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TJY99

Pulled trigger on 2013 264... Now questioning engine size

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Just ordered a 2013 264 Sunesta and we are very excited for it to arrive. However, after spending some time on the forum, I'm second guessing my engine choice. I ordered VP 320, based on our salespersons recommendation. He stated that we would be very happy with the 320 hp engine. I also added trim tabs to assist in plaining. My concern is that we will always run the boat at about 4500' elevation, usually with a boat load of teens wanting to raft, ski, kneeboard, and wakeboard. The salesperson spoke to the Chaparral rep and confirmed that this setup would be just fine and not really worth the $ upgrade to the 380 hp.

Here's my experience with our past boat. A 2004 Four Winns Horizon 230 with VP Gxi 5.7 320 hp single prop. Lots of prop issues, never really solved, but ended up with an adequate prop that had good hole shot, but only a top speed of about 35 mph. I know that having the dual props and trim tabs on the new 264 will help all the way around, but the 230 weighs about a 1000 pounds less that the 264.

With this being a $ boat, am I making the right choice with the 320 hp vs. 380 hp?

Thanks for your thoughts!

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I am a firm believer of MORE / MOST horse power a pleasure boat can be ordered with.

With a bunch of people & water sports. Better to have a little too much & back off the throttle to a MORE economical cruising rpms.

Even when loaded up with gear & people being dragged around.

The 186 SSI has a 5.0 L 220 hp V8.........It is NOT to much for just 2 ...200 pounders plus 80 # of added gear.WOT is 54 with a newly cleaned bottom.

end of summer it can be down to 48 mph GPS.

Add in a few SMALL nicks in the props edges & good by speed & thrust from a dead stop..........Had to send the prop out because of it loosing " bite" on WOT from a dead stop.

Bigger is always better......I should have ordered the 5.7 L engine......Seriously.

Can you call Monday & change it ? I always check with the factory directly on something like this, if a dealer says no. Must be my Pit Bull attitude when I have all the money. .

Shepard is the person on this site to ask this question.

Enjoy the boat with the big engine. :)..........The throttle is ALWAYS adjustable. :)

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I think you will be fine with the 320HP engine. I will say, in my opinion, difference for the big block would have been totally worth it for many reasons. Your altitude, resell value, etc. Did they make any changes or talk about the gearing in the engine and/or a different prop from the stock one? With a proper set up for your altitude you should have no problems and I would expect you shoudl see speeds at WOT in the low to mid 40's.

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I just read the specs & options of your boat

4.500 elevation. Summer heat. Low humidity. Engine not recalibrated or incorrectly recalibrated for 4500' a real probibility. Load of people eating moving around. 250 pound guy or 2 in a tube or skis. GO BIG.

You need TORQUE / cubic inches from a dead stop..

When I have 6 in the 186. I MUST seat them to keep the boat level. Or I can not take off easily

Your boat is running at least 2. 5 X my weight. Width is the same. With people food drinks gear & dragging someone........Bigger is better

2 or 4 people smaller engine would be fine. Everything new ok Add some slime on the bottom & engine hours 320 hp should cruise O K

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We bought ours at a boat show so I cannot complain much because we got a good deal. We had the trim tabs installed and only use them in windy condition or heavy load. The 6.2L Merc with 320 hp gets the job done most of the time, but with a heavy load, she works. If it were me, I would go with the bigger engine.

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When I was facing the same decision most people said ... nobody complains about too much power on the boat.

I have listened ... and I do not complain now.

Two things I would say ...

1. Bigger engine would be nice.

2. Smaller prop (F4 or less) is a must (at your elevation).

Good luck!

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Based on the tone of your email at this time if you can swing it go ahead and upgrade to a larger engine. I've got a 375 HP in our 264 which is about 20% more than you're talking about. Obviously your choice is enough to get the job done as others have said, it's really about personal preference. This is my 3rd boat over the past 20 years. First had a 5.0L and the last two have been 8.1L engines. With the group of teens you mentioned and all that you'll want related to the water sports if you want to never worry get the big block. It won't have to work as hard as your current choice and its always nice to have that power when or if it's ever needed. We use ours for watersports with our teens and I can tell you with 6-8 adults in the boat I've never once felt that my boat was ever underpowerd when pulling boarders, skiers, etc.

You've picked an awesome boat and will have years of enjoyment and numerous numerous compliments every time you pull up to a marina from other boat owners. My vote would be since you can buy such a nice boat go with another 5% spend and resolve your concern. Best of luck and be sure to go over your boat with a fine tooth comb just to get the initial little tweaks knocked out during delivery.

Rod

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Wow! Thanks for all the quick replies.

To tell you the truth, my wife has been advocating getting the 380 hp. So maybe I shouldn't hesitate so much and just bite the bullet and spend the money to ensure enough power.

I do know that the dealer has ordered the boat configured for high altitude, since they are out of Billings Montana. Gearing and prop size should be appropriate for this elevation.

One of the main reasons we are upgrading is because we felt that we'd be having more people on the boat. The kids love to have tons of friends come up to the lake house and play on the lake. The Four Winns, while a fantastic boat, was built and configured for a lower elevation, and when 10+ people were on the boat, it just was pretty doggy, even with a new prop. We love that boat and are sad to be cleaning it out this weekend to take it to the dealer.

The order was just placed a few days ago, so I'm fairly sure I can still change it to the 380 hp engine.

Thanks again for your thoughts and when we take delivery, I'll post some pictures.

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Glad you came to your senses ... :D ... hats off to your wife!

If you were not happy with your exiting boat you would not be happy with the same engine HP on your new boat which is heavier, larger (I guess), and with more people (10+ plus some more) on board as you expect.

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If you can still change it do it without hesitation! It will pay for itself in resell value anyway. More than pay for itself, in fact. And you will love the 264. Still in love with mine and no thoughts at all of changing/trading it in.

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Good decision to go with the extra power. The 264 Sunesta not only weighs an extra 1000 lbs. but also has a deeper transom deadrise of 22.5 degrees, which requires power. You won't regret the extra power IMO.

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Funny how a wife can understand horsepower as well as a husband can understand the need for anything else on the boat.

I let Judie pick the boats. I pick the engineering stuff......:)

Works for us

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Hi Shepherd.

Are the engines computers " reprogramable " for the 4500' altitude ? Or would that require a computer chip change ?

Running a engine LEANER than lean at a sea level setting.... from the factory... is not good in any possible way.

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The ECM on fuel injected engines figure out the richer/leaner mixtures based on load, rpm, barometric pressure, and air and engine tempertures. Altitude on an EFI engine won't pose any problems except of course lower power than at lower elevations.

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Barometric & the O2 sensor should handle 4500' if the computers have that range of sensors.

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Get the biggest HP choice you can. I have NEVER heard anyone complain their boat has too much power vs. the great number of folkes that say they should have spent the extra deer so they can enjoy the boat loaded with friends...GR

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Get the biggest HP choice you can. I have NEVER heard anyone complain their boat has too much power vs. the great number of folkes that say they should have spent the extra deer so they can enjoy the boat loaded with friends...GR

Go with the big block if it fits your budget.

Congrats!

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It's not just about peak HP either, you need torque to get the boat out of the wate and on plane quickly. No replacement for displacement in that regard, the big block really flexes its muscle on the low end and ultimately the higher peak HP will allow you to cruise at speed with less effort/throttle as well. Rule of thumb is 3% power loss per 1000ft of elevation over sea level, so you're Volvo @ 320HP is already down 300HP at 4500ft.

For me, Volvo vs. Mercruiser isn't that big an issue, but in many areas, Mercruiser in general gets you higher resale period in similar HP ranges. Something to consider as well.

Everyone has a budget to fit in to, for me, I'd rather have a slightly smaller boat with the bigger engine package vs. an under powered larger model. It's a big investment either way, but for the extra 10-12% up front, you'll likley get most of that back on resale value down the road plus I've never met anyone that said "wish I'd bought a smaller engine package".

Whatever your choice ends up being, you've got a great boat coming, congrats!

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Having had a 264 w/ the big block, you need it. yes the smaller engine will work but you also add elevation to your setup. once you fill the boat w/ gear and people and want to ski or tube you will be glad for the extra hp.

425hp is even better.

:drool5:

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Thank you all for weighing in. My hesitation was originally brought on by our FW 230 being configured for a lower altitude (Single prop, different gearing, way too small of a prop to being with) and I just wanted to listen to the local dealer and do what was right for this altitude. I was ignorant in regards to all of those possible problems when I bought that boat. Back then, i just sought out a good boat for a good deal. I've learned my lesson now!



After being enlightened by you all, I called the dealer and asked them upgrade and update the build order. I received confirmation that we will be enjoying the VP 380 hp engine. In fact when I called the salesperson leveled with me and said after he saw what I was driving, he better understood my position. I guess pulling up in a Audi A7 convinced him that I really like some power.



Now, I've asked for a build and delivery dates, but the salesperson states that Chaparral is stonewalling him. No build date a week after ordering still! The Chaparral person even went as far to say to my salesperson that this was the smallest boat ordered last week. Huh? Really? Not exactly a great start in my opinion. All I want is to make sure the boat is here the middle of May so we can work on breaking it in. The trailer should be delivered later next week, but that's not nearly as exciting, but it's progress!



Nevertheless, my wife, girls (3) and their friends (∞), and our friends are excited. Should be a great summer at the lake!


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Apparently my post from the other day didn't get posted for some reason. Like the others I too was recommending going with a bigger engine but not necessarily the Volvo 380. It's a new engine this year and has gotten rave reviews in the boating magazines. However it's a 6.0L engine not a big block like my 8.1L Volvo which is no longer offered. To get a true big block engine you have to go with the 8.1L Mercruiser. The big block normally aspirated engine will give you more torque which you need for towing for the same horsepower. The VP 380 gets its horsepower more from higher rpm rather than simple displacement like a big block. The other point is this is the first production year that this engine is being offered here in the US I believe. I wouldn't want to buy a new engine until it's been on the market for a couple of years.

As far as changing it again should be no problem because Chap will reconfirm through your dealer about 4 weeks before the build date everything in the order before it goes into production. My 2 cents worth is go with the 8.2 Mercruiser over the VP 380 for the reasons cited above.

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good call on the upgrade. hopefully, you have something bigge than the A7 for pulling it. the waiting is the hardest part, but i doubt w/ a lineup of 18'-40' boats that the 26' boat was the smallest on order and it shouldn't matter about the size - :scratchchin: unless there's a women scheduling the builds, then i guess size does matter!!

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good call on the upgrade. hopefully, you have something bigge than the A7 for pulling it. the waiting is the hardest part, but i doubt w/ a lineup of 18'-40' boats that the 26' boat was the smallest on order and it shouldn't matter about the size - :scratchchin: unless there's a women scheduling the builds, then i guess size does matter!!

Well... there was a woman scheduling. So I guess I'm still average and not impressive.

Yes! I do have a bigger tow vehicle. My wife's Q7 TDI - that should work right? 5500 lbs towing capacity and the 264's dry weight is 5400, so with no fuel, stuff, or trailer I'll be good!

But seriously I have a 2004 6.0 Diesel Excursion (with tons of engine/exhaust mods/upgrades) dedicated to towing the boat. It'll do. The A7 is just my "everyday" car used to "tow" my and my dog's butts around.

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Apparently my post from the other day didn't get posted for some reason. Like the others I too was recommending going with a bigger engine but not necessarily the Volvo 380. It's a new engine this year and has gotten rave reviews in the boating magazines. However it's a 6.0L engine not a big block like my 8.1L Volvo which is no longer offered. To get a true big block engine you have to go with the 8.1L Mercruiser. The big block normally aspirated engine will give you more torque which you need for towing for the same horsepower. The VP 380 gets its horsepower more from higher rpm rather than simple displacement like a big block. The other point is this is the first production year that this engine is being offered here in the US I believe. I wouldn't want to buy a new engine until it's been on the market for a couple of years.

As far as changing it again should be no problem because Chap will reconfirm through your dealer about 4 weeks before the build date everything in the order before it goes into production. My 2 cents worth is go with the 8.2 Mercruiser over the VP 380 for the reasons cited above.

I have no real logical reason to go with the Volvo vs. Merc. My past boats have all been VP - my dad's boats were VP. Most all the high end boats at our marina are VP. Our past boat mechanics prefered VP over Mercs. Now I'm not saying the Mercs aren't good and wouldn't dare start a flame war! Clearly they are great setups. If I had to put my finger on it, I'd say that all things being equal, I like the silver outdrive vs. a black one. Stupid reason, I know. I never claimed to be the smartest person, I know what I like. I just have a better perception of VP. Again, no logic applied to that perception.

As for the new 6.0, I understand it's a new engine, but the fuel economy is very attactive, considering the average weekend usually costs me $$-$$$ in fuel alone. I have a had time asking people for funds to contribute to the weekend of fun, so we usually just eat the costs. I also have never been scared away by new tech. I'm an early adoptor in virtually every aspect in my life. I'm always the first with the newest model cars, computers, phones, etc. So this just doesn't phase me at all. New equals better in my book!

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