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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 08-27-2008
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Best powerboat to get to knock around the Bay

My wife and I are thinking about getting a small powerboat to go on short trips from our dock on Rock Creek. We presently have a 36' sailboat which we have had a great time with cruising the Bay and beyond but sometimes we would just want a small powerboat to go to Baltimore for the evening, Hart-Miller Island for an afternoon swim, or possibly Rock Hall for an afternoon. We wonder the following:

What would be the smallest boat you would feel ok about going to these locations in good weather.

What style of boat would work best for a family of 3 that would provide secure, safe time on the water. My brother-in-law (an avid powerboater) suggests a deck boat. But he is boating up on Lake George, not the Chesapeake.

We desire a boat the is stable, manueverable and comfortable. We are not looking to pull a skier or tubing (however, an occassional tubing would be fun).

What do you guys suggest?

Tod
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Old 08-27-2008
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I'd say a 25 ft express cruiser would be about perfect. I happen to have one for sale, just assume the loan and drive it away, trailer and all (48kish). New ones go for 92k.

Seriously, Crownline 250cr, 2005, all of 24 hours on the engine. Wife and I decided we just don't like powerboating after all.
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Old 08-27-2008
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Chuckles' boat sounds nice, but I think you could get away with something smaller than 25'.

In your place, I'd be looking for something in the 17-20' range. It would be good if that hull had a fair bit of V below the waterline and likewise a moderate amount of flare above -- the Chesapeake chop can be tiresome and wet with a shallow-deadrise, low flare hull (such as you often see on lakes).

A single reliable outboard is all you'd need, probably in the 150-200 hp range. There are some models with inboard diesels that would be heavier duty and less costly to operate (but more expensive to purchase).

You didn't mention price range, but I would look at some of the larger Boston Whalers, starting at 17 feet. There is an 18 foot model, I believe, that even has a head tucked under the center console steering station -- if that's a priority. Another one that would fit the bill nicely is the +/- 18 foot Seacraft.

Those are two to start with, for comparisons sake, but there are loads of similar boats. You should be able to choose from a wide variety.
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Old 08-27-2008
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I would go with one of these.
Seeing that you already own a sailboat, you could use it as your dinghy.
Don't worry about the burn rate, because I can tell you are made of money.
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Old 08-27-2008
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I'd have a look at something in the 17-20 ft. range by Mako, Boston Whaler, Grady White, etc. Of course, a lot of this depends on the ammenities you want (cabin, bow rider, center console, etc.) I am sure you could find a used something or other for under $10k.
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Old 08-27-2008
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20' deep v center console would make a good bay boat
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Old 08-27-2008
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This actually looks like a pretty good deal, over in your area:

2004 Seacraft SC 20 Classic Boat For Sale

But it's a bit light on HP, in my opinion. I was on one about two weeks ago and it hauled along nicely.

My guiding rule for motor boats is that the hull needs to be sound, but IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MOTOR. So an older (sound) hull with new engine would be fine with me.
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Old 08-27-2008
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Since $$ was not mentioned I would have to say one of these, by Riva






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Old 08-27-2008
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GR,

When we decided to buy a power boat for knocking around the Bay, I thought a Grady White 19' would be about right. The Admiral vetoed the idea. She required a cuddy cabin with a porta-potty. We bought a Grady 24' walk-around.

Check with the missus. If The Admiral ain't happy, nobody's happy!
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Old 08-27-2008
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I actually thought about the same (because its hard to be short handed on a sailboat and sometimes there is no wind).

I tried to rent a bowrider and a center console - and here is what I found - they are nice when you have a specific destination, but otherwise no fun at all. I.e. center console in Florida Keys was fun because I could quickly go to some place interesting. But just riding around in a boat on Chesapeake got boring very very fast. I don't really need to "get anywhere", and the darn outboard noise makes me go nuts after an hour of driving.


So, my 5 cents are - for Chesapeake, unless you like fishing, powerboat seems like not too much fun. That said, you can try it for yourself - rent one and see how it goes.
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