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Probably gonna be a long post but here it goes. So I own an auto repair shop and acquired a 2006 Chaparral 215ssi cuddy as a trade for a job. It had no engine or gimble housing. Ive recently installed an ATK Marine 350 and new mercruiser gimble. I grew up with boats. Mostly fishing and bow riders and always stayed in the rivers in Louisiana. We would go out to the big lakes (ponchatrain) and ski and what not. Now that I have a cuddy cabin, the wife and I would like to travel farther and do some camping on the boat. Will this boat do ok out in the gulf of Mexico? Can we make runs to dauphin Island? Is it even possible to cruise the coast to maybe Florida? Are their fuel maps? Just looking to actually use the boat for more touring and site seeing. Should I flip this boat and go bigger? Whats some good options here? Thanks for reading . 

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Here on the Great Lakes, on Lake Erie, small craft warnings are issued for boats 63 ft and below. 

Pick your days, and you can go anywhere, in anything, it's all about getting off the water, before ugly hits. Denny.

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I use navionics and boat us apps to watch weather bouys on lake huron. Wind speeds are the biggest concerns for me. Some of the bouys report wave heights. Watching the weather can help you avoid bad seas but occasionally squalls pop up out of no where. The bigger the boat thd better for big water!

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2 hours ago, Randall Harbert said:

I use navionics and boat us apps to watch weather bouys on lake huron. Wind speeds are the biggest concerns for me. Some of the bouys report wave heights. Watching the weather can help you avoid bad seas but occasionally squalls pop up out of no where. The bigger the boat thd better for big water!

I also use the buoys either for current conditions or watching for a trend. For me, I use the Port Colborne buoy for my end of Lake Erie. Really helpful.

I also agree with Dennys post above. You can take your boat anywhere but the weather and the conditions it will generate, will determine when and where you go. Its also a good idea if you can afford it, to go bigger. Bigger will allow you more options. A 21 footer in a 1 foot wave condition will not be the same in a 26 footer. If you have the money to upgrade.....good idea.

I never liked the new "droopy" open bow design. Asking for trouble in wavy conditions.  As stated, you can take it anywhere, but pay attention.

This video is why I love my cuddy:

After watching the above, I decided to watch the next one. Even shows a Chaparral bow rider. Good examples of conditions vs size. 

 

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I live by haulover.

I am amazed at some of the boats that go through there.....many unsuccessfully.

Watch your weather, last week I we t dow to key largo in the ocean, it was so calm a 15ft boat would have enjoyed the ride.

The way back was a different story.

Whenever i go out in the ocean, i have an exit plan if it gets real rough.

Weather can change quickly even a few miles in a rough sea will seem like an eternity.

 

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