Sold the Supra today. Definitely not the happiest day as a boat owner.
Felt a little like losing part of the family.
Tentative deal made for a replacement.
Inspection and water test this weekend.
From CL ad:
1996 Mastercraft Prostar 205. Open bow direct drive inboard boat. Powered by the Indmar Predator 350 c.i 5.7L TBI engine (275 hp). Only 360 hours. Second owner, purchased in 2009. We have not had a single mechanical problem with the boat or trailer, putting on ~25 hours a summer on Payette Lake. Annually serviced by an inboard mechanic and garaged over the winter. Comes with the following: a second battery with switch, Perfect Pass StarGazer speed control (Wake Edition), Kenwood receiver (front auxiliary input and USB) and 4 speakers, 4 blade prop, teak swim platform, 2 vent heaters, hand held hot water shower (needs to be re-connected), navigational bow and stern lights, lots of drink holders, and a tandem axle trailer (with spare and surge brake). $14,500 OBO.
There were some non-negotiables in play for me when picking a boat...like L shaped seating. I have no clue why other than perhaps I imagined it gave more seating options while anchored. (and it felt like a modern layout I guess)
A huge part of why we boat is the memories that we create and the memories it brings back. The little details all play into that, whatever they may be.
2017 Durango R/T | 1976 Buick Regal S/R
2017 Durango R/T | 1976 Buick Regal S/R
My plan wasn't to rush into a new boat. Maybe even have an empty garage spot for the winter.
Had a list of 4 boats we were considering. This was one of them. Like the color and it checked all the other boxes, full history, low hours, excellent shape, within 500 miles or so of home. Price is right, so here we go.
Driving down to McCall, ID Friday night. Will meet the seller Saturday for a water test. Price is agreed to assuming it is in as advertised condition. Seller is putting on new trailer tires tomorrow.
Wife and kid are coming along. We are going to stay in McCall for the long weekend. Spend some time in the boat on Payette Lake. It's suppose to be beautiful.
Edit for CSB - Seller hadn't planned to ever sell this boat. But, his wife never liked the color. They agreed if she found locally the same boat in navy blue, similar condition with less hours they would buy it. Nine years later she found one. He has two in his garage right now.
When we bought ours, the seller said that the water levels are so low this year that his dock is dry...and he just wasn't comfortable leaving it moored out in the river overnight or going back to the house to get it (from his garage) and launching it every day.
On the water test, he showed us where the cottage is and indeed...there was little water at the dock. It was also only 15 mins or so from his house...so the backstory checked out.
Assuming you get to actually see two boats of different colours in the garage, it sounds plausible that they really do love that boat, just not the colour.
2017 Durango R/T | 1976 Buick Regal S/R
There were two boats there, this one and his "new" 2000 in navy/black. Plus a another 2000, his co-workers white/red one he bought new. It was a vintage MC party.
Seller was great. Spent close to 4 hours with him going over the boat, water test, finishing deal, etc.
Made a weekend of the trip to McCall, ID. Wife, kid and my Dad.
Got a nice VRBO condo for Friday- Monday.
Wife had a college friend who was there with her family as well. Had a nice dinner with them.
McCall is a nice town. It was packed for the holiday weekend. Payette Lake is right in town. 5500 acres, so a good sized lake.
We water tested Saturday morning. It wasn't to busy. Spent Sunday on the lake, it was crowded and windy. Boating wasn't great but fun to be on the water.
I did manage a ski early Sunday before it blew out. Boat has excellent power. It is significantly faster than the Supra. The new boat performed great all weekend.
Towed 480 miles home with no issues. The dual axle trailer is great.
Payette Lake, ID
There are a few cosmetic things I want to clean up over the winter. The hull decals show some age. I'm going to see if I can find replacements. The glove box hinges are broken. Gas struts for doghouse and observer seat need replaced. I think I'll replace the bow center cushion and not worry about the dog house. Seller didn't have a key for the gas cap. The spare wheel is 15" the other 4 are 14". Plus we want to put on a bimini.
Home in the shop.
Love the new boat my friend. Great pics too.
The little projects you find are easy to correct.
2018 Toyota Highlander SE AWD, Midnight Black Metallic/Black
2018 Volkswagen Golf R 6-speed, Lapiz Blue/Titan Black
2018 Four Winns H210 / 5.3L Volvo Penta V8 300 / DPS-A Duoprop drive
Since we've all been hibernating or hampered by high water for months, I wanted to post an update to last summer's purchase of our Four Winns H210 SS.
Phase two of my boating plan required the purchase of a tow vehicle. I'm a german wagon kind of guy, so moving to a truck or an SUV wasn't super-appealing. But a family member (used dealership owner) suggested that I try out a Durango R/T that he had on the lot.
7200 lb tow limit (for the AWD model), ~1300lb payload, load levelling rear shocks, 360/390 hp/tq with the hemi.
So far, meets my towing needs on paper - but would I enjoy driving it?
In a word, yes.
I took it out on some twisty roads nearby and was immediately blown away by how well it handled (all things considered). The ride is firm, but not harsh...and I quite enjoyed the hemi/8-spd ZF combo. Loaded with leather and all the goodies inside (except for radar cruise and lane change assist, which is fine) and room for all of the random stuff we find ourselves hauling to the cottage or around town.
I don't need a 7 seater, but with that row folded down, I figured it was really just a big station wagon with German roots, right?
Plus, it's smaller than a truck for driving around the city.
Also - it sounded fantastic at wide open...and quiet as a mouse when you want to be.
Yes, it's a Dodge...but I can live with that, given the capabilities that it affords.
Ultimately, the price is what sealed the deal. It's a 2017 and the original sticker price was $59xxx (CAD). At one year old, it had high miles (ex-rental) but still presented fairly well (interior is mint, exterior has clearly been washed repeatedly with steel wool...but it's fine from 10 feet for now)
It was offered to me for ~half of the new price. I couldn't touch a similarly equipped, recent pickup (1500) up here for the same money...which was my original intent.
Pulled the trigger on Halloween, traded in my A4 Avant (Ibis White, 6spd, TI package, dearly missed) and spent the winter getting used to it.
The next mile to market was seeing if it could actually tow as well as the internet says it does.
June rolled around and the record setting high water here started to recede a bit...so the boat was prepped for the season and I had the trailer freshened up with new tires and bearings. I made the switch from bias-ply's to radials, anticipating a long hwy tow at some point over the summer.
The big day came in late June to go pick up the boat from storage...and put the Durango to the test.
Bear in mind, to this point I've never really towed anything significant. A utility trailer or two, but nothing approaching 5000 lbs.
Hooked up and started up the steep hill out of the marina...no trouble. Clearly it has lots of power.
Cruising along some back roads into town it seemed well behaved. No issue braking (dual disc braked axles on the trailer) and at no point did the trailer push the Durango around. (the Durango weighs about 500 lbs more than the boat/trailer with just myself and some gas on board)
All in all, an uneventful trip back to the house.
(you can see that the fender gap is smaller over the front trailer tires...I've flipped the ball mount since this pic was taken...now it's within .5" of the 21" ball height stated by Four Winns)
Given that the truck/SUV seemed to be more than capable, I decided to go for broke and try dragging the boat to our family cottage. While not usually a daunting thought...our cottage happens to be 650km's away. (Ottawa to Long Point, on Lake Erie) A 6-7 hour drive without a boat, along the 416/401/407/403 corridor.
Would the trailer blow a tire? How would the bearings fare? Are transports going to push me around and terrify me? Will I get stuck on the side of the road or pull into a place that I can't get out of?
I can happily report that none of the above happened. Well, I did pull into a parking lot at a rest stop that I shouldn't have (I thought there was an exit on the other end), but a beautiful 23 point turn got me sorted out. Sadly, no one witnessed it - my family was all inside getting lunch lol.
The tires (Kenda LoadStar Karrier's) and new bearings never read over ~45 degrees C after hours on the hwy in the sun. On the shady side, they were in the 30's.
The Durango is rock solid towing the load. Not once over the 1300 km trip did I feel like I was being pushed around by wind or transports. No question, you know the trailer is back there...but I'd comfortably state that the Durango tows as well or better than the two Ram's, an F-150 and a Tahoe that we'd previously towed it around with.
I attribute a lot of that to the R/T's stiffer suspension + the hemi.
Most shockingly, my hand calculated mileage for the last leg of the trip was 15.7 mpg. That was at a steady 65-68 mph. (using cruise control whenever appropriate)
The ZF actually dropped into 8th gear far more often than I expected.
I figured it'd hover around 12-13 mpg, as it did all winter (not towing), but it surprised me with how well it did.
Once at the cottage, we were able to secure a transient slip for the week...and proceeded to drop the boat in.
Water was a little high (about 3-4 feet above normal - the wooden dock has already been raised twice!)
Had to get a shot of my two "muscle cars" together:
If you're ever in the area, George at the Old Cut Marina is a gracious host and the Old Cut Boat Livery's "Chip Ship" makes a killer french fry.
Now that we were in the water, the final test was to see how the H210 would fare out in Lake Erie. Now to be fair, we don't boat in the open water. We're lucky enough to have a huge pair of bays that are generally protected behind the sand spit that is Long Point. That being said, it can still get pretty messy. Back in the day, with my fathers 20' cuddy, we had a few days where the waves were coming up over the windshield. Speed may have solved that issue, but either way, short frequency three to four footers are nothing to sneeze at in a (relatively) little boat.
Again, things went better than expected. The first day out the lake was like glass...so we made a run to the very tip of Long Point. Here we re-acquainted ourselves with the light house:
The next trip out was a little rougher - probably 1.5 -2 footers with an occasional 3 footer for good measure. My wave height estimating skills are poor...so here's some video (note how far the bow drops a couple of times...that gives a sense of the size of the larger swells):
I deliberately rode bow-high to keep everyone dry and safe...at the expense of some bouncing. The boat handled it very very well...and at no time did we feel uncomfortable with the conditions.
Almost done, I promise.
The last test was to see how the Durango pulled the boat up the ramp. On the morning we were leaving, we packed the truck up and headed down to grab the boat.
I put the Durango in AWD LOW (selectable transfer case) and backed down the ramp.
Boat loaded up, I got ready to struggle my way up the flooded ramp (front and rear truck tires were in water...with dirt/mud at the top of the ramp where the concrete ended).
Again, to my surprise, the Durango walked the boat up the ramp at idle...with zero throttle input required. I'd never used low range prior to that...I guess it's geared a lot steeper than I realized!
So all in all, a successful first outing of 2019. I learned a lot about towing, got to prove we could launch and retrieve with only my wife and I, and heard a lot of "oh, so YOU'RE the one with the nice boat" from the other marina patrons.
We're home now and the boat is back in its usual slip on the Ottawa river. It's a different boating experience, but I still can't wait to get out (tomorrow) and enjoy some time with the family at the sandbar.
Hope you guys are all getting out and enjoying the water in your respective parts of the country as well.
TLDR: Never towed before. Bought a Durango. Towed a boat 1300km's in a week. Fun was had. Nothing went up in flames.
2017 Durango R/T | 1976 Buick Regal S/R