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Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

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  • Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

    My fiance and I have lived on a smaller lake for years now and have had a few smaller 17-20' open bows. We love being on the water and sometimes crash out for the night under the stars, but the open bows don't offer much protection from the elements. We got to thinking about getting a 21' Cuddy for our small lake but think we will sacrifice too much space for a small sleeping area. We then start looking into keeping a small open bow for our lake but purchasing a nice 25-27' cabin cruiser for a large nearby lake (Lake St Clair, Michigan). We would love to have one on that lake to go out for the weekends and be large enough to sleep a 4 and have kitchen/bathroom amenities. We priced out some of the Marina slips and they arent too badly priced, around $1500 for a six month season. What we aren't sure on is how costly the other upkeep and services would be. We don't want to get a cabin cruiser then find we are in over our heads. Obviously it differs from location to location, but what do usual winter storage fees? Do they charge a lot of money to move the boats in and out of storage you? Are engine maintenance much more common and expensive over smaller boats open bows that we are used to owning? Is fuel consumption much more drastic? We expect a Cabin Cruiser to obviously be more expensive than a smaller open bow but we dont want to get a good idea on how much more.


    Thanks,


  • #2
    Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

    Go for it, as experienced boaters you will love it. First of all, if you stick to a 24-27 foot you can keep it trailerable and single engine. It really wont eat more gas than a powerful ski boat. Most marinas have package pricing for winter/summer with the pullouts included. Here in upstate NY I pay about 3,000 for everything, including winterization bottom clean electric and water etc. cheaper than a summer camp, and we spend every weekend on the boat rain or shine. sometimes we sleep on the boat and dont even take her out, it really is a small summer camp.

    It would be the last expense I would cut if needed.

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    • #3
      Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

      As noted above, if you can stay with a single engine you will save big on gas and upkeep. My dad bought a 25 ft Chris Craft single in the mid-eighties and he and I weekended on it a lot. Real comfortable for two, that size. I think maybe a bit too cozy for two adults and a couple of kids. Not impossible though.

      As Steve above says, it can be great just hanging out on a boat at the marina watching the world come and go. That said, it could drink some serious amounts of gas if we wanted to get anywhere at speed. But again, just puttering up the rivers and such was not a huge fuel bill.

      I remember our neighbour the next slip over had twins in a similar size boat and the fuel was killing him. He even tried running it with one engine only in an effort to cut costs. Didn't work out so good.

      Of course, if you can afford it, then no biggie.

      Other expenses I would expect would be higher insurance and the storage you mentioned.

      *edit* Found a pic -- she was just like this without the hardtop. Sniff -- I loved that boat. Great memories hanging out with dad.

      (BTW, I note that this one is for sale, asking 6 grand...I think my dad paid 55 new! .Which is to say, Optik -- one of the biggest ways to save $ is to just buy used...)

      Give me a picture and a thousand words!


      2004 Scout Dorado 175 Dual Console
      Yamaha 90 4-Stroke

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      • #4
        Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

        I would say go for about a 24 footer with an aft cabin. That way, you and the fiancee can have the v-berth in the bow, and the kids(?) can share the aft cabin. Most boats that size have a single engine, the fuel consumption is not all that terrible, and they can still be towed, as well as stored at the house.
        sigpic1992 Sea Ray 180 Bowrider
        1992 MerCruiser 3.0L 115HP

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        • #5
          Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

          Im assuming that the open bow you currently run is an I/O? Most cuddys and cabin cruisers use and I/O driveline. If you are only familiar with outboards things will get more expensive. Otherwise maintenence between the two is similar. Consider the extra cost of pumping and winterizing any holding tank or grey water system onboard and the added surface area to clean/wax/paint. Check over the boat your considering very well, ask the seller what he/she does to maintain it and purchace accordingly. Use caution and go for it.

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          • #6
            Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

            I think the SeaRay Sundancer 268's, 270's are great boats for 4 people to overnight. Most have a single engine, but a rare few will have small twin v6's. I can't imagine having any more expense other than fuel for that size of a boat. If you start getting into the 29+ class, the all start having twin engines and generators to maintain. Also, if you do tow back and forth, the 27' boat is capable of being towed by most regular trucks, but the 29+ is going to need a 3/4 ton or better.
            1976 Mark Twain 200VBR w/Mercruiser 233 (Ford 351w) "Heart & Soul"

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            • #7
              Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

              remember pump out charges, do not leave poop in the holding tank.
              FLORIDA GATORS
              TEBOW Country



              Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
              That is what these forums are for. Post your questions, in the appropriate Forum.

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              • #8
                Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

                Originally posted by ShaneCarroll View Post
                I would say go for about a 24 footer with an aft cabin. That way, you and the fiancee can have the v-berth in the bow, and the kids(?) can share the aft cabin. Most boats that size have a single engine, the fuel consumption is not all that terrible, and they can still be towed, as well as stored at the house.
                I agree with this post. Some of the 24' have some really cool layouts and I love the aft cabin. And in that size you can get around pretty well with a single 350 motor. In that case your boat maintenance shouldn't be much more than you have now. I was drooling over this one in a boating magazine recently http://www.stingrayboats.com/product...hp?model=240cs
                1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
                Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767
                1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
                Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338633 sold

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                • #9
                  Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

                  Excellent advice guys, keep it coming, we really appreciate the input.

                  For how much we would love a new cabin cruiser (they are being manufactured with beautiful wood cabinetry and pleather and awesome track lightning these days but unfortunately the cost savings of going used is much more appealing.

                  We have been looking at a few early 2000's Sea Ray Sundancers, a 2002 Rinker Fiesta Vee 270 (The Rinker's Fiesta Vee's seem very plentiful, I need to do more research to see what the quality of these are). And I just recently found a 2000 Crownline 268 in good condition for $23k. Seems like a steal, I have to go check that one out.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

                    The cost of fuel is getting blown off by most it seems.
                    I guess it depends on it you want to do with the boat. If you want to sit in a slip and use it as a floating living room then it might not be a concern. If you want to leave the dock and actually do some boating then you need to look seriously at the cost of fuel.

                    Look back at the post from last year when fuel was over $4 a gallon. The world was coming to an end. It was costing me over $600 to fill the tanks. If I'm out and about I could burn them off on a long weekend.

                    http://forums.iboats.com/showthread....high+fuel+cost
                    Grady White 226
                    200 Evinrude Ocean Pro
                    Evinrude Renegade Offshore Prop

                    Furuno FCV 587 Sounder
                    Garmin 4208 Multifunction Display
                    ICOM M504A VHF
                    Shakespeare Galaxy 5225-XT Antennas

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                    • #11
                      Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

                      Originally posted by dingbat View Post
                      The cost of fuel is getting blown off by most it seems.
                      I guess it depends on it you want to do with the boat. If you want to sit in a slip and use it as a floating living room then it might not be a concern. If you want to leave the dock and actually do some boating then you need to look seriously at the cost of fuel.

                      Look back at the post from last year when fuel was over $4 a gallon. The world was coming to an end. It was costing me over $600 to fill the tanks. If I'm out and about I could burn them off on a long weekend.

                      http://forums.iboats.com/showthread....high+fuel+cost
                      Is the extra cost of fuel really going to be much different from the 20ft'ers that he's used to? Granted you are dealing with another 1,000lbs of boat, but chances are they aren't going to be pulling skiers and such with a cabin cruiser! We have looked at the same type/size of cruisers and could honestly see us just motoring out on the lake and anchoring while going out in the ski boat or jet ski to play around. The cruiser would just be a floating base of operations!
                      1976 Mark Twain 200VBR w/Mercruiser 233 (Ford 351w) "Heart & Soul"

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                      • #12
                        Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

                        On our smaller lake we sometimes pull skiers and tubers but most of the time head out, drop anchor and lounge...One season we had a 30 gallon tank last us 2 months haha. If we had a bigger cruiser on a larger lake we would probably spend the first few weeks/months exploring our new area but eventually probably just either chill out at the slip (especially if we have cool neighbors) or head out and drop anchor and relax for the day/weekend. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and sandbars on Lake St Clair to keep up occupied without the need to travel great distances. Obviously this is all just speculation at this point.

                        How much does the 5.7 Merc drink compared to the 5.0 merc? is the extra HP worth it when comparing the gas consumption?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

                          Originally posted by haulnazz15 View Post
                          Is the extra cost of fuel really going to be much different from the 20ft'ers that he's used to? Granted you are dealing with another 1,000lbs of boat, but chances are they aren't going to be pulling skiers and such with a cabin cruiser!
                          Your wildly underestimating the weight of a boat that size. What's a 20' weight? #3k maybe #3.5K tops? Most 28' is going to put you about #8.5K or so with fuel so your doubling the weight and most likely increasing the beam as well.

                          My 22' fully loaded with fuel weighs almost #6K. On a good day I get 2.5 mpg at a cruise speed of 26-27 kts. If I have to run against tide you can easliy drop that down to 2.0 mpg

                          Say we run over to Oxford for dinner. Just the other side of the Bay. 18 miles each way, tops. Do the math. At $4 a gallon that's almost $60 an hour in fuel alone.
                          Grady White 226
                          200 Evinrude Ocean Pro
                          Evinrude Renegade Offshore Prop

                          Furuno FCV 587 Sounder
                          Garmin 4208 Multifunction Display
                          ICOM M504A VHF
                          Shakespeare Galaxy 5225-XT Antennas

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

                            Originally posted by ShaneCarroll View Post
                            I would say go for about a 24 footer with an aft cabin. That way, you and the fiancee can have the v-berth in the bow, and the kids(?) can share the aft cabin. Most boats that size have a single engine, the fuel consumption is not all that terrible, and they can still be towed, as well as stored at the house.
                            http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/boa/1191105428.html

                            I was checking out this thread earlier and happened to see this great deal on a 21' aft cabin cruiser. Pretty nice rig...I was thinking that 24' was small to have dual berths, so I was surprised to see the 21' Sea Ray claiming to have two as well.

                            I want a cruiser with aft cabins now(after the college loans are paid off), thanks for the idea.
                            sigpic
                            '79 16' Starcraft SuperSport
                            12' AeroCraft '55 Johnson 5.5hp
                            Starcraft brochures thread

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                            • #15
                              Re: Costs of owning a Cabin Cruiser?

                              I'd love to see pictures of the interior to see how they crammed all that in there. I swear that must be a 24'.
                              1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
                              Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767
                              1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
                              Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338633 sold

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