Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bayliner Reflexx

You might say that I had a life-changing experience that day in the Spring of 1995 when I visited my local Bayliner dealer and a new Reflexx was parked next to the entrance. That was the first mini-jet boat I saw, and it was love at first sight, with that type of boat, at least. Although the Reflexx was appealing in certain ways, it had a few design flaws. First of all, the joy of any mini-jet comes with the spin, and this long, narrow, conventional hull doesn't look like much of a spinner. Secondly, the front seats were uncomfortable and the grab bar mounted above the windshield cuts through your line of sight if you happen to sit low in the saddle, as I do. The rear seats are more comfortable, but in most cases, who's going to use them? The closed bow is not a very efficient use of the small interior space of a fourteen-foot boat, either. Last of all, the trim colors seem to have been designed for a gay teenager, not usually the sort than can afford a new jetboat.

The Reflexx was sold only in 1994 and '95. Bayliner seemed to have wisely concentrated more effort on developing the Jazz, a somewhat more conventional, open-bow jetboat. The Jazz was built in several iterations from 1993-99. The original was a plain, shallow little thing with minimal, hard seating and solid colored-trim over a white hull. The Jazz received updated graphics in '94 and the larger 120-hp Mercury four-cylinder engine in 1995. The 1996 model seemed to become an all-new boat with a new sixteen-foot hull, beautiful colors, very comfortable seating, and deluxe accoutrements. The new Mercury 175-hp V-6 was added in '97.

For much more information on the Reflexx and other jet boats, see  
Ker-Splash 2: The High Performance Powerboat Book
Ker-Splash 2 in Kindle

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