Thinkin" about a Sundancer 400, Late 90's

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by Wild Rover, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Wild Rover

    Wild Rover New Member

    Mar 5, 2018
    boatless, thinkin about it--twin diesels most likely
    Howdy! 1st post, new member. New to boating. Have friends with boats and have done Moorings charters with them--Love it! Slowing down in my work life, and strongly considering a "second home" on Long Island Sound ( I live in eastern CT). I was thinking the 400 Sundancer has a nice mix of space (like that 2nd head for guests) and maneuverability for a newbie. I know it's a relatively large boat for a newbie, but you gotta learn on something! I want the space for entertaining and weekend live-aboard. Wanna cruise to block Island, Narragansett and maybe even the Vineyard. Maybe diesels? Anyway, would appreciate comments from current and past owners of these boats. Any special problems I should watch for as I look? Plan both engine and boat survey if I find the boat of my dreams. Thanks
  2. Boater420

    Boater420 Active Member

    Mar 11, 2015
    Clearwater, FL
    '97 330 Sundancer
    Westerbeke 4.5BCG
    Twin Merc 454's
    Welcome to CSR! I can't help you with your question but I'm sure there are plenty of others that will. Good luck in your hunt.
  3. Blkbird

    Blkbird Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1997 Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
    Twin 3126 CATS
    90's 450 with diesel engines. Not the only way to go, but certainly not a bad way to travel.
    HUMPH and The Bill Collector like this.
  4. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 8212, 741 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    I've lived full-time aboard my 400. It's definitely a comfortable vessel. Naturally, we'll recommend considering a 410 and 450 as well.
  5. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Active Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1999 Sundancer 340
    454 Mercruiser's w/ V Drives, Westerbeke gen set
    What vintage are you looking for? Or better yet, got a budget?
  6. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    That’s a great boat but it might be a lot of boat for a newbie.
    We moved up to a 410 last year after many years with a 300 in anticipation of doing more traveling now that we are reducing our work schedules.
    The late 90’s 400’s have the same layout as my 410 and we find our boat very comfortable with plenty of space.
    You’re on the right track with the plan for a survey.
    Taking some safe boating, basic seamanship and navigation courses while you search for a boat would be wise if you haven’t already done so.
    Once you get the boat, either hire a Captain or get a friend who is really experienced at handling a boat like that to go out with you a bunch of times until you are comfortable and confident with the boat.
    Get someone else to go through all the systems on any particular boat you buy with you a few times and learn about basic maintenance and things that you need to keep an eye on. This will save you a lot of headaches.
    The best boat for anyone is always the one they use the most.
    It’s easy to get intimidated by a boat that size and become reluctant to leave the dock. It would be a real shame if that were to happen. You’ll find that other than the price of fuel, it costs about the same to own a boat that you don’t use as it does to own one that you enjoy the crap out of.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  7. Brett H

    Brett H Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 12, 2009
    Lake Lanier, GA
    2004 550 Sundancer w/ MAN's - Unleashed
    Raymarine e127's; KVH HD7; Xantrex 3024 Inverter
    T-800 MAN's (D2848LE403)
    Welcome Wild Rover.

    The late 90's 400DA or the early 90's 410DA (same basic boat) are great choices. CAT diesels. Great handling characteristics, fuel economy, reliability.

    With a little training from me and a Women on the Water class by MarineMax, the Admiral had no problem taking ours out completely by herself. Full disclosure, she had some prior experience on our twin engine Fountain but the 410DA was the first cruiser she ever drove.

    Read up on Frank Websters post regarding the CAT 3116 & 3126's.

    Read up on the posts related to Vitracore interior.
    Blkbird and JC3 like this.
  8. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    Late 90's 450 with Cats.... I spent 1 year on yachtworld looking at 400-410 express and luckily expanded my search criteria to include the 450 and I have not regretted buying this boat once...

    Edit added: Sorry no offense intended for the other models... I know we all love what we have.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  9. Alegria

    Alegria Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Lancaster,PA Boat: -Sue Creek, MD
    2000 410 DA
    3126 CAT
    I don't think you can go wrong with any of the models suggested above. I agree that the 450 is more room and the aft cabin is a bit more comfortable for a couple. The 410 is fine but for a long weekend guest couple the 450 offers a bit more space. I would suggest you look at the 400 and 410. The major difference is the 410 has access to the head directly from the master while the 400 you have to leave the master to get to the head. That alone steered me to the 410s.

    All have CAT 3116 or 3126 engines which give a very reasonable cruise gph.

    Enjoy the search!! Good Luck.
  10. ttmott

    ttmott Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Just sold my 2000 400DA a couple of months ago and really miss it; not that I don't really love the boat I have now. I can say some authority that the 390 through 450 series in the 96 through 2002 years was probably the best hull Sea Ray built. The 400 if built at the Merritt Island plant was a solid FRP layup without coring and the most desirable. Very few down sides in what you are looking for (late 90's 400) especially with the Cat 3116 diesels. These boats are getting long in the tooth so expect to replace air conditioners, refrigerators, battery charger, electronics and the like but as far as engines, generators, and drive train it's as solid as they get if well maintained. Thumbs up on the 400DA
  11. Fly'n Family

    Fly'n Family Member

    Sep 19, 2013
    TX / CO
    2002 Cruisers Yachts 3870
    2003 Boston Whaler Sport 130 w/40 hp Merc
    Twin 425hp Crusaders
    Big fan of the 98-2002 SR's....especially in the length range you're looking at.

    For where you're looking to boat, I would only consider a diesel driven vessel.
  12. Boulz

    Boulz New Member

    Oct 13, 2017
    400 Sundancer 1997, Caterpillar 3116 diesel
    Caterpillar 3116
    Also live in CT and bought a 1997 400DA last fall. Haven’t been on the water with it yet as I am having it refurbished at Norwalk Cove Marina over the winter. Has the 3116 diesels as I also enjoy trips to Montauk, Block Island and the Vineyard. Perhaps NYC too this year.

    New canvas on it now, new cockpit interior, new electronics, woven PVC carpeting in the cockpit, new bow cushions that the back pops up on front. Norwalk Cove is also a licensed Caterpillar service center so they are going over the engines and generator. Boat has 500 hours on the engines. Bought it last fall in Annapolis, MD and had it trucked up.

    Will be keeping it at Pilots Point Marina in Westbrook CT this year.


    If you want to check it out anytime just let me know.
    JVM225 likes this.
  13. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    Congratulations! You’re going to love the boat.
    I bought mine from MarineMax in Westbrook last year. That’s a great location for the things you want to do.
  14. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Active Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1999 Sundancer 340
    454 Mercruiser's w/ V Drives, Westerbeke gen set
    OP hasn't been back. He must have been overwhelmed with the feedback :)
  15. Quint4

    Quint4 Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    S.W. Ohio
    330 Sport Bridge
    5.7 MPI 350 Merc Bluewaters
    Hopefully he checks back. One of my pet peeves on here...ask for advice....lots of people take their time to respond....and no response from the original poster....rude.

    It's only been 4 days, he will probably check back in.

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