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Old 15-04-2009, 13:20   #1
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Houseboat vs Cruiser

I am buying either of two boats and wish to get opinions of the pros and cons of each.
First of all I live in the Williamsburg,VA. area and will be doing the James River and harbor area of the Norfolk bridge tunnels for fishing and weekend retreats. Maybe even crusing down to the Myrtle Beach area once a year or so.
The first is a 38 ft Baracuda houseboat with a single engine 7.4 volvo penta. The wife likes this sort of thing because she can stay on the boat on weekends when I'm out of town on business.
The second boat is a 36 ft Chris Craft Aft Cabin Commander 1978. Twin 350 with low hours and very well taken care of. It has a stateroom, full galley, shower and flybridge. Stainless steel new hot water tank and new stainless steel central heat/ac.
Both are the same year and same price range.......The boat will be moored in the Chickahomny river near Jamestown.
So let the discussion begin....I've only owned one boat before, a 28 foot LUHRS with a single 350.
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Old 15-04-2009, 13:48   #2
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The first is a 38 ft Baracuda houseboat with a single engine 7.4 volvo penta.
You really don't want to be at the bridge tunnel in a houseboat. Stuff happens out there and it is a lot longer back when the weather isn't so great. The current around Ft Monroe might be a bit much too at peak tide flow. House boats are great for a large area in calm waters. I wouldn't want one on the Albemarle either. You want power enough to make 6 to 7 knots.

The 36 ft trawler fits the bill for several of our neighbors and twin screws adds handling ability when needed. It's a great way to tour the Bay and ICW and maybe haul some grand kids. There are a great many of these double cabin trawlers in the 36 to 40 ft range out there. You can take a little bit of weather and not be stranded.
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Old 15-04-2009, 15:09   #3
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What Paul said about the handling. The Cuda will send everyone else scampering for cover (and pike poles) when you enter the marina. A single IO on a 38' boat is IMHO going to be a "Beast" to handle in a cross current or blow. I've seen them trying to make way upriver in a 3 kt current and near going backwards!!! The Cuda's I've seen here have a decent finish but nowhere near as nice as a well kept for Commander. Besides the Commander's are built like tanks! If it were my money (and it's not) I'd be leaning very heavily towards the CCC!!!
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Old 15-04-2009, 15:21   #4
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I rented a 40 foot houseboat years ago.. We we anchored off of St. Michaels, Md. A wind came up and that houseboat danced all over the place. Of a crew of four three were seasick. It sucked up a lot of fuel for going only a few miles. The wind was a big reason for the gas mileage. Personally, I would go for the Chris Craft. Twin screws beat one in a close area.
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Old 15-04-2009, 15:56   #5
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tHANKS

Thank you for the input.....It really helped my situation. Unless I find something wrong with a further inspection,the Cris Craft is the choice! I hope to see some of you out on the water this summer....by the way there is a web site called,commanderclub.com that is helpful also.
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