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  1. #1

    Default Buying first boat. Bowrider versus deckboat (not pontoon)

    I have been doing research on used boats. I am married with two young kids are looking for a good used boat for skiing and tubing. I have been told to focus on the Crownline, Chapparal and Sea Ray brands. Iím also looking for a 20-21 foot boat. I have found a few bowriders and now I found a nice deckboat (it's a ski boat, not a pontoon boat). My question is there any disadvantage of a deck boat over a bowrider? Is the deck boat slower to plain, or does it get more spray into the boat? I have not seen a lot of deck boats on the used market so I tend to see them as not a popular? Any advise would be appreciated.

    Also, what about these three brands of boats? Should I expand my search to other brands or stick with these?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Captain Philster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first boat. Bowrider versus deckboat (not pontoon)

    Nice brands. I'd be chasing the Crownline first.

    You have to ride in them to really know, but any of their deckboats are going to be relatively modern designs, and they do get a fair am't of praise for their balance of ride and space.

    They will all be fine in small bays and lakes. Powered properly, they should plane out just fine. My hunch is that the wider deck front would keep spray out. They tend to have a bow flare (of sorts). Generally, this helps.

    I think you are in small block V8 territory: 5.0 or 5.7 Mercruiser or Volvo.
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  3. #3
    Vice Admiral LippCJ7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first boat. Bowrider versus deckboat (not pontoon)

    Your friends have advised you on higher end boats and that is not a bad thing when considering new boats.

    But if your looking at used boats the condition and care the boat has been given over its lifetime is far more important then the brand so keep that in mind.

    Deck boats typically have a more open floor plan and a flatter hull which (laymans terms here not knowing if you know what deadrise is) so it will be great in calmer water, when the waves get big it will be rough. I have heard that Sea Rays Deck boats have more deadrise and so they will handle better in bigger water, Crownlines and Chap's are heavier built boats and so that helps as well. Crownlines have more Beam (width)typically as well so that helps the layout. Deck boats are a fine boat for a family but the drawback is clearly big water so where you boat will be important. They are not quicker or slower to plane as that has more to do with power and outdrive then anything else right now (weight and hull design not with standing) but it can be said that in big water you can get some spray over the bow but that can be said with any boat depending on the water your in.

    Buy the biggest boat you can, space for a family goes away quickly, I think if your looking for a good family boat with go fast possibilities your friends are directing you well, the boats you have sited have sportier lines and great motor and outdrive options but if all your friends have bowriders that may be a hint to you as well
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  4. #4
    Lieutenant coastalrichard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first boat. Bowrider versus deckboat (not pontoon)

    I'd also look at Mariah....but I'm not prejudiced
    2007 Mariah DX212 w/ 2007 Merc 150 Saltwater



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  5. #5
    Cadet
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    Default Re: Buying first boat. Bowrider versus deckboat (not pontoon)

    I can personally vouch for the Chaparral (I have a 2005 210ssi), but have heard nothing bad about any of those makes. Mine has the VP 4.3GL in it, and still gets on plane quickly (with the help of smart tabs) and tops out around 42 MPH(GPS verified). That is plenty fast enough for cruising around and/or pulling the toys for me . Wecome aboard btw!
    2005 Chaparral 210 SSI, VP 4.3GL

  6. #6
    Petty Officer 2nd Class Aquaman-PSD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first boat. Bowrider versus deckboat (not pontoon)

    To reply to the original quote I would have to say that, and by the looks of it its agreed upon that the deck boat is the better option. I own a fish and Ski and it is great for what I need it for (single, 23 yo with no family) but when I purchased my boat I looked HARD for a deck boat. The water rescue team I am on has a Grumman aluminum deck boat with a 115 johnson outboat as a quick responder vessel. It definatly has no problem planing and it is stable enough to dive off of. I looked everywhere for one of them and had no luck, so I guess you could say I settled but still I love my boat and 65 mph is always a plus!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buying first boat. Bowrider versus deckboat (not pontoon)

    Had a deck boat for 12 years Fundeck 215 with a 150 Mecury and loved that boat. They are out of buisness now but was basically a copy of the Hurricanes of the time. Yes they do ride rough in big water but once you learn how to take the waves using your throttle it's no big deal, you will occasionally get splash over on the bow but hey your on the water.. The boat was a great multi-purpose machine, skiing, fishing tubing or just hanging out (not great for wakeboarding).

    When we looked to upgrade I wanted another deckboat but they are hard to find in the 25'+ range so we went with a Bowrider, not the best fishing platform.

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