Sea Ray 440 Sedan Bridge VS Meridian 391 Sedan Bridge

tljones_1970

New Member
Nov 9, 2023
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So, have been in the market and looking, I think the 440/391 is just enough boat for my family and I. I know, I know if you can go bigger why not, or just go home. I'm happy with the available units I've found. Living in VA, along the Chesapeake. I have limitless waterways and marinas/services. I've read that there are parts issues with the Meridan, but they can be found. Ideally if you think a car on water, it's all in the resources available to you. Each vessel has it's merits, I especially like the 2 v 2 configuration of the 440. The optional piping top on the 440, which allows you to run your "glass" more vertical than at an angle. Of course that is based in the radar arch. Electronics, do you have a preference, RayMarine, Garmin, Furuno, Simrad, Lowrance etc. Essentially IF I do purchase it's whatever the previous owner and/or manufacturer may have thrown on the boat. I want to get the boat "dialed" in for myself, but also having family members that can operate the vessel in "what if" situation, heavens forbid. Gas VS Diesel? Separate throttle and transmission controls VS the all in one systems. I know this is alot to throw out here. Having owned smaller vessels, I would just hate to "B" ring "O" ut "A" nother "T" housand with everything that changed from technology to hull design to drive style to powerplants. ANY and all responses would be greatly appreciated...
 
Welcome to CSR and good luck with your search for a larger boat.

I have very little experience with Meridians but I did help a guy take a 5788 Bayliner from Seattle to Stockton, CA several years ago. Bayliner being related to Meridians, it gave me some insight into their build quality. I also have the experience of owning a Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge for 10+ years so I have something to compare it to.

The Meridian was longer and wider than my 550, but weighed about 8,000-9,000 pounds less. I was in the bilge one day watching the owner do maintenance (we were tied up in port) and noticed that I could see the sunlight shining on the hull and the light came through the hull. That, IMHO was an indication of how thin the hull sides were.

I also noted that the Bayliner rode like a cork when we got into about 8' waves. My boat was much more solid feeling when we were in heavy water.

I guess my suggestion to you is to get both boats out on days when it's rough. Really rough, as in 6' or larger waves and see how they handle. That will tell you a lot about each boat.

Gas v. diesels--after owning boats with both types of engines ain't no way I would accept a boat of that size with gassers.

Again, welcome to CSR. Oh, and here's my 550...

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I like meridians, bit when we were looking we looked at a 391 and a 411 that had soft stringers. Made an offer on another 391 but the listing broker wouldn’t present the offer to the seller because he didn’t want to share the commission with my buyers broker.

90% of the Sea Rays and Meridians we looked at had original RayMarine electronics, so not much control over that unless you hold out for one with upgraded electronics. I prefer Garmin.

single lever controls seem to show up more on newer boats unless it’s been upgraded. I prefer diesel but the general consensus seems to be that if you intend on cruising a lot, go diesel. If you want to hang at the marina with a few more local trips, go gas. I don’t know if either boat used Zeus pods in the later years, but I’d stay away from them.
 

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