Differences from 260 to 290 for Family of 4

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

  1. Oar Play

    Oar Play New Member

    479
    Jan 24, 2010
    Marietta
    '09 240 Sundancer
    5.0 Mercruiser w/Bravo 3
    FYI, I'm a family of five, two sons and a dog. We spend many weekends overnighting on a 240. My sons,6'1" and 5'9" share the forward V berth without much complaint. My lab sleeps under the table area. The wife and I take the mid berth and I sleep better on the boat than at home in bed. We often pull tubes, fish and take evening cruises. The 5.0 MPI B3 seems to sip the gasoline better then I expected. During the day on the lake we usually anchor up and just swim around,play fetch, or just eat and enjoy music. Its not crowed because someone is usually in the water or down under napping.
    So,I would go newer and smaller, rather older and bigger!

    IMHO -- Mark.
     
  2. 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 you posted is completely correct …. However,….LOL….

    The same is true for all major items. Adding a generator to a used boat cost as much as adding it to a new one.

    So I guess we could expand your advice to include ‘be sure to shop and price all major items you would consider adding to the boat before you buy it.

    Fast, round numbers:
    Add a generator for $11,000
    Add a trailer for $8,000
    Add air conditioning for $5,000

    I also completely agree on the post about gas usage. Last year we spend $12,000 boating. Just a but under $3,000 was gas.




    That being said, last summer a guy desperately wanted to sell me a very high end trailer, correct size for my boat. It was loaded. Best of everything. He was asking $5,500 and I’m sure I could have talked him down more. He had $9,000 invested and used it twice then trashed his boat in an accident.
    What would I do whith a trailer? Heck, I’d need to go buy a proper tow vehicle. Man, now we are talking big bucks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  3. tdschafer

    tdschafer Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2009
    Long island , NY
    1997 330 sundancer
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    This is good advice but, I have to respectfully disagree with parts of it. I had a 1979 260. Now, I'll admit there are many significant differences in that era boat vs a newer model 260 incl: layout, finishes, etc. That being said an 8 foot beam is an 8 foot beam!

    I have a family of five- 3 children 7,5,3 y/o. When my daughter, the youngest, was born the 260 was CROWDED for us. When you factor in all of the gear these little ones require we were busting at the seams. The boat was ok for day trips but, we frequently overnight and it was uncomfortable to say the least. All the gear in the cabin in the day, then in the cockpit under the camper top at night. I knew I either needed a bigger boat, needed to change the way I boat or get out of boating all together!

    You say you don't want to upgrade for 10 years. I see your youngest is only 6 months so it may be safe to assume at least the possibility of your family growing yet still. Now, Mark's boys above may not complain about the sleeping arrangements but, I don't think my guys will be as compliant. This is definitely something to consider in your 10 year plan.

    Of all the boats mentioned I would think the 280 might be the best compromise for your situation. This of course comes with the disclaimer: When in doubt, Go BIGGER!!:grin:
    Best of luck with the hunt!
     
  4. Bel_Mar_Pointe

    Bel_Mar_Pointe Member

    594
    Mar 16, 2008
    Gig Harbor, WA
    05' 300DA
    5.0MPIs w/Bravo II
    And I look at this exactly opposite. The knock on a single is reliability: you are twice as likely to make it to port or your destination if you lose an engine with twins. Just sayin'.....I feel a lot more confident with twins in large bodies of water.
     
  5. WannaBSeaRayOwners

    WannaBSeaRayOwners New Member

    27
    Feb 9, 2011
    Southeast Michigan (Lake St. Clair)
    280 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L Mercs with Bravo III Drives
    Awesome advice from everybody! I think we're getting close. My husband is leaning toward twins for maneuverability, stability, reliability - all the things everybody mentioned - which I believe puts us in the 280 category. He does our maintenance and works for cheap, so maintenance on two engines will just be 2x the supplies. The extra space, I'm sure, will come in handy, with us being a very tall family - the kids not so much yet but almost sure to be! :wink:

    Now we just need to settle on a year/price tradeoff. If there are any cautions or pointers on the 280DA over the years, bring them on!
     
  6. CV-23

    CV-23 New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Williamsport, PA
    1990 270 Sundancer, 2003 Ford Excursion 4x4 Limited
    454 merCruiser w/Bravo 1
    I would not tow over 10,000lbs with a 3/4 ton....I'd go 1 ton or larger and that gets expensive just to tow. I'm right at 9,000lbs with the 3/4 ton Excursion (8,000lbs) and the combo works well. My trailer is 2200lbs empty but very nice. BTW....A trailer for a 280 is about $6,000. I don't do watersports with the 454....that would be real big $$$ for fuel burn. It does use alot more than a small block. I kept my 23' 350/260hp for that reason! I guess thats my twin engine to take care of. Going with twins is a real tight fit in a 9ft beam like my 270 (4.3L). I did look at one with twins but the price was too high. A 280 or 300 I would consider twin 5.0 or 5.7L power. That will require permits to move! I sneak around with the 9' beam. I really like the older 280's! A 260 with a 6.2L Bravo III would be nice and maybe ideal for you for watersports. Less weight and 320HP! Fuel injected will be better on gas than a 4BBL. I'm not sure I would trailer a larger boat than mine very often without a dually to pull it, Mike.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  7. tdappleman

    tdappleman Active Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    Kill Devil Hills, NC
    1996 270 Sundancer
    New twin 4.3's - 235hp each with Alpha 1 Gen 2 Drives
    Having the twins was a requirement for me as well. The 270 with twins is a great handling boat and is not a problem to trailer with a 3/4 ton vehicle. The twins do cost more to operate, maintain and feed but to me it is worth it. The engine compartment is tight to do maintenance and repairs and there is no room for a generator in mine but I just got an inverter for light use - tv, dvd, coffee, etc. When we overnight we are always at a marina so we just plug in. We have a family of four and usually have the dogs so it gets tight but we have a great time. My wife and I take the mid-berth and the kids and dogs get the v berth - we are NOT a tall family!
     
  8. wastinaweigh

    wastinaweigh New Member

    219
    Oct 4, 2006
    Sarasota, Florida
    260 Sundancer 2004
    Kohler 5E Generator
    350 MAG Bravo III
    What rig are you planning to tow it with? A 260 loaded with fuel, water, and stuff is probably going to weigh in at 7,000 to 8,000 lbs, a 280 will be pushing 10K.

    If you don't already have a suitable towing rig, that is another factor to think about.

    I think that you will find the 260 a little cramped when everybody is down below. Beam is everything, and the 280/290 will be easier to walk around in when you overnight. Plus, having the "dining area", which the 260 does not have, gives your kids a place to play board games, cards, etc. to keep them entertained.

    Another thing to remember is that as your kids get older, they will want to bring friends on board with them.

    If you plan to keep the boat for 10+ years, go borrow a couple of older kids (say, middle school age) and go to a boat show. Set up the v-berth on a 260 and see how much room there is. Do the same thing on a 280 (not sure what they call the latest model of this boat but it is the next size up from a 260).

    But then, who am I to talk? We have had 5 people and the dog overnight on our 260 and managed just fine.
     
  9. Quint4

    Quint4 Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    S.W. Ohio
    330 Sport Bridge
    5.7 MPI 350 Merc Bluewaters
    CV-23......drive your rig on to a scale....you are over 11,000lbs with boat and trailer.
     
  10. 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
    The OP listed "Duramax 3/4 ton GMC PU"
     
  11. WannaBSeaRayOwners

    WannaBSeaRayOwners New Member

    27
    Feb 9, 2011
    Southeast Michigan (Lake St. Clair)
    280 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L Mercs with Bravo III Drives
    We're pulling with a Sierra 2500HD Duramax. It would be close with the 280 with twins... Again, we won't be pulling great distances and it's towing capcity in the specs is 12K.
     
  12. CV-23

    CV-23 New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Williamsport, PA
    1990 270 Sundancer, 2003 Ford Excursion 4x4 Limited
    454 merCruiser w/Bravo 1
    Last edited: Feb 10, 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
    Just one more bit of advice. Do not be in a hurry. Do not settle.

    If a boat gets sold, so what? There are more.

    If you get frustrated, take a break then come back when you are ready.

    We will help you as much as we can. We all love talking about boats! :)
     
  14. wastinaweigh

    wastinaweigh New Member

    219
    Oct 4, 2006
    Sarasota, Florida
    260 Sundancer 2004
    Kohler 5E Generator
    350 MAG Bravo III
    Okay, towing is not a problem. Sorry that I missed your truck info the first time.

    Fuel usage between a single and twins will not matter enough to make it part of your decision. Think of it this way - on a boat that planes your fuel burn depends almost entirely on how much weight you are moving and the hull design. A 260 will cruise at about 11-12 GPH; if I remember correctly a 280 burns about 15-18 GPH, and I am not sure about the 290 in the years you are considering.

    With re-sale in mind, and you always want to have that in the back of your mind, a 280 with twins will be easier to sell than one with a single big block because twins are almost always perceived as being better; although I have never really heard any complaints about the big block 280.

    The 260 had a design change starting in 2005. Besides the aesthetics, the hull was changed below the waterline. If you search this site, there have been plenty of discussions about how you have to use the trim tabs. 2000-2004 260's do not have any issues with handling that I know of. Also in 2005, a big block motor was again added as an option.

    Pre-2005, the engine options were a 5.0 liter, the 5.7L (350MAG), and the 6.2L, which is built on a 350 block and has similar performance to the 350. The 5.7L was the most common power package and the boat performs well with it. I personally think that the 5.0L is a bit small for the boat.

    2005+, the options were a 5.7L, 6.2L, and the 8.1L. All perform well in the boat, although it is hard to argue that the 8.1 is the best option. There is no such thing as too much power, and at cruise the 8.1 burns gas at about the same rate as the 5.7. It only sucks it down at WOT.

    I would go with the Bravo III drive. The slight decrease in hole shot performance is more than offset by the handling with the twin props.

    The 280 was basically the same boat throughout the period, and was one of Sea Ray's best designs (along with the 340DA). It was powered by a single 8.1, twin 6 cylinder engines, or twin 5.0L engines. Everything that I have heard about them is that all were adequate power packages, and the 6 cyl and 5.0's that I have driven handled very well. Keeping in mind that there is no such thing as too much power, the twin 5.0's would be my choice. However, the twin 6's were the most common.

    I think that the 280 came with Alpha 1 drives and Bravo 1 drives, both single props. Both drives are good and there are no major issues with them.

    I am not familiar with the 290, sorry.

    If you plan on using the boat in salt water, and have Bravo 3 drives, there was a change in the zincs in either 2002 or 2003. Mercury added a zinc to the propeller hub, which really helps with the corrosion issues. This change is easy to spot - you can't miss the extra zinc in the center of the propellers.

    I have a generator and I love it. The only problem with them is that they are difficult to keep under load, so figure on changing the spark plugs once or twice a year.

    Both of the boats you seem to be considering are very good models from Sea Ray.
     
  15. ch435

    ch435 New Member

    240
    Sep 23, 2010
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2005 Sundancer 280
    Tow with 97 F250 7.3 diesel
    Twin 4.3 mercruisers, with Bravo III Drives
    We had a 240 and while it was a nice boat and easy to trailer, we outgrew it in just 2 years.

    We moved up to a 280 and have been very happy. A lot more room and options. We pull ours with an old 97 Ford diesel with no problem. We like having the twins for a couple reasons. As others have mentioned, it's nice to have a backup in case of a breakdown, and maneuverability.

    We have used the boat for recreation too. We spent an afternoon pulling a couple tubes with no issues - except one - We did burn about 50 gallons of fuel, but we were going at it for 4 or 5 hours solid.

    The only bummer on our 2005 is that the TV/DVD player has an analog tuner on the TV, so it's basically just a dvd player. I guess we could hook up a converter. I don't know what year the tvs got digital tuners.
     
  16. WannaBSeaRayOwners

    WannaBSeaRayOwners New Member

    27
    Feb 9, 2011
    Southeast Michigan (Lake St. Clair)
    280 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L Mercs with Bravo III Drives
    Any ideas why this might be so cheap (relative to other similar boats...), based on this ad?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  17. Big Island Lifer

    Big Island Lifer Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 1, 2010
    Minnesota
    '96 330 Formula SS
    For Sale '85 255 Amberjack
    Single 5.7
    No gen.
    It looks like it's worth a good look.


    Also, be aware that if you post an awesome deal on hear with all the information you may be giving someone else a lead on a boat that you want.

    Good luck on your search.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    East Coast Florida
    300 Sundancer
    5.0MPI Bravo III
    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  19. ch435

    ch435 New Member

    240
    Sep 23, 2010
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2005 Sundancer 280
    Tow with 97 F250 7.3 diesel
    Twin 4.3 mercruisers, with Bravo III Drives
    I can see why you are so suspicious. That price has to make you wonder what's up. But would sure be worth looking at. The only minor thing I noticed was a likely info error. It lists hp at 480, with twin 4.3's. It is more likely to be 440 hp.
     
  20. WannaBSeaRayOwners

    WannaBSeaRayOwners New Member

    27
    Feb 9, 2011
    Southeast Michigan (Lake St. Clair)
    280 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0L Mercs with Bravo III Drives
    Thanks, that just occurred to me. I took the link off my post but I can't from your post, Ididntdoit. Any chance you can edit it out? duh. rookie mistake.:huh:
     

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