280 Sundancer twin V6 or one 496 Magnum

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by Steve L., May 20, 2020.

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  1. Steve L.

    Steve L. New Member

    6
    May 19, 2020
    Seeking out a new purchase of a 28-34 foot sundancer.
    V6 Mercs
    Hi everyone thanks for answering so many nEWB questions! I am looking for a 28 Sundancer about 15 years old. I have now seen one with twin V6 motors, and one with a single 496.

    Owner of the 496 is selling the "less maintenance" angle. I am wondering if there is any knowledge out there about the two models, why some came in each configuration, and if there is a strong preference?

    If it matters, the 496 Magnum has 766 hours.....so if that is way too high, let me know!

    Thanks@!

    Steve
     
  2. Espos4

    Espos4 Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2017
    Long Island NY
    2007 240 Sundeck
    350 MAG Bravo 3 W/DTS
    Something more to consider:
    The V6 twins may be raw water cooled while the 496 should be closed cooling.

    Are you in a salt water area?
     
  3. Steve L.

    Steve L. New Member

    6
    May 19, 2020
    Seeking out a new purchase of a 28-34 foot sundancer.
    V6 Mercs
    Yes I will keep it in a slip in salt water. Interesting point. So no flush needed each use on the 496? Speed is not my top priority, but would the 496 be noticeably slower than the dual? Thanks I really appreciate your input!
     
  4. JimT

    JimT Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jul 7, 2009
    Charlotte, NC- LKN
    2010 330 Sundancer
    T-350mags w/BIIIs & Axius, 5.0 kw Kohler
    The 2005 280DA came with the single 496, twin 4.3s mostly with Alpha drives and twin 5.0s with B3s.

    Twin engines add weight but provide a performance advantage plus the safety of redundancy if boating offshore. Lose one engine you can limp back on one.

    Twin engines cost 2x the maintenance.

    B3 drives have twin counter rotating props which provide increased performance and better maneuverability when docking.

    Twin engines are much easier to maneuver when docking.

    The engine room is very crowded with twins. Maintenance is much more difficult than the single 496.
     
  5. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    IO boats in this size range are a handful around the docks to begin with. I feel like a single screw is just about worst case?

    I'd vote twins assuming those 4.3's are not raw water cooled....

    And 766 hours is practically brand new...
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  6. Undercover

    Undercover Member

    32
    Jul 8, 2019
    Keyport, NJ
    2006 280 Sundancer
    496 MAG / Bravo III
    Hi Steve, So I bought a 2006 280DA with a single 496 just last August. It had 495 hours when I got it and I've only put about 25 hours on it before our season ended. To give some insight into performance, it got up to 45 mph on the sea trial, which impressed the hell out of me. My rather brief hands-on experience has been better than I expected. No issue at all with lack of enough power at any time. A good cruise speed for me is around 25-26 mph @ 3400-3500 rpm burning about 13.5 gph (depending on load and sea conditions). Good amount of room in the engine compartment as well. Only real issue I've found is it is a bit tricky to stern in with the single, especially at my marina which has a strong current.
     
  7. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    Those are good numbers. I'd be happy with that.

    The Bravo 3's dual props help a lot when maneuvering. You get a lot more "bite" in the water vs. a single prop, and no prop walk. Can it more tricky in a cross current or wind vs. a twin engine? Yes, no doubt at all. Your tolerance will depend somewhat on your dock situation. Most of my time with my single B3 was on a mooring, so very little close maneuvering in bad conditions was needed.

    Dual raw water outdrive engines in salt water is just about the worst maintenance situation. Dual fresh water cooled is the 2nd worst. As said before, expect 2x the maintenance with twins - or more. If you replace a part on 1 engine, you should replace the matching part on the other engine as a preventative maintenance. With twins you also have 2x the chance of something breaking and wrecking your outing. In a twin configuration can you limp home on one engine? Sure. But you also have a higher chance of something failing in the first place. Consider also that a lot of issues are fuel based, and most boats of this size have a single fuel tank. No redundancy there. Also, many commercial vessels only have 1 engine (not same same, but still).

    I'm a big fan of single engine setups. I upgraded to a different brand so I could have a single that would match the speed of my 270 AJ. So long as the big single meets your performance needs I'd go with that every day and twice on Sunday.
     
    JC3 and Undercover like this.
  8. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I've never really understood the argument of maintenance cost on twins in the grand scheme of things. Especially for the DIY'er.

    Annual DIY maint cost goes from $150 on a single gas big block to $300 on a twin? Maybe annual outdrive maint is more but as far as the engine goes many of us spend more on a good dinner and drinks with the fam than we would on that "extra engine" :):)
     
    NorCal Boater likes this.
  9. Undercover

    Undercover Member

    32
    Jul 8, 2019
    Keyport, NJ
    2006 280 Sundancer
    496 MAG / Bravo III
    While I agree with you in principle, the 280DA is kind of unique in that it was offered with the option of a single or twins. You can't argue the fact that with twins it is twice the maintenance and double the cost, whatever that cost may be. That may or may not be significant to a prospective buyer, and it should definitely be considered along with the benefits of having twins.
     
  10. Todd320

    Todd320 Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2016
    St. Petersburg, FL
    2007 Sea Ray 320DA
    Twin V-drive 5.7L 350 Horizon
    I would be concerned keeping a stern drive boat in salt water all the time, especially in a year round boating location. Are you up north, so it would just be for the season, then it goes into dry storage for the winter? Is it possible to get a lift and get it out of the water After each use?
    Regardless of closed cooling vs raw water cooling, you need to flush after each use. Closed cooling will dump the raw water going through the heat exchanger into the exhaust at the elbow (at least in my case, in other cases, like half closed, the manifolds/risers/elbows are all cooled by raw, but the block is cooled by coolant through the heat exchanger...
     
  11. Henry Boyd

    Henry Boyd Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 24, 2007
    Newburyport, on the peaceful and serene Merrimack
    ‘09 Sabre 38 Hardtop Express “Serenity”
    Volvo D6 w/IPS450 Pods
    Not trying to pick a fight, but our experience was substantially different. 3400 to 3500 for us yielded sub 20 knots and the burn rate was closer to 25gph. 45 mph at WOT? I doubt you could do that with nothing on the boat with no water of any kind and barely enough fuel To keep engine running. Our speed info came off of gps and not the terribly inaccurate water pressure pickup in the sterndrive. Burn rates came from Smartcraft devices.
     
  12. Undercover

    Undercover Member

    32
    Jul 8, 2019
    Keyport, NJ
    2006 280 Sundancer
    496 MAG / Bravo III
    Well, don't know what might have changed from 2002-2006 but my numbers are accurate. The speed came from a handheld GPS the surveyor was using and my own first-hand numbers are from the SmartCraft gauges. They do vary given changes in load and sea conditions, as I noted, but they don't vary by much. At the time of the sea trial there was 3 of use on-board and about 1/3 fuel.
     
  13. Henry Boyd

    Henry Boyd Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 24, 2007
    Newburyport, on the peaceful and serene Merrimack
    ‘09 Sabre 38 Hardtop Express “Serenity”
    Volvo D6 w/IPS450 Pods
    We found it wasn’t the 496 that was the money pit it was the Bravo Three sterndrive. We did do exhaust manifolds before we sold the boat and that would have been a nasty bill x2.

    First off the previous owner got a new B3 on warranty because the original crapped out. We replaced drive shafts, ujoints, various seals, a transom assembly, gimbal bearings and multiple bellows replacements. I can’t begin to imagine the head aches From twin B3s.
     
  14. Henry Boyd

    Henry Boyd Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 24, 2007
    Newburyport, on the peaceful and serene Merrimack
    ‘09 Sabre 38 Hardtop Express “Serenity”
    Volvo D6 w/IPS450 Pods
    I’m pretty sure on our numbers as I was pretty obsessive about keeping track of that stuff. I also kept track of calculated consumption versus actual and that was always pretty close.

    Maybe sea ray tinkered with the sterndrive ratio? I don’t recall reading about any weight reductions between the 02 and 06 models. It would be interesting to try an figure it out. Oh but wait, it’s somebody else’s boat now!
     
  15. El Capitan

    El Capitan Well-Known Member

    979
    Jul 9, 2014
    Chicago IL./Vero Beach, Fl
    1970 SRV 180 w 2.5L Mercruiser.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer
    120HP Mercruiser
    Keeping an IO in salt water especially if a huge SS prop is hanging on the aluminum outdrive.... that’s just no bueno.

    Look in your Marina and count the number of IO’s sitting in that salt water. Then try to see what they look like.

    Good luck.
     
  16. JC3

    JC3 Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Kentucky
    N/A
    N/A
    Keeping that 280 stern drive year round in salt water is going to be an expensive and time consuming endeavor! Not for the faint of heart or light wallet.
     
  17. scoflaw

    scoflaw Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    cape cod mass, cape coral fl
    1999 Powerquest legend 260 sx
    502 mpi Bravo 1
    Don't listen to these inland freshwater boys, your I/o's will be just fine in salt. Keep an eye on your zincs, mercathode system and get a good heavy coat of anti foul on them.

    No problemo
     
  18. Steve L.

    Steve L. New Member

    6
    May 19, 2020
    Seeking out a new purchase of a 28-34 foot sundancer.
    V6 Mercs
    Thanks everyone!

    How about Alpha One drives? Any horror stories?
     
  19. Sea-Ya

    Sea-Ya New Member

    21
    Sep 29, 2016
    Long Island
    2004 Sea Ray 215 Express Cruiser
    5.0 Mercruiser
    I am always shocked how people are so quick to say never buy a boat that has been in salt water. All of the coast is in salt water and with so many boats with an I/O on them that function just fine. With proper maintenance you will be fine. Sure salt can be a pain with the risers and manifold replacement but that's part of boating. We know that going into it. Depending on where you live there is no choice but to boat in salt water. People shouldn't be so quick to dismiss a boat if it has been in salt water
     
  20. Sea-Ya

    Sea-Ya New Member

    21
    Sep 29, 2016
    Long Island
    2004 Sea Ray 215 Express Cruiser
    5.0 Mercruiser
    I have a Alpha One on mine and from what I understand it is a very good drive. I have heard there can be issues with the Bravo 3. Bravo 3 is supposed to better for maneuverability
     

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