Thinking About a Boat

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted DuPuis, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    What's it like getting your boat on and off of the trailer?

    We have ours in dry stack partially because I can't see us getting it on and off of the trailer, and it's only 21 feet.
     
  2. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Can't speak for him, but most any boat with twins is fairly easy to trailer simply due to better ability to control drift. The biggest problem with big boats is when trailering in a cross current or heavy crosswind since they tend to catch more wind than a smaller boat.


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  3. Aaronk25

    Aaronk25 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It loads in similar time to a small boat but requires a trailer adjust and set up for the boat. 27' isn't long by any means but the guide posts on the trailer perfectly center the boat. No roller trailers, bunks are a must. [​IMG]

    I know I put this pic up before but look at the guide post on rear end of trailer. When set up right they will be sprung 1" out.


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  4. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    I find that half the battle around here is finding a ramp deep enough and long enough to work well on longer trailers.


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  5. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Ours is 23' and getting it on and off the trailer is a piece of cake. Sure, the first few times were more challenging, but it isn't difficult by any means. My wife is the one who handles the on/off duties from the boat side, I get the truck.

    We have guide rails (rather than posts) and that helps. The other thing that's important to realize is not to have the trailer too deep in the water. The boat is meant to drive up and off the trailer, so I try to have the fenders just barely below the surface. Before I received that tip (about 25 pages back in this thread), it was a real chore. Now, getting off takes about 30 seconds, getting back on is usually a first-shot deal. Last weekend was the first time this season that we needed a second shot, and I was really to blame for that - I didn't have the trailer straight in the water at all.
     
  6. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    I don't have one, I am pretty active in the owner's group for this boat. The 5.7 carb vortec and volvo DP is the preferred power for these. They all get about 2.5nmpg

    I have enough range with this combo I don't need to be worried about fuel with the trips I do, so I haven't installed a flow gauge. If I was getting one, I would go with a Garmin. For about $110 you can add a fuel flow sensor to any new garmin plotter/fishfinder.

    A stand alone marine FF sensor (floscan) is about $300
     
  7. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    So, my Sea Ray has a standard stainless steel boat-looking steering wheel. My friend gave me a much better looking steering wheel that I want to put on.

    Of course, I pull my old steering wheel and find out that it has the square adapter. I'm able to find this Nardi part:

    http://www.crowderscustomizing.com/...9-Mercury-Marine-Hub-p/nardi_4203.03.7509.htm

    But otherwise, not seeing anything that looks like it'll adapt the wheel for me. Anyone else have better Google-fu or know a term I'm missing?
     
  8. sferguson524

    sferguson524 Pattern Altitude

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    Is that something you could engineer and whip up yourself and save the 100 bucks?
     
  9. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Thinking about it. I could probably make something work.
     
  10. sferguson524

    sferguson524 Pattern Altitude

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    Just remember what boat stands for.. Bring out another thousand :)
     
  11. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Honestly, our boat's proven to be pretty inexpensive. Although I know that the deck redo that we're considering will be 2-3k. If we do that, we'll probably keep it for quite a while, though, so it will be worth it. A lot of it depends on how much you want to maintain the thing.
     
  12. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Agreed. We bought our boat for $7K back in '95 or so. We put in a new transom, floor, and refreshed engine since then, all-in we'll say $5K. So $12K amortized over 20+ years is pretty much negligible as far as entertainment value. Everything else has been general maintenance and fuel. We generally do 99% of the maintenance and repairs as well, so it saves lots of time and money.


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  13. Dr. O

    Dr. O Pattern Altitude

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    I'm picturing the FAA being in charge of recreational boating :()
     
  14. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Lol sounds like a good way to kill the recreational boating industry!


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  15. Aaronk25

    Aaronk25 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ted, here a pic today running 46mph. IMG_2517.JPG


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  16. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    We haven't even been on ours in close to a month. Hopefully we'll get on this month, but it's not looking very likely. Laurie is extremely busy with photo sessions, and the 414 needs more work (surprise, surprise...).
     
  17. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    The last time I went out I took the boat and jetski.

    The jetski didn't sound right. I pulled the plugs off each cylinder (3 cylinder) and determined that the no 2 (center cylinder) was not firing. I pulled the plug and it looked really odd. Almost like something crashed into it, there was no gap left.

    I took a look inside the cylinder with a light and didn't see any holes burned in the piston or anything strange. Put my thumb over and hit the starter and felt basically no compression. Tried putting my thumb over the no 1 and no 3 cylinder and the starter easily blew my thumb off strongly.

    So...not sure what the hell happened. I looked at the plugs often (every couple hours) and they always looked perfect exactly like 2 stroke plugs should. I also checked them at idle, mid, and high power settings (cut ignition on lake after running those settings) and the plugs looked good on all cylinders always.

    I run pre-mix and have the oil injection system removed. So I didn't have an oil pump failure or anything like that.

    Guess it looks like I'll be yanking the engine out to tear it down. Kind of sucks, it only lasted 23 hours. I bought it as a remanufactured engine two years ago and installed it.
     
  18. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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  19. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    That's really odd. Wonder what happened.
     
  21. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    #2 probably went lean for some reason, I'd bet a holed piston.
     
  22. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Interestingly, two years ago today some friends took us for a ride in their boat. Two years ago tomorrow, I started this thread. 35 pages later... :D
     
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  23. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    I think they are a reflection of the water.
     
  24. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    We took the boat out a couple weekends ago for the first time this year. Everything still worked. Before we take it out next time we'll need to replace the prop. It got banged up pretty good on some rocks. We got 2 years out of it, so that's not too bad. Last time we got a 4-blader, which really didn't work as well as the 3-blader. So now I have to figure out what the right size/pitch/etc. prop is to get.

    Definitely going to go with an aluminum prop again. Happier letting the prop take the damage rather than the outdrive.
     
  25. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    What do you mean the 4-blade didn't "work as well"? Typically, the 4-blade lifts the stern more and gives better hole-shot and stays on plane at lower speeds, at the expense of 2-3mph top speed in most cases. You'd have to cite the sizepitch of the 3-blade and the size/pitch of the 4-blade to make much of a comparison.
     
  26. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Well, I also could've picked a bad 4-blade prop. It required more RPM for the same speed, so it may not have been pitched enough. Not really any smoother. And it cost more.

    We don't go around doing racing or anything like that. Honestly the 4-blader as torn up as it is works fine for what we do, so I'll probably keep it as a spare.
     
  27. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Usually prop shops can fix most any damage for $50-$100 depending on the amount of damage. When you are sizing the prop, you'll need to see what max RPM is to see if you're in the recommended range for your engine. If it's topping out on the high end of the range, you should increase pitch so that it's more efficient and stays in the peak power range. For most marine V8's, that's around 4200-4600 rpm.
     
  28. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    So nearly 3 years and 35 pages later, wr sold the boat to Jesse, who'd wanted to buy it from us a since we bought it.

    Laurie and I found that with the age of the kids (4.5 and Twin 2.5 girls) that the kids were a real handful and it didn't fit well. We also had a few features we'd want different.

    So a good time to sell this boat and in a couple years, we'll get another boat.
     
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  29. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Jesse getting ready to drive off.

    IMG_1080.JPG
     
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  30. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Fellow in the hangar next to me found himself in a similar situation. Has a cottage on a really large lake and now two pre-school kids. Sold his ski boat and bought one of these -single big outboard model:

    https://www.manitoupontoonboats.com/

    Seemed like a good solution - flat deck, complete perimeter fence with kid-proof solid rail, installed double latches on the gates, big fold back awning for the sun.
     
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  31. bluesky74656

    bluesky74656 Line Up and Wait

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    Oh no! I was using you guys as an example of why my wife should let me buy a boat for our 4 and 2 year old!

    I can understand them being a handful, that's most of the reason I haven't pulled the trigger already. I can't imagine getting a boat launched or loaded safely while controlling the kids. But I was hoping that 4 or 5 years old was going to be the sweet spot where it could work!
     
  32. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    My father used to leave us in the boat with my mother while unloading and loading. As long as they're on board, they're not going to get into trouble. You drive the truck, get your wife to learn how to drive the boat, and you're golden.
     
  33. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    90% of the strife at boatramps could be avoided if powerboat owners allowed their wives to operate the boat while they do the trailer part.
     
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  34. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    When did Jesse get that truck? Last I recall, he had a Ford.
     
  35. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Same here. Kids in the boat, launch off boat ramp, mom stood in the water holding the bow line while dad parked the truck/trailer. They got in, Dad fired up the engine and we were off. Once I was 7 or 8 (several seasons of boating), I was in charge of backing the boat off with Mom/sis aboard. Mom hated driving boats, so it was great for me. It's helpful to have one of the kids as a "first mate", so they can grab anchors/line, assist with docking, etc. It also gives them something to do instead of causing mischief.

    These days, my wife will back the trailer and I run the boat. However, she has driven it onto the trailer a time or two and done fine. She grew up around the lake and knows how to drive boats, but I'm always a bit timid with it since our boat is much older than what she's used to operating, and can have its "quirks" from time-to-time, especially when trailering/launching.
     
  36. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    What we were finding is that the kids (3 of them) were all going in different directions, and really wanted to do some level of running/moving around. On our 23' cuddy cabin boat ended up leaving a roughly 15' long deck, really a bit smaller, with about a 6' width. And the way the sides were set up, kids would hang off the side, kids would go in the cabin and mess with things there, etc. Really our kids are pretty well behaved, but at that age they have a lot of energy they want to burn off, so they need to move around. My wife would get the boat off and on the trailer and I'd do truck duty.

    Really the kids still loved it, but it got where my wife and I weren't enjoying it.

    Now, @GRG55 made the suggestion of a pontoon boat, which sounds good to me and was something I hadn't considered. My wife and I talked about it last night and she said she'd had the idea, but didn't mention it because she figured I'd already thought about it. She also said she noticed that most of the boats out there with small kids were pontoon boats. Easier to have good play for them, more shade, etc. Really it seems like it'd be a good solution. Big open deck where kids can do some level of running, doesn't need to be fast for what we'll be doing, good shade, etc. So we really like the idea and might start looking for one of those in the near future. I think it would be wise to go that route.

    But every family and all kids are different. The cuddy cabin boat was great for us for the first couple years, but a 24' pontoon is sounding pretty appealing now. So the boat thread may live on. There are some local rentals that are pretty affordably priced, so we may try that once just to see how it goes before buying something. Looking around at what's available to buy, there's not a ton for sale, but this is the wrong time of year. Realistically we won't get on the lake again until July, so we may just wait until later in the season before we consider buying. The next couple of weekends we have other things going on, and I need to be at the airport one day a weekend (and maybe take a couple days off work) until the annual is finished on the 414 and it's back flying again.

    Jesse's current truck is a burgundy '97 K1500 that he got from his dad and sold the Ford. However, I told him that as soon as he towed that boat either with his truck (or when he showed up with that nice K2500 Duramax) he would be selling the 1/2-ton and looking for a proper 3/4 or 1-ton pickup, probably with a diesel.

    That said, my Ford V10 gasser in the Excursion is also an excellent engine for towing. It won't get the mileage that a diesel gets, but it does just fine towing heavy loads, including Jesse's new boat.
     
  37. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    We've found that having lake friends with similar age kids works really well. Tie up together in a nice slough somewhere, the kids play together and entertain themselves. Your kids may be a tad young, but putting them in life jackets and letting them swim around and play on tubes and rafts is good.
     
  38. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    If we had friends who went to the same lake as well then that would certainly work. The kids are a bit young for swimming around and playing on tubes/rafts at this point. That's why we figured we were at an "unsweet spot" that we could get past in a few years. My fond memories of being on my aunt and uncle's boat were in the 7-10 range. I can't remember the exact age range, but older than my kids are now. Seems others say that, too.

    But if they kids have an area where they can run around, easier to see everyone, etc... that sounds like setting them up to succeed more.
     
  39. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Boats should generally be purchased according to what you want to do with it, and where you will be using it.

    I am not a pontoon fan, personally, in all but a few cases (usually involving frequent boating in really shallow water, or catfishing). If I wanted the open/flat-deck layout, I'd go for a deck boat. Similar layout to the pontoon, but worlds better in handling, fuel-efficiency, and ride comfort. The gunnels of most boats (bass boats not included) are more than sufficient to hold in small children, often times taller than the 24" rail on a pontoon/deck boat will.

    With small kids (under age 5 or so), they usually aren't as interested in skiing/tubing as much, and certainly not at any speed above what a pontoon will do. One of the most important things is to have something with a large bimini top to keep them in the shade while they play. Cuddy cabins are okay, but can get stuffy if you boat in any place where it's 95+ degrees in summer. Most people end up using cuddy cabins in the south for storage more than anything else. We used to go play on the water for 2 hours or so, pull up to a beach and have a picnic lunch, then swim/Frisbee/football for an hour, then back on the boat for another 2 hours or so for a second round of watersports or just cruising around. Then call it a day and head-in. 6hrs on the water is generally plenty for most people, and the sun will really take it out of you if you don't have shade available.

    We are lucky to have family with lake-front houses/docks on two local lakes, so we can go play for a few hours, then come back inside and rest/relax. It's easier to deal with small children who decide they no longer want to be on the water when you can offload them within 30 minutes and keep on boating with those who still want to be out.
     
  40. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Another point I'd like to address is reliability. People say that boats are holes in the water into which you throw money. Reality is this was a good boat that we didn't put much money into. We made some improvements, but not a lot. Things we did outside of standard oil/filters/batteries:

    - New propeller (backed into a rock)
    - New trailer bearing for one wheel (normal wear). Put grease into the bearing buddies regularly.
    - New LED lights for the trailer (Harbor Freight - $25)
    - New jack for the trailer (went overboard on this one with a Trailer Valet because of the parking situation in Ohio)
    - New steering wheel (free from a friend - liked it better than the factory steering wheel)
    - Redid the cushions in the cuddy cabin (they were original fabric/foam/wood)
    - Bought a new boat cover

    All in all, I figure that I had around $1k worth of parts in it (maybe $1500), all easy things. Really it's one of the most reliable and maintenance-free toys I've owned, outside of some motorcycles.

    A number of people have suggested that we should have rented instead of bought. I completely disagree with that assertion. In the close to 3 years we had the boat, we probably took it on the lake 25 times or so. It was way cheaper to own the boat than it would have been to rent. Renting makes sense if you only do once or twice a year. We used it quite a bit.