Extended cruising in a 30ish Sundancer

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by jld, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. jld

    jld New Member

    Mar 1, 2019
    Powerboatless (have a small trailerable sailboat)
    Wondering if anyone has done extended cruising in their 30ish Sundancers?

    I think the 360 Sundancer would be the perfect boat for my wife and I, and would be a great boat for extended cruising. I think the 320 or 340 could also be good boats for extended cruising as well.

    What are your experiences with extended cruising on your boats?


  2. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    What is your definition of extended cruising?

    I have owned a 340DA. So have experience with that boat.

    Our experience, we spend 10-12 days on the boat on each visit.

    To each their own. Personally, for me, 10 nights living on a 340 - not for me. But that's me. A lot of people spend weeks or more on that size boat. Works for some. The fact it doesn't for me doesn't mean it is right or wrong.
  3. LG111

    LG111 Active Member

    Jan 4, 2015
    Anything over a week, you may need a place to escape... if you know what I mean. Kinda hard to get your own space on 34 or less.

    Our 410 has doors and my own can!

    Just say'n...
    JVM225 likes this.
  4. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Summers- NY (Lake Erie), Winters- Somewhere Warm
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    Agree with FootballFan. We met a wonderful family from Ontario looping on a 27 sailboat. Mom, dad and 2 young sons that they were home schooling during the loop. One of the boys did this video as part of his school project.

    They loved it.
    Also met a nice older couple in Florida that started the loop in a sailboat about the same size.
    several months later we ran across them in the Chesapeake and they had a sailboat that was about 10' longer. Said that they were to either get a bigger boat or give up their loop dream.
    Different size boats for different folks.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
    M Prod, JC3 and joeyleggz like this.
  5. joeyleggz

    joeyleggz Active Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    long island
    current boat: 1997 sea ray 330 express cruiser
    twin 454's efi
    That’s an experience that could shape the rest of their lives ...simply amazing
  6. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    A story from a couple of years ago - read it somewhere - maybe the boatus newsletter.

    Two teenage girls, just out of high school did the great loop on a 16-18 boat with no cabin. It worked for them.
  7. M Prod

    M Prod Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    North Vancouver, BC
    2005 Sundancer 340
    Aquapro Dinghy w/ Honda 8hp
    Kohler 5KW Genny
    Raymarine Electronics
    8.1 Horizons /V Drives
    We'll do 3 weeks with our 340 this summer. For me, my wife, and toddler son ..it's perfect. Add another person, and no thanks. So we keep it to that. If it's just you and your wife, you'll be fine. We used to do this on our 24ft EC...and THAT was cramped. The 340 is a palace in comparison so all a matter of perspective I suppose.

    Truth be told I'd buy a Marquis 59 like Football Fan there tomorrow, but my personal circumstances didn't allow for that at this stage in life. (that is a beautiful boat) And so we love our 340.:D
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  8. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    You hit the nail on the head - with a hammer.

    It works for you! That's all that matters. There is no perfect answer for what size of boat to cruise on - or whether it is a dancer or a fly bridge. It is all about what works for you.

    (thank you for the compliment on Mersea).
    M Prod likes this.
  9. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags
    Bravo III Drives
    We do several weekends with our daughter throughout the summer on our 340. Last summer we did our first "long" trip. 14 days total. Went around Point Lookout from the Potomac and up the Chesapeake Bay. The 340 worked very well for us, had a blast.
    My brother in law and his family, wife +2, went with us on their 320 and did fine as well. We are looking forward to going again this year in July and have 3 other boats scheduled to go with us. It is all what you make of it. One of the couples going this year will be going on their "new to them" 310. Years past, they had a 26 ft and did fine for the close by weekend trips although were looking forward to moving up. Biggest complaints of the 26, having to setup and take down the birth, small head, no genny and limited water and waste tanks.
    M Prod likes this.
  10. WV 320 Dancer

    WV 320 Dancer Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 28, 2018
    2003 Sea Ray Sundancer 320
    Twin 350 MAG - V Drive
    We also shared a slip in Ohio when we were on a long weekend with a couple doing the loop in a 26’ Sailboat. It was cramped down below but they made it work. They were very organized so they had exactly what they needed including clothes to go out on the town when needed.
  11. Siboatguy

    Siboatguy Active Member

    Mar 28, 2016
    2005 Sea Ray 320 Sundancer
    Twins V-Drives
    2017 5.7 Mercruisers
    We usually stay on our 320 every weekend in the summer's... Usually Saturday to Sunday... The big weekends as in holidays or raft ups... We will stay the extra day Friday... Its just me and the wife and the dog.... We Travel every year to Greenport and bounce around up there for 4 to 5 days... Thats a 6 hr cruise usually most of it in open water's... After 4 days on a 320 we need a break... We are moving up to a 42 Fly bridge soon.. Just for more room and more home feel...
    WV 320 Dancer likes this.
  12. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    tiara in the snow 01.JPG We have been cruising the Great Lakes for years in boats ranging from 26 feet to 37. These trips involved my wife and our two boys who ranged in age from 6 weeks to 6 years old. Initially, the trips lasted about two weeks and then lasted 3 to nearly 4 weeks. Bigger boats obviously made things easier, but by the time we owned them, the kids had flown the coop. The most comfortable boat we have owned is our Tiara, much more so than the 370 SR Express. To begin with, the furniture is more comfortable to sit on and the layout makes more sense. The hardtop and AC'd helm is a huge improvement along with a queen sized bed. We have lived on it for 4 weeks plus almost from the day we bought it and have returned home only because of the need to return to work. Another thing that makes it livable is the fact that most everything works on 12 volts and it has plenty of electrical capability so you are not tied to marinas. When you need to make ice and take showers, the genny provides additional power. So, if you want comfort when cruising, make sure you have a boat with an efficient 12 volt refrigerator, entertainment systems that run on 12 volts, a good bed, hardtop, icemaker, genny and a windlass/ground tackle set up that works well. The last item takes the stress out of anchoring when your spouse is on board. It takes us maybe two minutes to set the hook.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  13. Third Edition

    Third Edition Active Member

    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    We do extensive cruising in our 360 Sundancer and find it meets the needs for my wife and I. We have our own business and work from home. We take our "office" with us, even the printer. No one knows we're not at the office!

    We took out the TV in the forward berth and have the printer in that opening, on a slider. The TV in the salon was replaced with an espresso machine.

    We've replaced all the incandescent bulbs with LEDs. That minimizes power consumption, and heating of the cabin. We've also replaced some of the 110v outlets in the cabin with more modern outlets that have USB ports in addition to the 110v outlets.

    It's a great sized boat for us, with plenty of room/storage space for our needs. I'm a bit over 6' and can lie down in the aft berth no problem.

    The head is spacious and even the plexiglas 'bat shower' works for our needs. Keeps the rest of the head dry. The engine room is more spacious than a 340. The autopilot is a great feature for long-distance relatively straight-line cruising. For the Intracoastal, not so much.

    Good luck to you whatever you decide.
  14. Phasma

    Phasma Phasma2128 PLATINUM Sponsor

    Sep 17, 2016
    West Michigan
    2003 360 Sundancer
    Mercruiser 8.1s Horizon
    I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on my 360. Traveled Lake Michigan extensively. I’ve thought about cruising around the other side of the mitten and spending some time. The loop is certainly on my bucket list
  15. jld

    jld New Member

    Mar 1, 2019
    Powerboatless (have a small trailerable sailboat)
    Extended cruising would be just my wife and I after I retire in 3 years, this way we wouldn't have any time constraints. I'm thinking these longer trips would be 1 - 3 months.

    A shorter trip might be 3 - 4 weeks island hopping in the Bahamas. A long trip might be 3 months cruising part of the great loop from the Chesapeake Bay, to the Erie Canal, to the Trent Severn Waterway, through the Georgian Bay, down to Chicago.

    None of these trips would involve long time periods on the hook, especially the partial great loop trip. I would foresee that we spend a big chunk of time exploring the towns that we cruise past.

  16. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    To each his own.
    Love my wife, but I don’t think I could spend 3 months with her on my 41’ boat.
    3-4 weeks island hoping might be doable, but not sure how much more I could push it past that.
    We took a 10 day trip to Europe together in January, then another 8 day trip in February. Love her, had a great time on both trips with her, but was nice to get home and have a little space again.
    Flip side is that we are close friends with another couple who are literally attached at the hip. They can’t do anything separately. I’d stop by his shop before he retired and I don’t think I could remember ever being there where his wife didn’t call him. Personally, I would have tossed the phone in a tub of water, but it worked for them.
    True story: I’ve been friends with the husband for almost half a century, and in the two years since we both retired I’ve spent one afternoon alone with him on my boat. She called him at least three times that afternoon and he couldn’t wait to get back to the dock because they had to go grocery shopping.
    Works for him, but I think I might consider slitting her throat.
    Luna Sea, kvduff, techmitch and 2 others like this.
  17. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags
    Bravo III Drives
    +1 on JVM225. We have a set of those friends as well. They actually work, side by side, together at the same shop.
    Just don't know if I could do that. But I guess to each his/her own. It works for them.
  18. be_prepared

    be_prepared Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 12, 2015
    Mattapoisett, MA
    2002 Sea Ray Sundancer 340DA
    Twin Mercruiser Horizon 8.1 inboards
    I think for a couple, our 340DA is great for spending a couple weeks aboard, if you're making stops at full service marinas, or on mooring's in harbor's with a water boat and pump out boat. We usually are aboard every weekend, and typically take three 1 week+ trips each summer. However, there are capacity issues for coastal cruising I think. They really don't have any meaningful endurance due to fuel, water, and holding tank sizing. For the twin gas 8.1 horizon engines, you'll be getting places fast, but you'll also be hitting the gas dock regularly, fuel tanks hold 225gallons, and those engines are thirsty. The fresh water tank on the boat is only about 40 gallons, the holding tank is 30 gallons. We plan our trips to stay at a marina, or do gas and water and pump out stops every few days. When we retire, and want a boat with longer legs, we'll be moving from gas to diesel, and looking for boats with more generous fresh water storage and waste holding tanks.
    techmitch and tdschafer like this.
  19. tdschafer

    tdschafer Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    Long island , NY
    1997 330 sundancer
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    Our 330 DA has been great for weekends. In the past we have done 10-14 day trips on it but, with a family of 5 it gets crowded. Our kids are now 15, 13 & 11. Tallest one is 6'2" & takes up alot of horizontal space when sleeping, lol. We never splashed last year due to sports obligations but are definitely going in this year. I dont know how long of a trip we will be able to do now. If I make it to Block Island I am thinking of getting a hotel room in addition to the boat do everyone is comfortable.
  20. DB360

    DB360 Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    360 SUNDANCER 2004
    Did the Loop in 2013 and we were gone for 7 months. After putting 1200+ hours her in 9 years, this boat seems to have everything that we could ask for. Headed out this April for about a month or so, up the West coast of Florida as far as Caladesi Island. So the 360 has our vote!! Safe travels.
    jzanthony and WV 320 Dancer like this.

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