First Time Buyer

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by Rxjoe, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. Rxjoe

    Rxjoe New Member

    35
    Oct 12, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    2015 Sundancer 280
    Mag 350 Bravo 3
    Hello all! I grew up around the water with a skit boat and houseboat rentalsbut to date have only owned a couple Sea Doos. I am looking to buy my own boat. I am by no means an expert but can usually figure things out with a little guidance. I plan to have a 2017 Sundancer 260 built for me. I have several questions on various topics. Some may be stupid but oh well. Any and all help is appreciated.

    1. I do not have much if any exerience with shore power and inverters etc. If I chose to go without an inverter(no generator either) what featues can be used away from shore power? AC, Fridge,Microwave,Head,TV etc What advantage does an inverter add? Is this difficult to add on my own aftermarket?

    2. What does the Sea Ray Digital Dash add other than the raymarine a95?

    3. I would consider adding the a95, remote sot, and a vhf/ antenna myself aftermarket as well. I am fairly handy as far as the installation part. My question would be tying the units in to power. Is this a difficut process or more plug and play? Can they be tied in right at the dash or do I have to run to a breaker panel/battery?

    4. What if any of the above electronics wouldou recommend having the factory do vs aftermarket?

    5. I will keep on the river from about May to Oct. Is bottom paint necessary?

    6. Other than looks and ovrhead lighting/mounting is there a purpose to the spoiler. If I plan to trailer once a year or so or trailer for winter storage does the spoiler interfere with trailering? Anyone know apx height of the spoiler? Can you d the cape canvas without the spoiler?

    I think that is all for now. I know it is a lot. Thanks again.
     
  2. WDCboater

    WDCboater Member

    962
    Oct 3, 2010
    Washington, DC
    2010 350 Sundancer
    Raymarine c95 GPS
    KVH Satellite
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    Welcome to CSR. No question is bad, but you should really go to your dealer and look at the 260 closely and ask questions, especially if you're ordering one custom.

    Also, you should take a safe boater course if you haven't already. It's required in many states.

    Heres my thoughts on a few of your questions:

    1- If your boat is staying in the water all season you need bottom paint. Bottom line. It must be redone every 3-4 seasons.

    2- If this is your first cruiser you should order it equipped with the VHF from the factory. This is an important safety item and the build in VHF will have a longer range than a handheld unit. I highly recommend a GPS/Chartplotter. If you're going to do a lot of night boating get radar.

    3- The "spoiler" you refer to is called the radar arch. This is where your all around light, radar, GPS and a few other things are mounted.

    4- Shore power will only work when your boat is plugged in at the dock. This will power everything on the boat. If you don't have a generator your batteries will only power your lights, head, and 12v/24v systems. AC won't work without a generator. The 260 will have house and starting batteries. This will allow you to run off batteries at anchor, but still have fresh batteries to start your engines.

    One of the issues with after market adds on a new boat is access, especially on the smaller cruisers. With that said it can be done. My HD radar, KVH and cockpit tv were all added after purchase. If it's your first boat I'd start with many items factory installed so you can focus on learning how to operate the boat and it's systems. You'll have a lot to learn from water systems to the anchor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
  3. Rxjoe

    Rxjoe New Member

    35
    Oct 12, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    2015 Sundancer 280
    Mag 350 Bravo 3
    I appreciate the reply. I do plan to talk with the dealer, I like to have other opinions ahead of time. I would install the same VHF as the dealer and add the 8ft antenna. I'd love to have the factory do all the work, just seems I could save several thousand doing it myself.

    As far as shore power and water systems...is electric included in slip fees or a serate charge? How about pumpot services, is there usally a charge for this? I assumed both would be extra but thought I saw they were included somewhere.
     
  4. WDCboater

    WDCboater Member

    962
    Oct 3, 2010
    Washington, DC
    2010 350 Sundancer
    Raymarine c95 GPS
    KVH Satellite
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    I can't speak to the 260 specifically, but installing a chartplotter aftermarket shouldn't be too bad. The VHF is worth the $900 to have SR wire it and install the antenna. Just my 2 cents.

    Some marinas charge extra for water and electric, some include it. My marina charges a fee based on length, other marinas in our area individually meter power. Pump outs are usually free at your home marina if you have a slip.
     
  5. SmilingMonkey

    SmilingMonkey Member

    221
    Oct 12, 2015
    Narragansett Bay
    2016 Sundancer 350
    8.2L, Bravo 3x, DTS, Axius
    Welcome to CSR. There are lots of good guys (and gals) here and lots of good advice too.

    My advice, buy a boat at least one size bigger than you think you need. Even if it means you buy a used boat.

    I bought a 330 last year and am buying a 350 right now. The 330 was a good size, but just not quite big enough. No boat is ever big enough, but the first one you buy is even smaller then you think.
     
  6. 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
    Go slow with what you get. Rent what you think you want for and see how you like it. We have had 2 boats. The first one was a good learner boat the second works for us. We could have saved the expense of buying the first boat if we had rented first. Size of the boat you need will depend on what you intend to do with it now and in the future. A generator will be like being plugged in at a dock but will cost you a gallon an hour of gas. An inverter will power computer and cabin lights. Things like hair dryers, electric kettle and microwave will such batteries low in short order.
     
  7. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    For someone leaving it in the water all summer my suggestion would be to skip brand new and get a bigger boat, used, with all the options including a generator. It seems (to me) one of the biggest reason many folks choose 270's and smaller is to keep it easily trailerable. If you're already planning to leave her in the water go as big as your slip and budget will handle. If your budget can handle a brand new 260 I'm assuming you can go well over 30' and still be in the 2000 and newer model years.

    At least do yourself the favor of getting on a 260 and say a 330 and feel the difference.
     
  8. mquiet

    mquiet Member

    980
    Aug 4, 2009
    North carolina
    1999 480 Sedan Bridge
    Caterpillar 3196
    Our first boat was a 340. My wife thought it was going to be too big. 5 years later we were so frustrated that we could not really spend as much time on it as we would have liked due to limit of space we jumped up to a 480. I agree with the others. If staying in the water and will be used like a floating condo then go big.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. WDCboater

    WDCboater Member

    962
    Oct 3, 2010
    Washington, DC
    2010 350 Sundancer
    Raymarine c95 GPS
    KVH Satellite
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    I do agree on the size front that others have mentioned. I started with a brand new 240 and traded it a year and a half later for a slightly used 350.

    The 310 is a nice boat and gets you into twins. I hated docking my single engine 240, but my 350 is a breeze.

    Also, even if you're handy, you'll have plenty of work to do on a fully equipped boat. These things are constant maintenance. CONSTANT. You will have many things to tinker with and keep yourself busy.. from checking sea strainers to batteries. I am not a mechanic, but I know my 350 inside and out and have played the role of plumber, electrician and mechanic when needed.
     
  10. Rxjoe

    Rxjoe New Member

    35
    Oct 12, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    2015 Sundancer 280
    Mag 350 Bravo 3
    I appreciate all the suggestions. If i decide to go used...how omd is too old? How many hours is too many? I know you want a boat thats well used. Any certain years to avoid?
     
  11. SmilingMonkey

    SmilingMonkey Member

    221
    Oct 12, 2015
    Narragansett Bay
    2016 Sundancer 350
    8.2L, Bravo 3x, DTS, Axius
    Age and hours are completely subjective. You'll need to balance them out with your budget. It's all an equation:

    age of boat + size of boat + budget = the perfect boat for you

    We can't give you specifics suggestions until we know at least one of those variables.

    personally, we weren't looking at anything older then 2010 when we bought our 1st boat a year ago and 2011 when we were looking this year. We drew the line at 5 years, but your tolerance might be different.

    I used 50-60 hrs per season as a starting point. Anything too far away from that and I started to wonder why. The hours per season varies by region, but in N.E. it seems like a fair average per season.

    Most importantly: You don't want a used boat that's well used. you want a used boat that is well maintained.
     
  12. WDCboater

    WDCboater Member

    962
    Oct 3, 2010
    Washington, DC
    2010 350 Sundancer
    Raymarine c95 GPS
    KVH Satellite
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    I agree on age with SmilingMonkey.

    Also, hire a surveyor. It will run you about $400-500. They will point out anything they see wrong with the boat and sea trial it with you.

    A few things to keep in mind:
    -Ask for maintenance records. A well maintained boat is a sign the owner cared. Also, has the hull been taken care of, i.e. waxed?
    -What major maintenance items have been taken care of, bottom paint, how old are the batteries, when were the impellers changed, etc.
    -If you see a 2008 boat with 50 hours be wary. You should see at least 30-60 hours a season in my opinion to show that the boat has been used. Trust me, when a boat sits idle things happen. My 350 sat for a year and we had a good year and a half dealing with issues related to that.
    -It also comes down to style. I personally don't like most of the SR's before 2008, but that's a personal preference. There are a handful that are older than that, but it depends.
    -When it comes to electronics, you can change out older chart plotters and radar equipment, but the wiring may not be compatible. For example, my 350 had a factory installed Raymarine raydome and older style chart plotter. I had the dealer switch it out for an HD raydome and new C95. This required a new cable to be run into the arch.
    -If you need to take out a loan, most boat loans won't cover boats more than 10 years old.

    If you go used negotiate. Even on a new boat, but especially with a used boat. Get the best price and then if you're buying from a dealer have them throw in a year of a slip or winter storage or something that will take the bite out of the first year's expenses. For example, I bought my 350 in September. I negotiated in "no charge" for labor to install my new Raymarine gear, new KVH, and some other winter maintenance items. I also negotiated in a slip for the remainder of the season and free winter lot storage. (haul out and storage at my dealer is a few grand for the winter)
     
  13. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    As you wade into the age/value pool also keep in mind there can be a BIG difference between a 15 year old freshwater boat and a 15 year old salt water boat. Be sure to pay attention to where folks are boating when they provide thoughts on potential age vs. condition.

    The average boat that has been in the Great Lakes it's whole life probably sees winter storage 7 months out of the year and no salt. Compared to our friends down south that can keep their boats wet all year and park them in salt/brackish water there is a big difference in what a year of boating really means to the boat.
     
  14. 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
    Having just went through your process, I concur with the statements above. My tolerance for an older boat was a bit higher because I am capable of doing many of the repairs myself. You will have to factor that into your equation as well. Someone on here said this... you will see a boat and know that's the one... I think that's true at least for a style, type, and model. Buy what you love because at the end of the day that is what matters (and keep Momma happy, my screen name is quite the tale)

    Josh


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. 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
    Cosmetic items like carpet and furniture, mattress, plus items that might need replacing soon like stove refrigerator can be very expensive. The newer the boat the less you need to upgrade or replace.
     
  16. Rxjoe

    Rxjoe New Member

    35
    Oct 12, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    2015 Sundancer 280
    Mag 350 Bravo 3
    If a boat is well maintained and used 50 hours or so a year, when will the engine need replaced? 1000 hours?
     
  17. 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
    We have 2750 hours on our gas engines and they do not use oil. We run them at 1200 to 1400 RPM most of the time (95%) with a few spurts to 3800RPM for an hour or so.
     
  18. WDCboater

    WDCboater Member

    962
    Oct 3, 2010
    Washington, DC
    2010 350 Sundancer
    Raymarine c95 GPS
    KVH Satellite
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    You'll get well over 1000 hours if the gasoline engines are maintained. I have 2010 8.1 HO's and I follow Mercury's recommended service schedule.
    http://download.brunswick-marine.co...mercruiser/2002/gasoline/inboard/63079001.pdf

    The other thing you need to keep up on is hoses, sea strainers, etc to make sure they are maintned. This is for all of the systems on a boat. Last winter we had a good chunk of our hoses replaced. It was the first time in five years. We have one more season before we re paint the bottom and replace the impellers.
     
  19. Rxjoe

    Rxjoe New Member

    35
    Oct 12, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    2015 Sundancer 280
    Mag 350 Bravo 3
    More great info, thank you all. My wife and i are mid 30's and have no kids. We do have a dog. Overnighting on the boat will be mostly just us. Id say more often than not at the marina which has a few bars/restraunts and a pool with a little area. Is a 260 really too small? Mostly friday and saturday overnights with a few week night trips for games concerts etc.
     
  20. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Have you and the wife been on a boat this size, together?? I feel like a 260 is quite small, even for two, to be comfortable for a lot of overnighting but I'm also used to a 340. No matter what you get you'll eventually want more room. That's why many will say "get your second boat first".

    I want a 380/390/400 already but have a hard time convincing myself it'll be worth the additional investment. Someday though....someday.
     

Share This Page

Show Sidebar