I'm thinking about purchasing a 2019 Marlin 300 and would love feedback from current or former Marlin owners

ksgoldman

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#1
I'm thinking about buying a 2019 Marlin 300 with twin 300's and Helm Master. I currently have a 2010 Grady Tournament 275 that I've loved. I want something a little bigger, with a cabin for occasional overnights. I've looked at the 330 Express and it's bigger than I want/need and the fuel economy isn't great (plus I don't really like the 350's and prefer the 300's). I also liked the Pursuit 325 OS but it's also bigger than I need and fuel economy isn't terrific.

I don't fish - I only cruise. One concern I have is lack of seating in the cockpit. I know I can fix that with a few deck chairs but it's not ideal. Also concerned about the visibility from the helm with the multi part windshield along with the hard top pipework. From Marlin owners - is this an issue.

The throttle/shift position also seems a little odd being at an angle? Is this an issue at all? With the new 300's it's fly-by-wire so I'm less concerned. I want Helm Master as I currently have Seastar Optimus 360 on my Tournament 275 (I had installed aftermarket and have almost 1000 hours on the system and love it for close quarters maneuvering).

I'd only overnight occasionally with my girlfriend (we are both in our late 50's). My kids are grown and live far away. How is the boat to overnight for just two people (we might spend a weekend on it, but probably never a week).

What do you like about your Marlin? What don't you like? I'm moving to Cape Coral Florida full time March 1st.

I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks,

Ken Goldman
 

HMBJack

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#2
Why buy new? And why not a 3 or so year old 330 with 300's? You'll get all the seating (and cabin space) you want for cruising and bigger is better for that sort of thing. There are older 330's in great shape repowered with 300's out there. Whatever you get, I'd say be sure to get the genset so you can enjoy AC appliances when cruising. Good luck!

p.s. The Pursuit is an excellent, or even better choice, IMHO.
 

ksgoldman

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#3
I know it makes no sense financially but I prefer to buy new. I can get the boat exactly as I want (including Helm Master). I don't have to worry about how the prior owner cared for the boat. I plan to keep the boat for a long time. Agree the Pursuit is a great boat but it's bigger than I want/need and the fuel economy isn't great (the Marlin is better).

I looked at a really terrific used 330 (it was the dealer's own boat) but it had 350's on it. It's just bigger than I really want (and I'm cautious about dragging around more boat than I need most of the time for the few times I want a little extra room).

At the end of the day cost isn't driving the decision.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

magicalbill

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#4
I know it makes no sense financially but I prefer to buy new. I can get the boat exactly as I want (including Helm Master). I don't have to worry about how the prior owner cared for the boat. I plan to keep the boat for a long time. Agree the Pursuit is a great boat but it's bigger than I want/need and the fuel economy isn't great (the Marlin is better).

I looked at a really terrific used 330 (it was the dealer's own boat) but it had 350's on it. It's just bigger than I really want (and I'm cautious about dragging around more boat than I need most of the time for the few times I want a little extra room).

At the end of the day cost isn't driving the decision.

Thanks for the feedback.
ksgoldman:

Replied to you; it's in the "conversation" section you set up.
 

journeyman

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#5
My thoughts as a Marlin owner on your questions:

Aside from being envious, I see your point about buying new. Even with a good survey, you never know how a boat was cared for / treated. Appearance gives you a clue but doesn’t tell the whole story. Plus, you have a warranty.

Helm Master – A wonderful innovation. Expensive but if you can afford it, why not? There are times when squeezing into a tight space leaves another thing squeezing tight! I would, however consider getting the bow thruster also. If the joystick lets you down, you still have back up.

Seating – I have two chairs up at the helm, but even with the companion bench seat, it really is just for two. That sounds like it works for you anyway. Also, I found the bench seat sits low. Deck chairs work for relaxing in the cockpit area just fine either for extra seating for guests or for enjoying lunch on the water when it’s just the two of you.

Windshield – No problem with visibility at all. I’m 6’5” and, when seated at the helm, I have no issues. They raised the windshield sometime before 2008, not sure exactly when.

Throttle position – Unless they changed it, feels natural to me.

Overnighting – We’ve stayed on the boat for 2 weeks many times. We use the V-berth. It’s not easy for me to enter and exit the mid berth as it might be for others but I can lay flat once in there. Also, The inside person would have to crawl over their mate to get to the head in the middle of the night. Not saying that’s a bad thing mind you. When opportunity knocks… Anyway, if you have no issues sleeping in the mid berth, you can leave the V-berth table up and not have to convert it to use.

The comment about the Genny and AC – I use mine in New England and can Imagine it is a must have in FLA.

Good luck!
 

ksgoldman

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#6
Jim,

Thanks for your very thorough response. All extremely helpful. I have loved my Tournament 275 and am sure I will love the Marlin as much if not more. Grady is a terrific company to do business with. After owning my Grady for 8 seasons, there was some water intrusion under the bump cap (where the engines sit) that was going to cost $5,000 to $10,000 to fix. Even though the boat was long out of warranty, they didn't hesitate to cover the cost to fix it. That's a company that really cares about their customers.

Living in New England I always launched my boat mid April and kept it in until mid October. My friends thought I was crazy for boating in April and May but I just dressed in layers. Some of my best days on the water were early in the season (and I don't fish).

I'm looking forward to being able to boat 12 months a year.

Thanks again for all the info.

Take care,

Ken
 

georgemjr

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#7
Hey Ken,

It seems your decision is well thought out. I was a 330 owner, then a Marlin owner, then a 330 owner again. My thoughts: I found the visibility to the right front to be pretty bad in the Marlin with the vent window line, pipework line, canvas line, etc. The vis on the Express is much better. I also found the helm area seating to be a big difference. I am 50 and overnight with my girlfriend and was able to do everything in the Marlin that I do in the Express. That being said, the extra room in the express is nice, whether it is bathroom space or sleeping/kitchen space it is a different animal for overnighting/cruising. That is why I went back to one. The fuel burn was the same. Everyone argues with me on this, but I got anywhere from 1.0 to 1.2 on all 3 boats, which is the same as my 2 friend's Marlins (all have 250s). Manuaverability is the same for either boat with the bow thruster, which you should definitely get. The helm seating is far superior as is the visibility on the express. Fishability and cockpit are negligibly different as is the handling (although the Express is bigger and heavier and therefore slightly better).

I know you are not in search of an argument to go to the Express, so I apologize, but those are my comparisons after owning both and some of the positive/negatives.
 

ksgoldman

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#12
Thanks for responding to my posting.
1) how is it for 2 people to overnight?
2) what do you you do for extra seating in the cockpit?
3) how is your fuel economy?
4) does the throttle/shift position feel awkward at all as it not completely horizontal as on most boats?
5) anything in particular that you don’t like or would change?

Thanks again,

Ken
 

megabytes

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#13
Thanks for responding to my posting.
1) how is it for 2 people to overnight?
We haven't done that but I know many who have. The genset is helpful.

2) what do you you do for extra seating in the cockpit?
two on bench, two on seats over livewell and sink. If I need more I keep some folding chairs in the rear berth.

3) how is your fuel economy?
as good as the 225s at the same speed. I can get 1.3 mpg at around 26-27 ks

4) does the throttle/shift position feel awkward at all as it not completely horizontal as on most boats?
not at all. it feels quite natural

5) anything in particular that you don’t like or would change?
the improvements from 2004 to 2017 covered any of my gripes. It is a damn near perfect boat (but pricey)
 

Comfortably Numb

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#17
I owned a 2001 Marlin and now a 2017 330 Express. The Marlin fished better (true walk around, livewell in transom, cut out transom seat on the 2001 allowed you to step up on the seat and work a fish around the motors), and got better fuel economy of 1.2-1.4mpg (330 gets 1.0-1.2)

The 330 does everything else better though, and the ride is far better and drier than the Marlin. I’ve been in 8+ ft seas (once!) in the Marlin just off the reef in the Keys, took three waves over the bow, and with a foot of water in the cockpit worried if I’d make it back. The walkaround scoops up water and channels it to the cockpit. I’ve been in similar seas on the 330 on the hump, took a couple of waves over the bow and the water rolls off like a duck. None in the cockpit.

We chose the 330 for the additional helm seating area, and the extra cabin room, and have been happy with the choice. We also have the 350s and they’re great engines, with 460 hours on them already.