Question for the Big Boys

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by Scotyp, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Scotyp

    Scotyp New Member

    20
    Oct 4, 2017
    1998 sea Ray 210
    5.0 Mercruiser
    I normally hang out in the sport boat section of the forum since I own a 1998 210 Bowrider. Love the Sea Ray brand! I'm starting my search for a bigger boat!(of course) I live in the Seattle area and have narrowed the search to a Sundancer. It would be moored in a lake marina and used in Puget Sound cruising as well.
    Wanted to ask the experienced people here what they thought about size versus cost versus age within a certain budget. This would be a retirement boat I'm upgrading to and would like to stay within the 65K to 85K price range. This would leave me with a comfortable margin for maintenance on a fixed income. My dream size would be a 34' Sundancer newer than 2000. Since the rule is to buy the newest you can afford I would like your thoughts on sacrificing say 4 or 5 feet in length(29 feet min size) to get a newer ship or go older and have the more room. Pros and cons from the owners that live with these boat sizes would be much appreciated!
     
  2. susanandlance

    susanandlance Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2011
    Florida
    2007 Sea Ray 36 Sedan Bridge
    8.1 mercruisers
    Definitely go with inboards, I like the 320 in the size you mention, good luck and keep us posted
     
  3. Express 390

    Express 390 Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    447
    Sep 14, 2018
    South Shore of Long Island NY
    1986 SeaRay 390 EC
    1993 SeaRay 290 DA single 7.4 /Bravo 2
    1992 SeaRay 230 DA 4.3LX Alfa drive
    Twin 454 Crusaders inboards 4 blades
    Since it will be your retirement boat it very well might be your last boat. Don't have second thoughts later on and say i should have gone a touch bigger like 39' or the 40' if you have to go a year or two older to off set the comfort. You won't be sorry!

    My rule of thumb is go as big has your can afford And then go a little bigger :D:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    Chris-380 likes this.
  4. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Express290 nailed it. When we were looking to upsize I was thinking somewhere around 40-45 feet. Year was not a factor, condition was the biggie for me. We found our boat in Michigan. After two trips from WA to MI to do surveys and sea trial and then 3 months of negotiations we ended up buying. We've not ever been sorry we went larger.

    Don't be in a rush, do your homework and due diligence and find the RIGHT boat....then buy it.

    Oh, and congrats on the retirement. I've been retired since the end of 2010 and love it.
     
  5. Chris-380

    Chris-380 Active Member

    688
    Jan 20, 2019
    Pontoon Beach IL
    380 Sundancer 2000
    454 Horizon w/V drives
    I would get at least a 340' mainly for the beam. There is a major cockpit change (imo) on the 340 at approx 2003.

    I really like the 1999-2002 vintage, I do not like the 3 single seats, I prefer the captains chair and the love seat next to it

    When I weighed out the 340 vs 380, for 20k more I got 4.5' longer and 19" more beam

    And when the 2 were slipped next to each other, my wife said, "we are getting the 380 or keeping our 268"

    Problem is I already sold the 268.... happy wife, happy life!

    Good luck, I love searching for boats it can be fun
     
    techmitch likes this.
  6. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    Figure out what you want to be able to do with the boat and then make a list of must haves.
    Food for thought:
    I went from a 300 to a 410.
    My must haves started with a separate shower stall because the wet head on the 300 was not appealing to my wife on overnight trips. A generator was next on the list for long days or spending nights on the hook, long runs so we could have hot coffee or a meal while moving, AC in the cabin for hot days away from the dock and heat in the cabin for days like today (39 degrees) when on the water.
    Our (really wanteds) were a big fridge for multi night trips and a door to close off whatever space we were sleeping in for privacy when others come along in an overnight.
     
  7. Scotyp

    Scotyp New Member

    20
    Oct 4, 2017
    1998 sea Ray 210
    5.0 Mercruiser
    Thanks for the comments guys I really appreciate them and your experienced thoughts!
    I hear some of the same things from guys at the Marina go as big as you can afford(then bigger)and find the one in best condition. I suppose they are a little like old collector cars...all depends on how they were maintained regardless of year made!
     
  8. Groucho

    Groucho Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Albany/Lake George NY
    2004 320 DA
    6.2 V-Drives

    All good and valid points...lots to think about. I am in the same...eh...boat as you..I went back and forth on cost to run it up and down the lake as well as docking limitations. I went with the 320. I think it is an almost perfect combo. Go to a 340 and your going to want the 8.2's vs. 6.2's..many of the docks where I am will not easily accommodate a wider beam of 12'. I also looked at the Formula 340 and that's a monster!
     
  9. Fly'n Family

    Fly'n Family Active Member

    803
    Sep 19, 2013
    TX / CO
    2008 Meridian 341
    2004 Boston Whaler Sport 130 w/40 hp Merc
    6.2's
    I'll throw a little difference of opinion into this.

    We've always gone bigger, until the last purchase. We went "smaller" and newer - but critically - changed styles. Last boat was 43' LOA with a 13' 9" beam, current (and probably final) boat is only 36' with a 12' 6" beam. But, she's an incredibly well designed, well laid out flybridge. There is soooooo much more usable, comfortable, non-cave room space in this boat than in any cruiser we've owned. Walk directly into a large well laid out salon with huge windows and 365 deg views, or go up to a remarkably spacious bridge, or down to two very comfortable staterooms. While I wouldn't tell my wife size isn't everything - in this case - it's definitely the case.

    If you're buying your last boat, buy comfort, space, and usability.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    M Prod likes this.
  10. Scotyp

    Scotyp New Member

    20
    Oct 4, 2017
    1998 sea Ray 210
    5.0 Mercruiser
    So assuming I go with say the 34' Sundancer and concentrate on finding that boat, can anyone recommend a good resource(other than this forum of course) as to the desirable options on it and what is both good to have on it and what should be avoided? Weak and strong points? For example I have heard to get the larger engines and definitely get one with a generator.
     
  11. Chris-380

    Chris-380 Active Member

    688
    Jan 20, 2019
    Pontoon Beach IL
    380 Sundancer 2000
    454 Horizon w/V drives
    recomend getting the V-drives with at least 7.4L.

    Genny is a must

    if you can get a camper top instead of just the slant back, that’s is a huge plus

    depending on years, I put a lot into whether the previous owner had did upgrades, new electronics, TVs etc

    I think your best resource is here, maybe the 340 Facebook group
     
  12. M Prod

    M Prod Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    North Vancouver, BC
    2005 Sundancer 340
    Zodiac Cadet w/FCT console Yamaha F20
    Kohler 5KW Genny
    8.1 Horizons /V Drives
    This.^^ While we love out 340, we have always wished for more cabin space that wasn't so 'cave like'. With the weather here in the PNW, it would be wonderful to be able to relax inside at an anchorage in less than ideal weather, while enjoying the view at the same time. We can't do that in our 340, and so it's primarily a fair weather boat. Our next boat will certainly be one with an enclosed salon and flybridge.
     
  13. j98052

    j98052 Active Member

    213
    Jul 17, 2015
    Seattle
    2010 Sedan Bridge 520
    Cummins QSM11
    My advice is to find moorage before you buy a boat, as space in Seattle is very tight. We are in Kirkland, and have grown tired of the locks (majority of our trips are outside the locks), and there is a 5-6 year waitlist for slips our size.
     
  14. Fly'n Family

    Fly'n Family Active Member

    803
    Sep 19, 2013
    TX / CO
    2008 Meridian 341
    2004 Boston Whaler Sport 130 w/40 hp Merc
    6.2's
    Exactly. I'm not pushing one brand over another (as a SR owner for 20+ straight years), but saying I wish I went to a different style a long time ago, but was hung up on "cruiser, cruiser, cruiser".

    For us at least, our present boats functionality and comfort blows away by a wide margin any cruiser we've had. To walk straight on through a nice sliding glass door, into an incredibly spacious salon and galley with massive windows and 365 deg views, complete with a new 40" TV and surround sound system - amazing. To go up to the extended flybridge, with space for 8 and a dance floor to boot because it extends to the back of the vessel....awesome.

    We day boat 90% of the time. Ironically, when we overnight - we drop the blinds and stay on the pull out couch watching the 40". While the staterooms are very nice, we simply don't use them much. We moved our primary residence to N TX about two years ago - the one redeeming quality for me was year round boating. As it turns out, N TX is friggin cold and wind blown in the winter - to where being exposed in a cruiser, even with canvas up - sucked. We couldn't stand going down into the cave to "hang out" and try to peep out it's couple of little windows, simply didn't happen because of the cave like feeling. So we'd sit on the deck, in enclosed canvas, freezing in the winds....staring at each other going now what. Now, we can hang out up top (in an ac and heated bridge with amazing views, or moreso in adverse weather. hang out in a fully enclosed climate controlled spacious salon chilling.

    Winter in N TX is cold and windy. Now, it simply doesn't matter. Weekend football on the water is amazing in the salon - and the cool thing is - once inside the back canvas - the entire boat is enclosed and heated to 74 degrees - or whatever we want. Drop the hook and hang out up top, super comfy and 74 degrees.....want to watch football, cook a nice meal and enjoy massive 360 degree view at 74 deg's…..the salon/galley is amazing. We are now truly year round boaters, heat or cold have no effect once onboard.

    Fall set-up.....canvas goes on up top.
    Our Meridian19.jpg
    Winter set-up.....canvas goes on at the stern, enclosing the entire livable space.
    Our Meridian42.jpg
    Our Meridian40.jpg

    We're all about comfortable, functional, year round usability - I wish I would have gotten past being so hung up on cruisers a long time ago - this unit is sooooo much more comfortable and functional than a cruiser it's absurd.

    Anywho….suffice to say, I'm a huge fan of Sedan Bridges - I will never own a cruiser again, the cave was a complete waste of space.

    So to the OP......if I was looking for my "last boat", comfort and functionality would be the top two items on my list. As a side note of our boats brand, it has DOC (dock on command), which is a bow and stern thruster linked to a single controller - stock. 20kt crosswinds? Meh, who cares. I love winter boating....
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
    Express 390 and M Prod like this.
  15. M Prod

    M Prod Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    North Vancouver, BC
    2005 Sundancer 340
    Zodiac Cadet w/FCT console Yamaha F20
    Kohler 5KW Genny
    8.1 Horizons /V Drives
    :p
    Now I’m in Yachtworld checking out Meridian 341’s. Thanks!
     
    Fly'n Family likes this.
  16. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    768
    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags
    Bravo III Drives
    On our move up from a 270, we were pretty set on a 320. Looked for a couple of years. Then we started looking at 340s. We settled on the 340 for the extra space and the condition this one particular boat was in. We were also not a fan of the three single seats at the helm, but after running up the Chesapeake in 3-4 footers, those seats were very much appreciated for comfort and the less than "perfect" sea conditions. Check them all out, you will know when the right one with the right fit for you comes along... Best of luck and most of all, Enjoy.
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  17. Express 390

    Express 390 Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    447
    Sep 14, 2018
    South Shore of Long Island NY
    1986 SeaRay 390 EC
    1993 SeaRay 290 DA single 7.4 /Bravo 2
    1992 SeaRay 230 DA 4.3LX Alfa drive
    Twin 454 Crusaders inboards 4 blades
     
  18. Express 390

    Express 390 Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    447
    Sep 14, 2018
    South Shore of Long Island NY
    1986 SeaRay 390 EC
    1993 SeaRay 290 DA single 7.4 /Bravo 2
    1992 SeaRay 230 DA 4.3LX Alfa drive
    Twin 454 Crusaders inboards 4 blades
    20130915_083501.jpeg IMG_0862.jpeg IMG_0888.jpeg
    I thought of moving up, something newer, no teak to maintain " Lol " I own her 21 years now. Down below is becoming dated, We plan to take care of that this winter. I don't know she runs like a top always has She's been good to me as I to her. I'm big on Preventive Maintenance and i guess it shows where ever i go i get a lot of compliments . I'm running twin 454 Crusaders witch i love I like the fact there what i call dumb engines non of that electronics bull shit! Seems like todays motors have a sensor for every thing. I'm leaning on keeping the old gal !
     
  19. Fly'n Family

    Fly'n Family Active Member

    803
    Sep 19, 2013
    TX / CO
    2008 Meridian 341
    2004 Boston Whaler Sport 130 w/40 hp Merc
    6.2's
    LOL....not my intention. I'm still, and always be a huge SR fan - 20+ years of SR's, and they all did me right.

    My point is this. Don't get hung up (especially on a retirement boat) on a cruiser without looking at a variety of options. OP's on a lake with access to the Puget Sound - which means access to the ocean, and everything up to and past Vancouver. Incredible boating opportunities in his neck of the woods.

    Definitely look at cruisers, flybridges, motor yachts, and trawlers. I would seriously consider a trawler, there are a ton in his price range, and wouldn't sweat so much the year as I would condition, condition, condition. Find one that's been upgraded during the course of its life, has diesels, and go explore that beautiful PNW he lives in. Plenty of 40 footers in his price range that sip diesel, massively expanding his horizon that would be much more comfortable and economical than a gasser cruiser could ever dream of.

    LOL....now I'm starting to sound like a frustrated land-locked boater....FL or PNW....lucky mofo's.
     

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