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TJY99

High altitude engine choice on new 264 Sunesta

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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 (Canyon Ferry Lake, Helena MT), 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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If I were you I switch to the Mercruiser 8.2L engine. As you can see from my signature I have the last year Volvo offered the 8.1L engine which is the equivalent. The Volvo 380 is a new engine this year and I wold be reluctant to get one in the first few production years despite all the rave reviews. Normally aspirated big block engines generally offer more torque for similar horsepower which will help with towing. Jus my 2 cents worth.

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