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Old 09-29-2004, 08:06 AM
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Default Choosing the best 20' dual console

After the recent Norwalk boat show I am still having trouble deciding which dual console to buy. The three dc boats showcased were the Hydra Sport, Sea Hunt 220 Escape, and Grady White Tournament 205. These three boats are not the only ones I am considering, other contenders include the Scout Dorado, Boston Whaler Ventura 210, and the Pro Line. I have compilled all of the necessary imformation and will soon be test driving the GW and the Sea Hunt.

I particularly like the Grady White 205 design and construction. The boat has a large bow area with comfortable seats and has decent cockpit room for fishing. The GW obviously has a solid design at 2800lb dry weigth, it gets the best ratings from boat owners and JD power and associates, and has a great resale value. The only drawback is that when options are added the boat price jumps about 15K over the competitors.

The Sea Hunt 220 had a very nice setup great cockpit and bow space. It also has a large standard livewell and bimini top and covers. The most appealing aspect to this boat is the price. At over 15K less this boat is much more affordable than the GW, but the companies are in different classes. One concern towards this boat was the composite fiberglass design. The cockpit floor felt a little flimsy due to the large ski locker underneath which worried me.

Bottom line, I need a boat for 40% fishing and 60% cruising and waterskiing. I live on the Long Island Sound, which has extreme chop and waves. I am willing to spend the extra cash if I can be convinced GW is the absolute best way to go. But if I am paying for the name, and other boats are just as good performance wise, I can go other ways.

The HydraSport was not very appealing due to the fact that the full stern swim platform shorted the boat, giving it the feel of an 18 footer.
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Old 09-29-2004, 09:06 AM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

Add the Sea Pro 195 F/S to your list, in my opinion it offers better vaule than the scout and grady. I have the 2003 version equipped with a 150 Yamaha and its all the boat you need for the Bay, you will come off the water long before you exhaust the boat's ability to handle the waves. Fully equipped the Sea Pro will run you thousands less than either the Scout or Grady and you still have a quality boat.
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Old 09-29-2004, 09:12 AM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

Don't know if you looked at the Key West, but it's a very nice boat and as an added bonus mine is for sale! Post #392485 on the trading dock.
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Old 09-29-2004, 11:39 AM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

Having gone through the same process 1.5 yrs ago, I would encourage you to look into the Seaswirl 2101 DC. While the Grady and BW are top of the line and great boats, I think if you are considering Proline, or Sea Hunt you need to look at the Striper DC as well. If you run a search on Dual Consoles you will find some informative posts. In particular Riptide Charters gives a great write up on a sea trial of the HS DC and the performance of the vector hull. I am extremely happy with my Seaswirl and I think I can let your search reveal others who feel the same way. Also worth mentioning are the Aquasport/Wellcraft DCís (they are closer to 23í). All I can say is that money was an issue for me and Grady was close to twice as expensive and the BW 16K more. Good luck and keep us posted on your efforts.
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Old 09-29-2004, 11:49 AM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

My buddy just got a 202DC HS with a 200 FITCH a few months back. It is a beast of a hull for a 20'er. It's the Vector 20 hull. It's the only Lightning series boat with this hull. If you have any specific questions feel free to email me. I can put you in touch with him as well. I rigged the boat and he has used it a ton, so between the two of us we shoudl be able to answer most any question you have.

BTW even his WIFE loves the boat.
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Old 09-29-2004, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

I also boat in the L.I. Sound.
I recently sold a 17 foot center console and bought a larger boat in an effort to stay dry and comfortable.
After some comparison I purchased the Seaswirl Striper 2101DC.
From Port Jefferson I have made trips to the Housitonic River in CT. and Northport.
The options on the boat which were important for my needs included the hard top and Bennett trim tabs.
Good luck.
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Old 09-29-2004, 02:16 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

Good luck making that dission. I have a Pro-line 202 DC with a merc 150 carbed 1998. I use the boat in about the same way you plan on using yours. I water ski in the susquhanna river near Harrisburg Pa and I fish in the lower delewere.
My first susgestion is buy a DC from a dealer with a good reputation.
Second max the HP or be within 25 or so HP.
My pro-line dose 43 mph at 5600 rpm, cruses at 33 mph at 4000 rpm.
I have had no problems with my Merc or the pro-line in six years. The only problem I had was with the dealer. However Proline did help me out when I needed It.

Good luck your going to need it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!
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Old 09-29-2004, 03:08 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

Sea Pro has a new 206 Dual console. Key West has a 20 and soon a 22 dual console.
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Old 09-29-2004, 04:40 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

Try and find a leftover 2004 GW205 - it may even pay to wait until early spring - last year GW had 'clear the decks' rebates on non-current MY boats. You may not get every option you wanted - but most dealers order them with the most popular ones and you won't miss the couple you don't get. You can save $5-6K. I bought my GW192 as a leftover early this past spring. Keep in mind that although new, a leftover is a 1-year depreciated boat if you are the type to turn over boats every couple years. I hold onto them for 10+ years. GW are great boats and I am 100% happy with mine after this past season. I would also strongly consider the BW Ventura 210 - another great boat.

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Old 09-29-2004, 06:16 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

I am very surprised at your thoughts on the HYdra-Sport - I found it very roomy and well laid out for a 20 footer - much bigger than the Scout and BW of the same length - granted the cooler they place behind the passenger seat is in the way and unnecessary, but I thought was the very best boat for what you stated you wanted for - I went to 5 boat shows and kept coming back to the Hydra Sport - the Grady was great but not an option due to price - try looking at the Hydra without the cooler - by the way, I don't own one so there is no "owners" bias here - have ridden on and operated and found very pleasing - consider with the 200 hp yama 4-stroke - great combo
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Old 09-29-2004, 08:09 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

The Hydrasports 202DC has the*biggest deadrise of the bunch and should do*especially well with the chop.
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Old 09-29-2004, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

I have a 19' Grady dual console and couldn't be happier with it.
It is a very nice riding boat with lots of storage. I've seen the 205's and they look great though I have not been in the water in one.

Get the Grady, future resale value will compensate for your greater out-of-pocket now.

Good luck with your decision.

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Old 09-29-2004, 08:23 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

Also look at Wellcraft & Aquasport.
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Old 09-29-2004, 08:31 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

A Few Dollars is right - the Aquasport is huge and also has a nice arrangement but still abit pricier than the Hydra - also the full transon swim platform you referenced is good for skiing, access and the sort - the Wellcraft has a funky transom from the inside - not very user friendly except for fishing
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Old 09-29-2004, 10:40 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

I would go with the Seaswirl and the Aquasport/Wellcraft over the Proline or the Sea Hunt.

You would be very happy with the Grady or the Whaler if you are willing to put that much money in. They are excellent boats. The Whaler 21 is a heavy boat (3300-3400 lbs) and you are limited to a Merc engine on a new one.

IMO, the best of the 20s is the Grady, followed by the Whaler, then the Hydrasport and then the Scout. Choosing among these is mostly a matter of preference for layout and features and perhaps most importantly your dealer. Grady dealers tend to be top notch.

The Seaswirl and Aquasport/Wellcraft will certainly serve your needs.

However, if you can swing it, I say go with the Grady 22 Tournament. Since its redesign a couple of years ago, I think it is far and away the best dual console available in the 22' and under range. It is a lot more money than the other boats, but it will handle rougher water better and has an excellent layout and amount of storage for your intended uses. If you will keep this boat for a long time, you may be better served by making the higher initial investment and getting the additional room and features of the GW 22. It also may keep you from wanting a larger boat in a couple of years. Just a thought, and I know it is easy to spend someone else's money.

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Old 09-30-2004, 06:46 AM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

I have been shopping in this same class for quite some time and these are my impressions:

Aquasport/Wellcraft. No way are these boats "closer to 23 feet" like someone stated. LOA is 22'4" and about two feet of that is bow pulpit. I don't like the looks of the bow pulpit anyway.

Whaler. Way overpriced for what you get. A very small 20-footer with the tiniest head compartment known to man. Mandatory Mercury power and I don't want a Mercury.

Scout. I was prepared to buy the 222 Dorado but when I saw the boat in person, I knew there was no way. The tiniest bow seating area known to man.

Grady. The 225 is the best dual console on the market and the 205 is nice too but those boats are VERY expensive and the 225 is probably overkill for my needs. Neither boat has any ski storage and the 225 has no factory ski tow bar.

Hydra-Sports. If this boat was 22 feet I would probably buy it. At 20 feet it is just too small for my needs.

Sea Pro. There is no 206 DC on their site so no comments.

Key West. There is no 22-foot DC on their site so no comments.
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Old 09-30-2004, 07:09 AM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

Of course mine is the best! Go Grady never look back...
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Old 09-30-2004, 09:03 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

I'm also looking at a 20"-21" dual console, so thought I would bump this up to try and get some more comments. I am considering the Hydrasport 202DC, the SeaSwirl Striper 2101DC, the Aquasport Osprey 215, the companion Wellcraft and some others. I priced, on the web sites, the SeaSwirl and the Hydrasport and they were about the same price without a trailer, at least on the web site. Looks to me like they are both about the same length, if you don't worry about the pulpit on the front of the SeaSwirl. I would love to hear about the fishing room in the boat and also room in the bow area.
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Old 10-01-2004, 05:09 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

bump!
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Old 10-01-2004, 06:11 PM
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Default RE: Choosing the best 20' dual console

ok ....... I have a 2002 BW Ventura 210 with a Optimax 225 on the back. We were looking for a cross over boat for the family & fishing. Wasn't to keen on the Mercury power but I've been pleasently surprised. Over 300 hours on the motor & it hasn't missed a beat. We fish out of Morehead City, NC & take this boat to Big Rock all the time ( that's about 45 miles out 1 way). Now we pick & choose our days but I have the up most confidence in this boat & motor. We also use it on the Pamilco sound. I have never used more than 55 gallons of gas going to Big Rock & back ( 4200 rpms = 35 mph) & trolling 5 hours. That's about 120 miles of transit & trolling.
We've been 4 - 6' seas in it without any issues. I paid 47000 out the door with trailer & electronics included. My 2 cents worth. Cheers ..... Tom

To see the boat in action off shore last Thursday go this section of the HT & look for my post under Bluewaterpirate pictures included.

http://thehulltruth.net/forums/threa...rt=41&posts=47

http://home.earthlink.net/~bluewaterpirate/
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