Need Advice on Bowrider or Cuddy

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by diveman, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. diveman

    diveman Member

    Aug 15, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    1988 Sundancer 270
    twin Merc 4.3 w/Alpha 1 drives
    Hello everyone,

    My name is Mike and I have been surfing the forum trying to get some ideas as to what kind of SeaRay to purchase. Here is my dilemma:

    I have a cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario. It is a small lake that is great for pleasure boating, skiing and tubing. I have two children, 5 and 8, that I would love to be able to tow around the lake.

    My house, on the other hand, is on the shore of Lake Ontario. I would love to be able to go on day trips, launching from a trailer very close to my house.

    My question is which way do I go? I realize that Lake Ontario would require a larger boat just due to the wave and wind factor. I don't foresee doing sleep overs on the boat. Would a cuddy be better for the kids or would it be better for them to have the open bow?

    I will not be purchasing a new boat as I figure, at some point, I will want something more (2 foot itis!)

    I am leaning towards at 21' to 23' boat. I have seen the 220 and 230 BRs for sale in my area. What age boat would you recommend staying away from? I have been looking at boat that were built no older than 1995.

    Thank you for any and all recommendations that you can provide!


  2. MrHappy

    MrHappy Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    1991 Sea Ray 225BR
    I have had 3 boats and all have been bow riders. From what I here the cuddy is a place to throw your stuff. With a bow rider you can take a few more kids and or adults. Room for toys and coolers etc. We go camping in Muskegon Michigan every year and can take our boat out on the big lake. I feel safe unless the lake is rocking.

    I really do not think the age matters. It is the boat. My boat is over 20 years old and the interior looks new. No rips or tears in the original seats. The carpet is not up to dat but no burn holes or rips or tears either. You need to find an anal boater who keeps good care of their stuff.

    My boat has a deeper V than most newer 24 foot boats. Not many new 24 foot boats come with a 70 gallon tank.
  3. SloBurn

    SloBurn Member

    May 30, 2013
    Greenwood Lake, NY
    1994 270 Sundancer. 7.4L Merc. Tow with a 2006 Dodge RAM Hemi
    340 HP Merc 454 c.i.
    I gotta go with the cuddy. And yes, age does not matter, my boat is now 25 years young and looks and runs almost perfect. Boats are like women, the younger they are, the more they're gonna cost you.. Also consider the privacy a cuddy can give case of any offshore activities, :) . And it makes a great place to put all the stuff you may need to carry. We keep a tube, kneeboards, and skis in our cuddy. And if a storm pops up, we duck below-may not be an issue for you if you're close to your home.
  4. Bigal6030

    Bigal6030 New Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    2006 270 Express Cruiser Loaded
    5.7 Mag Bravo 3
    Hey, Mike
    I have had both and currently have 23' cuddy. Most of my boating is on Lake Michigan, that is why I moved from my 21' open bow to a cuddy. Open bows are great for smaller lakes. Since my kids are grow it is generally just me and the wife. We love overniting in different marianas and the 23' is perfect. With the kids you may want to stay with the open bow lots more room go as big as you can and get a really good snap on bow cover to close up the bow when the weather get a bit rough. You will keep out the overspray and the kids can crawl under and play camping.

    Big Al
  5. randmhall

    randmhall Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 18, 2009
    Grand Lake of the Cherokees, Oklahoma
    2006 Sea Ray 240 Sundeck
    350 Mag Bravo 3
    You are doing it right. Take everyone's advice, and their reasons. Then make a decision based on you.
    We had a 22' cuddy befor kids until the kids were 2 and 5 years old. The cuddy was great for the kids to get out of the sun, nap, and store junk. As the kids go older and started bringing friends, the cuddy was too small. The cockpit was full with 6 people, and nobody wanted to ride in the front, because they couldn't see.
    We upgraded to our 240 Sundeck.
    We LOVE the boat. It has a deep enough V to handle rougher water without totally tossing you around, runs most of the weekend on a 65 gallon tank of gas, and can still be tralered to different places. There is an entire thread on the boat in this forum, you should check it out.
  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.
    The advice Rand posted above is spot on. Cuddies provide a nice place to store stuff or for an overnighter. That's the biggest benefits they provide IMHO.

    The downside to cuddies is that nobody wants to ride up there because they're hot, stuffy, you can't see and you get bounced around a lot. That means everyone has to ride in the cockpit. This limits the number of people you can carry because they're all in the back, but equally as important and not mentioned yet is that it seriously affects your weight and balance. With all that weight in the back it's going to be harder to get (and keep) the boat on plane. The stern is going to squat in the water more than a bowrider where the weight is more evenly distributed, and that eats up more fuel.

    Also, you kids are small now, but in a short few years they're going to be teenagers and want to bring their friends along. A bowrider gives the kids a place where they can get away from the adults (in the bow) and have their own space. My kids always preferred to ride in the bow for the reason we enjoy boating.....more sun, wind in your face, etc.

    On your small lake you'll soon learn to hate a cuddy and on the big lake, as your kids get older, you'll wish you had a bowrider.

    My advice to people buying a boat for the first time is buy your second boat first. Don't waste your time and money buying a boat you think would work for "now" because in no time your kids will have outgrown it and you'll be ready to trade it in for the boat you should have bought the first time.....and that gets expensive.

    When we had our bowrider, the rule for kids in the front was always "BUTTS ON THE SEATS". In other words, no sitting on your knees. Safer that way.
  7. diveman

    diveman Member

    Aug 15, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    1988 Sundancer 270
    twin Merc 4.3 w/Alpha 1 drives
    Thank you all for the great advice. I hadn't thought about the deck boat but that might be a good way to go. I do think that the bowrider will be the most functional boat for us at this time and in the near future.

    Please do keep the advice coming.


  8. alwhite00

    alwhite00 Active Member

    May 31, 2010
    1997 250 Sundancer
    5.7 EFI/ BIII
    whatever you get it is very nice to have a head or porta-potty on board. also, a bimini to get out of the sun. i watch people anchoraed up at the beach just roasting and I am in the shade with a cold drink. gotta have a place to get the kids out of the sun once & a while.

  9. dpvandy01

    dpvandy01 Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 6, 2007
    Cincinnati, Ohio/Ohio River
    2003 320 Sundancer
    2012 185 Sport
    2007 Pro-Line 20 Sport
    Twin 6.2L Close Cooled V-Drives & 3.0L Alpha 1 & 135 Honda OB
    agree with all so far,, especially the poing about a functioning and well fitting bow cover.. It provides a ton of protection from spray and even a light chop over the bow. not to the degree of a cuddy but it is removable and you're gonna need the seating
  10. diveman

    diveman Member

    Aug 15, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    1988 Sundancer 270
    twin Merc 4.3 w/Alpha 1 drives
    Bought a sweet 1997 230br Signature Select today. Come on spring! Thank you for all the great advice.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  11. LKN

    LKN New Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    Lake Norman, NC
    2002 240 Sundeck
    5.7L EFI Mercruiser with Bravo III Outdrive
    Didn't realize how old the thread was - disregard
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  12. TotallyGross

    TotallyGross New Member

    Mar 19, 2016
    2000 340 Sundancer, inboards
    6.5 KWH Westerbeke
    9 foot dinghy, 5hp mariner,
    7.4L MPI Merc guzzlers
    haha disregard
  13. tdgard

    tdgard Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    05-270 Sundeck
    496 w/Bravo III
    You should look at the 220 and 240 Sundeck. The 240 is a great sized boat. More room up front and they don't have the gruesome squared off nose like some do. The 270 has a fantastic little "cabin" on the starboard side. Not very large but it can sleep two adults and the kids use it constantly to get out of the elements and play. The 270 is approaching a size you probably don't want to tow all the time with options and loaded though. Mine is crowding 10,000# sitting on a trailer.
  14. fyrace

    fyrace New Member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Saint Cloud, Florida
    2008 240 Sundeck
    5.0L Mercrusier B3
    Love the bow rider but looking to upgrade to the cuddly! Def my next boat. Something about ac when it's steamy hot

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