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First boat, Hard choice - Chaparral or Regal

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First boat, Hard choice - Chaparral or Regal

Old 10-04-2018, 09:04 PM
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I have a 2005 Regal 2600 Bowrider and a 2002 Chaparral 232 Sunesta. Both in good running condition, need only some minor cosmetics and a few gauges. You can buy both of them from me for under $30,000, total, and decide which one you like best. I need to get rid of some boats.
Old 10-05-2018, 06:36 AM
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here's a dealer near you selling one on sale
https://annapolis.craigslist.org/bod...712060007.html
Old 10-05-2018, 07:26 AM
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Paradigm Shift

Knowing full well the risk of flames from the outboard/inboard-outboard folks making up the majority of owners here, I suggest that Delta55 might consider the possibility of a used convertible like a 2000 or newer Luhrs 34 -- diesel or gas, low hours, good condition specimens appear to be available for much less than $100K.

He indicates that he has a family of five -- with three small kids -- and that he wants to entertain others.

All of this is a lot easier (and probably safer) with a cockpit, flybridge, and -- air conditioned salon, staterooms, head, shower, storage, refrigeration, and cooking capability. He will be able to use such a boat on more days (including overights, weekends, rainy days) and for a longer season than an open boat. Second home income tax deduction on financing cost is available. Slip rental v. total cost of trailering/towing or dry storage are pretty much a wash when the added utilization of the floating boat is considered. Not having to lug tons of stuff back and forth, and kids being to have friends over or to do homework has value.

As these 1 to 6 year-old kids grow, the convertible will make even more sense.
Old 10-05-2018, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by outobie View Post
here's a dealer near you selling one on sale
https://annapolis.craigslist.org/bod...712060007.html
Outobie. Good find, not too far from me. I'll check it out. Any experience with Monterey?
Old 10-05-2018, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by LKD View Post
Paradigm Shift

Knowing full well the risk of flames from the outboard/inboard-outboard folks making up the majority of owners here, I suggest that Delta55 might consider the possibility of a used convertible like a 2000 or newer Luhrs 34 -- diesel or gas, low hours, good condition specimens appear to be available for much less than $100K.

He indicates that he has a family of five -- with three small kids -- and that he wants to entertain others.

All of this is a lot easier (and probably safer) with a cockpit, flybridge, and -- air conditioned salon, staterooms, head, shower, storage, refrigeration, and cooking capability. He will be able to use such a boat on more days (including overights, weekends, rainy days) and for a longer season than an open boat. Second home income tax deduction on financing cost is available. Slip rental v. total cost of trailering/towing or dry storage are pretty much a wash when the added utilization of the floating boat is considered. Not having to lug tons of stuff back and forth, and kids being to have friends over or to do homework has value.

As these 1 to 6 year-old kids grow, the convertible will make even more sense.
I appreciate the alternate view.

What I didn't mention in my original post was that the boat is our alternate to the idea of finding a second home on the water somewhere. With 3 kids, a business, and all that comes with it, the idea of the second home or boat is a form of escapism - get out of our lives for a bit to focus on relaxing and being with each other.
That sort of drives me away from boats with cabins - one of the arguments against a second home is that it's antithetical to the idea of escape as it brings a second set of problems; the kind I was escaping from. I'm worried that a used boat, especially one with beds, appliances, generators, etc would be the same second set of problems.
Old 10-05-2018, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by outobie View Post
here's a dealer near you selling one on sale

--Craigslist Ad--
Except that isn't an Annapolis local boat. It's just a Michigan based dealer posting his ads in local forum areas trying to drum up business. Phone number area code is a dead giveaway. not to mention if they were a local dealer, they'd have their name on the ad so you could, you know, actually find them.
Old 10-05-2018, 09:39 AM
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Do you buy a brand new car to learn to drive in?
Old 10-05-2018, 10:22 AM
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I will also add in to consider the Formula. Build quality is tops for a production boat, from materials to rigging. We are on our second one now, and in the cruiser/performance cruiser market there really isn't a better option.
As an example, on our first Formula which was a 2000 and we were second or third owner, I got the same level of support as if I had just purchased it. They can sell you parts, but also have no problem providing the vendor name and part number so that you can purchase directly. Every question we ever had was answered as if they just built the boat. Need color matched gel coat? No problem, they'll give you the color code or even mix some up and sell it right to you. The match was 100% for us.

There is a reason they hold their value well with respect to other brands. Cobalt also has a great reputation.
Old 10-05-2018, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
Do you buy a brand new car to learn to drive in?
Not sure how that is relevant to determining how to get what my family needs out of a boat, balanced against expected depreciation over the next 3 or 5 years.
Maybe you know of a 3 year old, clean 27' bowrider that can be had for $60k? I see those asking 75, 80, 90k.
Old 10-05-2018, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by delta55 View Post
Searched nationwide on BoatTrader for 277SSX (old model of the Chap I'm looking at) Asks ranged from a 2013 for $79k to a 2015 for $105k. I don't see a big hit (I expect to, it's a boat) - am I looking at it wrong?
See, to me, a 20+% drop in value over 2 years DOES seem like a big hit... of course, you are losing more in depreciation than the max I'll spend on a boat....

Let's be honest. Owning and running a boat has never, is never, and never will be a good financial decision. We are all throwing money around to try and get back some un-valuable emotional thing. Call it freedom, fun, escape - whatever.

None of the boats you are looking at are steaming piles of crap. They're all nice in their own way, and will all probably have some minor issues. There's always the outside chance that you get a lemon, but that happens with all builders. Go climb around on them at the show and talk deals. Go with the one that feels right and don't look back. Boats will always cost you more than you plan, but you can't get the same buzz any other way.
Old 10-05-2018, 12:36 PM
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Happy with our Regal we bought new. I like the lines of the Regal 2500 over the 26 Fast Deck. I would say Formula over Regal though. Family of 5 here, the 1900 ES is perfect for that, or a couple of more kids (I actually had 8 kids 2 adults (including me) on board on the lake tubing with one other mom), all kids well under 10 yrs old so not much weight, but plenty of seating for them even with vests on, and 2-3 tubed at at time), but it is too small for two families to get to 9 which is the max capacity on my 1900. It is why I'm looking at a 2500 maybe next summer or after. Another option, pontoon boat for entertaining, and a little bow rider when it's just your family for fun. Regal also makes a new 26 ft cabin cruiser with a 300 OB, but not much deck room for entertaining and the cabin is too small to overnight family of 5, imho.
Old 10-05-2018, 12:43 PM
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Note on the deck draining into the bilge, if you do a lot of bow first sandy in/out w/ kids/dog, sand will get down into the bilge. I just hose 'er out, but I trailer and keep her in the garage. Lately I've been making everyone get wet stern first to get in so no more sand in the boat.
Old 10-05-2018, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeMadBch View Post
I have a 2005 Regal 2600 Bowrider and a 2002 Chaparral 232 Sunesta. Both in good running condition, need only some minor cosmetics and a few gauges. You can buy both of them from me for under $30,000, total, and decide which one you like best. I need to get rid of some boats.
Almost too good of a deal to pass up. What’s the seating like on the 2600? :-)
Old 10-05-2018, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TurboJoe View Post
I will also add in to consider the Formula. Build quality is tops for a production boat, from materials to rigging. We are on our second one now, and in the cruiser/performance cruiser market there really isn't a better option.
As an example, on our first Formula which was a 2000 and we were second or third owner, I got the same level of support as if I had just purchased it. They can sell you parts, but also have no problem providing the vendor name and part number so that you can purchase directly. Every question we ever had was answered as if they just built the boat. Need color matched gel coat? No problem, they'll give you the color code or even mix some up and sell it right to you. The match was 100% for us.

There is a reason they hold their value well with respect to other brands. Cobalt also has a great reputation.
Really good info on formula. Appreciate it. Will check out Cobalts at the boat show.
Old 10-08-2018, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by delta55 View Post
We are about to buy our first boat. We're looking at 27' bowriders for spending Saturdays on the water with our 3 small kids (1-6). The response to my first post about pleasure boating in my area was impressive - a wealth of information from TheHullTruth community that was very helpful. We are looking this big to be able to entertain another family comfortably in the Potomac, from DC to Colonial Beach.

I'm hoping the forum can share any thoughts on the two boats we are considering: a 2018 Chaparral 267 SSX and a 2019 Regal 26 Fasdeck. The boats are nearly the same - 27' vs 26'6, same Volvo 350hp, seating layout, power tower, etc, etc. Some notable differences - the Chaparral cockpit drains directly overboard, Regal into the bilge; the Chap weighs 550lbs more; Chap has electric head, regal has a regular pump out
OTD cost is going to be similar - Chap MSRP is $137k. OTD will be $95k+tax; Regal MSRP is $116k, OTD $89k+tax.

Comments or experiences with construction, performance, features, resale would be appreciated. I'm trying to learn as much as I can before we make this decision.
OK. I meant to respond to this over the weekend, but went boating instead. The following are my opinions but as I own the same type of boat you are looking at this might help.
First off, I own a 2018 Crownline 275SS Bowrider w/6.2 Mercruser 350HP. We love our boat and understood when we bought it that it was designed for a certain type of boating. I call this type of boat a Lake Queen. They are not meant for fishing. (You would not want to get fish guts all over that beautiful interior) Lake Queens are big, heavy, comfortable and spacious boats that provide a great ride. With the engine mentioned above they will run 49-52MPH at WOT and cruse all day in the 30's. The are not particularly great on fuel mileage but not horrible either.
Let's look at some of the issues you mentioned and some that have been brought up:

Brand: Chap, Regal, Cobalt and Crownline are all excellent brands. I cannot imagine that you would be unhappy with any of them. There will be some detail differences that you may prefer as far as layout or amenities but you cannot go wrong with any of them.

Outboard vs Sterndrive: This is a big one. The most important design element of a Lake Queen is the swim platform. While you are swimming and hanging out this is where your family will spend it's time. Why would you want a big outboard taking up all that space. The reason Lake Queens are equipped with sterndrives is so the swim platform is wide open.

Head: With a wife and 3 kids you are going to want an electric head with pump out. Just pull up to the marina, connect a pump out hose and done. Unless your idea of fun is to carry an overflowing porta potty to a dump station.

New vs used: From your post it looks like you are aware of pricing and are ok with it. Buy new if you can.

A few other thoughts:
As I said these are heavy boats. Do not go smaller than 350hp. Some dealers will order these with 300's so they can keep the price down.
You do not need to buy an in stock boat. You still have time to do a custom order and take delivery in the spring. Get the boat the way you want it.
You and your family will love this boat. HAVE FUN.
Old 10-08-2018, 07:43 PM
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I will never own another Chaparral. I just endured a 6 year nightmare with a Signature 330 and recently traded it in for another boat. I will also never have another Volvo Penta.
Old 10-09-2018, 04:41 AM
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Couple of comments...
*You have young kids, and you're looking into the upper 20's for boat length. Your family kids) will enjoy things more if you have a little cuddy cabin to escape sun/heat when they feel like it. And privacy for naps, changing, etc. Some models out there with a walk through windshield and sun pad seating up top on the bow.

*In the older days we'd consider Chap a better build of the two. But these days with corporate consolidation, things aren't as much for differences, and the brands that used to be considered great..aren't so much anymore (just look at Sea Ray since..03 or 05)...or how Bayliner became less of a joke in later years. Formula however..yes..always up top and still is. However...when looking at the boats, get inside of EVERYTHING with your hands. Open cabinets, open drawers, every nook and cranny...look inside, underneath, behind. Check out construction quality, hinges, latches. Stick your head deep in the bilge, feel around under the helm/dash area, look at how wiring is fastened. Ask about construction, any open wood? Encased wood? Hull construction? Feel around unseen areas with your hands to check out how finish is in areas you don't see, as well as see. The differences in quality become apparent when you really check things out with your hands and look/touch/feel/wiggle/open-close everything you can.
Old 10-09-2018, 05:14 AM
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Not to directly disagree with the post above, but we have had open bow boats (now Dual Console) from the beginning (starting with an 18' Stingray) and our kids have been out with us since they were 16 months old. Never once had any issues, not any desire for a cabin. Not saying that some people find it to be a great asset, but for us it was a non-factor. The forward seating and open layout far outweighs what would have just been a big storage area for us in a cuddy. Those things get VERY warm in the summer, so I am not sure when my kids would have been comfortable napping in them anyway. Good Bimini top with some towel clips to adjust for the sun gave us everything we needed. BTW - I am in the Upper Chesapeake, not too far from you.

The only other debate I would offer advice on here would be the self-bailing cockpit. Our first boat didn't have one, the rest did. I couldn't imagine owning a boat without it now, just for th sake of cleaning alone. When the kids are bringing sand, muck, whatever back onto the boat after running around the beach, it is very nice to just spray off the deck and be done with it.

Good luck with your decision.
Old 10-09-2018, 05:15 AM
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Too much money for a first boat. Do yourself a favor and buy a boat in Florida. Hundreds of great rigs for sale. Get it towed to your location if you don’t want to drive it.
i would never own either of those rigs but that’s just me.
Old 10-09-2018, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by zig10 View Post
Not to directly disagree with the post above, but we have had open bow boats (now Dual Console) from the beginning (starting with an 18' Stingray) and our kids have been out with us since they were 16 months old. Never once had any issues, not any desire for a cabin. .
Personally I'm a fan of the sun also and even heat waves in FL don't bother me. Hell when I was a baby in the 60's my parents had me out in their large green Glastron bowrider. Uncovered. But I can't speak for many of todays parents and their kids who don't enjoy the rough outdoors like we did generations ago.

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