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New performance boater

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Old 02-01-2010, 10:22 PM
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Hi Guys , new to the forum . I am looking at buying my first true performance boat. I have grown up boating all my life but never with performance boats. I have been looking at some single engine eliminator daytonas as i like cats but not sure what i should be looking at . I certainly dont want anything outside my novice driving abilities. i know a rookie can get himself in trouble with too much speed. I am not opposed to buy smaller and upgrade with expierience. i have my eye on a 26 daytona with a 950 blown motor but i have to say its too much motor for me. Guy says 109 gps. I also hear the smaller hp daytonas run 90ish. Insurance would also be an issue with the larger hp. Or should i look twin in a v hull. I know this is a broad question but not really sure what i should even look at. I will run mostly Lake michigan waters and would like to stay 26-32'. I could spend anywheres from 20 to 70,000. Maybe i should look at an older entry level boat but i worry about bad motors drives etc. I also hate the thought of these juiced motors breaking when away from home. 950 hp has got to be juiced and scares me . Thanks for any beginner advice .
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:48 PM
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IMHO I dont think size matters as much as speed for a novice. My first boat was a 31 V hull with twins.....70mph. I think that was a great "first" boat to learn on. Now if it ran 110 mph it would probaly be way to much for me. Stay with in the size you think would be good for your boating conditions. maybe on the larger side of the scale since it always seems people usually want to go bigger with there next one. Towing is also BIG in the picture....cats are wide......anything over a 35' v bottem seems to be more complicated to tow than a smaller v. hope this helps
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:17 PM
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IMHO I dont think size matters as much as speed for a novice. My first boat was a 31 V hull with twins.....70mph. I think that was a great "first" boat to learn on. Now if it ran 110 mph it would probaly be way to much for me. Stay with in the size you think would be good for your boating conditions. maybe on the larger side of the scale since it always seems people usually want to go bigger with there next one. Towing is also BIG in the picture....cats are wide......anything over a 35' v bottem seems to be more complicated to tow than a smaller v. hope this helps

IMO size will help in Lake MI. Lake MI gets rough, and I would rather not learn how to drive a 21' boat on that lake. I would stay at least 26' for sure (and I'd try to get as close to 30 as possible), and I would try to get something with twins. Towing a boat to a lake is tough on a car, getting towed back to the dock is tough on the pocket book. Are you planning on towing your boat to a launch, or keeping it at a marina?


You say you've been boating all your life, but have you just been on a family boat or have you actually owned other boats? If you're not use to docking a boat, and doing all of the maintenance yourself, I would try to buy something that will not cost you an arm and a leg in re-sale value if you put a scuff or two in it, but something that still looks nice.


I think Cuda's first boat (something around 31', something that does 60-70ish) is about perfect for a first boat. You'll learn how to trim your drives for speed, use your tabs, etc.


One of the best pieces of advice I can give you about owning a boat is spare no expense on the little things. Have adequate and quality lines, bumpers, life jackets, etc. Too many idiots try to tie up with undersized bumpers, garbage lines, etc. So many people pay thousands of dollars for a decent boat, but refuse to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a good set of fenders to protect their investment. Unless you're really experienced with mechanical devices I would wait until the water thaws to buy anything also. You can get surveys and whatnot, but it would suck to buy something and figure out later that its not what you thought you were getting.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:33 PM
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Many factors involved. Size? What is the water usually like? Rough 2-3's or bigger? Any bigger I wouldn't buy under 30'. Buying budget? 27' is about the biggest single I would go. You'll get 70mph with some modest HP. Twin engine boats of course cost more to buy and maintain. Bringing us to boating budget each week and for the season. Fuel use, maintinence, INSURANCE. Cats will kill you on insurance. Especially being first time cat owner. Twin engines you'll soon feel like Noah and the Ark. Double everything! Try and get a few rides in some different size and type boats. Lots of power boaters will be more than glad to demonstrate their rigs and let you ride along for free or the price of some fuel. Look around for a poker run that may have a few boats looking for passengers to defray some costs. I assume you've never riden or driven a cat? MUCH different ride. I'll never go back to a "V" but some don't like it. Especially in the turns. Think it through and do your research. Older hulls can be had without power and have newer engines installed is a possibility. Keeps your buying costs down and you'll be sure on the reliability of the engines. Just my 2ct's worth.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:33 PM
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Thanks guys, i am looking for 26 being the smallest. I have driven boats since I was a teen , i am 48 now. I have owned two boats myself and driven regularly , all my dads boats. he has had 7 different boats . The fastest was about 75 . Checkmate with a merc outboard. It was fun but would chine walk a bit if you didnt know how to drive it. Nothing bigger than a 24 though. Mostly what i call family pleasure boats. i did not like the thought of gas and maintenance on a twin screw but do like the two engine theory to avoid the tow. Food for thought.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:25 AM
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Cats will kill you on insurance. Especially being first time cat owner. T
That right there can make a $70,000 into a $75,000 very quickly.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:33 AM
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For a first time cat owner with no performance boat experience you probably wont even get it and if you do it will be big $$$. I would suggest not to get a cat as your first performance boat and especially a small one on Lake Michigan!!
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:57 AM
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An excellant choice to look at and bang for the buck would be Superboat. Superboat online.com, model 30Y2k. John Coen phone# 631-226-1761. Another good choice would be Sunsation with excellent customer service. Phone# 810-794-4888. Located in Michigan. I have owned both and been happy with both. I would recommend you stay in the 70 MPH range till you get your sea legs. Most important if you buy used, is get it surveyed by an accredited surveyor and is familiar with performance boats. There are alot of good used boats out there, if new is not in the budget. Good luck. If you have questions I'm sure someone here would be happy to help you. Just my thoughs .
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:11 AM
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Most insurance co's will insist on a survey anyway so it's a good reason to get one done before you buy the boat youor thinking of buying. A few hundred dollar cost to a $70K+ investment. The insurance factor would apply to your yearly boating budget. Big difference in $1000. per year for a "V" hull and $5K per year for a Cat. If you can even find a co to write you a policy. I would stay away from cats until you at least ride in one. You might change your mind and not like it. Their different I'll say that. Stay closer to a 30' though no matter what. Unless you enjoy getting the crap beat out of you?
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:40 AM
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Are you just wanting to go with an i/o for power?
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