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Opinions Needed

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Kendaukcat
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Opinions Needed

Postby Kendaukcat » February 2nd, 2018, 8:30 am

Hello!

I realize this is a Carver forum, so the results of this thread are probably going to be biased ;).

My wife and I have been looking at boats for about a year now. We are planning on moving to the Keys in the near future and becoming liveaboards. We plan mostly to bounce around the Keys on the boat, with some trips to the Western Caribbean.

We have narrowed our search to these two boats:

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1999/Carver-406-Aft-Cabin-Motor-Yacht-2506253/Prospect-Louisville/KY/United-States#.WnRZB-jwY2w

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1997/Sea-Ray-400-Sedan-Bridge-3084067/Pompano-Beach/FL/United-States#.WnRZG-jwY2x

The Carver makes more sense from a practical standpoint. It is 90 miles away and can be docked at lower cost while we transition. The Sea Ray makes more sense emotionally, but the cost of Florida storage is going to be ridiculous while we sort things out. Shipping it up here is another option, but the is the cost worth choosing it over the Carver?

They are both beautiful boats, with an edge aesthetically and electronically to the SeaRay. I really like the fact that the engines only have 200 hours on them as well (although for 20 year old boats what is the real difference between 200 and 760...25 hours a year?)

I would welcome all opinions. I don't think we can go wrong with either...but would really appreciate someone telling me that we will ;)

Thanks in Advance,

Ken


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Re: Opinions Needed

Postby bud37 » February 2nd, 2018, 9:01 am

Quite a dilemma for you......those really are two different boats, for living on board I think the Carver would be the choice, it appears to be a fresh water boat, has two separate cabins etc which is a plus.

Now the Ray, salt water boat, only one engine has 200 hours ( rebuild/replace, I would check that further), easier access, transom door back deck all level ( not as many steps), pretty much a two person boat Imo even though there is the small other cabin.

Looks like you might have to get a surveyor to help and a diesel engine guy to go thru the diesels.....good luck with your decision.

Edit....Upon further thought.......Imho and this is just me talking, if I was going to live aboard and cruise the areas you speak of, for me I would not choose either of those boats for many reasons, but remember all of these decisions have to be made with what you have decided is your best personal choice.....you asked........ :beergood:
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Re: Opinions Needed

Postby John Easley » February 2nd, 2018, 10:50 am

Every boater will have a different opinion.

It's really hard to beat an aft cabin for living aboard due to the sheer amount of elbow room. Carver builds a very nice boat with lots of polish and comfort. There's no "but..." there; I love Carvers. And their Customer Service is knowledgeable, friendly, and one phone call away. Also, that Carver has Cummins Diamond Series engines in it. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome and easy to maintain those engines are! They're solid, dependable, and powerful while still somehow being miserly on fuel. Another factor is the ambient light in the salon. Way more natural lighting from much larger windows in the Carver.

SeaRay builds a very nice boat, too. They're very popular. As Bud pointed out, only one engine has low hours and that's because it was recently replaced. The add doesn't list the hours on the other, 20 year old engine. Electronics can be upgraded easily enough. We only use them as a possible tie breaker between two otherwise-equal boats.

So far, it sounds like I'm leaning toward the Carver, right? I am. But here is a major factor when examining any boat (Bud touched on it, too): ease of entry and exit. With the SeaRay, you can step from a floating dock or a dinghy onto the swim platform, through the transom to the cockpit and into the salon. If the dock is fixed, you might have to step up onto the side to then step up onto the dock. Very easy entry and exit.

On many aft cabins, you either step from a side onto some stairs on the dock if you're at a floating dock or you climb down a ladder to the swim platform. The Carver you have selected makes it very easy. You can step from a floating dock or dinghy onto the swim platform and simply walk up the stairs to the aft deck or you can step from a stationary dock onto the side deck and enter through the wing door. Very easy entry and exit, too.

After analyzing it, it doesn't even seem close to me. Go with the Carver aft cabin and upgrade the electronics you don't like.

Just one person's opinion. Others will likely vary.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Postby buster53 » February 2nd, 2018, 11:10 am

OK, I'm biased too. I'm getting ready to buy a Carver 356, just like the 406, only smaller.
For live aboard, the Carver hands down.
One other thing....the Cat 3116's in the SeaRay....those engines have a bad reputation. Maybe that is why one has been replaced. I've got a buddy who has those engines in his boat and he's had nothing but trouble. Another friend who is a long time Cat technician, told him not to buy a boat with those engines, but he didn't listen and he's been paying the price ever since.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Postby mjk1040 » February 2nd, 2018, 1:53 pm

Buster, there's a 356 for sale next to me here in NY. 8.1 Volvo gas engines though. Listed at $105, 2001. FYI!
As for the question at hand, CARVER!!
Mike :down:
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Re: Opinions Needed

Postby buster53 » February 2nd, 2018, 2:12 pm

Thanks Mike, but I have a contract on one here on the Chesapeake Bay, less than 100 miles from my marina. Same year, 8.1 Crusaders and quite a bit less $$

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Re: Opinions Needed

Postby Viper » February 2nd, 2018, 7:23 pm

Comfort and everything else mentioned above are all important considerations. I do ALL of my own repairs and nothing really scares me but this; a wet/rotten core, or structural member such as stringers. I've repaired many so while I know and am quite capable of doing it, it's the work I would dread the most. For that reason I prefer a Carver because I know I don't have to worry about that. Look into the construction of the Sea Ray. Unless they've changed, they still used conventional construction methods for stringers and hulls below the water line, so wet cores and rotten stringers may still apply. Now you should get a survey but that will only tell you current conditions and it won't catch everything, it won't tell you what's ahead in the next 5 years and if it's cored, that's a concern. I know of three of that model Sea Ray of around the same vintage and each had to have extensive fiberglass work done, each in different areas. Having said that, I'm sure there are many out there that are just fine.

The Sedan Bridge style is my preferred design but you can't beat the room in an aft cabin, especially for guests and children with friends over.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Postby tomschauer » February 2nd, 2018, 10:28 pm

When we were last looking we had it down to three boats, A carver 404, a Carver 355 and a Searay 420. All three aft cabin boats. I really like the space and layout of the 420, but as Viper mentioned the cored hull and wood stringers scared me away. I could be fine now, and maybe forever, but if you have a small leak around any screw etc. below the water line it will slowly rot the coring between the fiberglass and odds are you wont notice the problem unit it is a major repair.

As far as aft cabin vs sedan bridge that's a personal choice. Both Carver and Searay build sedans and aft cabins on the same hulls, so one is not really better or worse than the other. An aft cabin will give you more interior space and will weigh a bit more. A sedan bridge gives you the big cockpit if you like to sit out with friends or fish. You can fish off an aft cabin, but if you really want to do any real fishing or trolling the sedan is the way to go.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Postby tomschauer » February 2nd, 2018, 10:38 pm

The 405 we were locking at is still for sale in Maryland price dropped to 88k with under 400 original hours. Gas engines 502 crusaders.
Two more points one for each.
The aft state rooms and private heads on the aft cabins are great. Once you have one you wont ever want to be under the bow again.
The sedan has that nice big sliding glass door. No problem moving large objects like furniture in and out which can sometimes be a challenge on an aft cabin boat.
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Re: Opinions Needed

Postby jcoll » February 6th, 2018, 10:55 am

I've owned both Carver and Sea Ray boats. I consider both brands well made. The Sea Rays were a bit higher quality in certain areas (some of the hardware selections were better) but the Carver is certainly more than adequate. If I had the choice you're faced with I would go with the Carver. You'll appreciate the extra room afforded with an aftcabin after you've lived on it for some time. I too wouldn't consider either boat a great long distance cruiser or should I specify - rough water boats. Good luck on your choice.

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