Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-02-2021, 21:52   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 5
Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

Hi all, I have been spending countless hours and evenings reading tons of threads on a few forums. But from one thread to the next there are lots of varying opinions and it is to be expected since this topic is subjective. So I thought I would start my own thread and post the specific "vs" debate that I am having for myself. We are looking for a good family/entertainment cruiser/express cruiser. I am thinking of something in the 31'-36' LOA range and with a beam of at least 10'6" but likely would be most comfortable with something 11'-13'. We are looking at something about 15-20 years old (1999-2005 model years).


First off, to start with my requirements... I have a family of 5-6 (depending on whether my adult stepchild is with us or not) and the other 3 kids are between 9-12. We live by the lake and marina and expect that we will be out on the water almost every weekend in the summer, mostly day-boating. We expect to take another couple or small family as our family fluctuates between 3 members up to 5 or 6 members depending on when I have my kids with me. Any other group we would take on board with us will be comprised of 2-4 people (2 adults or 2 adults + 2kids).


I expect that the adults will spend 90% or more time up above and the younger kids will likely spend half their time below deck unless they are jumping in the water. Some of the models that I am strongly leaning towards (and trying to compare against each other) are the Sea Ray 340, Regal 3560. I did look at the equivalent models from Cobalt, Formula and Doral after reading the various treads here heavily favouring them over the aforementioned models but from looking at pics anyway these two brands seemed to be built more "snug" - narrower beam and in some cases not as generously laid out seating above deck as compared to the 340 and 3560 Also those Formula and Cobalts in this size range appear to have lower ceilings below deck. The Dorals seem to lose some of their true length to the massive swim platform out back where a boat of comparable LOA is actually shorter in actual living space length and lower ceiling height due to the compressed length of living space.


Thoughts on the above aside I would appreciate any help or insights comparing the Sea Ray 340 and the Regal 3560 of that generation would be appreciated.


Overall, in general if I were to sum up the relative quality of these boats this is what I have gathered (correct me if I'm wrong):


Tier 1: Tiara

Tier 2: Cobalt, Formula, Doral (?)

Tier 3: Sea Ray, Regal, Doral (?), Cruisers

Tier 4: Maxum, Rinker, Crownline (?), Larson


Not sure where boats like Trojan, Chaparral and Carver fit in these tier groupings, but I would be curious to get some opinions on this. I read in some threads that Chaparral is great but in other threads read that they have gone downhill since the early 2000s... so not sure where they stand.


I will continue to review the many threads here but also would appreciate any views and thoughts on my situation.


Thank you for reading! :-)
speedemn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2021, 01:40   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Seattle
Boat: Bavaria 35E
Posts: 154
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

I think you have to be more realistic when looking at 15 to 20-year-old boats, particularly if they are gasoline models, so that condition is a priority over brand. Look for ones that meet your layout and feature requirements and then make sure the boat is in optimal condition. And, of course, get a survey. You'll be better served doing it this way than ruminating over a specific brand. Yes, some are notable for defects but you have to figure those have been ironed out after so many years of ownership, so that general condition and maintenance of the boat in question is more important. I do like Maxum, Tiara, and Larsen in general.

Good luck
nightowle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2021, 08:43   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 5
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightowle View Post
I think you have to be more realistic when looking at 15 to 20-year-old boats, particularly if they are gasoline models, so that condition is a priority over brand. Look for ones that meet your layout and feature requirements and then make sure the boat is in optimal condition. And, of course, get a survey. You'll be better served doing it this way than ruminating over a specific brand. Yes, some are notable for defects but you have to figure those have been ironed out after so many years of ownership, so that general condition and maintenance of the boat in question is more important. I do like Maxum, Tiara, and Larsen in general.

Good luck
The more we look the more we keep coming back to the 00-06 Sea Ray 340 (or 00-02 380). We like the size, layout, openness beneath deck that these boats offer. But then looking at some of the Regal (3560), Cobalt (360) and Doral (330, 360, Elegante) they appear to be finished REALLY nicely but all have one "gotcha". The Regal for example has a closed front stateroom which seems to make the below deck entertaining seem smaller. The Doral having that massive swim platform ends up resulting in smaller above and below deck cabin space - and seemed like the beam was also narrower for a similar dimension of boat to the Sea Ray.

We will certainly be ordering a survey, mechanical inspection and sea test before buying anything... it will be part of standard conditions. Not having had a chance to step in to all of the above brands (yet anyway) I want to get a sense of relative build quality. e.g. quality of the wood in the cabinetry and how it wears over time and that sort of fundamental quality differences between those brands.
speedemn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2021, 08:55   #4
Registered User
 
mikereed100's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cat in Chile, trawler in Ventura
Boat: 46' custom cat "Rum Doxy", Roughwater 41"Abreojos"
Posts: 1,910
Images: 2
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

You might try posting here:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/

You will be tapping into a much larger information pool.
__________________
Mike

www.sailblogs.com/member/rumdoxy

Come to the dark side. We have donuts.
mikereed100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2021, 09:30   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 5
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
You might try posting here:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/

You will be tapping into a much larger information pool.
The boat models that I touched on above and in detail in my other thread are all express cruisers... quite different from trawlers aren't they? I had a quick peek at that forum and most of those brands appear to be a completely different boat than what I am looking for... ?
speedemn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2021, 09:44   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,974
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

I agree with the others that layout should be quite low on your list of purchase criteria.

With a boat of the age you're considering build quality and then how well it's been maintained. A great PO (previous owner) is worth a lot of money. Many powerboats of the size you're considering are not worth buying after 10 years - repairs and maintenance will eat you alive. Be especially careful of ones that look like a great deal - there's always a reason the price is low.

Do not count on the survey to save you. By the time the survey happens, you've spent weeks and have fallen in love with the boat. It's too easy to go ahead with an "OK but not great survey". And the surveyor never finds everything.

Budget to spend serious money after the purchase in upgrades and things the surveyor missed. Over the first 12 months of ownership expect to spend $50,000 or more - some even spend as much as the boat cost. New electronics, new cushion foam, new fabrics in the cabin that your wife doesn't hate, engine problems that crop up after a couple of months...

Here's a good site to look at by surveyor Dave Pascoe. He'll give you a sense about what you care about in older boats. He also has a book on buying powerboats that describes specific brands and what goes wrong with them.

Boats, Yachts: Hull Design Defects: Part I
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2021, 09:47   #7
Registered User
 
Woodland Hills's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Aboard
Boat: Hatteras CPMY 63
Posts: 980
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedemn View Post
The boat models that I touched on above and in detail in my other thread are all express cruisers... quite different from trawlers aren't they? I had a quick peek at that forum and most of those brands appear to be a completely different boat than what I am looking for... ?
Are express cruisers any more similar to sailboats than to trawlers? I cannot imagine a more different pair of boats than cruising sailboats and express cruisers......
Woodland Hills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2021, 10:01   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 5
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodland Hills View Post
Are express cruisers any more similar to sailboats than to trawlers? I cannot imagine a more different pair of boats than cruising sailboats and express cruisers......
Good point... I did some research on thehulltruth which was also a good resource but more focused on fishing boats. After some searching I found this forum and assumed this was more for express cruisers rather than sail boats based on the title (cruisers and express cruisers used interchangeably). But if I have dropped in on the wrong party I apologize.
speedemn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2021, 10:16   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Chemainus BC
Boat: Pedrick Cheoy Lee 41 offshore, Carver 37 Explorer
Posts: 267
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

One of the criteria for us when shopping was view, after spending 20 years looking at the world through a port hole. We bought a 1994 Carver 370 in 2016, galley up was a priority. Single head suited us, twin Cummins turbo 315 HP with 1400 original hours, 9kw Kohler. Command bridge with lower station, 13' 3" beam, and after doing the neglected maintenance, is the boat for us. The '94 was the 50 year celebration year for Carver. We didn't send much time looking at express cruisers, buddy had a Sea Ray 340 gasser, nice boat for a couple. If you are primarily day boating, galley may not be high on your list. Make a list of what is non-negotiable, what is desirable and what is tolerable. You'll find it.
Greg Mason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2021, 11:00   #10
Moderator

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,186
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

Quote: "The boat models that I touched on above and in detail in my other thread are all express cruisers... quite different from trawlers aren't they?"

Yes, "express cruisers" are indeed different from "trawlers". Added to your words quoted above to what you said in another post about the beam of motor yachts, you might like to contemplate this:

The term "trawler yacht" is all marketing fluff. It belongs in the adverts in glossy mags, and has very little justification in any serious contemplation of a yacht's fundamental characteristics. The "class" of motor boats into which "trawler yachts" fall is that of DISPLACEMENT HULLS. You may take it that due to fundamental design characteristics eventuating in the shape of the hull (as depicted in the drawing of the boat that we call "the lines") a displacement hull will have a (theoretical) maximum speed through the water given by the formula 1.35(LWL^1/2), i.e. if your Length on the WaterLine is 36 feet the "hull speed" will be 1.35 x 6 = 8 knots (approx), and if the LWL is 49 feet, then the Hull Speed will be 9 1/2 knots (approx). If you wish to go faster than that, it is not a displacement hull you want, i.e. you do not want a "trawler yacht".

"Express cruisers" are called that because in their early incarnations they were meant to be commuter vehicles for the well to do who needed to get from their country estates along the Hudson River into NY within a reasonable time. They were sometimes called "commuters". They were generally "semi-planing" hulls of narrow beam and therefore quite fast (say 20 knots), but of scant accommodations. From them evolved the fully planing hulls that skim over the top of the water at a ferocious expenditure of power of therefore of fuel. "Commuters", like modern planing hulls, often had twin gasoline motors like e.g. 6-litre Chrysler Crusaders. for a total horsepower of about 700, and, of course, a commensurate fuel consumption which was of no consequence to the sorts of people who owned them. The Regal 3560 you mention falls in this latter class of boat.

Planing hulls do not have a "hull speed" in the same sense as displacement hulls. Displacement hulls have engines of modest horsepower because overpowering them in an attempt to make them go faster than the "hull speed", just makes them awkward, even dangerous, to handle. Contrarywise, UNDERpowering a planing hull makes it awkward to handle.

So ye takes yer pick twixt these two basic categories depending on how fast you need/want to go. All else follows AFTER that.

As was said in an earlier post, go to TrawlerForum:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/private.php

to talk to people more immediately in touch with power boating.


All the best to you

TrentePieds
TrentePieds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2021, 13:34   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 5
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

Awesome info @TrentePieds - thank you for that explanation.

I was aware of the calculation of theoretical max speed and I definitely am in the express cruiser space. I will poke on trawler forum as well for some feedback, thanks!
speedemn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2021, 14:21   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Toronto
Boat: Cruisers Yachts 3075 Express
Posts: 14
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

Hi - as the owner of a 32' Cruisers express, I understand where you're coming from. I spend time between this forum, the trawler forum and the Hulltruth forum, not fitting into any category completely, but gleaning knowledge from all. My 2 cents would be that when you've chosen your boat try to get info on when the impellers, manifolds, risers and extensions, and thruhulls were last replaced prior to your survey. You may find that maintenance has been deferred and needed and giving you an idea of additional costs, affecting your decision to survey and purchase. Good luck, you'll love then end result on the water
TorronnaPwr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2021, 14:41   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,250
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedemn View Post
... After some searching I found this forum and assumed this was more for express cruisers rather than sail boats based on the title (cruisers and express cruisers used interchangeably). But if I have dropped in on the wrong party I apologize.
You did post in the correct area.

For better or worse, by design or fate, the CruisersForum is mostly about sailboats, even though power boats are also cruisers, so posting here was a reasonable choice given the website name and the area you posted too.

TrawlerForum is the place to ask power boat related questions, however, there are power boats on CruiserForum. Both places can be helpful depending upon the needed information.

Later,
Dan
dannc is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2021, 05:47   #14
Registered User
 
ranger42c's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland, USA
Boat: 42' Sportfish
Posts: 4,576
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedemn View Post
Good point... I did some research on thehulltruth which was also a good resource but more focused on fishing boats. After some searching I found this forum and assumed this was more for express cruisers rather than sail boats based on the title (cruisers and express cruisers used interchangeably). But if I have dropped in on the wrong party I apologize.

Not to worry, welcome.

You might also look to owners groups for specific brands. For example, Club Sea Ray probably has members who can speak to pros/cons of various Sea Ray models... and I assume many of the other brands have something similar.

In your assumed tier structure... I think I'd leave Tiara in Tier 1, perhaps eclipsed by some additional brands (Viking, Sabre, Hinckley, etc...), and I'd put almost all of the others in a "Chevy" category (some better than others, but likely varying by model and year). I guess there might be a few in the "Skoda" or "Yugo" range, but I don't know which those might be.

Were it me shopping for an express boat, I think I'd look at Sabre, MJM, Back Cove... but a lot of that is influenced by our tastes as well as builder reputation. And those would potentially be advertised more often as "Downeast" boats instead of "Express cruisers."

-Chris
__________________
Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2021, 22:47   #15
Registered User
 
rsn48's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island, BC
Boat: 1969 30 Mariner Sedan Cruiser
Posts: 747
Re: Another vs. thread for selecting a power cruiser

The boat models that I touched on above and in detail in my other thread are all express cruisers... quite different from trawlers aren't they? I had a quick peek at that forum and most of those brands appear to be a completely different boat than what I am looking for... ?

There are far more kinds of boats on the Trawler forum than just trawlers. It would be more accurate to call it the "not a sailboat" forum. I have a sedan cruiser (like an express cruiser). The boats you are looking at are most likely semi-displacement hulls, not planing or displacement hulls. Yes a semi-displacement can plane, mine does and I can hit 30 knots.

Speed on larger boats is becoming a thing, many are deciding they don't want to do 9 knots forever. Trawlers look great, and at displacement speeds (slow) are cheap on fuel. Anything large that goes up on plane is a fuel monster, my boat is a fuel monster. So ironically there is a new category now emerging, the "fast trawler."

Express cruisers amongst the trawler and sailboat cruising crowd is often considered "not cool." So there are boats that are express or sedan cruisers but with a different name and look to throw you off, but they are indeed sedan cruisers. For example a Tug - Nordic, American, et al - that can get up on plane is really a sedan cruiser, but cooler if you know what I mean.

PS: I too suggest the trawler forum as well. I hang out there as well.
rsn48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruise, cruiser

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Only one power cord is getting power from my shore power. Privilege Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 10 11-09-2019 08:35
SELECTING LIGHTNING ARRESTORS for SHORE POWER GordMay Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 0 20-09-2003 03:51

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:18.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.