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Mid-Size Cats: 450Rs vs 700SCIs

Old 01-16-2021, 09:36 AM
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Default Mid-Size Cats: 450Rs vs 700SCIs

So, I've had this discussion with several friends - including Der Fuhrer himself, Peter Hledin - about the pros and cons of outboard vs inboard powered cats in the mid-size market (32'-40'). We've all seen the explosion of 450R boats in the offshore performance cat scene recently, and I'd just like to hear your guy's opinions on it. I'm only comparing 450Rs vs 700SCIs because they're comparable in price/warranty/maintenance/reliability. We all know the clear reason for inboard vs outboard when you step into the 1100/1350/1550 and other big power inboard cats. In the used market, 700SCI boats tend to be less money than the newer 450R boats. New, a pair of 700SCIs cost $50k more than a pair of 450Rs, so the 700SCI boats cost a little more. I'm interested to hear your guy's opinions on which setup you would buy if you were in the market for either a used or new mid-size cat, and the reasons for your opinion. For anyone interested in NOT talking about our dismal, democratic-overtaken political situation right now, this might be of interest to you as a way to kill some winter time while not boating.
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01-16-2021, 10:10 AM
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Sold an AMAZING 32 Skater for an even more amazing OB 450 boat. The fact it's an MTI wasn't part of the decision. I really thought an MTI would be cost-prohibitive so the DCB/Victory were the original focus.

The torque on the 700 boat was reasonably stronger. But the combo with a 6 drive didn't accelerate nearly as fast as my 34 MTI. 0-100 the 450 boat would kill my 700/6 Skater
The fact I can run my 450 boat for EIGHT years with minimal worry on repair costs was also a HUGE factor. I think 2 years is available on the reborn 700 but even at the 3 year standard warranty the 450 is a no brainer.
I am a neat freak and I would spend hours cleaning my bilge after every run. Even a quick day at a fresh-water PR I would be on my hands and knees in the bilge. It sure is nice just scrubbing the cowlings and wiping it down.
The 700 boat has many other concerns beside the actual motor like headers, trannys, etc that just don't seem to be problems of note on the 450. And are not warranty items in most cases.
The 700 boat will LIKELY be better in some rough water. The 6 drive and weight being the most obvious factors. The skater was roughly 2200/2500lbs more than the MTI.
That said, the OB has just proven to be easier boating. If there is 10% of the water that the Skater would be better that's a high number. Match that vs the fact I put 92hrs on the Skater in 3 years and I have 72 hrs on the 450/34 MTI in 4 months.

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Old 01-16-2021, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Skater30 View Post
So, I've had this discussion with several friends - including Der Fuhrer himself, Peter Hledin - about the pros and cons of outboard vs inboard powered cats in the mid-size market (32'-40'). We've all seen the explosion of 450R boats in the offshore performance cat scene recently, and I'd just like to hear your guy's opinions on it. I'm only comparing 450Rs vs 700SCIs because they're comparable in price/warranty/maintenance/reliability. We all know the clear reason for inboard vs outboard when you step into the 1100/1350/1550 and other big power inboard cats. In the used market, 700SCI boats tend to be less money than the newer 450R boats. New, a pair of 700SCIs cost $50k more than a pair of 450Rs, so the 700SCI boats cost a little more. I'm interested to hear your guy's opinions on which setup you would buy if you were in the market for either a used or new mid-size cat, and the reasons for your opinion. For anyone interested in NOT talking about our dismal, democratic-overtaken political situation right now, this might be of interest to you as a way to kill some winter time while not boating.

Looks and sound.............700's.
Whipple upgrades.............700's
Warranty............................450R's

I think insurance might come into play here in the decision making process. The 450's likely disappear easier due to their simplicity and that they can be put on everything from a pontoon to a center console. I thought someone mentioned that with the 450s it was tough to get coverage on mid-sized cats in one of the threads.
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:10 AM
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Sold an AMAZING 32 Skater for an even more amazing OB 450 boat. The fact it's an MTI wasn't part of the decision. I really thought an MTI would be cost-prohibitive so the DCB/Victory were the original focus.

The torque on the 700 boat was reasonably stronger. But the combo with a 6 drive didn't accelerate nearly as fast as my 34 MTI. 0-100 the 450 boat would kill my 700/6 Skater
The fact I can run my 450 boat for EIGHT years with minimal worry on repair costs was also a HUGE factor. I think 2 years is available on the reborn 700 but even at the 3 year standard warranty the 450 is a no brainer.
I am a neat freak and I would spend hours cleaning my bilge after every run. Even a quick day at a fresh-water PR I would be on my hands and knees in the bilge. It sure is nice just scrubbing the cowlings and wiping it down.
The 700 boat has many other concerns beside the actual motor like headers, trannys, etc that just don't seem to be problems of note on the 450. And are not warranty items in most cases.
The 700 boat will LIKELY be better in some rough water. The 6 drive and weight being the most obvious factors. The skater was roughly 2200/2500lbs more than the MTI.
That said, the OB has just proven to be easier boating. If there is 10% of the water that the Skater would be better that's a high number. Match that vs the fact I put 92hrs on the Skater in 3 years and I have 72 hrs on the 450/34 MTI in 4 months.

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Old 01-16-2021, 10:33 AM
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Cash has MTI really cut the tunnel height down on their new boats?? When you look at them from the front the MTI looks a lot shallower than an equal size Skater. And if they have wouldn’t they have a lot more tendency to bottom out and pound in the rough??
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by 302Sport View Post
Cash has MTI really cut the tunnel height down on their new boats?? When you look at them from the front the MTI looks a lot shallower than an equal size Skater. And if they have wouldn’t they have a lot more tendency to bottom out and pound in the rough??
The 34 was designed as it is. Not cutdown. The 390 is 7" deeper than a 34 so it's noticeable. The 390 is also 10-6, like my Skater was. The 34 is 10'.,

My Skater was big and deep, a one-off build more like 368 than a 32.

A 318/32 OB Skater and my 34' MTI are very similar in tunnel depth. We run the ****t out of the 34 and I don't think I would say it hits hard at all. And it's flies more level then my Skater did and THAT is storng statement.


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Old 01-16-2021, 11:16 AM
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Kind of surprised the twin 450 accelerates harder, I mean we are talking 500HP difference, I assume the weight difference is some but wow that is impressive.

Would be cool if there was a comparison on the same hull.
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Old 01-16-2021, 11:22 AM
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I assume the Outboard boat is easier and less to insure than the I/O boat. Is that correct? Greg? Most definitely correct me if I am wrong. I'm genuinely curious.

Certainly the Outboard boat is easier to maintain in for a salt water boater.

Also, it seems like outboard parts are hard to come by. But maybe a bit less so for the big blocks; especially since they have been around longer..
If I was hell bent on always boating, even if I had the extended warranty of a 450 outboard...
...one might want to have a full blown new one in the crate in the garage at home. Or maybe go in with a couple buddies have a full spare or two that belong to ONLY your squad for spares.

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Old 01-16-2021, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Cash Bar View Post
The 34 was designed as it is. Not cutdown. The 390 is 7" deeper than a 34 so it's noticeable. The 390 is also 10-6, like my Skater was. The 34 is 10'.,

My Skater was big and deep, a one-off build more like 368 than a 32.

A 318/32 OB Skater and my 34' MTI are very similar in tunnel depth. We run the ****t out of the 34 and I don't think I would say it hits hard at all. And it's flies more level then my Skater did and THAT is storng statement.

All great feedback Greg, I was hoping you'd see this and mention your experience, but please explain how your widened 32B was a "big and deep one-off build more like a 368 than 32"? All dimensions (length of hull/deadrise/sponson-width/tunnel-depth) of your old 32B are exactly the same as all other 32Bs that came out of the 32B mold, except for the wider tunnel/beam. I know you're very happy with your 340X, and they are great boats (my friend bought one this past Fall and loves it), but I don't want guys reading this thread to think that your comparison of your 340X to your old inboard, widened 32B/#6 boat is similar to that of comparing it to an inboard 368/#6 boat in the rough. I don't doubt that your 340X flies as level as your old 32B does (which measures 31' from tip of sponsons to back of transom, as all flat-deck Skaters lose 1' or so in length when they're cut down for flat-decking). The CG was never good on 30/32 Skaters with big blocks and #6 drives (that's why Pete wouldn't even put #6 drives on the back of an inboard 30, the ones you see are customer conversions after the ASDs failed repeatedly). A big block/#6 drive 36/368 has a much better ride in the rough compared to a big block/#6 drive 30/32 - or your 340X/450R. Not only does a 36/368 have a deeper tunnel and larger sponsons, but it weighs over 3,000#s more than your 340X, with the weight of the motors IN the boat, not hanging off the transom. I completely agree with you on most all points you mention in your previous posts, except for the ride quality in the rough compared to a same-size inboard cat. It's no surprise that you say the 0-100 performance is better with the 450s, as I figured it would be (those V8 Mercs are awesome on light boats!). What I will find out this Summer running my 700/36 (which measures a true 35' hull length) against my buddy's 450/340 (which measures a true 34' hull length) is what the acceleration difference is like from 100 on up. My gut feeling is that my 700/35 is going to pull my buddy's 450/34 from 100 on up, especially with a normal load in each boat (4-6 people on board with half tanks of fuel), or in choppy water where he has to run it trimmed-in. I will be sure to post up some videos this Summer of he and I running together! Hand's down, I 100% agree with you that if you plan to put lots of hours per year (over 50) on your mid-size cat, the 450Rs are the way to go. We all know that the big blocks are only going to go 200-300 hours between having to be pulled out and have either the heads done, or complete rebuilds (I pulled the motors out of the 36 I picked up at 200 hours and rebuilt the heads). For me, knowing that the past 20 years of owning performance cats (outboard and inboard) have had me averaging about 50 hours per year, I felt the 700SCI/36 was the better package to buy. I've kept track of every dollar I'm spending, and by the time I'm finished with my 36, it will be all-new/rebuilt and I'll still have under $400k into it - which is less than my buddy paid for his 340X/450R rig. Since he doesn't plan to run out in the SF Bay or Pacific Ocean (smooth, fresh-water Delta boating only for him), and plans to put a lot of hours per year in his cat, he and I agree that the 340X/450R was the better choice for him. What's funny is that he was actually looking at the 700/36 I picked up before he purchased his 340X/450 rig. Since I like the big water of the SF Bay and Pacific Ocean, he and I agree that the 700/36 was the better choice for me. I feel I will have better performance at speeds from 100 on up (which is where I always run, unless water conditions don't allow it), with a much better ride in the rough. My girlfriend can't wait to get back into an inboard cat after I converted my 30 from inboard to outboard - she hated the "busy", lightweight ride of my 30 w/ the outboards vs when it was an inboard/ASD rig. I hope this thread sheds light on the differences and pros/cons of the different setups. Your 340X is beautiful Greg, and with the amount of hours you've already put on it, there's no doubt it's a WAY better boat for you than the 700/32 Skater was - or any other inboard cat for that matter! I look forward to seeing your new rig at LOTO this year. We won't be able to get out and compare our 36/340 rigs there, as I will have Freedom, not my 36. While it's pretty much guaranteed you'll be out every day in your 450 rig having a blast that week, I'll be crossing my fingers the big, nasty PSI motors in Freedom actually make it through the week..........
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:29 PM
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Great topic, can’t wait to read it all when I have a moment. Lol
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:56 PM
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Dale, the best way I can show you the Skater size is in pictures. And, like I said, the 390 width/Depth are a better comparison to your boat than a 340.

The 390 does only weigh about 400lbs more than a 340 so the acceleration is pretty close. Michael Howe built a 390 that weighs very close to a 340 as he took everything into account. Even getting a steering wheel that was significantly lighter than most.

3212 and 368 overhead ----------- 3212 and 368 sitting side by side -----------------------3212 and 3208 overhead



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