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  1. One common theme among all the mechanics mentioned. Mercs not Volvos. Except for Magnum. Been there done it. Thank you. Never had any trouble finding a guy who would wrench on the boat.
  2. I appreciate the sentiments Chap243! But, as I said Im leaving the boat with a broker to be sold. The current technician is having a field day making it ready for sale. Ive spent the summer on an Indian Roadmaster. Ive never gotten riding out of my system whereas I could do boating for one day a yr and scratch that itch. I havent got the yearning that many of you have for wanting a boat. This was my introduction to the industry and I have learned valuable lessons. My interest wasnt ever to learn the ins and outs of a boat or to spend time second guessing or looking over a mechanics shoulder. Just not my idea of fun.
  3. My current Volvo certified tech found additional issues. A locking lug on the replaced drive. I called the previous tech. Eureka, turns out he has the key. Why I ask does he do this. "I put a lock on every time that I install a new out drive." I already knew the answer, Im sure he regards it as job security. Every aspect of what he did can be filed under job security. The boat has the same symptomas it had before bringing him the boat. In addition Im spending $K deer to undo what he did and what he missed. Summing up, he missed attaching the bonding cables which necessitated removal of the drive a second time and put the boat at high risk of future electrolysis damage and personal safety (death by electrocution swimming in close proximity of boat). He crimped a throttle cable, ignored it, billed me and walked away causing a driveability and safety hazard. He missed a roached hub when removing and reinstalling a prop. He locked the drive, kept the key, didnt inform me and I paid the price of shipping it to the current dealer. I was given a bill for services rendered amounting to 14k deer, insurance covered 12 of it. He was the most responsive, mature tech in my area and seemingly the most qualified on paper You cant make this up. Theres a booming cottage industry at work among boat technicians who are wiling and able to separate a customer from their deer and keep them coming back for more. The two best days of boat ownership, one of them I cant remember. And heres the thing. The most important part of my experience, the name of the dealer, stays anonymous, because it would be unfair to him!! I'll encrypt it. Steer clear of CBW at SML.
  4. Ive decided to sell the 310. I had it transported upstate away from the local "talent" and have a guy whose regarded as the best in that area. He's addressing a number of things I want made right for a potential buyer. Im finding just how dogged he is because in the first email he described something most people would view as incompetence and/or dangerous. I have Volvo Penta out drives and engines. Heres what he said and the photo. "Sir, during inspection of the drives and transom I noticed an unsecured bonding cable on BOTH transom shields that should be installed under the hose clamp for the bellows. I intend to correct this. I thought you should know. Pic attached." I asked him to explain about the nature of disconnected electrical parts. He sent this. http://www.rjwsurvey.com/uploads/Grounding.pdf The author sites a dramatic story that happened when a boat owner jerry rigged his power cord. And he goes on about stray current. My boat was essentially jerry rigged when the previous technician failed to re-secure the bonding cables. It was done by a certified, dues paying, current Volvo dealer. In the last repair done by this guy he replaced an out drive due to a failed bellows causing corrosion along with a failed seal which caused oil to migrate into the engine compartment. Because I had a poor experience with a previous Merc tech I went with this Volvo dealer thinking he had the resources and would solve it. Immediately after getting the boat back with a new out drive the throttle was so tight I considered it a hazard. I was reluctant to address this with him knowing that he had crimped it when pulling the drive off so I forgave it, had him replace the cable and moved on. It was mostly covered by insurance. Then 4 months later an interesting thing happened when I reported to him the boat was having similar symptoms to his first repair. Again, an oil sheen was seen off the transom and oil had found its way underneath the engine. He was busy but said he'd stop by. The time came and went. I knew he was blowing me off but I confronted him personally asking if I was to assume he didn't want to work it. He said, he was slammed but I have some time now, I'll be over tomorrow. The next morning I came to a realization. The boat had to go. Note: Im not cut out for boat ownership. Getting the boat off the lake I met a transporter at the marina who was to take it upstate. He decided to adjust the load with a maneuver I can only describe as HAIR RAISING! Thinking back to the moment I tell myself I should have known better because the boat needed to come up on the bunks 3 ft. I didnt know about the other gearing on the winch assy, nor did he, when he decided to put his truck in motion and step on the brakes. All 12,000 lbs and 31 ft of boat jolted forward bending the winch assy all to heck narrowly missing the gel coat. He spent another 4 hours on it. His excuse......the bunks have poly sleeves! I met the boat again that dreadful day 8 hours later when I saw him turn the corner. He bought and installed another winch assy the following day. The people in this story shall remain nameless in order to protect the guilty. I'm going to stop short of mentioning the name of the retired Navy AT/Volvo dealer/tech who is getting to the bottom of this.
  5. You might have something there. I checked the outdrive level.....no oil. I assume the level has to be checked with the trim down?
  6. Its nice to hear advice that I generally follow. There is always a bit of humanness we have to add to the equation. For instance, today, I went to get my trailer from the mechanics yard (a free storage) having decided to part ways. But he came out and was friendly enough and when I asked, "I assume you dont want to work on my boat anymore, is that right?" He said, No, Ive been slammed. He apologized and and somehow I summoned up the wherewithal to look past his dismal personal record of customer service. I could excuse his behavior but I dont like to and would never treat someone like that myself. The only personal connection I get from people is when showing them my intergrity is intact and I care about the kind of work I do because I know they care. When they reflect that back its uge. You see, hes an independent, and as such hes probably never been told he should always call people and explain even if hes unable to make a date/time. A few words in my direction would have let me know that he values my patronage and regardless of any personal circumstances hed be there for me. More than anything I hate being blown off. Well, he blew me off, I felt the sting, que sera. But if he doesnt turn it around I am going to haul the boat to BumFk Idaho to make sure its done right. As I was writing this a call came in from the guy whos 300 miles away asking when am I bringing it. He comes highly recommended AND he has good interpersonal skills. Win win.
  7. Im making plans with a transporter to haul it 300 miles to and from because I wont reward a person who cant seem to get out of his own way by going back to him and expecting better. In my situation I cant draw a direct line to the last mechanic who worked on it. Ive had it on the water 4 hours since the drive was replaced and its doing the same thing that insurance paid 12k deer to repair. The mechanic wont return my call which probably signals what he thinks of the situation.
  8. #%^$&%$ nice youre paying attention!. Unfortunately the mechanic isnt. Yea, a Volvo certified mechanic who returned the boat with a crimp in the throttle cable and said he noticed it but eh AND his last repair isnt going so well. And he hasnt returned my call since he put me on a schedule for August 21st and then bailed. I havent heard from him and really why would I call him, he knows. So, do I court and reward a guy with his history OR go my own way. Here, hold my beer and watch.
  9. Im simply saying serious conversation takes place when the boat is stopped and everyone is seated facing each other together in the aft area. I thought he raised the idea of a missing port side lounger on a 310 because of the optimal seating and conversing position he had. Its a subjective decision but one that he feels he will miss. Given his particular needs Im sure hes right. I mean how does he get himself, his first mate and 2 dogs AND the captain in the forward seats of a 310? I might have misunderstood. Im perfectly fine in my digs but Im not comparing it to anything previously owned because its my first boat. I dont agree with your comment on the helm seating and good visibility but that may be a different subject. Its just ok, imo. Im always standing because of the responsibility AND it gives me the best view possible. Its similar to looking for and finding the elusive Kodak moment, for me its standing and seeing as much of the lake scape as possible. I know, I know, more words.
  10. I had something else in mind. Theres nothing wrong with the comfort of the seats or the boat configuration in general. At least nothing Ive not been able to overcome. Since you raised the question you wont have any problem answering it too. Your personal preferences will help you make your choice.
  11. I have a 2010 310. With the arrangement you're talking about, conversation definitely doesn't take place in any meaningful way when under way without shouting. A fourth person is left standing in front of the berth door to compete with the din and the captains attentions elsewhere or rides it out alone aft. Its fine when in the no wake zone. What is nice is when anchored the table has seating for 4 and/or 2+2-3 with the afts electrically fold out lounge. Im 6'4" and am not comfortable sitting at the helm mostly due to the visibility having to look through the w/s rail and so I stand virtually the entire time which puts me in a position to have to look back and sideways toward my guests. Sitting in the 3 seats facing forward while on plane gives a view point that doesnt do it justice, The fold down bolsters do help sitters with a better view and we leave them down. Leaving the center windshield open lets the helm breath while shutting it somewhat quiets the area and assists conversation.
  12. I had an entirely new outdrive installed in March, '17. It appears that the outdrive is showing signs of the same or similar failure but it could be altogether different. When lowered into the water rainbows of oil appear on the water surface. Theres heavy oil migrating thru the transom to underneath the engine on the same side. How long is the warranty for Volvo outdrives? It was bought directly from them and installed by an approved dealer and Volvo certified mechanic.
  13. For what its worth, late but with hopefully helpful information. Websters Marina -122 opposite side of the bridge from the very popular center of SML at Bridgewater Marina. $10 to launch. Other places are Crazy Horse Marina.
  14. It would be to hard to laugh or cry about how this thread as led to this post about our boating experience. 20k deer were put towards a trailer and repairs in this one instance. 12k deer was covered by insurance. 4 months later and 4 short trips on the water and the boat is in the same condition as it was before I started down this road. Oil film on water and outdrive oil migrating to under the starboard engine. This isnt a complaint or a tale of woe. Its the stark reality of owning a big Volvo on Smith Mountain Lake and the challenges of finding a reliable technician who can do good work. Even if I admit to this first boat being like drinking water out of a fire hose its telling how our experience of depending on people who represent themselves as knowing what they do when it comes to fixing boat problems has led us to this point of dropping the boating experience. All I ever did was to follow SOP with maintenance and drive it. But No Mas. Rentals only.
  15. A Volvo mechanic pulled the starboard out drive and found a rusted hulk, no oil, a blown bellows, and a deformed oil seal gasket. That explains the heavy oil underneath the engine. Ive kept the preventative maintenance intervals at the recommended spec of two years but will likely have it done every season now as insurance to avoid costlier repairs.One new out drive later and the engine overheat situation still needs to be addressed. He can see bubbles migrating thru clear hoses he installed to the sea water pump indicating an air leak somewhere between the transom and the pump. How rare is that! Since Im at a home dock every time the drive gets pulled a trailer has to be found along with a place to park it. So far so good. But the long term prospects may include buying a trailer, something I was hoping to avoid. The only good that has come out of this is Ive finally found a mechanic worth his salt and will be on the water in time for good weather. Ive arranged for an adjuster to survey the damaged pieces but have resigned myself to him finding wear and tear items were responsible.
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