What is the "sweet spot" for a used Sundancer for a family? (under 25k)

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by KnfMkr, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Big Island Lifer

    Big Island Lifer Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    '96 330 Formula SS
    For Sale '85 255 Amberjack
    Single 5.7
    A trailerable cruiser can work with a large family especially if you have a full camper that allows for another "sleeping room" on the deck. If you can camp you can sleep on the deck of a cruiser with a full top. I would however suggest you look at a boat with twins. you can find single engine models in the trailerable range but with a large family and all of the gear a twin engine boat may be the best way to go.

    Good luck.
  2. Kingsfr

    Kingsfr Member

    Jun 23, 2011
    Great South Bay, Long Island, NY
    2005 Sea Ray 270 SUNDECK
    2012 Mercruiser 383 Stroker W/ Bravo III
    I am not familiar with the lakes you go to...how far of a drive is it from your home? If you feel you want a cruiser just so you can sleep over because it's a long drive back and forth, maybe you can camp out on the lake's beach and anchor a different type of boat right in front of you. I have a 270 SUNDECK which is a bowrider. There is plenty of room on the boat. I usually have 6-7 people on the boat, but I've had 12 people on the boat and everyone had a seat. We do alot of tubing or cruising around exploring. It's a great day boat, but not built to sleep on.
  3. Sprint7TW

    Sprint7TW Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    1998 310DA / Vintage 1976 StarCraft Montego.
    5.7 Mercruiser 260HP v drives
    Check your PM
  4. TimTech

    TimTech Member

    Aug 26, 2013
    Gibraltar, Michigan
    1997 330 Sundancer
    Mercruiser 7.4L MPI Blue Water V-drives
    I know where you are coming from regarding making do with less in your trips in a Pilot. I did a ten day trip from Michigan to Florida with 4 adults and a newborn in a Mazda Tribute. That included 3 sets of golf clubs and a full size stroller. Thank God for Thule car top carriers!

    I still believe that you should at least look at some big deck boats/bowriders. Overnighting is fun but I wouldn’t sacrifice the outdoor space, trailer ability, handling while pulling water toys, etc for a couple of nights a year overnighting. The kids will want to be swimming and tubing the majority of the time and will want to bring friends to enjoy in the fun. Socializing is much easier when you are not split up to those out in the air and those in the cabin especially when under way. Besides, many get motion sick when cooped up in a moving cabin.

    Everyone has different needs. The beauty of buying a used boat is if you don’t like it, you can sell and buy something else without losing too much money. So, don’t be afraid to jump into something.
  5. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I owned a 300 Sundancer for the past two years (recently sold), which is about the size boat you are thinking about. I learned/confirmed one "saying" in those two years of ownership. That size boat is its great to use with 6 on board for drinks, 4 on board for eating, and 2 on board for sleeping. We found we always wanted more cockpit space and the best value the cabin had for my wife was a nice spacious air conditioned toilet she could use anytime. We did not have any children in the mix (they are all grown). I couldn't imagine having seven people in that cabin (even with 5 of them as little kids) for an extended period of time. However, with the full camper canvas up, it expanded the living space to the cockpit and that made a huge difference.
  6. KnfMkr

    KnfMkr New Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    United States
    Here's an example of a local Sundancer for sale - out of my budget range, but says it sleeps 6 comfortably. '98 310
    and another one - looks like a late 80s? 340 and under budget
    (*ok to post links to ads? - if not I'll remove*)

    Regarding the camper canvas - it's a must for us. I'm firmly committed to it, for a variety of reasons.

    Regarding sleeping space - we have used one of those pop-up campers that "sleeps 4" with no problem. Personally I prefer the fold-out bed option that "sleeps 6"...to cut down on the "random midnight kicking" that takes place...but even then.....a "sleeps 6" feels *spacious* to us...plenty of room.

    Regarding "get a bowrider/tent" - that indeed would make more sense. :-D
    I just want to see if this is a feasible idea for us...if indeed a "large enough" boat is going to cost so much that I have to reach back into the early 80s and then dip into project boats...then yes, I'll give up on this idea. But I've seen enough under my budget in the 90s that were in good condition in the 290 size/range that it makes me think it's possible. I'm not very interested in pontoons, or large deck boats, or houseboats. I *really* like the Sundancers...and see why there is such a fan club with them.

    Sounds like maybe a 310-340 would be a better size? late 80s/early 90s to meet budget? with slip....too big to tow. Sound about right?

    One popped up the other day with onboard AC and a generator. Does that mean you can run it while out on the water? I imagine it's limited....but then again...not many cubic feet to condition.

    Again, thinking out loud here.

    I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions. This is why I finally broke out of my "lurk" mode, because I need my head set straight and in the right direction.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  7. KnfMkr

    KnfMkr New Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    United States
  8. Bucit

    Bucit New Member

    Mar 12, 2010
    St. Petersburg Florida
    2005 280 Sundancer
    2004 SPD-104 Achilles w/ 8hp Yamaha
    Twin 4.3 MPI's with Alpha drives.
    With the genny running you can use the air/heat with no problems. If you look at ads for a 280 Sundancer it will say sleeps 6 comfortably but I can tell you with my wife and I and a 4 year old daughter it gets cramped. Easy to say it sleeps 6 but be careful with the ads.
  9. 1990-270-da-lover

    1990-270-da-lover Member

    Oct 10, 2012
    Clarks Hill Lake, GA
    1990 270 DA Sundancer / Saturn Dinghy 4hp Suzuki
    Towed with 2004 Chevy 2500 HD Sliverado 4x4
    7.4L Merc Bravo 1
    3 Blade Mirage Prop 14.5X17
    The older 270's have twins as an option, 4.3 v6's I think, and you can trailer them, even if they are over the 8'6" limit by getting day permits or year long ones. I would consider this if I didn't have far to go to get to a launch ramp. I trailer my 1990 270 and it is fairly easy to tow with a 04 chevy HD2500 4x4 pickup. If I had the full canvas option I think I could get away with several kids and the Admiral for an overnighter. I would think that during the day that the kids would be swimming and the space aboard would be manageable. Cruising would be another thing as everyone would want to be above deck, and that could get crowded. Good Luck in your search.
  10. LTD.330

    LTD.330 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 5, 2009
    Lake Erie
    1999 Sundancer 330
    7.4 MPI
    Yes, you can run the generator while under way or at anchor and the AC will function normally. Though, you do not want to run the generator overnight. It runs on gas and produces carbon monoxide and we want everyone to wake up in the morning.
  11. SloBurn

    SloBurn Member

    May 30, 2013
    Greenwood Lake, NY
    1994 270 Sundancer. 7.4L Merc. Tow with a 2006 Dodge RAM Hemi
    340 HP Merc 454 c.i.
    My best boats have been old boats. A 1962 Glaspar DelMar ranks right up there. $5 in repair cost after 11 years. My worst boat was brand new, new toilet, outdrive pump, etc in first year...:(. Current boat is 25 years old, and a beauty!
  12. Ten Years Gone

    Ten Years Gone New Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    To steal a quote from a famous movie: You must have been "on a mission from God" to get that many years of service out of any boat for 1 gallon of marina gas! :wow:

    And regarding the "sleeps 6 comfortably advertisements"....Ha! That only applies if each person is shorter than 5'8", weighs less than 150 pounds and is really comfortable spooning their bunkmate. Try that with siblings who hate each other, spouses that snore like a freight train, or doing it in mixed company where the male/female/age ratios are not in keeping with proper decorum.

    Case in point; our teenage nephew wanted to bring his girlfriend along on an overnight. Well, to keep him (or her) from getting frisky on board after lights out, I had to sleep (barely) on the cockpit floor, while the Admiral had the girl sleep with her in the forward V-berth. Meanwhile my nephew is stuffed into the mid-berth amongst all the gear we shove in there to keep the rest of the cabin and cockpit clear of debris. Smashed a loaf of bread and two bags of chips, and kept me up by laughing and giggling at the texts he was sending back and forth to the girlfriend...a whole ten feet away.

    I don't think anyone got more than 2-3 hours of sleep that night. That was our first and LAST time trying to accommodate four people on a boat that was advertised as "sleeping for four".

    Just consider one of the advertised berths as a permanent closet, then proceed from there! :grin:
  13. KnfMkr

    KnfMkr New Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    United States
    LOL....actually, I'm the only one over 5'-3" & 115 lbs.
  14. CV-23

    CV-23 New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Williamsport, PA
    1990 270 Sundancer, 2003 Ford Excursion 4x4 Limited
    454 merCruiser w/Bravo 1
    If you go with a full camper top, people can sleep up in the cockpit area also. I feel the 1990 270DA with 454 is about the best you can do at this point. Anything larger needs more than a 3/4 ton and the older 270 has more room than any newer Sundancer. I chose ours for the biggest boat for the $ and a 9' beam is not really very noticeable. 10.5' is another story. Prepare for 1 mpg if tubing or running on plane anywhere. Single engine gives you a bigger holding tank and storage in the bilge area. We love ours and it's one big 270 by today's standards. With all I know now, I would deal with the 10.5" beam & permit and go with an 89-91 280 Sundancer with twin 350's and Alpha 1's. for more performance and a bit more room plus still trailerable, Mike.
  15. KnfMkr

    KnfMkr New Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    United States
    Like this one, CV-23?
  16. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    2000 Cruisers 3870
    97 270 Sundancer
    85 Sea Ray Monaco 197
    8.2 Mercs,
    7.4 BII
    260hp Alpha 1
    If it isn't safe to run all night, then it isn't safe to run in the day.

  17. CV-23

    CV-23 New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Williamsport, PA
    1990 270 Sundancer, 2003 Ford Excursion 4x4 Limited
    454 merCruiser w/Bravo 1
    Yep! Looks like a pretty nice one but in saltwater. Mine came from the Lake of the Ozarks and Ohio so we have few corrosion issues. It could be clean if properly taken care of and trailered when not in the water, Mike.
  18. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster New Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    1995 Sundancer 290
    Generator, AC
    Twin Mercruiser 4.3L
    FWIW, as an owner of the mid '90's version of the 290, there is no way it could sleep 7 comfortably regardless of there size. Somebody would be sleeping in the cockpit most likely.
  19. KnfMkr

    KnfMkr New Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    United States
    are the mid-90s 270/280s smaller than late 80s?
  20. redneck joe

    redneck joe New Member

    Nov 2, 2008
    1979 2357 Montego
    2003 3500 5.9 Dodge
    260 HP Mercruiser, new SEI outdrive

    I believe so, early 90's went Euro style. Look for one with the bolted on swim platforms.

    We just sold our 34' Bayliner to someone trying to now sell their 1989 27'. Also have another friend selling the same, he has a new sterndrive on it this year. Both good boats, I've been on both. They are well in your budget (half), you'll need to find a trailer and come to NE Alabama. PM me if you want to contact them

    But 7 will be fin to overnight - unless you also pull up to shore and throw a tent out.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013

Share This Page

Show Sidebar