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Just got back from the boat show and narrowed my search down to 2 boats both are walk arounds and need your thoughts orr expiriance with them Please.

1) Seaswirl striper 21ft walk around, I/O 5.0 volvo, around 4000lbs dry weight

2) Key West 20ft walk around, 150 O/B E-Tech, around 2300 dry weight


What would you reccomend for the upper bay?? The wife really likes the Key West. Need your thoughts and opinions. I'am going back tomarrow to compare again.

Mike
 

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I own a 23 foot WA Seaswirl with an 200 hp outboard and like it very much. I've had it 2 years, have had only minor electrical issues only and put 450 hours on the motor so far. It handles water my other boats never would have even considered, it is easy to fish out of and I have nothing at all bad to say about it.

But IMHO don't like the I/O. I/Os take up a lot of your fishing space, are harder to maintain and are more costly to maintain . If you can get the Seaswirl in an outboard go for it.
 

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I like the Keywest much better, especially since it's an outboard.

Look at it like this, when it freezes, most I/O has to be winterized. O/B, you can keep using it.

BTW, if you can't decide, why not take a ride in both of them?

- Dae
 

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Good points on both. I would have to agree that on a 20'-21' boat you will want the extra space. the I/O will cramp things. Like they say look at the boats..after you decide which size is right for you..GO ONE FOOT BIGGER....By the time you put rods, coolers, tackle boxes, fire extingishers, dock lines, anchor, spare filters, extra oil, tool boxes etc. and 2 or 3 or your buddies it gets really small fast. Now imagine all that and 3 fish on at once! Not sure of the hulls but what type of fishing will you be doing?

Take it for a test ride.. I would not buy a boat that I have not taken a ride in. It helps if its a snotty day. then you really get a feel for what the boat is capable of. Dont let them take you to a flat calm area and expect to see that. get it out in the big water.

Most boats lose value immediatly so make sure its what you want, They are hard to sell early.

If you bottom fish and anchor a boat with a "flatter" hull will drift and sit better but will beat you when running. A deep V is a much better ride and will take nasty water a modified V wont. If you are trolling and running alot the deep V may be the way to go. I had a modified V 21' that beat us to death even in a fair chop. It was an I/O 21'. I hated that boat 2 weeks after I bought it brand new. It was way underpowered. Not enough room etc. you will want that power when the weather turns on you.

Make sure you have storage, this is important. Is there an anchor locker or are you going to have to keep it on the cushions in the cabin. A place to put your things out of the way is crucial.

Dash Space- You will want a compass, gps, maybe radar and all the gadgets that go there. Is there enough room? these are just some things that come to mind, but before you pullthe trigger. MAKE SURE IT WILL SUIT YOUR NEEDS!! Its very easy to ink the deal standing in the boat in the showroom. And if you only give up 3 nights of going out to dinner you can afford it...I bet you have heard that one;)

Remember the "BOAT" is the minor expense. Its all that you need "FOR" the boat that is expensive.

Boats are fun things to have if you take the time to REALLY investigate the boats. I think you can only do that by being in them on the water
 

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Can't speak for the boats, but given the choice between I/O or just O, it's an outboard. I have an I/O now and the thought of draining the cooling system when you want t make anice midwinter trip keeps me from doing it. The outboards are much easier, although I have heard that the new I/O are easier to drain and fill. Plus they take up a little more room.

Chris
 

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I have a 23ft WA as well with a 200 evin outboard. I love the boat, it is big and can handle some rough water well, the newer hulls are suppose to cut the water a little easier when its rough, mine does bounce more than i like when its real rough.

big boat with a lot of fishing room for the money. i would stick with the outboard no matter what you get.
 

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I too have the 23' WA SeaSwirl and love it! Almost 900 hours on it, it's a 2000 with a 200 HP Johnson.
I looked the KeyWest boats over before I bought the SeaSwirl and didn't like them.. Lots of lost space in the cabin area under the cushions were the Seaswirl has compartments the KeyWest did not... the hatches in the KeyWest were not done well either..... A friend of mine was out with me the other week in some snotty weather and he owns a KeyWest... he said no way no how would he have ventured out that day in his boat and it's the same size as mine......
 

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My father and I have been running the 21' Seaswirl since 96 and it is a good boat. It has the 5.0 in it and gets decent milage. The I/O does take up a lot of room though. We run the boat 80+ miles offshore for tuna and down at his place in Ft. Meyers FL for all sorts of stuff. It handles well in the rough and has been fairly reliable. I am looking at boats now that he has moved Down South to Ft. Meyers permanetly after retiring and I would go with a more open layout like the outboard offers.
 

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IMO, WA that are 21' are too small, especially the keywest- the deep walkaround is very nice but makes the cabin even smaller and realisticlly the fishing area is small once you add gear and people, not to mention the I/0 but you can always get an outboard which helps. I agree with tolmaz, always one size bigger especially with WA. I used to think that even under 24' was small for WA but I have been on Phil999's Seaswirl and it was very roomy and changed my opinion. With that being said I like both boats, they both have very nice layouts, good reputations, and alot of bang for the buck. Deffinitely seatrial them and if $ is an issue with giong one step bigger, look for the same models well kept about 2 years old. Good luck in your decision
 

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the outboard will without a doubt give you much more room in the cockpit,the i/o to me has some advantage like re-powering the cost is about 15% of the price of a outboard a good re-man small block is less then 2 grand,and are in my book much more easy to work on if something go's wrong,drifting rough water it's nice to have a place to sit at the transom,but I guess in a 21fter the only way to go is an outboard for the sake of room..
when it comes down to it you are the only one that has to be happy with your choice and live with it for a while just don't buy a under powered boat,thats about the biggest mistake you can make...
 

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Underpower was a major concern for me when I bought my 23 foot hard top a couple of years ago, since my previous boat was smaller and had a 235 HP I/O and the one I was looking at was considerably heavier and only had a 200 HP outboard.

During the Timonium show 2 years ago I saw the boat I now own and saw it again at the Baltimore Boat Show and I was really interested. I made the statement in front of the salesman that I wished I had gotten on one during the summer to see how it rode and I was worried about it being underpowered. He said I could put down a deposit, hold the boat show price and he could make the deal contingent on a sea trail when the weather broke.

That statement sold me, she passed the sea trial with flying colors and I have not been happier with a fishing boat since. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Good point about underpowering, you do not EVER want that.

FWIW-Most sales people will only sea trial after a deposit is put down, so they are not wasting time with tire kickers. Something to look for are demo days, dealerships will offer days where they will have a bunch of there boats in the water and you can test them without any commitment.
 

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Mike I like the sea swirl, go with the outboards, If you dont get a sea trial all I can say is there is going to be a big diff in ride between a 4000 lb and 2300lb boat. Check the deadrise also ill bet the key west has less = rough ride in bay. Keith
 
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