Early 200's 280's?

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by boatman37, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. boatman37

    boatman37 Active Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    Looking for a newer boat and have seen the 280's but haven't paid much attention to them until tonight. I didn't really like the seating layout but saw one on yachtworld that the portside seat lays flat. Do they all do that? It is a 2002.

    Wife would like that for when we are anchored. I know one of the issues with our 1986 250 was seating when there were 4 (or more) adults on board. 2 could sit on the aft seat and me at the helm. The 4th person either had to stand or sit on those extremely uncomfortable rear facing seats. Hopefully the 280 seating is better when in the regular position so 4 can sit comfortably. There is also the port lounger so shouldn't be a problem.

    Another question on the 280's. We had one at our marina (2008) and it looked like it sat really low. Like not low in the water like it was overloaded or sinking but just low profile. We have a 260 there and it looks like it sits about 2' higher. Are all of the 280's this low or just the newer ones?

    Might try to find a 2001-2005ish near home to take a look at.

    Our must haves are:
    1) nice seating layout
    2) walkthrough windshield)
    3) AC
    4) windlass
    5) pumpout head
    6) large swim platform
    7) trailer

    Anything else I should watch out for on the 280's of that era?

    This one is a 2001 so I'm guessing they all do this?:
  2. techmitch

    techmitch Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    Newer 280's are a lot smaller over all ( >-< 2008). The 02 that you linked to is a different hull and that Eng./bilge is near perfect as to external condition. (Wonder when the pics were taken?)
    Not sure when the hull change started but I believe the 99 270 DA is even bigger.

    PS I know you said you needed the walk through windshield but notice, the 02 has no "walk around" and depending on your slip arrangement and needs that could present a problem when trying to wash the boat or other chores and maintenance or repairs.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  3. boatman37

    boatman37 Active Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    Yeah. Good point about the walkaround. The only time I see an issue would be when putting the cockpit cover on. Thats the only time I walk around mine (and when on the trailer and buffing the bow).

    That 02 looks pretty clean. I wasn't really looking at it, just used that as an example of the seat laying down
  4. JimT

    JimT Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 7, 2009
    Charlotte, NC- LKN
    2010 330 Sundancer
    T-350mags w/BIIIs & Axius, 5.0 kw Kohler
    Some 2001-2009 280DA's sit low in the water at the swim platform. Usually they are the ones with twin 5.0s, B3s and genny. That equipment adds a lot of weight to the engine room. My boat sat low in the water. The downside is the bottom of the swim platform gets dirty and you have the "blowhole" effect at anchor where water sprays up through the opening in the center of the swim platform. The benefit is you can pull yourself up onto the swim platform because its low to the water. Performance is not impacted by the low position of the swim platform. When on plane its well out of the water.
    Based on my experience and the experiences of others on this forum 280DAs seem prone to leaks into the cabin from the rub rail, port lights, windshield, stanchions. I would check carefully for evidence of leaks. B3s also are prone to leaks at the steering pin. Look for evidence of leaks and rust on the transom.
    The lack of walk around is an issue if the cockpit cover snaps at the bottom of the windshield instead of the top and you don't have finger piers on both sides.
    Overall the 280DA was one of the most successful and prolific models that Sea Ray made. It's a great entry level cruiser that offers enough room for a small family to sleep. It also had the option of a genny and AC.
    Good luck with the search
  5. boatman37

    boatman37 Active Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    Thanks. While this won't be our first cruiser we really don't need anything bigger. Kids are grown and 95% of the time it ids just the 2 of us. We weren't even that concerned about the size of our 250, more that it didn't have the amenities we wanted and the seating layout was pretty bad. We are even considering a 260 but with all I have read about the 'tippyness' it might be better to go the 280 for the wider beam. Even with a 260 my truck wouldn't legally tow it (8600lb towing capacity). So if I need to step up to a bigger truck then the 280 makes no difference other than having to get a permit.

    We only have one shop nearby that pulls and stores and I spoke with them last week. To haul, winterize, shrinkwrap and put back in in the spring is about $2000. I figure for about $7000 I can get a brand new trailer and pull it, winterize and store it every year and after 3 or so seasons the trailer will pay for itself. I will look for a nice used trailer but that $7000 is a worst case scenario.

    The 280 at our marina had the twin 5.7's ans genny but it sat low overall. Meaning the arch looked lower than the 250 behind it. Just seemed like it was a lower profile boat. It was a 2008.
  6. Bugsy22

    Bugsy22 New Member

    Jun 2, 2016
    1000 islands region New York
    00' 310 Dancer w/ 5.7 EFIs and Bravo 3s. Recently purchased after having a 90' 270 Dancer for sever
    5.7 EFIs w/ Bravo 3s
    I have several friends/acquaintances with 2002-2005 280s. Nice layout for 2 people and adequate room for an occasional guest or 2. I've ridden in 3 of them and I can tell you to avoid any with the 6.2l small blocks which I believe is standard power. Even with the B3 drive they seem to always have there tounges out. Loud and high revving but its an 8000lb boat. My buddies(best man in my wedding) with 375hp 496 has more power than it needs and he's usually full with wife, 2-3 kids and lots of gear. Plenty of room to work in the bilge and not to bad on fuel despite what he thinks. 17gph at cruise which for us is 28-30mph. Another guy we run with has the twin fuel injected 4.3s in his and its nice set up. I believe he has the alphas. He took my wife and I out when we were shopping and I really liked the way it performed. A fairly quiet pleasant ride that required little in the way of driver input to keep it that way. Planed easyand An occasional tab here and there to adjust for people moving was about it. I couldnt imagine one with twin 5.0s and b3s. Gotta fly! Good luck shopping!

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