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Old 01-27-2009, 08:09 PM
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Default Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

Has anyone had any difficulties with the Sea Ray Sundancer 260 when operating the vessel? Has anyone noticed that the vessel is very jumpy due to it being very top heavy? Is that the reason that the Sundancer 260 is no longer in production? I am torn between purchasing a Chaparral 250 Signature or the Sea Ray SUndancer 260, any opinions as to which you prefer?
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:13 AM
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Default RE: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

I have a 2002 Larson 274 Cabrio one owner that has always been stored under roof, on the trailer, loaded and mint that is your for $39K. I have looked at both boats you mentioned, you ought to check out the Cabrio. The stepped hull is very fuel efficient and will see upper 40's with my Volvo 5.7Gxi.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:55 AM
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Default RE: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

DO NOT BUY THAT SEA RAY!!! that boat is a piece of sh*t. i used to work for a marineMax dealer in jersey. i have driven those boats and they suck. they are to top heavy and are very rolly polly. we had a customer buy one and the day of delivery, took the wife out and she said, no way and they traded it back in that day on a 290 SLX. i like sea rays just not that one. thats why they stopped production on that boat, it is garbage. you cant get it to ride level even with the trim tabs, it will flop back and forth. good luck
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

The 260DA is not a bad boat, it will be a bit topsy tuby since the motor is installed centerline on the keel vs. the mentioned 290SLX which has twins, equal weight on each side of the keel. The trick to running a smaller cabin boat like that is to use the engine drive trim before using the trim tabs to keep it on even keel. The interior space and performance of the 260 is good, its true they have a replacement which is the 270DA, which is still a single engine boat I'm not sure if they made any hull changes to keep it running even. Becareful with a Chappy with Volvo engine package, and see who will support your boat after the sale. MarineMax will be around to support your boat after the sale, be cautions with dealers that are blowing out Chappys. Do your homework and make a nice deal for yourself.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

Also check out the Four Winns Vista line of express cruisers. The Four Winns boats are well made and well finished inside and out, use the Stable V hull design (not rolly polly) and still have a great ride. They start with the 248 and you can get a 258 or 268 there are many incremental steps in the line. The Four Winns cruisers are finished better than the SeaRay's from my experience when shopping for my first cruiser. I am not a big fan of glued down carpeting which SeaRay still thinks is a good way to build a boat.

Just another avenue to research.

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Old 01-28-2009, 01:25 PM
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Default RE: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

Iaclo, while that model may or may not be a good one. I think Searay builds a great product. Their fit and finish is excellent. None of their current models use glued in carpet. I also boat in saltwater and I keep my boat on a mooring and I can tell you my boat handles a variety of conditions well and the fit and finish has held up extremely well.

I changed over to the Searay, because I have a young family and my kids love to go out and spend a night on the boat and hangout.

While I do own a 215 weekender currently. I have also owned alot of boats from Edgewaters to sailboats. One great thing about Searay is their customer service. I find that their dealers go out of their way to correct issues and to properly service their customers, or at least they do here in Rhode Island.

In this day and age I find that counts for something. I can speak from direct knowledge on how Searay supports their product as back in 2000 I had a 17 foot Searay I bought new. The boat had blisters at the end of the first season. Searay gave me a new boat, no questions asked. As I said earlier, while that model may have issues, their other models continuously get upgrades and they do put alot of money in their research and develpment.

I would definitely look and take a test ride in one of their other models. You will definitely be able to decide if that model drives and handles the way you want it to. I would think anyone would take all of these things into account before spending that type of money.- Cooker
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:12 PM
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Default RE: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

http://www.searay.com/2008_sea_ray_s..._sundancer.asp

There is nothing inherently wrong with the 260DA, it handles different, but not that bad......



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Old 01-28-2009, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

Cooker,

I think you need to spend more time on the SeaRay web site.. The first cruiser I looked at 240 Sundancer has glued in carpet in the cabin, not a fiberglass liner.

This is how a cabin should look:



Full fiberglass liner, all carpets "lay in" no snaps (even in the cockpit).

As I said SeaRay does make a nice boat, but their fit and finish never floored me.

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Old 01-29-2009, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

Go with the Chap. SR is overrated, and overpriced.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

I don't know what your criteria are, but I was looking at some used Sea Ray 260's last year, as well as a bunch of other boats. Just a suggestion - if you are looking at used take a look at Maxum's 2700 from around 2001-2006. They are about the same LOA as the SR, and likewise have a single engine, but they have a 10 foot beam which makes a HUGE difference in cockpit and interior space. (More recent models went to an 8'6 beam.) I won't try to tell you they are as nicely finished as a SR, but the Maxum 2700 has a LOT more space and is nicely finished IMO. I have owned a SR and a Maxum and the biggest difference I noticed was that Maxum uses more platic parts (e.g., latches) and SR uses more stainless.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

Just for reference, the Maxum line will go away shortly, so you might be able to find a new one at considerable discount. I don't think it will be difficult to get parts for a Maxum down the road, as they did produce them for many years. For reference, the Bayliner 275 has a
9'6" beam and a 2007 can be bought for about the same price as a 2001 260DA.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

Also bear in mind if you will be trailering, 9'6" and larger may require a special yearly permit and special towing instructions
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

What makes you say Maxum will go away? I would be kinda surprised (although not overly so, given the market these days).
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

Here are a list of brands that offer pleasure express cruisers in this size range.

Stingray
Maxum
Chaparral
SeaRay
Four Winns
Larson
Monterey
Doral (As much as I LOVE my Four Winns, the Doral Venezia, OMG it's so gorgeous!)
Cobalt
Crownline
Glasstron (sub division of GenMar who makes Four Winns, sweet boats, very competitively priced)
Campion (Canadian, may be hard to find in the US)
Regal



Guys who am I forgetting?

I honestly think you should at least "try" to research all these brands, check out the floor plans, options, resell etc. And see if you can find them locally so that you can get on each and get a "feel" for them. While most have similar layouts there ARE differences that could mean a home run or a deal breaker once you become familiar with what you prefer. This isn't a cheap purchase so due diligence applies.

If this is your first boat, make it the right first boat.



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Old 01-29-2009, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

AFAIK..Four Winns is the only model that offers snap in carpet over a finished gel coated floor in the salon. That, along with Volvo power, would be enough to make me look hard at those over either of the two you mentioned.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Sea Ray Sundancer 260 v. Chaparral 250

Joe,

The FW cruisers are actually Lay In carpets (traction backed heavy berber in the cockpit and cut pile in the cabin) there are no snap penetrations in the liner. The only place there are snaps would be on the foredeck for the bow cushions (only if optioned with the cushions, otherwise there are no snaps on the foredeck either).

Honest "my" opinion is, after looking at FW cruisers, Chap cruisers, SeaRay cruisers in person, there was no comparison for me, the FW's stood out above the other two. I can't say the Chap's impress me at all, they do at least have full liners in the cockpit/cabin but I've been on each model they make all the way up to the 350 Sig and I just don't get that warm and fuzzy feeling.

And my opinion is that the Doral boats are head and shoulders above the rest in the list. I'd have a Doral Venezia if it wasn't so ridiculously expensive!

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