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Dilemma...opinions wanted

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Old 01-05-2003, 02:11 AM
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Question Dilemma...opinions wanted

I've got X dollars to spend a month on my next boat (#6) I've decided it's going to be a '35 formula. After considering many things and doing alot of boating in the last 15 yrs. the 353 appears to be the next boat that will meet my needs,what I'm looking for in a boat (quality) and the way I boat the best.. It's about the biggest (and last) performance boat I could afford to buy new, although w/496HO's max. and the escape program makes it attractive to buy new because it really helps w/the closeout on the loan later, plus you can ease yourself into the bigger pmt. (which I am prepared for). There are nice late model '98-00 353's out there w/500EFI's @ similar price (speaking pmt., given the interest rate and buy down advantages of new ). Whats more important overall...the thrill of a brand new piece (and the 5yr. warranty) or the extra 7-8 MPH of the used boat and you eat the fixes while making 1K + payments? Looking at a 5+ year ownership period. Speed is important, but not the issue for me it used to be, but reliability and minimal $uprises are 'cause I do alot of boating! Opinions on the 353 also welcome!
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:48 AM
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save the money go used with 500efi's I would think 20000 less than new 496's.I
 
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Old 01-05-2003, 06:28 AM
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You will very likely be unhappy with the performance with 496's and you will really be unhappy when you try to sell it with that power. HP 500's make the 353 an entirely different boat. Just my 2 cents. BTW 2001 and up Fastechs carry 5 year warranty,transferable.

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Old 01-05-2003, 08:46 AM
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My experience is that you can find a year old with virtually little hours and all the options you want for at or less than what you'll pay for new with the 496's.... And you'll still have warranty.... If fuel is an issue of conern, the extra mph will come at a cost... If your not into top end and plan on doing distance trips at cruising speed, than the 496's will be more fuel efficient... I did some comparisons between the 496, 502 and the 500's... The 500's consumed upto 30 percent more fuel across the rpm ranges.... If top end is of some concern, than it's an easy decision.... I agree, resale will be less and more difficult with the 496's in that size boat. Advice.... Drive boat with both engine packages and decide for yourself..... Your going to spend a lot of money, drive before you buy.... I always say "spend your money once"..... Buy right the first time...... A year from now, you don't want to be sitting behind the helm with regret!!! Good luck!!!
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Old 01-05-2003, 09:10 AM
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http://offshoreonly.com/forums/showt...threadid=39711 May be something to look at and not have the payment delemma that you are worried about
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Old 01-05-2003, 10:30 AM
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Get some seat time in both flavors. NEVER buy a major piece like this without true comparison to see what you truly like or dislike about them.

My opinion? 496's are nice motors, but got lots of questionable pieces in them for big power. 500EFI's are a known sturdy monster motor with real good manners. You can add closed cooling to 500s cheaply if that is one of your concerns...

As far as buying somebody else's used up boat, my 1991 F311SR1 was bought brand new, treated well and maintained well but run HARD. Looks, feels, sounds, drives, and even smells new. When you start with quality, you don't end up with trash after a few years...
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Old 01-05-2003, 10:33 AM
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ALSO - you mention payments...

Many will NOT agree with my sentiments here:

If you are still making payments, then you shouldnt be making expensive modifications or customizations to the boat (or Harley or Z28 or whatever). For this reason, you should start with the boat that performs and runs like you desire...
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Old 01-05-2003, 08:39 PM
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Sorry I'm a little tardy on the response. I'm an imaging tech and this is my sixth 12hr. overnight this week. I hear ya Troutly on the headroom and the bimini...I'm 6'5" and lets just say thinning up top! No real need for a/c on the St. lawrence and E. Lake Ontario, but early and late HEAT would come in handy! I have talked to Mr. Nelems, he is knowledgable easy to talk to straight shooter,but I have a trade and unfortunately we cannot get together (see my post in Velocity board for clues).I know what 100 hp can do! The lack of hard parts in the 496's concerns me also...Range is an issue as I routinely make 100+ mile day trips from Alex Bay and fuel is expensive on the Canadian side and not so readily available on the Lake. Do 500's drink + 30% over 425's? I've had floscan in my boat for 6 years so I know a little about fuel burn. By the way, I'll NEVER own another boat w/o it...ask anyone who has it! If you can install a stereo system, you can install fuel monitoring. Awesome product, good people to deal with. My end result after cal. is a reading about 1-2% over on 100 gals. Ray out there said mine was the tightest cal. he'd heard of. I digress....so isn't it also true that I would have to get 25-30K less out of the boat w/496's later as opposed to 500's? Doesn't that make me competative for later sale? What about all these Executioners w/ 496's later?
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Old 01-05-2003, 11:34 PM
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Somewhere I've got an '01 or '02 salesman's handbook. I'll have to dig that up 'cause I know there's a fuelburn/speed/range chart for 500EFI's in the 35'. I'd be curious to know for comparison what the 496HO does for RPM/speed/GPH in that boat. Maybe I should call Formula for this info? Yes, Troutly your experience sounds good ,as I need 100++ mile range @ say a 3000-3400 cruise w/a solid reserve of say 20+ gallons given the 154 gal.(rated) capacity. What's the most you've ever pumped at one (empty)fillup? Man.....the E.R. here tonight is crazy busy...
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Old 01-06-2003, 03:06 AM
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Love the Ray...I've been doing business and keeping my boat docked at a Sea Ray dealer since '89. Seen 'em all...luv'em. When the day comes.......but it ain't yet, and he don't sell Formula. I'm gonna miss seein' them nice Rays and the wonderful people who own them that I have gotten to know over the years. 'Cause my buddy's gonna kick my azz out if I don't buy a boat he sells. Nice eh? After 5 boat purchases in 12yrs., and knowing I'd buy a SR cruiser when the time comes! I want to strangle him!! By the way...my choices w/him were, Eliminator (got no use for that in the piled up east end of Lake Ontario) Velocity (been there twice, no complaints, but time to move on) and Sonic (tough boat w/good ride I'm sure, but I don't like the way there finished off....I just don't want one) so poof... under the current totalitarian policy goodbye marina friends and I'm lookin' for a new home...

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