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Robalo vs tidewater

Old 09-10-2020, 03:32 PM
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Default Robalo vs tidewater

Iím interested in 23ft cc I been looking at the tidewater and Robalo. Are either built better than the other?
Old 09-10-2020, 04:14 PM
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They are both budget mid-tier boats of similar quality. In my opinion, the Tidewater is the nicer design/lay out of the two.
Old 09-10-2020, 05:21 PM
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Iím not crazy about either but Iíd take the Robalo, Tidewater imho is a step below and Iíve heard enough bad stories of their warranty and dealer network that it has me taking a pass....that said Iíve owned neither and I have zero time on either on the water (been through them several times at shows) so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
Old 09-11-2020, 12:12 PM
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I have a 2019 Robalo 180 with the 150, so far we like the boat. Its a mid tier boat, some area where they installed certain things looks like they were rushed a little. But over all its a big 180 with high gunnels, pretty dry in the tight washboard that Long Island Sound becomes, lots of fun for the kids. I upgraded the stereo with JL and a Sub and now it cranks!! Kinda wish it had a t-top but other than that we are enjoying the boat. I like the look of the tidewater but it looks lower to the water and I prefer high gunnels for the kids.


Old 09-11-2020, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SeeSalt View Post
I’ve heard enough bad stories.... I’ve owned neither and I have zero time on either.
Gotta love when someone posts about boats they dont have experience with... At least you call it out!

TW252 owner here. No regrets so far. I've had warranty claims (bad macerator pump, cracked speaker cover, bad courtesy light, etc.... little stuff). All were replaced under warranty without any level of argument or discussion required. We've put on 110 hours in 6 months.

I havent ridden on a Robalo but we've looked at a few. It goes without saying that I preferred the TW layout over Robalo.

My coworker bought a TW 210 LXF this spring and had some gelcoat issues. We're in Florida. TW came and got the boat, took it back to NC, re-coated the entire boat, and brought it back in 2 weeks. While the gelcoat issue is annoying, that is pretty good customer service, especially with how busy boat builders are right now.
Old 09-11-2020, 05:06 PM
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I've had my Robalo 246 for over 2 years.
It's a great boat. I think Robalo does a great job with the design and engineering of their boats.
The overall hull structure is very solid. Its extremely sturdy and well laid out. I have about 260 hours on my boat. I think the fit and finish is slightly above mid-tier. I do think they could use some higher quality components like pumps and certain electrical items, but overall it's a great boat. After 2+ years I would definitely buy another one.
Old 09-12-2020, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by JToys View Post
I have a 2019 Robalo 180 with the 150, so far we like the boat. Its a mid tier boat, some area where they installed certain things looks like they were rushed a little. But over all its a big 180 with high gunnels, pretty dry in the tight washboard that Long Island Sound becomes, lots of fun for the kids. I upgraded the stereo with JL and a Sub and now it cranks!! Kinda wish it had a t-top but other than that we are enjoying the boat. I like the look of the tidewater but it looks lower to the water and I prefer high gunnels for the kids.
I also have the Robalo 180, and love the high gunnels. Keeps the kids in as mentioned, andt when I am fishing in choppy water I can lean right up against them and not worry about falling out!
Old 09-12-2020, 07:54 AM
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I currently have a 2020 Tidewater 232CC, and when I bought my 23' this spring and the 21' I had before it in 2017, I looked at all the mid-tier offerings.
In terms of quality they are all similarly built and use the same basic components, so layout is probably the most important thing in picking your flavor.
I have been on a variety of mid-tier CC's, including the Robalo 222 & 242 (the 230 is new, and I looked at it but have not been on it), and they all are very similar.
What really hurts the mid-tier market is the quality of the detail work (electrical systems and compartment interiors) compared to a top-tier boat. While the electrical system and fit and finish on a Tidewater, Robalo, or Sea Hunt, Key West, Sea Fox, Sea Pro, Mako, Nautic Star, etc is passable, you would never mistake it for how things were done on my 38 Cabo.
I liked the layout of the Tidewater better than any of the other 23-24' single engine CC's in the mid-tier range, and so far in 70 hours this season (that is a Covid-19 no vacation level of use - typical for my smaller boat is 30-40 hours per season), I have zero complaints. Is it perfect - no; I have rewired some of the electrical system to make it what it should be: with dual battery switches and a VSR, split house and engine battery loads (that can be wrong off of either battery and combined onto one battery if required) going to their own fuse panels in a very neat and labelled manner. I am pretty fussy though, and every one of the mid-tier boats would have required the same rewiring project.
The 232CC is a big 23' boat at 23'8" L and 8'10" B with high gunnels and a lot of bow flare.
If you are on Long Island, Blue Marlin is the local dealer and its owner Angelo and his crew provide top shelf customer service.
Old 09-13-2020, 04:51 AM
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Iíve owned a new Tidewater and now a new Cobia.
The cobia is of much better construction then my 016 Tidewater, heavier/better hardware, electrical, thicker doors/lids, better cushions and way better fit and finish.
In 100hrs there are some minor issues, but very minor.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Gmart View Post
Iíve owned a new Tidewater and now a new Cobia.
The cobia is of much better construction then my 016 Tidewater, heavier/better hardware, electrical, thicker doors/lids, better cushions and way better fit and finish.
The only comparison problem with Cobia to Tidewater is the Cobia for the same sized boat and power is that it is 20-25% more expensive - Cobia is probably better compared to Pursuit or Scout than the Tidewater/Sea Hunt/Key West/etc group of boats because in boating just like everything else price does matter and generally if you spend more dollars you get a better product: just like buying a Lexus RX350 over a Toyota Highlander.
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
The only comparison problem with Cobia to Tidewater is the Cobia for the same sized boat and power is that it is 20-25% more expensive - Cobia is probably better compared to Pursuit or Scout than the Tidewater/Sea Hunt/Key West/etc group of boats because in boating just like everything else price does matter and generally if you spend more dollars you get a better product: just like buying a Lexus RX350 over a Toyota Highlander.
Agreed, when looking we looked at Robalo too & all the others in the size range.
I can say from owning the Tidewater, it was a good boat, did well for us, but not comparable to the Robalo and definitely not comparable a Cobia.
Tidewater is made ďcheaperĒ, no other way to put it, pricing was less, but not by much even compared to the Robalo. If the Robalo & Tidewater are similar in price, aiíd go with the Robalo all day long. Again, Tidewater is OK and will do just fine.
The Toyota will get you to the same place as the Lexus.
Old 09-14-2020, 06:15 AM
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Have you looked at Sailfish?
Old 09-15-2020, 07:54 PM
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I donít know anything about the Robalo. I do however own a 2018 tidewater 232. As other have hinted at they donít pay much attention to detail. I bought my 2018 in 2019 brand new. My live well pump has failed. Thatís a minor issue. Major issues with electrical. They do a HORRIBLE job wiring. Iíve had to fix/replace numerous connections/connectors. The latch to the back tuna door has severely rusted. The front anchor lock isnít correct. Basically know when you buy a tidewater need to upgrade repair a lot of stuff.
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Old 09-16-2020, 05:59 AM
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So the question I have - is it better to buy one of the aforementioned mid-tier boats brand new with a warranty or spend similar money on a 5-10 year old top-tier used model? Trying to decide between these two options.
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JSOCMD1578 View Post
So the question I have - is it better to buy one of the aforementioned mid-tier boats brand new with a warranty or spend similar money on a 5-10 year old top-tier used model? Trying to decide between these two options.
Oh boy....
Old 09-16-2020, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by JSOCMD1578 View Post
So the question I have - is it better to buy one of the aforementioned mid-tier boats brand new with a warranty or spend similar money on a 5-10 year old top-tier used model? Trying to decide between these two options.
Ive been through that process and I advocate getting a gently used top tier, you just have to be patient and shop diligently.
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by JSOCMD1578 View Post
So the question I have - is it better to buy one of the aforementioned mid-tier boats brand new with a warranty or spend similar money on a 5-10 year old top-tier used model? Trying to decide between these two options.
Since the engine is about 20-25% of the cost of a new boat, when you buy a 10 year old top tier boat, you know at some point in then next couple of years you will be spending a large amount of money ($25k+ for a 300hp) for a repower including doing fuel lines and battery cables - something a new boat will not need for 10-15 years.
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
Since the engine is about 20-25% of the cost of a new boat, when you buy a 10 year old top tier boat, you know at some point in then next couple of years you will be spending a large amount of money ($25k+ for a 300hp) for a repower including doing fuel lines and battery cables - something a new boat will not need for 10-15 years.
true, however there are plenty (if you are patient) newer top tier boats or older with new power out there that wonít need anything for 10-15 years either....I would t advocate getting one that needs a ton of work, you just have to find the right ones.
Old 09-16-2020, 07:11 AM
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Buying new vs. used is a very tough decision. Before I bought the Robalo 180 in May I searched for months for used 18-20' CC. I found 10 year old Grady's for close to $30K and got a brand new Robalo for < $10K more. To me the warranty, new styling, new electronics, new trailer, and not inheriting someone else's headaches was worth the extra money. A regulator or contender used is probably going to be the same if not more than a new Robalo or Tidewater or Sailfish. Unless like the previous post suggests, the need to be repowered?
Old 09-16-2020, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JToys View Post
Buying new vs. used is a very tough decision. Before I bought the Robalo 180 in May I searched for months for used 18-20' CC. I found 10 year old Grady's for close to $30K and got a brand new Robalo for < $10K more. To me the warranty, new styling, new electronics, new trailer, and not inheriting someone else's headaches was worth the extra money. A regulator or contender used is probably going to be the same if not more than a new Robalo or Tidewater or Sailfish. Unless like the previous post suggests, the need to be repowered?

all valid points, and certainly worth considering...I was referring to the fact you can find Regulator 23ís From the mid to 2000ís to 2013 with newer power and electronics for comparable prices, not the only brand that is possible with, just the ones I am most familiar with....that said, itís always going to boil down to what the op is most comfortable with, either way we all enjoy the water.

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