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Which 21-24 boat to buy, newbie needs advice from OSO experts

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Old 02-19-2004, 12:44 PM
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Default Which 21-24 boat to buy, newbie needs advice from OSO experts

Hi,

I've been lurking on the OSO forums for a couple of days, glad I found you guys. I'm in the market for a 21-24 sportboat with either a 350 or 454. My budget is up to $25K so I would be looking for a nice used boat.

I want to get my feet wet before getting a really fast boat so something with a top speed of 60mph would do the trick for now. I also want to introduce my wife to go fast boats. After having a 21-24 footer I bet the choice with either be a big performance boat or an express cruiser. I live in Annapolis, Maryland and boat on the Chesapeake Bay.

I would prefer a boat that I can stand up while driving (perhaps with stand up bolsters?). Some of the go fast boats I've seen (such as Donzi Classics) require you to sit.

Sea Ray's 22 Pachanga (1989+ models with the 454/Bravo drive) have caught my eye, though I haven't seen one up close to see if they have bolsters or not. I also like the 22-24 Formulas, there are several models on the market. Which other boat brands/models should I consider?

My last boat was an 18' Sea Ray Seville which I owned for seven years. Nothing fancy but it got me out on the water. Bought it during college for $3K and sold it for $2K last fall. When I was younger I had a 15' Whaler and before that I had a 13' Whaler (great first boat). The 15' Whaler was a great boat to get airborn and I miss the fun I had driving that one. Although it didn't go that fast, it seemed to go fast.

Chuck
Annapolis, Maryland

Last edited by chuck21401; 02-19-2004 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:52 PM
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You can get a nice 24 Pantera used in your price range if you can find one. I have one and love it
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:53 PM
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Pantera 24 there's one in the classifieds for 25K or superboat, Not real fancy but are good buy's. I've been doing some looking myself and they are in my opinion best buy for the $$
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:55 PM
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Welcome Chuck!

Since you boat in a pretty rough area, I'd stick to as large of a boat as you can swing. Your spine will appreciate it. Don't go any smaller than a 24'. Also, by going larger you wont out grow the boat as quickly. Same holds true with power. It's a lot cheaper to buy a faster boat than it is for you to upgrade your existing package.

Of the 24's, I think the Superboat and Pantera (similar hulls) are the hot ticket. Can't go wrong with either.


I'm sure others will be able to give some good advice. Enjoy your shopping!
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:56 PM
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I guess we are all thinking alike.
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:57 PM
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You can get a brand new or slightly used Baja 20 Outlaw for that; with warranty. Get the extended warranty, and sell it within two seasons (still in warranty) to another newby who is ready to move in to this like you. (Your not going to stand in that boat though.)
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:58 PM
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Go as big as you can - the Bay can beat you up. I've been pounded in my 38. For the softest ride, you want the deepest vee you can find - go for 24 degrees deadrise at the transom if you can find it. Don't want to scare/beat up the missus, or it will be tough to move up to something bigger. Make sure it's got some decent amenities for her - porta-pottie and changing area under the deck. You'll need a big block to push something of the proper size/weight. Watch out for the 300-330 hp 454's - that's not really enough, and those engines don't hop up very well. Look for at least 385 hp in this size range. A 502 (415 hp) would be the best bet.

Fomula's smallest true offshore hull is currently the 271, but there may be some older models out there that are shorter. The 260SS isn't really an offshore boat, and might ride a bit too hard.

A friend has a 26' Donzi that he likes, so that might be an option, if you can find one in your price range.
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Old 02-19-2004, 01:08 PM
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Welcome to the addition of this site!! But, when ya address us as "OFO". I am afriad to think what the "F" means! Before long soemone on here with a sick sense of humour should come up with something!
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Old 02-19-2004, 01:09 PM
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Pantera builds a real offshore type boat, but they are very form-follows-function. Personally, I'm very impressed with the 242 Formula. It rides bigger than it really is, and has Formula quality and amenities. The factory told me they tried to discontinue it for three years, but dealers would not let them because of how popular it was. Like the Pantera, it is a real 24' hull, because the swim platform is not included in the measurement. Don't know if stand up bolsters are available in it, or many 24' boats for that matter. They should be more available than Panteras.

The advice about getting as big as possible is wise. But, don't feel you have to spend all 25,000. You should be able to find a nice boat in the teens, and keep the rest as seed for your next boat! Or, that should buy a used 27-28 foot boat, and that's where real offshore sizing starts.

Good luck, and happy hunting.
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Old 02-19-2004, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SS930
Since you boat in a pretty rough area, I'd stick to as large of a boat as you can swing. Your spine will appreciate it.
Hey tell me about it. Occassionally I'd take the 18' Sea Ray in the bay but if it's rough forget about it. Several times I've taken day trips to Annapolis (a couple rivers up from where I kept the old boat), Baltimore or St. Michaels on the eastern shore. By the afternoon the wind picks up or a thunderstorm rolls in. When I was younger and not so smart I'd take the 15' Whaler in the bay and get really tossed around. I'd like to be able to cruise at 35mph in a 1 1/2 chop. That should be doable with a 24' boat right? I don't want to go too much bigger because then I'd need a big truck to pull the boat and I'd have to double my budget. I can see where the costs (gas, insurance, horsepower, etc. etc) can expand exponentially with the size of the boat.
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