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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for experiences, both positive and neagative. We are thinking about upgrading to a Sea Ray Sundancer 340 (or similar) from our 270. Actually we have deceided that is what we want to do, if we can get the bank to agree. Age would have to be in the mid 1980's as that falls within our price range for this size of boat.
Any peeps currently own one, or did?
What do/did you think about her?
What problems have/did you had?
What, if anything, would you like to change or be different? What did you wish it had, or came with, that you would really like?

Looking for input of all types as we begin our search for the bigger "hole in the water"

Thanks
 

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I surveyed one from the late 80s last year. I think they are very nice with minor issues.

All of this pertains to the specific boat that I surveyed.
I really liked the wetbar on the back with a fridge on the deck. There was ample space throughout although I thought the dinette could stand to be a bit bigger. The aft cabin curtain hooks seemed to get caught in the carpeting on the ceiling and it looked like that was the way it was designed. The trim inside didn't seem to be adhired very well around the door ways and cupboards. I liked the idea of 6 batteries. The battery switches were a bit confusing though and not east to get to. I liked the 6.5 K generator, but again, not easy to get to. ........and the entrance door to the cabin didn't look symetrical.

Outside of that, just watch for typical vintage issues. Different years have different things to look for.

I hoped that sorta' was what you were looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hazy, that is EXCATLY what I am looking for. I never thought of it, but going to survyer's for their input is great. Not knocking any one's personal boat, but things that have beenfound to watch out for. Thanks for the "heads up."
 

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Jim,
I own a 34' 1987 Express (no aft cabin). Al, that boat you surveyed came stock with 3 batteries, someone added 3 more...wasn't 3 enough. The main complaint about an aft cabin boat is that there's NEVER enough room in the engine compartment, unless you go to a 40' boat. Your engines have vee-drives which puts the engines all the way in the back. So it sits just a little lower because of that and the added weight of the vee-drives. Also if you get one with a generator that is a lot of extra weight too. But it's a nice option to have (wish I had one). The twin 454's are plenty to push a boat with a 12' beam. I can cruise at 28MPH without being into the 4bls. which will save some gas. All in all I love the boat...plenty of room and rides pretty good too. If you go to the boat show, check out the new 34's...it'll convince you to buy a used one. Unless you hit the lottery.
 

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There are about ten older 34's in our boat club. Two have sold recently, both with water problems. One inthe deck and one in the stringers. The sellers took way les money to get rid of. There may be more for sale, its a popular boat in our club. Expresses and Sundancers.
 

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a friend of mine just bought a 34 dancer. it is very tight in the engine room. it was a pain to set the prop shaft seals, no room. the boat rides great. kind of dated inside with all the wood doors but he loves the room. i have a loaded 1990 express for sale if you are looking for one.
 

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Make sure you get it surveyed... I've heard of stringer problrms on some of the Mid to Upper 80's 34' SeaRays. Also be careful about any older Wellcrafts in case your eyes stray to a St. Topez...
 

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Nocode,

You are right I am thinking of selling boat because of no work.
Pyrate Jim, If interested I can email flyer of what is on it and you can even look at since it is at inside storage.
Let me know.
It is a 1986 express cruiser in excellent shape with a lot of updates.
 

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I did a bit of research on the 31/34 Searays from that era, back when we thought we might want to slow down (thank God we got that out of our system!
) - I was told by several knowledgable sources that the 1986 and earlier boats were generally better built than 1987 and up. Apparently SR went through an ownership change or some similar crisis around then, and QA was not up to snuff. One surveyor told me he had never seen an 86 that was not solid, but 87 and up was more of a boat-by-boat deal; some were good, some were not so good.

Whatever you do, GET A SURVEY!
 

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ALL mid to upper 80's boats have stringer issues and transom moisture issues due to an "update" in FRP material theory. Wellcraft has more of a reputation because of the "silent" recall that was issued years ago. It's nothing to be afraid of as long as you trust your surveyor. Older SeaRays are absolutly better than newer in many ways.
 

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QUOTE(HazyMemory @ Feb 3 2004, 05:54 PM)due to an "update" in FRP material theory.
Al can you explain this in any more detail?
 

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QUOTE(rerun @ Feb 3 2004, 07:03 PM)QUOTE(HazyMemory @ Feb 3 2004, 05:54 PM) due to an "update" in FRP material theory.
Al can you explain this in any more detail?
Actually no, I can't. It has to do with the rigidity, and durability of the end product. A new chemistry was thought to enable cheaper and thinner application, but when they put it into use, the projections were to thin for needed durability and environmental stresses. In every make of boat you'll find issues with moisture and unexpected locations for stress cracks and pre-mature blistering and so on. These things didn't start showing up until after the boats were in the water for years. Although most of the boats of today are thought to be the latest and greatest, it's all just experimentation.

Does that help at all??
 

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Everything you (n)ever wanted to know about hull construction, materials, cores, etc:

http://www.yachtsurvey.com/structuralissues.htm

Granted, Pascoe is an opinionated SOB, and what he don't like, he definitely don't like!
But... there is a lot of good information on his site; I've learned quite a bit about everything from erognomics of boat helms and floorplan layouts to the failure possibilities on "bay bottom" wooden hulls. Definitely good exercise for the noggin, whether you agree with all his conclusions or not. Site navigation is not the greatest, and the man could use a spell-checker, but good stuff nonetheless.

Home page: http://www.yachtsurvey.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
QUOTE(greg e @ Feb 3 2004, 05:23 PM)Nocode,

You are right I am thinking of selling boat because of no work.
Pyrate Jim, If interested I can email flyer of what is on it and you can even look at since it is at inside storage.
Let me know.
It is a 1986 express cruiser in excellent shape with a lot of updates.
Greg,

check your PM indox. All my contact info is there. As we are just starting to look, we are still trying to figure out what we like/dont like - want/dont want. Wouldnt mind taking a look.

And now for the REALLY SCARY news.

Even without selling our current boat, bank said, "Go ahead, buy another and we'll cover the cost. Kind of" The catch is that they want us to pay them back, over time. How nice
 

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QUOTE(PyrateJim @ Feb 4 2004, 09:16 AM)And now for the REALLY SCARY news.

.... The catch is that they want us to pay them back, over time....
Those damn bankers .... always a catch!
 

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QUOTE(HazyMemory @ Feb 3 2004, 05:54 PM)ALL mid to upper 80's boats have stringer issues and transom moisture issues due to an "update" in FRP material theory. Wellcraft has more of a reputation because of the "silent" recall that was issued years ago. It's nothing to be afraid of as long as you trust your surveyor. Older SeaRays are absolutly better than newer in many ways.
That's a pretty broad brush you're painting with there, Hazy. I'd venture to say that there a more builders without systemic problems than those with; Wellcraft had some issues with stringers in the St. Tropez series. Chris-Craft had some problems in the Amerosports, not because of 'glass or materials but rather due to incorrect tabbing. OTOH, there are hundreds of 80's era Cigarettes, Hatteras, Bertrams, Trojans, Formulas, etc etc etc running around today with hulls, decks, and stringers just as solid as the day they rolled out of the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Its been awhile for this thread but I just received an email from a local boat broker who is pushing a 1989, 34' Sundancer. SHe looks good and clean, but we turned away simply because of the year and all that we have heard about the 88's and newer. She disagreed 100% and sent me the following:

I just wanted to let you know that I made a call to Sea Ray's headquarters. They assure me that there was no change in that model year ever. The boats that had a change are 38 and up and this change happened in the 90's. They changed to balls of core in hull. They also changed the resin in the 90's on the larger model boats.

If you would like to speak with them directly this is the number 800-648-8535. I just wanted to find out for myself in case there ever was a questions regarding the same in the future.


Make any sense to you long time Sea Rayer's? Is the '89 worth a look? They are asking $59,900.00 but due to poor health, owner is willing to come down to within our range - or so the broker tells me.
 

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QUOTE(PyrateJim @ Mar 11 2004, 01:08 PM)They changed to balls of core in hull.
This was the sales person that sent you this?

I believe she meant to say BALSA core not Balls of core.
 
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