Boat buyer, help

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by hot57chev, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. hot57chev
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Sidney BC Canada

    hot57chev Junior Member

    Looking at 18-19 foot bowriders, around 1998 to 2004
    V8 carb or fuel injection
    Like four winns, but who is rated the best?
    Wellcraft, four winns, Larson, Glastron, crownline, searay, chaperall.
    Who likes what.
    I think crownline is the best but still like four winns

    What your thoughts guys?

    Thanks
    jeff
     
  2. hot57chev
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    hot57chev Junior Member

    well
    not too many thoughts
     
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I wouldn't want any of those brands, but if forced to select from one, I'd go with the boat that had the cleanest engine compartment, best equipment, that looked like it had obvious signs of regular up keep and maintenance and had signs of "love" in it.

    In other words, you could find really good and bad examples of all those manufactures. The product line isn't as important as the previous owner's efforts to keep the boat. Some folks love their boats and take care of them, install up grades and generally the boat looks like it, with polished and waxed finishes. Unfortunately many just park it in the car port and let the ants, spiders and birds have their way with it, until they elect to use it again.

    These are the boats that look like they "just need some elbow grease". In reality the battery is long past it's useful life, the engine oil hasn't ever been changed, the owner didn't even know the lower unit had oil, until it started leaking, the seats show signs of stains, tears. You'll find rusting hardware store shackles in the lockers, next to a uselessly frozen pair of vise grips, etc. The fuel lines look like they might be leaking, the engine cover has greasy finger prints on it and the boat generally smells funny.

    So, which one to get. Buy the one that was cared for and is equipped like the way you want it to be. If tempted to get a "project" or "fixer upper" then buyer beware, unless you have considerable experience (I'm assuming you don't, by the nature of the question) with "fixing" boats, then you'll be better off getting a "turn key". A well fitting cover, that shows a clean, well equipped boat after it's removed, is a sign of a loved boat. If you have to move a few old car tires from the cockpit, before you can get in, then maybe you're looking at the wrong boat.
     
  4. hot57chev
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    hot57chev Junior Member


    OUCH that hurts
    I was just asking your thoughts about brands , after being a Marine Engineer for the past 30 years I hope I could do better than just a turn key boat, if needed.
    But for the money we plan on spending on the boat, it will be a show and shine, with low or minimal hours. So hopefully there will be no wrench pulling of a serious nature :D
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Didn't mean to hurt you. The production manufactures (you listed a fair portion of them) all produce a reasonably similar product. Some use slightly better methods or materials, but all are about the same in durability. If neglected, they begin to have issues. This was my only point. A well cared for example of the worst production boat, is better then a poorly kept example from one of the better regarded manufactures. After 30 years "on the gang" you're much better equipped to handle issues, but it sounds like you'll not have many.
     
  6. hot57chev
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    hot57chev Junior Member

    Not a problem , you made me laugh out loud
    I understand what your saying there are some boats that are just mint and polished to a inch of their life , and we have seen some that I think the engine oil has never been changed , very sad.
    Its funny how buying a boat is so much like getting a car, the dealers act like their product is the only one out there and of course is by far the # 1

    One thing I am interested in is the different hull configurations, every mfg claims to have the fastest plane time, would like to hear from boat owners how their boats perform out of the hole , I know horse power and different props can change everything , but I have seen a lot of V6 boats pulling tubes and skis and they look great
    If any thing this boat shopping sure takes up a guys spare time. but could be worse I could be at work
    Thanks again for all the input
    Jeff
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I wouldn't get too excited about comparing hole shots or top speed. Hole shots will usually be within a fraction of second of each other, so if you have a stop watch and are measuring it, your personal thumb reaction time on the bottom may be longer then the difference of two boats. This assumes two boats, of similar weight, HP, configuration, etc.

    Much depends on what your use will be, where you'll use the boat, the general conditions of the areas you'll use the boat, etc. One flat out screamer that performs well in glass smooth water, may not be the ticket, if your general sea conditions are choppy. On the other hand, why buy a deep V hull, which can handle heavy chop, but isn't especially efficient on a smooth lake, when all you need is a moderate V which will provide better economy under the conditions you'll be using the boat.

    What I'm asking is, where will the boat be used, what are the average sea state conditions in these locations, what are the primary uses you'll expect of the boat, etc. Is fuel efficiency high on the list or are you interested in a puddle blaster that can rocket from point A to B. The more descriptive you can be in your needs, the easier it is to pick a boat that suits those needs and desires.
     
  8. KCook
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    KCook Senior Member

    In bowriders this small when talking about hull performance we are really splitting hairs! The differences are much, much smaller than found in bigger boats. But since your question seems serious ...

    Tops for efficiency - Stingray, with Regal 2nd.

    Tops for speed potential - Caravelle, Crownline, and Reinell.

    Tops for watersports - Bryant, with Chaparral 2nd.

    Tops for handling/seakeeping - Monterey, with Larson and Sea Ray 2nd.

    Tops for rough water comfort - Monterey, Regal, and Sea Ray, with Crownline 2nd.

    But I cannot stress enough how tightly we are splitting hairs here. All 18 foot bowriders are VERY limited, no miracle boats. If you really have a serious interest in hull performance get at least a 21' boat.

    Kelly Cook
     
  9. hot57chev
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    hot57chev Junior Member

    your saying you like Monterey over searay and larsons?
    I was told by a few sales man Monterey were a lower quality boat, so I havent even been looking at them.
    Guess that's what I get for listening to sales men lol.
    Still like the four winns finish and looks. But there lots to choose from, my head is spinning from all these boats.
    Thanks for your input
    Jeff
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Never believe what a salesman will tell you. These are professional liars, much like politicians and can't be trusted to tell you anything.
     
  11. KCook
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    KCook Senior Member

    Monterey started life as a poor man's imitation of a Chaparral. But that was over a decade ago, they have improved a great deal over the years. Still not so high toned as Cobalt or Sea Ray. Larson tries to be a better Glastron. They succeed to some degree, but the connection is still there (they are built in the same plant). The main plus for Four Winns is the company itself. You will hardly ever find a Four Winns owner who regrets his choice. But your prior question was about hull performance, so I limited my answer to that one topic. There are, indeed, many many other factors to consider in bowrider selection.

    Kelly
     
  12. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    To add to Kelly's comments, I'd add Doral and the higher-end Grew models as possible good candidates, the examples of both I've seen have seemed pretty well built.

    Still, when you're looking at a 5 to 10 year old boat, you'll always end up back at the situation PAR mentioned already. That is, you'll have a clean, well maintained boat up against something with a shredded tarp over it and a few mouse-turd-filled kapok lifejackets under the seats. A builder's good reputation doesn't mean much when the 10 year old motor is on its original spark plugs and the lower gear oil looks like a chocolate milkshake. Likewise, a builder's reputation for cheapness may be irrelevant if the boat has been cleaned regularly and stored indoors for the winter under the care of a master mechanic.

    As for performance. Right now, I don't think we know exactly what you're planning to do with this boat. Since you give your location as Sidney, BC, my guess is you'd be doing day or half-day trips along the shoreline near Salt Spring Island, maybe down to Victoria and across to San Juan Island, but probably not crossing the Strait of Georgia or the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

    From what I've heard, that can be a chaotic area with confused seas and a lot of boat traffic. So I'd be looking for something with fairly high freeboard and a full transom, and with good visibility from the helm.

    As much as it seems cool to be able to go 50-60 mph, nobody really does. (It's downright unpleasant for everyone but the captain.) Bowrider folk cruise at 30 mph, give or take five, until conditions get so bad that they have to slow down. (This is still plenty fast!) A V8 in a 19-foot bowrider is overkill- even a mid-80s design loaded to the gunwales with crew and gear can turn a pretty decent clip with a 4.3 V6. So, given the likely conditions you'd be running in if you stay near home, I think you'd be better off looking for a hull form that runs well at low to medium planing speeds, instead of one of those ultra-sharp deep V shapes that can (in theory, but in a boat this size, not in reality) cut through heavy chop at high speed.

    And of course, there's plenty more to consider.... but, best of luck in the hunt :)
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A 18' bow rider can easily get into the low 30 MPH range with 120 to 140 HP. If an older boat, the 181 CID GMC 4 cylinder on a Mercuriser outdrive (or other) was available in HP up to 180 with 140 being very common.

    These speeds are still fast enough to warrant slowing down when the chop picks up, so have the fuel savings over the V8 and store it in the tank or on equipment.
     
  14. hot57chev
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    hot57chev Junior Member

    I have had a salt water boat for years, but this one is to be used on lake Cowichan , mostly pulling kids on tubes and wake boarding , and of coarse just cruising the lake with my girl.
     

  15. KCook
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    KCook Senior Member

    For wakeboarding a big motor is not a bad fit. I would agree that a V8 is overkill for any 18 footer. But my 19' Chris-Craft had a V8, and it worked well. Not ideal economy of course, but the, err, "authority" during the holeshot was a great feeling. This thing had so much push that I did not have to trim the drive in for the holeshot, just left the trim set for cruise all the time. For that matter, with light load I never needed WOT for the holeshot.

    Kelly
     
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