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Old 03-20-2016, 05:59 PM   #1
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Default Sea Ray vs Four Winns

So, we have been saving our pennies for quite some time and we are ready to make the plunge.

After some research ( in water drive to come with ice out), have narrowed it down based on how we will use the boat.

I am looking for advice/reviews for the following two boats

Sea Ray 230SLX from Irwin Marine
Four Winns Horizon 230 from Melvin Village Marina

Also, any plus or minus on the two marina selling the boats would be appreciated

As always, thanks for taking the time to share your thought

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Old 03-20-2016, 06:45 PM   #2
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Both are great. IMO it's personal choice. Last fall I was comparing a SR 260 with a FW 278, and ended up with the FW due to personal preferences such as mid-berth access and overall layout. Brand comparison/debates are somewhat meaningless.....as there are some who love FW and others who love SR. Test drive the two and decide for yourself. My 2 cents. GL!
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:51 PM   #3
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Just bought a new boat from Melvin Village--everyone was great, and we literally heard nothing but good things about them from everybody we asked.

That being said, they are also perfectly located for us. We didn't look at some marinas with great reviews on the south end of the lake because we wanted to be close if we needed anything.

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Old 03-20-2016, 07:19 PM   #4
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Originally looked at a Four Winn at Melvin Village Marina about four years ago, and liked dealing with them, but the time and place then didn't work out, but the friend I went to look with bought a boat there and has nothing but good to say about them.

I ended up buying a Sea Ray from Irwin. Love the boat. Guess I also would have loved the Four Winn's. Just the time and the deal.

Both of these dealers have what you want, and both are good to deal with, so it's up to you which to choice.
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Old 03-20-2016, 07:41 PM   #5
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Default Thumbs up for Melvin!

We've bought our last 2 boats and an outboard at Melvin Village. We have nothing but good things to say about them, especially including Rob and his service department...trustworthy and competent folks.

Can't comment on Irwin...never had a chance to deal with them.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:21 PM   #6
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I have delt with both Irwin and Melvin. I have owned 2 older Four Winns as well other brands and currently own a Stingray but never a Sea Ray. My experience is that Melvin is the best choice for many reasons.
I found the Melvin Village parts department to be more than helpfull when I was looking for a hard to find 26 year old seat part and they actually had it.
I have the highest regard for everyone in the sales department. I have delt with Kevin Dubia when he was at another marina and at Melvin Village Marina and he is great. Matt Galvin was the last person I worked with at Melvin Village and he is just wonderful and great to work with. They are the 2 best sales people I have worked with anywhere on or off the lake. I have delt with Irwin in different locations a few times and that is all I will say about my experiences.
Irwin has been around for a long time but Melvin is better in my opinion and has a great group of employees and owner.

As for boat preference I like what Four Winns offers over Sea Ray and feel their quality, design and pricing is better overall.
Just my view - others have their own opinions and experiences.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:24 PM   #7
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Hang on , your not actually asking which boat is better your asking what dealer is better . I have a four winns and its ok but a sea Ray is a better built boat , however in the dealer piece Irwin has a also ran review compared to Melvin village , Melvin Village handles me great and I didentbuy the boat from them .
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:46 PM   #8
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I have a 2005 SeaRay 240SD that I purchased from Irwin. I average 100 hours engine run per year. Irwin has been terrific in all aspects, including service.. if I were purchasing a new boat today, I wouldn't hesitate purchasing from Irwin. SeaRay makes a great boat and a great marina makes life on the lake a joy. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:29 AM   #9
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Smile Melvin Village Marina

I have been a customer since 1982 and before. Always had good experience and SERVICE there. Would not look elsewhere, Bought used and new boats with great results. As and Island person dependable service is a priorty and they have always been there. JM2CW kerk
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:38 AM   #10
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I don't want to get into a debate on the forum about which boat is better built.
They are both great boats!
I have dealt with both Marina's and I would definitely go with Melvin Village.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:52 AM   #11
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Default Preference.

I had Sea-Rays and 4-winns. Both great boats. Had dealt with Irwin and MV. Both a pleasure to work with! Melvin has parts for older 4-winns as well as Winnisquam Marine. Irwin will track down older parts for Sea Ray.
Someday may never be an actual day.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:09 AM   #12
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Default Melvin Village Service

Just echoing the comments above that Rob and the service team are great at Melvin Village. They serviced my Four Winns for 9 years and I always had great experiences including his willingness to talk me through a couple DIY projects on the boat. He is an extremely knowledgeable, low-key, helpful, trustworthy guy.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:44 AM   #13
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First and foremost, decide what one you like best... IF there is no clear cut winner. You should look at cost of ownership.

Do your research, look at resale values. Check the values on 5 yr old & 10 yr old versions of the boats you are looking at. See which model has the better resale value. All things being equal, the one with the higher resale will have the lower cost of ownership.

The only way to eliminate ignorant behavior is through education. You can't fix stupid.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:29 PM   #14
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Default Common theme...

As others have said, Sea Ray and FW are very comparable in fit, finish, price and quality. I have owned both as well. My current boat I purchased from MVM and every single person I have referred there in 16 years has had the same experience. Low key family run operation and the service dept is great.

" Live for today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come"
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:57 PM   #15
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Default I would pick the sea Ray because of Irwin Marine

I have no experience with MVM but I do have plenty of it with the Irwin Family. Sixteen years ago now Irwin Marine sold me a new Powerquest boat that I was crazy for. I traded in a Formula that I had purchased (from you can probably guess where) that was a problem boat. Irwin treated me like I was royalty. The sales team and the service team were just fantastic. I wanted to add some upgrades to the new boat and they took care of everything I wanted before delivery. After four years of blasting around the lake in the go-fast....Mrs Breeze finally had enough. We went into Irwins and bought a new 300 Sundancer. Once again the Irwin Family rolled out the red carpet for us and made our purchase an absolute joy. They were instrumental in getting us into Mountain View Yacht club and getting us the slip we wanted on the dock we wanted. They are a class act all around.

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Old 03-21-2016, 05:40 PM   #16
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Default Other thoughts

If you look around at other threads here, you'll see that finding a slip is tough this year. You might want to consider who can get you a slip if you haven't already solved that situation.
Once you own the boat, who will service it? Even new boats need service, winterization, storage, etc. When you buy a car, there are tons of independent repair shops. When you buy a boat, not so much. So, you're looking at building a long term relationship.

I'm second generation doing business with Irwin. Always satisfied. No experience with MVM.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:03 PM   #17
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It's hard to go wrong. They both are great marinas and both great boats.

If you haven't already looked at it, I would recommend throwing Cobalt into the mix. Having owned both Four Winns and Cobalt and looked closely at buying a Sea Ray, I feel that the Cobalt actually represents the best value when re-sale and longevity is considered. Jeremiah at Goodhue Hawkins is great to deal with.

As I said, you really can't go wrong here. You should go with the one you like and enjoy the summer on the lake.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:10 PM   #18
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Default Newbie

Very hard time finding a slip this year. Definitely factor that into your decision making.
Captain of the "Day Tripper II" .......There are a lot better people a lot worse off!!
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:14 PM   #19
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Sort of also depends on where your at doesn't it.
The one reason I went with Irwin, was also because I was down south, on Winnisquam, closer for me.

Talking to my buddy, who bought from MV, sounds like no difference in service between the two places. He's in Meredith, so sort of makes sense for him.

As for the difference in models, sort of what you like in the long run.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:56 PM   #20
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I have purchased two new Sea Rays from Bill Irwin at Irwin Marine. The first was a 1995 and the second was a 2003. Both purchases went smoothly and both times Bill gave me fair price quotes (both transactions involved trade-ins). Bill was a pleasure to work with, and whenever I needed service the service crew at Lakeport was always top notch. I owned the first Sea Ray for 8 years and the second one for 12 years. Last year I decided to down-size, and Bill sold our 2003 Sea Ray on consignment. Again, it was a very smooth transaction. Both Sea Rays were good boats.
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