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  1. I was looking for a 265SSI, and even had an offer on the only local one I could find. Liked the boat, but just couldn't agree on price as there were a few issues that needed to be fixed that the seller didn't agree about. When that fell through, I found a Sea Ray 280 Sun Sport. Same length, 1' wider beam, single engine or twin option. It's virtually the same layout as the 265 with the U shaped seating and slightly bigger cuddy. The 265 I looked at had the 375 HP 496, and it topped out at 50-51 mph on the GPS. The Sea Ray is bigger and more comfortable, and topped out at 58 MPH on GPS, but that's with twin 350 MPIs. The 280 SS will get just over 2 MPG at a 35 mph cruise. As long as you don't mind the wide load issues with the 9'6" beam, take a look at the Sea Ray 280 SS or the 290 SS if you need the back sun pad. Formula also has a 280 or 290 Sun Sport that competes with the 265SSI and 280 SS. I didn't like the Formula because the higher price and the head is not enclosed.
  2. Took it out for a sea trial with the dealer, and was pretty disappointed. Not so much disappointed with the boat but with the preparation by the seller. It seems he thought we were there for a quick joy ride and that's it. Volt meter was inop, tachometer was inop, A/C had been disconnected "for some reason, but trust me it worked fine when we picked it up last week." Fresh water tank was empty and couldn't get it filled easily, so we couldn't check out any of those systems. We also noticed a vibration when standing near the swim platform only for a second when shifting into forward or reverse. Before I mentioned it to the dealer, he asked if I heard the "growling noise" when shifting, so he's at least aware that further inspection is necessary. I left frustrated, and told the dealer to get back with me when the boat was properly prepared for a real sea trial. All gauges fixed, every system working properly etc. Ultimately, I don't know much more about the boat now than I did a week ago. As for the vibration, what should they be looking for? Gimbal, u-joint, alignment?
  3. I posted a few weeks ago about upgrading from a Sea Ray 220 Select to a 265 SSI, and got a lot of good feedback from everyone. I've been on the lookout, but haven't had much luck finding anything until recently. I found one a few hours away, fresh water only, two owner boat. 2005, 496 MAG Bravo III, 350 hours, Vacuflush head, air conditioning, full camper canvas, fridge, microwave, shore power, but no generator (I'm still not certain if this was ever an option on this boat.) I've looked it over briefly and it's in decent shape for a 10 year old boat. I'm taking it for a sea trial tomorrow afternoon and will thoroughly test all systems. If I'm happy, I'll still get a professional survey done before purchase. So my question to you guys, is there anything specific I should look for tomorrow? Common problem areas, system specific stuff, etc? I also noticed that the gel coat on the outside bottom edge of the engine hatch is chipped pretty much the entire length on the bottom outside edge (if you're standing on the swim platform looking forward, the gel coat along the hinge for the engine compartment.) The seller claims it was just out of alignment and it chipped from opening the engine hatch. There is no damage or scuffing on the boat that would indicate that happened. Is that likely, or is it more likely that the hatch was installed incorrectly after removing for some reason (ie maybe they had the engine pulled at some point?) Does the 2005 Merc 496 have any data logging capability so the surveyor could download engine history/power settings/run times etc? Also, can I upgrade my instrumentation to Smart Craft, or is that just a Sea Ray thing? Sorry for all the questions, but appreciate any insight!
  4. I won't say I'm "concerned" about fuel efficiency, but I don't think I'd be doing my research properly if I wasn't at least somewhat aware of what I was getting in to. If the real cruise is 2.3 MPG, but I was expecting 3.0 like the article says, that's a difference of roughly $1,700/year for the amount I use the boat. Considering I boat about 6 months out of the year, that's just shy of an extra $300/month. It amuses me when folks say, "Don't buy a boat if you worry about fuel," but then complain when an unexpected $1,000 maintenance bill shows up. You don't like to be surprised with maintenance, and I don't want to be surprised by an extra $1,700/year in fuel. I agree that if it's painful to fill up the tank then you should have considered a smaller boat, but how do you know if you can afford it if you don't ask? :-) No, it's not a deal breaker. I can always do a portable genny/ac for long trips, but it would be nice to have a factory option. Here's a 255 SSI with generator and AC. http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2005-Chaparral-255-SSi-101963606 If it's not factory installed, at least I know that it has been done aftermarket before.
  5. So from what I'm gathering here, the fuel efficiency listed in the review article is definitely on the optimistic side. Boattest gives some numbers for the 8.1, now I just need some real-world speeds for a 265 or 255 hull to get a pretty accurate efficiency number. 3000 RPM: 10.8 GPH 3500 RPM: 14.7 GPH 4000 RPM: 19.1 GPH 4500 RPM: 28.1 GPH 4800 RPM: 34.3 GPH I'm guessing 3.0 MPG is about best case, and I'd see that around 30 mph near 3000 RPM 2.3 MPG at 40-45 MPH 1.6 MPG at WOT Am I way off, or do those numbers match up with what you guys are seeing?
  6. Yep, I'm on the same stretch of river as you. Was at Lucy's Branch until the tornado wiped it out. Now it's on the trailer in my back yard. I'm considering putting it on Smith Lake for the remainder of this season, and then going back to Lucy's Branch when the new dry storage facility is built. Definitely finishing this year with the Sea Ray. Would love to upgrade by next spring and start off the year with a week or two in the FL Keys on a new (to me) boat!
  7. Appreciate the reply. I see a cruiser as still being several years down the road. Until kids are in the picture, I'm more interested in the sport boat with a minimalist sleeping area/shelter from weather than a full blown cruiser. No generator on the 265 SSI is a huge negative, but I guess a portable genny would be an option on the occasional long trip (I know that opens a whole other can of worms for a different thread.) I'm 5'7" 150 lbs, and the g/f is 5'1" 110 lbs, so small spaces are okay. The cuddy will only be used for getting a little sleep before the next full day of playing around. We do several 200+ mile runs on the TN river every year, and I like having the ability to cruise at 35-45 mph without running WOT to get that speed. If I went with a cruiser, what kind of numbers could I expect WRT speed/fuel efficiency? Keep in mind, we spend a few nights at a time on a 23' bow rider camped out in the floor, so even a tiny sport cruiser cuddy will be an incredible upgrade for us.
  8. I'm a Sea Ray guy...currently in a 220 Select. Mostly used for cruising around and some light water sports. I consistently put about 100 hours a year on it, all on the TN river and other inland lakes in the south east. I'm ready to step up to something with a cuddy, and I keep coming around to the 265 SSI with the 8.1 motor. A few questions, and then a copy of the post I made on the Sea Ray forums for y'all's input. 1) I've only found one review of the 265 SSI, and it claims a top speed of 55 mph which sounds about right, but they also advertise 3.0 mpg at 45 mph, and 3.9 mpg at 35 mph. Those numbers seem a bit optimistic to me...any real world numbers from current owners? 2) Is a generator / air conditioner an option for this boat. I've seen it listed some places, but have yet to see one listed for sale with either option installed. 3) Is it possible to upgrade a portapotty setup to a vacuflush head with holding tank? Doubt it, but hopeful! <from the sea ray forum> I've got the 2-foot-itis pretty bad, so I've starting looking around to see what's out there. Currently have a 220 Select, and thought I had decided on a 250SLX. Now I'm questioning if I really want another bowrider, or if it's time to get something with a cuddy. Most of my boating is on the TN River, or other lakes in AL/TN. I do plan to start taking a yearly trip to the Keys or Bahamas, hence the reason for considering something with a sleeping area vs open bow, and must be trailerable. Main things I want: Budget: 60K, and I've got to have thru hulls, wake tower/arc, sound system. So if that stuff isn't stock, I've got keep those additions in budget. Year: Early 2000s - Max budget Trailerable 8'6" beam Comfortable sleeping space for 2. Kids are in the plans, but not a concern for this boat. Head Generator/AC, if not stock, something I can add FUN, I'm just turning 30, so I don't think I want a full blown cruiser with mid cabin for a few more years. To keep it trailerable, I just don't like the short stubby look of the 240-260 DAs. Love the looks of the 280+ DAs, but not realistic for my current situation. LOA 24-28' Single engine, love the 496, and don't think I'd be happy with smaller when we're talking about a 5500+ pound boat. I would prefer to stay with Sea Ray, but I keep going back to the Chaparral 265 SSI. Has everything I want, and can run 55 mph. Only test report I can find also claims 3 MPG at 45MPH cruising speed, or a max 3.9 MPG around 30 mph. That's amazing, if accurate. I can't quite match those numbers in my 220 with a 5.0. I've seen the Weekenders, but don't know much about them. I've also seen a Sea Ray 290 Sun Sport, but the beam is too wide. Did SR ever make a 25'-28' Sun Sport with 8'6" beam? That seems to be the best comparison to the 265 SSI if it exists. Any other suggestions? Cobalt, Regal, etc would all be options, or convince me that the 265 SSI is a good/bad choice. </sea ray forum post>
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