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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have looked at, and sort of sea trialed a 97 Sunbird Neptune 230. This is a cuddy cabin boat, and seems to be very well kept. The owner told me the stringers were not wood, this boat was all fiberglass. Can anyone confirm/deny this? I see on my searches that some slightly older boats had wood stringers and guys were looking to replace them.

Also, the seller told me that HydraSport bought out Sunbird, although my searches only found a HydraSport that does serious CC fishing boats. I sent them an email, I have not gotten a reply yet. Does anyone know if this is where I can go for parts? The boat does not have a rack/hard top on it, and I'd like to possibly add one or just a rack for an antenna and rocket launchers. Hopefully they will answer my email, but thought I'd pick some brains here.

BTW, the "sort of" sea trial meant that we took it out, it worked fine for a few minutes, then the motor decided not to plane down. The seller was showing me how easily the boat planes, and then the planing switch decided to act up. He is getting it fixed, he seems like a VERY good guy and I feel very comfortable with what he is saying. We should be able to try again this coming weekend, for the few minutes it worked fine I loved the boat!
 

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Sunbirds were entry level boats. Designed for comfortable inshore fishing/family outings. Semi v hull. Will pound in chop so when you do another sea trial, do it in some choppy conditions and see how the boat handles it and how wet is is.

Like every entry level boat, the hull layup is not as thick. This keeps the weight down so a smaller outboard hp can be used. You didn't mention what size outboard is on it. If its 175 hp or less, then you see what I am talking about. Also things like wiring, hinges, lighting, plumbing are entry level quality.

The real value in the boat is in the engine. That is where you can lose. You need to get it checked out by a mechanic, Do compression test and check lower unit for leaks, metal shavings, water intrusion. If the engine is due for replacement, then the value of the boat is usually next to nothing.

I am not knocking Sunbirds. Just saying it is what it is. As long as you know what your have and treat/handle it correctly, then you can enjoy it. If you are intending to go offshore in seas, you will be sorry because the boat is not designed for that purpose and will not perform or hold up to the task.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Aloha Ed, mahalo for da post.... a little pidgin for ya.

Patriot, thank you for the post also. I know it is an entry level boat. I've spent a LOT of time on boats, but to be honest, never owned anything other than a sailboat. Entry level is fine for me, I don't want to pay 80K on a new center console and bang it up, lol. Plus, my girlfriend got excited about the fact this style boat is like a motorhome on the water. If it gets her in it, I'm all for it.

Now, any thoughts about the stringers? I would like to make sure they are fiberglass. Is there a way to check without taking the boat apart? I looked around on the boat when I was there and I don't see a way to look inside the gun'nels (sp?) to see what the ribs look like. I *did* get a reply from HydraSports, I am going to call him today about parts/accessories. Hopefully that style boat has some options they offer. If anyone else knows of another option, please let me know!
 

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I had the dual console version of this boat I bought new. It had the blue everude. I treated that boat like I have treated all my boats, cleaned and services it. Went offshore, inshore etc.

Sold it to buy a bigger boat after 5 or 6 years and it was still a great boat.

What type engine?
 

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More than likely the stringers are foam filled and tabbed into hull with roving. Most boats are done that way now.

As long as the Mrs is happy on the boat.....you have succeeded. :thumbup:
 

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Hate to say this, owners will say that a boat is all composite for a selling point even though it may not be. It happened to me. If it does not state it on the boat, then it probably is not. My old stratos and current Sea Pro said "100% composite" on the boat. 100% composite boats did not become popular until about 2000
Here is a guy with a 1997 Sunbird with a rotten floor:
http://forums.iboats.com/boat-restoration-building-hull-repair/sunbird-deck-replacement-59944.html

Just check floor/decks/transom to be solid, should be fine.
 

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Take your time Dwayne... Starting to get cold and more boats going to start showing up. If da Sunbird is setup the way you want/need it, get um......Call me when get chance....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I apologize, had a car broken on the side of the road last night. Got it fixed and thinking clearly now. It has a 200HP Envinrude Ocean Pro. For the 5 minute sea trial it worked GREAT, but as I said, the trim wouldn't let the motor down. The seller has everything already fixed from a mechanic, replaced a couple of solenoids for the trim, and we are going for another test this coming weekend.
I spoke to a guy at Hydrasports, very nice guy. Took the time to fill me in on lots about that model boat. He said that very likely that boat does NOT have fiberglass stringers, but wood. However, he said if the guy truly was meticulous about taking care of the boat, he would have no problem buying a boat himself that old that had wood stringers. Even gave me a couple of hints to verify the shape of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd like to personally and publicly thank jaksprat for taking time out of his day to discuss, at length, his identical boat to the one I am thinking of purchasing. He gave me very good insight and I am very appreciative for his, and everyone else's input!

We'll see how it looks on Sunday when I go to actually drive it! Sea trial #2...


Pm sent. Give me a call I've got same make/model.
 
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