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Old 09-30-2020, 12:04 AM   #1
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Comparing 2 boats, Searay 550 Sedan Bridge and Hatteras

We are putting together our master plan and researching the punch list we need in our boat. The two that have the most of our items are a Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge and a Hatteras 56 motor yacht.

Our main criteria
Appx year 2000 to get the price range in the 250K range
Dual motors, 1500 hours or less on them
At least 3 cabins
Stand up engine room, or access for a 6'2 275 pound fellow to work
Would like room for dinghy and jet ski
Steps instead of ladders
swim platform
full size washer/dryer
Enclosable fly bridge

Do you have opinions on which boat is better? We like the styling of the Sea Ray but like the larger rooms and engine room of the Hatteras.

What other boats should we condider?

Thanks
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Old 09-30-2020, 07:23 AM   #2
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Can you provide any information on how and where you want to use the boat?
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Old 09-30-2020, 07:28 AM   #3
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Hatteras 56 Motor Yacht from 1980-1985 time frame? I don't see another, newer, one in the Powerboat Guide...

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Old 09-30-2020, 08:11 AM   #4
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We have been looking at hatteras models from 52 feet and up. Plan is to spend winters in Bahamas/Florida area and the storm season up the east coast. Our budget allows for appx 20K of maintenance per year, 5K a year into reserve fund for large planned or unplanned items and $18K per year for fuel. I will be running a consulting business from the boat so we have $300 a month set aside for communications.
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:05 AM   #5
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The vessels listed are 2 different animals- the Sea Ray is more production and geared toward a dayrunner usage lifestyle, while the Hatteras is better designed for the long distance/liveaboard lifestyle.

We looked at the Sea Ray sedan line before purchasing Pau Hana- I like them, but feel we made a much better choice with our current vessel.
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:26 AM   #6
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We had a Sea Ray 360 (390). Spent every weekend aboard with our kids when they were younger. Nice boats for the money. Club Sea Ray is very active and you should be able to connect with 550 owners there. If you are living on a boat full time, I would lean towards the Hatt.
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:38 AM   #7
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If you plan to spend a lot of time on boat then the Hatt loos to have much more living space. Sea Ray typically exaggerate length for marketing purposed with pointy bow and built in swim platform so look at the volume not the length.

Some Sea Ray models have cored bottoms. Dont know about the Hatts
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:10 AM   #8
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Presently own a Hatteras, had it for 15 years, and previously owned two smaller Sea Rays over a combined 20 year period. To me, Sea Rays are a great value boat...a lot for the money and we had many good times with them. They are not in the same league as Hatteras though in terms of build quality, systems, and fit and finish. No offense meant to Sea Ray.
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:31 AM   #9
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I would also consider the 58’ Hatteras of the same generation: the 18’2” beam boats, not the 15’10” earlier boats. The extra two feet is in the master stateroom below and in the salon above. We use the two foot longer boat deck to store a motor scooter up there with the tender.

Two feet in length is not going to be an issue in handling around the marina nor will it break the bank in slip rentals. You may also want to consider the versions of the 56’ and 58’ with the standard 5’ Hatteras cockpit: the 61’ and 63’ cockpit motor yachts.

We have lived aboard our 63’ CPMY for two years now and I can’t imagine living aboard without a cockpit! In addition to the obvious advantages in boarding a tender, there is also all the storage in the Lazarette as well as the extra 100+ gallons of freshwater in there too. The cockpit also makes an excellent work area for messy projects, like a garage or driveway in a land home.

All of the 18’2” boats have an enormous amount of interior volume, this give lots of storage for provisions, spare parts, equipment (inverter batteries, washer/dryer, watermaker, etc) and living space.
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:49 AM   #10
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Is that McKinney Texas?

When we first made the transition from inland to coastal boating our first purchase was a Sea Ray 400 Sedan Bridge. Here is my take:

- As others have said, Club Sea Ray is an active source of knowledge and advice

- Sea Ray's are popular boats. Whatever breaks, you can probably find replacement parts or someone on Club Sea Ray that has done an upgrade

- If you're looking to stay in the $250k price range, you will probably be looking at a 1990's model. That will typically have >1,500 engine hours. I believe most of the pre-2000/2001 have CAT engines.

No such thing as a perfect boat, but some things we didn't like on the Sea Ray and avoided when we upgraded:

- Check the accessibility of the A/C sea cock. I'm a little bigger than you are and in the 400 the sea cock is located just forward of the starboard engine. You need to be a gymnast to get in/out of the engine compartment and a contortionist to reach the sea cock. When the water warms up in Texas, the strainer basket needs cleaning at least once per week.

- We found that the side deck on the Sea Ray was very narrow/difficult to walk around and the guard rails are about ankle high. This made me nervous, especially when going through the occasional lock on the gulf inter-coastal. We knew that issue would not get better with age.

- The 400 had a couple of steps between the galley and the dining table. It's a little thing, but it was like getting a step workout every mealtime.

General tips:
- Some purchases of older boats (>20 years) may be difficult to finance.

- Be a skeptic. All boats are advertised as perfectly maintained/best thing ever and the photos vs reality can be worlds apart. When you start looking at boats it can get a little frustrating trying to find one was actually adequately maintained and still in the right price range.

- Find the best marine surveyor that you can. They will be your best resource in making a purchase and well worth the survey cost if they find a good reason for you to re-consider your offer or even walk away from the purchase.

Bad news:
- Full size washers and dryers are not typical on many boats as they take up a lot of volume and use a lot of water. If you are headed to the islands, easy access to fresh water is not a given.
- Stand-up engine rooms are rare, 6'2" access to both sides of both engines is even less common.
- If your consulting business requires reliable internet access, that may be an issue that you want to consider further.


Good luck in your search!
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:32 PM   #11
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Yes, McKinney Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBryan View Post
Is that McKinney Texas?

When we first made the transition from inland to coastal boating our first purchase was a Sea Ray 400 Sedan Bridge. Here is my take:

- As others have said, Club Sea Ray is an active source of knowledge and advice

- Sea Ray's are popular boats. Whatever breaks, you can probably find replacement parts or someone on Club Sea Ray that has done an upgrade

- If you're looking to stay in the $250k price range, you will probably be looking at a 1990's model. That will typically have >1,500 engine hours. I believe most of the pre-2000/2001 have CAT engines.

No such thing as a perfect boat, but some things we didn't like on the Sea Ray and avoided when we upgraded:

- Check the accessibility of the A/C sea cock. I'm a little bigger than you are and in the 400 the sea cock is located just forward of the starboard engine. You need to be a gymnast to get in/out of the engine compartment and a contortionist to reach the sea cock. When the water warms up in Texas, the strainer basket needs cleaning at least once per week.

- We found that the side deck on the Sea Ray was very narrow/difficult to walk around and the guard rails are about ankle high. This made me nervous, especially when going through the occasional lock on the gulf inter-coastal. We knew that issue would not get better with age.

- The 400 had a couple of steps between the galley and the dining table. It's a little thing, but it was like getting a step workout every mealtime.

General tips:
- Some purchases of older boats (>20 years) may be difficult to finance.

- Be a skeptic. All boats are advertised as perfectly maintained/best thing ever and the photos vs reality can be worlds apart. When you start looking at boats it can get a little frustrating trying to find one was actually adequately maintained and still in the right price range.

- Find the best marine surveyor that you can. They will be your best resource in making a purchase and well worth the survey cost if they find a good reason for you to re-consider your offer or even walk away from the purchase.

Bad news:
- Full size washers and dryers are not typical on many boats as they take up a lot of volume and use a lot of water. If you are headed to the islands, easy access to fresh water is not a given.
- Stand-up engine rooms are rare, 6'2" access to both sides of both engines is even less common.
- If your consulting business requires reliable internet access, that may be an issue that you want to consider further.


Good luck in your search!
Yes, McKinney Texas. Are you close? Would love to beat someone down with questions in person over a yummy fajita meal.
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:19 PM   #12
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My personal preference is for Hatteras. Like others have pointed out, the livability is much better on the Hatt. I'd also be open to much higher engine hours. In general, diesels can rack up many hours and still run strong. More so if the engines aren't turbocharged to the limit of the manufacturer's specs and aren't run hard (wide open throttle) or short hops. A good owners log book will reveal how the engines were run.Best wishes to finding the right boat for you.
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:50 PM   #13
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I used to live in Rockwall near lake Ray Hubbard but I'm now down the road in College Station. We keep the boat in Clear Lake Shores where there are several boats in our marina with hailing ports from the Metroplex.

One item that hopefully you have accounted for in your budget plan is marina costs. In Texas marina fees are pretty reasonable by the month and gulf coast marinas usually charge transients a flat-fee per night. For example, I think Moody Gardens Marina is currently $70/night that includes access to the resort accommodations.

If you start doing transient nights in Florida, the marinas typically charge by the foot and may charge additional for hook-ups. Others on the Board will know about current Florida and east coast marina costs. Last time I went to Green Turtle, Abaco Bahamas (via air, not boat) the marina on the island was charging $2.50/foot per night, but that was pre-Dorian.

If you know where in Florida/east coast you are headed, you may want to look into marina availability. My sister keeps her boat in Dana Point Marina (CA) and they have a waiting list that is many years long for larger slips.

Let me know if you ever head down toward College Station or Houston!
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:19 PM   #14
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I am not sure you will find a 2000s model 50í+ Hatteras for $250K. We looked at a 58 Hatteras LRC that was a 77 model year and it was $239K. It was a great boat and layout but my wife didnít like it. A lot of the planning hull Hatteras were built with the split engine room layout. We looked at a 58í, I believe, and the engines took up the entire engine room. I am not certain how they are maintained since there wasnít even room to stand in the engine room. But they built a ton of them that way so there must be a way to maintain them.

As to comparing a Sea Ray to them, they are in the same class as the Hatteras. SeaRayís are a much more stylized boat and the downside to that is loss of interior space, living and storage room. If you want to go fast, and pay the fuel bills, then the Sea Ray would be the way to go. If you want living space and more livability the the Hatteras is the way to go.

Most of the Hatteras will come with Detroits. Hours will probably be more than 1500. But unless DDs have been run full out all the time the hours should not really be a concern. The parts are relatively cheap and any diesel mechanic can work on them. Fairly easy to rebuild.
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Old 09-30-2020, 03:04 PM   #15
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Here's what Dave Pascoe, a well-known surveyor (deceased) had to say on the two boats, not exactly the models you're curious about perhaps but he's more speaking about the brands. This is Pascoe's opinion....I have no ox to gore personally on your selection.

https://www.yachtsurvey.com/boatrevi...otor_yacht.htm

https://www.yachtsurvey.com/boatreviews/SeaRay55.htm
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Old 09-30-2020, 06:37 PM   #16
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The 55’ Searay is not going to give you any where Your needed stand up engine access. As I recall the access hatch is right inside the sliding door. Also be very careful of the cored bottom on the Searay. There was one that bounced across a few rocks in CT. Lots of wood by the struts
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:04 PM   #17
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Lots of well rounded owners have posted. It seems that NMCAFE needs to do more in depth research as to what boat makes and years actually exist that have his requirements. The wanted list is fine, it's the model year, size and price he's picked that don't add up. Keep looking on brokerage sites and do some searching here. You'll eventually find a good fit with some flexability.
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:10 PM   #18
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Thanks to most of you

I appreciate the time that so many of you have put into responses. I can't say I appreciate the 1 a-hole response, however, the guidance many of you have given me will help me in my search.

Thanks,

Nathan
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:46 PM   #19
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The 56í Hatt has a 18í beam, vs the 53/54í that have a 15.5 ish beam.
Live ability on the Hatt is waaaaaaaaaay better than the Sea Ray. Iíve been to the Bahamas on the sea ray 550 and itís nice, for a long weekend or week. But full time, not for us.
The reason we like the 61 over the 63 (same as the 56 vs 58), silly as it is, is the center opening twin doors from the salon to the aft deck, vs the single side door on the 58/63í. Either the 56/61or the 58/63 are awesome live aboard boats.
Now, if it werenít for the difficulty of the 😷😷😷😷😷😷😩😩😩😩😩!
Good luck with your search. Ultimately, youíre going to have to get on as many of each to see which really fits your needs.
Ps; the 250K range will keep you in an Ď80s Hatt, 56í range.
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:37 AM   #20
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There's an old Hatt about the length you're looking for that sits in the slip next to mine. It hasn't been moved in the 5 years it's been there, never seen anyone around it, and all I know about it is the owner has failing health.

If you're looking for a nice 550 Sedan Bridge here's a link to one that's on the market:

https://unionmarine.com/boat-listing...-sedan-bridge/

I happen to know the owner of the Sea Ray and can tell you it's in excellent shape, has Cat's and is priced right.
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