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    Lake Norman
  1. Nautical

    Used Boats -- Is salt water a deal-killer?

    I broker boats on Lake Norman (thanks for your comments Cap't Zac!) and on our larger boats we get inquires all of the time from coastal folks. They seek out our older, larger boats that have never seen salt water. They're fully depreciated so you get a great price, and since they've never been exposed to salt water, they get to start life over. I guess the theory is that the things affected by the salt water and air will now deteriorate in line with and as much as the rest of the boat for a nice, balanced aging process.
  2. Nautical

    246 SSI

    We didn't like the ride or the engine noise level. Tested it when the lake was calm and our salesman was louder than we thought.
  3. Nautical

    246 SSI

    I just took delivery of a 2016 246SSI with a tower and a 300 hp Volvo/Penta Gen V engine (closed cooling). I'm hoping it will grow on me because I must have been spoiled by my Bennington pontoon with ESP. I'm having serious buyer's remorse. So much so that if someone in the Lake Norman, NC area is shopping for one of these, they should check with me first and save some deer.
  4. Nautical

    Good Realtor?

    This is a 4 year old post but they could check with me. I'm on the lake and can even take clients to see waterfront homes by boat.
  5. Nautical

    Look to buy 2015 223 Vortex VRX

    The choices, as far as I know, are twin 200 or twin 250s. I wasn't aware of twin 150s, especially on a 24 footer.
  6. Nautical

    Marina Sunk m boat

    If at all possible I would avoid involving your own insurance company. File your claim with the marina's insurance company directly. Your insurance guy most likely already knows who that is if the marina won't cooperate. The end result will be the same either way but the advantage for you filing directly with the marina's insurance company is that down the road you won't have that claim against YOU and on your "record." Otherwise, years down the road when you apply for insurance, a claim against your insurance, EVEN IF THEY GET REIMBURSED BY THE MARINA'S INSURANCE will show as YOU making a claim and could cost you a higher premium or even a denial. I learned this the hard way. I had one of those Gerber pressure toilets that were recalled but not before mine exploded. Yes, I know I'm taking about a homeowner's but insurance is insurance and most likely works the same way. Anyway, Gerber said I could file directly but that it would take a long time for me to get paid and they recommended I file on my homeowner's policy and let the two insurance companies work it out. Yes I did get paid right away but now that claim is attached to MY name and shows up whenever I go to buy insurance. This knowledge has already paid off. My son got T-boned by a driver that ran a red light and I got rear ended by a lady on a cell phone. I filed both claims with THEIR insurance and neither is on my record and I was fully reimbursed, including rental cars and loss of value (since a Carfax will still show the vehicle as involved in an accident and repaired, the value is permanently damaged).
  7. Nautical

    Look to buy 2015 223 Vortex VRX

    I was going to start a thread about my test drive of a 243 Vortex this week but I'll just post here because my experience doesn't warrant it's own thread anyway. The one I drove had twin 200s. It was factory limited to a certain rpm because of break-in requirements but even with that I got it up to 49 mph so if I were considering one of these I would not bother fighting for the twin 250s. The twin 200s seemed powerful enough. Overall it was not bad. Except for the standard Chappy look and finish, everything was different. The first thing I noticed was the different sound. VERY different sound. It's actually kind of cool until you get underway because anything above idle or no wake speed and that noise takes over. It was the loudest boat of all of the brands and boats I've test driven in the past couple of years. Even the salesman didn't try to defend it. In fact he added had the bimini been open it would have been even worse. The noise was the big negative. All of the rest was just different. It has snappy acceleration and you have to restrain yourself in turns or you might look around to discover that you lost all of your passengers! The ride and handling of wake was better on this one than any of the other 24 foot Chappys so no complaints there. However, slow speed maneuvering was very odd. I found myself trying to find "center" a lot and passing it each time. There is little to no reference unless you're patient and wait to see what direction the boat goes in. Of course it's much better under power and the boat can spin in it's own footprint so again it's just "different" and I'm sure one could get used to it. I'm glad I tried it though because now I can get it off the list and move on.
  8. Nautical

    New purchase

    I've bought tons of cars (tons - ha! - - ONE car weighs more than a ton but you know what I mean!) but only one boat. I do have a lot of experience shopping though as I'm already shopping for my second boat (have to sell the first one first though). I've learned a lot over the past two years. Brick makes excellent points about the year end deal not automatically being the best way to go. I always seek out the year end/leftover deal but I believe the deal needs to be super stellar to offset Brick's points. I've been shopping Chap, Regal and Cobalt and have received decent quotes on Chap and Regal without even pressing too hard. However, I've seen and heard about some great deals at boat shows so that might be a good compromise for buying at the tip of the season AND getting the best deal. Boat shows put both shopper AND dealer in a frenzy (like an auction). As long as you're not looking at a hard to get hot seller, then you should do well (ie: those Yamaha 24 foot jet boats right now). With any kind of shopping it's always best to have a solid short list of both dealers (much harder to do with boats) and brands. Letting the salesperson know you have other options is about the strongest shopping position you could achieve. They sharpen their pencils a lot better for people who have other options than they do for a price shopper they KNOW wants only their boat.
  9. Nautical

    My next boat....

    I'm sure I couldn't even afford the "dingy" they had on that thing. That looked like a $300k boat itself.
  10. Nautical

    Test Drove a 277 SSX

    I wasn't too impressed with them (Cobalt). Even if I trust that reputation and all of the good I hear about them, they seem kind of sterile and stodgy. I'm pretty much narrowed down to Chaparral and Regal. Stick to your guns. The only power we have is to walk out. Once they know you won't do it, you've lost.
  11. Nautical

    Test Drove a 277 SSX

    Hey MonkeySeeAll. If you think that dealer is bad go a couple of miles west on 150 and talk to the Cobalt/Bennington Dealer. I think there is a dress code to get in there. Prices are nuts and there seems to be little justification for it besides greed. Materials costs are stable or even down as are fuel costs and labor has been down since the 70s. They're just taking advantage of brisk sales. We're our own worst enemy but hey, when you want something, you want something so I get it. I've been trying to get a test drive on a 257 and a 244 there for weeks now. Between the 150 bridge work, their reluctance to even look at my trade, their broken forklift and the borderline rude (in his defense it's probably because they're so busy) salesman I'm hooked up with I started looking at Regals. The local economy is pretty strong right now making it tough on anyone trying to get a decent deal on any large ticket item. If they want to be stubborn, you need to be stubborn-er (is that a word?). Maybe even expand your search area. Dealers won't mind crossing territories when it comes to blowing out leftovers. Of course if it's a 2016 you're after then you're at their mercy. Another strategy might be hinting that they're losing the sale to another brand or dealer and wait for them to contact you. This strong, local economy isn't going to last forever and their attitude will change.
  12. Nautical

    Any new establishments

    I'm on the lake now. I moved here full time a couple of months ago. The lake is a little on the low side right now. One of the shoals doesn't even need a sign because you can see it. There is construction on the 150 bridge that will be a minor inconvenience for boating but a major one if you need to drive over it. Some road backups will cost you an hour of idle/creep because it's single lane only. I can't say from your perspective if anyplace is new since they're all new to me but with the cost of property, I doubt you'll ever see a new restaurant or bar. I like Port City the best so far followed by the Blue Parrot. The Rusty Rudder is always good if you like loud, crazy and live music. Best gas price by far is the Westport Marina. I just paid $3.65 for 89 non ethanol a few days ago. Non-ethanol at the road stations is $3.29 to $3.39 so no more gas cans for me (for as long as they keep that price gap that close!). And they're open 7 days a week till 7 or 8 pm. Don't nominate me for "Admiral" or any rank for that matter. I test drove a Chap 246SSI last year followed by a Manitou triple pontoon with a 250hp and it beat the Chap up pretty bad. But instead of buying the Manitou I ended up with a Bennington thinking it would perform as well and I'm left a little disappointed so I'm looking at Chap again. Maybe I'll try a Sunesta or their new jet boat. Either way, the only rank I qualify for is maybe "Joker." I always wanted a fiberglass boat but I went with being "practical" instead of following my gut so here I am. I can fix it though. The Bennies are very popular and I have a good configuration so I should be able to correct my mistake by next season. We can meet up and you can show me your Chappy though. It's nice to see them used and not sitting on the showroom floor. I'm way up D channel, almost to the Williamson Road Bridge. That reminds me . . . this might be new for you: Vinny's is gone. It's now Eddie's and it's more high end. I've heard some people are disappointed because they miss the laid back atmosphere and cheap seafood Vinny's offered. Still no dock though.
  13. Nautical

    Help with 1st boat purchase

    I finally had a chance to test drive a 246 SSI. The floorplan is nice but there were some minor issues. Minor but they made for a bad showing for a test drive. I'm good at seeing through things because I know that stuff happens but right at the get-go, the salesman saw the fuel gauge on empty and tried to add fuel It was already full. The gauge was broken. Then we pull out and I mention that at some point during the ride I'd like to see the bimini up. He stopped right then to open it. It took three of us to secure those front poles in the slot. I guess that will break in over time but it wasn't fun. So then we get going and I discover a couple more gauges are not working. The drive trim indicator was one and I can't remember the other one. They weren't just dead like the fuel gauge, they were jumping around, constantly giving false readings (at both extremes). When I pointed that out he said "this is our demonstrator - I'll mention it to the techs." This boat was a 2014 with only a few hours on it. However, it bothered me that he brought up as an excuse that the boat was getting used. I do plan on using it too!! The rest of the test drive went well. The boat rode nice and handled well. Today we're going to be testing a high performance triple tube pontoon with a 250. Being our first boat and all we want to give everything an equal chance at our deer. I already know the Chap will win for having a head (yes, pontoons have porta potties but would your wife feel comfortable on a boat full of people squatting on what amounts to a toddler's training potty inside a magicians curtain in the middle of a boat full of people?). I also like the way you can close up the front for that sudden change of the weather. One thing I did notice is that it was difficult to try and hold a conversation while underway. It was pretty noisy at any speed above idle.
  14. Nautical

    Help with 1st boat purchase

    Thanks for the responses. What I take from this is that the 246 SSI might be the more logical choice over the 244 Sunesta Extreme. The only reason I started looking at the Extreme was because of that 2 year leftover I found. Even though Chap did a good job with the design and features of the Extreme, it doesn't seem like it was taken seriously by wakeboard enthusiasts and was too expensive otherwise which created a situation where some dealers were stuck with them. However, even with a hefty discount, I see now it might not be the best choice for me after all. As for a Chap I./O vs a pontoon, the jury is still out. I'm going to let some test drives help me make the final decision. Thanks again.
  15. Nautical

    Good Realtor?

    I know a good guy but I'm not sure if he wants his name up on a forum. Feel free to PM me.