Looking to move up....

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by Mike sandor, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    Twin 496. Bravo 3
    2018 3500 Chevy, Loadmaster trailer
    Raymarine Axiom, Quantum 2
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    Reciently registered here, new to me 2005, 260 sundancer. Purchased this past July. 375 hours. Primarily run on Lake Superior, Apostle Island area. Absolutely love the boat but the wife is already pushing me to move up. Thinking around 30 to 34' max. I must admit, the performance and gas miliage of the 260 is fine. 15 gmh cruising. I am expecting the gph in the boat ranges I am looking at will double.
    I perfer the styling of the 2005 - 2007 rainge.
    Anything thing in perticular I should stay clear of? My first choice were v drives, but looking at how some of them go thru the water, the bow attitude appears high. Information I have read here indicates that I.O.'s have a bit better performance with regards to top speed and gph but needs more maintenance. I would expect that the I.O. boat trims better, but not sure. V drives handle better in tight spots. Engine compartment tighter in a V drive?
    What are perfered engine size? I run the 350 mag single in the 260.
    Purrs like a kitten, but not sure of the performance two of those would have on a bigger boat. I would like to be able to cruise at around 25 mph and not drain the tanks in a short time.
    We just started looking, would apreaciate any recomendations.
    Thanks in advance,
  2. wyrman

    wyrman Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 12, 2012
    Tri-Cities, Wa
    2007 310 Sundancer
    Twin 350's, V drives
    I had an 06 260, and sold it at the beginning of summer.
    I just bought an 07 310 DA with twin 350
    v drives. The engine compartment is definitely tighter, and I'm not looking forward to working on it, but the corrosion issues alone on the bravo drive made my choice an easy one.
    I can't comment to the other questions as the boat is still in Missouri.
    I should have it late next week.
  3. KevinC

    KevinC Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    2004 340 Sundancer
    1988 Proline Center Console - 90hp Mariner/Mercury
    1969 Boston Whaler
    Twin 8.1 V-drives
    We jumped from a 260DA to our current 340SDA because we needed the extra room. I would advise that you think about your upcoming needs a few years out. It would be easier to get the bigger boat now and not have to upgrade again in a few years.

    On a 2003.5-2008 340 preferred engines seem to be the 8.1s and with V-Drives will probably be 28-32 gph at cruise. WOT is around 55-60. Cocktail cruising would be around 8-10 gph.

    The V-Drive vs IO has been discussed in these forums to date. As we agree that the IOs have better top speeds, better handling and better MPG. The V-Drives offer superior handling close in while docking.

    While the IOs will get better mpg that savings may be offset by the additional maintenance costs for annual servicing. Also the Bravo IOs are much more affected by the salt water environment. Many people feel that V-Drives are the only way to go in salt water because of this.

  4. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Active Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
    I went from a 2011 260 DA to a 1998 290 DA and just love the extra room..... the bigger beam really made the boat feel all that much bigger without going much longer.

    Don't rule out older boats they can be great value for the money.
  5. Ship Happens

    Ship Happens New Member

    Oct 12, 2017
    2001 Sea Ray 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.0 EFI 240 hp Vortec Mercruiser engines with Mercruiser Bravo III stern drives
    What engine packages and stern drives do you have on your 290?
    What propeller configuration are your running. Such as how many blades and what pitch?

    Does your boat have a generator in it?
  6. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Mike, my first bit of advice would be to slow down. I'm not talking on your boating speed, I'm talking about slowing down on your hunt for your next boat.

    I've always said that a newbie boater should buy their second boat first. By that I mean many people (sorry, but you're the perfect example of this) run out and buy a boat they fall in love with only to have it a year or so and want to trade it for one that is bigger/faster/has more room/more staterooms/more heads...you get the picture. That gets to be VERY expensive.

    So slow down, spend some time looking at a LOT of boats and decide what you want your next boat to be. How big, how may staterooms, how many heads, up or down galley, cockpit size, engine size, generator size, etc. You probably don't need A/C on a boat in your area, but heat is a definite plus.

    I've found the more knowledgeable a boater is the longer it takes him to find his next boat. It's not uncommon for a boater to spend a year doing the research, talking to other boaters about what they like and don't like about their boats, walking the docks, going to boat shows, etc. Then, when they decide what they want in a boat they already have some makes/models in mind and that narrows the search.

    And keep in mind Rule #1 in boat shopping: If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody gonna be happy. Good luck.
  7. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Active Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
    Motors Twin 5.0L - 240 HP, 4.0kW Generator, Alpha 1 drives, 3 blade props unknown pitch.

    One thing I miss from the 260 DA is the walk through windshield....... but with a working windless the need to walk up front is not that needed unless you want to tither the anchor or tie it off in windy conditions.

    You can look at my links below to see pictures as well as the manuals I've pulled together including the spec sheet for 1998 290's and a copy of the survey which was done at the time of purchase.

    BTW the guy who bought LDI (Little Ducky I) already traded it back in because it was too small for his family.... so it's back on the sales dock.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  8. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2007 44DB
    Cummins QSC 8.3s
    I also had a '06 260DA and loved the boat. Moved up to a '07 44DB. Like you, I really like the '05-'07 styling.

    This was quite a step up but could see no reason not to. Buying/selling boats is generally not a money making proposition so we decided to skip ahead. We love this one and could not beat the deal.

  9. villain style

    villain style Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 10, 2006
    Mears Point Marina Kent Island, MD
    2006 44 DA
    QSC 8,3s
    Cummins QSC 8.3s 500HO
    I have an 06 340 for sale with 8.1s and V-Drives. PM me if I can answer any questions regarding the boat...
  10. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    1999 Sundancer 340
    7.4L Gassers
    If you think 34' is your max now...go look at some 370's! ha.

    I wouldn't trade v-drives for the world but man....those IO guys could put a cot in their engine rooms and take a nap.

    Good luck in your search. Lot's of folks like to sell in the winter so you should have plenty to look at.

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