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Sportsman 232 Ride Quality

Old 04-22-2019, 07:39 AM
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Default Sportsman 232 Ride Quality

Hello All. As you may or may not know, Last Aug, I bought my first brand new boat. 2018 Sportsman 232 Open. I have to be honest, I am NOT overly pleased with the ride quality. The boat looks great, everything works, but, in anything other than a "chop", IMHO, the ride leaves a lot to be desired. I previously owned a 2007 Sea Hunt 26. I know it was bigger, longer footprint in the water, etc, but, it rode heads and tails better than this. Maybe its just me. I am looking for insight from others that own one longer than me, advice, etc. I have owned saltwater boats for 30 yrs. Just not really happy. Don't see how you all take yours "25+ miles out" in any really chop and not get beat to death.

I don't mean to be "down" on the boat, just not thrilled with the ride. Others, feel free to chime in, offer advice. I have heard it likes a little "tab" to smooth out. Maybe so, just haven't used it a ton yet, but, very apprehensive about taking her far it a little northern gulf chop.

Thanks for input.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:44 AM
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I used to take mine 70 miles out.
Are you using tabs? They really help out.
The boat is pretty light.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:53 AM
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Thanks Debticated. I am shocked that you took that thing 70 miles out. You get beat to death? Flat calm? I have used the tabs really to just even out the load of passengers. I haven't really fished it yet, last year, out of Port St Joe, FL, before Hurricane Michael, I tried to run about 12 milles out to a grouper spot, and had to turn around. IMO, was prob 2 footers. Was pounding. And no, did not use tab at the time. Never really had a boat that needed it to run out into the Gulf. Will try that. Wife and I are taking it to Marathon next month for a week, and will try again. It doesn't get used much (I live 3 hours from the coast) so maybe I am jumping the gun, just wasn't pleased with the ride. Overall, so you were happy with the ride? Anything else? Pointers?
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:59 AM
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Gotta use the tabs. Play with them when you're out. You will be surprised how much better it is.

It was flat calm 70 out LOL. I have been in less than ideal conditions on the 232 with summer storms popping up, but never felt unsafe in that boat.

Good little battle wagon
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:59 AM
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Hey buddy!
Just curious, what motor do you have, the 200 or the 250hp?
Also, did you sea trial before buying?

Reason I ask is I almost bought a 2019 232 Open myself. I test drove 2, one with a 200 and one with a 250.
I felt it was under powered with the 200, and I couldn't seem to get the ride angle up and above the chop with 3 guys and fuel on the test drive.
With the 250, it kept the bow out of the water and did ride much better. These were back to back runs in same conditions.
I agree though, I was disappointed with the ride and ended up going with an Everglades. The 232 open was 2800 pounds I believe. The Everglades is 4400 without motor. That does make a difference.
Definitely try using the tabs more as others have suggested. It really is a beautiful boat and has all the amenities anyone could want in that size range.
I hope you find that the tabs help you and that you and your family are able to enjoy the boat more.

Good luck and safe boating!
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:08 AM
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I have a 2017 232 with a 200. I will say it rides significantly better than my 230 Bulls Bay did.
As stated previous a lot depends on ride angle and weight as well as tab position.
I think it rides better than my heavy 248 Grady did. We get our far share of chop in OBA.
However it is not a 27 ft boat in a 23 body by any stretch.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:12 AM
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A 23 Sportsman (or any) will ride virtually identical to any other like hull form of similar weight, period end of story.

Some helmsmen will head offshore in that boat with 25' of chain in the locker, boxes up forward full of ice and make judicious use of the tabs and throttle to get a good ride and some will not - YMMV. A moderate deadrise 23' is just not a GOM wave crusher and requires some operator input.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:15 AM
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Mine does have the 250. Seems plenty of power. Maybe I'm just being down on this boat. Don't mean to be, just didn't ride as well as I would have thought. Yes, I did a sea trial. I bought mine outside of Atlanta, so it was on a lake. Dealer did go over everything, ran every pump, switch, opened the bilge, looked for leaks, ran every thing, went above and beyond. This is on me. Maybe I will learn it more, and give it a chance, just initially wasn't pleased. I know I for sure, need to use it more, just with other obligations, and stuff, haven't had a chance. H20Bug, interesting on the Bulls Bay. Never been on one, or even seen one in person, but thought they rode well.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Fatherof4 View Post
Mine does have the 250. Seems plenty of power. Maybe I'm just being down on this boat. Don't mean to be, just didn't ride as well as I would have thought. Yes, I did a sea trial. I bought mine outside of Atlanta, so it was on a lake. Dealer did go over everything, ran every pump, switch, opened the bilge, looked for leaks, ran every thing, went above and beyond. This is on me. Maybe I will learn it more, and give it a chance, just initially wasn't pleased. I know I for sure, need to use it more, just with other obligations, and stuff, haven't had a chance. H20Bug, interesting on the Bulls Bay. Never been on one, or even seen one in person, but thought they rode well.
My 20ft 2000 Bulls Bay Bay Boat rides much better than my 230 Deep V center Bulls Bay did.. I could never get the bow entry on the 230 Deep V to work. It would rattle your teeth in a chop. Rollers it was fine but a tight chop not good at all.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:05 AM
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Any of these mid tier 18 degree or around that deadrise need plenty of tab in any kinda chop. Just the nature of the boats. Don’t weigh enough and aren’t long enough.

Tabs will make a huge difference. You will lose some MPG’s though.

Everything is a trade off.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:28 AM
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My 232 open with 200 has a great ride. Been out in it 70+ miles numerous times. Now when we run that far offshore we only go on really good weather days/windows, but in the times we've been in chop and rough stuff it has eaten it up nicely. As others of said, have to use the tabs and can't run too fast when rough, but never felt beat up.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:34 AM
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ok, fair enough. Will give it the benefit of the doubt, will just see how she does. Headed to the keys in about a month for a week and pulling her down....hopefully she will perform good enough.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:09 PM
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I fish on my friends Sportsman 232 from time to time and I know what you are saying. The last time I was with my buddy he was getting frustrated with all the banging while heading into the chop. He let me take over the helm and I began using tab into the sea and tabs up with the following sea. It really made a big difference!! Give it a try. The boat is never going to ride like your 26’ C hunt or a 23 deep vee boat like a regulator..... It just won’t. Good luck in the keys.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:58 PM
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I bought a SH ultra 235 SE I'll in 2017. Weight is comparable to the Sportsman. The ride sucked, big thing me. Tab smab, fucking boat was meant for inshore. Sold it 2 months after owning it, brand new!! So it's not you.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
I bought a SH ultra 235 SE I'll in 2017. Weight is comparable to the Sportsman. The ride sucked, big thing me. Tab smab, fucking boat was meant for inshore. Sold it 2 months after owning it, brand new!! So it's not you.
Haha....Thanks.....so what did you end up going with?
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:01 PM
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Tabs, definitely !! Probably won't take much down angle on the tabs to make a big difference.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Fatherof4 View Post
Haha....Thanks.....so what did you end up going with?
The boat I have on order right now is a Cobia 240. Right after the SH it was a GW Freedom.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:28 PM
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As others have already said, it will take a few trips to get the tabs in order but once you do, it makes a huge difference. In tight chop, I put my bow down pretty far.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:00 PM
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Tabs tabs tabs...as said, its a great product but is a beamy moderate dead rise 23 or almost 23...Ive owned a Sportsman 212 and a 252 and I really enjoyed both of them I've just moved on to different boat interests now....The 23, which I have extensive helm time on, is their best selling hull and truly is a solid rig in its class, its just no Regulator etc.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:29 PM
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I hear what everyone is saying about the trim tabs. But the owner seems to be very experienced and im sure he knows how to use trim tabs. The sportsman was one of my favorite boats at the boat show but the op has a 23 ft boat. Period. The boat will only ride but so well in rougher water. I remember being in some big ass boats getting our ass kicked and wondering how the hell people take out the smaller boats that they do. To each his own but rough water is no fun, especially if you have women and or children with you.
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