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Newbie Considering a 382 SR-1


Newbie Considering a 382 SR-1

Old 09-23-2023, 04:18 PM
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Default Newbie Considering a 382 SR-1

Hi Everyone,

I’m new to boating and this forum. Although I’ve had jet skis for the past 20 years, I really don’t consider that the same as boating. My dad owned a 22’ Donzi when I was younger, and I’m really looking at getting into the power boating world. From what I’ve read, it seems these boats are falling out of style in favor of Center Consoles and fancy ski boats. Honestly, for me there is something really cool and sexy about a true Big Block (or two) driven go-fast boat, and really hope to end up in one. I don’t need the fastest boat on the lake, but I’d like something with respectable speed (60 mph is good enough for me), and something that my girlfriend and I can overnight on (needs to have a potty).

I’m really looking at a mid 90’s Formula 382 SR-1. It seems to check all of the boxes and is within an acceptable price-range for me. Also on the list a Baja 38 Special and Fountain 35 Lightning (all 90’s year models). My question is, how fussy are these boats on maintenance? If you had to guess, how much does it cost on average to operate these boats? What kind of annual maintenance is required for these boats other than winterization and oil changes? How often (hours) do the engines and drives need to be overhauled? Are these boats overall pretty reliable? I know a lot of this depends, but what’s a realistic maintenance cost number for an average 382?

I currently live in Kansas and will probably use the boat on Kaw Lake and Table Rock next year. I will probably have to tow the boat, but I have a ¾ ton diesel truck that I think should be able to do the job. I will probably move to Texas for the 2025 season and will most likely use the boat on either Texoma, Lake Travis, or Canyon Lake depending on where I move. Is a 38’ boat “too much” boat for these lakes? I’m not opposed to getting something smaller, but it seems that boats less than 38’ don’t really have potties and seem more difficult to overnight on.

My other “toy” is an airplane and on average it costs me about $30k/yr to own in hangar expenses, insurance, annual inspections, AvGas, database and maintenance. I don’t know if owning this type of boat will be similar in those expenses. I can secure outdoor storage for $45/mo, I don’t know what insurance would run. My fear is just constant (expensive) maintenance headaches. I know a lot of this depends on a good boat appraisal and how the boat was previously maintained. My last question is if there is a good directory for boat appraisers? Before I buy any boat I’d like to get it appraised. I appreciate you reading this far, I will also be posting on the Baja and Fountain boards. Thanks a ton!

Last edited by El Jefe; 09-23-2023 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 09-25-2023, 09:12 PM
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What’s your price range. I have a 38’ cigarette top gun that would fit the bill!!!

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TomZ (10-05-2023)
Old 09-26-2023, 08:54 AM
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Is the 382 a triple engine?
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Old 09-26-2023, 09:38 AM
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Nothing cheap about 30 year-old twin big block/Bravo drive performance boats in terms of what can be or will go wrong with them at any time. Some years you may be just in for oil/filters/gas and others you could be in for $20-$30K+ worth of work. Be prepared to be wrenching a lot or have a reputable shop lined up that can take your boat on if you don't turn your own wrenches. Outdoor storage won't help your cause either.

For the boats you have listed above, the 38 Special will have the best cabin for overnighting on. The 35 Fountain will be the tightest in terms of space all around.
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Old 09-26-2023, 12:36 PM
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I had a 382 fastech. Great boat.

With airplanes you likely have the right mindset and understand these things can be reliable, or a nightmare, depending on previous owners. The problem with boats is that there are no annual inspections or certifications like airplanes so therefore it's the "wild, wild west" in regards to condition/history. There are ALOT of service items most of us do ourselves which is not possible with a plane either. So, are you willing to service/winterize the engine/systems yourself? Can you do basic mechanical work (change alternator/water pump). I'd recommend stock power and be mindful of anything small they need. Spend big $$$ to start to make sure everything is in tip-top shape and it will be easier to keep it that way. $30K the first year should be more than enough IF...IF you don't have major mechanical issues (engine/outdrives).

BTW: I spent a little time on a 42 Fountain......the cabin was noticably SMALLER than my 382.
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kjm5125 (11-18-2023)
Old 09-26-2023, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmwurst
Is the 382 a triple engine?
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kjm5125 (11-18-2023)
Old 09-26-2023, 01:14 PM
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Not a Formula, but take a looksee at this Baja. It's a lot of really good powertrain parts for the money. Older, but not ancient. Reliable, and not complicated powertrain.
1998 Baja Outlaw 36 SST Fresh Rebuilds On Twin Blue HP500s (davis4x4.com)
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kjm5125 (11-18-2023)
Old 09-26-2023, 01:27 PM
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Have a 292 FasTech with 350s and IMCO. Very much love my boat... wouldn't mind a 353, but the fuel burn and parts would be double my 350s.
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Old 09-27-2023, 12:02 PM
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just my $.02 but a 38' go fast is an awfully big boat to start out with. I would want to take some driving instruction if it were me.
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Old 09-27-2023, 03:49 PM
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part of the reason I liked the 292.
Big enough for twins and to hold my own on the bay, but small enough for me to dock without a spectacle. I came from a single 24' I think I could handle a 353 at this point, but that's also a lotta boat.
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