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Old 13-09-2011, 15:34   #1
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What Sport Crusier to Buy ?

I know this question has been asked 1000 times. BUT
My wife and I are looking to buy a sport cruiser.
We have heard so many things, seen so many prices, and looked at so many different boats.

This is where we are right now.
amount to spend = $30-50k
No older than 1998 if at all possible.
We are a family of 6. 2 adults and 4 kids all under 15 yrs old.
It will be in fresh water only. Is getting a boat from salt ok?? Or?
We are looking at Cayuga or Ontario Lake to get a slip.
We are thinking around 30ft, twin engines, room to sleep for a night (we know it will be cramped).
We've looked at Sea Ray, Bayliner, Cruisers, Larsen, Monterey, and so on.
This is nothing like buying a car. That's easy in comparison.
We need help. What do we look for? What is good or bad? Stay away from what?
Any info will be very appreciated!!!
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Old 13-09-2011, 16:51   #2
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Re: What Sport Crusier to buy?

To recommend any specific boat folks here would need more information,
like how it will be used. Just going out for a slow cruise, you might be happy with a trawler, but sounds like you want a little more speed based on the boats you named.

You should be able to find many boats that will fit your needs with your budget. First, make sure you sit down and figure out what your requirements will be. Will you be pulling the kids on water toys, spending the night aboard or will you have day trips? Do you need a sink and pota-potie (good to have with little ones). After finding out what you need and not what is just a desire, you can shop.

Running a single screw will be more economical unless alot of your time is blasting down the lake for smiles out of the kids, but it gets old.

I'd also suggest you go with a merc cruiser and stay away from volvo in a sport boat (unless you have a great volvo shop.

Any of the boats you mentioned are good boats, it may boil down to what you like the best. I have had Sea Ray s and can't say they were really "worth" more than another, yet the demand a higher resale in my area....a reputation for a great off shore line of boats, but that's not what you will be doing.

An older boat that has been well maintained well might be the best bang for your buck, IMO. Most people don't know the difference between a 2007 model from a 1992 if it's clean. What dates these boats most often are the graphics, and that can be changed easily if you want.

Make sure you have a good swim platform or steps for swimmers to get back in the boat, you don't want to use the outdrive for a climbing post.

I really don't care for bow riders, I'd rather have a cuddy. It provides shade and dry storage as well as privacy for the pottie, a place to prepare a simple meal and for kids to sleep. Most people won't ride at the bow in even moderate chop in boats under 27/30 foot, smaller boats, they may get wet too.

Salt, if the engine is not designed to run in salt water, you can ruin it in short order. Salt will not effect fiberglass, except for cleaning. Salt may effect electrical instruments, lights and wiring as well, but on a larger boat this may not be an issue.

Lastly, sounds like you have a young family and that this is your first boat. The boat you select will most likely not be your last boat, you will probably find that you needs change and that you will need a different boat. With that. I'd suggest you go with a good one that will not depreciate like a rock, as all boats depreciate, (excluding certain antiques or novelty boats) one with a decent resale will make the loss easier for you. Buying an older boat that is not in production any longer can cause problems for some parts, you won't have that problem with the boats you named, especially newer ones. Like many here, you'll probably find that no one boat fits all the needs you might have, so you'll end up with more boats anyway. Good luck!
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Old 16-09-2011, 09:32   #3
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Re: What Sport Crusier to buy?

Try a Grady White. High quality, safe, efficient, versatile, easy to find good ones used, easy to sell.

All have big cockpits, the most important part of a boat. Many have little cubby cabins that are great for letting little ones nap out of the sun, while still having side decks you can actually use to get around the boat, and a foredeck that's generally at least as fun and useful as a bow rider.

Outboards are the only way to go, in my not so humble opinion. For certain, never buy a twin gas I/O boat. Never again.
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