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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While looking at new Baja's today, the wife says she would rather have another bow rider.
She liked the 212 & 232 Islanders. We were mainly looking at a new 2001 Hammer. The majority of the boats we've had were br's, but now we seldom have more than 4 onboard and I like the performance look. Her main thought was that it would be easier for me to get in and out of, which is probably true.

We mainly boat on the Mississippi River where rough water isn't a concern. We also boat on a lake in Texas about twice a year that is mostly calm. I know most have the larger closed boats, but anyone have any opinions between the two ? Advantages or disadvantages or have I answered my own question ? :confused: :)
 

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Our first boat was a 27' bowrider. The boat put me in a comfort zone around the docks - quick and easy to get to the front of the boat. It is handy for passengers to board also. I remember wondering why everyone would not want this convenience - the captain having quick access to all parts of the vessel.

Our current boat is a mid-cabin open bow. Quick access to the bow has been lost. Guess what - I don't need it. I just rely on the docking skills I already developed. Most everone boards from the swim platform anyway.

Bottom line - If your wife likes riding up front - she'll miss that aspect. However, I find myself wishing we had a full cabin to enjoy occasional overnighting.

My $0.02
 

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Stu, I have a hammer and let em tell you what I think.

1- it is easier to drop anchor with a bow rider.

2- The cabin is good for storage and sleeping (small humans only). I have to get down on my stomach to climb into it.

3- If you plan on riding passengers in the bow of your boat , go with the 232. The 212 is basically the same as a hammer. The 232 has more deadrise and should provide a more stable ride at higher speeds.

4- All that big block weight in the back of the boat is a great ride for 2-3 folks but put 2 in the driver and 1st mate seat and two 180lb guys in the rear seat and you will want tabs to get on plane, once there no problem.

5- If you like quick access to alot of storage, I would say the bow rider would be a better choice.

6- The close bow in defintely sportier (has more of a high performance look).

7- As far as boarding is concerned, I dont beach so there is no diff. to me.

8- Less cleanup after a trip with the closed bow and less area exposed to the elements.
I have the cockpit cover for trips and a full boat cover for storage.


Shoot me some more questions and I can help you out. As far as performance is concerned with a 6.2L or 7.4L you have an honest 65 mph GPS boat. with the hammer. Maybee 1 mph less with the 212 bowrider. With a 232 you will need a 496 or 496HO to get the same performance. The Hammer is a rocket to 50 then it climbs to top speed. I can cruise at 3500 rpms at about 40-45 MPH. You will need at least 2300 to keep you up on plane.
 

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Stu,
I have a good friend who likes the open bow, of coarse he likes to have the girls ride up front? I prefer a closed bow.The open is nice for docking and getting in and out, but if it gets rought and you stuff the bow he water is in the boat very quick! The water can get quite rough here some times.
My .02 worth.
Checkmate makes the 211 pulse in an open bow and it still looks sporty!
ducHunter
 

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Stuchamp-I am facing the same decision. My Crownline with the bowrider is so dang user friendly. Like JG-we swim off the back-don't beach, so easy access to an anchor and anchor locker is almost a must. Look at all the closed bows that don't have an anchor locker. I am 6'3"" and 270 lbs-picture that climbing up a dash, over a windshield and walking out a slippery/rounded bow trying to keep an anchor-chain and 200 feet of rope from messing up the glass. Squatting down on a point with boat traffic bouncing around while trying to tie up the anchor would also be a trick. On the Crownline you walk up front, sit down and pull the anchor and rope out of the locker. The Mid-cabins seem the ideal compromise-if you get a deep one like the 288 Sunsation or the Donzi 28 ZXO. Potty-place to change and get out of weather and the bow rider section for guests, lounging and easy anchor work-plus the ability to walk up and lean over to help the first mate hook up the winch strap. The closed bow is neat if you get the right cabin-the Sunsation is good and I think the 302 Baja bubble deck would also have a good bit of room. With all that, you want to get ac/micro and tv - so where do you stop.

I haven't figured it out yet myself. So keep the posts rolling.
 

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All depends on personal preferences and where you boat,, all above are good arguments,,,On Lake Michigan,,, there is no open bow option , to many days where even in the 272 I take some over the bow.
 

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I guess it really boils down to where you boat and what you use your boat for.

larger open bows and really unheard of around here just because the water gets so rough on the Chesapeake bay. Sure there are plenty of 17-23 foot open bows around but these folks stick to the rivers and tributaries for skiing etc. You rarely see a 21 foot open bow out in the 'big portion' of the bay. If your wife wants an open bow go for it. I know it takes away from the high performance look.

It's also an east coast west coast thing. Mid west and LOTO and Havasu guys have smooth water that makes open bows a consideration. We rarely get water smooth enough to enjoy one.

Personally I think Sunsation's 288 Open Bow is kind of cool looking and I know there's one at a dealer near Chicago on Boattrader.com or boats.com - check it out.

Hell Stu, Just buy my boat (the so-called buyer is starting to jerk me around a little and I'm not sure if he's really going to buy). I'll drive it to Chicago when I come to look at the new 32 in a few weeks.

- jeff
 

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stuchamp,all of the above pro's and con's are just that. Depends on your preference. I had a 2050 Bayliner open bow that I ran on Lake Michigan for 3 years. Anyone who think's the lake is not a rough ride,come on down.It depends on your driving skills,which I doubt you have any problem with. They make bow covers that I used to keep on when there was only me and the Mrs. in the boat.

This does not mean go out and get a bowrider. I ;love my cabin. Even though I have never overnighted,I can. It's nice to have a porta potty for guests.On my boat,gilla brings up the point on anchoring. I don't have steps to the bow,because I have no windshield. When my wife is with me ,she goes thru the hatch to drop anchor. When I am alone,I just drop it over the side. No Problem.


Well I know all these opinions sometimes make matters worse,sometimes just go with the Gut feeling.
THERE IS NO PERFECT BOAT.So we need to get something close.

Good luck buddy,and if you come this way lookig,you better call me or I'll be pissed.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Yep, I pretty much new the answers, but it was fun getting everyones opinions. Thanks guys. :)
Gilla, I could just picture you flopping around on the bow ! :laugher: Everyone has some good points, but in our case a cabin isn't needed. Wife hates closed in quarters. She also doesn't like climbing on the bow either, plus with the br you have more walking around room. Top end performance isn't a big issue, my speed freak days have passed. Also doubtful that we would ever run it in big water. Main thing is a good drivable boat that I can get in and out of from the dock. :)
Guess we might be back to square one, though I do like that Hammer !

Hey Jeff, are u dropping your price, like way way way down ? :laugher: I was only spending 30, but the wife threw in another 10 ! :D
 
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