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Entry level power boat??

Old 04-03-2011, 11:14 AM
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Location: DeRidder, LA
My Boats: 1997 29 Fountain Fever, Twin Supercharged 509s
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Baja Outlaws are nice. I agree that the 496 is a good motor if you plan on leaving it that way. If you want to do anything else to it plan on spending alot of money on internal upgrades. Raylar makes great kits for the 496. 454/502 Mags would be my choice of motor(s). I would get the biggest boat you can afford with a minimum length of 25'. The bigge,r the better for the most part. Again get the biggest reliable power you can buy. Once you get into superchargers plan on spending almost double on your maint. Servicing needs to be done for the most part at twice the rate of non-charged engines. Also the drive must be able to handle the power (XR drives min in my book). You are going to want something that can keep up with the other boats; you will eventually want more speed so plan on it, it is addictive. A 25 Outlaw with the 496 HO should put you in the 65-68 mph range. With 4 passengers and a full load of fuel expect to lose a few mph. I see you are close to Lake Conroe. I was on the lake for my first time this weekend. They say it can get rough with alot of boats out there. It gets windy to so you want something to handle 1-3 chop min. The Outlaw will do that. Stepped hull baots will be faster with the same HP and you can find plenty of Fountains in the 27-29' range. Believe it or not but the 29 will be faster with the same power. They did more development on that hull. Good luck in your search and make sure you get a survey done.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:27 AM
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I went through the same search a few years back, and wanted something that will handle big lake water and not look like every other guy w/ an "offshore" (ie you couldn't pay me to take a Baja).

28 Powerplay, 28 Active Thunder, and 28 Pantera are my short list. Twin small blocks or a single blue motor would be my preference for affordability of maintenance/insurance and still decent speed. All 3 of these are "wave crushers" for 28's, with non-stepped hulls so they are easy to run. Very high quality custom built as well, with traditional South Florida offshore styling. Only drawback is there are far fewer on the market than the more production style boats, but it's worth being a little patient to find what you like. Your price range should land a mid 90's boat maybe newer.

There are plenty of other nice options as well, like the Formula's, Fountains (small for their size), Donzi's, PQ's, etc.

Also, be sure to check on insurance based on speed, can get spendy above 75 mph.

Good luck.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:44 AM
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Location: LeClaire Ia
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Originally Posted by txsdukhntr View Post
I'm looking a Vee's...Its seems like everbody has a Baja around here...I was looking for maybe a Nordic or Donzi...
besides me loving the nordic boats another factor I purchased one was that where I boat the area is flooded with baja's and fountains. I am the only Nordic in area and get alot of looks, most even ask what it is. Nothin against the baja and fountain boats but why B like everyone else. With the nordics and donzi's you will probably be diggin in later models with that $ range.

Good Luck with search
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by txsdukhntr View Post
I'm looking into buying a powerboat for the first time and I'm wanting to know some things to look for and things to stay away, motors and outdrives..I have owned high performance bass boats ,bay boats but new to this...I'm looking for boats 25' to 30'...Thanks for any words of advice...
Talk to Boatman22 here on the board. He owns TMR on 105 and has a nive Donzi for sale.
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:06 PM
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Location: Canyon Lake/ Houston, TX
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New to power boating myself. I bought a 97 Formula 271 FASTech with a Blue 502 carb motor (500 hp), 26,500 was the price. So far it is everything I need on the lake, great starter boat. So far as I know, it is the only Formula on Canyon Lake, TX.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by txsdukhntr View Post
I'm guessing around 4-6 people..mostly on lakes..But I'm not far from the coast though..My budget is in the $30'S..I have found some boats with wipple chargers???I have done some research and the 496HO seams to be the engine to get.Thanks for any and all help....
Welcome to the board, I love your screen name, LOL!!!

Your budget will cover many boats that will fit the bill. I'd suggest prioritizing your wants and needs for the new boat.
If it's simply speed aim for a 29 Fountain Fever, or one of the 28's (Pantera, Active Thunder,Powerplay) If it's performance cruising while cruising with some more couples aboard with the two of you a 27 Formula or Baja 272 will probably be a little more comfortable but down on sheer topend speed.
I disagree about the Baja boats, although they're like Chevy's in the fact that there's a lot of them out there on the water, it's still a great boat. The Formula would be awesome.

There's a lot of us members here in your area, the kids and I look forward to meeting y'all out on Lake Conroe.

See ya,
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:21 PM
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I know its a bit outa your price range but this is the way to go as said before. Spend a little more now because just like everyone and I stress everyone wish's they had gotten just a little bigger/better on the 1st one.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Portland OR
My Boats: 2006 Nordic Rage
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I'm new here too and hope I not hijacking this thread, but I'm in the market too and I notice the hard deck boats are nice but the cockpits look great when you have to go fast but most are so small in the 25-27 size and the front seats are so tight that if you had 4 to 6 people sitting around when have a beer, they look very cramped. Is there anothers with a mid cabin/BR set up that you guys like?
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:36 PM
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Hey Cosmic12,I can't start off with that..Where would I go from there??LOL..I did see a Powerquest that got my curiosity...What is the normal preventive maintenance on these engines..So many hours what should be done?
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
My Boats: 1990 Eliminator 234 Edge, 1980 Nordic Blown Jet Boat, Rochelle Craft 20' Bowrider Jet Boat 2008 Eliminator 36' Speedster-Charter member of the "Too Damn Many Boats At One Time Club"
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Originally Posted by txsdukhntr View Post
I'm looking a Vee's...Its seems like everbody has a Baja around here...I was looking for maybe a Nordic or Donzi...
Don't you want to be different than everybody else? Get a Cat. Nordic is a great boat. Get a Nordic Cat.
Same engine, same length hull, cat=20 mph faster. Less hp faster.
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