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Old 18-01-2011, 08:28   #1
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Is this a Good Boat ?

My wife and I are looking at boats in Florida. We have narrowed it down so far to a Sea Ray 38. I have read some of the forums and understand that this boat may not track properly but that it is possible to get used to. Also are the Caterpiller diesels good engines. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=77707&url=
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Old 18-01-2011, 09:28   #2
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Do you realize this is a sailing forum? That said, Sea Rays are overpriced and not well built. Most of their hull is perhaps 1/4" thick.....Go get a Doral, Tiara etc.....Stay away from Bayliner, Meridian (Bayliner), Searays, Regals....etc..
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Old 18-01-2011, 09:29   #3
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Check this out.

Boat Reviews by David Pascoe, Marine Surveyor - Index

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 18-01-2011, 12:50   #4
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My opinion would be to first examine what your purpose of purchasing the boat is, are you a multi-millionaire who will park it on a lift behind your waterfront mansion or do you want to live on it or any number of options in between. If you explain what your purpose is people will be to give better advice to you.

Thanks
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Old 18-01-2011, 13:31   #5
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Thank you for the replies. We plan to live on a boat for about 5 months of the year keeping our home in Tennessee. We like to fish offshore and entertain, possibly some trips to the Keys from Sarasota. Any help on a good boat is welcome,currently looking at convertibles in the 38' up to $50,000 range.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 18-01-2011, 13:35   #6
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Well you are in the powerboat section of the Cruising Forum, so welcome; this is the right place. Tropicyachty probably is in the wrong forum. Take what everbody (self included) says with a grain of salt. Posting any questions here about a Sea Ray is like asking if Sarah Palin would make a good President; DUCK, DODGE, HIDE!
The David Pascoe comments referred to here are quite dated, if you call Dave, he will tell you the newer ('2000 or so) Sea Rays are much better than those older models; at least that's what he told me when I was buying a 2003 320 dancer some years ago. I have found that the Sea Rays do attract a certain owner that is different from a lot of the cruising folks on these forums an sometimes travel in packs! However, these boats are shiny, modern and loaded with human conveniences like electricity, air conditioning, full size refrigerators, and running water! You need to assess your requirements indvidually as was mentioned above. The question you really want to answer is 'is this the right boat for my wants and needs?" Quality wise, IMHO, Sea Rays are better quality than many of the popular production boats and even in this market, clean well maintained examples seem to sell relatively quickly. I have seen many of the Motoryacht series cruising the Bahamas but I do believe they sell a little softer than the Sundancers. Good Luck
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Old 18-01-2011, 13:37   #7
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Something like this any good to you....??

1975 GULFSTAR 43 TRAWLER. Twin economical 130 HP Perkins diesels. Central A/C and Heat.Great live aboard, very spacious interior. Can accommodate nine! Apartment sized galley. Auto pilot and trim tabs. Lots of equipment. See the complete specs and photos on our site Deaton Yacht Service Inc. She is dry stored at our facility until sold. Price recently reduced to an asking of $69,950 but widow will consider any reasonable offer.
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Old 18-01-2011, 13:55   #8
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If you want to find out about Sea Ray boats then the best place to get the info you are chasing is the Sea Ray Club forums
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Old 18-01-2011, 14:00   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropicyachty View Post
Do you realize this is a sailing forum?
...
Do you realize this is the "Powered Boats" section?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark1049 View Post
My wife and I are looking at boats in Florida. We have narrowed it down so far to a Sea Ray 38. I have read some of the forums and understand that this boat may not track properly but that it is possible to get used to. Also are the Caterpiller diesels good engines. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=77707&url=
Caveat: Without saying how you plan to use the boat, it's kind of hard to give a good usable opinion.

However:

In general, yes, that is a good boat. Sea Ray has consistently made quality boats for decades.

The Cat 3208s are excellent engines. In that year, I'm guessing they would be the 300hp, or maybe the 325hp versions. From what I've heard, once they started getting 375hp out of them, the reliability went down. I was advised to run away from the 425hp 3208.

I have a 36' Sea Ray SRV360 with 300hp 3208's. And, yes, at low speed it wanders around a bit. You might get used to it, and then again, you might not. I mostly got used to it. Up on plane it tracks just fine. This is common behavior on mid-sized Sea Rays, and on quite a few others as well.

Having said all that, it depends on how you are going to use the boat. Myself, I'd much rather have a trawler. Say, with twin Lehmans? DeFever or the like. The basic 36'-42' trunk cabin trawler with minimum 400 gals of fuel.

-dan
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Old 18-01-2011, 14:29   #10
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Something like this any good to you....??

1975 GULFSTAR 43 TRAWLER. Twin economical 130 HP Perkins diesels. Central A/C and Heat.Great live aboard, very spacious interior. Can accommodate nine! Apartment sized galley. Auto pilot and trim tabs. Lots of equipment. See the complete specs and photos on our site Deaton Yacht Service Inc. She is dry stored at our facility until sold. Price recently reduced to an asking of $69,950 but widow will consider any reasonable offer.


Been reduced again to 59k. Somebody wants to sell.
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Old 18-01-2011, 14:57   #11
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Do you realize this is the "Powered Boats" section?



Caveat: Without saying how you plan to use the boat, it's kind of hard to give a good usable opinion.

However:

In general, yes, that is a good boat. Sea Ray has consistently made quality boats for decades.

The Cat 3208s are excellent engines. In that year, I'm guessing they would be the 300hp, or maybe the 325hp versions. From what I've heard, once they started getting 375hp out of them, the reliability went down. I was advised to run away from the 425hp 3208.

I have a 36' Sea Ray SRV360 with 300hp 3208's. And, yes, at low speed it wanders around a bit. You might get used to it, and then again, you might not. I mostly got used to it. Up on plane it tracks just fine. This is common behavior on mid-sized Sea Rays, and on quite a few others as well.

Having said all that, it depends on how you are going to use the boat. Myself, I'd much rather have a trawler. Say, with twin Lehmans? DeFever or the like. The basic 36'-42' trunk cabin trawler with minimum 400 gals of fuel.

-dan
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Just a note here with regard to the Cat 3208 series...the 375 hp 3208-TA engines are actually pretty generally know as 'bullet proof' ones, the 425+ hp models on the other hand have had some issues. The 3208 may be 'small' by CAT definition but they are 636 cu. in blocks, they can handle the hp. Like most conversions they need to be maintained though.
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Old 18-01-2011, 17:11   #12
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Just a note here with regard to the Cat 3208 series...the 375 hp 3208-TA engines are actually pretty generally know as 'bullet proof' ones, the 425+ hp models on the other hand have had some issues. The 3208 may be 'small' by CAT definition but they are 636 cu. in blocks, they can handle the hp. Like most conversions they need to be maintained though.
Thanks. Good to hear that there is a large group of people that, contrary to my Cat mechanic's opinion, have gotten good results out of the 375hp ones. And I seriously do NOT mean that sarcastically. That was just one mechanic. And while I put a fair amount of stock in what he told me, if I hear the opposite from enough people, I could change my opinion about the 375's.

-dan
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Old 20-01-2011, 22:10   #13
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FWIW (and that may not be much) you couldn't give me a boat with 3208s in it. I suppose if it was something easily saleable you could give it to me and I could immediately sell it. As a long time diesel engine owner in everything from pickups to farm tractors to highway tractors I have heard very little good about the 3208. In a low HP naturally aspirated version maybe but I wouldn't touch any of the turbo versions. There's lots of boats out there without 3208s - take your mechanic's advice.
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Old 21-01-2011, 07:26   #14
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I love my Cat 3208's

Quote:
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FWIW (and that may not be much) you couldn't give me a boat with 3208s in it. I suppose if it was something easily saleable you could give it to me and I could immediately sell it. As a long time diesel engine owner in everything from pickups to farm tractors to highway tractors I have heard very little good about the 3208. In a low HP naturally aspirated version maybe but I wouldn't touch any of the turbo versions. There's lots of boats out there without 3208s - take your mechanic's advice.
Actually my mechanics advice was to stay away from the 375hp and up. And stay away from the first generation turbo. But from every one I have ever heard from (besides you), people have said that the 3208 was one of Cat's best engines ever. They made it from the 70's all the way up into the 09's.

FWIW: The mechanic I talked to was an Cat ex-factory mechanic for 30 years before going into marine engine surveying.

-dan
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Old 21-01-2011, 11:44   #15
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FWIW (and that may not be much) you couldn't give me a boat with 3208s in it. I suppose if it was something easily saleable you could give it to me and I could immediately sell it. As a long time diesel engine owner in everything from pickups to farm tractors to highway tractors I have heard very little good about the 3208. In a low HP naturally aspirated version maybe but I wouldn't touch any of the turbo versions. There's lots of boats out there without 3208s - take your mechanic's advice.
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Opinions are like belly buttons, aren't they? I am very happy with the CAT power on my boat and the 3208 AT power on my boat has been very reliable and trouble free for twenty years. One reason you "hear" so many negatives is that there are many thousands of these motors in service and many neglected. I have no stake in CAT, but these engines were on my short list when shopping for boats. I own and operate a large automotive/truck repair facility in Orlando and employ 9 technicians. We have a service contract with one of the largest rental truck fleets in the country and the two engines in our experience with the fewest issues are Cats and Cummins, we service an average of 8 to 10 large diesel trucks 5 days a week. Parts are expensive if you buy genuine Cat, but their quality control and product support is excellent. I did have a raw water aftercooler develope a small leak and nobody had any in stock as they apparently are not a common replacement. Caterpillar had one manufactured, air freighted and in my mechanics' hands in two weeks, which is pretty impressive in my book. However, as I mentioned earlier, if you don't maintain these, they will bite you in the pocket book. If you go to Boatdiesel.com and check the threads under the various brands and engine models , you will get a good idea of the actual reliability and first hand owner experiences, and that may prove to be helpful if you don't have firsthand experience with a particular power plant.
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