Recently we had an opportunity to consider a new boat. We had a great boat (Labs Lair) and it was awesome, but we were looking to get a newer boat. We considered two boats in the end, the new Beneteau Grand Turismo 40, and a Sea Ray 370. The Sea Ray was a used boat, so we wouldn’t have to take the initial, drive off the lot hit. That had already been absorbed by the previous owner.
We had some specific technology requirements for the new boat. AIS VHF radio was critical (this is the system that informs you not only of what others boats are, but in relation to you on the radio screen where they are heading as well). We also had to have radar (weather and surface craft) and sonar is critical as well (how much water is under us). Fish viewer or fish finder was something we would like but wasn’t critical. Oh, yeah and one more thing, the boat could not have carpeting. That was Barb’s rule, no more carpet on boats.
Both boats had everything on our have to have list. We ended up test driving both of them and honestly both were easily handled and rode well. In fact, they were comparable in terms of rider comfort. Both boats had the hard top that we had seen in Europe and fell in love with (our old boat had a canvas bridge. In fact, our boat we sold in Indiana also had a canvas top.
The cabins in the Beneteau were a little cramped compared to our old boat. Even though the Beneteau was the same length. Its biggest advantage was diesel engines. They last longer and do better at lower speeds on water. The Beneteau also had the toggle system which allows you more control over the boat when you are docking or maneuvering at lower speeds on open water.
Now the biggest difference with the Sea Ray and the Beneteau besides 4 feet of space was the cabin design. We had a Sea Ray 260 (our very first boat in Cincinnati Ohio). So, we had loved the open cabin design. Barb wasn’t a huge fan of only one bathroom, but beyond that have an open design makes below decks feel much more open and closer to what we were looking for in a boat.
Both boats were teak top to bottom. Both boats had the newer design of collapsible tables (that you can stow away when not using) which opens up the pathways and seating areas a lot more. They both had cabin seating and outdoor seating.
We ended up thinking about this for a long time. In the end the Sea Ray won out. Going back to the style of boat we had in Cincinnati. The Sea Ray also had fish finder and something I had heard of but hadn’t played with a FLIR Video system. FLIR lets you see around and near the boat at night. Night vision cameras!
The images shared with the blog are all of the new boat. We’ve decided to name it Labs Lair Too. On purpose because it is the first time in my life I correctly used the version of Two, To, Too correctly. The Labs Lair as Well being the name selected. Barb had pushed for Labs Lair II but we agreed to settle the difference by asking one person their opinion. That person agreed with me.
Cool Tech on the boat:
· Extended Range Radar
· XM Radio and Sirius/XM weather
· FLIR video
· Sonar and fish finder (plus the weather overlay)
· AIS radio
Now we have to find a marina for next year and begin the process of exploring further into the Chesapeake Bay area. There are many places yet to go, many things yet to see. We may even find pirate booty!
Boating fan technology nut!