Question for the Big Boys

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by Scotyp, Nov 9, 2019 at 2:15 PM.

  1. Scotyp

    Scotyp New Member

    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 PLATINUM Sponsor

    Feb 10, 2011
    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

    Sep 14, 2018
    South Shore of Long Island NY
    1986 SeaRay 390 EC
    1993 SeaRay 290 DA single 7.4 /Bravo 2
    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 at 4:30 PM
    Chris-380 likes this.
  4. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member

    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.
    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

    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

    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 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

    Sep 19, 2013
    TX / CO
    2008 Meridian 341
    2004 Boston Whaler Sport 130 w/40 hp Merc
    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 at 7:44 PM

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