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Best Single Engine 26-29Ft. Performance Boat?

Old 07-05-2002, 11:08 PM
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I'm going to agree with Fred on this one- LOTO can get very rough, and can challenge any boat less than 35', so IMHO, a South Florida custom mfg. in this length would give you the best ride. Since I own a 28' Active Thunder, I'm biased towards them (of course!)
The Pantera, or a Powerplay (did they make any 28's with a single?) would handle LOTO as well, and were in the running prior to my AT purchase.
I don't know anything about the custom New York boats, but their reputation seems to be very good. There are also some OSO members having great success running the 28' Sunsation off the east coast in rough water- nice boat! I'm sure they'll chime in!
As far as a production boat goes, the Formulas may not be quite as fast as a Fountain, but the rough-water capability is going to be better, and the fit/finish/resale comparable. I owned a Formula, and would own another. The new 29' Formula is a very impressive boat, although most opt for twin SBC power rather than single.
Happy Hunting!
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:12 PM
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I also put in a vote for Formula if speed isn't the top concern. They are great rough water boats, resale is great, and fit and finish is as good as any.

I have two, one is an 81 that I am restoring. The more I take apart, the more I am impressed with this boat. The wood behing the panels is not rotted, most of the 21 year old bolts looked like new. The stringers are big and solid. Even the 21 year old upholstery wasn't rotted. A few seams on the seats were loose, and a few puncture wounds, and this boat wasn't babied. Doubt it ever saw any wax.
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:42 PM
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These threads are always fun ...

Are you buying new or used? You can talk pads, Vs, and steps all day but nothing will affect the ride more than weight. If you bought a used 28 to 30 twin ... you will definately ride easier. I'm not familiar with LOTO, but all 26 to 29 single Vs will pound in the soup.
That said ...

I have a 280 Velocity, and am very pleased with it. Very fast, very deep, no step(which is good), supurb quality.

Formula 271 would also be a GREAT choice. Great resale, only a mild step, decent performance, the BEST quality. Their 290 with twin small blocks would also be good. A used 303 about 1995 with twin big blocks would be ideal ...

Sonic 26 is a heavy, deep V with a great ride, but not real fast. They also make a 28 with twins.

Might want to look at a used Baja 29 outlaw with twins. Their quality has been getting better and you could buy a slightly used one for the price of one of the others new.

Can't recommend the Fountain 27. Has half the room of the others above and has too radical a step. I've been inside and beside them in rough stuff and I wouldn't own one. One last week in the poker run in ABay hooked and ran in to a Fountain 41 and sent some people to the hospital. The 29 would be a better choice but would be more than a Formula, which is no comparison.

Eliminator makes great cats ... but I haven't seen any of their v hulls.

I selected what I felt was the right boat for me. These are some I would recommend you look at. Good luck...
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:45 PM
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30 Checkmate convincor (28ft)Nice cabin,good rough water ride and a good MPH for a single.28 Sunsation is also a nice package..I have been looking too.Test drive before you buy.
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:57 PM
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Before you buy a Fountain, you might want to check out some of the threads concerning their customer service. Sounds pretty piss poor to me.
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:59 PM
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One vote for Sonic. I have an 01 model with the 496 ho. I give you a good deal on. I am upgrading to 31. I got spoiled riding in Danos with 500s and the new one with 575s. If you have any ?s about Sonic feel free to e mail. Good luck on your choice. Try riding on as many boats as you can before you decide.
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Old 07-06-2002, 03:10 AM
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You've got a lot of good boats mentioned already. I go to LOTO a couple times a year and thats one of the main reasons I chose to get my Pantera. It is SOLID!!!! and a true 28'. It is longer than a 29 Fountain when you include the swim deck. Also the cockpit will seat 6 in reasonable comfort.
The Pantera handled the water at LOTO over Memorial weekend VERY well. One of things I was impressed with was how level the boat stayed coming off of 4-5 footers. Waterfoul also drove it in some BIG slop and was also impressed.
As far a creasture features, there aren't many on most Panteras. The cabin is good sized and about the same as a 312 Formula in height and length. Actually I have a longer, taller V-berth, and the Formula has longer benches. I was also considering several of the boats already talked about, mainly a 271 Formula and 288 Sunsation. I chose the Pantera for many reasons. One of the main reasons was that I never heard one bad thing about them. Another was the ability to call Pantera and talk to the people who built the boat without any big run around.
If you haven't made any decisions by the Shootout, get a hold of me and I'll take you for a ride.
BTW, JO, when do I get start getting my commissions for being your Midwest representative???
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Old 07-06-2002, 08:02 AM
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OK, I'll have to plug my brand of choice too. The Superboat 30. It's got your list covered good except for maybe the cabin. You can probably pick one up for less $$ than most of the other boats mentioned. Superboats are a little sparse on ammenities but the performance is there.

Good Luck,
Dave M.

P.S. I think my next boat is going to be a 28 Pantera.
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Old 07-06-2002, 08:26 AM
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1) Resale...Heh, thats funny. If you want good resale, buy a USED boat. I don't care what brand boat you buy, you're going to take a big hit the day you take delivery. Let somebody else take the initial hit, I know I will next time I buy a boat. Many of my friends bought new like I did, most will buy used next time.

Also, most of those same friends bought a 28' like I did, and ALL say its too small and will be looking to upgrade in size like myself if you run in the rough. If you run in the chop, I would seriously consider a bigger boat. I know this doesn't meet your criteria for size, but it's food for thought. I wish I knew what I know now when I purchased a 28'.
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Old 07-06-2002, 09:41 AM
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How about a Nordic? Their 28' Heat model runs very well in rough water, has a spacious cabin and above all is great handling and fast. (single step) I usually get the chance to ride in a couple during the summer on Lake Erie, and I'm always impressed with the way the boat handles 3-4 footers. Also, it goes without saying, you just cannot compare Nordic's workmanship- from the rigging to the always flawless gelcoat with any other boat in that price range.
If you have any questions about the 28' Nordic Heat do yourself a favor and call Franks Marine in Berlin Center Ohio.(330-547-3688) Even though I do not own a Nordic, I was treated extremely well there when I purchaced my Scarab there. I believe Frank has been a dealer for Nordic for the last 4-5 years now. Great Boats, check em' out. Hope that I was of some help to you.
Later, Scott
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