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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Charleston, WV
    Boat
    Between boats
    Details
    Looking at 280 Sundancers
    Engine(s)
    Trying to decide.
    Posts
    5

    Saltwater or freshwater boats/better purchase???? HELP

    Looking to buy 2003-2006 280 Sundancer ASAP. Finding many available in salty areas of the country. Am I safe buying one that has spent its life in saltwater? I'll be 100% freshwater on lakes and rivers. Thanks for any assistance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SF BAY AREA
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2003 410DA, 2004 C14 Caribe
    Engine(s)
    CAT 3126TA's 350HP/ 50HP Honda
    Posts
    6,423

    Re: Saltwater or freshwater boats/better purchase???? HELP

    If it was properly maintained and has a clean survey, there is no reason to balk at a good boat that has been in salt water. A good surveyor will be your insurance policy so ask for recommendations here from people in your region.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    97 270DA 5k Kohler A/C, 85 Monaco 197
    Engine(s)
    7.4 300hp BII, 260hp Alpha 1
    Posts
    7,678

    Re: Saltwater or freshwater boats/better purchase???? HELP

    You will get varied opinions on this one, as Ken and I disagree, but I only would purchase a freshwater vessel for freshwater use. Salt water use with outdrives has certain maintenance issues and I see no reason to purchase those issues and need to watch out for them in a freshwater environment.

    Good luck,

    MM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SF BAY AREA
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2003 410DA, 2004 C14 Caribe
    Engine(s)
    CAT 3126TA's 350HP/ 50HP Honda
    Posts
    6,423

    Re: Saltwater or freshwater boats/better purchase???? HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by MonacoMike View Post
    You will get varied opinions on this one, as Ken and I disagree, but I only would purchase a freshwater vessel for freshwater use. Salt water use with outdrives has certain maintenance issues and I see no reason to purchase those issues and need to watch out for them in a freshwater environment.

    Good luck,

    MM
    Mike, you did mention something I did not take into account. I would most likely not purchase an out drive boat from saltwater unless it was on a lift and flushed routinely. I stand corrected......partially.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Lake Guntersville, Tennessee River, Alabama
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1998 250 DA
    Engine(s)
    7.4L, B3
    Posts
    2,861

    Re: Saltwater or freshwater boats/better purchase???? HELP

    MM is the voice of reason.
    Lots of 280's out there. In my opinion, finding a 8 year old salt water out drive that has been properly cared for is no easy task. Not that they aren't out there, but please don't buy one thinking that you'll "just replace 'em next year". Price one (or two) before you leap.

    edit - be careful buying a boat while in "ASAP" mode.
    Last edited by mwph; 01-28-2014 at 10:51 PM.
    Aweigh 4 Awhile
    1998 250 DA
    7.4L B3

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Huntington WV boating the Ohio River and lakes in Kentucky
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    Sea Ray 225
    Engine(s)
    5.0 Mercruiser
    Posts
    145

    Re: Saltwater or freshwater boats/better purchase???? HELP

    Parts are not cheap. Not only do you face many maintenance issues with a saltwater outdrive but the engine itself will have many issues. Frozen bolts and corrosion will not be a one time issue to deal with. It will plague ownership for years. The only boat I would own from a saltwater environment would be an outboard (where as you back up to the dumpster and toss it in then repower) or an inboard with heat exchanger system. Go inland for your search. There are lots of boats available and it's worth the drive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Above Cape Ann
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    02' 280 DA
    Engine(s)
    496 w BIII
    Posts
    3,603

    Saltwater or freshwater boats/better purchase???? HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by Last Dollar View Post
    Parts are not cheap. Not only do you face many maintenance issues with a saltwater outdrive but the engine itself will have many issues. Frozen bolts and corrosion will not be a one time issue to deal with. It will plague ownership for years. The only boat I would own from a saltwater environment would be an outboard (where as you back up to the dumpster and toss it in then repower) or an inboard with heat exchanger system. Go inland for your search. There are lots of boats available and it's worth the drive.
    You do realize that replacing a pair of 225 mercs or yamies (the typical power on a boat equivalent to a 280) will cost as much as a used 280?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Ciao Bella - '02 280 DA - 496 MAG B III
    Air Bella - '07 Zodiac Fastroller -T 6' Alu & Plastic Oars


    ​MMSI 338130198


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    St. Petersburg Florida
    Boat
    280 Sundancer
    Details
    2005 280 Sundancer 2004 SPD-104 Achilles w/ 8hp Yamaha
    Engine(s)
    Twin 4.3 MPI's with Alpha drives.
    Posts
    2,788

    Re: Saltwater or freshwater boats/better purchase???? HELP

    Most 280's are not going to left in saltwater. They will be lift kept or better not stored in a high and dry which is out of the elements. As many people put minimal hours on a boat anyway (you know who you are) that means these boats although run in the salt are still in very good shape. I wouldn't hesitate to look/buy a salty boat just because it's been used in salt water. Maintenance is the key. The outdrive bolts and such shouldn't be frozen unless the baot salt in salt and the impellers were never changed. I totally disagree that buying a salt boat is a problem. My 280 has 560 hours (yes I use it!) and I don;t have 1 bolts that's frozen anywhere on my boat.


    Proud Inagural Memebr of the HOLE IN THE WATER Club!
    Previous boats:
    1998 Yamaha GP 800 Jetski
    1998 215 Aquasport Explorer
    1995 180 Pro-Sport
    1969 Sea King 14' Tri-Hull

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Annapolis, MD - Middle Chesapeake Bay
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2005 300DA, Garmin 740s w/Vision Charts and GMR18HD RADAR
    Engine(s)
    5.0MPI w/BIIs, Kohler 5E Generator.
    Posts
    1,408

    Re: Saltwater or freshwater boats/better purchase???? HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucit View Post
    Most 280's are not going to left in saltwater. They will be lift kept or better not stored in a high and dry which is out of the elements. As many people put minimal hours on a boat anyway (you know who you are) that means these boats although run in the salt are still in very good shape. I wouldn't hesitate to look/buy a salty boat just because it's been used in salt water. Maintenance is the key. The outdrive bolts and such shouldn't be frozen unless the baot salt in salt and the impellers were never changed. I totally disagree that buying a salt boat is a problem. My 280 has 560 hours (yes I use it!) and I don;t have 1 bolts that's frozen anywhere on my boat.
    +1 on lift kept and minimal maintenance issues. That said I "contaminated" a fresh water boat from Lake George, NY with evil brackish Chesapeake bay water . Just so happens it was relocated by the dealer to my area.

    We have had boats in the family for 25 years, and as long as you wash down the exterior, flush the motors, and keep up with the routine / preventative maintenance of the raw water cooling components it should not be a problem. I certainly would not strike a well maintained salt water / brackish boat off the list "just because". Sure if there are freshwater boats in your area that work for you out there, pounce on them too.

    To me its all about the boat, and the previous owner(s). Salt water boat w/o TLC is bad... but so too can a fresh water boat without TLC be a problem.

    Just my .02.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    97 270DA 5k Kohler A/C, 85 Monaco 197
    Engine(s)
    7.4 300hp BII, 260hp Alpha 1
    Posts
    7,678

    Re: Saltwater or freshwater boats/better purchase???? HELP

    Other issues you may face are all the electrical components that have been subjected to a least salt air if not some salt water. Things like starters and alternators and of course the worry of risers and manifolds. I remember seeing the bilge of a 3 year old boat here on CSR and all the bronze was fully coated in the patina from salt water corrosion, my 1997 still has bronze colored strainers etc. This issue usually comes down to freshwater boaters, like me, advocating stay fresh in fresh and salties saying it is no big deal. If one is going to put a boat in a salt environment there is not much to be gained by seeking out a freshwater vessel but conversely if you are boating in freshwater it is best to be patient and seek a freshwater boat.

    Good luck, MM

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