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    Western MA / Lake George, NY

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  1. CruizinLG

    New Trailer Tires - Recommendations Needed

    I concur with your feelings about Carlisle tires.....I had horrible experiences (3!) with Carlisle tires on a previous boat trailer. Even though the trailer and tires were less than 3 years old and I always checked the tire pressure before towing, I had 3 separate blow-outs on the highway. Thankfully it was a double axle trailer, but it's not how you want to spend your afternoon when starting out on a vacation. The Sea Lion Trailer I purchased for the Chappy in 2007 came with Kenda Load-Star K550 tires and after 8 years of use with; no issues, good ride, even wear, and no signs of dry-rot, I decided to replace all 4 with the exact same tires. The price is very reasonable, and I had no reason to try anything else after having such good results with them. I do apply 303 Protectant to the sidewalls twice each year and cover them in the off-season. I still had the original spare tire on the trailer as of last month. Even though I keep a cover on the tire, the back-side is exposed to sunlight in a few places and I noticed that there was dry-rot on the sidewall in those areas. After 11 years, I didn't want to push my luck if I ever needed to use the spare, so I decided to replace it just 2 weeks ago. I found the same Load-Star tire in stock at my local Pep Boys, so I picked it up just before we brought the boat & trailer up to the lake for the season. I wanted to mention this last part about the spare tire because after seeing the dry-rot (UV damage), I decided to buy a new cover and used the old cover to protect the back side of the tire from UV damage. Before mounting the new spare tire to the trailer, I applied 303 Protectant, put the old cover on over the back side of the tire, cut holes for the 2 bolts, remounted the tire onto the trailer, and then put the new cover on - the tire now protected on BOTH sides from UV damage. Coincidentally, I just ordered 3 new wheels with this same Kenda tire (from Walmart)for a friend's boat trailer on Sunday.....and while I was replying to your post, Fed Ex delivered the tires.....at 9:30 PM - geez!! I went to their house this weekend to install a new Trailer Light Kit for them and saw how dry-rotted the trailer tires were. They are planning to tow this trailer & boat over 6 hours to Maine, so I knew they could be in for a very bad experience if they tried to tow on those old tires.
  2. CruizinLG

    Protecting my Gel Coat from Sun Damage & Oxidation

    Thanks David - that makes me feel better! I used 600, then 1000, then 1500, and finished with 2000. My right elbow is not happy with me! The red is super smooth, and when I rinsed it down after each pass/section, the red really looks great....but then it dries and doesn't look so shiny red anymore. We have soft water here and I used a spray bottle with a little bit of dishwashing soap added - which acts like a lubricant...from what I researched. Now I'm just anxious to get the new polisher and see if I can get some good results. I only have 9 days before we bring it to the lake for the season.
  3. CruizinLG

    1/2" x 10' Navy blue dock line with loop?

    Thanks for sharing this link! I didn't know this tool existed, although I always figured the rope manufacturers had a special heating/cutting tool for this purpose. I've always done the tape, cut, and burn method too, but since I have the 'old style soldering gun', I just ordered the 'special rope cutting tip' (which can be ordered separately for less than 9-deer) and will give that a try.
  4. CruizinLG

    Protecting my Gel Coat from Sun Damage & Oxidation

    Thanks guys! I continue to read confusing / conflicting information regarding the Porter Cable unit that I have; that it should spin unless too much pressure is applied....which is why I thought I had a defective machine. And I explained to the P-C customer service rep what was happening when I called about warranty service - you'd think they would be better trained on their products - I could have saved myself the hassle of sending it back if they had just said that's the way it should work. Wing - you got me nervous when you said I have now 'damaged the surface' - I hope not to the point of being unable to bring it back to a glossy appearance. :-/ I have ordered a new rotating buffer, pads, and some additional polish....and will attempt to bring the gel coat back. Thankfully, the other side of the boat has been saved from sun damage, so I'm only working on the one side. I'll just need to polish and wax that side once I finish destroying the port side.
  5. CruizinLG

    1/2" x 10' Navy blue dock line with loop?

    +1 If you really want 10-footers, you might just have to buy the longer lines and cut them. If you started with 25' lines, at least that would leave you with 15' of useful line material. I'm not sure what you'd do with a leftover 5' section from a 15 footer.....maybe it could be used with a fender...?
  6. CruizinLG

    Protecting my Gel Coat from Sun Damage & Oxidation

    So my wife is right...... I AM an Idiot!
  7. CruizinLG

    Advice for enlarging speaker hole

    When I read your post, my first thought was a Rotozip, but then I thought about the fiberglass (yikes!) and also wondered if that was a good choice. I'm now thinking a sanding drum / wheel mind be best - the kind you might use with a Dremel tool. Use something to mark the area to be removed, even a sharpie marker to make that 1/8" mark around the existing hole, and then use the drum sanding attachment to a corded/cordless drill to sand away the extra material. Once your mark is gone, you'll know you've gone as far as you need to. Have your vacuum there and running to minimize the mess!
  8. CruizinLG

    Protecting my Gel Coat from Sun Damage & Oxidation

    I keep the boat in my 'Boat(car)Port' during the off-season, but since that same port-side is also exposed to the sun, I think I'll make an 'apron' in the late summer/early fall before I bring the boat home. But instead of attaching the apron to the boat, I'll think I'll rig something along that side of the boat port wall that will stay in-place (in all sorts of weather) until I decide to remove it. W - this past week I've been doing just that, but the Mequier's Oxidation Remover wasn't working (or my Polisher wasn't working properly - see note at bottom of this post), so I started something I've never done before; wet-sanding. I bought 600, 1000, 1500, and 2000 grit paper. I successfully removed all of the oxidation with the 600 grit. Now when I run water over the side, the red Gel Coat looks GREAT....but as soon as it dries, it looks 'white-ish' from the sanding - I hope this is normal. I'm half-way through using 1000, and will continue with a pass with the 1500, and then the 2000 to try to minimize the sanding marks (all by hand, using a rubber sanding block)....before polishing and waxing. I'm planning to use Collinite 885 paste wax instead of the Mequier's Wax that came in the kit. Note - I bought a Porter Cable 7346 Random Orbital Polisher/Sander 2 years ago, and this is only the 2nd time using it. I'm only using it with the Mequier's Marine Restoration Kit that includes the Oxidation Remover, Polish, and Wax.....I'm not wet-sanding with it. I purchased a 8-pack of Chemical Brothers Pads when I bought the Polisher. But when I use the Polisher, the pads won't spin and just vibrate in the 'random orbital' motion. I'm not putting a lot of pressure against the boat. It seems like the only time the pads will spin is when I hold the unit in the air and turn it on when it's not against anything. I can actually hold the pad between my thumb and finger, turn the polisher on, and it won't spin. It just doesn't seem right to me, even though I've read that they are designed to stop spinning if TOO much pressure is applied. I ended up sending it back to the company for warranty repair on Thursday, but I'm worried that they will return it, and say that it's working fine. It seems to me that if I was working on a horizontal surface, the polisher would stop spinning under its own weight....which can't be right. But this is how it worked right out of the box, so I'm hoping I just got one that got shipped without actually passing the Quality Control process .
  9. CruizinLG

    Protecting my Gel Coat from Sun Damage & Oxidation

    Thanks for your replies. I think I'll take your advice and skip the 'apron' idea and just take better care of her going forward.
  10. I was warned that Red was one of the worst colors for boats, but when it's nice and shiny, it's one of our favorites. I'm currently in the process of restoring the deep red color that the boat had when it was new. It's a lot of work and I've been thinking about how to best protect it from sun/oxidation after I apply that final coat of wax and dock it at the marina for the summer. I've never seen this done, but I've been toying with the idea of buying some marine grade fabric (Sunbrella or similar) and creating an 'apron' that drapes along the side of the boat that gets hit all day long by the sun. It would have to be enough material to cover the red section and stop just shy of the waterline. Attaching it to the boat would be my biggest obstacle. I've thought about obtaining those 'piggy-back snaps' where one material has the typical female snap on the underside and instead of the round 'button' on the top side, it has a male snap so that I could use the existing snaps on the boat for the bow and cockpit covers to attach this apron and then snap my covers to the top of the apron when I'm buttoning-up the boat. I don't know how easy it is to find those specialty snaps, much less what kind of a tool would be needed to attach them to the material. My biggest concern would be a heavy wind that occurs when I'm not around and it actually blows off, taking the bow and/or cockpit cover with it, leaving my boat exposed...but I don't know if that is likely to happen on not. For the bottom of the material, I could add some weighted material to the bottom of the apron so that is is less likely to blow around. I could also use bungees to secure the bottom of the apron to the dock. It's a shallow marina in a no-wake zone that is fairly protected, so thankfully I don't have to worry about the boat moving much at all when it's docked. Thought I'd share this idea so that others can add their thoughts about how they'd accomplish this task, or even why this may be a bad idea that I haven't thought about. I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on this and if you have your own ideas about securing the apron. I realize this is going to add some time to the buttoning and unbuttoning process, so I want to make it as uncomplicated as possible. Thanks!
  11. CruizinLG

    Boat US / Geico Insurance Rates

    I called them yesterday as a courtesy to explain why I was planning to switch, and all the rep could offer was; lower coverage & higher deductibles to try to get the premium down, but even after making changes, the cost was only half-way to what I ended up paying through NBOA. I might find the same thing happens with them when I go to renew next year, but if that happens, I'll just go shopping again.
  12. CruizinLG

    Boat US / Geico Insurance Rates

    When Boat US switched to Geico as their underwriter a few years ago, I was hoping it would be a good thing. But just in the last 2 years, the rates have increased (for me) by 33%! Same coverage, no claims - ever. I've been with Boat US for at least 10 years, maybe even 15 or 20, but I couldn't justify the rate increase and went to NBOA and purchased nearly the identical coverage for the same price I was paying, prior to the Geico change. I don't have any other experience with Geico, but now I'm wondering if this is typical for them....acquire new customers with similar / maybe even lower rates, and then jack-up the price once they are on-board, and hope they don't notice, or complain...? Have others with Boat US / Geico noticed a significant increase this year and last?
  13. Jeff - I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the 257! If the boat can get up and on plane fairly quickly, that's fine with me too....I'm not interested in top-end speed either. Just curious - did you get a chance to test-drive the 257 with a Volvo setup? This will likely be our last boat purchase, so I want to make sure we are happy with it. I don't have any complaints about our 246, but now that we're older, a real toilet would be nice for 'emergencies' instead of the porta-potti. And we've had sinks on our last 2 boats and have never used them, so to us, it's just wasted space. I'd like to be able to turn around from the helm seat and put my feet up, which I believe is possible on the 257.....as well as the rear-facing seats at the stern when we're 'plunked'. Thanks for the info on the Trim Tabs - I'll have to do some more research on that. I really don't enjoy having more than 6 people on the boat, so I'll have to figure out if they will be beneficial for our use.
  14. Thanks for the reply / thoughts, Shep! I have the Merc / B-III setup now and was thinking I'd go back to the Volvo, but it was actually your comments about the exhaust noise and hard shifting that I saw on another post which has me wondering if I'd be happy with that option. After experiencing the smooth shifting of the Volvo's on 2 previous owned boats, I was really surprised to read your comment about that. I was a bit worried when I ended up purchasing our current boat with the MerCruiser/B-III, but it actually shifts very smooth too. Regarding the noise - I was hoping the Volvo would be quieter, so I'm bummed that you mentioned the loud exhaust noise......I prefer quiet, too. I've had some boats fly past me on the lake that just 'hum' and would like to know what they have for engines/outdrives that make them so quiet. We have looked at Cobalt, Monterey, Four Winns, Formula, Regal, and SeaRay, but the Chappy 257 is the closest to our idea of the ideal boat (for our purposes). We did like the R5 (Cobalt) but I'm not a fan of the swing-down swim platform for boarding. Both my wife and I have had elbow and shoulder injuries and thought that design would have made boarding the boat after swimming a very painful experience. We haven't seen the 257 in-person, but we plan to do that this coming weekend up at the lake. Thanks for sharing the link to the Aussie boat reviewer! That was the 2nd review of the 257 I've seen.
  15. I'm looking to replace our '07 246 ssi and it's been tough trying to find something we like. I have searched on this forum, but I couldn't find any posts that listed this model. It's hard for me to believe there are no (or few) 257 ssx owners out there that belong to this forum. But if there are, I have some questions; What engine do you purchase and are you happy with your decision? Did you opt for trim tabs - are they really needed on this model? (I don't have them on my 246 and never wished I had them.) What other boat(s) were you considering before you decided on the 257? There isn't a lot of difference between the current 246 ssi and the 257 ssx, but there's a huge price difference......and I'm not sure I understand why that is....? Would love to hear from some 257 owners about their boats / experiences / satisfaction level. Thanks!