New to the Cruiser scene, looking for a 260DA

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by levic260DA, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. levic260DA

    levic260DA New Member

    9
    Jul 24, 2017
    Northern VT
    Looking at a 260 Sundancer
    350 w/Bravo III
    Hi There, I'm a total newb who started in a Four Winns Horizon 200 then moved into a Malibu Wakeboard boat and am now boatless and looking for a mid size trailerable cruiser. I spent the whole weekend looking at boats and think I have settled on an 05-09 Sundancer 260. I'll be running it off a mooring at my house so a trailer is a must and I'd really love a generator. Its me, my wife and our 7 year old daughter.

    We're on Lake Champlain in Vermont, so I think the 260 is plenty of boat. We are planning on using it for full day trips, but a overnight or weekend a few times a year.

    Do you guys have any thoughts about this plan? Anything I should be thinking about before we find a boat?

    PS, having no boat in the middle of the summer is really hard! Let me know if you know of a good 260DA in the north east.
     
  2. Cincy Aquaholic

    Cincy Aquaholic Active Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Cincinnati
    290 SS - 2016 Ford F250 Powerstroke
    Twin 5.7 with Bravo 1's
    There are some very knowledgeable people who regularly contribute on this board who know alot about the that vintage 260. One thing I recall hearing a lot about is that it tends to be bit of challenge without practice to run it on plane as it lists from side to side and trim tabs have significant and sometimes unexpected effects. I'll let others with experience comment more. But it sure is a nice looking smaller cruiser. I started my search for a cruiser with that boat but settled on the 290 sundancer for the extra room and stable ride. I did tow it a fair amount. Ultimately, I decided to downsize to trailer more with my current 290.
     
  3. levic260DA

    levic260DA New Member

    9
    Jul 24, 2017
    Northern VT
    Looking at a 260 Sundancer
    350 w/Bravo III
    That's good info man, I think I would enjoy the stability of the 280 or 290 but my budget (under 50K) is steering me towards the 260.
     
  4. Tonka Boater

    Tonka Boater Active Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Wayzata, MN
    1997 232 BR
    502 MAG, Bravo I
    You can find good 280DA's for $50k or less if you're patient. It'll be an early 2000's model but still the same design/style as all 280's through 2009.
     
  5. Cincy Aquaholic

    Cincy Aquaholic Active Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Cincinnati
    290 SS - 2016 Ford F250 Powerstroke
    Twin 5.7 with Bravo 1's
    If you search the board you can probably find a few threads discussing the issue. I know for some stability of it was a bit of surprise to the point when using tabs they felt as if the boat would literally tip over. Patience and practice was disccused a lot. Make sure you sea trial it for yourself.
     
  6. firecadet613

    firecadet613 Active Member

    May 10, 2007
    Indiana
    '08 H240
    5.7
    To add some confusion, while the 260 Sea Ray is a great vessel, we opted for a Four Winns 268 - same boat, different make. We liked the center after cabin access versus the side access on the Sea Ray. Quite a few more Sea Ray's too choose from - always go with the biggest engine available.
    Depending on how you plan to use the boat, having a generator can make all the difference in the world.
     
  7. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2007 44DB
    Cummins QSC 8.3s
    Our first cruiser was a 2006 260DA. The issue that Cindy references, is non-existent if you know how or can learn how to properly trim the outdrive. If you understand that the purpose of trimming an OD is to get the bow out of the water, you are 1/2 way there. We loved our 260 w/gen and kept it for 4 summers or so. We spent numerous weekends and up to 5 days at a time on her. I would love to have had the 8.1, but the 350mag did a great job of moving the boat and was very economical as boats go.

    If you will spend your spare time reading the 05-08 260DA thread, you will learn everything you will ever need to know. There were 3-really nice 260s owned by members here that sold this spring/summer right in your price range. If looking to trailer, you will need a 3/4 ton truck.

    My $0.02

    Bennett
     
  8. douglee25

    douglee25 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Cruisers 3575
    Twin 7.4l
    Twin 7.4l
    If you're new to boating, I would strongly suggest buying something slightly 'older' and larger. Definitely 280 or up to a 30-32' if feasible. Does it have to be trailerable? A 260DA will get small really quickly. $50k will definitely buy you 30-32' in the late 90's or early 2000's.

    Edit - Hell these days, $50k will buy you a 340DA.
     
  9. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Newport, RI
    300 Sundancer
    5.0MPI Bravo III
    that era 260 is a great day boat as it has a huge and well layed out cockpit......great for overnights too....one with a gennie may be hard th find locally - expand your search - lots of southern lake boaters ordered them that way......very expensive to add later - my boat spent a couple of seasons on a mooring when i had it in mystic ct - a generator was very important!
     
  10. levic260DA

    levic260DA New Member

    9
    Jul 24, 2017
    Northern VT
    Looking at a 260 Sundancer
    350 w/Bravo III
    First off I love this site, you guys are great.

    Lots of great info and new stuff to think about. Another question. What are you thoughts on a boat that has had some salt water use, but does not have a closed loop cooling system? I looked at a REALLY clean 06 260DA with a nice trailer and everything I want (except a generator) over the weekend. My local dealer says people don't have an open mind up here in VT about salt water boats and they take a massive hit on resale. He says I should really try and wait it out for a fresh water boat.

    Here's a link to the boat:

    https://vermont.craigslist.org/boa/d/low-hour-sea-ray/6194702629.html
     
  11. douglee25

    douglee25 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Cruisers 3575
    Twin 7.4l
    Twin 7.4l

    I don't know where the notion that salt water boats should be avoided came from? Properly maintained salt water boats are just as good as fresh water boats. Salt water boats that aren't properly maintained probably suffer damage quicker than fresh water boats on wetted surfaces, especially outdrives due to galvanic corrosion and stray currents.

    Go check it out. If you're not limited to size, I strongly suggest avoiding 2 foot-itis and getting a bigger boat!
     
  12. levic260DA

    levic260DA New Member

    9
    Jul 24, 2017
    Northern VT
    Looking at a 260 Sundancer
    350 w/Bravo III
    I think up here its more of a perception problem. People don't want a salt water boat, which I just need to take into consideration when buying it so I don't take a bath if I want to sell it in a few years. I did go look at it, and it looks SUPER clean. The current owner keeps it inside on the trailer, but I don't have any insight into prior owners and how much it's been used in the salt.
     
  13. GCHOG

    GCHOG Member

    103
    Mar 25, 2016
    Bass River, Viking Marina, South Jersey
    2006 Sea Ray 260 Sundancer
    6.2 Bravo III
    g'morning levic, I've had my '06 260 for 2 years now, moving up from a 24' and we love it. As someone mentioned earlier, if it is extremely windy, the boat will list slightly while getting up on plane but only for a moment while I'm trimming up, but really , no big deal. As far as power, I have the 6.2 (stroker motor) BIII and feel it is perfect for the size of the vessel. Plenty of power and good fuel economy. We don't have a genny, but never stay out on the hook, so again no big deal. As far as salt vs fresh, my boat was originally purchased in NJ, spent a few season's in brackish water, moved to Springfield Mass. fresh water river 5-6 seasons then back to south Jersey with me in fresh water. Boat was super clean when I surveyed it, 219 hrs, no Bravoitis, had all service records so I was confident with the purchase. We (the Admiral)(wife) stay onboard a lot of weekends at the marina and feel we have plenty of room. Other than normal annual maintenance stuff reallly had no issues. We are very pleased. Good luck with your search. I hope I was of some help.

    Garry
     
  14. trflgrl

    trflgrl Active Member

    909
    Jun 23, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    1989 Sundancer 300
    Twin 350 Merc/Alpha 1 Gen 1; Quicksilver 4.0 gen
    The perception problem exists here, too, so IMO you're very wise to consider that as part of your big picture. If the dealer's opinion is for his own benefit--trying to get you to buy from him instead of a private seller--I'd find it suspect. Otherwise, his experience is valuable.

    I feel as others do, that salt water history isn't a deal breaker--but had plenty of people try to steer me way clear of any boats that had even glimpsed the ocean. I opted out of one because the mechanic I planned to use had worked on it and said, "The inside of that thing is oozing sea water," so that was a judgement on the specific boat, not the entire population. Thankfully, the inventory of fresh water boats is good so I didn't have to wait too long for alternates.

    Good luck in your search!!
     
  15. levic260DA

    levic260DA New Member

    9
    Jul 24, 2017
    Northern VT
    Looking at a 260 Sundancer
    350 w/Bravo III
    Great info Garry. I'm on the fence about the salt water. I think I've gotten over the initial panic of not having a boat. We live on the water and have a really nice dock that gets us "out on the water" so I'm going to simply sit back and wait for my boat to pop up.

    Here's my wish list:
    Fresh water 05-09 260DA
    At least a 350, I'd love the 6.2 but not a deal breaker
    Full camper enclosure
    Heat and A/C
    Windlass
    Trailer
    Genny would be ideal, but it rarely gets super hot at night up here in VT, and if it is going to be hot overnight we can always grab a slip in one of the three nearby marinas.
    I love the colored hull, but again not a deal breaker

    Thanks for all the replies!
     
  16. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2007 44DB
    Cummins QSC 8.3s
    There seem to be a lot of them for sale. Finding one with a gen might be a challenge. We had the gen and would not have one without it. Of course, I live in the south and summer nights without AC are miserable. If you really do want the gen, don't settle for one without it as you will regret it.

    As for the SW/FW thing, we have spent the past 2 months and close to 5,000 miles looking at SR Sport Yachts. I thought I had to have a FW boat. These machines are built for SW and we have found what we want in a perfect SW boat. As stated, a well maintained SW boat is as good as a well maintained FW boat and better than a poorly maintained FW boat. I have seen good and bad in both and we have selected a SW boat to bring to FW.

    Bennett
     
  17. levic260DA

    levic260DA New Member

    9
    Jul 24, 2017
    Northern VT
    Looking at a 260 Sundancer
    350 w/Bravo III
    Good info man, I think if I can find a really clean one with the right options at the right price FW vs SW won't get in my way. I think the deal breaker for the one I looked at last weekend is it's just a bit over priced. I appreciate everyone's opinions. This is a big / tough decision and I appreciate all the different viewpoints.
     
  18. levic260DA

    levic260DA New Member

    9
    Jul 24, 2017
    Northern VT
    Looking at a 260 Sundancer
    350 w/Bravo III
  19. douglee25

    douglee25 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Cruisers 3575
    Twin 7.4l
    Twin 7.4l
    Looks clean. No genset though? Is that a deal killer or do you plan on adding it afterwards?

    The thing that I'm not a fan of that some manufacturers do on the smaller cruisers is close off the aft cabin. If you're in the aft cabin, you're essentially totally closed off from the rest of your party. Some other manufacturers raise the cockpit deck to allow much more room in that area giving you the feeling that the boat is much bigger. It opens up the area for better conversation.
     
  20. searaypuget

    searaypuget Member

    84
    May 21, 2017
    Seattle
    2008 Sundancer 280
    496 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drive
    Beautiful boat. Definitely clean boat as well. I wouldn't worry about salt water usage especially it has been stored inside. I don't understand people worrying about salt water. Have the boat checked out professionally. If the result is satisfactory buy it and enjoy it. Patience is great but you will have less time to enjoy the water.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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