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  1. #1
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Im going to buy my first boat this winter. Ive looked at all the models, and im very confused. will a v6 in this length save that much fuel? or is the 5.0 or 5.7 better? (gonna be used mainly for skiing, and crusing) Are bayliner boats really that bad? ive been looking at crownline and rinker both seem to be pretty good boats, but you can save a ton of money with the bayliner? any other makes and models i shoudl give a look at?

    thanks in advance!!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    We have a 19' 8" Monterey and LOVE it.

  3. #3
    Lieutenant Junior Grade marine4003's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    The subject of "starter boats" is a common one here,and whenever you compare Bayliner to anything else you will find ALOT of comments from bayliner fans, and from folks who cant stand bayliner. First off, for a beginner just starting out,buying a less expensive boat makes sense,why spend alot of money on a boat that will get abused,not intentionally,of course...its just a novice wont have the experience to properly maintain the "new" boat, 2nd, Bayliner of past,( 80's) wasn't a very good boat,it was poorly built, the powerplant wasn't known for its reliability,all in all it may turn out to be a money pit,Both of your other choices are night and day from bayliner and the prices reflect that, both Crownline & Rinker are excellent boats...as long as they were maintained properly, other good brands include SeaRay - Stingray - Cobalt - Wellcraft - Chaparral -Century - Mariah - Regal, As for power...a 6 cil. will be adiquate, sure a 5.0 will pull better, be faster....but you can do what you want with a 6. Fuel economy, shouldnt be the primary reason for a boat choice,if the first consideration is "ECONOMY" then perhaps boating isn't for you,this hobby,isn't cheap. Good Luck..
    Nec aspera terrent

  4. #4
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    you did not say if you are looking new or used. i agree the 4.3 is minimum, you actually will not see alot of fuel difference in the 4.3 and the 5.0 due to the 5.0 not working as hard. as said if economy is what you are looking for, there ain't nuttin cheap about a boat. i am very impressed with the 2008 and 2009 Bayliners, i got to do the tests on the 2008, and Gary H NC, did the test on the 2009's.
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  5. #5
    Captain MikDee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    I think SeaSwirl, is a good reasonably priced boat, like the Bayliner, then there's Glastron, Stingray, Wellcraft, SeaRay, Regal, and Baja (if they're still in business?)
    Last edited by MikDee; September 16th, 2008 at 08:33 AM. Reason: spelling
    89'-19' Bayliner Capri Ski boat, with a 125hp Force
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    I have a 18 foot bayliner, 3.0L it works for us. (Ya, don't expect to pull 3 skiers with a loaded boat), but it works, and being a 4 cylinder, gas is not to bad. Like 4003 said, get an inexpensive starter boat. and bayline is one of them.

    And BTW, Welcome to the group!
    Chris

    Up a river without a DAM lake!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    I pretty much agree with that guy above from ocean isle beach...

    a 4.3 is a great middle of the road for a smaller family boat like you're looking for. I would also seriously consider buying something used. Sad to say that they're going to continue to get cheaper as folks feel the crunch of the economy.

    right now you could probalby buy a 3-5 year old boat that's in near perfect condition for a fraction of what a new one would be - either getting a lot more boat for the money or doing better on the total budget. I'm sure you could do a great deal on a new one as well - lots of the same boats sitting in the same sales lots at least in the places I drive by on the way to the river...

    Although I could be wrong, and I'm VERY sad to say it, i wouldn't be surprised if we see the end of Baja and some others, at least for the time being, in the coming months...

    Hope this is helpful.

  8. #8
    Lieutenant Junior Grade sickwilly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    I vote for the 19 foot stingray for the following reasons:

    Its a light boat and you will get most of the V8 benefits from the v6. You will get the weight of a 17 or 18 in a 19 foot boat, and that extra foot is real nice. When I was looking, it sure seemed to be a good 350-500 lbs lighter. This also gives a lower tow rating.

    Its weight capacity allows for 8 adults, versus the 7 most of the other 19-18 foot boats are specified for. It's sure nice to be able to take out another family with you.

    The cons of the stringray -- its got a go fast hull that does not like to hold plane at slow speeds. Thus, for a starter boat and water sports, you will need to look at a hydrofoil or trip tabs.

    I would avoid the 3.0 unless I was buying new and was looking at the newer 150 HP fuel injected 4 banger. Also, I would pay more and try to find a fuel injected V6.

    Lastly, I vote for buying a 2 year old used boat. You can get a great deal on one out there with hardly any hours on it, and the guy or gal who bought the boat with dreams of being a boater which have not materialize usually through in most of all you need to get on the water.
    2004 Stingray 190LX, 4.3 Merc, carb, SE Sport Hydrofoil

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Don't rule out an outboard. Modern outboards have many advantages, but they will cost more initially than a similar horsepowe I/O. I believe in the long run they will save you money in reduced and easier maintenance.

  10. #10
    Captain MikDee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    I don't know why they even make big outboards anymore, Most of these manufacturers nowadays don't even offer outboard versions of their boats. The trend is to try to sell you an I/O package for some reason? Maybe they have an agenda to sell a certain brand I/O? I noticed this at a boat show over 10yrs ago. Maybe that's why outboards are so high priced?
    89'-19' Bayliner Capri Ski boat, with a 125hp Force
    My Previous Boats http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ee/My%20Boats/
    My motto - Keep It Simple Stupid
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Thanks for the replys fellas. Why wouldnt one be concerend about fuel economy? if a v8 in these boats will do a better job and consume the same amount of fuel as a v6 i think thats a option i need to look at..... i have a fishing boat with an outboard so ive been around the boating world for some time, but ive never owned a ski/pleasure boat. i did forget to mention that im thinking about used boats, cant beat the price, and the boat isnt gonna get "beat"!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Put fourwinns on the list too.

    The 4.3 is the minimum I would consider in a 18' boat. A Fuel injected model would be great if you kind find one.

  13. #13
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    This came for a higher up in bayliner, the reason they are not making outboards, is they are own by Brunswick, which also owns Mercury and Mercruiser, also many of the brand boats mentioned. so the are required to use their power. Mercury does not have a reasonably priced, high enough horse powered outboard, so they are having to go I/O, can you imagine, I/O power being cheaper than powering with outboard. but that was his explanation, when is asked the question why they did not offer them in the outboard.
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  14. #14
    Captain MikDee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Alrighty then TD, Thanks I can dig it now
    89'-19' Bayliner Capri Ski boat, with a 125hp Force
    My Previous Boats http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ee/My%20Boats/
    My motto - Keep It Simple Stupid
    Or It Can Get Real Expensive Later!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    My boat is in the sig
    2006 Sea Ray 185 Sport
    4.3L V-6 190 HP
    65 hours

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Umm, what about the Tahoe , by Tracker Marine...

    I have compared bayliner and a few others and cant find the same extras and nice qualities the Tahoe offers like the storage, captain chairs etc in the price we are looking.

    Been considering the Q5 with 4.3 or the Q4 with the 3.0 but MPI version.. Q5 is heavy for trailering every weekend.... Thats the deciding factor... Oh and I am looking at the Sport Fish models on both.

  17. #17
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    i love my blue water monte carlo with 5.0. would keep it but only holds 8 and often have 10-11 that want to ride so its for sale

  18. #18
    Petty Officer 1st Class derekpfeiffer's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Just some food for thought. My first boat was a 19ft cobalt w/ a 4.3 carbed. It did ok but if u were planning on hauling 6 ppl and tubing and skiing, it would do it but it gave it a work out. I was real hesitant of upgrading to a small block but after everyone swore that the fuel economy was pretty comparable I finally did it. I bought the 23ft Larson with 5.7 fuel injected and a bravo 3. It does amazing on fuel and has plenty of power. I can have 7ppl and a bunch of gear and still pull two tubes easily. The larson has a great warranty and great product. When i was shopping around the Sea Ray and Crownline dealers said they couldn't come close on price and definitely couldn't say that their product was worth the extra cost. It amazed me that they'd say that.

    Just something else to consider
    Doogie
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Quote Originally Posted by MikDee View Post
    I don't know why they even make big outboards anymore, Most of these manufacturers nowadays don't even offer outboard versions of their boats. The trend is to try to sell you an I/O package for some reason? Maybe they have an agenda to sell a certain brand I/O? I noticed this at a boat show over 10yrs ago. Maybe that's why outboards are so high priced?
    Depends on what part of the market you are in. From where I sit, I could say "I don't understand why the make the smaller (300 HP and less) I/O's anymore" as outboards seem to be taking over the market. I/O's seem to be heavy in the sport boat/ ski boat world and outboards seem to be taking over the fising boat market. Most of the "big name" fishing boats are no longer available with I/O power, its outboards or nothing. I believe some of it has to do with price, most of the entry level boats come with I/O power as they are initially cheaper.

  20. #20
    Petty Officer 3rd Class wgoodhoofd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Our 17.5' Four Winns may be at the smaller end of your radar, but it definitely satisfies your criteria. It's a 3.0L, but still has enough power to ski with some people in the boat, and won't empty your wallet at the gas station.

    We looked at the comparable Bayliner but decided it was just a little too basic, and the bow seats weren't deep enough.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Im in the same boat as you but this is the boat i am getting.

    2009 Bayliner 185 flight edition. its got the 4.3 merc.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    If you are really looking for "the best", it would be hard to beat a Grady White Tournament series. They don't cut any corners on these boats. They make both an 18 and a 20. They only offer outboard power (which is superior to I/Os in my opinion) too.

    I'd buy a well kept, used Grady White if I were in the market. You could probably use it a few years and sell it for what you paid for it. Try that with a new Regal/Four Winns/Bayliner etc...

  23. #23
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    exactly how do define the "best"? my blue water monte carlo cranks up on first try hot or cold, gets great gas milage by my standards with the 5.0 305. will easily pull me up slalom skiing (202lbs), runs great up and down the intercoastal and lakes with 7-8 people in the boat. zero problems since i have owned the boat. people who have ridden in the boat talk about its great ride and a good looking boat. but most of all, I Loved The Boat. unfortunately i need room for 9-10 people so this boat was the "best" when i had 7-8 friends, now i have 9-10 friends and my boat is no longer the best. so now i am trying to sell a former "best" boat in the world so i can another best boat in the world. guess the best is kind of like beauty, its in the eye of the beholder.

  24. #24
    Petty Officer 1st Class Tahoe 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    Quote Originally Posted by Fromtoronto View Post
    Umm, what about the Tahoe , by Tracker Marine...

    I have compared bayliner and a few others and cant find the same extras and nice qualities the Tahoe offers like the storage, captain chairs etc in the price we are looking.

    Been considering the Q5 with 4.3 or the Q4 with the 3.0 but MPI version.. Q5 is heavy for trailering every weekend.... Thats the deciding factor... Oh and I am looking at the Sport Fish models on both.
    We love our Tahoe Q8i. It has the 5.0 MPI (fuel injected) and has great fuel economy. We can go out 3 times in a row before we ever use a half of tank of fuel. That's a lot better than I thought it would be. It's a well made boat with many quality features. I'd defiantly put it on your list. We couldn't be happier with ours.
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    2007 Tahoe Q8i Sport Blue
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  25. #25
    Lieutenant DaNinja's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18-20 ft Bowrider? Need help

    We've owned our SeaRay for eight years and have been very happy with it. The only real issues have been a result of owner (us) neglect/ignorance. I wouldn't go less than a 5.0. In fact...I wish I had a 5.7 pushing a Bravo III.

    BTW...Thanks for starting the thread. This tends to bring the rabid pro- and anti- Bayliner dogs out. I can already hear them both sniffing at the door

    I hear "Who Let The Dogs Out" growing in the background
    1995 SeaRay BR200 5.0 Alpha I "Texas Belle"
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