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View Full Version : Classic 18 or U-19, which should I buy?



novakru
03-14-2011, 07:21 PM
Let me start off by saying I have always been partial to Donzis, my father owns one, and I grew up riding in one. I have always been on big water (the Great Lakes and the Gulf). I recently was moved to Oklahoma because of the Air Force and now I'm itiching to get back on the water (smaller lakes unfortunately). I am currently looking at the Donzi Classsic 16 and 18, as well as the Four Winns U-17 and U-19. I am leaning towards the Classic 18 or U-19 simply beceause they are bigger. What would you all recommend? I like the fact that the Donzi has trim tabs, but are they really nessasary with such a small boat? Also I know nothing about Volvo engines (that is what the U-19 has), all I ever heard is Mercruiser, Mercruiser, Mercruiser. From what I have seen so far the U-19 tends to be slightly cheaper and easier to come buy then the Donzi (I do not want anything older than 1990). How do each handle in comparision? Any advice would be great as well as info on any for sale. also, if you have any other recommendations for boats I would love to here about them. I was hoping to spend around 10K but I realzie boats like these might be hard to come by for that cheap.

Thanks.

raa711
03-14-2011, 07:27 PM
think there was a problem with the bottom of one of those 4 winns i.e. a hook that caused handling issues. probably many other good reasons why the U-17 and U-19 were only around a little while. i'd stick with the Donzi.

Buddyc
03-14-2011, 10:46 PM
I hear the same things about the four winns. Dont handle well at higher speeds. Besides, wont your dad break them for you if you dont get a donzi?... I know my dad would have:)

jstrahn
03-14-2011, 11:07 PM
The "handling issue" with the U boats originated with a single article. I don't know the whole story but there are a couple versions. One was that the trim stop was disabled on the test boat and it had an inexperienced driver. Another was that the magazine had a relationship with Donzi so purposely sandbagged the article. Whatever the case, it is an exaggeration to say the least that they are dangerous.

They do chinewalk when you get above 60 MPH. My U17 has trim tabs on it and if you put them down it smooths it right out. I also believe the Sweet 16 has some chinewalk when you get it to those speeds but can't speak to that from personal experience as I've only driven a Classic 18.

So handling I personally do not believe should be a factor in the decision. Here are my thoughts.

Donzi Pros:
Classic, unmistakable styling. One of a kind.
Resale value is better.
Parts readily available.
Many very knowledgeable people/mechanics that know them inside and out.

Four Winns Pros:
Price.
Performance per horsepower.

The only reason I went with the U17 was price. At the price I bought it, I couldn't buy a Donzi unless it was an older boat that needed some work.

At your price of $10,000, you might find a 90's Donzi. You may have to move that number up just a bit but I have seen them go for 10. If you aren't set on a 90s or newer, you could definitely find an older Donzi at that price point that would be very nice.

You should be able to pick up a U17 for a couple thousand less that's in decent shape. If comparing a mid 90s Donzi and mid 90s U17 for same money, I'd go with the Donzi every time.

axelkloehn
03-15-2011, 03:36 AM
A friend of mine has a U19 with 5.8GSI and Duoprop: chimewalking and bad handling at higher speeds between 65-70 mph... it takes seat-time to get it under control. But the price was very good, you won't find a 18 classic for the price of a U19 in same condition.

Just Say N20
03-15-2011, 07:05 AM
I recently was moved to Oklahoma because of the Air Force and now I'm itiching to get back on the water (smaller lakes unfortunately).

First, thank you for serving our country.


Let me start off by saying I have always been partial to Donzis, my father owns one, and I grew up riding in one. I have always been on big water (the Great Lakes and the Gulf). . . . I am currently looking at the Donzi Classsic 16 and 18, as well as the Four Winns U-17 and U-19. I am leaning towards the Classic 18 or U-19 simply beceause they are bigger. What would you all recommend?

Donzi vs. U-XX. Both are good boats. My experience with Volvo I/Os has been great and I wouldn't make a decision NOT to buy a boat because it has a Volvo. As mentioned, they are a STRONG drive. What have you been "lusting" after (boat wise :wink: )? Would you feel like you "settled" if you bought a Four Winns?


I like the fact that the Donzi has trim tabs, but are they really nessasary with such a small boat? How do each handle in comparision? Any advice would be great as well as info on any for sale. . . .I was hoping to spend around 10K but I realzie boats like these might be hard to come by for that cheap.


Trim tabs are great, and there is no real down side. Many have done fine without them. I have had them on both my 18s, and I added them to my 16.

How are you going to boat? Alone? With 3 or 4 friends? A 16 is a fun boat for the driver. It is OK with 1 other person, but the cockpit is shallow, so the L-Lounge doesn't really make a very comfortable seat. The 18 is somewhat more comfortable for back seat passengers, and rides like a bigger boat. It has been said that you ride "on" a 16, and "in" a 22, with the 18 in between. A Minx (20') would be something to consider. They are a great boat.

If a 16 would do, I would find a way to get another $1,500 and buy Ralph's 16. V8, Mercruiser, and just about perfect. And it is a 1995. I will have over $20K in my 1967 rebuild before it is as nice as that one.

Ralph's ad:
http://www.donzi.net/forums/showthread.php?t=64277

novakru
03-16-2011, 10:00 PM
First, thank you for serving our country.



Donzi vs. U-XX. Both are good boats. My experience with Volvo I/Os has been great and I wouldn't make a decision NOT to buy a boat because it has a Volvo. As mentioned, they are a STRONG drive. What have you been "lusting" after (boat wise :wink: )? Would you feel like you "settled" if you bought a Four Winns?



Trim tabs are great, and there is no real down side. Many have done fine without them. I have had them on both my 18s, and I added them to my 16.

How are you going to boat? Alone? With 3 or 4 friends? A 16 is a fun boat for the driver. It is OK with 1 other person, but the cockpit is shallow, so the L-Lounge doesn't really make a very comfortable seat. The 18 is somewhat more comfortable for back seat passengers, and rides like a bigger boat. It has been said that you ride "on" a 16, and "in" a 22, with the 18 in between. A Minx (20') would be something to consider. They are a great boat.

If a 16 would do, I would find a way to get another $1,500 and buy Ralph's 16. V8, Mercruiser, and just about perfect. And it is a 1995. I will have over $20K in my 1967 rebuild before it is as nice as that one.

Ralph's ad:
http://www.donzi.net/forums/showthread.php?t=64277



Bill thank you for your support I greatly appreciate it. I do not know if I feel like I settled if I bought the Four Winns. I just want the best boat for the money, name recognition, handling, and quality. I plan on bringing a few friends on board so I think that a 16 may be too small, although Ralph's boat is definetly a beauty. I have never heard of the Minx before, I check it out and it looks just like something I would want. I can't go over a 20' boat because my Ford Escape won't be able to tow it. Max tow weight of 3500lbs. I called Donzi yesterday and the Minx will not be over weight.

So now I think it comes down to the U-19, Donzi 20' (Minx), or Donzi 18. Any more help is definetly appreciated, either with boats for sale or other ideas. Thanks.