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  1. #1

    Boating NOOB needs help!

    Hey guys,
    I have many questions (some are very newbie!) please help me out if you can.

    First a disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing about boating. I know how jets/engines/work but i have no idea about boating application (which is better than the other). I know that jets allow a shallower draft, but what about sucking in weeds and such? big issue? dont want to get stranded somewhere!

    Second, i cant swim. Is it advisable to learn how before even considering a boat?

    Those are my disclaimers! Now the background:

    I love power toys. cars, planes, boats, bikes, i love them all. The fiance and i went jet ski'ing last year and had the absolute time of our lives!

    So here are the questions:
    First i started loooking at a new 2008 Challenger 180. As i understand, the ceramic washer issue was fixed in 2008, but then they used some coating that has yet to be proven.

    It was suggested (on another forum) to start with a used Challenger 1800, as they are more reliable?

    Upon searching the C1800, i stumbled across the ~2003 Utopia 205 V6. It seems to be a good choice also!

    I am so damn confused on what to look for/whats the best option. I want to use it for just cruising around the local lakes, and possibly going out to a local island off the coast of california (its 25 miles off the coast) called catalina. Ive been told that the 18' boat will have a hard time crossing this 25 mile gap.

    Anyway, i look forward to your opinions!!!


  2. #2
    spd5535's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Well, if you can swing around 22-24K try getting a 2006 Utopia SE. This is the first year they have 4-TEC engines in it which are very reliable. With gas prices as they are you should be able to pick up a 2006 for around that price.....

  3. #3
    the 4tec supercharged ones? i thought the sc'ed engines where not as reliable as the old v6 ones? was the 240hp v6 from the ~03 a 4stroke or 2?

    and also, would you feel comfortable taking your utopia on a 25 mile across the ocean voyage? did you decide not to sell yours?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    The Utopia's didn't get superchargers till 2008 so no need to worry about the washers in earlier years. If I had the proper saftey equipment I wouldn't hesitate taking it 25 miles out.

  5. #5
    Moderator RX951's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    League City, Texas
    welcome to the forum

  6. #6
    Pettee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Dover, DE... Again :(
    welcome to the forum. Never buy a new boat.

    no seriously, if a boat s taken care of and well maintained by the owner, it will perform fine and last for many years.

    As far as swimming, just wear a life vest. I swim like a retarded rodent, but I can tread water forever. If im on the boat alone, I always wear a vest.

    As for the 25 mile trek... depends how the water is there. I was out 20 miles here on saturday, and a 18 foot pontoon boat could have been out there, it was that smooth. I would recommend keeping a keen eye on the weather, know your personal limits, as well as the boats. Your personal limits may well be less than the boats ( I know mine are ) and if possible, make the first trip with a friend in another boat. And carry a VHF.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Lakeland, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by revlis240
    Second, i cant swim. Is it advisable to learn how before even considering a boat?
    I mean, you'll have a life jacket, but, the small effort it takes to learn to swim makes it a no-brainer.

    I wouldn't want to be crossing any stretch of ocean in anything less than 20 feet. Just a 25 knot wind on a small lake is scary enough in my 15.4' boat. I think the C180 is only 17 and a half, and if you like power, has the worst power-to-weight ratio of anything Sea-Doo sells. Good recommendation to look at the earlier non-supercharged 4-tec Utopias. Those engines have been described as bulletproof (as long as you don't try to up their horsepower).

  8. #8
    spd5535's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Yes I was going to sell mine to free up some extra $$$ but when push came to shove I just couldn't give it up. I love my Utopia and am very happy with it. The 2006 boats have twin 4-TEC non-S/C'd engines in it. Trust me, you'll be very happy with it. I was considering moving up to a S/C version next year but I just couldn't handle my modding bug and the price of premium fuel in a 40 gal tank.

    As far as trips, I've taken it on 150 mile trips with the family and have had no problems. The boat is a couple inches shy of 20'. The thing I like about it most is that you can make a boat that looks like a traditional runabout dance like a PWC. I take my friends and family out and scare the bejesus out of them. It's truly a thrill......
    Last edited by spd5535; 04-25-2008 at 08:05 AM.

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