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Old 09-30-2016, 01:09 PM   #1
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Default Recs for a runabout on Grand Traverse Bay?

Hello all,

I'm writing this to hopefully get some feedback on what sort of boat I should be looking for that will adequately handle Grand Traverse Bay, as well as meet the needs of our family.

Background: This is a boat that my dad will be purchasing for his (and my mom's) retirement. They would like a runabout that preferably handles the 2-3 foot waves in a safe manner (in case winds pick up on the way home from Suttons Bay). It will most likely need to be a bowrider, have a swim platform, and be very reliable (my dad isn't too mechanically inclined). Lastly, he wants to be able to winterize it and store it in his garage, which measures 28 ft long, so the boat will have to be approx 25 ft or below.

I guess my question comes down to two things:

1. What hull type, and what brands and hull designs handle the occasional choppy waters of GTB better than others, while keeping in mind that this is supposed to be a recreational, family friendly boat for when his kids and grandkids come to visit. This will include water sports, anchoring and swimming at Power Island, and the occasional trip up to Sutton's Bay.

2. I understand that Yamaha outboards seem to be the most reliable, but what about I/O drives? It's hard to find reviews of I/O drive reliability.

Recently, we were heavily leaning towards Yamaha 190 series jet boats but we were advised that those would not be ideal for the Bay (albeit, this advice was from a dealer)...so now we're back at square one.

Any advice from seasoned boaters up in Grand Traverse area would be much appreciated.

P.S. I'm not sure this matters, but the boat will most likely be in a slip or a mooring near Bowers Harbor.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:38 PM   #2
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I'd visit the local marinas and ask around there.

Myself, I have a 1993 Grady-White Escape 209 with a Yamaha HPDI 200HP outboard.

We boat out of Hessel, MI.

Perfect for me.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:23 AM   #3
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What is your budget, and new or used. I have a lot of thoughts, boated in that area for 30+ years and have some thoughts, but narrow it down a bit.
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:21 PM   #4
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I think our budget is around $30k. Preferably used, since I think you get more bang for your buck. This was interesting me the other day: http://www.grandbaymarine.com/defaul...OwnedInventory
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:14 AM   #5
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I have no dog in the hunt because I am down on Lake Erie as far as a boat that could handle TB.

However, if the depth of the garage is 28', you'll need to measure the boat while on the trailer from tongue to the back of the outdrive to get the length right.

Also, measure the height of the entrance of the garage (floor to bottom of door while open) to make sure whatever you buy isn't too high for the opening.

It would seem to me that a 25' boat would be too long taking into consideration the length while on the trailer.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:45 PM   #6
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Check out Four Winns. Made in Michigan too.
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:29 PM   #7
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Personally I like the 26 Formula Bow rider. It has a 8'6" Beam, nice seating layout, a bathroom for Momma. It might be tight in a 28ft garage though.

As far as I/O. I like Mercruisers, simply because parts and servicing dealers are easier to find here in Michigan. (Volvo also had problems with there "plastic" outdrives in the early/mid 2000's (Since you are looking at used, you may want to search this issue if you find a boat with a Volvo/OMC.)

Not my boat, only picked for a example!
http://www.boattrader.com/listing/20...der-102867425/
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:47 PM   #8
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If you really want it in the garage for the winter, you need to measure the height and width of the door opening and look at the maneuvering space. They do make swingaway trailer tongues..

Outboards are very easy to winterize. I/O's are an inboard engine requiring real winterization.

For what you want do, a jet boat is not the right boat imho.

Think about what you want do with the bottom. Not a ton of growth here but it will get stained if you do not paint it. Painted bottoms on smaller boats tend to lower the resale.

As far as which boat, most of the 20 to 23' fiberglass boats will work for your intended use. I ran a Hewes LT18 from Charlevoix to Northport numerous times. We had a 23 Regulator we ran all over the place including South Fox, Beaver, etc... we have a bigger CC now which is more comfortable but a lot more $$ both to buy and deal with.

Be sure to watch the weather. Summer days in GTB are usually pretty nice and sheltered from the West wind. Thunderstorms would be the biggest threat. In Spring, the water is dangerously cold longer than you expect. Once fall comes it can get pretty windy... There are 6-8 weeks in July through September that can be lovely.

And from a guy with a wife and two now grown daughters, heads on little day boats are over-rated.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:21 AM   #9
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Thanks @JasperDog! Quick question: What do you mean by "heads on little day boats"?
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:44 AM   #10
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Default Thoughts on 2007 Crownline 200 LS?

Thanks everyone for your replies.

We're currently in the process of deliberating over this boat listed at Grand Bay Marine. My Dad recently test drove the boat. He liked it, but didn't love it: http://www.grandbaymarine.com/defaul...OwnedInventory

I've uploaded the maintenance history here:
http://pdfsr.com/pdf/mechanical-and-maint.-redacted.pdf

From the maintenance history, there are a couple of expensive projects that aren't "red" flags to me, but they are certainly "orange" flags - if you know what I mean. Does anybody have any thoughts on whether we should be concerned?
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveo19 View Post
Thanks @JasperDog! Quick question: What do you mean by "heads on little day boats"?
He's referring to the bathroom / toilet on little boats.

The way we boat; the wife likes / requires one. If nothing more than to change in. That's why we are looking at the 26 BR Formulas.
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:24 PM   #12
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Dave - get a survey before signing the dotted line. If I read the repair history correct, there were 3 prop repairs/replacements and some problems with the outdrive.

Seems to me that for having 80+ hours on a 9 year old boat there were lots of repairs. Could be bad luck...could be an abusive previous owner
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:31 AM   #13
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I was in fact referring to what would be a porta-potti on this size boat.

Everyone uses their boat differently so you should talk about it with your crew and have one of them go in the space and see what they think.



I would not buy the boat referenced. If in fact they had to replace the prop 3 times, who knows what else they did. It is extraordinarily hard to hit the bottom in GTB since you can see down at least 10 feet.
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:03 AM   #14
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I ran a quick boattrader search and there are some boats that look to have some possibilities for you guys. Don't be afraid to expand your search area ...

It sounds like this is a new experience for you. Take your time and go see some boats and meet some dealers. TC has a winter boat show. Go see Action Water Sports and Irish Boat Shop, Dry Harbour, other dealers..

Spend a few days reading the boating forum on here....

Remember too that there is a gap in used boats in the '07 to '11 years.... not many new boats sold in those years, especially in MI...

Mostly take your time.. it is way easier to buy a boat than sell one....
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasperDog View Post
I ran a quick boattrader search and there are some boats that look to have some possibilities for you guys. Don't be afraid to expand your search area ...

It sounds like this is a new experience for you. Take your time and go see some boats and meet some dealers. TC has a winter boat show. Go see Action Water Sports and Irish Boat Shop, Dry Harbour, other dealers..

Spend a few days reading the boating forum on here....

Remember too that there is a gap in used boats in the '07 to '11 years.... not many new boats sold in those years, especially in MI...

Mostly take your time.. it is way easier to buy a boat than sell one....
Good advise Jasper.

Keep looking, let us know what you run across and we'll try to continue to help Dave. You've got from now until springtime so take your time.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:07 AM   #16
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Don't do the crownline, they don't have the ride you want when the bay chop gets steep in the afternoon.
Formula will have a better ride.
Don't worry about I/O, lots of them in Great Lakes, if you find a Volvo Dual Prop you'll love the low speed handling. Mercruiser DP is fine as well.
Why the bow rider? A little cuddy like a Pursuit 2470 Denali will keep you dry and compfy in slop and they run forever.
Bow riders are great for cocktail cruising, but the bow seating area sucks in afternoon chop for all but little kids.
Irish Boat shop will have good boats, you can see what they have.
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