____________1983 - 30th Anniversary - 2013_____________
Both are great boats no matter the drive line. As for fuel it is more about how you drive, Keep the rpm's under 2700 and enjoy. Most of all inspect the stringers !!
2003 Supra Launch " Gravity Games Edition"
Dodge ram CTD tow vehicles....
I've got an 88 sunsport in excellent condition. I don't use it much any more since I now ski off my buddy's nautique. the ss is a great ski or wakeboard boat. only 720 hrs on engine. Iwould consider selling it to the right buyer . if interested ,hit me back
Not to contradict anyone. But having owned both the 351w and the 454 Saltare, I have real world experience.
The 351 will get better gas mileage, and by a decent bit. I used to be able to run to a local restaurant on the water with my Mariah, and only use half a tank. I do the same run and same cruising speed in the Saltare, and I'll use a little over 3/4's of a tank. That's a 12 gallon difference. So yeah, that's about $48 a run.
So yea, the 351w does get much better mileage. If you don't really want the size, get the Sunsport. They are fantastic boats, all around. The Saltare just has a little more room that I like. When I bought mine, I was looking at SS and Saltares, just happened that a Saltare was the available best deal.
So does anyone have experience with shipping a boat? I don't have the time to spend flying somewhere and spending 3 days driving home.
Maybe you guys are right about spending a few extra dollars now rather than in the future on stringers...
the stringers are strong and rot free. I'm in west palm beach fla. you can and should send a professional surveyor to check out any boat you are considering! It may cost a hundred bucks or so, but it's cheaper than you traveling out to inspect it.
I guess I'll have to chime in here. I would do things differently if I had it to do over again - now that I know. So I'll graciously share what I've learned . . . .
When I purchased my boat in 2008 I KNEW that I wanted an inboard with open bow and I liked the Sunsport because it seemed that it would make a great wake boat. I knew nothing about what to look for with stringers - didn't even know it was a concern. I purchased the boat for $5500 in Michigan with 650 hours on it. Everything was original. It didn't take long to figure out I had a problem though. I decided to get everything fixed properly and now I am very happy with what I have. My boat's a "keeper" from a financial standpoint and that's ok because I really like it. But if I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I would not buy any boat with wood stringers, especially one that is prone to rot such as the Supra. Now if you want a project, that's another story. Go for it! Buy a boat that you know is mechanically sound and then rebuild and customize. But if you want to buy a boat to use without worrying about the stringer repairs, etc. then stay away from wood stringers all-together.
Wake the World - West Virginia
Regardless... Mariah tank is 38 gal, Saltare is 46. So half tank on a Mariah is 19 gal and 3/4 on a Saltare is 34.5 gal. For your same trip the Saltare burned 15.5 gallons more. My Saltare gets 6 GPH at low to mid 20s, even with a 800 double pumper instead of the factory smaller vacuum secondary 4160. So that trip took you approx 5 hours and 45 minutes assuming 6 GPH. From that we can get a rough idea of your Mariahs 351w fuel consumption... 3.3 GPH. I find this unbelievable.
Now lets assume it was in fact a 12 gallon difference, and the Saltare burned 3/4 tank or 34.5 gal. In this scenario the Mariah burned 22.5 gallons for the same 5 hour 45 minute trip, which is 3.9 GPH. Still hard for me to believe but within the realm of possibility. I suspect your trip did not take 5.75 hours and your Saltare was running rich, or you were going at a speed/load enough to be cruising on the enrichment circuit in the Saltare but not in the Mariah. I suspect if we adjust for 4.8-5.2 GPH in the Mariah the numbers in the Saltare will look realistic for an engine running rich or not in proper tune.
To do a comparison we need actual GPH, specified as to the conditions (towing rider, slalom, cruising around at whatever MPH, mix of several activities, etc.). I have kept track a few times to monitor my GPH but this year I will be keeping a log book in the boat so I document it every time.
Well, the stringer issue seems to be a mixed bag. If a boat checks out with ok stringers, how long should I expect until they're going to inevitably rot or if I seal the exhaust ports real well, keep the shaft packing adjusted right and don't leave in the rain - might I be ok?