Differences from 260 to 290 for Family of 4

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by WannaBSeaRayOwners, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. WannaBSeaRayOwners

    WannaBSeaRayOwners New Member

    27
    Feb 9, 2011
    Southeast Michigan (Lake St. Clair)
    280 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L Mercs with Bravo III Drives
    Hi! We're looking for a used Sea Ray somewhere between a 260 and 290 probably, and something probably between 1995 and 2005, considering our budget. This is our situation:
    - 2 young kids (3 yrs and 6 months)
    - don't want to upgrade again for 10 years
    - mostly dayboating, but may do some overnight/weekend camping
    - want something fairly conveniently trailerable (very skilled at trailering)
    - I think we want a single engine due to gas prices, but open to opinions...
    - Freshwater boaters in the Great Lakes

    So, I'm looking for advice from all you veterans on the following:
    - Size - is the 260 enough to be pretty comfortable?
    - Power - is the 290 with the single underpowered?
    - How mcuh does going from single to twins effect fuel use?
    - How about going from 260 to 290?
    - What do we need to watch out for? any particular years or models we should be wary of?
    - Must haves?

    Thanks so much for your help! We've done a ton of research which has only confused us more, so looking for real-life advice!
     
  2. Quint4

    Quint4 Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 6, 2006
    S.W. Ohio
    330 Sport Bridge
    5.7 MPI 350 Merc Bluewaters
    I don't have time to give a full response but also consider the loss of water sports with the 290 (practically speaking). You can still pull the tubes and ski with the 260 for a reasonable fuel burn.
     
  3. Nehalennia

    Nehalennia Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Marysville, WA
    2001 310DA twin 350 MAGs, Westerbeke 4.5KW
    Twin 350 MAG V-drives
    I would look at either a 280DA with twin 4.3s or a 260DA like mine. I really like the fuel efficiency and it keeps boating affordable for us. You'll have room for the small kids (I have twin 8 year olds) and enough space for you and your Admiral. HOWEVER, more room is always nice and a 280DA is still trailerable. I think the twin 4.3s are decent on fuel and in my opinion stabilize the boat. There is more beam for more room. At the time I just could not afford the 280DA so I was on the hunt for a nice 260DA. Both are out there now. I have not looked at too many 290DAs but they seem very nice too. The seating arrangement is quite different on the 290DA v the 280DA.
    Best of luck.
     
  4. JimG

    JimG Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2008
    Southern WV
    2007 310 DA
    Kohler 5ECD
    Twin 350 Mags
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drives
    For trailering and just day boating the 260 is a good choice. If you decide that you like the overnights then you will outgrow the 260 in 10 years (or earlier). If your like most of us, bigger is always better. Most (all) 290's beam will be over the 8'6" limit for towing without a permit (in most states). You should check Michigan to be sure. I would think a single on a 290 would be underpowered, but I have no direct experience with this one. When you go up in size or add a second engine, gas usage will increase. Good luck!

    Welcome to CSR!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  5. Southpaw II

    Southpaw II Active Member

    Aug 18, 2008
    Madison, MS
    2001 380 DA
    T8.1 Horizons
    The 290 in that year range is 10'2" wide and weighs 10,200 lbs. dry. This would be a tough tow. The 290 is a boat that's better left in the water, if possible....even though there are several that tow them regularly. As mentioned, kids that age, and in the future, will want to be pulled on some sort of water toy. The only way I would go with the 290, in your situation, is if you overnighted a lot and kept it in a slip.

    Don
     
  6. chuck1

    chuck1 Super Moderator TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    North GA Mountains
    Looking For Next One
    Looking For Next One
    Just to be clear...
    Are we talking 260 & 290 SD (SunDeck) or DA(Dancer)
     
  7. Presentation

    Presentation Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Wisconsin - Winnebago Pool chain of lakes
    280 Sundancer, Westerbeke MPV generator
    twin 5.0's w/BIII drives
    I agree with Todd.

    In the years you are considering you are looking at the 260DA or the 280DA…or the 270DA or the 270DASE special edition. Those are the four you may want to consider.

    Short history on the 280DA, 270DA and 270DASE

    This 280 DA model (2001-2009) replaced the 270DA (199?-2000). Given the years you are considering this 270DA may also be an option for you to consider. The 280DA added a fiberglass radar arch, reconfigured engine compartment, cockpit and some restyling of the cabin. The look was updated including going from a mostly white cabin to high gloss wood and solid surface counter tops. The 280DA is also slightly longer and wider than the 270DA.

    Each year the 280DA saw minor upgrades. Some of the more significant of these were engines with fuel injection that resulted in better performance and canvas that both zippered and snapped to the arch to significantly reduce leakage issues. I don’t have the exact year breakdown of these two items for you but by 2003 both fuel injection and zippered and snapped canvas was standard.

    For more on the 280DA see http://media.channelblade.com/boat_graphics/electronic_brochure/company5402/27712_f.pdf

    For more on the 270DA see http://www.searay.com/boat_graphics/electronic_brochure/company1729/1C1_27_74DERNSVA904.pdf

    The 270DA special edition (1998-1999) was only offered for two years in the late 1990’s. This model was the biggest of the DA (Sundancer) family to still be hauled on a trailer without a permit in all states since it had a narrow 8 ½’ beam. The cockpit and cabin have a different layout then the standard 270DA and 280DA. Again, given your desire for room and ability to trailer and the year range you are considering this may be an option worth your time to consider. For more on the 270DA Special edition see http://www.searay.com/boat_graphics/electronic_brochure/company1729/1C1_27_74DERNWXX995.pdf

    Engine and drive options on the 280DA (2001-2009):

    The 280DA (2001 to 2009) came with a single or twin engines.

    The single was offered as a 7.4L big block, 6.2L small block or 8.1L big block. In my opinion, avoid the 6.2L small block in this boat, it was underpowered. All of these options would have the Bravo III drive.

    Twins can be either 4.3 V6 or 5.0 V8. The 4.3 came with either Alpha I gen 2 or Bravo III. The 5.0 only came with the Bravo III.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  8. Presentation

    Presentation Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Wisconsin - Winnebago Pool chain of lakes
    280 Sundancer, Westerbeke MPV generator
    twin 5.0's w/BIII drives
    What is your budget range?
     
  9. WannaBSeaRayOwners

    WannaBSeaRayOwners New Member

    27
    Feb 9, 2011
    Southeast Michigan (Lake St. Clair)
    280 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L Mercs with Bravo III Drives
    Well... Our budget is kind of fluid, because we keep changing our mind on what we think we need. We'd like to be below $50, newer than 2000, and that would include a trailer, tops, AC, possibly generator, etc. We'd consider going a little higher for the perfect solution...
     
  10. WannaBSeaRayOwners

    WannaBSeaRayOwners New Member

    27
    Feb 9, 2011
    Southeast Michigan (Lake St. Clair)
    280 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L Mercs with Bravo III Drives
    We are talking about the DA. Sorry for not clarifying - still learning the options...
     
  11. WannaBSeaRayOwners

    WannaBSeaRayOwners New Member

    27
    Feb 9, 2011
    Southeast Michigan (Lake St. Clair)
    280 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L Mercs with Bravo III Drives
    Thanks for all of the insights - I've already learned a LOT. What a knowledgeable group!

    I want to clarify my point about trailering because I think it makes a difference on recommendations. We want to be able to trailer it, but don't plan to put in/take out every time we use it. We do want to be able to bring it to our house for maintenance, take it to other lakes if we want, etc. It will be in a slip most of the season though. Also, we have a Duramax 3/4 ton GMC PU so power is not a problem.
     
  12. jason78

    jason78 Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Sep 3, 2008
    Fort Mill, SC / Lake Wylie
    1997 20 Outrage
    200 Merc Offshore
    You should not have a problem trailering any of the boats you mentioned then. As was brought up before, you may need to get a permit to tow the larger boats. In my state you go online to get a permit to tow something the width of my boat- not a big deal.

    You should be able to find an 02 280DA at near the top of your price range. That would probably be a good choice for a family of 4.

    I agree with everything that has been said so far except I think you will find the difference in fuel burn rates between the different engine power options on 02-09 280DA models to be negligible- at least based off numbers I have heard.

    I think some 01 models had a carb engine which has been made clear by some, was not a good choice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  13. Presentation

    Presentation Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Wisconsin - Winnebago Pool chain of lakes
    280 Sundancer, Westerbeke MPV generator
    twin 5.0's w/BIII drives
    Thank you for the budget range information in a previous post and the above post for additional clarification.

    At $50 grand, you would be fine with the mid to higher end of your desires. Many asking prices you see on the internet are just that, asking prices.

    Frank on this website gives great advice on how to buy a boat once you are to that stage.

    Please consider that you do not need to buy a boat and a trailer together. If it works out that way, great. If you find the perfect deal on the perfect boat you can always buy a trailer.

    As for major options, a generator is really only necessary of you want to spend nights onboard at anchor or away from marinas and want energy hungry conveniences, the big one being air conditioning. This describes our boating style but may not describe yours.

    Radar is big if you go out at night or in the fog.

    Windlass anchor is sure nice.

    A full camper top gives you a lot more room when its rainy or sun shade when its hot.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  14. McNally260DA

    McNally260DA New Member

    25
    Jul 30, 2010
    Ogdensburg
    260 Sundancer 2000
    7.4L Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drive
    We have a 2000 260da so I can only give you my experience with this boat. We absolutely love it for our purposes which are mainly day and weekend trips. With a growing family of four you would be ok but pushing it somewhat for long camping trips. But sometimes we bring tents. The older teens like this. As someone said its not to big for water toys. Its more than enough boat for the St. Lawrence and I plan on taking it on lake Ontario this summer under the right conditions. Everyone has different criteria for buying a boat. One for me was the boat had to be trailerable. I keep it at the marina but I own a trailer. This way I have more control when it comes to who does repairs, when it goes in or comes out, who winterizes it, where I store it, ect.. Your on the right track by looking at searays and getting on this website. Theres alot of information here. Good luck.
     
  15. WannaBSeaRayOwners

    WannaBSeaRayOwners New Member

    27
    Feb 9, 2011
    Southeast Michigan (Lake St. Clair)
    280 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L Mercs with Bravo III Drives
    Is there a good link for a site that shows what models were available by year? The information provided by Presentation was great, and I'd like to see the years side-by-side. I'd also love to see something that shows the 260DA and 280DA "over the years" showing the vital stats and siginificant changes made each year. I'm googling and searching on this site, but haven't had luck yet!
     
  16. CAMELLA

    CAMELLA Active Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    Edgewater, Maryland
    2007 48 DA
    Cummins QSC 540
    www.searay.com
    Click on "Models"
    Click on "Past Models"
    http://www.searay.com/Page.aspx/pageId/10250/Past-Models.aspx
     
  17. Presentation

    Presentation Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Wisconsin - Winnebago Pool chain of lakes
    280 Sundancer, Westerbeke MPV generator
    twin 5.0's w/BIII drives
    Have you been on any of these models yet?

    I just dawned on me that it’s not obvious in the literature that all of these models we have been discussing have a mid birth, a small birth for two people, in the middle of the boat below the helm area.
     
  18. WannaBSeaRayOwners

    WannaBSeaRayOwners New Member

    27
    Feb 9, 2011
    Southeast Michigan (Lake St. Clair)
    280 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L Mercs with Bravo III Drives
    Yes, I've been on a 2008 260, and the mid cabin is definitely a must-have. Thanks for clarifying that all of these models have them. I've downloaded all of the specs from 2001-2010 as available on the Sea Ray site, so we'll have some reading tonight!
     
  19. mwph

    mwph Active Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    Lake Guntersville, Tennessee River, Alabama
    1998 250 DA
    7.4L, B3
    Presentation posted..."Please consider that you do not need to buy a boat and a trailer together. If it works out that way, great. If you find the perfect deal on the perfect boat you can always buy a trailer."

    I agree. However, If you plan to buy a trailer separately, be sure to price them before you buy the boat. I was shocked at the price of a trailers because I did not research them beforehand.

    A trailer is never as cheap, and the price never more negotiable then when it is sitting under a boat!
     
  20. comsnark

    comsnark New Member

    Apr 10, 2007
    NJ Shore
    SeaRay SunSport
    5.7LX
    One point of clarification:

    The cost issue between single vs. twins is not fuel cost: It is maintenance cost. Unless you do the maintenance yourself, you will find that things like "oil change"; "drive maintenance", and "winterization" is priced per engine, not per foot. The other knock on twins is reliability: You are twice as likely to have a breakdown that keeps you dockside. The flip side is that you will NEVER be tempted to nurse run an overheated engine to get back to the dock. Outside of common mode fuel and electrical problems, you almost always can get home on one engine.

    Personally, I think a 290 is a mighty big boat for a single Mercruiser engine. But that's coming from a guy who has Twin 5.7's in a 7,000 lb boat boat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

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