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
    Thanks Nehalennia. I went back through the listings on boattrader.com and continue to believe that it appears to be a nice boat at a good price. I'll know better tommorrow.
     
  2. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    UPDATE: Well, I am now the proud owner of a 260DA. The dealership picked me up at the airport and we drove 30 minutes to the dealership. The boat was inside - and set up for my review and my surveyor was already there ( got his report on Tuesday but he did some additional checks and was waiting for the sea trial).

    Boy, did she look good. Exterior looked like new, cockpit looked like new (with the exception of some small pen ink marks on some seats), and the cabin - which was staged with lights on and pillows and small artificial plants - looked terrific. Carpet runners were covering the carpet - and when removed - the carpet was in very good shape but I would want to clean both cabin and cockpit carpets.

    On to the sea trial. Surveyor took control and did some controlled tests....360s right and left, cruising at different rpms as he checked engine mounts, etc (don't ask me what etc. is because I'd have to ask him). I was concerned about WOT speed (though he wasn't) but she did between 42-43 mph on my GPS (45mph on the speedo) with 4 of us on board and a 1/2 tank of gas - at 4400 rpms.

    Then I took the helm. Quite an adjustment from my current boat. My initial reaction - loud, bulky, not as responsive or agile. But i understand this is a cruiser not a sportboat - and I've never run a cruiser. My surveyor explained the noise was partly a function of running the boat with the camper top up (it was like 40 degrees and raining). As far as the latter goes, I was more concerned about those things at slow speed when docking more than when cruising. So - we went and did some docking maneuvers.

    Now this is what I have been primarily concerned about - handling the boat at slow speed when docking. I was even reluctant to try this even when prompted by the seller (I didn't want to bang up his boat, realize I could not handle it comfortably, and walk away and leave him with a banged up boat....and go for a 240 instead). But, the empty slips were there so I went for it. Unbelieveable. I must have gone in and out of these slips (several different slips) 10-12 times - and almost perfectly each time. I couldn't believe it. THEY were impressed. This experience sealed the deal because this was my primary concern. I am more confident now that I can manage this boat with my current slip.

    I will say that I thought the shifter was "balky" - not smooth - it took alot of effort to shift - but the result was certainly good. The shifter is not unlike the one on my current boat or other boats I have had - but I was expecting a smoother - click - click - click - type of operation - only because of my dock mate who has a 93 250DA who I have observed operating his boat - and I actually hear the clicks as he come in to his slip.

    So- I'd be interested in reactions and responses to any and all of this - but particularly in regard to the shifter. Also - what is the best way to clean the carpet - and removing blue pen ink...

    Thanks again for all of your assistance. This site has been quite a source of information and support and I appreciate all of you who have contributed to this thread.

    Ed
     
  3. rabyers1

    rabyers1 Member

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

    CONGRATULATIONS! Welcome to the 260 Club. It sounds like you maneuvered that baby like an old pro around those finger slips. I'll bet your overall experience with boating helped a lot more than you were thinking it would. My thoughts on the shifting effort; I have also found the shift lever to be "balkier" than other boats I have owned. I have been told that this is primarily due to the Bravo 3. It is a big drive with bigger internal components to spin and engage those counter-rotating props as compared to the Alpha and Bravo 1 units, so the mechanical effort to shift is more pronounced. Not sure if this is correct - but it makes sense to me and seems to fit the feeling I get thru my hand on the lever when shifting. I have found that it is best to be very deliberate when shifting and not try to ease the boat in to gear too much as that seems to result in some "grinding" of gears in the lower unit.
     
  4. jollymonsrv

    jollymonsrv New Member

    139
    Feb 17, 2009
    So. Shore MA.
    2007 290aj
    twin horizon 350/300 v drive
    bought my 04 260sd in 06 34 hrs..great boat..a little top heavy witharch..bravo 3 is workhorse at low rpm and wot...no prob. running myself{preffered mode no wife kids nuttin but me and a cold beer}salt water now 182 hrs....looking fwd to many more seasons of use,,,best wishes
     
  5. skolbe

    skolbe Active Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    320 Sundancer, Mercury 310 Sport Inflatable Tohatsu 6HP
    350 Mag V-Drive - Kohler 5ecd
    When I went from a 215 to a 260, I found the 260 super easy to dock. The canvas up raises noise levels. But you have a great boat. My 260 shifter was hard to shift. I assumed it was the shifter. Enjoy the boat.
     
  6. drew333

    drew333 New Member

    3
    Jun 15, 2009
    portland
    260 sundancer 2005
    5.7 mercruiser w/ BravoIII
    good luck, its a fine boat I go out 'solo' quite often on my 260 sundancer '05. I can also trailer this boat on my own without having any special permits.
     
  7. Bridog

    Bridog Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 4, 2006
    Gulf Shores AL / Brick NJ
    2016 19SPX OB
    Mercury 150 4S OB
    Congratulations and good luck! 43-45 WOT on a 260DA is DAM GOOD. Don't be concerned at those numbers.
     
  8. Nehalennia

    Nehalennia Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Marysville, WA
    2001 310DA twin 350 MAGs, Westerbeke 4.5KW
    Twin 350 MAG V-drives
    Congrats Ed

    Now you get to bring her home and make it your own. I don't recall if you said if there are any electronics on board?
     
  9. skibum

    skibum Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    Perry Hall, MD
    2005 Sundancer 260
    496 Magnum HO
    Nice! Congratulations. Welcome to the club!

    Update that boat info by your name! No more Seaswirl 220 SWL for you, Ed.
     
  10. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Thanks Nehalennia. The only electronics are a marine radio and the Clarion AM/FM/Cassette and a 6 disk CD changer. I recently bought a marine TV antenna that I have been using with a 15" Dynex LCD TV and DVD player on my current boat. Not sure if I can mount that someplace (I was thinking above the aft cabin?) or just stow it and put it out and set it on the counter when I want to use it.

    I also have for years been using a Panasonic receiver with NHT Superzeroes (or Superones - I have and have used both - with a portable XM radio unit) on my current boat and I will probably rig that system up and use it on the 260 rather than the Clarion system - but we'll see.

    I also have a portable gps unit and portable marine radio (as a backup) that will see use on the 260.

    Ed
     
  11. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Thanks skibum - except that I still have to sell the Seaswirl. I don't think the 260 will quite feel like my boat until it is delivered from MN to PA in the spring - and the the SS has been sold.

    May be boating with the SS this weekend - and wishing it were the 260. But, I will miss the SS. Though the 260 seems to plane almost as quickly and can almost do the same speed at WOT (probably 4 mph less), it is not as responsive or agile - and I'll miss that....for awhile.

    So, the consensus is that the shifter is a bit balky? Any upgrades or improvements available?

    Also - is there a bit of a delay between input and response? That is, I seemed to notice that when I turn the wheel, there is a bit of a delay before the boat responds. Seemed like my SS responded almost immediately. But again, I assume this is the difference between a sportboat and cruiser?
     
  12. skibum

    skibum Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    Perry Hall, MD
    2005 Sundancer 260
    496 Magnum HO
    There is a delay at slow speeds. Search on "wandering" for everything you wanted to know about it. When I let other people drive my boat, I usually tell them to think of it the same as balancing a broomstick on your fingertip. Its just that the engine is pushing the stick through the water in 1 dimension. As soon as you feel the bow moving, make a small correction. When it goes the other way, correct again. On my boat, putting the drive up a bit helps out a lot. Dropping the tabs can help a little too.

    She definately won't be as agile as your little boat, that's for sure.

    The shifter requires a little "umph" to get it in and out of gear, but you'll get used to it.

    Ok... you win. You can change that boat info after you get it home and have gone for a cruise, or when you sell the SS.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  13. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    OK Skibum - thanks for the pass on changing the boat info. The SS is officially for sale (in the local paper only for 10 days) but it is being pulled next week and winterized and shrink wrapped. I'll be more aggressive trying to sell it in the spring.

    I read the threads on wandering - thanks for the suggestion. My sense - from owning 4 boats - now 5 - is that all boats do this (but perhaps I am mistaken) - just to a different degree. Given that my SS seemed more responsive (less wandering) than any other boat I have owned - I am quite surprised that I was able to handle the boat as well as I did in docking maneuvers. That made all the difference in the world to me - to be able to take this much bigger boat and replicate with it the docking maneuvers I will be faced with when it is moved to my slip in the spring. Not sure why.

    What I remember about the sea trial is that that the shifter was balky, the boat was not as responsive as my SS - BUT that I moved that boat in and out of slips perfectly 10-12 times in a row. I can only hope I have the same experience when I have to do it in MY slip in the spring.
     
  14. skibum

    skibum Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    Perry Hall, MD
    2005 Sundancer 260
    496 Magnum HO
    If no one is watching, you'll do fine. If you have an audience, hang lots of fenders. :smt043
     
  15. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    I think they'll be lots of fenders regardless. Fenders are my friend :thumbsup:
     
  16. magster65

    magster65 New Member

    883
    Dec 25, 2007
    Saanichton BC Canada
    2002 model 3788
    Twin Cummins 6BTA's
    I think that should happen anyways so I can get my beer, fuel, boats and probably women a little cheaper :thumbsup:
     
  17. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Hi Folks - I wanted to provide a bit of an update to this thread...

    As you may remember, my primary concern about this boat purchase was whether I would be able to handle it on my own - primarily in regard to docking - as I boat a good bit alone while my wife is at work.

    Well - you all suggested that - with practice - I would be able to do so. And right you were - and even without much practice (though I have practiced alot anyway). The boat seems to handle more easily than my previous boat and is much more responsive. Perhaps I am reaping the benefit of the Bravo III, my practices/experience - or a combination of the two. The docking experience is never perfect (well maybe once or twice it has been pretty darn close), usually not very pretty - but heck - I get the job done - and that is all that matters. So thanks for giving me the confidence. As a backup I had planned to move to a bigger slip with a larger fairway/channel - but this is not necessary. I can turn the boat around in the fairway and approach the slip from the opposite direction just fine when the wind dictates this.

    OK - so now onto the "delivery" experience. The boat was delivered to me 3 weeks ago today in Erie, PA from the dealership I purchased it from in Minnesota. Boat was delivered shrink wrapped and I was led to believe the boat was ready to "float" once the outside drain plug (or whatever you call it) was installed and shrink wrap removed. Plug installed and wrap removed. Boat goes on the lift and into the water. Water pours into the bilge. Thankfully a mechanic was nearby. He finds all of the hoses undone. He takes care of it. Fire up the boat. Nothing. Batteries dead. Charge the batteries. Fire up the engine. Water pours into the bilge. More hoses undone. He takes care of it. Get it into the slip. Turn on the water pump. Nothing. Guess what? Hose undone. Not sure who was more upset - me or the mouse who had obviously been living on the boat before I began to inhabit it...

    Oh well. She is now all cleaned, running well and we love her. After I took my wife out for a run on the boat for her very first time - and I asked her afterward how she liked the boat - she said she felt like a princess on a yacht. Nuff said.

    Now onto the questions. I am struggling with using the trim tabs and power trim together (my previous boat had power trim only). The latter has a gauge - the tabs do not (I assume?). There have been times when I have been experimenting and I have gotten very uncomfortable with the positioning of the boat - a feeling like it is going to topple over - or it is very unstable. I have become very judicious in using the tabs because I never really know what their position is - ever it seems. The power trim I can assess from the gauge - I am assuming - but even that sometimes is hard to adjust because it does not adjust upwards and downwards evenly despite my input - and it seems to often change position without any input (always downward). Not sure if some of my discomfort is partly due to not being used to a cruiser or the size of the boat and it's movements compared to my previous 23' Seaswirl or whatever - but any help would be appreciated. Quite frankly, I don't know what is normal or not since this is a new boat to me - and I may have my mechanic go out with me on a run to check. I just want to be sure I am operating it safely and correctly and that the boat is performing normally.

    Again, any help is appreciated. Thanks again for all of your assistance folks.
     
  18. rcmafgny

    rcmafgny Active Member

    Oct 10, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    2008 33 Sundancer; Kohler Gen set; Simrad electronics
    Twin 8.1 Horizons w/ V Drives
    congrats. this year i upgraded to a 26 dancer also.
    practice makes perfect.
    the trim take time to get used to the bow is real high and catches the wind. take some time and you will get it down pat
    enjoy
     
  19. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Glad to see you're up and running, Em! Sounds like you had a very "exciting" first splash.

    There are many threads about proper use of tabs. When you have a little time, do some searching and read, read, read. Then practice, practice, practice. Just like with getting used to maneuvering the boat, you'll get used to the tabs.

    In a nutshell, though... Always start with the tabs all the way up... retracted/not in use (until you get a really good feel for things). Then, just use your drive trim to get on plane. Once there, use the tabs to both level the boat and fine tune the running attitude.

    Eventually, though, you'll want to be able to use tabs to help you come up on plane faster since it will not only keep the bow from rising in front of you, but it will also save on fuel.

    The buttons control what the bow does. Think of the buttons as the "stick" in an airplane, where you push forward to go down and pull back to go up. Instead, you will push the top of the button to go down (push the bow down) and push the bottom of the button to go up (pull the bow up). Of course, port button controls port-side button and vice-versa.

    Until you get used to it, short taps (1/2 second) of the button is all you should use. It takes a second or two for the boat to fully react. If you hold the button down until the boat is where you want it, you've held it down too long. The boat will list over, extremely, to one side. It won't tip, though. I suspect this is what is happening in your case. This is also quite normal for anyone just learning the use of tabs.
     
  20. emlevins

    emlevins New Member

    77
    Sep 27, 2009
    Lake Erie
    2000 260DA
    7.4 w/Bravo III
    Thanks Dennis. Actually, since reading stuff over the last week, I have been operating the tabs as you have described EXCEPT for always starting with the tabs all the way up. I assume you mean full "bow down" position on both port and starboard sides?

    You are right - when I first started experimenting with the tabs I held the buttons too long and the boat got unstable - I had no idea what position the tabs were in...

    OK seems easy enough then. I have been using 1/2 sec bursts. So...start with the drive trim, then tweak with tabs. Generally the boat planes fairly quickly so I do little adjustment until on plane. Then I have adjusted with drive trim. Then I have tried to tweak with tabs.

    Now - assume I have done all that and am cruising straight and decide to turn. Should I bring the bow down with tabs and then trim before turning? It seems that the boat position has been most uncomfortable to me during turning. Again - not sure if it is a matter of getting used to this boat - or if it is my handling.

    Thoughts? And thanks again for your help.
     

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