First boat 31' 2003 280 Sundancer - Finally!

Discussion in 'Who's Who' started by AuroraAfloat, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. AuroraAfloat

    AuroraAfloat New Member

    May 10, 2017
    280 Sundancer 2003
    Twin Mercruiser
    Hi all,

    I joined the forum back in May, after I put in an offer on my first potential boat. I didn't want to post anything until I actually owned it. But that sale didn't work out. Neither did the next. Or the next. Two months and four offers later, I am finally the proud owner of a "non-imaginary" 280 Sundancer. I ended up purchasing my 2003 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer through a broker online. Never stepped foot on it until it arrived last week. It's very awesome. The process of transporting it from Florida to Texas was painful. But the boat is awesome. I'll post pics when I can figure out how.

    I have a million questions to post. Not only have I never owned a boat before, I'd never even driven one before last Friday. It was quite funny when the trucker shoved us off into the lake without waiting for us to lower or turn on the engines. We floated aimlessly for about 30 minutes before we figured out how to turn it on. :) Got the engines running and then couldn't figure out why we weren't moving forward. Another few minutes before we learned how to lower the engines. Yeah, I know, we're learning in all the wrong order. But we managed to get her over to the marina and park her (bow-in) in the slip. Spent the rest of the weekend figuring out how to turn on lights, use the head, etc. We've got a captain coming out next weekend to put us right. So I'll be posting lots of dumb questions. Maybe some day, I'll be posting answers.
  2. In Two Deep

    In Two Deep Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    Long Island Sound
    2001 340 Sundancer
    8.1 Mercruiser
    Congratulations on your new toy! You made a good decision by hiring a captain for instruction. And remember, it is not stupid question, if you don't know the answer. I also recommend getting a copy of "Chapman Piloting and Seamanship" It is an excellent resource and is basically the bible of boat handling.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  3. romanservices

    romanservices Member

    Aug 24, 2016
    Chesapeak Bay
    1999 Sea Ray 370 AC, Raymarine es98 - AlbaCombi NMEA2K converter -
    Twin 454 Horizon MAG MPI - replaced 2016
    Congrats! trial by fire! Best I can say is take your time learning & respect the boat and the water. I'm a learn by doing person so I appreciate your story.
  4. be_prepared

    be_prepared Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 12, 2015
    Mattapoisett, MA
    2002 Sea Ray Sundancer 340DA
    Twin Mercruiser Horizon 8.1 inboards

    If you don't have a few boating misadventures once in a while, you're probably not going out on the water! We all have them. Great decision to have a captain walk you through the basics this coming weekend.

    Over the winter, you might enjoy taking a US Power Squadron or US Coast Guard Auxiliary boating safety course. They are a great way to learn some of the things that you probably should know, but are harder to pick up unless you actually take some time to learn them. You'll also meet a bunch of other local boaters, which is good too.

    Welcome! - Ron
  5. jjm225weekender

    jjm225weekender New Member

    Jul 13, 2017
    Murfreesbor, Tennessee
    2001 225 Weekender
    5.7 mecruiser 260hp
    Congrats on the new boat. We just got ours last thursday. Its our first boat as well and brand new to it. We had a great time on the lake this weekend. We had a lot of fun learning and met some great people along the way. Good luck!
  6. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    Man, love the trial by fire as mentioned above. Bringing a captain on, perfect move.

    I went from a 24 to a 42. Going from a 0 to a 31 is much more intimidating, in my opinion. You're going to have a blast. Enjoy!
  7. All's Well

    All's Well Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jan 14, 2010
    '03 460DA
    Congrats on the new boat
    TX? What lake are you on?
  8. mjoplin

    mjoplin Member

    Oct 10, 2016
    Houston, TX
    2005 Sundancer 280
    Twin 4.3 Mercruiser
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  9. searaypuget

    searaypuget Member

    May 21, 2017
    2008 Sundancer 280
    496 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drive
    Congrats. I also bought my very first boat last month (2008 280DA) but read everything I could before i picked the key from the owner. I spent the first week learning how to back into the slip and I think that's paying off very well. Even with a single engine, I have no problem navigating and backing into a tight spot. I suggest you read as much as you can to understand how the boat operates and what can go wrong so you can troubleshoot without panicking in case of an emergency.
  10. Boater420

    Boater420 Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2015
    Clearwater, FL
    '97 330 Sundancer
    Westerbeke 4.5BCG
    Twin Merc 454's
    Welcome to CSR! Go slow until you figure it all out. My favorite part of your story was when you figured out the drive had to be in the water. Good stuff!
  11. 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
    Welcome aboard! I am sure you will enjoy your new boat. CSR is a great resource for learning.

    Take your time learning all about the boat and practice docking until it becomes second nature.
    That is usually the most stressful part of boating.

    As others have mentioned if you are completely new to boating go out and take a safety class and learn the rules.
    Generally speaking boaters are always happy to offer advice when someone asks - so if you are not sure about something ask another boater.

  12. trflgrl

    trflgrl Active Member

    Jun 23, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    1989 Sundancer 300
    Twin 350 Merc/Alpha 1 Gen 1; Quicksilver 4.0 gen
    Congrats and welcome aboard!!


    And remember it's OK to get a second opinion, especially on anything that involves safety. I learned via web articles and this forum about using ignition proof components in the ER and what the proper ways are to connect wiring....but judging by how things were repaired/replaced by POs of my own boat, and what I see some friends/dock neighbors doing, there's a lot of creativity and corner cutting out there!

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