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sterndrives in salt

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by btyson, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. btyson

    btyson New Member

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    I plan on keeping a boat on the west coast of Florida. (apparently the sterndrive eating capital of the world)
    I will boat 75-100 hours per year.
    The boat will be kept on a lift.
    The model of boat I favor (40 ft day boat)comes only with deisel sterndrives.
    I have read extensively on the maintance issues surrounding this set up.
    My question is this:
    When looking at two,2-3 year old, sub-100 hour boats with records of good maintenance and both were kept on a lift, would you favor a fresh water boat without closed cooling, or a sea water boat with closed cooling? What price- premium percentage would you assign it?


    thanks as allways!
  2. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Volvo or merc? I d stay away from merc even in a lift. I ve never heard of raw water cooled diesels, they may be ok if you flush after every use but I'd prefer FWC
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    At that age it really shouldn't matter as to closed cooling or not. A stern drive on a lift should be fine. On 40' I'd want diesel and closed cooling.
  4. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Seems there is a purchase pending,,, Anyway we can talk you out of a stern drive boat?
    Is this ship a keeper or short timer?

    For some reason, the 280/290 and later drives were better than the Merc drives in salt water.
    I have owned these Volvo models with minimum problems. My Merc customers seem to have their share of issues.
  5. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Out of all the Volvo drives, the DPG was the best they ever made, fitted to the big KADs. Pretty much unbreakable. If you find that set-up in good condition, they are a keeper.
  6. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Yep.
  7. btyson

    btyson New Member

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    Thanks for the wisdom. No, rcrapps a purchase is not pending. I have had great success with several boats from this manufacacturer over the last 30+ years of (Lake boating) and want to stick with them when we move to the gulf. If I had my druthers I'd go with shafts&rudders but the compromises I have to make within my price range and preferences don't allow for this. We are going to the Miami boat show again this Feburary and perhaps something else may turn my head. we'll see.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The good luck with a manufacturer that you've had in MO, DOES NOT equate to the same good luck in the hot summer sun in Florida and saltwater.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    So you're not going to share the boat brand that you're so tied to?
  10. btyson

    btyson New Member

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    Cobalt. (My interest is in the A40 Coupe.)
  11. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I love Cobalt boats. Owned two on the LAKE.

    Sold ours when we moved to the COAST.

    What else have you looked at and what led you to say it must be Cobalt? Do you really intend to only use as a day boat, cruising in the close vicinity to where you're keeping it and not taking advantage of where you can go on the west coast?

    I don't see the cooling option you ask about even offered on that boat.

    If you've compared it to other boats in it's size range and it's your clear preference, then great. However, if you're simply in love with it because it's the best brand of boat on Lake of the Ozarks (and if I lived there I'd have a Cobalt) then I'd advise you to do some more looking before deciding. I haven't been on an A40, don't know how it handles rough seas. However, I do know that Cobalt's previous efforts at building larger boats and cruisers was a dismal failure. The did build one of the nicest manufacturing facilities in Venore, TN about the time the recession hit. Wisely, closed it quickly.

    By comparison, a Sea Ray Sundancer 40 is a good bit more boat, weighs nearly 70% more, has Cummins diesels, and can be purchased for slightly less. I also owned several Sea Rays and do consider in lake boats, Cobalt to be a step up. However, not for the coast, I would not. There are also many other options of boats for coastal cruising.

    My issue is more the boat for the purpose than the stern drive although stern drive wouldn't be my first choice. We lived on a lake that was nearly as bad as the coast is on stern drives and were very happy with our Volvo stern drives on our Cobalt. Just going to require extra work.

    Just be careful that your love for the brand isn't influencing you too greatly.
  12. btyson

    btyson New Member

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    Everything you stated is true, Olderboater. How we intend to use the boat is undoubtedly the biggest issue and one that has not been decided yet. Our original thought was one of multiple cruises around the coast of Florida and perhaps on up the eastern seaboard to NY. This idea had me looking hard at Sundancers. My favorite has been the 48 DA of '06-'09. (We owned a SR 390EC 25 years ago.)The downside to that is the issue of problems associated with ten year old boats that have multiple systems which will have issues. Lately I've been thinking of using a boat for day trips with an occsional overnight stay for my wife and I. She, however, likes the idea of bringing friends, relatives, kids, along on occasion. My concern is six adults on a boat the size of a 40 Sundancer might get way too cozy. We could bring that many along and stay ashore with a day boat, like the A40, and not feel so cramped. In addition the cruise speed of the A40 is likely twice that of the Sundancer assuming decent weather. It may come down to simply throwingup our hands and pulling the trigger on "something" . I just hate for the experience to be such a negative one that we bail completely on the whole idea. This is why I often utilize this site for opinions- and its been great ! We are going to the Miami boat show again this year but are starting our (Car) trip in Tampa then to Sarasota, traveling to Naples, with a side trip to Disney, then down to Miami for the show. We will stop into several marinas along the way. Hopefully this will flesh out how we want to proceed.
    Pearls of wisdom are welcome!
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, you have to figure out your use before you select a boat. With that becomes where will the boat allow you to go and in what conditions. If you were in Cape Coral the A40 would allow a lot of local boating, but then how many days a year would you be comfortable going past Sanibel and leaving the ICW? Looking right now, all this week is a yes, but all next weekend is a no. Many here prefer ICW boating though.
  14. 30West

    30West Member

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    Outboard? Not the perfect solution, but the Pursuit OS385 has better offshore capabilities with decent speed and accommodations. About the same cruise range as the Cobalt. Diesel genset with gas engines is weird though.

    The Carver C37 Coupe still comes with gas or diesel shafts, I don't know any others in this size range. Not ideal for the ocean.

    How do you feel about pod drives?
  15. ranger42c

    ranger42c Member

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    I note your comment about cruise speed differences, but...

    Could you not take that many folks along on a Sundancer (of your choice) and then stay ashore... as with your A40 thought?

    -Chris
  16. 30West

    30West Member

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    Formula 37PC appears similar to the Cobalt. Several more engine options including the same D6 400 in the Cobalt, similar performance numbers. Probably no better in big weather, but another option and I believe high quality build. I liked everything I saw when looking at Formulas. Or the Formula 400SS or 400SSFX with D6 400? Seems like more choices in your size range at Formula, or bigger if you want it all.

    https://en.calameo.com/read/0047410240107a1a06da8
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  17. btyson

    btyson New Member

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    thanks for everyones ideas. It keeps me thinking. Ill keep you posted.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Take a look at Tiara, and the 40' Cabo zues boat is an incredible riding boat with incredible range. Hotels are CHEAP compared to the wrong boat. Searay is a good choice. A new boat is going to have just as many, if not more issues than a well taken care of 10 year old used boat. Sure you'll be replacing a few systems here and there (like a new a/c) every once in a while. But, the difference is up front cost is huge.
  19. 30West

    30West Member

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    The Tiara looks like a heck of a lot of boat. The pdf mentions Volvo IPS, or Cummins, but doesn't say if the Cummins is using pods or shafts. 425HP engines should give good speed.

    https://www.tiarayachts.com/39-coupe/

    http://www.tiarayachts.com/wp-content/themes/tiarayachts/pdf/BuyersGuides2018/2018MY 39 Coupe Buyers Guide 08-10-2017.pdf
  20. btyson

    btyson New Member

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    All true. I think Tiara puts out quality boats. The 39 coupe looks like a winner. I'd have to wait a while for one to depreciate suffeciently into my price bracket. (max $425k) Operational costs being what they are, I want to try to keep the boat under 45 ft. The admiral wants an ability to sleep 6. I prefer shafts for dependability. I lean toward desiels. My limited experience with crusing is on Table Rock Lake with a SR 39 Express with gassers. Sold it in '93. Had good luck with it. I have allways liked the interiors of SR cruisers. That said, I've read Pascal's opinions of SR design and quality issues which are a concern.

    Question: in terms of manufacturing tolerances, quality layups, etc; it seems as though most manufacturers are touting robots and high tech manufacturing. This would lead one to believe that "quality" should be more consistent. It may just mean that costs are reduced. That said, I would be interested in opinions regarding design and build quality over the last decade. specifically, would buying a boat produced in,say 2006 be significantly different than one produced in 2013?

    I realize every boat is a compromise so learning from others is a great way to mitigate gross errors. So thanks for letting me ramble on with questions.

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