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birdog

Considering a Cruiser

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Hey guys… I’m considering moving to a cruiser. I’ve been looking around and I’ve found 3 on Boat Trader that might work.

I’m wanting something I can still trailer, will sleep a family of 4, stay around 50K deer, and as low maintenance as possible. I’m a bit afraid of Volvo. I’ve heard so many bad things about their lower units.

The 2008 250 sig looks the most promising. I’m interesting in your take on these three… the pros and cons. Anything I should stay away from? Are any of these really good deals?

Thanks in advance for your help.

2004 290 Sig

http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2004-CHAPARRAL-290-Signature-%28Low-Hours%21-Loaded%21%29--96717843

2004 270 Sig

http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2004-CHAPARRAL-270-Signature-Cruiser-%28-Only-117-Hours%21%29--95807171

2008 250 Sig

http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2008-CHAPARRAL-250-SIG-97315819

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I too have considered a cruiser but cannot deal with the beating I would take on the trade. The only Volvo drive to stay away from are the composite ones. The DPSs are super strong and dang near bullet proof, trust me I know as I have seriously torture tested mine. I see you have young kids, they will have more fun with the boat you have and you will lose outside space going to a cruiser. Really consider what benefit you will get from the cruiser and the herd of deer it will cost for switching to one. I got over my cruiser urge and am glad I stayed with my bowrider. I still plan on a larger boat, likely a 53' Hatteras MY, but I would be living on it!

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IMO if you're going to really trailer the 270 or 290, you're going to need at least a 3/4 ton diesel. We seriously looked at the 290 and really liked it. With the 10' beam, you didn't need any special permits in Texas. Had the dealer been more willing to deal, it would be floating in the slip right now. The 270 seemed small for us, as we were assuming we would typically have 4 people when on the hook. It also didn't have AC or heat which was a must for us as we boat all year round and its hotter than...you get the idea. For 2 folks, though it seemed like a great boat to trailer. Also, the advantage of the 290 over the smaller crafts is dual engines if you are in the ocean. That also leads to the disadvantage of dual engines to maintain/repair.

I will give you the same advice the dealer gave to me. Figure out how you will use the boat, and then figure out what you want/need. Its not a minimal investment, and I don't think there is any such thing as a cheap cruiser to maintain. Unless of course, it is under warranty, which at that point you're paying a price for the new boat. Also, pictures can make any boat look great. Go see them, drive them, and get a survey.

Enjoy the hunt! Don't mean to be a bummer if I was. I love looking at new boats and seeing what stuff people have done to them. I also would buy another one again in a heartbeat! We love all the time we spend on the lake. Just hate when we have to fix stuff.

BTW...we kept our run about for entertainment purposes. You didn't say if you were going to trade the bowrider or keep it. You can supposedly tube behind all the boats, but skiing and wakeboarding would be tough.

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birdog,

that 250 you're looking at is essentially my current year 270. i believe it is actually 27 ft long. we have 3 lil ones and for our purposes, it's perfect! it's the most trailerable of the sigs. great ride and handling. single engine so upkeep is easier, more affordable. granted, can't be as adventurous as the twin engine models, but if your intended use is like mine (ie, short outings in the gulf coast, cruising the inland waterways, trips involving younger kids), it may just be the right choice.

lee

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Hey guys… I’m considering moving to a cruiser. I’ve been looking around and I’ve found 3 on Boat Trader that might work.

I’m wanting something I can still trailer, will sleep a family of 4, stay around 50K deer, and as low maintenance as possible. I’m a bit afraid of Volvo. I’ve heard so many bad things about their lower units.

The 2008 250 sig looks the most promising. I’m interesting in your take on these three… the pros and cons. Anything I should stay away from? Are any of these really good deals?

Thanks in advance for your help.

2004 290 Sig

http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2004-CHAPARRAL-290-Signature-%28Low-Hours%21-Loaded%21%29--96717843

2004 270 Sig

http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2004-CHAPARRAL-270-Signature-Cruiser-%28-Only-117-Hours%21%29--95807171

2008 250 Sig

http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2008-CHAPARRAL-250-SIG-97315819

I will go for the 2004 29 signature, more fuel to pay but much better boat for the money, have one with Volvo Pentas 270, seems better the Merc Option, I have pictures with the upgrades that I have made that I will post soon.

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Volvo's are good outdrives if you stay away from the composites as mentioned above. BTW the second two boats have volvo's hangin on the back. Twin engine means double the dear for ownership costs, twice the drag in the water and only a little bit more power, IMHO. Get a big block DP, FI and have fun doing it!

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Good advice above. If you have any qualms about the cost of the cruise or the amount/cost of the gas, then don't do it. Remember it's a toy and money should not matter (much) in your decision. Either you can afford it or you cannot. Your call.

Good luck.

PS: we love our 310!

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Personally, I feel the 290 is very trailerable; I have no problems towing it with a GMC 2500 equipped with the duramax and allison transmission combo. I sought out volvo sx/dp(s) because I feel they are bulletproof and easy to work on when necessary. I've had no problems getting parts and there are no volvo dealers in my immediate area; I order parts online. Of course, I do all the maintenance myself so that saves me on labor expense. I went with twin engines because I wanted a backup in case one engine quit while making offshore runs to the bahamas; I just feel better about such a trip this way.

That said, when we were looking for the 290, I test drove a Searay 280 loaded with single engine and it seemed a bit rolly polly compared to the 290. I looked at a previous year model Chap. 270 and there is a difference in the cabin/head headroom compared to the 290; space was a bit smaller but I could have lived with that, I just wanted the headroom. With four, it goes without saying you'll have more storage on a 290.

Good Luck with your search!

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Go for the 290. The extra space, and engine, IMO are worth it, especially if you plan on sleeping 4. In my 310 it's only me and my wife, and it's perfect. I couldn't imagine two more overnight guests in a smaller boat than the 290 though. Also, someone mentioned above that the 250 is actually like the year 2010 270, and they are correct, however, they are both 27' LOA, hull length is 25'. The 290 is 29' hull length, that's what counts. I don't know why Chaparral went with the new labeling system, because I always enjoyed a smirk when someone compared side by side my boat which was bigger and better laid out than say Regals 3260, Sea Ray's 32 Sundancer, etc.

P.S. I love my 310 also.

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We Love our 2008 270 (29ft overall)....

we take her in Lakes, Rivers & open Ocean.... handles rought weather like a dream !!!!

Tons of storage, 6.3' headroom, easy to trailer & while not as cheap to maintain as a bowrider... worth the extra...

we spend up to a week out on her cruising the Strait and the Southern Gulf Islands...

Good luck with you choice....

:beer-7687-1:

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Personally, I feel the 290 is very trailerable; I have no problems towing it with a GMC 2500 equipped with the duramax and allison transmission combo...

Seriously, because I think a fully loaded Sig 240 is a challenge to pull through the Smokies with a turbo diesel - don't really want to get into a truck debate. I can not imagine that towing a 290 through any kind of mountainous terrain would be no problem. The 290 has a dry weight of 9100 lbs plus fuel, water, trailer, etc realistically putting it in excess of 13k lbs - rapidly approaching the towing capacity of 2010 CHEVROLET/GMC Silverado/Sierra 2500 Crew Cab 4WD Standard Bed 6.6L V8 TD of 13900lbs.

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I also say go for the 290....one of the best 30' cruisers on the market. Best cabin layout with plenty of headroom and storage space, and the convertable table/V-berth works great!

Chap also has one of, if not the best hull designs. Smooth riding, can handle the rough stuff. The best attribute is that there is very little bow rise when getting on plane...the whole hull just jumps out of the water, and it's easy to see over the bow when first getting on plane. Try that with a Sea Ray, and you won't see much of anything over the bow as the Sea Ray transitions onto plane. Also, my 290 will stay on plane as low as 12-13 MPH, which aids boat handling in rough seas.

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Volvo makes fine products and I would not be afraid of buying a boat with Volvos, just not the composit XDP drive. Making a drive out of plastic was just wrong. I thought the 270 was a nice choice and it did come with a trailer, genset, and air. It was also very low hours. The drives were not the composit. I think if I had to pick it would be the 270. The 250 was not big enough for my liking and the 290 is a nice boat, but did not have a trailer. I also liked the blue color of the 270.

Like others have said there is a big difference in owning a cruiser vs a bowrider. Consider what you want to use a boat for and go from there.

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Seriously, because I think a fully loaded Sig 240 is a challenge to pull through the Smokies with a turbo diesel - don't really want to get into a truck debate. I can not imagine that towing a 290 through any kind of mountainous terrain would be no problem. The 290 has a dry weight of 9100 lbs plus fuel, water, trailer, etc realistically putting it in excess of 13k lbs - rapidly approaching the towing capacity of 2010 CHEVROLET/GMC Silverado/Sierra 2500 Crew Cab 4WD Standard Bed 6.6L V8 TD of 13900lbs.

I won't get into a truck debate either...I have an aftermarket programmer and have NO problem with towing my 290 and I've towed up and down mountains and as far as Virginia to Georgia without issue. My sig 290 with triple axle trailer weighs 12,120 on certified scales with 35 gals of fuel, 25 gals of water and an empty waste tank. This figure includes all gear, clothing, food and drinks we normally travel with. I also tow with a Weight Distribution hitch and I'm well below the 13,900lb rating (this is max hitch rating with weight distribution, hitch is rated at 7,500lbs without weight distribution).

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Hey guys… I’m considering moving to a cruiser. I’ve been looking around and I’ve found 3 on Boat Trader that might work.

I’m wanting something I can still trailer, will sleep a family of 4, stay around 50K deer, and as low maintenance as possible. I’m a bit afraid of Volvo. I’ve heard so many bad things about their lower units.

The 2008 250 sig looks the most promising. I’m interesting in your take on these three… the pros and cons. Anything I should stay away from? Are any of these really good deals?

Thanks in advance for your help.

2004 290 Sig

http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2004-CHAPARRAL-290-Signature-%28Low-Hours%21-Loaded%21%29--96717843

2004 270 Sig

http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2004-CHAPARRAL-270-Signature-Cruiser-%28-Only-117-Hours%21%29--95807171

2008 250 Sig

http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2008-CHAPARRAL-250-SIG-97315819

The 2008 250 has the XDP composite drive.

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The 2008 250 has the XDP composite drive.

Are you sure about that? I believe that is a dp and not an xdp composite.

Take a closer look at the dealer's website where they have more pics and closer views of the drive. Lengendary Marine

The 250 doesn't appear to have a generator though; is that an option you have considered?

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I bought a 2005 Sig 270 (154 hrs) this winter for 41k. It is in near excellent condition. I purchased it from Legendary in Fort Walton Beach. I would see if you could haggle a bit on the price. It has all the same features as the 270 listed above.

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Thanks guys for all your help. I've been real busy at work and my home computer is down so I have not been able to respond. I'm typing this from my iPhone. You all make great points. I'll try to go check them out this weekend..see what kind of deal o can get...and go from there. I'm just not sure I can give up my current Chap. I really love it. I have specific questions but it takes to long to type on this phone so I'll ask them from work when I get a moment.

Thanks again!

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Thanks guys for all your help. I've been real busy at work and my home computer is down so I have not been able to respond. I'm typing this from my iPhone. You all make great points. I'll try to go check them out this weekend..see what kind of deal o can get...and go from there. I'm just not sure I can give up my current Chap. I really love it. I have specific questions but it takes to long to type on this phone so I'll ask them from work when I get a moment.

Thanks again!

Just keep your current Chap, I did.

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I won't get into a truck debate either...I have an aftermarket programmer and have NO problem with towing my 290 and I've towed up and down mountains and as far as Virginia to Georgia without issue. My sig 290 with triple axle trailer weighs 12,120 on certified scales with 35 gals of fuel, 25 gals of water and an empty waste tank. This figure includes all gear, clothing, food and drinks we normally travel with. I also tow with a Weight Distribution hitch and I'm well below the 13,900lb rating (this is max hitch rating with weight distribution, hitch is rated at 7,500lbs without weight distribution).

Great, sounds like you got all the bases covered (I was off by 900 lbs but was factoring in full load of fuel and more stuff). 12,120 is still a big load to trailer.

Then there is the whole 10 feet wide beam and overwide permits for each state. Some will say they are not needed but there is the possibility that if an accident occurs while towing an overwide load without the permit that a lot of liability issues might arise.

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Great, sound like you got all the bases covered, just curious about your weight distributing hitch, I use the Equalizer.

I use the Equalizer as well. Although, I think the pole tongue adapter is poorly designed and I plan to make a few welding modifications.

In general, I try not to tow any distance with a full load of gas...I typically gas up just prior to launching (unless I know of a marina with No Ethanol gas available) and try to plan the return trip so we run as much fuel out prior to retrailering. This has always been a habit of mine.

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I basically decided that the 2008 250 was probably the best for me. After chatting with the dealer I now think its out. It does not have the composite drives but it also does not have a generator. I gotta have a generator. There is no way the wife and kids will put up with sweating all night on a camping trip… and I’m sure the batteries won’t last all through the night.

As for the 2004 290… I’m not sure what the max width for towing here in AL is. I’ll need to check that out. I’ve just been to busy at work to do much research.

I’ll guess I’ll check out the 2004 270… although I really wanted something a little newer than that. We’ll see.

Thanks again for all your input. It’s truly been helpful.

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you're right about the generator. gotta have it in this heat!

screaming kids + unhappy wife = :slap:

i wonder if you could haggle down the price and add the generator with the savings?

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... It does not have the composite drives but it also does not have a generator. I gotta have a generator. There is no way the wife and kids will put up with sweating all night on a camping trip… and I’m sure the batteries won’t last all through the night...

See pic below, it is not sexy but is is inexpensive, effecient and effective...

sternview.jpg?t=1282851846

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