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
    1997 330 'Dancer
    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 8212, 741 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
    2X 454 w/ vDrives
    Buy the larger boat. You won't regret it.
    Salvation 330 and Gary B like this.
  5. tdschafer

    tdschafer Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    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 GOLD Sponsor

    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 Active 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
    1997 330 'Dancer
    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 Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1999 Sundancer 340
    454 Mercruiser's w/ V Drives, Westerbeke gen set
    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 Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 9, 2007
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1998 400 Sundancer, Garmin 430 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
    1997 330 'Dancer
    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.
  13. Joint Custody

    Joint Custody Member GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 20, 2017
    2001 460 sundancer
    twin Cummins 430 hp
    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.
  14. Siboatguy

    Siboatguy Member GOLD Sponsor

    Mar 28, 2016
    320 Sea Ray 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.....
  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.
  16. Boater420

    Boater420 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.

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