100% Newbie

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by brobb2735, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. brobb2735

    brobb2735 New Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    Middle River, MD
    I live in Middle River ,Md and I eventually want to buy a Sea ray 280 Sundancer within the next year. My only experience on a boat has only been on head boat charters.I would like to ask all you experienced captains if a boat of this size will be over my head. I will be taking a hands on boating course before my purchase. Any advise good or bad will be greatly appreciated.
  2. sibnai1

    sibnai1 Member

    Jul 18, 2014
    NJ, USA
    195 Bow Rider 5 Series
    4.3litre V6 I/O Alpha I Gen II
    Sorry I'm not trying to be a jerk .................................... but everyone's abilities are different ......................................and since we do not know you or if you can chew gum and walk at the same time, or if you are a Mensa member or if you are methodical, or if you are mechanical or if things come really easily to/for you .................................it would be extremely difficult for us to say if a 280 Sundancer would be over your head. You might take to boating like a duck to water or you may need more practice than some, or you may never get it (highly unlikely). I imagine the fact that you are asking means that you are a cautious person that values other's opinions but there is really no way for us to tell, sorry
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  3. brobb2735

    brobb2735 New Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    Middle River, MD
    Ok. Let me tell you a little about my background. I'm 40 years old and I am a 16 year tractor trailer driver. I know the basic boating terms and I"m a little handy around engines. I was just trying to grasp the difficulty of a boat of this size. Any advice that you can provide me I will appreciate. Thanks
  4. Almightys

    Almightys Member

    Jun 15, 2015
    Warren, MI
    1992 Sundancer 330, 7.4l's w vdrives, and genny
    454 Mercs
    I think you are fine. Just take it easy around the docks and get some practice
  5. brobb2735

    brobb2735 New Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    Middle River, MD
    Thanks for your your advice. I will be a new boater but i'm a experienced trucker and I always tell the new drivers that if you have any questions just ask. thanks again.
  6. bahamabreisus

    bahamabreisus Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Hampstead NC
    500 dancer, previous 420,390,300 dancers
    detriot 8v92
    Our first boat was a 28ft. seemed huge for a week, then moved to 30ft, seemed huge and so on and so on. I think you will be OK
  7. brobb2735

    brobb2735 New Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    Middle River, MD
    thanks I feel a lot more confidant. Same way driving a big rig!!
  8. Strypes

    Strypes Member

    Dec 10, 2015
    Catawba Island
    12 Meter Trojan International Motor Yacht
    210 Sea Fox Center Console
    Avon 3.11 RIB
    454 Crusaders
    V6 Mercury Saltwater 150HP
    4 Stroke 5HP Mercury
    Hello! Welcome!

    Personally, I think that with some guidance, classes, practice and help, you should be able to do basic boating relatively easy and quickly. Especially with something less than 30' in length and a beam 10' or less.

    Where will you be boating?
    Do you have any friends that are experienced boaters?

    My advice; join a Power Squadron and take some classes. At a minimum take the America's Boating Course(ABC) and if you're up for it follow it with Seamanship and Piloting. Knowledge is the key to success!

    Good luck and be safe!

  9. brobb2735

    brobb2735 New Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    Middle River, MD
    Thanks. But I have no friends who are boat owners. I just don't want to be that guy at the marina. If there are any members in the Middle River,Md area that would like to help a newbie and share there knowledge with me I would love to learn.
  10. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2007 44DB
    Cummins QSC 8.3s
    May be intimidating to begin with. Take your time and you will be fine.

  11. dwna1a

    dwna1a Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Apr 23, 2012
    James River
    88 Weekender 300 "Seahorse"
    Twins 350
    First, welcome to CSR. Saying this boat or that boat is difficult but it sounds as if you have what it takes. Education is the key. That and a great deal of common sense. While I did do a great deal of boating as a kid my first real boat was a SeaRay 27' dancer. She was underpowered with a I/O and while it was a great boat to cut my teeth on, I hated it. But I did learn a great deal and had a lot of fun on that boat. I'm sure you will to. Go out with any boater that will have you along you learn more in the hands on area than ever in the classes.

    I wish you luck in your hunt. Always get a used boat surveyed. Once you find a boat, practice and practice often. Ask questions of boaters around you. Be a sponge absorb everything you can.
  12. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    2006 Crownline 250CR
    Previous: 1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    this was our first boat. the first time i sat at the wheel i got a little nervous looking out over the bow but after a couple times out i was fine. just take your time
  13. xravenx

    xravenx Member

    Oct 5, 2006
    Baltimore, Md.
    370 Sundancer 1995
    8.1s (2013) w/ V drives
    Memebers here, Hack4alivin (320DA), Alegra (330DA) and myself keep our boats at the Baltimre Yacht Club which is on Sue Creek at the mouth of Middle River. We could show you the ropes, at the moment we are having a blizzard so it may have to wait. Hack4alivin and I usually take our shrink wrap off the first good weather weekend in March, you could have a look at them then to get you started.

  14. brobb2735

    brobb2735 New Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    Middle River, MD
    Great!! I will take you up on your offer
  15. Alegria

    Alegria Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Lancaster,PA Boat: -Sue Creek, MD
    2000 410 DA
    3126 CAT
    Yep I echo XRavenX. My boat is on land right now as well getting buried under 28" of snow. Feel free to PM me if you want to check it out.

    Our first boat was a 280 (1990) and we were the entertainment for the pier for the first season. The Chesapeake is a great place to boat and navigation is fairly straightforward most of the time in most locations. Actually I find between the 280 and our 330, my 330 is so much easier to handle around the dock due to inboards rather than outdrives. We got out of boating for a while then purchased our 330 and we had a captain give use some lessons and that helped my confidence. Then it was a leaning curve to know all the systems on the boat. If you can safety drive a truck you can handle a 280 I suspect.

    My point, if you can afford it a 320 might be a better bet for you or an older 330 like ours. (JOHN stop laughing... I know you are reading that like I'm trying to sell it!!!! LOL)

    You are more then welcome to check out our boat once I get the shrink wrap off.
  16. Gary B

    Gary B Member

    May 20, 2015
    Long Island
    2007 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM 11
    Go for it! You will be fine. I agree 100% with your idea to take boating safety courses up front. As others have recommended find a good captain locally who can provide you with hands on training on your boat especially docking. Join BoatUS - great organization and they can recommend captains and marine surveyors to inspect any vessel prior to purchase ( a must).
    if you can navigate a truck through crowded places the boat should be no problem.
  17. tdgard

    tdgard Member

    Jun 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    05-270 Sundeck
    496 w/Bravo III
    Yep to all the above. Also, don't worry too much about being "that guy" on the dock at first--because you will be.
  18. ttmott

    ttmott Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
  19. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Operation of a boat has it's own concepts - I suspect you will do well.

    Have you ever operated a forklift? Which steers from the rear vs the front. That's a key concept the boat will steer from the rear, key difference it doesn't stop when you hit the brakes and the wind doesn't blow a forklift.

    Second driving a truck has ingrained a high degree of situational awareness. You are accustomed to making decisions and taking into account the swing of the trailer, etc. That's another key boating concept.

    I think you will probably find the operation of the boat comes pretty fast for you.

    I came from a farm background. Large equipment. I think that accelerated my boat handling with larger boats (no where near perfect, still learning).

    Someone told me to break it down into three categories and attack those:

    Operation of boat (the ability to control the vessel in tight quarters, docking, etc.)

    Navigation - Know where you are, how to safely find the path to where you want to go, and the rules of the road

    Systems on the boat - AC/ Water/ Electrical - etc.

    Just my thoughts,

  20. trflgrl

    trflgrl Active Member

    Jun 23, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    1989 Sundancer 300
    Twin 350 Merc/Alpha 1 Gen 1; Quicksilver 4.0 gen
    brobb2375--you realize you're likely to be contract a major case of foot-itis when you visit these guys, right? They'll have you starting at no less than a 320 if you're not careful....heck, they might even convince you to buy THEIR next boat first!!

    But since I went straight to a twin engine* 300DA, I have no room to talk! :smt043 I was (still am) a newbie with very little hands-on piloting experience but lots of osmosis from years serving as deck hand for others for rafting, slipping, docking, and even a little bit of anchoring, and that has served me very, very well. The keys for me (and First Mate) have been learning MY boat, and being confident but not overly so. FM can put this 11' beam into our 12' slip unaided pretty much every time. As for me....if a passenger has to use a pole because I miscalculated and didn't give enough of a throttle bump to take us all the way, or because I got a little crooked and don't feel good about taking a second shot, so be it. Would it be (and look) way better to not use poles, and to use throttle only like a pro? Sure--but I'm not there yet, so a neighbor's "Perfect landing = no damage" mantra wins! Any thought of looking silly is precluded by the priorities I always set for passengers during the pre-launch safety orientation: 1.) Protect people; 2.) Protect other peoples' boats/property; 3.) Protect my boat.

    If you have a solid record as a tractor-trailer driver and have driven in lots of different condition, you probably will be quick on the uptake for the technical skills to pilot, and have common sense in spades that will help you handle unexpected conditions and situations....including passengers and other "helpers" who might mean well but also might know less than you do! I echo others' sentiments that classes and hands-on time are a great combination. Having some theories in your head as a base will be very valuable if you encounter a situation you haven't faced in real world.

    *I highly recommend twins, and inboards over out drives if you can find them in a boat you like in your budget range. You'll learn to pilot whatever you buy, of course, but the maneuverability is awesome, and having that "insurance" of a second engine has helped us salvage a weekend or two that would have ended very sadly if we'd had only a single. Twin out drives make for a tight engine room in some models, but that's a price I'm willing to pay for the benefits.

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