1978 Sea Ray built like a Radon?

What is the max wind forecast you go out to the islands in for a day trip?

  • Below 15kts

    Votes: 37 62.7%
  • Below 20kts

    Votes: 12 20.3%
  • Below 25kts

    Votes: 10 16.9%

  • Total voters
    59

Mr Lingcod

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 20, 2017
106
45
Santa Barbara
Name
Jesse
Boat
The Last Soviet
Alright, now before the Radon crowd asks for my head on a platter, let me first off say that I admire the Radon design as much as all of you do. There is a brilliance in design that is second to none - and just about everyone who spends their time on these forums wants a Radon. It's the best. Done and done.

However, they're really expensive and it's a lot of money to tie up in a boat. So, I got a little curious and decided to go out on an adventure and experiment.

Everyone says a Radon is built for our "West Coast conditions." Meaning, glassy in the morning, and downwind and snotty in the afternoon. What I realized, however, is that my "home harbor" is Santa Barbara. I mostly go to Santa Cruz Island, which actually isn't downwind or downswell. It's cross swell. When I'm coming back from Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and defiantly the Point Conception area, it's a little different. But, what got me thinking is that maybe there's a little wiggling room here on hull design. So, I wanted to seek the wisdom of this forum. But first, a little about my Sea Ray conversion I'm writing about, and the comparison I'm trying to understand.

The story start (as most good stories do) scouring Craigslist one day, looking at boats. I came across this 1978 Sea Ray that had been gutted, restored, converted from an overdrive to and outboard, and had a big cabin installed on it for protection from the elements. The hull on these late 70s Sea Ray's are heavy; hand laid glass, thick, rarely requiring fixing, unlike the Sea Ray's of the 1980s through today. The person I bought the boat from said he chose this hull for THAT REASON. So, I bought the boat for a fraction of even a used Radon and decided to get started replacing almost every small, safety-related part that is nice to do when buying an old boat that was "restored" in 2004.

So far, the boat has been good to me. It has tons of room both on the deck and in the cabin. The front of the boat is epic to "chill on" and I even go up on the roof, making it seem like it has a whole other place to take in a sunset from. The boat is stable, and in coming back from Santa Cruz one rough day, I was going 15kts and steady, and never remotely felt those "white knuckles" that others have described going downswell. Although, I was going cross swell and not exactly downswell, but still have never had this experience.

Currently, I'm re-powering the boat with a 300 Verado and have an old 18hp 2-stroke under the deck in case all hell breaks lose. (The 2-stroke powers the boat at 6kts, which is the same speed as vessel assist, so I figured it was a nice addition for safety). So far, I love the boat. The sleeping cabin is a little small for 3 people, but I love the simplicity and open space everywhere else. The new outboard seems like fantastic reliability to me.. and the real place the money should go, beyond a solid hull and structure. Still, I had a few questions that I wanted direct to this forum.

1) Is this Sea Rey hull a "deep V" or a "modified V"? And, how would you assume it handles downhill? Boat is 25 feet long. Without the fly bridge, it doesn't roll.

2) Thoughts about the overall handling of this hull? Speed, fuel consumption, ability to provide a smooth ride without broaching in Santa Barbara to one of the four closest island and/or Point Conception. With my old 225 2-storke WOT was 33mph at about 1mpg. No test on the new engine yet, but I'm guessing the 300 4-stroke WOT is 40MPH at 1.2MPG, with a 25MPH cruising speed at around 2.5MPG.

3) Thoughts on conversion boats like this with a new outboard. Versus maybe a Parker with older engines, for roughly the same price.

4) Thoughts on a boat like this (which is a total Radon wannbe, or should I say, a Radon-inspired conversion), and if its comparable only in "look" or if we think the hull design could be similar.​

Thank you, everyone! I've been a boat owner for two years now and it's been honestly one of the most special communities to be a part of. Way cool. Hope to see you all on the water soon.

00O0O_4YoUEERx6m0_600x450.jpg 20150705_170355.jpg FullSizeRender.jpg IMG_5196.JPG 20150523_183345.jpg IMG_5017.JPG IMG_5195.JPG BFF15994-12FF-416E-984C-8AB9702873B7.JPG
 
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hbouldin1216

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 10, 2012
1,344
1,044
Lodi, CA
Name
Henry Bouldin
Boat
14 Gregor - Tinacious
Nothing wrong with that sled. Look forward to the numbers with the new motor
 

Mr Lingcod

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 20, 2017
106
45
Santa Barbara
Name
Jesse
Boat
The Last Soviet
A good boat is one that gets used. Sounds like you'll be stoked with the 300; that's a big investment which you'll enjoy each time you're out there.
Indeed, thank you. My intention is to "use the hell out of it" and my 2-stroke was getting needy with constant repairs. In the end, the 4-stroke seemed like the way to go, but of course, majorly expensive.
 
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CptnAndre

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 26, 2005
289
23
39
Chatsworth
Name
Andre
Boat
Custom 1650 Crestliner
IMG_1359.JPG
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I used to have a '76 srv240 with a radon built pilot house. Still one of the best boats I owned. Fast with a solid hand layed hull.
One of the sweetest sea rays on the west coast. Felt like shit after I sold it. Wanted it back and found out that it burned down while slipped. I'll never forgive myself
 

Reel 007

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 12, 2006
1,472
586
Glendora Ca
Name
Leon
Boat
28 Wellcraft Coastal "vagabond'
Nice boat, as to your question " is it a deep V or modified V,". 16 degrees dead-rise at the transom would be a modified V, 24 degrees transom dear-rise would be a deep V.
As you move further away from the 16 and closer to the 24 you get varying modified V and deep V.
Not sure I explained that the way I wanted to, however if you got it, its all good.
 
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Mr Lingcod

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 20, 2017
106
45
Santa Barbara
Name
Jesse
Boat
The Last Soviet
View attachment 827687 View attachment 827686 View attachment 827685 I used to have a '76 srv240 with a radon built pilot house. Still one of the best boats I owned. Fast with a solid hand layed hull.
One of the sweetest sea rays on the west coast. Felt like shit after I sold it. Wanted it back and found out that it burned down while slipped. I'll never forgive myself
You are sadly mistaken, Radons are far from the best.
View attachment 827687 View attachment 827686 View attachment 827685 I used to have a '76 srv240 with a radon built pilot house. Still one of the best boats I owned. Fast with a solid hand layed hull.
One of the sweetest sea rays on the west coast. Felt like shit after I sold it. Wanted it back and found out that it burned down while slipped. I'll never forgive myself
Wow, that's a cool boat. How fast would it go? What HP did it have? Was it rolly, since the weight distribution was changed?
 

la vida

Now I love our Prezzz!!!
Jun 28, 2006
5,572
953
El Cazonn
Name
Frank F
Boat
Boat-less (Sad)
Those Sea Rays had a sold 1" hual and built like a tank.
But Randon is a unique boat way above any production boats.
 

Mr Lingcod

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 20, 2017
106
45
Santa Barbara
Name
Jesse
Boat
The Last Soviet
Nice boat, as to your question " is it a deep V or modified V,". 16 degrees dead-rise at the transom would be a modified V, 24 degrees transom dear-rise would be a deep V.
As you move further away from the 16 and closer to the 24 you get varying modified V and deep V.
Not sure I explained that the way I wanted to, however if you got it, its all good.
Hi, thank you. That really helps. I think the reason I'm concerned is that I'm trying to figure out the general sea worthyness of this boat hull design. The Radon folks talk about those "white knuckle" rides downswell back to harbor. Will I get any bow steering with my SeaRay? Haven't experienced that yet. But I'm mostly going cross swell, and haven't been in such conditions yet.

What has your experience been? Do you like the boats?
 

Mr Lingcod

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 20, 2017
106
45
Santa Barbara
Name
Jesse
Boat
The Last Soviet
Those Sea Rays had a sold 1" hual and built like a tank.
But Randon is a unique boat way above any production boats.
It is indeed crazy how thick the hull is. So it's a little heavy... but that's good and strong. The Parker boat owners I know always talk about how they get "thrown around" in the seas. Been in some snot in my SeaRay and found that it's heavy hull helps with this.
 

la vida

Now I love our Prezzz!!!
Jun 28, 2006
5,572
953
El Cazonn
Name
Frank F
Boat
Boat-less (Sad)
It is indeed crazy how thick the hull is. So it's a little heavy... but that's good and strong. The Parker boat owners I know always talk about how they get "thrown around" in the seas. Been in some snot in my SeaRay and found that it's heavy hull helps with this.
Enjoy your boat and don't worry what the neighbours drive. Wish it was mine.
 

knot keely

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 9, 2014
772
632
36
The Bight
Name
Dan
Boat
Anderson 22 - Slingshot
Will I get any bow steering with my SeaRay?
Well, I think bow steer/broaching is a possibility in any hull that has a relatively sharp entry that tapers back to lesser V at the stern. Obviously there are other nuances in hull design that can make this better or worse, and these are over my head as I'm nothing close to a naval architect. Clearly things like trim and weight distribution also play an important role in controlling/minimizing bow steer.

Radons have a pretty mellow entry combined with a big belly, hard reverse chines, and that bow lip (which is really just a poor mans Carolina flare). All of these things add buoyancy up front and reduce/eliminate the chances of burying the nose in the back of a swell and broaching. This was a big deal for commercial divers who came home in following seas with an extra 2000lbs of product on the deck of their 20-26ft boats. Probably not as critical for the average recreational guy/surf bum who doesn't have their boat loaded like that. Also of note is that bow steer can be mitigated by slowing down. The thing about the Radon (and other SB dive hulls) is that you can cruise home "surfing" a following sea just as fast as you headed out in the am glass. No need to slow down to avoid badness.

Of course the trade-off is more pounding and less comfort when heading uphill or in tight chop. If you live in SD and regularly fish South of the boarder and come home uphill every afternoon then a Radon probably won't be the most comfortable boat for you.

There are other things about Radons in addition to the hull shape that makes them so coveted. These are things like the wet deck and fully sealed/scuppered holds and engine compartment. No water in the bilge - that's the way the boat was designed (and probably the way all boats should be made) to ensure you make it home even when it gets nautical. You're not relying on a bilge pump to keep afloat.
 

rowdyrosco

sancho
Apr 9, 2009
516
188
PSL
Name
ross
Boat
Skipjack 20
That guy up there nailed it, much more of a diplomatic explanation than I could ever provide. I'm a little confused on the sealed scuppered engine room because Ive never seen one set up like that, and not sure how that would work. Every boat with an inboard has a bilge, it may not be meant to have water in it, but i guarantee there's a bilge pump. I run a skipjack20 O/B converted, if there's water in the bilge there's a hole in the side of the boat and I'm sinking. I have to go uphill every day I fish at the end of the day, so I would not trade mine for a bigger radon. They look cool, and they are nice boats, just not for me. You can buy a whole lot of boat for what it costs to own a radon.
 

Mr Lingcod

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 20, 2017
106
45
Santa Barbara
Name
Jesse
Boat
The Last Soviet
Well, I think bow steer/broaching is a possibility in any hull that has a relatively sharp entry that tapers back to lesser V at the stern. Obviously there are other nuances in hull design that can make this better or worse, and these are over my head as I'm nothing close to a naval architect. Clearly things like trim and weight distribution also play an important role in controlling/minimizing bow steer.

Radons have a pretty mellow entry combined with a big belly, hard reverse chines, and that bow lip (which is really just a poor mans Carolina flare). All of these things add buoyancy up front and reduce/eliminate the chances of burying the nose in the back of a swell and broaching. This was a big deal for commercial divers who came home in following seas with an extra 2000lbs of product on the deck of their 20-26ft boats. Probably not as critical for the average recreational guy/surf bum who doesn't have their boat loaded like that. Also of note is that bow steer can be mitigated by slowing down. The thing about the Radon (and other SB dive hulls) is that you can cruise home "surfing" a following sea just as fast as you headed out in the am glass. No need to slow down to avoid badness.

Of course the trade-off is more pounding and less comfort when heading uphill or in tight chop. If you live in SD and regularly fish South of the boarder and come home uphill every afternoon then a Radon probably won't be the most comfortable boat for you.

There are other things about Radons in addition to the hull shape that makes them so coveted. These are things like the wet deck and fully sealed/scuppered holds and engine compartment. No water in the bilge - that's the way the boat was designed (and probably the way all boats should be made) to ensure you make it home even when it gets nautical. You're not relying on a bilge pump to keep afloat.
Thank you!!
 
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rowdyrosco

sancho
Apr 9, 2009
516
188
PSL
Name
ross
Boat
Skipjack 20
Love to follow you in your (insert any production hull here) home from Miguel when it's blowing 30kts :)
Ok, Radon would be a fine choice for that situation. I will never find myself in a boat coming back from Miguel, so not for me. They bang uphill, not trying to stir the pot, just just stating fact. Would I trade a Valco 21, yes, I needed a kidney belt in my 19.
 

Mr Lingcod

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 20, 2017
106
45
Santa Barbara
Name
Jesse
Boat
The Last Soviet
Ok, Radon would be a fine choice for that situation. I will never find myself in a boat coming back from Miguel, so not for me. They bang uphill, not trying to stir the pot, just just stating fact. Would I trade a Valco 21, yes, I needed a kidney belt in my 19.
You know, I was thinking about Santa Barbara and how our normal routes are pretty good for a Radon design, especially if you're a crab guy fishing the backside of Santa Rosa. "Coming home from work" means drive downhill with a fully loaded boat. Just as you were explaining in your initial post.

However, this design is very situational. Say they built another harbor someday near El Cap. All of a sudden the "ride home" could be totally different. Different angles coming back from Rosa equal a different optimal hull design.

Another good situation to look at would be coming back from the backside of Santa Cruz from the East end. With the afternoon wind, coming back to the Santa Barbara harbor is cross swell, mixed with a little upswell. If that's your primary ride home, maybe you want something that cuts through the chop a little better.

Perfect situation for these Radon designs? Coming back from Miguel in 30kts with a fully loaded boat. Or, The Ranch.

There's so many other fantastic reasons to buy a Radon. For the Radon hull design, it's good to be at least conscious of the exact conditions it was meant for... and figure out if that situation applies to your interests.
 

2nakiller

High and Dry
Dec 19, 2005
81
102
57
702 / 805
Name
Rick
Boat
Melissa Marie (Bayrunner Baja 21)
Ok, Radon would be a fine choice for that situation. I will never find myself in a boat coming back from Miguel, so not for me. They bang uphill, not trying to stir the pot, just just stating fact. Would I trade a Valco 21, yes, I needed a kidney belt in my 19.
I have to pick my days that is certain.
 

Lubina

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 7, 2007
221
53
SD
Name
RA
Boat
None
I was wondering if you got that engine and how things are going. I just bought a project 1972 240 hard top and we are doing an inboard to outboard conversion. Looks like it will be a great boat when done.
 
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