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Help me choose a boat: St Petersburg, FL (Dual Console?)

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Help me choose a boat: St Petersburg, FL (Dual Console?)

Old 07-30-2018, 05:43 PM
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Default Help me choose a boat: St Petersburg, FL (Dual Console?)

Hi all
I am new to THT, but long time lurker. I am interested in your help choosing a new boat.

Adult in my fifties, I have been a boat operator (sail up to 32', power up to 21', Navy all size ships and boats) for my entire life. First time buying my own boat.

I live near St Petersburg, Fl. Have a boat lift in the backyard. Looking for a family friendly boat, likely just cruising around the area and headed to the local islands to go to the beach.

We don't fish, probably won't ski or tube. I don't really want a deck boat or pontoon as they ride terribly and are slow. I don't love the CC as it doesn't have much actual seating for cruising. I would prefer an Outboard to an I/O.

I think I am in the market for a 20' Dual Console (DC). The downside is the wasted space for the enclosed head we will never use.

Any suggestions? I will likely buy used.

Many thanks.
John

Last edited by JohnMac; 07-30-2018 at 05:53 PM. Reason: update to include single Outboard
Old 07-30-2018, 05:49 PM
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You ever ridden on a Tritoon? It will ride as good if not better than a 20 DC.

Tons of room and they cruise plenty fast. Mid 20's to 30 mph cruise is easy for a 22 Tritoon.

I go through boat wakes that other boats the same size slow down or get pounded.
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:53 PM
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Hmmm. My family has owned pontoon boats and I have rented them. I always seemed to get beat up by any sort of chop. We won't ever leave sight of land, but the Tampa Bay can be pretty ugly in bad weather.
Old 07-30-2018, 06:05 PM
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20' DCs barely have enclosed heads - think of it as just having 2 consoles for dry storage. 22-24' DCs have significantly larger (useable) head compartments IMO....
Old 07-30-2018, 06:08 PM
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Just bought a Sea Ray SPX 210 OB Check it out, it may fit your needs. We love it. Very stable in chop.
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:11 PM
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I won't write off a 'toon. the modern ones are really nice and will cross most waves with out issue. about 2 years ago I ran my old, home rebuilt pontoon from the skyway to boca grand...it was a fun trip.
Old 07-30-2018, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnMac View Post
Hmmm. My family has owned pontoon boats and I have rented them. I always seemed to get beat up by any sort of chop. We won't ever leave sight of land, but the Tampa Bay can be pretty ugly in bad weather.
I was talking about a Tritoon that has 3 tubes. Totally different boat than a Pontoon.

Rides much higher out the water and heavier.

Most with a 150 go 40 MPH plus. A pontoon goes mid 20's to around 30.

Mine does 43 with a 150.

In the lake chop I can ride with any bayboat the same size with no problems.

I go through big cabin cruiser wakes at 25 mph while other boats are slowing down.

Tritoons are like a sportscar version of the Pontoon. Much faster and better ride with the same room.
Old 07-30-2018, 06:15 PM
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If you're stuck on a DC I would really try for a 21 or 22 footer. Think the extra room over a 20 footer will be worth it and you wont need more than 200 HP.
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:18 PM
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Key West 211 DC is a nice boat. Good deadrise for a good ride and quality boat for the money.

Key West Boats Inc. - Your Key to Performance and Quality
Old 07-30-2018, 06:38 PM
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From your use description a DC would be well-suited. However, a salt water version of a tri-toon could work, too.
Old 07-30-2018, 06:43 PM
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Grady white and pursuit have some awesome duel consoles and are very popular in the area. Give quality boats a call and ask for Byron.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:31 PM
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SeaHunt 225 with F150 is a nice set up.
Old 07-30-2018, 07:48 PM
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I have a SH 235 Escape and love it, used for exactly the uses you described.
Old 07-31-2018, 04:06 AM
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my old slip mate had a sea hunt dual console and loved the boat. they ran it all over Tampa bay.
Old 07-31-2018, 06:33 AM
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Pontoon boats aren't the slow, poor handling barges they used to be, and they handle short chop extremely well, particularly the new tri-toon's. For the Tampa Bay area, I'd recommend something at least 22'-24' in length, unless you live on the west side of the peninsula and are running the intracoastal. Tampa Bay itself is choppy more often than not. Nearly every production builder makes a dual console; Pioneer, Key West, Scout, Sea Hunt, etc., so it'll boil down to layout, price and availability.


Old 07-31-2018, 06:37 AM
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20' as your primary/only boat seems a bit small for the area. I would look for at least 24', A 23ish cat might be a good option to give you a little more room and a better ride on the windy days.
Old 07-31-2018, 06:39 AM
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Craigslist. IMO it'll take up to a year to get a great deal on a used boat. FME Craigslist is the best place for great used boat deals. The Tampa bay area is the best used boat market in the world. Know your seller too. Old age, injury, finances and divorce are the only legitimate reasons for selling a boat. Everything else is a scam imo -including the 'new baby' sale.

Do some research. Engine first, then boat. EFI is a must for MPG.

I second Commocean's advice. Get a deck or pontoon boat. You say you don't want them but they are best for families and can in fact go fast enough. They have the added benefit of being able to just stay in the boat with the additional space and seating. Lugging everything to shore, setting up the shelter and gear then back at the end of the day is a lot of work. Additionally, you can setup where there is no beach -or people, and just stay in the boat, even have a BBQ. No setting up then breaking down and packing up just to move to a better spot when a thunderstorm rolls in or the wind shifts.

If you want a go-fast boat get another one just for that. Boats are like shoes. You need different ones to do different things. This works really well on the wife btw. "So, do you have one pair of shoes?

Good luck.

Last edited by Scupperz; 07-31-2018 at 07:05 AM.
Old 07-31-2018, 06:43 AM
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Also live in the St. Pete area - make sure you get something with a decent deadrise or you will get beat up in Tampa Bay - I ran a Pursuit DC 1950 for years in the area. It had a decent deadrise and entry - but was a little small once my family started growing
Old 07-31-2018, 08:15 AM
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Love my 20' DC, great all around boat for fishing, cruising, sandbar etc.
Old 07-31-2018, 08:17 AM
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A 20' or bigger DC is fine. The tritoons and even hurricane deckboats look cool too.

Don't worry about needing a big boat in the area unless you're going offshore. I have a key west 1720 and run to Egmont 5 deep all the time, just get practice in on rough days before making big trips.

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