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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2015 Sundancer 280
    Engine(s)
    Mag 350 Bravo 3
    Posts
    35

    First Time Buyer

    Hello all! I grew up around the water with a skit boat and houseboat rentalsbut to date have only owned a couple Sea Doos. I am looking to buy my own boat. I am by no means an expert but can usually figure things out with a little guidance. I plan to have a 2017 Sundancer 260 built for me. I have several questions on various topics. Some may be stupid but oh well. Any and all help is appreciated.

    1. I do not have much if any exerience with shore power and inverters etc. If I chose to go without an inverter(no generator either) what featues can be used away from shore power? AC, Fridge,Microwave,Head,TV etc What advantage does an inverter add? Is this difficult to add on my own aftermarket?

    2. What does the Sea Ray Digital Dash add other than the raymarine a95?

    3. I would consider adding the a95, remote sot, and a vhf/ antenna myself aftermarket as well. I am fairly handy as far as the installation part. My question would be tying the units in to power. Is this a difficut process or more plug and play? Can they be tied in right at the dash or do I have to run to a breaker panel/battery?

    4. What if any of the above electronics wouldou recommend having the factory do vs aftermarket?

    5. I will keep on the river from about May to Oct. Is bottom paint necessary?

    6. Other than looks and ovrhead lighting/mounting is there a purpose to the spoiler. If I plan to trailer once a year or so or trailer for winter storage does the spoiler interfere with trailering? Anyone know apx height of the spoiler? Can you d the cape canvas without the spoiler?

    I think that is all for now. I know it is a lot. Thanks again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2010 350 Sundancer Raymarine c95 GPS KVH Satellite
    Engine(s)
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    Posts
    959

    Re: First Time Buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Rxjoe View Post
    Hello all! I grew up around the water with a skit boat and houseboat rentalsbut to date have only owned a couple Sea Doos. I am looking to buy my own boat. I am by no means an expert but can usually figure things out with a little guidance. I plan to have a 2017 Sundancer 260 built for me. I have several questions on various topics. Some may be stupid but oh well. Any and all help is appreciated.

    1. I do not have much if any exerience with shore power and inverters etc. If I chose to go without an inverter(no generator either) what featues can be used away from shore power? AC, Fridge,Microwave,Head,TV etc What advantage does an inverter add? Is this difficult to add on my own aftermarket?

    2. What does the Sea Ray Digital Dash add other than the raymarine a95?

    3. I would consider adding the a95, remote sot, and a vhf/ antenna myself aftermarket as well. I am fairly handy as far as the installation part. My question would be tying the units in to power. Is this a difficut process or more plug and play? Can they be tied in right at the dash or do I have to run to a breaker panel/battery?

    4. What if any of the above electronics wouldou recommend having the factory do vs aftermarket?

    5. I will keep on the river from about May to Oct. Is bottom paint necessary?

    6. Other than looks and ovrhead lighting/mounting is there a purpose to the spoiler. If I plan to trailer once a year or so or trailer for winter storage does the spoiler interfere with trailering? Anyone know apx height of the spoiler? Can you d the cape canvas without the spoiler?

    I think that is all for now. I know it is a lot. Thanks again.
    Welcome to CSR. No question is bad, but you should really go to your dealer and look at the 260 closely and ask questions, especially if you're ordering one custom.

    Also, you should take a safe boater course if you haven't already. It's required in many states.

    Heres my thoughts on a few of your questions:

    1- If your boat is staying in the water all season you need bottom paint. Bottom line. It must be redone every 3-4 seasons.

    2- If this is your first cruiser you should order it equipped with the VHF from the factory. This is an important safety item and the build in VHF will have a longer range than a handheld unit. I highly recommend a GPS/Chartplotter. If you're going to do a lot of night boating get radar.

    3- The "spoiler" you refer to is called the radar arch. This is where your all around light, radar, GPS and a few other things are mounted.

    4- Shore power will only work when your boat is plugged in at the dock. This will power everything on the boat. If you don't have a generator your batteries will only power your lights, head, and 12v/24v systems. AC won't work without a generator. The 260 will have house and starting batteries. This will allow you to run off batteries at anchor, but still have fresh batteries to start your engines.

    One of the issues with after market adds on a new boat is access, especially on the smaller cruisers. With that said it can be done. My HD radar, KVH and cockpit tv were all added after purchase. If it's your first boat I'd start with many items factory installed so you can focus on learning how to operate the boat and it's systems. You'll have a lot to learn from water systems to the anchor.
    Last edited by WDCboater; 10-12-2016 at 07:55 PM.
    Ryan

    2010 350 Sudancer, Twin 8.1 Horizons


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2015 Sundancer 280
    Engine(s)
    Mag 350 Bravo 3
    Posts
    35

    Re: First Time Buyer

    I appreciate the reply. I do plan to talk with the dealer, I like to have other opinions ahead of time. I would install the same VHF as the dealer and add the 8ft antenna. I'd love to have the factory do all the work, just seems I could save several thousand doing it myself.

    As far as shore power and water systems...is electric included in slip fees or a serate charge? How about pumpot services, is there usally a charge for this? I assumed both would be extra but thought I saw they were included somewhere.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2010 350 Sundancer Raymarine c95 GPS KVH Satellite
    Engine(s)
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    Posts
    959

    Re: First Time Buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by Rxjoe View Post
    I appreciate the reply. I do plan to talk with the dealer, I like to have other opinions ahead of time. I would install the same VHF as the dealer and add the 8ft antenna. I'd love to have the factory do all the work, just seems I could save several thousand doing it myself.

    As far as shore power and water systems...is electric included in slip fees or a serate charge? How about pumpot services, is there usally a charge for this? I assumed both would be extra but thought I saw they were included somewhere.
    I can't speak to the 260 specifically, but installing a chartplotter aftermarket shouldn't be too bad. The VHF is worth the $900 to have SR wire it and install the antenna. Just my 2 cents.

    Some marinas charge extra for water and electric, some include it. My marina charges a fee based on length, other marinas in our area individually meter power. Pump outs are usually free at your home marina if you have a slip.
    Ryan

    2010 350 Sudancer, Twin 8.1 Horizons


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Narragansett Bay
    Boat
    Searay
    Details
    2016 Sundancer 350
    Engine(s)
    8.2L, Bravo 3x, DTS, Axius
    Posts
    198

    Re: First Time Buyer

    Welcome to CSR. There are lots of good guys (and gals) here and lots of good advice too.

    My advice, buy a boat at least one size bigger than you think you need. Even if it means you buy a used boat.

    I bought a 330 last year and am buying a 350 right now. The 330 was a good size, but just not quite big enough. No boat is ever big enough, but the first one you buy is even smaller then you think.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    Boat
    SeaRay 380 Aft cabin
    Details
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Engine(s)
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    Posts
    2,060

    Re: First Time Buyer

    Go slow with what you get. Rent what you think you want for and see how you like it. We have had 2 boats. The first one was a good learner boat the second works for us. We could have saved the expense of buying the first boat if we had rented first. Size of the boat you need will depend on what you intend to do with it now and in the future. A generator will be like being plugged in at a dock but will cost you a gallon an hour of gas. An inverter will power computer and cabin lights. Things like hair dryers, electric kettle and microwave will such batteries low in short order.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    West Michigan
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1999 Sundancer 340
    Engine(s)
    454 Mercruiser's w/ V Drives, Westerbeke gen set
    Posts
    549

    Re: First Time Buyer

    For someone leaving it in the water all summer my suggestion would be to skip brand new and get a bigger boat, used, with all the options including a generator. It seems (to me) one of the biggest reason many folks choose 270's and smaller is to keep it easily trailerable. If you're already planning to leave her in the water go as big as your slip and budget will handle. If your budget can handle a brand new 260 I'm assuming you can go well over 30' and still be in the 2000 and newer model years.

    At least do yourself the favor of getting on a 260 and say a 330 and feel the difference.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North carolina
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1999 480 Sedan Bridge
    Engine(s)
    Caterpillar 3196
    Posts
    925

    First Time Buyer

    Our first boat was a 340. My wife thought it was going to be too big. 5 years later we were so frustrated that we could not really spend as much time on it as we would have liked due to limit of space we jumped up to a 480. I agree with the others. If staying in the water and will be used like a floating condo then go big.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    KNOT QUIET
    1999 480 Sedan Bridge
    2000 340 sundancer "Sold"
    2003 210 Sea Fox

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2010 350 Sundancer Raymarine c95 GPS KVH Satellite
    Engine(s)
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    Posts
    959

    Re: First Time Buyer

    I do agree on the size front that others have mentioned. I started with a brand new 240 and traded it a year and a half later for a slightly used 350.

    The 310 is a nice boat and gets you into twins. I hated docking my single engine 240, but my 350 is a breeze.

    Also, even if you're handy, you'll have plenty of work to do on a fully equipped boat. These things are constant maintenance. CONSTANT. You will have many things to tinker with and keep yourself busy.. from checking sea strainers to batteries. I am not a mechanic, but I know my 350 inside and out and have played the role of plumber, electrician and mechanic when needed.
    Ryan

    2010 350 Sudancer, Twin 8.1 Horizons


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2015 Sundancer 280
    Engine(s)
    Mag 350 Bravo 3
    Posts
    35

    Re: First Time Buyer

    I appreciate all the suggestions. If i decide to go used...how omd is too old? How many hours is too many? I know you want a boat thats well used. Any certain years to avoid?

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