Mid to Late 90's 330 or 300 Sundancer - Tough Descision

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by Salvation 330, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. Salvation 330

    Salvation 330 New Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    Ocean Beach, NJ
    1996 330 Sundancer
    Hello I'm new to the forum, been doing lots of research on both the 300 and 330 Sundancers, 1996-98 model years. I'd appreciate any insight on which model to go with. Mostly coastal boating in NJ, possibly an extended trip from NJ to Long Island, CT, etc. I guess I'm concerned with the cabin layout difference between the 2 models.

  2. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    I consider the 310DA a closer comparison to the 330.
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  3. Gary B

    Gary B Member

    May 20, 2015
    Long Island
    2007 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM 11
    Not sure if you are considering stern drive or V drive. We had a 1990 310 DA. That model eventually morphed into the 330 DA in the mid 90's then the 34 DA in the late 90's or bout 2000.
    Our 310 DA had the V drives and it rode nicely. Our friend had a late 90's 30 DA with 5.7 inboards and the boat was very slow compared to our 310 with the same engines. I think the 30 was really designed to be powered by stern drives. IMO the V drive was a later thought by Sea Ray. After a couple of seasons our friend moved up to a early 2000's 34DA and loved the boat!
    If you are looking for the V drive inboard you might want to go with the 33 DA
    Hope this helps
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  4. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    Buy the larger boat. You won't regret it.
    Salvation 330 and Gary B like this.
  5. tdschafer

    tdschafer Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    Long island , NY
    1997 330 sundancer
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    Family size is a consideration too.
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  6. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Here's a point to consider. Try standing up straight in a the cabin of a 300. If you're 6' tall you can't do it.

    I was homing in on a 300 until I took one for a test drive. It went fine until I went into the cabin and found I couldn't stand up straight, and I'm about 6'1". I bought a 330 (1996) with V-drives and loved it.
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  7. Alegria

    Alegria Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Lancaster,PA Boat: -Sue Creek, MD
    2000 410 DA
    3126 CAT
    In those years I would go with the 330. I'm bias of course since we sold ours last year. There are plenty out there for a great price.

    Our family of 5 were well served up till the kids got to be around 13 and wanted to bring along friends to sleep over. But until then there was plenty of room. It is very comfortable for a couple. More beam makes the cabin much more usable.

    Enjoy the search!!
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  8. Salvation 330

    Salvation 330 New Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    Ocean Beach, NJ
    1996 330 Sundancer
    Thanks very much for all of your input and suggestions. I've been leaning pretty heavily to the 330, the only reason I was considering a 300 is local availability to a 1996 in pristine condition with brand new 6.2 Mercruisers. So the hunt is on for a clean 330 in good condition with decent big blocks, vee drives, fwc, a generator, etc. In a month or 2 I will hit up this thread again, maybe some of you fellas can point me in the right direction of a good prospect!

    Thanks again!
  9. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    FWIW include 1999 when searching by model year. There were both 330's and 340's in 1999.

    And heck - for the money you may want to include the 1999-2002 340's in your search. If you can deal with the changed cockpit layout you'll pickup a ton of headroom at the helm, a little headroom in the cabin and a centered master berth (if this matters to you). Both are awesome boats. I went through more 330's than 340's when shopping. The headroom at the helm was kind of a big deal for me. I'm only 6'1, not a giant. I prefer the cockpit seating layout of the 330 but the 340 feels a bit bigger all around in this age range and I didn't want to roll over my wife to use the head at 3AM after having too many soda pops at the marina...
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  10. Cocktail Time

    Cocktail Time Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 9, 2007
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1998 400 Sundancer, Garmin 840xs GPS, Furuno RDP-110, B&G GPS pilot etc.
    Cat 3116's, Westerbeke 7.6kw
    Last boat of ours was a late '95 300 with 5.7 v-drives. Great boat, but a pita to work on the motors. I would recommend the 330, for several reasons. One is the arch, you can easily add camper canvas and raised eisenglass to a 330 not so easy on the 300 and most will already have it. Second is the head seems bigger in the 330. I believe you also have a second small cockpit fridge in the 330. Better cockpit, larger crapper and more room for drinks=330. I loved that 300 though...
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  11. Salvation 330

    Salvation 330 New Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    Ocean Beach, NJ
    1996 330 Sundancer
    Does anyone have any experience with the 330 with I/O Bravo drives in lieu of V-drives? There is a local boat for sale repowered several years ago with fwc mercruisers and drives also replaced mid life. The boat does have everything else that I am looking for, Genny, a/c, couch instead of dinette, etc.
  12. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    The dealers here didn't even order a twin I/O if v-drives were available. In salt water, you need to keep an i/o boat out of the water. Even so if it is a B-lll you will probably have to service the drives about every 50 hours in salt water. All it takes is one little leak ion one of the outdrive seals and you arem replacement drive shopping if you don't catch it quickly.

    It boils down to maintenance cost and repair risk..........substantial on the i/o.......that is X2 with twin engines. Almost nothing on v-drives.
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  13. Joint Custody

    Joint Custody Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Sep 20, 2017
    Lake Powell Utah
    2001 460 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins 6CTA8
    I had a 97 - 330 and loved it . Ran it for five seasons. One of the good things about this boat is you can sell it pretty fast as lots of people with smaller boats wanting to go big this is a natural step up. As for out drives mine had Bravo three. Boat ran great with them ... only issue putting it in the slip they run a little fast. We are in fresh water so would service every other year.
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  14. Siboatguy

    Siboatguy Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Mar 28, 2016
    2005 Sea Ray 320 Sundancer
    Twins V-Drives
    2017 5.7 Mercruisers
    Go for the bigger one.... We have a 05 320 and love the boat... But was in a 340 not to long ago and wish we went with that... But for now love the 320 and maybe a few years down the line 420.....
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  15. frosh coach

    frosh coach Member

    Apr 20, 2011
    Long Island Sound, New Haven CT
    1994 300 Sundancer
    1989 230 Cuddy (SOLD)
    Twin Mercruiser 350 FWC, Alpha 1 Gen II
    I have a 94 300 with twin 5.7 Alphas. I love the boat, but wish it had inboards. The boat is very ass heavy and needs to be run about 3500 to stay on plane. Great boat except of that design.
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  16. Boater420

    Boater420 Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2015
    Clearwater, FL
    '97 330 Sundancer
    Westerbeke 4.5BCG
    Twin Merc 454's
    I have owned the 330 now for 3 seasons and I love it! As Frank said earlier, you can stand up in the cabin of the 330. The V-Drives are awesome to drive and require very little maintenance. Some say the engine compartment is cramped but at 6' 3" I can make my way around and reach everything for maintenance.

    The cockpit is roomy and even with 8 people aboard it's not cramped at all. If possible get it with the Westerbeke generator as they're very dependable if maintained properly.
    Salvation 330 likes this.
  17. Salvation 330

    Salvation 330 New Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    Ocean Beach, NJ
    1996 330 Sundancer
    Thanks to all who responded. This morning I put a deposit down on a 1996 330 'dancer near Baltimore. Terrific shape both cosmetically and mechanically. Well taken care of by the 2 previous owners. 7.4s, V-drives, Kohler genny.
    RollerCoastr likes this.
  18. capt steve

    capt steve Member

    May 23, 2017
    north nj
    95 330 da no genny
    7.4 merc v-drive
    congrats, I too went through your same search dilemma. settled on a 95 330 (new style) with vdrive / 7.4. I picked it up local in toms river , now based out of Haverstraw NY but do the same cruising grounds. I have two girls 6 and 8 and they love the mid cabin. although sometimes I would have liked the settee arrangement in the salon , I have the dinette. turns out the dinette gives a great place for us to eat out of the sun and heat, so its got its plusses. so far , replaced a fuel/water pump on the stbd motor and a starter solenoid, but nothing else other than tune-up and preventative maintenance stuff. we had a good half season last year , going on to first full season and she ran like a top. out of all those models, I believe we landed on the right one.
  19. Salvation 330

    Salvation 330 New Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    Ocean Beach, NJ
    1996 330 Sundancer
    Thanks Steve, I've heard that those combo fuel/water pumps are a bit finicky. I think I got very lucky, there is so much junk out there. First boat I looked at was a wreck in Tom's River with bravo drives, maybe you saw it too. It was a rainy day and was raining harder in the cockpit than it was outside! Fortunately this boat is in terrific condition, always yard maintained, and used in brackish/fresh water. Thinking about doing an acid engine flush and converting to fwc.
  20. Alegria

    Alegria Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Lancaster,PA Boat: -Sue Creek, MD
    2000 410 DA
    3126 CAT
    Congrats on the new boat!!! Good luck on the adventure of survey and sea trial!! You will have to fill me in on the details...

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