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Hi All - been browsing around the site and forums for a couple of weeks and ready to dive in (bad pun intended)...

I've already learned a lot from many of the threads here, on other sites, and facebook groups, but always wanting to learn more.

Anyway, I've never had a boat, but always loved going out with friends/family while growing up and said that I'd own one at some point. Well, my wife and I are looking at getting our first within the next year or so and would love some input.

We're in NC and will be using the boat 95-100% in fresh water (small to medium sized lakes), and honestly I'll be surprised if we ever put it in salt water, but never say never right?

Want it mainly for cruising, tubing, knee boarding, and wakeboarding. We're looking at bow riders as the wife loves riding up front while cruising. I've been looking heavily at the 21' H2O sport, but being new to boating, I'm not aware of all that's out there, how this ranks among others in its class, what else to consider, etc. Also interested in the new vs. used debate and the pros and cons for boats in this size range and purpose. Budget wise, we'd be comfortable doing 40-50K, but that'd be on the high end.

Interested to hear y'alls opinions and soak up some of your knowledge!

 

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Welcome to the group......

 

If your new to owning and driving, I'd opt for a used one. You'd be surprised on how much boat you can get for 10-15 grand. Most boat owners are pretty annul, so they're in pretty good shape. Have your buddies help you out. 

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33 minutes ago, JaminZ22 said:

Hi All - been browsing around the site and forums for a couple of weeks and ready to dive in (bad pun intended)...

I've already learned a lot from many of the threads here, on other sites, and facebook groups, but always wanting to learn more.

Anyway, I've never had a boat, but always loved going out with friends/family while growing up and said that I'd own one at some point. Well, my wife and I are looking at getting our first within the next year or so and would love some input.

We're in NC and will be using the boat 95-100% in fresh water (small to medium sized lakes), and honestly I'll be surprised if we ever put it in salt water, but never say never right?

Want it mainly for cruising, tubing, knee boarding, and wakeboarding. We're looking at bow riders as the wife loves riding up front while cruising. I've been looking heavily at the 21' H2O sport, but being new to boating, I'm not aware of all that's out there, how this ranks among others in its class, what else to consider, etc. Also interested in the new vs. used debate and the pros and cons for boats in this size range and purpose. Budget wise, we'd be comfortable doing 40-50K, but that'd be on the high end.

Interested to hear y'alls opinions and soak up some of your knowledge!

 

my first boat was a new one - 16 footer w stern drive and big 4 banger.  I made so many rookie mistakes with that boat.  get a used boat first and learn what you like/dislike, etc..  ask the seller to take you on a ride before you buy.  one virus i got after about 6 months with my 1st boat was 2 footitis...  you can guess what that is.  anyway good luck.

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6 minutes ago, tomnjo said:

This looks nice for the budget you mentioned. A little larger and an SSi model.

https://charlotte.craigslist.org/boa/d/2014-chaparral-226-ssi/6636284036.html

this is the same boat I have - minus a few things.  I love mine - it's solid, flexible people wise, trailers well, and gets on plane fast.  not sure about the price (haven't shopped for a while) but the SSI models are very nice.

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Thanks for the replies so far!

I'm not new to driving, just new to owning, but I'm sure plenty of mistakes will be made :unsure: My biggest concerns with a used one is the unknowns of how they've been treated. I know a lot of boat owners are anal, but my own piece of mind will be a factor. Knowing it's never had a bump, uh-oh, or anything of the like puts my mind at ease, whether or not that actually bears significance is a different story. I'll be financing a pretty big chunk and my understanding is it's a bit more difficult to get financing on used, especially depending on age of boat - any of y'all have experience there? The fact I'd have a warranty on something new is also something that I'm trying to figure out the value of.

 

11 minutes ago, tomnjo said:

This looks nice for the budget you mentioned. A little larger and an SSi model.

https://charlotte.craigslist.org/boa/d/2014-chaparral-226-ssi/6636284036.html

 

4 minutes ago, tolson37 said:

this is the same boat I have - minus a few things.  I love mine - it's solid, flexible people wise, trailers well, and gets on plane fast.  not sure about the price (haven't shopped for a while) but the SSI models are very nice.

That is a beauty! If I was ready to do this now, I'd seriously look into it. If things go as planned, I'll be in the market to buy in advance of next season, but not before Feb./March.

Anyone care to elaborate on the particulars between the H2O line and the SSI's? I know the H2O's are more entry-level, but it seems in the past couple of years, the features are getting better, at least based on what I know.

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1 minute ago, JaminZ22 said:

 

Anyone care to elaborate on the particulars between the H2O line and the SSI's? I know the H2O's are more entry-level, but it seems in the past couple of years, the features are getting better, at least based on what I know.

I don't like generalizing - when you get serious you'll have to go check them out first hand.  It's just like anything else - many mfg's give you options to fit into your budget.  checkout this thread - it may help.  

 

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1 minute ago, tolson37 said:

I don't like generalizing - when you get serious you'll have to go check them out first hand.  It's just like anything else - many mfg's give you options to fit into your budget.  checkout this thread - it may help.  

 

Thanks for this @tolson37! I think I skimmed through that thread the other day, but I'll be sure to go back and actually read it all. I'll definitely be checking things out first hand when the time comes and doing test drives on what I can, just trying to get as much info as possible in the meantime.

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5 minutes ago, tomnjo said:

Next Spring? C'mon man!! I love boat shopping! (especially with someone else's money)  :lol:

BTW,  here's a  pretty red H2O. Already took the depreciation hit.

https://raleigh.craigslist.org/boa/d/2017-chaparral-22ft/6647208475.html

Haha! :lol: That's always the best kind of shopping, right?!

I've seen that one actually and makes me wonder what compels someone to sell after only 1 season. I sure there are many reasons, but makes me go hmmm.

If only it had the black lower hull and tower, then it'd be pretty much what I keep playing around with on the build site.

 

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2 minutes ago, JaminZ22 said:

Haha! :lol: That's always the best kind of shopping, right?!

I've seen that one actually and makes me wonder what compels someone to sell after only 1 season. I sure there are many reasons, but makes me go hmmm.

If only it had the black lower hull and tower, then it'd be pretty much what I keep playing around with on the build site.

 

I think it's the 4.3 engine. May be a bit underpowered for that boat. Not awful but there are better options. Pretty boat, though.

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8 minutes ago, tomnjo said:

I think it's the 4.3 engine. May be a bit underpowered for that boat. Not awful but there are better options. Pretty boat, though.

I hadn't thought about that. I'd definitely want the 4.5 250. I'm curious to see the 2019 offerings. I've seen what they've done with the dash and interior, just wondering if maybe they'll offer slightly more power. 

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I will give you some insight as I was in your exact shoes 2 years ago.

My wife and I had been raised boating but, now in our low 30’s, hadn’t owned or been around them in 10+ years. Our first child had just been born and we were coming to terms with what our free time/vacations were gonna be spent doing as opposed to hopping on a plane to Vegas or Jamaica and drinking until 6am whenever we felt like it.  We live close to a couple different lakes and made the decision that we thought we’d like to raise our children on the water/outdoors/active and figured a boat would be the perfect way for us all to enjoy. 

We also struggled with used vs new and it ultimately came down to making a decision of, we don’t want to be turned off from this lifestyle because we bought a used boat that had problems and decided it wasn’t worth it when we may love it given the right circumstances. I now know that even with a new boat this isn’t always guaranteed but that’s the mindset we had.

We ended up purchasing a new ‘17 H2O custom ordered for us.  250HP 4.5L, sport tower, every single option and after tax it was around $45k. Did tons of research and really can’t find anything new like it for the price. And even 2 years later having seen many more boats and spent time around them, I still feel this way. 

For us this was one of the best decisions we have made. We have been lucky with no issues, everything on the boat is in great shape and runs amazing.  Never lost any time on the water because of repair issues. Kids absolutely love it and so do we.  We plan vacations around it, and spend every weekend at the lake.  We are even considering getting a permanent campsite at our lake to spend even more time there.  

I only have one regret, it isn’t big enough.  I didn’t have the 2 foot itis your hear about though, it was more like 6 foot itis. Everybody’s financial situation is different but we are lucky and a much larger boat would have been well within our means but without any experience assumed this boat would be plenty. At the time we looked at 25 and 27 foot boats and thought to ourselves “who in their right mind would spend that much money on a boat, or even need that big of a boat” .  Well 2 years later, we would, and probably will be in the near future.  So that’s at least one way you find 2 year old, great condition boats on the market.

We have been very happy with Chap and plan on sticking with the brand in our new boat.  

Also, this boat with the 250HP will go.  I can pull my 250lb father and another person up on slaloms no problem.  Acceleration is great, planes in no time, awesome handling for tubing.  It’s laid out very well. Only thing you need to add are some sort of trim tabs. 

Good luck, let me know if you have any more questions.

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Our first one was a 20 footer that was 4 years old didn't look so good on the outside but only had 67 hrs on it. Had it for 4 years all we did was wax it, tires and annual maintenance. Sold it for the price I paid for it. This one was 3 seasons old 76 hrs on it, looked showroom new. 10 years and a few scratches later, I still get looks when I tell them its an '06. 

I worked a second job stayed home a little more, wrote a check for the second one. The're no arguments over doe when the toys are paid for.

Buy used then move up.IMO

it doesn't have the be a Chap.

 

:thththsoapbox2-1:

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Two things will happen eventually, it's inevitable if you be to conservative in your choices. You could feel you didn't buy enough feet and enough power. Assuming all else is equal with quality and appointments buy as much feet and power as you can. If you find a well maintained used boat that's a little more feet and power I would take that. It's impressive how most boats live pretty transparent lives when it comes to how they are maintained. If you have access to the mechanic and the shop who sold and maintained the boat they will know that boat. 

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Used from a dealer, of the same brand as the boat, is safe and financing readily available.  Granted, the dealer will need to do their job and thoroughly inspect, if they do, and if they are open and honest, you'll be well supported.  Doesn't guarantee no problems, but gives you a path to resolve if you prefer someone else do the work.  They also know you'll upgrade in a handful of years, and want your business again as you step-up in size and dollars.  A typical advantage of used over new, the test drive/outing.  Whether dealer or private party used, a thorough water test is the norm.  This helps prevent "will I like it" type issues another recent poster had. 

New from a dealer is safe and financing readily available.  Doesn't guarantee no problems, just guarantee's no one's been on the water with your baby.  Be prepared to chase some issues here and there, and be prepared to inspect thoroughly before delivery and be firm in not accepting a punch list.  Be mindful of the big depreciation hit.  20% to 40% is a good rule of thumb. 

Used from a private party is different, and generally more work and financing harder (or not available).  First, you have to inspect, inspect, inspect and often, get a third-part survey.  Not all sellers are honest, and it's your job to read the signs over several discussion and visits...  Second, if you prefer to finance, it's more leg work to cross the "T's" and "dot the I's"; you'll be doing all of the legwork.  Third, it will take a fair bit of running around town to arrange this, that, etc.  If financing is important to you, angle toward a dealer.  Two negatives.  (1) Dealer inventory is what dealer inventory is.  In many cases, there are vastly more privately owned used boats for sale than from a dealer.  (2) Used is generally without dealer support.  Some dealers just don't like walk in service business nor feel an obligation to support what they don't sell, even if the same brand.

Please be sure to consider how you'll use the boat.  Today there are all kinds of hybrids.  While I'm a fuddy-duddy, I believe you'll generally be happier with your purchase if the boat you buy supports your 75% mission profile.  Said differently, if you're going to fish 75% of the time, you'll be happier with a fishing boat.  Etc.

A final consideration, in the Spring and early Summer prices go up and are much firmer.  Up north, once past the 4th, prices decline and become more negotiable.  Once September sets in and through December or perhaps January, prices are at their lowest and negotiation and accommodation more open. 

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2 hours ago, brclark82 said:

I will give you some insight as I was in your exact shoes 2 years ago.

By "exact" you're not far off, hearing your experience helps a lot! We're approaching our 30s and don't have any little ones quite yet. The H2O's are so attractive for the reasons you mentioned (price, features, etc.), not to mention I just love the overall design of the Chaps. I've been on good size fishing boats in the 27-32' range, but most ski/rec boats that I grew up around/in were 18ish, so the 21 will really be a little step up from what we're used to riding in on the lakes.

2 hours ago, Toddler said:

Our first one was a 20 footer that was 4 years old didn't look so good on the outside but only had 67 hrs on it. Had it for 4 years all we did was wax it, tires and annual maintenance. Sold it for the price I paid for it. This one was 3 seasons old 76 hrs on it, looked showroom new. 10 years and a few scratches later, I still get looks when I tell them its an '06. 

I worked a second job stayed home a little more, wrote a check for the second one. The're no arguments over doe when the toys are paid for.

Buy used then move up.IMO

it doesn't have the be a Chap.

:thththsoapbox2-1:

Good to hear you've had good experience with your used ones! That's refreshing. I'm definitely a looks guy and I'm sure even something small on a used one is going to turn me off. Sad I know, but at least I'm not too proud to admit it. Doesn't mean I won't be looking at used - y'all have opened my eyes a bit on what's out there. I'm just afraid I'll be too picky to be truly satisfied, but maybe I'm wrong.

1 hour ago, 247SSX said:

Two things will happen eventually, it's inevitable if you be to conservative in your choices. You could feel you didn't buy enough feet and enough power. Assuming all else is equal with quality and appointments buy as much feet and power as you can. If you find a well maintained used boat that's a little more feet and power I would take that. It's impressive how most boats live pretty transparent lives when it comes to how they are maintained. If you have access to the mechanic and the shop who sold and maintained the boat they will know that boat. 

First off, BEA-utiful boat! Secondly, I'm sure I'll always want bigger and more power, just the way I'm wired (as I think a lot of us here are), but with that comes a lot more $$$, all things equal.

@Curt - Didn't quote your whole post to try and keep this reply shorter, but I really appreciate your insight here. I've read a lot about these options, but you've really summed it up nicely in a single post! As for this part...

1 hour ago, Curt said:

Please be sure to consider how you'll use the boat.  Today there are all kinds of hybrids.  While I'm a fuddy-duddy, I believe you'll generally be happier with your purchase if the boat you buy supports your 75% mission profile.  Said differently, if you're going to fish 75% of the time, you'll be happier with a fishing boat.  Etc.

...I couldn't agree more! We'll be riding/cruising/relaxing probably 60-70% of the time, water sports 20-30%, and fishing maybe 10%. We'll be the weekend warrior type and hope to keep whatever we buy for at least 5-10 years (another reason for looking at new).

All - I appreciate the input thus far. I was apprehensive posting another "newbie here, need advice thread". I love the SSIs. I think it's going to be tricky finding what I want and can afford in something used, when I'm ready, but I'm definitely keeping it as an option. I'd love to hear from other H2O owners as well on what you like/dislike. 

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Anyone know what engine options were available on the 226 SSIs between 2014-2017? I've seen some 2014-2015s with VP 270HP or 5.0 Merc, but everything I've seen in 2016-2017 has the VP 240HP or Mercury 4.5 250HP

I really like the SSIs, but if I go that route, definitely don't want it to be underpowered. 

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Is NC like my state of MN, where everyone has a boat and there are a lot of barely used boats that the owner bought only to realize that boating is costly and harder than you would think to fit in to your life so they sell it in a year or two.  Those boats are still like new and sometimes with a lot of warranty left yet depreciation strikes and makes for a better deal than new. Because of that, I would simply never own a H20 when an ssi or pick your equivalent in another brand is the same or less money used.  I don't know anything about financing stuff but someone must finance all of those used, private party boats.  

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. I'd love to hear from other H2O owners as well on what you like/dislike. 

 

Jamin

- I have a 2016 21' h20.  4.3L merc.  This was my first boat purchase.  My rationale for purchasing new was along the same lines as yours.

I have no regrets.  I could not tell the difference between an h20 and an SSI or at the time.  After owning for a year I get the difference now.  size options, power and some fit / finish.  That said, dollar for dollar I don't think you can get a better deal than a new h2o in your price range.  (opinion, not fact - that I'm sure others would disagree with - see above posts).  

No problems in 3 seasons.  Next boat would be 25 ft range (even wife now agrees) and V8 powered.  I was not comfortable driving a 25' boat when I purchased the h2o.  The 21' was a good boat to start with.  It has plenty of power to tube, board, ski, etc...  Gas mileage is good as a bonus, though that really did not weigh into my decision.  The boat goes faster than the portable governor (my wife) will allow.  Negatives include only realistically being able to put about 8 people on the boat comfortably, but again it is a 21' bow rider, not a yacht.   I knew that when I bought it.   The 21' will only put up with so much chop so consider the waters you will be boating in.  

The stock sound system is not adequate, but I think that is true across the board in the chap line.  

 

Maybe in the end it gets to do you want to buy the boat that is right for you now, or the boat that may be right for you in 3 years?

 

enjoy the hunt - that is part of the fun.  

 

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I’ve got a 21’ h20 ski fish with the Yamaha outboard. We bought new April last season for same reasons as others. We mostly boat on fresh water lakes with a salt water trip about once a season. Just got back from Florida taking it offshore for scalloping for a couple of days. Small craft advisory second day. No issues. We ran shallow to avoid the big stuff, but it did great. Was actually perfect for scalloping. Got a lot of compliments on it.  My buddy has a nice center console.  His kid wanted to ride with us instead of on their boat.  Said it rode a lot better than their boat in the rough water. I told her not to tell her dad. 

Best advice I got when shopping was buy your next boat first. I think we did that and I have no desire for anything more than we have. It’s absolutely perfect for us. The outboards are more efficient than the inboards and a lot less maintenance. Mine has the 150. Only change I would have made would be to get the 200 instead, but there isn’t much of a different between the two. 

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On 7/30/2018 at 4:15 PM, JaminZ22 said:

Anyone know what engine options were available on the 226 SSIs between 2014-2017? I've seen some 2014-2015s with VP 270HP or 5.0 Merc, but everything I've seen in 2016-2017 has the VP 240HP or Mercury 4.5 250HP

I really like the SSIs, but if I go that route, definitely don't want it to be underpowered. 

I've got the 226 SSI Elite Package - has a 350 Mag (300HP) w Bravo 3.  No problem with power...  I'm not sure what other options there are.

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