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Sea Ray 350 SLX Bowrider - Ocean Use?

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Yacht' started by Louie Belt, Jan 23, 2016.

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  1. Louie Belt

    Louie Belt New Member

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    I just purchased a home in the US Virgin Islands and am looking to buy my first boat. I plan to use the boat for day cruising between St. Thomas, St. John and the Brittish Virgin Islands - no long distance trips and never out of sight of land and never in bad weather if it can be avoided. However I keep seeing advice that a bowrider is designed for lakes and rivers and is not suitable for the Caribbean. I've noticed a number of bowriders in use around the islands but am looking for advice as I do not want to compromise my family's safety. I can step up to a Sundancer 45', but I really do not need the cabin so it seems like a waste to spend money on boat with beds that will never be used. Is it truly unsafe to have a 35' bowrider for my intended use?
  2. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    That boat will be just fine for the Virgin Islands. At 35', and as long as you are conscientious of the sea-state and amount of weight (people) in the bow, you shouldn't be at too much risk of taking waves over the nose.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No, a 35' Searay bowrider should be fine for what you want to do.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Probably those telling you that the open bow is dangerous are the same ones tooling around in center consoles.
  5. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    FWIW, I might even consider comparing a decent center console -- with forward and aft seating, a good head, a useful T-top (shade) -- as a potential alternative to a bowrider. Since most CCs use outboards, an additional advantage is being able to completely tilt the props and skeg out of the water while docked, not usually an option with an inboard connected to outdrives.

    -Chris
  6. Yachtguymke

    Yachtguymke Senior Member

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    350SLX is a very stable platform. Get it with the 8.2L Merc's - the boat runs like a raped ape!
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    In all fairness drainage on most center consoles is far better than on most bow riders making them a little safer.

    That said a 35 footer should be fine for your use.

    However, if stern drives especially merc I d be concerned about maintenance if the boat is kept in water. A center console with outboards (Yamahas) will be a lot easier to maintain down there and will handle the occasional rough water a lot better.
  8. Louie Belt

    Louie Belt New Member

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    Thanks for the guidance. I plan to get the 8.2 with Axios. I've looked at the center consoles, but have not found anything that is as nice for entertaining with a decent sized head below. It will be in a dock with a lift to keep it out of the water when not in use (although I plan to use it several time a week). Thanks for the feedback. With the Deep V hull design I thought it might be a viable platform.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I have a customer that had one and it ran in the 60's mph.

    To the OP, I agree the center console with Yamaha 4 stroke outboards would be a better choice. The huge thing, is you can beach the boat and get into much shallower water to swim and stuff with the outboards. But if you like the Searay it's a good boat that would do what you're looking for it to do. Scout builds a very nice center console with all of the ammenities of the Searay you're looking for.
  10. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    I was aboard the 350 SLX at FLIBS two years ago, although it never left the dock. I recall being impressed by an all-inclusive platform. If you spend any time in the VI's, you'll find a disproportionate number of PowerPlay owners. These boats are popular due to a deep deadrise, narrow beam and the resulting ride quality in the rough stuff. I'm mentioning this because the previous post suggesting a center console is probably well founded for VI waters. The locals know best. :)
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The new powerplay center consoles are a very good boat and hulls designed similar to the origionals. They're being built by Tom Mason who founded and built the newer iteration of Midnight Expresses until he sold Midnight Express several years back. They're fast for their power too.
  12. Louie Belt

    Louie Belt New Member

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    Thanks for the advice on the Scout - I like the 420 LXF. Nice alternative.
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There are many center consoles serving the pleasure boater now. You see Seavee with their line up to 43' in both outboard and inboard. Most CC's have come out with LE or LS editions for family cruising. We have a Contender 39' LS. That said, I love the Sea Ray 35' and the Cobalt 336 which is basically the same size. We had a Cobalt 302 on the lake which we sold when we moved to Fort Lauderdale. We sold it because we didn't have the Volvo Ocean-X or the Mercruiser Seacore which would have been valuable for salt water. Oddly, I can't find that Sea Ray offers Seacore on their units. Still if you're removing from the water, flushing, and washing your lower units that shouldn't be an issue. I'd just prefer the added corrosion protection. You might ask your dealer.