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Old 04-27-2011, 10:23 AM
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Default Tidewater Boats 230 vs. Key West 244/230 vs. Contender Boats

OK, just kidding about the Contender comparisons but I wanted more page views.

I am looking for anyone who has experience with Tidewater or any comments as to the ride, quality of workmanship, etc... I heard that they are made at the Key West factory but the hulls are very different from Key West's so I am not so sure. There aren't any dealers near me so I cannot go check it out in person without a drive.

I already used the search bar and there have not been many comments in the past on this forum. Any fresh info, recent experiences, updates would be appreciated.

I know someone is going to ask so here is the rundown...
- I would be using the boat mainly for fishing in SE Florida out of Hillsboro Inlet.
- Live-bait fishing & jigging (90%) and high-speed trolling (10%) with the occasional swordfish trip... barely any conventional trolling.
- I like the wide beam of the Tidewater 230 (8'10") and the KW 244 (9').
- I go out in 3-5 but generally stay home if it goes over that.
- Family time is a big secondary consideration so I want the seating and benches.
- RE: "Just get a __________" comments... I am looking at other brands too but for now I just want to hear more about the Tidewater 21/23 and KW 23/244.
- I am aware that there are better boats out there but I am on a budget.

My main concern is how much ride-quality would be given up for the wider beam...? If I am going to bring kids out fishing, I don't want to pound their teeth out. Secondary concern is the long-term durability and build quality of Tidewater boats. I know the 'fit and finish' will not be that of a Grady White but is it at least on par with other mid-range builders?
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:41 AM
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I haven't seen the TideWater 23CC in person, but it looks good on paper. I would consider buying one if I was in that 'market' based on the good experience with my Tidewater 21 Bay.



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Old 04-27-2011, 12:07 PM
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Onewolf, how would you describe the 'trimmings' on your 21? I know TW lists SS thru-hulls and a bronze pick-up for the live well but what about the hinges, doors, latches, cushions etc...? Quality stuff?
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:19 PM
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I bought a Tidewater 216CC three years ago and have been very happy with it. I keep it in a marina off the ICWW, and have fished it offshore and inshore. I like the exaggerated flare as it directs splash away from the cockpit and you remain fairly dry in reasonable conditions. The only time I have been wet is when the wind catches the spray; however, I think any boat would be wet in those conditions. It handles the inlet (non-jettied) well. All fixtures are still in good condition, hatches are tight, no electrical gremlins. When I made the purchase I was also looking at more expensive boats that in my opinion were not significantly better built. Hope I this has been helpful. ~Doug~
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloatinChecks View Post
I bought a Tidewater 216CC three years ago and have been very happy with it. I keep it in a marina off the ICWW, and have fished it offshore and inshore. I like the exaggerated flare as it directs splash away from the cockpit and you remain fairly dry in reasonable conditions. The only time I have been wet is when the wind catches the spray; however, I think any boat would be wet in those conditions. It handles the inlet (non-jettied) well. All fixtures are still in good condition, hatches are tight, no electrical gremlins. When I made the purchase I was also looking at more expensive boats that in my opinion were not significantly better built. Hope I this has been helpful. ~Doug~
Yes, very helpful... thanks. I think I will make the drive to check them out at the closest dealer. Of course what I really need to do is sea trial in a 2-4 swell and see how they feel. I am mildly concerned that Tidewater boats are on the lighter side however I think the beam will make up for it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:56 AM
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Birdmayne, I have owned a 230 CC Tidewater for about a month. Is very similar to my previous 23' Sea Hunt only a little heavier. I have a little less than 20 hours of Gulf time on it so I'm no expert. It does seem to handle very well in our (lately) choppy waters.
No worries so far.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:40 PM
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The 230cc is on my short list. Sea trialled the 250cc and the boat had a very good ride. Cornered well and crossed wakes without a problem. This past weekend I checked out the 23' Key West and there were some things I liked and some I didn't. I would have to say that out of the two of them I like the Tidewater better.. Moving forward on the Key West seemed to be very tight and there was an access hatch in the floor that I wasn't to crazy about. The rest of the boat seemed to be well built.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:33 PM
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I just put a deposit on a Tidewater 216CC last week. I currently have a classic 20' Boston Whaler Outrage and was looking for something a little bigger and more comfortable for the family. I looked long and hard and was set on a newer 210 Outrage. When I started looking around, for a 2004 / 2005 Whaler I would have been paying almost the same price as a brand new 21 Tidewater. I was impressed by the fit and finish of the Tidewater boats, liked the layout, lines, powder coated T-top and leaning post, and quality of components and workmanship. There are a few minor items that I will end up probably upgrading at some point - some sooner some later on the boat I'm buying (analog gauges, no hour meter, cheezy light on t-top, etc.) But these are all minor things. I was very impressed with the overall quality of the boat. By the way, the 23 is a really nice looking boat. I really like the functionality of the bow layout and the console and transom area.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:44 PM
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I bought a Tidewater 19' Bay about 3 years ago after Onewolf bought his. I was influenced by the detailed information Onewolf had researched and have never regretted it. The fit and finish was great. I bought it for the shallow draft to fish the inland waters. I get alot of comments about the boat and have enjoyed fishing out of it and just crusing around as well. I couldn't be happier with this boat. The live wells, raw water wash down, trolling motor and electonics work great. I plan on keeping this boat for a long time. Thanks for the advice Onewolf!
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:24 PM
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Default tidewater

I have two friends that both have tidewater bay boats, I have probably fished on one of tyem more than my own boat. He just sold his but has another one ordered. I can not think of anything negative about that boat, the fit and finish is realy good. We hadit down in fl a few weeks ago and it was white capping in the bay and it never shook when we would hit a wave, was really impressed. PM me if u have any questions or I can give u his email.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:48 AM
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We have a 24' Sea Hunt Game Fish that we got last year and now has about 240 hrs on it and has been great. Saw the Tidewaters at a boat show this winter and looked over the model you're speaking of with a critical eye and thought they looked good. Quality of hardware, layout, standard features--all looked pretty impressive. Price point would seem to be in the Sea Hunt category as well. Never been on one and don't know anybody with one, but based on a "visual test ride" I was impressed.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:38 AM
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Great feedback everyone - thanks. My short list is now: new Tidewater or used Hydra... Just need to set up a sea trial on a Tidewater since there aren't any dealers in South Florida.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:05 PM
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I bought a new 180cc Adventure Tidewater (115 Yamaha) yesterday. Took it out on the lake and if it is not trimmed all the way down, it porpouses really bad. Has anybody had this experience? Do you think I need trim tabs or whale tale? I could really use some advise.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:47 PM
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new poster here ...

I'm about to put a deposit down on the Tidewater 230 CC. I've owned nothing but (smaller ... 17 & 19') Whalers previously. Obviously, friend's boats take me offshore, but now I'm upgrading ... needing a family, fishing, inshore-offshore boat.

I have been shopping & researching (boat shows included) for almost 2 years now, and have chosen Tidewater after narrowing it down between the Hydra Sport 23 CC, Everglades 23 CC, and the Robalo 24 CC. Bottom line ... I could not justify spending the extra thousands when I "pro & con'd" every option/criteria I wanted with very little compromising.

From what I heard from my salesman ... people are really starting to take notice of TW's quality at a fair price, and they are selling pretty well here in FL.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:54 PM
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wow I like that boat, how much is the 230cc
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:24 PM
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Bought a 19'6" tidewater in may 2010....been driving it like I stole it ever since.
Love it and would absolutely recommend it.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:55 AM
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Very happy with mine after 4 years.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:42 PM
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I just picked up a Tidewater 196 DC last month after vacillating between Tidewater, Key West, and Sea Hunt for about 6 months. In the end, the Tidewater was the best deal from a dealer that was closer, but I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. The warranties were all comparable, they all run Yamaha outboards, and they all have similar performance within the size envelopes. Pick the one with the options you want and get the best price you can.

What I can say is that I had mine 15 miles off the coast 2 days after I bought it (after a short in-shore shakedown cruise) and it handled very well. I'm happy with the purchase.
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