240 Vs. 260 Sundancer

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Grateful, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Grateful

    Grateful New Member

    Jan 3, 2018
    In the market...
    Hi Everyone!

    We are in the market for an express cruiser and have narrowed our search to a SR 240 or 260 Sundancer. We are looking for a weekender with good overnight ability. I am 6'1 250lbs, my wife and little one for a total of 2.5 on a typical outing. Would be nice to be able to take a few more folks out at least for the day from time to time.

    I have extensive maritime experience yet we are on the fence as to which one to go with...

    We would probably appreciate the additional size of the 260 but the cost savings of the 240 would allow us to get into a much newer boat, which is a priority. Does the 260 offer noticeably better stability in weather? Is the head on both small, and or is the 240's head smaller than the 260?

    240 probably 2010-2012
    260 probably 2006-2009

    Is the 240 about the same in terms of being pulled on a trailer? I have looked up the stats. We a chevy Tahoe and being able to tow back to our home town would be helpful.

    Sounds like the Bravo III has a bit better harbor maneuverability?

    Any info from those that know about these models would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Richie89

    Richie89 Active Member

    Aug 20, 2012
    Miami Beach, FL
    450 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins 480 Zeus
    Both are small, but the 240 is really small. That was our first boat (240). I’m about 5’9, and wife is barely 5’. We did one overnight and immediately started looking for a bigger boat. We moved to a 290. We had that boat about a year before getting one closer to 40’. I would highly recommend getting the biggest boat you can afford. The 240 handles terrible even in a lake. It is top heavy and narrow and not stable at all. Try for a 280 with twins. Much better.
  3. Zach312

    Zach312 Member

    Jan 23, 2011
    Hudson, WI
    Agree with the point above. Not sure of your budget but I would highly suggest going a bit older and up in size.

    There are a lot of great early 2000's fresh water boats out there.
  4. KevinC

    KevinC Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    2004 340 Sundancer
    1988 Proline Center Console - 90hp Mariner/Mercury
    1969 Boston Whaler
    Twin 8.1 V-drives
    We had a 2003 260DA for several years. It was my wife and me along with our two small boys. When we got the boat the boys were fine in the mid cabin but after a few years they grew and out grew that space. My wife an I slept up front in the v-berth. Plenty room for us but we grew tired of the constant setup and breakdown. The shower/head was a different story - I am 6-0 ft and was cramped from day one but learned to function. Eventually we all outgrew it and upgraded to our 340SDA.

    We trailered the 260DA - but only twice a year. Once to launch and once to store. I had a great trailer for it but even with that I would not have wanted to do that each time. I much preferred to keep it wet slipped and we got more enjoyment out of the boat even when we did not take it out.

    In your position if it must be trailerable and its between the 240 and 260 go with the 260. If you can afford to wet slip the boat I would go larger and older to stay in budget. There are many 280s and 310s out there to look at. Don't get caught up and over finance you'll still need plenty of boat bucks left over for maintenance, gas and other things.

    Just my opinions - YMMV.

  5. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    I agree with all above. The 240 is really useless for anything other than a day boat on a smallish lake. My wife and I bought a 26' boat of "another brand" when we wanted to start overnighting. I'm 6'2" 240 lbs. and my wife is very petite at 5'....plus we had a 90 lb. dog. We spent one night on the 26' and in the morning started looking for a bigger boat....we bought a 1989 340 Sundancer that we owned and loved for 4 years. We had the 26 footer for 6 weeks.

    Trust us....you will hate the 240 immediately and the 260 after the first overnight. One suggestion....this is boat show season and there will be many opportunities to see new boats and even some brokered boats. Look at many. This is a big step and you want to make the right choice. Find a broker that can show you several models and sizes. Go aboard and you and your wife stretch out on the beds, pretend you are preparing a meal in the galley....is there room for both? Go into the head. Sit on the john. Will the door close or do your knees hit the door? Imagine taking a shower.

    I think you are starting to get the point. There are so many boats available so take your time and make the best choice.

    Good luck and enjoy the search. Let us know what you find.
  6. wyrman

    wyrman Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 12, 2012
    Tri-Cities, Wa
    2007 310 Sundancer
    Twin 350's, V drives
    We had an 06 260. I'm 5'11" and the bed wasn't really big enough. I slept on it, but it really wasn't the best. Plus there was no way I could stand up in the head, not even close.
    It did trailer very nice, but I pulled with a 1 ton Ford 4x4. I did pull it a short ways a couple of times with our Tahoe, and it did just fine, but I wouldn't pull it too much of a distance with it.
    The 240 in the years you want is 24' overall, where as the 260 in those years is 28' overall.
    Our 260 got too small in a hurry.
  7. Maggieiscrazy

    Maggieiscrazy Active Member

    Oct 14, 2016
    Northern Wisconsin
    240 Sundancer
    5.0. Bravo III
    I have a 2002 240da and have really enjoyed it. My wife and I sleep in the mid berth and my 2 boys sleep in the v berth. I'm 6' tall and have plenty of room. We trailer wherever we go and it pulls easily. We have spent lots of time on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River and have never felt like the boat was too small. I was recently in the market for a 260da but after looking at a couple the size difference was hardly noticeable. plus with the radar arch it won't fit in my garage. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another 240.
  8. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2007 44DB
    Cummins QSC 8.3s
    Like Wyrman, we had a ‘06 260DA for 4 years. Like you, we looked at the 240 vs the 260. One main factor was not only the additional space, but also the gen. Summer nights in GA are unbearable without AC.

    We towed 100% of the time. I pulled it home with a 1/2 ton 4x4 and immediately traded up to a 2500HD. Our minimum pull was 60 miles and it was no problem with the 3/4 ton.

    We bought a foam topper and cut it to fit the V birth and it slept fine. I am 6’4” and 230 and the head and V birth were doable. We had a lot of fun learning in that boat.

    Buy all of the boat you can afford comfortably and just enjoy it.

  9. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    I think you're at an interesting crossroads here, since trailering is a consideration. I used to have a '99 260DA. It was basically the same boat as the '05-'09, but the '05-'09 had newer styling/features. However, it also weighs over a 1,000lbs heavier than mine and my 260DA was close to 10,000lbs loaded up. That's more (even my 260DA) than a Tahoe can safely handle - not just in power, but also in stability/safety. You really need a 3/4 ton truck or Suburban at a minimum. I tow A LOT of boats with many different vehicles. Some much bigger than what you're looking at and some small enough that you can duct tape their trailer to the bumper. Unfortunately, the Tahoe just isn't meant for a boat the size of the 260DA. Heck, even the 240DA is going to push the Tahoe pretty hard.

    But we had our 260DA for 7 seasons and often did extended weekends with it. We sold it when our kids were about 9 and 7. Yes, it's a bit tight - but it's camping - what would one expect? ;) We were totally fine with the size.

    So, back to the crossroads. IF I could spend your money, I'd trade the Tahoe on a 4-door pickup with a diesel engine and buy an '01-'09 280DA. Just keep in mind that the 280DA is technically too wide to trailer. I'm not saying I wouldn't do it - I would. I just mention that so you're aware.

    Other advice... take your wife with you and go touch and feel them. REALLY look at them from an owner's perspective - not a buyer's perspective. Imagine using them. Lay in the beds. Use the toilet... well, don't actually "use" it - I doubt the owner would appreciate that - just sit on it and "pretend". That's really the only way YOU are going to know what size boat will work for you. And even then, there's a good possibility that after a year or two you're going to want a bigger one. After all, I wouldn't expect you to be any different than any of us! :)
  10. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
    You are really limited if you are going to trailer.

    Are there any lakes or rivers around your location that you could just buy a bigger boat and dock it at a marina?

    I do not trailer so I can't help you there but I did have a 2011 260DA for 5 years and really liked the boat. It was fully loaded including a generator so it made staying out on the water over the weekend enjoyable. Coffee in the morning, Pop corn in the evening while watching movies and even a few times to run the AC to cool down the boat in the evening before sleeping. The head was very small and I'm 5'10" 280..... had to stand 1/2 way in/out just to take a leak.

    I moved up in size this year and went older and bought a 1998 290DA w/generator and twin 5.0's and the difference in room not only on top but in the cabin is fantastic. With the beam increasing about 2 feet from the 260 to the 290 made the biggest difference. I have the B floor plan so my v berth is always a bed along with a couch and removable/storable table. The biggest convenience is I can stand inside the head to pee. ;) and do the other more comfortably with the door closed. There was no way in heck that was going to happen in the 260DA.

    If you are going to trailer to various locations...... consider a sun deck or other open bow boat and take the savings and stay in a nice hotel or cabin of you are away from home.

    Where are you in the world?
  11. Maggieiscrazy

    Maggieiscrazy Active Member

    Oct 14, 2016
    Northern Wisconsin
    240 Sundancer
    5.0. Bravo III
    We make coffe and popcorn on the butane stove. And the kids watch movies on the 12 volt tv. I have never had a need for a generator. How much time do you think you'll actually spend in the cabin? We don't spend much time in there. If we wanted to stay inside we'd stay home. Another nice thing about the 240 and 260 is they get close to 3 mpg. Jump up to a larger boat and the fuel mileage really drops.
  12. Happy Dayz

    Happy Dayz Active Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    '06 260 Sundancer, 6.2, BIII, Kohler 5kw
    79' classic Kona Family Cruiser jet boat..
    6.2 w/ BIII, 502 w/ Berkekley
    just 4 mo in our 260 and love it. we too debated the 240 vs 260... 260 won due to wanting a genny... love the generator! we have overnight lost of weekends already.. im 5-10 and wife 5 so we fit fine. daughter loves the back birth... we trailer always and pull with a diesel dually so its not a problem at all... we are 5 min from our closest ramp but have towed 2 hrs away and fine... with arch she is tall, have to watch low branches

    do whats best for you, there are a lot of FAT pockets here, mine is not...
  13. DTW

    DTW Member

    Apr 21, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    2011 260 DA 350
    Previous boats: 2002 240 DA, 1999 215 Chap, and 1988 Searay Seaville
    Had a 2002 240 for 10 years. Loved the boat. Wife and kids skied and wake boarded behind with no problems. Trailered to local lake as well as Lake Cumberland and Dale Hollow with no problem with a Chevy Tahoe. Bought a new 260 in 2013 mainly just wife and I with visit from adult kids for short stays. I stay on it from Friday to Sunday each weekend. Love having the air and other items with it. Still trailer once a year to dale hollow for a week stay. Was not as happy with size of boat until I added extended platform. Now for wife and I, we don't need anything bigger. Although, in mid 50s wife still skis and boards behind it.
    Happy Dayz likes this.
  14. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    if you will be doing any watersports now or in the future I would suggest you stay with a boat 26' or below.....bigger boats do not do water sports well.....

  15. Kendall

    Kendall Member

    Feb 3, 2009
    Lake Wylie SC/SC Coast
    2006 260DA
    "WET BAR"

    Tow Vehicle:
    2006 F-350 Dually 4X4 Diesel
    350 MAG w/Bravo III
    Just my 0.02....

    We love our 2006 260 DA as it is about the largest boat I would want to tow the distances we go with my F-350. There is no way to hide it....in that both boats are small but our 260 does most everything bigger boats do and is very mobile. We like exploring all over the SE coast and now FL west coast. We sleep 4 in the 260 + Beagle and are happy even with the close quarters as we don't spend a lot of time in the cabin. Love the gen, engine access, arch and canvas on our boat.

    So glad Sea Ray built these 2005-2009 260's and I think they still look nice on the water even 12 years later.

    Have fun looking!
    Happy Dayz likes this.
  16. Grateful

    Grateful New Member

    Jan 3, 2018
    In the market...
    Wow, A huge thanks to everyone for the awesome feedback!

    We are in Northern California so SF Bay, Delta and Santa Cruz will be our water. Only reason I am interested in trailering is
    A) possibly increasing our scope of finding the boat we want and driving out and towing back.
    B) Growing up on the water in this area I have seen what salt and brackish water does boats so we are interested in a marina with Dry Storage where I can pull her out and she can live in a parking lot until being used. However I too have had lots of fun nights on boats staying in harbor. Is there a way to help the outdrives survive better in salt? Maybe frequent paint and fresh zincs?
  17. Grateful

    Grateful New Member

    Jan 3, 2018
    In the market...
    Wow. Thanks everyone! Info was very helpful and we are changing our search as a result of the 1st hand info. We will be back in touch soon thanks again!
  18. Kendall

    Kendall Member

    Feb 3, 2009
    Lake Wylie SC/SC Coast
    2006 260DA
    "WET BAR"

    Tow Vehicle:
    2006 F-350 Dually 4X4 Diesel
    350 MAG w/Bravo III
    No problem with salt water use and fresh rinse before dry storage but I personally would not want to leave any Bravo III in salt water longer than a month or so. I have just seen too much damage done when these drives are left in salt water on a long term basis.
  19. danziger

    danziger New Member

    Jan 6, 2018
    Pensacola, FL
    2016 330 Sundancer
    6.2 Mercruisers
    We looked at the newer 260s just for kicks and were amazed at how well Sea Ray used the limited space. Too small for our usage, but I wouldn't be afraid to do a long weekend in/on one.
  20. Nick70

    Nick70 Member

    Apr 20, 2016
    New England
    2009 Sea Ray Sundancer 330/350
    Twin 496's
    BRAVO III Sea core
    Garmin radar/gps
    8.1L's w/Bravo III Sea Core
    My 06 260 was an amazing boat for its size.
    You can't beat the cockpit layout. It handles chop pretty well. Rides great. If you can find one with a generator, you get more peace of mind and most likely Heat and AC .
    The cabin is big enough. The head is tight..same size on both the 240 and the 260.
    There will be a big difference in room and overall ride quality between the two.
    Try for the 260 and if possible, get the biggest engine you can.
    I had the 350 with 300 hp..it did fine. But more hp would definitely be nice.
    The 260 is beautiful, you can't go wrong.
    Good luck!

Share This Page

Show Sidebar