multiple charging stations for devices like cameras and phones, and for the ComStar wireless crew headsets. Moving forward, there is a U-shaped dinette to starboard with a walnut table. The galley, to port, contains six refrigerated drawers, cooktop and a convection oven. A day head is opposite the pantry to starboard.

Bayliss Boatworks 77 Boat Review
The salon features striking teak-veneered cabinetry all cut from the same tree.Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

Walking down the teak stairs, you enter a wraparound companionway to the crew quarters with bunks and en suite bath; custom rod and reel storage is contained in the companionway. While in the crew quarters, you can enter the pump room via a watertight bulkhead door.

Moving forward to port is a VIP stateroom, while the starboard side contains another bunk room, both with en suite heads. The master stateroom in the bow contains a queen bed, sofa, head, and ample closet and drawer space.

Engine Room

Access to the engine room is via the cockpit mezzanine or through the pump room, utilizing another watertight bulkhead door. The engine room contains the 2,600-horsepower MTU ­diesels and two Northern Lights 38 kW generators. A clean and simple design creates ample room to access all sides of the engines for maintenance duties.

Bayliss Boatworks 77 Boat Review
The engine room contains the 2,600-horsepower MTU ­diesels and two Northern Lights 38 kW generators.Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

Located forward of the engine room, the pump room houses most of the mechanical systems, including two watermakers and Spot Zero systems, chiller pumps, air conditioning units and a Seakeeper 7 gyrostabilizer. Since this boat will travel extensively, redundancy is the norm for all systems to ensure Wave Paver can remain operational across the globe. The engine and pump rooms are fair, smooth, and well-lit to allow for quick inspection and routine maintenance.

Bridge and Helm

The helm console sits on the centerline, with two Release Marine Trillion chairs aft and a double bench seat forward. The forward seat contains an additional freezer, refrigerated storage and wastebasket for the bridge. The bridge contains rod storage on either wing, while safety equipment is contained in the brow.

The console is ­expansive, with four KEP 21-inch monitors wired to a Garmin chart plotter/fish finder and Simrad chart plotter/fish finder/radar. The MTU engine gauges sit on center along with two Standard Horizon GXS5500 VHF radios. To port are the Seakeeper displays, while on the starboard side are two Garmin GMR 20s displaying rudder angle along with water depth and temperature. The KVH compass and Maretron tank monitor are positioned above the MTU gauges. To each side of the helm pod are control boxes that contain the Dometic watermaker and Spot Zero displays, Fusion stereo, Garmin and Simrad controls, autopilot, FLIR controls and the switch panel.

Bayliss Boatworks 77 Boat Review
The console is ­expansive, with four KEP 21-inch monitors wired to a Garmin chart plotter/fish finder and Simrad chart plotter/fish finder/radar.Courtesy Bayliss Boatworks

Above the center helm chair is a sliding hatch that reveals four teaser reels — two Miya Epoch US-9Rs and two Daiwa Dendohs — to handle a variety of teaser applications. Another nice feature is a rear-facing 8-inch Garmin MFD, providing the captain with additional information while keeping an eye on the spread. Up top on the full Palm Beach tower is another 10-inch Garmin display, as well as controls for the engines, autopilot and bow thruster.


Bayliss Boatworks remains true to its Carolina heritage, utilizing plywood hull construction for strength. The use of wood continues with fir stringers, keel and chine logs, as well as teak spray rails and bumpers. The hullsides are cored with Core-Cell foam between the outer triple-planked layer and inner single-plywood layer. The Core-Cell not only adds lightweight strength but also sound insulating properties. While running, I was amazed by how quiet the salon was with 5,200 horsepower just below my feet. “We overbuild our boats for longevity and ease of maintenance,” Bayliss says. “Our owners need to know they have a boat they can trust.”


Fishing an entire day reveals a different side of this large sport-fishing yacht. Heading out through Oregon Inlet, Sinclair pointed Wave Paver northeast at a cruising speed of 34 knots at 2,000 rpms. She is capable of 43 knots.

While trolling, we had multiple hookups, ­making tight turns through a crowded fishing spot. At low speed and while backing down, she is responsive and nimble. What impressed me most was the handling while running through the narrow channel inside Oregon Inlet's Bonner Bridge: We cruised through at 30 knots, not slowing down for the hard turns, with Wave Paver ­handling more like a 20-footer.

Built to travel the world while accommodating the owner's growing extended ­family, Wave Paver is truly another work of art from Bayliss Boatworks.

LOA: 77'0" | Beam: 21'11" | Draft: 5'8" | Displ.: 140,500 lb.
Fuel: 2,700 gal. | Water: 450 gal. | Power: Twin 2,600 hp MTU M96L diesels*