Test Report and Questions on Monterey, Crownline and SeaRay deck boats

29 Мар 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Monterey 242 Cruiser

This past Saturday we drove the 2004 Monterey 233 Explorer, 2005 Crownline 240EX and 2004 Sea Ray 220 Sundeck on choppy Lake Lanier north of Atlanta.

For readers who have a minute, I would appreciate your thoughts on which direction I ought to go. Pick one of these three boats, or consider something else? See my thoughts on performance of the three boats below.

We are struggling with a difficult decision. I am trading in my 1999 Monterey 242 Cruiser for an open bow boat. We think we want a deckboat because of the seating/capacity and ease of boarding from the bow. I also want to have a head and either filler cushions or sunpads where, with a camper canvas, the kids and I (wife does not camp very often) could sleep out on the boat and beat the other skiers/wakeboarders/fisherman to the lake in the am. We do this rarely, so a cruiser is not really required or desirable.

Power is key. I want to never worry about whether I can pull skiers out of the water, or get on plane with 8-10 people in the boat.

All are in the same price range.

Of the three, the best performing in terms of ride and handling in Saturday afternoon Lanier boat wakes was clearly the Sea Ray. It smoothed out the wakes better, and we were able to maintain speed through the chop better than the other two. In fact, it seemed to get smoother in the rough water as we gained speed, and it never punded or banged at all. I sat in the bow on the way back, bouncing through lots of big boat wakes, and it was completely comfortable.

In the Monterey we took some water spray up in the bow seat and in the help seat, although this was exacerbated by wind blowing from starboard. Again, I sat in the bow on the way back. We could not maintain speed through the rough water as well as in the Sea Ray, but it probably handled a little better than the Crownline.

The Crownline had the toughest test because the water was roughest at the time we took it out. It tended to pound/bang a bit in the chop — which the Sea Ray never did, albeit in somewhat lighter water. Also, the sales rep told me to trip the Crownline up a little bit — not sure why. I would have trimmed it all the way down to keep the hull as much in the water as possible. The Sea Ray sales rep also told me to trim that boat all the way down. I also noticed that the Crownline tilted a bit more than the SeaRay and Monterey in tight turns.

Monterey 242 Cruiser

As far as engine performance — the Crownline had the Merc 350 MPI Braco III duo-prop (rep said it was 300hp, but I saw a spec somewhere that said it was 320, so I am confused) and felt great. It always felt like it had more power and we never really had the opportunity to open it up because it was pretty rough out. The rep tells me it is a 50mph boat, which sounds about right. I might add a wakeboard tower later, as our kids (ages 9mths and 4yrs) get a little older, so I want a drive that can handle the additional weight 2-4 yrs down the road.

The Crownline dealer has one 04 remaining. It has the Volvo 5.0 GXI Duoprop (rep said it was 270 hp, but the Monterey rep said it was 260hp). The dealer said he could negotiate more on that boat — it would probably have a 3-4K price advantage over the 05 Crownline 240EX with the 300hp Merc.

The Monterey had the 5.0ltr Volvo duoprop and performed reasonably well. The rep said it would go 47mph or so. I remember thinking it was pretty average getting out of the hole.

The Sea Ray we drove had a Merc Alpha single prop. They also had a 260 hp Bravo 3 duoprop but it was not at the sales dock and we did not drive it. The boat got out of the hole quickly, accelerated well, but I do not remember thinking that this is a fast boat. I think he said it would do about 40mph. I would rather have tested the Bravo 3 duoprop.

At the moment, I am leaning toward the Crownline with the 5.0 Volvo DuoProp, partly for cost reasons and partly because I like the layout of the boat the best of the three. I am planning to test drive it this coming Saturday. My wife likes the SeaRay because it was the most comfortable ride of the three.

Monterey 242 Cruiser
Monterey 242 Cruiser
Monterey 242 Cruiser

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