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About ChappyMike

  • Birthday 05/07/1986

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    Orange County, Ca

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  1. Here are some videos: Port Engine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzcEVLPOeZI Starboard Engine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b_3ffEX4lg Port Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ4C9fBnoAU Starboard Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgOH3_P81M0
  2. My 2003 Signature 280 has twin MerCruiser 5.0 EFI motors, both with right around 485 hours on each. Ever since the day we took delivery of the boat, I felt like the engines both sound completely different. While OUT OF THE WATER, the port engine sounds like it runs 200-300 RPM lower than the starboard engine, but you don't notice it in the water unless you look closely at the gauge. While IN the water, the port engine sounds like it has a much louder "exhaust sound" to it. From the INSIDE of the boat, the port engine sounds like it has a "whine" or "wearing" sound to it. I was told it could be a pulley or the alternator bearings. With the engine hatch closed, the starboard engine is virtually silent. The port "whine" is noticeable as soon as you fire it up. Boat is out of the water now and in storage for the winter, so I'm able to access everything a little easier. I have videos, both inside and outside of the boat - I'll try to get those posted. Any ideas of where to start?
  3. I think he might be referring to the one on top of the actual aluminum holding tank that indicated the waste level. If I remember right, it's 6-8" in diameter with short "teeth" around the outside, and a few wires connected to it. On my last Signature, we had to replace the holding tank and I didn't even bother putting the indicator in the new one. Our current Sig has the original tank but the indicator doesn't work. I'd be interested to know if anyone has successfully been able to remove it and if so, what the fix is.
  4. Thanks again for the info! We will probably go up in July or August - we don't mind the crowds and I'm comfortable anchoring if need be. I'll be looking up possible reservation spots for the weekend and then hope to get mooring balls during the week. We're taking the winter to better prep the boat with VHF, GPS/Radar, all maintenance, and a few updates. Can't get here soon enough!
  5. Thanks for the info! Sorry, I meant launching in Bellingham, not Bellevue. I'm hoping to avoid some of the current-prone areas like you talked about. We plan on getting a good chart book, as well as installing a chart plotter with bottom mapping (gives me a reason to upgrade!). What's the weather like during June, July, August? We don't mind some crowds or staying on the hook, but just looking for temps and typical winds. From what I've seen on Youtube videos and in photos, the place always looks so calm!
  6. Hello All! Been an active member of this site for a few years now, but sadly never scrolled down past "Boat Talk" to see the boards based on location! We relocated to Portland last year from California and have a 280 Signature on the Columbia. After finally ironing out a few issues once we got the boat in the water, we finally had a good ending to our boating season. Hauling out in about a month for a winter storage, but will be back on the Columbia in April. We got talking to a fellow PNW boater this weekend and he suggested trailering out boat to Bellevue and heading to the San Juan Islands for a week or so. I've spent the past 48 hours consumed in researching the islands and it is officially a MUST for us next summer. Does anyone have recommendations? Any one planning a trip next summer and want to buddy up? What's the water/weather/tides/current like in July/August? Thanks in advance and already counting down to next summer...
  7. +1 on anchoring early. When we did 9 nights on Lake Powell, we anchored for 8 of them, and 5 of them had monsoon storms. We were always anchored by 4:00 (just in time for happy hour!) and had at least 4 more hours of daylight. Give yourself plenty of clearance for swing. If you're not dealing with a heavy current or tides and you're in a protective cove, you could be in for a great nights sleep (once the worrying stops!). We always switch our batteries to HOUSE (#2) as soon as we stop for any length of time. This ensures you keep your starting batteries isolated and charged. I would try to avoid turning the batteries to off in case there is an emergency in the middle of the night and you need lights/power in a hurry. You don't want to be tripping over things to get the batteries back on.
  8. We used to do this trip quite a few times a year. We've since moved to the Pacific Northwest and Catalina trips are ALWAYS missed. Here's a few words of advice: 1) Check weather ahead of time. Sometimes, Catalina looks like a stones throw away because it's so clear. Sometimes, the fog rolls in and things get scary. We've made the crossing in extremely dense fog (200 foot visibility) and I will never do it again (we do NOT have radar). It CAN be done if you go slow, but it doesn't make for a fun crossing. 2) Check for Santa Ana winds. If the Santa Ana's are blowing, DON'T GOT. Just do some Google searches of Avalon Harbor and Santa Ana winds. The winds blow directly into the harbor and after blowing for 25 miles across the open ocean, the harbor gets nasty. 3) The easiest way to get to/from the shore is on a dingy, but they DO offer a shore boat service. I believe it's $4-5 each person, each way, so it adds up quickly. If you're regularly going to go to the island, I'd invest in a dingy. You can call the shore boat on Channel 9 and they will pick you up within 5 minutes. 4) Not sure if you're staying overnight on your boat, but if so, they do offer on shore shower/bathroom facilities. 5) Memorial Day to Labor Day is the hardest time to get a mooring in Avalon Harbor. Two Harbors (for a 24' boat) usually has vacancy year-round. 6) Try the Buffalo Milk drinks! They were created on the island and worth a taste. There is a TON of shopping, eating and drinking that can be done in Avalon. It's a very lively city and although it's less that 30 miles from Los Angeles, you feel like you're in another world. Two Harbors (opposite end of the island) is much more quiet, with only one restaurant/bar and a small shop. There's lots of hiking trails and the water is crystal clear. Let me know if you have any more questions!
  9. ANOTHER update...Problem was NOT solved! Took the boat out again a few weeks ago and had the same issue, got up on plane then the starboard engine kept cutting out. Sounded fine when running, then RPMs would drop to 600 then go back to 3500, then drop again. Eventually, they would keep fluttering and die out. Jumped down in the engine room and looks like there is a timing sensor on the lower part of the motor/crankshaft that runs up the front of the motor and ties into a main engine wiring harness. Well, the wires, which are wrapped in the plastic loom, were rubbing on a pulley. It must have been rubbing for a while because it wore through the plastic loom and was rubbing on the wires directly, going THROUGH the protective coating on the wire and causing them to short. This short, being a sensor wire, was throwing off timing to the engine and causing it to cut out/stall. Lots of poking around through this whole process but glad that it was a relatively simply fixed. I've got the wires taped up, the loom taped up, and everything zip-tied out of the way. Been running perfectly since. Thanks for all your help along the way!
  10. I can't remember exact fuel economy, but I know I was impressed with it. Yes, it has a self bailing cockpit, so it'll drain when it rains. We loved it because it was very easy to hose out. The engine hatch is also very big on this boat, so you have access to almost everything without having to be come a contortionist. In my opinion, it handled bigger water very well. We were being chased by a thunderstorm one afternoon and had nine people on board. We were easily holding almost 50 mph in some decent size chop as the storm was on our tail. Other times in chop we've just plowed through no problem.
  11. We went from an 18' Sea Ray to a 2000 230 SSi and it was the best decision we ever made. The layout of the 230 is amazing. The cockpit feels roomy and deep, the boat is stable and doesn't rock, and there's plenty of seating. We had a 5.7 Volvo set up (single prop) and the boat performed flawlessly. The large fuel tank was perfect for us and meant we didn't have to go back to the fuel dock each day. Our 18' only had a 30 gallon tank...we barely lasted one full day!
  12. Came across this just now...looks like this might be what I'll need. https://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?name=marine-air-envirocomfort-air-conditioning-with-reverse-cycle-heat-retrofit-kit&path=-1|2061076|2061077|2061083&id=1848284
  13. Yeah mine is much bigger/clunkier looking than the one above. I couldn't find a tag or model number on it, but didn't dig as deep as I probably should. I believe the 280's came with either a 9k or 12k BTU unit. The thermostat on the boat is the older one than pictured above. I'd love a newer one if it covered the hole from the old one. My main concern is making sure the water intake pump (located back in the engine compartment) will work with the main unit. I'm hoping I don't have to switch that, as the one I have is working just fine.
  14. When we purchased our 280 Signature earlier this year, we knew the A/C needed to be replaced. Luckily we live in the Pacific Northwest, so the amount of times we actually NEEDED the A/C could be counted on one hand. As one of my winter projects, however, I'd like to give into replacing the unit. The boat currently has the factory A/C from 2003...the brand is Marine Airrrrr and it's ducted and plumbed from the factory. I've been trying to find a direct replacement but can't find any model/serial info on the unit itself. Does anyone happen to know what model is typically in these boats? Also, anyone have experience changing this out? Is there another brand that is a good "plug and play" replacement? I'm trying to avoid swapping out ductwork, plumbing, and any electrical. Thanks!
  15. Here's a photo of the inline filter. The one West Marine sold me (after giving them my engine serial #) was different and had screw-on fittings at the end. If these are not OEM and not needed, I may remove as you said. One less thing to go wrong. Thanks!
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