Looking for feedback on 280 pre/post 2009

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Boater71, Mar 5, 2018.

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  1. Boater71

    Boater71 Member

    68
    Mar 5, 2018
    WTB: 2008-09 Sea Ray 310 Sundancer
    MX6.2 MPI Bravo III DTS with Axius and SeaCore
    Hi all, i'm new to the forum. I sold my Monterey last summer to get ready and buy a boat this spring. After a lot of research, I'm looking at the SR 280 SD and really like the post 2009 layout but find pre 2009 more spacious. I'm looking for feedback from current owners, or owners that upgraded and get their thoughts on the 280 in general (twins or single). I'll be cruising in the Boston harbor area and will be looking to do overnight trip and longer trip to cape and Gloucester.
     
  2. stg099

    stg099 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    196
    Jun 30, 2013
    Chicago
    2004 280 Sundancer
    4.3 Mercs/Alpha
    I recently bought a 2004 280 with twins, and find it to be a great balance between "big enough" and not "too big". From what I understand the new 280 is smaller all around and is closer to the previous 260 in size. That said, I would think the decision comes down to preference in available power packages, as I think the newer 280 is only available with single engine options. What I really like about the new 280 vs. my model is the open "non-bulkhead" layout of the cabin, and that they finally gave you enough room on that dash to flush mount electronics. That said, the older 280 is definitely a bigger boat, and for me, offers more comfort and flexibility down below to entertain guests and stay the weekend when we'd like to.
     
  3. Boater71

    Boater71 Member

    68
    Mar 5, 2018
    WTB: 2008-09 Sea Ray 310 Sundancer
    MX6.2 MPI Bravo III DTS with Axius and SeaCore
    Nice!! did you buy through a broker or private? I'm looking at something similar or newer but what it comes down to is a boat that is well taken care of. Did you compare to other brands?
     
  4. stg099

    stg099 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    196
    Jun 30, 2013
    Chicago
    2004 280 Sundancer
    4.3 Mercs/Alpha
    It was listed through a broker, which happened to be a reputable sea ray dealer in my area. I looked at 4 or 5 280's and an older, but larger Carver. I settled quickly on the 280 as it had the space we really wanted without being too big. The boat we landed on was the oldest of the boats we looked at from a "year" perspective, I originally was looking at 2006-2009. When we went to look at this one it was evident that it was well cared for and hardly used, so with some elbow grease, some boat soap and a buffer she shined up like new. This was the lowest hour boat we looked at, and had all the options we wanted (twin 4.3s, generator, windlass, heat/air, digital TV).

    Because I'm a do-it-yourselfer, I gravitated to Sea Ray due to A)this website and b)the local knowledge of the sea ray brand. The 280 thread explains every issue you could possibly have with the boat and how to fix it, and local service centers are familiar with them if you have something you don't want to do yourself.
     
  5. Boater71

    Boater71 Member

    68
    Mar 5, 2018
    WTB: 2008-09 Sea Ray 310 Sundancer
    MX6.2 MPI Bravo III DTS with Axius and SeaCore
    Thank you so much for the info. It makes a lot of sense. I'm also a DYI'er and started reading the forum and found it to be great and helpful. What worries me though is older boats can mean a lot of maintenance and repairs, how is your experience been so far?
     
  6. stg099

    stg099 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    196
    Jun 30, 2013
    Chicago
    2004 280 Sundancer
    4.3 Mercs/Alpha
    We only had it in the water for 4 weeks after purchase, but so far, so good. I had the boat surveyed and sea trialed, and also had the marina perform an engine overview and compression test to ensure I knew as much as I could before purchase. During the sea trial it was determined that the engines and generator needed tune ups, as the boat had sat all summer. The previous owner picked up the tab on plugs, wires, caps, genny impeller, genny plugs, wires, etc. We had the boat out cruising/anchoring every weekend after purchase and didn't have any hiccups.

    Since then it's just been replacing/refurbishing little stuff. I took the drives off a built a small cradle with casters, so I could replace the impellers at home in my garage. Cleaned up the drives and sanded/primed/painted the areas that had any corrosion and put new anodes on, so now those look new. In addition, there was some of the camper canvas that was tired, so we waited until Great Lakes boat top had a 25% off sale over the winter and picked up new front windows/side windows and aft curtain. None of the cosmetic stuff "had" to be done, but we're picky and felt that we wanted it to look as new as possible.

    The remaining little projects are to freshen up the bottom paint, get one more round of buffing done on the blue hull, and splash it for the season. I enjoy working on the boat, so these projects haven't been "work" so much as they've been opportunities to learn more about how all the systems work and increase my level of familiarity with them.
     
  7. Boater71

    Boater71 Member

    68
    Mar 5, 2018
    WTB: 2008-09 Sea Ray 310 Sundancer
    MX6.2 MPI Bravo III DTS with Axius and SeaCore
    Thanks again for the feedback. I have similar interests in buffing, keeping things looking new, staying up to date with maintenance. What I have not done is taken the drive out, I watched many videos, but have not done it yet.
     
  8. stg099

    stg099 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    196
    Jun 30, 2013
    Chicago
    2004 280 Sundancer
    4.3 Mercs/Alpha
    It's pretty simple, just heavy and awkward. They come off easy, as for going back on, having a dolly made up at the correct height is critical when you're installing alone. I installed my starboard side without the dolly and it was much more challenging and was quite a workout. For the port side I was able to get the drive all the way on the studs with the weight supported on the dolly, super easy this way.

    I can't say enough about how great of a resource the 280 thread has been on this site. I have read it all the way through and earmarked all the posts with projects that I know I'm likely to need in the future.
     
  9. 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
    The 2010 and up 280DA is only available with a single engine. For me that would be a deal breaker.
     
  10. Boater71

    Boater71 Member

    68
    Mar 5, 2018
    WTB: 2008-09 Sea Ray 310 Sundancer
    MX6.2 MPI Bravo III DTS with Axius and SeaCore
    Yes, i'm coming to the conclusion that twins are better for cruisers especially balance and backup. Yes it costs more, but provides a peace of mind. My target is 2009/08/07 and having been reading this forum to understand everything about this boat.
     
  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
    The newer 280s are sized and powered similar to my older 260 (which was 28'). I had the single engine with a Bravo3 drive and felt it was properly setup. I had a friend with a 280 and twin 5.0s w/B3s and boy could that boat fly. The single engine took a little getting used to when docking - especially depending on the wind. The 280 was a lot easier to maneuver.

    If I had my choice I would go for the older larger 280 over the newer smaller 280. Depending on condition the older 280 will probably get you the best value. Then you will have more left over for when you upgrade in a few years ;)

    -Kevin
     
    techmitch likes this.
  12. PeteL

    PeteL Member

    89
    Aug 2, 2010
    Apollo Beach, FL
    2003 280 DA
    Twin 5.0
    Bravo III
    "Viva la Vida"
    Twin 5.0, bravo 3 drives
    Stumbled upon this thread, and I am coming to the same conclusion. Believe we are heading for a pre-09 280 as well for all of the above reasons.
     
  13. gsmallwood

    gsmallwood Member

    185
    Jul 14, 2009
    Gainesville, Ga.
    2003 280 Sundancer
    T 4.3 A1
    Kohler 5k gen
    To get them same size boat as the old style 280, you have to get a 310. These new models the molded in swim platform is the diffenence. The old 260 is now the same size as new 280 and the old 280 is now the size of the new 310. The Old 280 with the extended swim platform is actually 31 ft long.
     

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