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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    east texas
    Boat
    between boats
    Details
    boatless
    Engine(s)
    boatless
    Posts
    58

    Tunnel/pockets on 80's 300's & 340's

    Looking for info on tunnel hulls on 80's 300's & 340's. I can find very little info. From what I've found it seems the tunnels do give you a more shallow draft but makes the boat sit heavy and requires a lot more power to get on a plane. Please let give us your insights before we buy one.
    Thanks
    Norris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1989 340 Sundancer Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Engine(s)
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    Posts
    875

    Re: Tunnel/pockets on 80's 300's & 340's

    I think what you might be getting into is the difference between straight drives and V drives. In both the 80's 300's and 340's the 'Sundancer' model has the aft cabin and the V drives. In the 300 model the straight drive is the 'Weekender' and in the 340's its the Express Cruiser. No aft cabin on either of these models. With the V drives, the center of mass is back further aft and it takes more tab and a bit more power to pop the Sundancers up on plane. If you have Sundancer, once up on plane, you will probably still use a bit mare tab to keep the bow down. This will eat a bit more fuel. Big deal? Not really anywhere near enough to make you want to change your mind between having a one or two birth boat - IMHO.

    The only knock I have heard about prop pocket boats is they do not do reverse well compared to non pocket boats.

    Here is the 80's 340 thread:

    http://clubsearay.com/showthread.php...-owners-thread

    And I know there is an active 80's 300 thread but not sure of the URL

    Best of luck with the hunt!

    -Mike
    Laurie and Mike and 'The Boat to be Named Later'

    Proud Member of the Hole in the Water Club

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee/NW Florida
    Boat
    Sea Ray & a 22 Boston Whaler Dauntless 225 Merc - (now sold)
    Details
    1996 450DA
    Engine(s)
    3116 Caterpillars
    Posts
    9,874

    Re: Tunnel/pockets on 80's 300's & 340's

    I owned a 390EC for 10 years and have run a bunch of late 80's- early 90's models with prop pockets. As far as handling goes, the only difference you will feel is slow speed handling while docking and that is easily overcome with a little throttle. The props are tucked up under the boat so they don't get as much clean water to move and moving water is what gives you slow speed handling. Give them a burst of throttle and the props bite and the boat moves.

    This is no more than a handling characteristic you must figure out and master.

    More power to get on plane? Nope……The v-drive/aft sleeping compartment design has the same power options and the same weight and balance and perform almost identically. Pick the interior that gives you what your family needs, engines, controls, generators and other systems are all the same between the EC and DA models.


    There are other characteristics you didn't mention that you will need to figure out. All Sea Ray express style boats pivot easily, but, due to the swept back, long bow design, the pivot point is much further aft than the center of the boat. This leads to the bow blowing around on you as you dock……..Again, it is easy to handle but you have to figure out what going on and compensate for it.

    Sea Ray boats with prop pockets are no doubt some of the most popular used boats out there and that wouldn't be the case if there were a problem with their handling.
    Frank

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Delaware
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1989 300 DA
    Engine(s)
    Twin 5.7 Merc Alpha I
    Posts
    2,170

    Re: Tunnel/pockets on 80's 300's & 340's

    The 300 Sundancers have sterndrives and no pockets. The 300 Weekender has no aft cabin and has straight shaft inboards with prop pockets.
    What Frank said is right on the money. The differences in handling are characteristics you just learn how to handle.
    I was told that the 300DA with sterndrives was hard to handle at the dock, but I don't find that to be the case. Once you realize that the pivot point is the transom of the boat, you quickly figure out how she will handle. I usually dock mine with the controls and very little wheel movement.
    1989 Sea Ray 300 Sundancer "Summer Quarters"
    Twin 5.7L carbed Mercruisers w/Alpha 1 Gen1
    Delaware Bay

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1989 340 Sundancer Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Engine(s)
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    Posts
    875

    Re: Tunnel/pockets on 80's 300's & 340's

    Quote Originally Posted by SCORPIO View Post
    The 300 Sundancers have sterndrives and no pockets .
    Thanks for the correction!

    And the pivot on the 340 Sundancer is just aft of the helm. Frank is spot on about the wind and bow swing.
    Many times coming in to dock, I will have the bow aimed directly at a piling knowing that wind will push the bow back into the slip as I come in.
    Not a downside of any kind, just something to get used to.
    Last edited by northshore; 01-01-2017 at 05:30 PM.
    Laurie and Mike and 'The Boat to be Named Later'

    Proud Member of the Hole in the Water Club

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Shelton, CT
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2000 215EC
    Engine(s)
    5.0 EFI Mercruiser Alpha
    Posts
    2,598

    Tunnel/pockets on 80's 300's & 340's

    I had a 300 WE, the boat handled great. No issue with docking. Once you learn how the boat pivots, it's a piece of cake to dock.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Mark~
    "Tide the Knot"
    2000 215EC 5.0 EFI Alpha
    Shelton, CT



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Isleton, CA
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1988 340 Sundancer - "Nautical Smiles" 1998 Regal 2100 LSR
    Engine(s)
    Sea Ray - Mercruiser 454 Regal - Volvo 5.0Gi w/ Volvo-Penta outdrive
    Posts
    117

    Tunnel/pockets on 80's 300's & 340's

    I have a 1988 340 Sundancer and love it. I don't have any problems with slow speed handling. I use full tabs down on plane, but I can't really say how that would compare to other boats. And there are a lot of '80s 300, 340, and 390 boats around Northern California. They seem to be very popular, as Frank said.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    "Nautical Smiles"
    1988 Sea Ray 340 Sundancer
    1998 Regal 2100 LSR
    Isleton, CA

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1989 Sundancer 300
    Engine(s)
    Twin 350 Mercruisers w/Alpha 1 Drives; Quicksilver 4.0 gen
    Posts
    710

    Re: Tunnel/pockets on 80's 300's & 340's

    Official 1980s Weekender Sundancer 300 thread

    Having two full-sized berths was a major consideration for me, and I'm very happy with the stern drive handling on my '89 300DA. (Some specs teased inboards, but in three years of perusing ads across the US, I never found 'em IRL. My experience was that inboards were very rare in 30' and shorter dual-berth boats of that era, whether Sea Ray or anyone else.) However, if you're dedicated to inboards, I suggest skipping the 80s 300s to go for a 340 or thereabouts like you mention. Plenty of them should have inboards, plus you'll have choice of 1 or 2 berths, and any model is more spacious so you may be less likely to contract foot-itis immediately....

    (FTR, if/when I get a different boat, it'll be inboards for strictly practical reasons of managing service/repairs.)

    Good luck with your search!!
    Last edited by trflgrl; 01-02-2017 at 03:26 AM.

    Previous watercraft: 2001 Yamaha WaveRunner 800XLT
    ....replaced at the 7 year itch with a 2001 Yamaha WaveRunner 1200SUV
    ....which is now the shuttlecraft!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee/NW Florida
    Boat
    Sea Ray & a 22 Boston Whaler Dauntless 225 Merc - (now sold)
    Details
    1996 450DA
    Engine(s)
    3116 Caterpillars
    Posts
    9,874

    Re: Tunnel/pockets on 80's 300's & 340's

    I think the availability of inboards in 300EC/DA/Weekenders is regional.

    I lived full time in Middle Tennessee when I began looking for a "big" boat. The 300EC/DA was one of the best in that size range, but all had I/O's. Since we were beginning a slow move to the coast, I went by 2 large Sea Ray dealers in NW Florida and every 300 was either v-verive or inboard……not an i/0 anywhere. It seems that experienced salt water boaters will not buy i/0's if there is an inboard option. The i/o question became a non-issue for us because I found a 390EC trade-in with 75 hours on the engines which we decided to leave in Panama City Beach.

    If your heart is set on a 300 w/ inboards, then broaden your search to include coastal areas.
    Frank

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Farmingdale, NY
    Boat
    Searay
    Details
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    Engine(s)
    3126 Cats.
    Posts
    2,277

    Re: Tunnel/pockets on 80's 300's & 340's

    The 300 Sundancers from that era around here all had I/O's. The aft berth was very important to me so the Weekender wasn't an option.
    My 87 originally had two standard rotation drives and was tricky to handle around the dock with both props spinning the same way. After a few years I swapped out the port drive for a counter rotating unit and the difference was night and day around the dock. I treated it like an inboard boat and didn't use the steering wheel when docking and it was relatively easy. Not quite as easy as an inboard boat, but very close.
    2002 410 Sundancer Monaco Edition, 3126 Cats
    2005 Maxum 1800 MX
    1987 300 Sundancer SOLD

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