380 Sea Ray - First Time Boater

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by GeneP, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. GeneP

    GeneP New Member

    Aug 12, 2017
    Severna Park, MD
    Sea Ray 380, 1999
    Hi everyone,

    I just purchased a home in the Annapolis area on the water. The seller included his boat in the sale, a 1999 Sea Ray 380, gas engines. I don't know much about the boat. I didn't survey the boat because it was part of the deal, had to buy the boat if I wanted the house. Now I have to decide whether I want it. I had to pay $60,000 for the boat.

    I am new to boating. Not sure if I should trade the boat or give it a try. I'm mostly concerned about never-ending problems given the age of the boat. I'm also concerned about my first boat being 40', and this style boat (vs. center or dual console).

    I do want a boat, mostly for cruising. I'm not interested in fishing or watersports. Really want something for day trips, sightseeing, just having fun on the water. Should I give it a try, or just start out fresh with a simpler and smaller boat. I know there is no right answer.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.
  2. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    Sounds like you have nothing to lose by trying it. You already own it. Take a local power squadron boating course or get someone to spend some time with you to show you how to operate safely
    captscottc and GeneP like this.
  3. Crjeff

    Crjeff New Member

    Aug 4, 2016
    Chesapeake Bay
    2001 Sea Ray 380 DA
    Mercruiser 454 MAG MPI Gas Engines
    Welcome to family of boat ownership, albeit somewhat unintended. I bought my 2001 Sea ray 380 last fall - also my first boat. Have really enjoyed it since and continue on a steep learning curve. Pass along any questions/concerns via this forum and you will get sound advice. The 380 is a perfect size for my wife and I to handle, rides well and has comfortable amenities. Grandkids like it, too!
    captscottc and GeneP like this.
  4. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 Express
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin GSD 22 Sounder
    454 Crusaders
    Maybe start with the survey to get a handle on what if any repairs the boat needs. Then find competent repair personal to get the boat seaworthy. Take a boating course then hire a good captain to teach you the basics of how to perform basic maintenance checks and how to safely operate the boat. BTW as boats go a 1999 boat is not considered old by most of us.
    captscottc, GeneP and scooper321 like this.
  5. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    Congrats! I would recommend keeping the boat for a while at least. Here are my thoughts...

    1. As someone mentioned, pay for a survey, boat and engines, it will give you a "real" picture of what is not operating as it should on the boat.
    2. Hire a captain to take you out and show you the ropes, it's money well spent.
    3. Understand a very hard to swallow truth... the boat is the least expensive part of boating... My thoughts are simple, if the boat costs you 15-20K to get in tip top shape, it is probably items you will need to address to sell it anyhow, try out the hobby and see what you think. Admittedly we are obviously biased on the forum because we have boats and enjoy the hobby.

    Actually, after I have thought about it, you should just sell the boat to me for 30K and not worry about it... Just kidding!

    GeneP and scooper321 like this.
  6. GeneP

    GeneP New Member

    Aug 12, 2017
    Severna Park, MD
    Sea Ray 380, 1999
    Thanks everyone for the advice. I appreciate your comments and ideas.
  7. Carpediem44DB

    Carpediem44DB Active Member

    Aug 18, 2015
    Sanfransico Bay area
    2006 44 DB Sedan Bridge Raymarine E120 radar chart plotter GPS autopilot
    cummins QSC 8.3 500 HD
    Welcome to boating, hey at least you were spared the agony of shopping around for your perfect boat! Many of us spent countless hours, months or even years searching for our boat then suffered the PIA of survey and negotiation and possibly over the ground shipping. You are in a pretty good position from that stand point and you have a very nice boat to boot. Enjoy the rest of the season... oh yeah and I totally concur with the previous posters. Get quality training -training -training.
    GeneP likes this.
  8. Alegria

    Alegria Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Lancaster,PA Boat: -Sue Creek, MD
    2000 410 DA
    3126 CAT
    Your on the best cruising body of water and have a capable boat. I'd give it a try!

    Of course I'm biased.

    I echo all the other advice. If you have never operated a boat do you have friends that can help you? Survey is a good idea but you already own it so the fixes are yours. Did the seller give you any indication of the boats condition?

    For me mechanical would be where I would focus. Change the impellers oil clean out the raw water cooling. Think about manifolds if you are going to keep it. Was it ever winterized? All things to think about.

    You can take the online course and learn a lot right online.

    Enjoy the journey if your not going to fish then I would keep the boat and cruise the Chesapeake!

    Have Fun, we are just north of you up the Bay.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
    GeneP likes this.
  9. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    There are a lot of 380 on here with 7.4. Look at yours and ask questions.
    Best way to start is to sit in the engine room and look around for 15 minutes. If things are dripping, oil under the engine, anti freeze bottle empty, water in the bilge, loose things or burnt smell the owner may have got rid of it for a reason. If the oil in the engines is low or black or milky you may have problems. As noted by others mechanical and condition survey is also required. I would get the survey done with the boat out of the water. You can get a captain to drive it to the marina.
    GeneP likes this.
  10. GeneP

    GeneP New Member

    Aug 12, 2017
    Severna Park, MD
    Sea Ray 380, 1999
    All good ideas. I appreciate your continued feedback. Its a really nice looking boat, I think I'll give it a try.

    Thanks again, Gene
  11. Atis

    Atis Member

    Aug 6, 2017
    New Bern, NC
    1987 Sea Ray Sundancer 250, Garmin Chirp GPS
    260 Mercruiser w/Alpha I
    welcome to the Sea Ray Club!
    GeneP likes this.
  12. 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
    Some boaters work their way up...... nothing like taking the plunge head first. :)

    I currently have a 1998 290 DA moved up from a 2011 260 DA and I swear the 98 is better built.

    Good luck and post up a few pictures of your new floating home.
    GeneP likes this.
  13. rondds

    rondds Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Jersey Shore
    2001 380DA
    Merc 8.1s (2008)...Hurth ZF 63 V-drives...WB 7.0 BCGD (2013), Garmin 8208 & 740 MFDs, GMR 24xHD dome
    Gene, I'm in my 5th season with this boat. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me. Good luck with her!
    GeneP likes this.
  14. strange weather

    strange weather Member SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 4, 2010
    Lake Mead
    320 Sundancer 2005,Raymarine C80 GPS SmartCraft System w/Auto Pilot 5kw Kohler Generator
    T-VD 350 Magnum MPI Horizon
    Enjoy the boat - you also have 2 extra bedrooms for your quests when your full at the house!
    GeneP likes this.
  15. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    I agree with the above poster. First step get a boat survey done.

    Find out if there are any safety issues?

    Required Coast Guard items on board?

    You will no doubt get an issue list, talk with the Surveyor to determine priorities. Are there any "Must fix issues" before taking the boat out.

    A lot of Surveyors I have been around also do work as Captain's sometimes. You might be able to find someone who will "package" survey, familiarization with the boat and systems, and some hands on training.

    Interested in what others think - but I don't think you are looking at the full scope of a written survey document that would be part of a purchase.

    If you were doing a purchase survey - you would probably pull the boat out of the water. In this case, I might ask whoever I was working with to identify a knowledgeable diver to check the bottom, running gear, and condition of bottom paint. Should be more than couple of hundred for the diver, will let you know what you have without hauling out the boat.

    Just some thoughts,

    GeneP likes this.
  16. rondds

    rondds Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Jersey Shore
    2001 380DA
    Merc 8.1s (2008)...Hurth ZF 63 V-drives...WB 7.0 BCGD (2013), Garmin 8208 & 740 MFDs, GMR 24xHD dome
    You will likely have to get a survey anyway, in order to get insurance. They want to know the boat is seaworthy and the survey will also appraise the boat (to determine the insured value).
    GeneP likes this.
  17. GeneP

    GeneP New Member

    Aug 12, 2017
    Severna Park, MD
    Sea Ray 380, 1999
    Thank you!
  18. Fat Tony

    Fat Tony Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    West River, Chesapeake Bay
    2003 280
    Twin 4.3
    The surveyor may be able to hook you up with a captain as well.
    GeneP likes this.
  19. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    All solid advice. If you can invest the time and money in to learning all you can and getting the boat in safe reliable shape you'll likely have a good experience. Even if you decide down the road that it isn't for you you'll probably have some good memories and will have an easier time selling a good boat.
    If you try to take shortcuts, the whole experience may be less pleasant.
    GeneP likes this.
  20. SeadawgVB

    SeadawgVB Active Member

    Jul 8, 2013
    Tidewater Virginia
    '03 Sundancer 360
    Twin 8.1s with V-drives
    Gene, if you are a complete newcomer to boating, your first few times you actually maneuver around the dock you will begin to see that a 380 is fairly large. BUT, it won't take you very long to learn how to handle it, if you have someone who can teach you. If you've ever driven a zero radius lawnmower (the kind with two handles for turning), you would be a little ahead of the game.

    My current boat, 360 Sundancer, was the first twin I've ever owned and had only handled a twin center console once. I'm getting the hang of it and the biggest problem for me is the fairly strong tidal current and learning how to compensate for it while docking / undocking.

    Your 380 is about as close to you could get to a perfect boat for the Chesapeake Bay. Once you get it out in the open water you will find this out for yourself.

    I would second the survey, especially if you are not mechanically inclined (but even if you are!). There are many systems in the engine room and others throughout the boat (electronics) that can be a tall order to comprehend upfront. Also if you get a green flag from the surveyor, you will also need to monitor all instruments and gauges to learn what the operational norms are and watch them in the future for consistency.

    You say: "I do want a boat, mostly for cruising. I'm not interested in fishing or watersports. Really want something for day trips, sightseeing, just having fun on the water."

    I say: DO IT!
    GeneP likes this.

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