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Contender 31's

Old 10-08-2020, 06:37 PM
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Default Contender 31's

Thinking of starting the search for a 31 open and wondering if any Contender gurus could share some knowledge. We’re they’re significant differences in the 31s through the years or some years more sought after or just better than others? Were there any models years to avoid? Other than fuel tanks and common “old boat” issues is there anything to look out for specific to these boats. Thanks in advance.
Old 10-09-2020, 06:37 PM
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I'm under the impression, the 2005-2007 model 31 Opens, had beefier transoms for the weight of four-strokes. Can't confirm, but remember being told that or reading it.
Old 10-09-2020, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TurnMeLooseFLKeys View Post
I'm under the impression, the 2005-2007 model 31 Opens, had beefier transoms for the weight of four-strokes. Can't confirm, but remember being told that or reading it.
That is correct. In 2008 changes were made in hull design, console and fuel tanks. 2008 and newer are much drier boats. Still one of the best designed, built and equipped fishing boats in her class.
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Old 10-10-2020, 04:17 AM
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Thanks for the help, I think I really wanna stick with the “classic” pre-2008 31 opens. I’ve heard to avoid putting four-strokes on pre 2000 boats, can anyone verify this and explain why. I know it’s the weight difference but was their any significant changes to 2000 model year boats.
Old 10-13-2020, 04:05 PM
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My hull is a 1998 and I have F300's with zero issues. I would not worry about the weight of a 4 stroke. They are great boats with a cult type following.
Old 10-13-2020, 04:16 PM
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Mine was a 1998 and I put 3000 hours on it with 4 strokes with no transom issues.
Old 10-13-2020, 05:44 PM
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I think the main problem with too much weight on the transom of earlier Contender was in the sizes smaller that 31. ie I had a 2002 27 (now called a 30) that I bought in 2005 and took off Yamaha 250hp 2-strokes and replaced them with 250hp Suzuki four strokes. When I had a baitwell full of water and 2 guys fishing in the back drifting and bottom fishing, there would be water on the aft deck that came in thru the drain scuppers. I don't think guys with pre 2008 31's that repowered with 4-strokes had the same issue.
Old 10-13-2020, 07:29 PM
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If you read about the 31’s you will notice many have put on trim wedges. If you look at the “Dream Overhaul” that boattronicks did he put them on.

It seems that with the extra weight in the stern the extra trim allows you to push down the bow without to much tab.

I have a new to me 31 Fisharound I guess with the cabin the ride a little different than the CC’s. My boat in a head sea I sure need tab.

I don’t have much time on it and I’m going to fish next year and see how it runs. I’m considering wedges or even wedges with a jack plate. Main reason for the Jack plate is to get the engines out of the water when I wet slip the boat but I think it would help how it runs.
Old 10-14-2020, 03:57 AM
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Spoke with Dave Dias of D&D Marine for like an hour the other day. He laid it down for me, they’re all the same, the 31 opens that is. I believe him as much as anybody, he’s ripped apart over 100 of them replacing tanks. There’s two 31s, a 36, and a Whitewater in there right now.
Old 10-17-2020, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jason8251 View Post
Spoke with Dave Dias of D&D Marine for like an hour the other day. He laid it down for me, they’re all the same, the 31 opens that is. I believe him as much as anybody, he’s ripped apart over 100 of them replacing tanks. There’s two 31s, a 36, and a Whitewater in there right now.
How much does a refit go for on a 31 Contender? I.e tanks, non-skid, paint outside, etc. Just saw an episode of Florida Sportsman Project dreamboat of a 31 Contender Marine Customs did and it looks like doing all that work has to be easily over a 100K, plus the cost of a decent 31 in the year discussed here is around 100K; so you wonder if it is smart to do that for a boat a few years off of 20yrs old? Love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

TIA
Old 10-17-2020, 08:55 PM
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Jason, I have a 2000 31, did to a of research prior to purchase. PM me with questions
Old 10-18-2020, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by LivingWaters22 View Post
How much does a refit go for on a 31 Contender? I.e tanks, non-skid, paint outside, etc. Just saw an episode of Florida Sportsman Project dreamboat of a 31 Contender Marine Customs did and it looks like doing all that work has to be easily over a 100K, plus the cost of a decent 31 in the year discussed here is around 100K; so you wonder if it is smart to do that for a boat a few years off of 20yrs old? Love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

TIA
Didn't ask him, I was researching / verifying a boat he had done in the past and the differences, if any, between the 31 Open hulls throughout the model years. I’m sure it like anything, you could spend as much as you want. I’ve heard $20K thrown around a lot on here for tanks but I really couldn’t tell you for sure, seems low actually but again, I have no idea. I would think Tony Eden’s 31 (Boattronics) has $100K in electronics and wiring if you were to pay retail prices and standard shop labor rates.

Not to be a smart ass but as far as wondering how “smart” it is to undertake something like this... I don’t wonder at all, it’s incredibly stupid. Unless your fishing in a commercial capacity none of this make any fiscal sense whatsoever. I mean seriously if you were to do the math we’d all be spending thousands of dollars, if not tens of thousands per pound for fish. This is the path we’ve all chosen though and other than race horses or airplanes it’s probably the most expensive way to spend your leisure time. F it.

Last edited by jason8251; 10-18-2020 at 10:32 AM.
Old 10-18-2020, 04:33 AM
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Like everything it all depends. Agree the 31 is a classic hull that’s desired and changes have been modest. The caution is the year and prices you pay. I’ve quoted it out in Miami and minimum your in 20k by the time your done.
Old 10-18-2020, 07:23 AM
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My understand is that there is a 31 Open and 31t and that all of the boats in each category are generally the same. The t and open are very different. You can tell by looking because the t largely lost the shear line from bow to stern. The open has options on t-top size, fuel capacity, etc. As far as the cost to rebuild one, yes it is costly. I have mine for sale now, you can check it out in the FS section. You may say that rehabbing ons is dumb but go look at that price/cost and tell me what else you’d get in the same size/capability range for less. Generally you won’t find anything. You could pay 400k for a 35t new which is a fantastic option if you can afford a second house note.
Old 10-18-2020, 07:25 AM
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Btw I don’t really understand the four stroke weight argument, I believe the weight of f300s is about the same as ox66 250’s and hpdi 300’s... correct me if I’m wrong on that.
Old 10-18-2020, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by wdegenhart View Post
My understand is that there is a 31 Open and 31t and that all of the boats in each category are generally the same. The t and open are very different. You can tell by looking because the t largely lost the shear line from bow to stern. The open has options on t-top size, fuel capacity, etc. As far as the cost to rebuild one, yes it is costly. I have mine for sale now, you can check it out in the FS section. You may say that rehabbing ons is dumb but go look at that price/cost and tell me what else you’d get in the same size/capability range for less. Generally you won’t find anything. You could pay 400k for a 35t new which is a fantastic option if you can afford a second house note.
Originally Posted by wdegenhart View Post
Btw I don’t really understand the four stroke weight argument, I believe the weight of f300s is about the same as ox66 250’s and hpdi 300’s... correct me if I’m wrong on that.
I believe you're correct in both cases... the 31 Opens ran up to 2007, and then the 31 Tournaments started in 2008. As far as the weight argument I was skeptical as well, it’s just what I was hearing / reading from different sources. The F300 is 20-ish lbs heavier than an OX66 and I believe 30-40 lbs lighter than the F225 that started showing up on 31 opens in 2002 I believe.
Old 10-18-2020, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by wangotango321 View Post
The caution is the year...
Why is the year a concern? Serous question not trying to start shit. I’m more concerned when the rehab work was done. Let me rephrase, when was the work done that can be verified with invoices, pictures, etc...

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