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Old 08-17-2007, 11:05 PM
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Default Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

News report from South Florida: I made the 5000 mile trip from Maui to South Florida for one purpose: To find and buy a 30 to 35 foot center console for use in Maui. I dive more than I fish and I use my boat a lot. The best fuel economy available in an outboard powered boat of that size is at the top of my list. Top speed is interesting, but if the boat will do 45, it is all I need in Maui's trade winds. So with good fuel numbers and a dry ride in mind, I came down here to seek the truth.

I've heard a lot about the improved fuel efficiency of the new 300 Verados. Fuel in Maui is expensive - a lot more expensive than in South Florida. I use my boat a lot, so it makes perfect sense to try and maximize the fuel economy of whatever new center console I buy. So, with two boats at the top of my list, I tried 'em out. Both boats were equipped with 300 Verados and the Mercury "Vessel View" data panel.

These two boats were high on my shopping list for different reasons. The Invincible 33, for the high fuel economy numbers recently posted here (over 2mpg at cruise) and well over a 60 mph top end (also posted here) with the 300 Verados moved it right to the top of my "Need to try" list. Again, I don't need 60 mph, but a hull that makes good speed might well be expected to make good fuel numbers as well.

I sea trialed the fully rigged Invincible 33this morning at 11 am. The water conditions in Biscayne Bay were flat and calm.

The Bahama 31, with its 11 foot beam, has a very large cockpit and appears ideal for several divers and the piles of gear and tanks they bring along. I sea trialed the fully rigged Bahama 31 out of Jupiter inlet at 3 pm yesterday. The water was 1 to 2, with about a 15 mph wind and rougher in the cut. It actually began to resemble Maui water and was the first and only choppy water I'd seen this week.

Everyone has their own opinions of the boats, the fit, the finish, the space and whatever. I don't need to get in that debate. The numbers I am posting below are the actual numbers taken from the Verado "Vessel View" data panels in both boats.

A note about the Invincible: The hull has a complex design with steps and notches that are said to increase efficiency at high speed. The boat did not hold plane well below about 29 mph and my primary interest is in what the fuel number were with the hull running as intended and on plane.

4100 RPM 30 mph 26 gallons per hour 1.15 mpg
4300 RPM 40 mph 32 gallons per hour 1.25 mpg
4600 RPM 43 mph 35 gallons per hour 1.23 mpg
5000 RPM 50 mph 47 gallons per hour 1.06 mpg
6200 RPM 56 mph 60 gallons per hour 0.93 mpg

I believe the large change in speed from 4100 to 4300 is caused by the boat not being fully up and on plane at 30 mph.

Here are the numbers for the Bahama 31:

3400 RPM 21 mph 16 gallons per hour 1.31 mpg
3500 RPM 28 mph 17 gallons per hour 1.64 mpg
3600 RPM 30 mph 18 gallons per hour 1.76 mpg
4000 RPM 37 mph 25 gallons per hour 1.48 mpg

Higher speed and wide open throttle was not done because the engines were brand new. As with the Invincible, the big change between 3400 and 3500 was the boat coming up onto full plane. I found the boat to be very dry.

For those who wan to go fast, I also got a ride on a Sea Hunter 35 with triples. It crossed the 70 mph with no problem.

Again, these are numbers I saw, with my own eyes.

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Old 08-17-2007, 11:23 PM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

Nice post, The Sea Hunter is very nice spent the last two days at their factory....
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:32 PM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

The Sea Hunter looks to be very well built and to my eye would be an ideal tournament fish boat. It does not have a transom door, which limits its use as a dive boat. It is also a bit longer than I am looking for, but the construction techniques made it one I needed to check out. I also looked at the Renaissance Prowler 30 foot cat. It is huge inside and would work well as a dive boat and is also very well built, but the Maui launch ramp is so shallow that I need a slider tongue to launch a V hull. A cat, which has to have the sponsons above the trailer tires, would not never come off the trailer at the Kihei boat ramp.
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Old 08-18-2007, 12:25 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

So which did you buy?
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:09 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

It appears the Bahama 31 was considerably more fuel efficient.
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31 Fountain with two engines, a horn and a life raft. I wish I had one of those GPS things.....and an anchor.

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Old 08-18-2007, 07:23 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

The check has not been written yet. It has come down to a couple used boats and one new one. The used boats are an Intrepid 30 open and a Venture 34. Both are nicely setup and clean. The Intrepid does not have as much cockpit space as I'd like, but has all the tricks including a dive door. It also has a killer stereo and a lot of interior upholstery. It would be the hardest to wash down and keep looking nice. Fuel consumption numbers are OK, not exceptional for the weight and size. Its size makes it attractive for one handed operation, and will park easier in the driveway. It has a 9'6" beam. Getting into the console to add or change electronics is tough. Finding room for 12 tanks is also tough. It is the boat that my wife and friends would probably prefer. Coaming bolsters, forward seating and just plain plush. The chain locker is the biggest problem. The water is deep in Maui and the Intrepid 30 and 323 have chain lockers that are way too small for the size of the boat. I'd have to cut into the next compartment and put a pulley or roller in the original chain locker. There's storage everywhere on the boat, just not a lot of deck space. Fit and finish along with construction is superb.

The Venture is probably the leader at the moment. It as a very large cockpit, nice electronics, big transom door and large top. As the longest and heaviest boat, it also uses the most fuel. The best I saw on it was around 1.6 mpg at cruise with Yamahas.. It has a 10 foot beam (the max in Hawaii) and is going to eat every bit of the area I have to park it in and will probably stick out into the sidewalk. Build quality and fit and finish are great and the trim tab pocket vents seem to have cured the boat's "sticking to the water" and let it come on plane. There is still some bow rise, but the length will be a plus in the chop. The boat does not have much upholstery with short rear coaming bolsters. Easy to wash and has a decent chain locker. In deck storage is OK, not exceptional. My Jupiter 31 had more.

The Bahama 31 was simply the best performing boat of its size I've ever been on. We hammered the boat at every angle possible to the water in the cut and every time I cringed fearing that the boat was going to slam on impact. it just ate the water up. It stayed dry, has almost no bow rise and there's not much I don't like about it. It is huge because it is 11 feet wide and that is a foot over what I can legally tow. It also does not have good access to the inside of the transom for keeping the engine bolts tight. The only access is a panel under the transom door. The boat has a lot of storage, but it is either inside the forward area of the console under the deck or under a single hatch in the rear. There are not the usual array of lockers and hatches The boat would also be easy to wash down. No other boat that I tested in the size range came close to the real fuel numbers of the Bahama 31. The only thing that beat it for fuel usage was the Southport 28, a boat I really like, but is just too small. The Bahama would probably be the first choice except for the price. It is a new boat and they have not taken the price hit that the used ones have. By the time it had electronics on it, it is going to be a lot (like 60 or 70k) more than the Intrepid or the Venture. Used boat prices are soft and in a market like this, the pricing is determined by the buyers, not the sellers.

Today is decision day. Mythbusters could do well here with a program on fuel numbers.
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Old 08-18-2007, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

Kern O.,

I'd like to be the first to thank you for your detail report on both the Invincible 33 and the Bahama 31. Your findings are somewhat surprising to say the least in terms of fuel efficiency. I do find it interesting that the Bahama is more efficient given its heavier weight and "classic" hull design. Additionally I now wonder about the "claimed" fuel burn numbers posted on here from Invincible fans over the past few weeks. Also it appears that it may be difficult to run the Invincible in heavy sea's at 30 - 35 mph based on your report.

Additionally I find it interesting that the numbers on the Venture were so good.

Best of luck with your decision.
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Old 08-18-2007, 08:15 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

Is there any reason why you left the Fountain 34 or 38 off the list....either boat will be the MOST fuel efficient boat in the group and there are some great deals (relatively low $'s) out there?
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31 Fountain with two engines, a horn and a life raft. I wish I had one of those GPS things.....and an anchor.

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Old 08-18-2007, 08:41 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

I don't have any real objection to the Fountains. Their rough water abilities are legendary. But they lack a bit is the cockpit area as a result of fairly narrow beams and long bows. That beak works and makes a Fountain look like a Fountain, but adds no floor space. Probably the biggest issue for me is the wood in the hull. That issue has been debated for years and while I acknowledge that composites may have their own set of problems, any boat with wood in it is a no go to me.
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Old 08-18-2007, 08:42 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

I find those numbers for Invincible strange. Something just does'nt seem right. I thought they would be better than that.
Did you look at Yellowfin's?
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Old 08-18-2007, 08:54 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

I'm off the buy a boat at the moment, so I'll be back on line this evening. Yes, I looked at Yellowfin, but don't want the balsa core or glass fuel tanks. The Invincible numbers are correct and I'll discuss my opinion of of the Peters hull later. I think Invincible faces some teething problems.
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Old 08-18-2007, 08:57 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

I'm off the buy a boat at the moment, so I'll be back on line this evening. Yes, I looked at Yellowfin, but don't want the balsa core or glass fuel tanks. The Invincible numbers are correct and I'll discuss my opinion of of the Peters hull later. I think Invincible faces some teething problems.

I posted the results as what they were - the results were what I saw. There are a lot of boats out there to try and I picked the ones that appealed to me. There are probably better or worse ones, but the issue here is not what kind of boat I should buy. It is simply my opinions, criterea and most importantly, the data I saw.
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

34 Fountain has a 9'6" beam? In your first post you indicated fuel efficiency was most important then you indicated later that the boat with the first fuel efficiency was your first choice thus far??
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:02 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

Don't have a dog even close to this hunt being an inboard owner- but I find it really interesting that the boat can't seem to plane below 26 kts

Seems ridiculous to me- what's supposed to happen in rough seas when you can only make 20 kts without losing your fillings? BTW, what were the load conditions of the boats (full fuel? water? # of POB?).

Sounds like you're doing your homework- good luck. Man, I thought Florida was paradise until I spent some time in Lahaina
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:17 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

look at a new 25 Contender 28' long with 150 4 strokes and get 2 mpg.........
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:32 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

Quote:
tobnpr - 8/18/2007 9:02 AM

Don't have a dog even close to this hunt being an inboard owner- but I find it really interesting that the boat can't seem to plane below 26 kts

Seems ridiculous to me- what's supposed to happen in rough seas when you can only make 20 kts without losing your fillings? BTW, what were the load conditions of the boats (full fuel? water? # of POB?).
Virtually every big go-fast pops up on plane in the high 20's or low 30's. That's why you often hear the drivers say "Man these seas are getting nasty, I am going to firewall the throttles to smoothen the ride".
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31 Fountain with two engines, a horn and a life raft. I wish I had one of those GPS things.....and an anchor.

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Old 08-18-2007, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

Kerno: did you look into the mckee craft 28? twin 250's very good fuel burn. there's a loaded one left in Jacksonville, not to far, bout 4.5 hr drive from Boca.

I was just at Intrepid factory in Dania, they have an amazing dive door in the cockpit, although they have a huge price tag as well!
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

kerno- Thanks for the detailed info.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:17 AM
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Default RE: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

Quote:
kerno - 8/18/2007 8:54 AM

I'm off the buy a boat at the moment, so I'll be back on line this evening. Yes, I looked at Yellowfin, but don't want the balsa core or glass fuel tanks. .
They will install all alluminum tanks, all you have to do is ask for them.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Invincible 33 and Bahama 31 Sea Trials - My results

This is the first thread I've enjoyed in months- Thanks for the info....
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