Newbie considering 260 Sundancer

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by emlevins, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Not at all. And I have been working at this for quite a while. Though there have been a few that have been near this price, they have been all salt water boats (for example - with a smaller engine - http://www.yachttraderonline.com/listing/2000-Sea-Ray-Sundancer-260-91930646). I want a fresh water boat. Most 260s and even 240s (salt or fresh water) have been more. The price and apparent condition caught my eye. I am not financing - and I would not earn that much on this money should it sit where it is until spring. My sense is that this is a good time to buy and the asking price was very good. However, I was concerned about the extra costs that I would incur from winterization/storage and transport/delivery. However, they are now included in the price. Additionally, the sales agreement lists the sales price at $23,500 (the additional 4K is listed for winterization and delivery) so I will pay less sales tax when I register it in PA. Also, the sales tax can be deducted on my income tax return - thanks to the President's stimulis package.

    I am having a survey done on Monday and am flying up to look at the boat and take it out on a sea trial next Thursday - with the surveyor ( who also happens to own a 2000 vessel with twin 7.4 mercs). Though this is also an extra cost, I am spending only $180 total for r/t airfare and lodging and the sales folks are transporting me from the airport. They have been terrific and I am pretty excited.

    But anything can happen... so I'll update as this progresses.

    Thanks again for all of your comments and assistance.

    EDIT - fwiw - I was also told that in the few weeks they have had the boat for sale, they "sold" it twice - but in both instances the buyers were not approved for financing and the sale did not go through...
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  2. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Sounds like you got a good thing. I hope the survey and sea trial go well. Good luck!
     
  3. rabyers1

    rabyers1 Member

    259
    Mar 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    2001 260 Sundancer
    383 Magnum Stroker w/Bravo III
    Yes, it looks like a great opportunity - especially as a cash purchase. Hope your visit to see it goes well. Are you getting a mechanical survey done on the motor and outdrive as well as the physical boat survey? Highly recommended. I learned the hard way and now have a shiny new engine in my 260.
     
  4. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Thanks all. No, I am not having a mechanical survey done. The surveyor - who owns a boat - same year - and same engine (though in twins) is coming along on the sea trial. I am hoping that he would be able to detect any symptoms of any kind of engine or outdrive problems...but who knows.

    He also told me that this engine - should it be typical - should go about 2,000 hours before requiring significant maintenance. I took that to mean major engine work - assuming the engine was routinely serviced.

    I know that can vary (I bought a brand new Jeep Cherokee that had less than 100 miles on it that needed a new engine - I got a new vehicle from the dealer instead)...but does the hour estimate sound right? I was a bit concerned about 540 hours on the engine - but the surveyor said 50 hrs per year in our climate (6 month boating season) is about average - and the engines can go 2,000 miles.

    Does that sound about right? If so, with normal maintenance, this engine has over 25 years left?
     
  5. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Well, yes and no. First, I wouldn't be afraid of the hours. As long as everything checks out fine. Second, while the major components may be fine, things like a rear main seal may not last another 25 years. Sometimes it is more about actual time (years) than hours. A rear main seal is worth about 2 nickels, but you have to remove the engine to get to it.

    On the other side, this engine may have 35 years left.

    Hope it all goes well for you!
     
  6. rabyers1

    rabyers1 Member

    259
    Mar 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    2001 260 Sundancer
    383 Magnum Stroker w/Bravo III
    As you said "Who knows?" We all wish you the best of luck, but I will never buy another boat without a full mechanical survey. You are going to buy this boat and then move it far away from the seller and their representations of its condition. Therefore, you are almost definitely going to be on your own if a major mechanical component fails as it won't be practical to take the boat back to them for any courtesy repairs they might offer. That means you will have to pay the full freight to a local shop to get it fixed.

    I took that gamble on a great deal just 8 short months ago and now I have spent an additional $11,000 to get back on the water. My old engine only had 152 hours on it and "ran like a top" for the first three months I owned it. Externally, the motor looked great (the dealer or the desperate-to-sell PO had taken the time to wipe the motor down good and armor-all the hoses). Folks said things like "Boy are you lucky - boat like that with a practically brand new motor - what a great deal" (Wish I have been reading CSR then). Little did I know it was a ticking time bomb, with a small internal leak that went undetected by the PO, myself, the "full service" selling marina and my hull surveyor. Without a mechanical survey you just can't know. I am now a cautionary tale.
     
  7. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    raybyers1 - you have certainly gotten my attention. Sorry about your situation. I talked with my surveyor about this and your situation and fwiw - here is the gist of what he said:

    He said there were only 2 things a mechanic would do that he does not - a compression test and an oil analysis (actually he offered me the latter for an additional charge since he would send it out for analysis). He suggested that the best test of the overall health of the engine is a sea trial. If it reaches the target rpm and there are no signs of oil in the bilge or other indications of a problem from a visual analysis, the engine is likely OK. He also said that with 450 hours on a 2000 - that the engine was relatively new (or 25% of the way to the point where you would expect major engine maintenance issues - i.e. around 2000 hours).

    In regard to your situation, he wondered whether the leak was actually present at the time you purchased the boat - or whether it developed afterward (I think you said it ran well for 3 months?). He also wondered if - assuming it was present at the time of purchase - whether there were other symptoms of it that went undetected by the surveyor. Lastly, he questioned whether someone conducting a mechanical survey would have detected it - if it were present. Anyway - as I said - fwiw.

    I'm going to trust his judgement and cross my fingers and hope for the best.

    Interestingly, my wife asked why we should get a new boat when we have NEVER had a problem with our current boat. But, I suppose never may never last forever. What's here today could be gone tommorrow. I guess you NEVER know for sure.
     
  8. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    It's curious why your surveyor wouldn't do a compression test. It is extremely easy to do. Heck, buy yourself a compression tester at Harbor Freight and do it yourself. Ideally, you would perform a leak-down test, but that is more time consuming. Personally, I wouldn't buy a used boat without seeing PSI. A good sea trial should tell you how things are, but it's not conclusive (no one test is, hence the reason you do a few things).

    You can have oil tests done for about $20.

    In the end, it's your money and spend it as you see fit. But doing these things is a very good idea. If you had to prioritize, I'd put the compression test above the oil analysis.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. :smt001
     
  9. rabyers1

    rabyers1 Member

    259
    Mar 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    2001 260 Sundancer
    383 Magnum Stroker w/Bravo III
    Yes, my situation was a little unique. I was getting just a very small amount of water in two cylinders from a leak in the water jacket at the riser to manifold joint. My mechanic did say it looked like it had been leaking for quite a while (no way to know for sure). Anyway, as long as I was running the boat regularly - I was apparently "blowing out" this little bit of water upon start up with no apparent symptoms. Then I got injured and the boat sat for two months unused with a small amount of water on top of those two pistons. That was enough to rust the rings solid to the cylinder walls and seize the engine. I could have re-built it or gotten a new block, but decided to upgrade to a bigger motor and newer style dry-joint exhaust manifolds. My mechanic says that a mechanical surveyor could probably have detected the water in the two cylinders as he went about performing his compression test. Who knows?

    Maybe you can just get someone to pull the plugs and make sure you have no water getting in any of the cylinders? Then - no matter what - dis-assemble and thoroughly check out your manifolds, risers, etc. when you get the boat home. (Unless maybe those manifolds and risers have recently been replaced). I have heard that internal water leaks and water ingestion are the leading causes of engine failure in boats.
     
  10. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Here is a portion of an article relative to compression tests by someone my surveyor considers an expert in this area:

    By Jim Merrit, SAMS AMS SMS

    >> Compression tests have been so widely referenced by both the automotive and marine writers that the general public thinks they are a necessary part of determining condition. That is only partly true, the best way to determine engine condition in a marine application is to review the service records, check the fluids, and perform a sea trial with full throttle runs as part of the trial. If the engine(s) run to rated rpm or slightly better under normal load conditions then the compression test is, essentially, a waste of time and money. The engines simply can't turn up properly unless they have good compression in all cylinders and testing afterward will simply confirm that fact.
     
  11. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    RAB, correct me if I'm wrong, but neither of us are saying that a compression test is the definitive test. But, it is a tool to help determine the overall condition.

    Look at it this way: A particular engine will have a WOT RPM range of 4,400 to 4,800. If the sea trial turns out 4,500rpm, the consensus would be the engine is fine - it's within specs. But, what if one cylinder is a little low and that sea trial should have turned out 4,700? Without the compression test you would be buying a boat with a cylinder that is possibly on it's way out.

    Like I said, in the end it's your money. I really do hope this conversation is all for not and everything turns out fine. If your surveyor won't do it, do it yourself.
     
  12. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Just an update - received the survey today. Boat checked out well - needs anodes (dealer will replace), oil change (dealer will do), one thru hull thingie (dealer will replace), a fire extinguisher (just bought one for my exisiting boat), and a light bulb. It has a small ding in the port side next to the swim platform, and a small water stain on the fabric (surveyor thought it was from leaving the port hole open during rain ). Surveyor said the hull was in exceptional condition for a 2000, and fabric, upholstery, and bottom paint were "like new". Condition was rated "Average" (given definition which speaks to options and electronics makes sense), and it was valued well above the sales price. I am flying up on Thursday for a sea trial.

    I also thought to ask the dealer if I could contact the prior owner (who traded it for an 04 32' SD). She got me his number and I did and he verified no issues other than normal maintenance.

    So far, so good. Thanks again for all of your help.
     
  13. Nehalennia

    Nehalennia Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Marysville, WA
    2001 310DA twin 350 MAGs, Westerbeke 4.5KW
    Twin 350 MAG V-drives
    Hope the seatrial goes well. Best of luck.
     
  14. Moose

    Moose New Member

    363
    Oct 23, 2006
    Lake Lanier, GA
    2004 260 SunDancer, GenSet, Lowrance GPS/Fish Combo
    350 Magnum w/B3
    Hey Ed. Yes you can handle the 260 by yourself with practice. I don't know what size slip you have, so it will depend on that. I am in a double slip 20'wide(2 boats with 8'6" beam) so there is not alot of free space. Never touched other boat if you come in really "slow"! Slow means the speed that you would not hurt yourself or the other vessel. Speed is important, it's really a crawl for me if I'm by myself. If I have my first mate with me, it's still the same. It avoids yelling and screaming on my part and scolding from the first mate later. There is nothing better to avoid panic and chaos if you keep your cool, if you know what I mean!
     
  15. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Hey Moose - Thanks for getting us back on point. My original post was exactly what you addressed - comfort in handling this boat! I am still concerned about this. I go to our marina and look at some 260s and look at my slip and go....ugh....

    But - my current slip is 30' in length and fairly wide for a double slip. My current boat has an 8'4" beam according to the NADA site - which I find hard to believe - and the 260 has a 8'6" beam - so not much difference. I've had NO problem with bringing my current boat in - especially in regard to the boat next to me (now I have bumped my finger pier a few times though because I err on that side). But, the 260 would be the second biggest boat on my current pier.

    I am more concerned about the length than the beam of the 260 - both in terms of coming down the fairway and turning in to the slip - and, as I am moving in to the slip, having the boat pushed by current or wind in a way that might threaten impact with the boat next to me - either as I am moving in to the slip - or after I am in the slip and before I have had an opportunity to secure the boat.

    I have thought about this and visualized this for weeks - to go REALLY slow by alternating between forward and neutral and reverse if necessary and steering to angle the boat properly - and then how I will do my lines (I have several strategies in mind).

    I will give it my best - go SLOW - and practice, practice, practice. But, I am convinced that this boat is not too big for me - but the boat slip may be too small for the boat :wink:
    In that case, I'll move to a bigger slip.
     
  16. Bill Z

    Bill Z New Member

    150
    Nov 27, 2004
    Clifton Park N.Y.
    320 Sundancer
    Twin 6.2 Horizons
    I think the price is a bit high. I sold my 2002 260 this past spring. It was meticulous and extremely well maintained and had 319 hurs for $ 31,000. I would think that the value should fall about
    $3 ,000 per year which would get you to $ 25,000. Just my 02 cents. You will have no problem handling the 260. It shrinks when you get in in the water. Great boat !
     
  17. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Hmmm...not sure but might be. He based it on NADA, BucNet, and three comps which I believe were internet listings. I reviewed NADA and BucNet and did an extensive review of listings for 98-04 to get an idea of pricing - for both 240DAs and 260DAs. There appeared to be little difference between 240s and 260s in regard to internet listings - which is why I focused on the 260 and the listing for this 2000 260DA was among the lowest. Some were lower but were not fresh water boats. Obviously equipment differences play a role here but I was not looking for a "loaded" boat (though I suspect I may regret no windlass...). but it can always be added).

    Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by the valuation - and especially pleased that it allowed my wife to be more comfortable with this (hopefully) impending purchase :wink:

    The boat is almost 1,000 miles away from me now as I type this, but I will be running it and could be the proud owner of it in less than 24 hours...
     
  18. rabyers1

    rabyers1 Member

    259
    Mar 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    2001 260 Sundancer
    383 Magnum Stroker w/Bravo III
    em,

    When I am working my way into a tight slip or into a slip or side dockage where the wind, tide, current, etc. is moving the water and/or boat around some, I have found that coming to a dead stop a couple of boat lengths prior to entering the area has been very helpful. It seems that taking all of the forward momentum out of the boat first and then maneuvering into the position I want to be in works a lot better than "coasting" in. The boat feels "heavy" and under more under control to my helm and throttle movements, if that makes sense. Maybe try that technique if it isn't something you do now?
     
  19. Nehalennia

    Nehalennia Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Marysville, WA
    2001 310DA twin 350 MAGs, Westerbeke 4.5KW
    Twin 350 MAG V-drives
    No, I don't think that's a good way to look at it. I think his price is fair. By your math, if you wait 5 years it'll be worth $10K. These boats are near the bottom of the depreciation if well cared for. Now in 10 years we'll see a more significant drop, but in 10 years we may belong to Canada if the economy doesn't shape up soon.

    Em I think you're getting a very nice boat at a great price.
    Again best of luck.
     
  20. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Thanks raybers1 - that sounds like great advice. That is the slowest of slow. I have been inclined to continue to "coast" in - and probably too quickly - so I will definitely heed your advice. Thanks again.
     

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