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How big a boat for the gulf?

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Old 11-27-2003, 01:22 PM
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Default How big a boat for the gulf?

I'm moving to SW Florida next month from Maryland and going to be buying a new boat. I currently have a 24 Vector with a 454 MPI/Bravo. It beats the daylights out of me in the Chesapeake Bay washing machine. My wife has never been in a bigger powerboat and she hates every minute out of the no wake zone. I want to get something bigger when we get to Florida, but I'm not sure how big to go.

Last time I was there, the Gulf was flatter than I've ever seen the Chesapeake and I saw several boats in the 25 foot range not even bouncing. Is that normal?

I was looking at either a newer 28 Pantera, an older Cafe Racer, or an even older Top Gun. I would like something newer and less expensive with less maintenance, but I would also like to be able to take my wife to the Keys without her screaming all the way. Any recommendations?
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Old 11-27-2003, 01:31 PM
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I run mine in the Gulf in Galveston and my 29 scarab is not big enough for what I do. I'm looking for 35 Cafe or a 38 Top Gun. I can tell you the bigger the better with some good ol' reliable power.

There's some really good deals on older model Top Guns right now. I have another year to go before I can buy! Damn the bad luck!!

Good luck in your quest!
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Old 11-27-2003, 01:46 PM
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27 to 40 depending on your wallet.
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Old 11-27-2003, 02:21 PM
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The part of SW Florida and the type of boating you like to do may make a difference.

Keep your Vector until you have ran the waters for a while. I live in Fort Myers Beach and usually the intercoastal is flat as a plate of piss. Nothing like the east coast. Most days you will be able to run comfortably out on the Gulf as long as the wind is N-NNE-SSE.

Some tubs running the intercoastal will throw you a little. A lot of pontoon boats and small fishing boats. Bass boat guys go nuts over here.

Most restaurants and other places have limited docking. With a small boat you can get in anywhere. Some places like Cabbage Key you can actually pull up on shore etc. and there are dozens of small islands you can pull up on for an afternoon.

The Keys from FMB @ 50mph is a 3 hr and change ride. You would need a bigger boat for that.

Last edited by expresscat39; 11-27-2003 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 11-27-2003, 02:34 PM
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24 vector is that the same as a python, because my python is an 89 and had vector badges on it originally.

Show some pics.
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Old 11-27-2003, 02:58 PM
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Well, naturally the bigger the boat, the nicer the ride. I had a 242 Formula that I was happy running the gulf in until I joined a boat club and ran one time with them. Battling the wakes from the bigger boats was much worse than anything I ran into in the gulf. I'd say keep your current boat until you get here and see how it works out for you.
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Old 11-27-2003, 04:00 PM
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I agree with Cuda. Having your boat down here to see for yourself will be your best judge as to what you might need. I have a 311-SR1 Formula and it works just fine. For most situations anything 30 ft. or better will be more than ample.
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Old 11-27-2003, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for the input. I'll be doing most of my boating out of Marco Island.

Re: The Python... I thought that Python might have bought the Vector molds or something. The boats look identical. Mine is an '88. It's a nice boat with new motor,rebuilt drive, paint, interior, etc. Just not a great big water boat. When I got the boat last year, I thought about calling Python to see if they had any stand-up bolsters laying around. Mine has sit-down seats and I'd prefer to have the option of standing. Hard to justify though when the upholstery was all new and even harder to justify since I decided I'm not going to keep it for long.

I scared the sh*t out of my wife and she won't even ride in the Vector anymore. There's a lot of difference between a 24 and 28, but I'm not sure if it's enough to get her off the dock.
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Old 11-27-2003, 05:04 PM
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Python is local to Atlanta and for some reason he changed the name to Vector for a while. Your Hin# should begin with pyh? You can get bolsters from about anybody. Jim at python may have some laying around,
his # is 770-271-9803
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Old 11-27-2003, 07:51 PM
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buy the biggest boat you can afford, remember the water in the gulf can go from calm to rough as hell in no time flat, twin engines are nice to have when you are in an open body like the gulf are ocean, added insurance on getting home, i would look at 30foot and bigger twin engine boats
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