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About Billy

  • Birthday 08/23/1982

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    Woodbridge, VA

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  1. Billy

    Adding Arch - 2004 Signature 270

    That hard top blends with the old body style surprisingly well! I'm assuming you had to have a custom canvas made for it.
  2. Billy

    New Chap owner ...almost

    The first time I drove a boat was when I was eleven. It was a friend's 32' Wellcraft St. Tropez. I piloted that thing all the way from Occoquan on the Potomac River to Washington D.C., and back. (It was an adventure, I'll say that much, and it started my love of boats.) . I wouldn't worry about starting off with a larger runabout. I've found from experience that bigger runabouts tend to be easier to handle. The counter-rotating propellers really keep the whole thing under control when at the dock and when cruising. Chap makes a really smooth running deep-vee hull that tracks straight and tames the 2' and 3' waves. Enjoy it!
  3. Billy

    1995 signature 27

    Well that makes a world of difference!
  4. Billy

    1995 signature 27

    Cello- I hope that I don't sound harsh, but this boat has all of the markings of a potential nightmare. If the owner wasn't paying his storage bills, it is also likely that he did not have enough money to sufficiently maintain it either. There are so many expensive things that can be wrong with that boat. You can be dealing with anything that I listed in my previous post, or worse! They told you that the boat wasn't winterized for two years?? It could have a cracked block, a cracked coolant line for the genny or A/C. These are problems that can potentially sink the boat. (I've seen it happen) Dont forget, the shop has an old boat and an unpaid bill. They can say whatever they want when they're trying to sell the boat. Once you give them your $6K and they sign the title over, it's your problem. If I were in your shoes, I would keep the money and run!
  5. Billy

    1995 signature 27

    Time has to be factored in. If you plan to do your own repairs and the boat needs lots of work, be ready to spend weekends wrenching instead of sitting on the hook with some cold ones. Money and/or time is something that always needs to be factored in. Are you buying the boat to enjoy, or as a new project? As far as that trailer goes, see if you can find a serial number. I believe trailers have titles just like any other vehicles. If you can't find a serial number on the trailer, the title will have it. Call the manufacturer and see if they can give you the specs. As another poster mentioned, that trailer might be too small for that boat. For a 27' cruiser, I would expect a tri-axle trailer. I have a 265 SSi with a tandem axle like that one, and I have frequent wheel bearing failures. I am guessing that the original owner didn't buy enough trailer for my boat. As a result, I don't trailer it long distances. That boat and all of the tight corners at the launch ramp put LOTS of stress on the wheel bearings. If you buy that boat, you should learn how to replace bearings if you don't already know. If you plan to travel far, possibly upgrade the trailer. If you are storing the boat near the ramp, and don't plan on going on any long trips, it should get you by. (Should)
  6. Billy

    1995 signature 27

    One other thing to consider, and there may be some here who disagree, is that for the most part, boats are not like cars in that they have "good" years and "bad" years. You tend to get "good" boats or "bad" boats regardless of the year, brand, or model purchased. (Of course, brands with a reputation for quality statistically tend to have less "problem" boats than those that have more of a reputation for price.) . Boats aren't mass produced like cars are, so you get more variation in the shape of the hull, the alignment of the engines, the installation quality of the various systems and components, etc. I have known people who have bought a brand new boat and spent most of their first or second season with the boat laid up for warranty repairs, or problems that just won't go away. I have known people who have bought older boats who never had a problem other than regular maintenance and the odd repair. As far as I am concerned, buying a used boat that was maintained by a fanatical owner who retained all of their service records is as good or possibly better than buying a new boat with a warranty. With the used boat (and requisite fanatical owner), you get to see if there was a track record of reliability and regular maintenance. You also get to see if that owner was constantly having to fix a recurring problem. That's what I did when I purchased my boat, and I haven't had any real problems other than items that were just simply overlooked. (My boat mechanic with gray hair had no problem diagnosing and fixing the problem, and I was on my way.) On the other side of the coin, I would look carefully at an old boat that is being considered simply because it is a "good price", unless you are EXTREMELY handy. (I.E. you have no problem tearing down an engine block and putting it back together. Also, having enough knowledge of carpentry to remove and replace rotten bulkheads and stringers, plus enough knowledge of fiberglass installation to re-glass the carpentry work when finished.) Some people are just trying to get rid of a problem that doesn't seem to have a solution. Boats are lots of fun. I've been around them all my life and love them. ......but they really can become "a hole in the water into which money is thrown" if extreme care is not taken during the selection and purchase of a boat.
  7. Billy

    1995 signature 27

    The first thing to do is to find a competent and reputable boat mechanic. Preferably someone with gray hair. The second thing is to do as much preventative maintenance as possible. -Find out where all of the impellers are and replace them. (In the engine and in the drive if applicable for that year) -Check oil pump and coolant pump, replace if necessary -Replace all hoses and belts -Pull Drive -New Gimbal bearing and bellows -Align Outdrive -New Zincs -New Spark Plugs and Wires -Have the carb looked at. Rebuild if needed. -Have the risers looked at. (Especially if the boat was in salt water) Replace if needed. -If you have closed cooling, replace the heat exchanger. -For Generator, replace coolant impeller, have the whole unit looked at and serviced. -For A/C, replace coolant impeller, have the whole unit looked at and serviced. -Check the hoses and valves for the toilet and waste tank. Make sure everything is tight. -Get Boat /U.S. tow insurance. Its cheap. Of course, you might not need to do ALL of the above immediately, depending on how well it was maintained by the previous owner. But it would be a good idea to at least budget for them over the next few years. Being stranded is not fun. However, the items below are not negotiable. Almost every new boater forgets them. I recommend making a checklist and pasting it to your steering wheel. -PUT THE PLUG IN BEFORE YOU LAUNCH. HAVE SOMEONE ASK YOU IF YOU DID IT, EVEN IF THEY SEE YOU DO IT! -TAKE THE SAFETY STRAPS OFF BEFORE YOU LAUNCH. PUT THEM IN A VISIBLE LOCATION. -SHUT OFF THE MOTOR AND RAISE THE THE THE OUTDRIVE BEFORE PULLING THE BOAT OUT OF THE WATER!
  8. Billy

    2005 Chaparral 350 opinions

    I don't have a 350, but based on talking to several people who do own them or have owned them, the 8.1's are preferable to the 6.2's. This is especially true if you are switching to an express because you are unhappy with the performance of your aft-cabin boat.
  9. Billy

    2001 Chaparral 350

    Toddk- As you probably know, most boats have one problem or another. A friend of mine has a 34 ft Tiara that wound up with a cracked hull due to a factory defect. At the same time, I see plenty of old, faded Bayliners still in regular use by their respective owners. That being said, even the very best boats can have a problem and relatively "cheap" boats can last a long time. If I was in your shoes, I would do the following: 1. Get the boat surveyed before buying. 2. Ask the previous owner for maintenance receipts. Billy
  10. Thanks for the help, guys. Sounds like the 496 HO is an awesome engine!
  11. Hey guys, we are looking to move up this coming year, and we were looking into a used sig 310/330, but the larger costs of ownership are making us have some second thoughts. So, we are also considering staying in the large runabout category and one of the possibilities is a 275 SSi. Our 265 has the 375 hp 496 Mag, which we are happy with, but we are hoping to find a 275 SSI with a 496 HO or volvo 8.1 430 hp engine. What is the difference in maintenance and reliability for the Merc 496 HO/volvo 8.1 430 hp vs. the standard 8.1 (375hp/380hp) variants? Do they need any periodic valve adjustment or cam maintenance? Do they need bottom end and top end re-builds at 300 to 500 hours like the 525? Thanks for any information you guys can give me! (Especially if you currently own a boat with one of these engines).
  12. Billy

    Back into boating with a 2001 235SSI

    Regardless of what the horsepower rating is, the 350 is a great engine for that size boat. One thing to check on is the size of the carburetor. A 4-barrel carburetor will significantly improve the top end performance of that boat (3400 rpm to WOT). The 2 barrel will be fine as well, but won't quite give you as much punch at high speeds. However, either way, I'd say you got a good deal.
  13. Billy

    Corsa exhaust on a 265ssi

    My boat is 8 years old and has 300 hours. I haven't had any problems with the Corsa exhaust, and I love the sound. The only thing that would sound better is TWO big blocks with big cams and open exhaust. If you like the way the boat performs, you will really like it with the big block. It's a heavy boat, and even heavier with fuel, water, gear, and passengers. The 496 puts the boat on plane fully loaded with only 3/4 of the throttle applied. Where as my last boat, a 23 footer with a 5.7L v8 had to be floored to get on plane when fully loaded. The big block burns more gas if you want to cruise over 3300 rpm, but keep it around 3000 to 3200 and it gets pretty good fuel economy. Keep in mind that the small block (even a stroker) will need to work harder at 3000 RPM than the big block would. The big block's torque curve is similar to that of a diesel. it has loads of torque at low RPM, (1000 rpm to 3500 rpm) where as the small block makes most of its torque at the mid to high range of the engines speed (3500 rpm to 5200 rpm). This is why a big block gets similar fuel economy to a small block at cruising speeds. (Again, i emphasize "cruising speeds". ) If you want to save fuel, spring for a diesel. Can you tow it with an empty tank of gas to save weight? What if you also drain the fresh water and waste tanks? I don't think there is a huge difference in weight between the 8.1 and 6.2. And the difference in performance would be worth it.
  14. Billy

    2014 19ft H20 F&S

    Despite my sympathies for you, you did break rule #1 when buying a new boat. Test drive and look over with a fine tooth comb. You wouldn't buy a 32K car without test driving, would you?
  15. Billy

    Wake surfing behind a 256 SSI

    Woah. It may be inconsiderate....but imagine how much fuel that monster is burning just to have some thrills. Not to mention the fact that the two behind the boat are inhaling diesel fumes and CO. It's amazing some of the stuff you see out there.