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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for my first boat. I'm looking in the used market to keep price down. I am considering a bow rider due to the additional lounging space. I like the look of cuddies better but need to think about the future and the possibility of dragging kids along. Where will I put everyone?

We ride along in my brother-in-laws boat now. He has a 20ft Fours Winns Cuddy. It gets pretty cramped with 6 people on board.

I have many options around my limit of $11,500 with smaller boats that are not that old. We bounce around pretty good in the 20ft cuddy but not unbarable at slower speeds. Would a 18ft bow rider be insane for this lake or not too much different than the 20ft cuddy? We launch out of metro beach and make the trek over to Harsens Isle for the day most of the time. Once in a while we cross the lake down to Detroit (gets rough).

What are your opinions? Would this be insane or just a minor nuisance to tool around in such a small craft?

Thanks,

Gerb.
 

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We just moved up from a 19'Br to a 24.5' Br and the ride difference is tremendous. The 19' was fine in pretty calm flat conditions, but we were out middle of last month and it was no fun. The chop and wind driven waves kept us from relaxing. In those conditions I Could hardly stay up on plane with out getting slammed. The bigger boat really made a big difference. I'd suggest getting the biggest you can affors and tow. Enjoy and be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks DDD,

I figured as much. We have a hard time staying on plan in the middle of the lake with a 20ft Four Winns Sundowner. At least with any degree of comfort.

Let me run this by you. I'm looking at a 22ft Sea Ray now with a 8.2" beam. The vessel also has trim tabs.

I heard trim tabs can do a number of things for you. Can they help smooth out a choppy ride? The 20ft boat we go out on now does not have them. Passengers take a constant pounding when we try to pick up the pace a little.

Your opinion could help me select the right boat AND be the proof my brother-in-law needs to spend the money and have trim tabs added to his rig. Everyone will be happy.

Thanks,

Gerb
 

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The only thing I know that the tabs really help with is leveling the boat side to side depending on load.

I don't think it would help on smoothing the ride.

The 8'2" beam is a step in the right direction.

FYI- we still get a bit of a rough ride on the 24"BR at 35 mph, but it is much more comfortable than the 19' we had.
 

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Trim tabs can help keep the boat from what they call porpoising, just have to adjust them right. Along with trimming your outdrive. The bigger the better on st clair.
 

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We had a 17 ft. bow rider on LSC a couple of times. You'll definately have to pick your days--not a lot of wind, not Sunday around noon, etc.

The one time we were out was one of the first sunny Sundays of the year around noon. Cruisers were everywhere going 1/2 plane, and we were almost swamped by wakes. That was with two adults on board. I wouldn't feel comfortable adding a couple of kids to the mix.

There's a reason people who fish in smaller bass boats go out in the early morning... it's safer.
 
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If you can afford it? Don't buy less than a 25'. With that you will be able to go out on most days. And yes, trim tabs do keep your bow in the water as well as leveling out your boat. The type of hull and length all play a key role in how good your trim tabs and drive trim work. Good luck.
 

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Another thing to consider is the 'dead rise' of the boat that you're looking at. See a good defintion of deadrise
HERE

A guy by the name of Don Arronow figured out how to make a boat go fast and handle 'offshore' conditions. He built the boat long and skinny with a sharp bottom. He won numerous APBA championships with his boats.

Most importanly, he figured out that the preferred dead rise angle for cutting through rough water with a planing hull is 24 degrees. He designed some classic boats, was a heck of a salesman, and founder/designer of companies such as Cigarette, Formula, Magnum, and others that I can't think of......Oh, one of his ventures, he asked his personal secretary what he should name his new line of go fasts, and she said, "Donzi, baby", at least that's the myth.

My whole point is that if you're on a limited budget and can only afford a 20ft or so boat, on LSC get one with the steepest dearise that you can get. It will give you a much better ride in the boat chop that we all experience on LSC.

BTW, I drive a 22'3" Formula and because of that 24 degree bottm, I regulary out pace any other similar sized boat that has a flatter hull.

Just my rather long winded $0.02
 

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I just thought that I would add I have an 18ft BR and I go out on LSC all the time. I am out almost every weekend. I usually launch at metro and cross the lake to the moot. Sometimes I have to slow down a bit, but only once or twice has it been to the point where I am coming off plane (in two years of owning the boat).
My tolerance for wake might be a little different though as I am young, dumb, and.... you know the rest
I have never had my passanger complain though. I also slow down for the occasional big wake.
 

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QUOTE(DaveDaDude @ Jul 21 2004, 07:05 AM)We just moved up from a 19'Br to a 24.5' Br and the ride difference is tremendous. The 19' was fine in pretty calm flat conditions, but we were out middle of last month and it was no fun. The chop and wind driven waves kept us from relaxing. In those conditions I Could hardly stay up on plane with out getting slammed. The bigger boat really made a big difference. I'd suggest getting the biggest you can affors and tow. Enjoy and be safe.
1st time posting, so I hope this works. My dad has a 18'ft br w/125 merc. that boat gets beat up unless the waters calm, rarely does that happen your better off w/ a deep v hull.
 

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I have an 18ft searay br and it does sound like it's a rough ride (lot's of banging when it breaks the waves). Don't drive like a tool and you'll be fine. It's kinda like riding a motorcycle as opposed to a car you just have to pay attention a little more.
 

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I have an 18ft Regal bowrider. It is good most of the times on the lake, but occasionally on those windy days it is not fun. Like freakynutz said, take it easy, and you'll be fine!
 

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We just moved up from a 19' BR to a 21' Bayliner Cuddy. We have 4 kids (two sets of twins 4 &6). Although you wouldn't want to be out overnight or in rough seas, the cuddy is a very pleasant upgrade. Kids can nap, get out of the sun etc. while anchored. It just feels lots safer on the Lake and the cuddy keeps the noise down. My wife and I have overnighted on it and it was fine once we found a quite cove. I like the cuddy but you would probably feel fine in a large BR.
 

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QUOTE(damn yankee @ Jul 21 2004, 09:39 PM)Another thing to consider is the 'dead rise' of the boat that you're looking at. See a good defintion of deadrise
HERE

A guy by the name of Don Arronow figured out how to make a boat go fast and handle 'offshore' conditions. He built the boat long and skinny with a sharp bottom. He won numerous APBA championships with his boats.

Most importanly, he figured out that the preferred dead rise angle for cutting through rough water with a planing hull is 24 degrees. He designed some classic boats, was a heck of a salesman, and founder/designer of companies such as Cigarette, Formula, Magnum, and others that I can't think of......Oh, one of his ventures, he asked his personal secretary what he should name his new line of go fasts, and she said, "Donzi, baby", at least that's the myth.

My whole point is that if you're on a limited budget and can only afford a 20ft or so boat, on LSC get one with the steepest dearise that you can get. It will give you a much better ride in the boat chop that we all experience on LSC.

BTW, I drive a 22'3" Formula and because of that 24 degree bottm, I regulary out pace any other similar sized boat that has a flatter hull.

Just my rather long winded $0.02
*ahem* Not to diminish Don Aronow's contributions, but Richard Bertram is the one that twigged to the 24 degree bottom. Don was indeed a heck of a salesman, but I think his prowess as a designer is a bit inflated. There was a fellow name of Jim Wynne running around South Florida back then as well...
 

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We have an 18 foot mariah bowrider and like everyone else, are weekend mariners. The best times to go out are saturday or sunday before noon. We went out this past saturday around 5-6 ish and cruised around the bay with no problems. It was very smooth for such a nice day. Sunday, i'm sure, was a zoo. Stay north of the clinton river if possible or and weekday or morning (providing weather and wind is good) before noon and you should have an enjoyable time. I've found munchies to be fun and the channels not too bad. My dad had a 21.5 foot boat and though you felt safer, it still was very rough out there on the weekend.
 

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dockrocker,

I did some searching, and it appears we were both incorrect. Bertam's 1st boat was designed by Raymond Hunt. It was a 30 foot sportfisher. Bertram named her after his wife, Moppie! Here the link:Bertram

Also a link about Aronow

Now I know how Formula boats got their name. Apparently, Aronow figured out the right "formula" of length, beam, and deadrise to make his race winning offshore boats.
 

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I have a 1997 18 foot Sea Ray bowrider that I was going to sell next spring. It is in very good condition, and if you're interested, let me know.

Through a lucky break I got my insurance company to buy me a new engine in 2000 after I got a strange crack in the block. It has about 300 hours on it. Top speed is 40+, and it comes with a trailer.

I have it in the water at the Grosse Pointe Farms Pier. It's within your price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey jeffff,

Thanks for the heads up but I purchased a boat about a month ago. Found a deal that was too hard to pass up.

Good luck selling. Let us know what you replace it with!

Gerb
 

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I bought a 26’ Sea Ray, 1980, owned by the same guy for 22 years. Very nice boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Waddya know. I bought a Searay too. LOve the fuggin thing

23ft with a 7.4L V8. Gets me where I need to go. It's a pain to lug around but a joy play with.

Gerb
 
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