AFDD

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  1. Update. The dealer said he always disconnects the mercathode when the boats are in sea pens or stored out of the water, seems the Eddie currents may have caused the blistering & corrosion on the legs as the leg touches the Seapen skin thus creating a circuit. Go figure, both owners have tried to do the right thing only to be caught out, who would have thought isolationing the boat from the water would create these issues. Had Chaparral designed the 327 with service access in mind there's a fair chance this issue would be a whole lot easier, but as an engineer I'm appalled at the design.
  2. Well here is the outcome, after a lot off research and inspection costs both mechanical and a survey this just isn't my boat. I've written it up as a bit of a story so maybe this will assist others in there search for the right boat. Location is obvious and dollar are A$. A tale of two boats - Chaparral 327 SSX Both boats were of USA manufacture in 2012, both identical in specifications and endowed with dual Mercruiser 8.2 litre stern drives with bravo 3 legs. Both engines are closed loop cooled (fresh water) which includes manifolds. Both were delivered through the same Australian dealer. These boats are day boats, featuring a capacity of up to 16 people, they feature concealed heads, hot water shower facilities, double bunks, cooking facilities and more, there's a genuine opportunity for these boats to live permanently on the water. Whilst strictly not a trailerable boat they are seeming a towable boat in the USA. Boat A was delivered to Melbourne, anti-fouled and lived in Geelong for nearly 18 months, it then lived in dry stack storage in Melbourne. Boat B was delivered to Sydney and lived in a Seapen, it then travelled north to the Sunshine Coast still in its Seapen. At around 4- 5 years of age boat A received a motor out service which necessitates removing the entire rear section of the boat in order to access the internal transom plates, the corrosion on the transom plates being the reason the motors had to be removed. The total cost was reported to be in excess of $30K, as "while you at it you may as well"? Boat B which lived in a Seapen was showing signs of similar transom plate corrosion at around 5 years of age, it to was in need of an engine out service to replace the transom plates. Similar scenario similar costs expected. Environments; Boat A lives in relative dry mild climate. Boat B is a hot humid climate, loadS more train. Discussions:- You could assume boat B which who's hull and drive train were protected from the elements should not have suffered the same corrosion. Service agents reported that as the transom plates were subjected to seawater and subsequently allowed to dry that it is susceptible to corrosion. The legs on boat B were blistered, indication corrosion under the paint. The transom plates on boat B we're exhibiting a white powder indicating corrosion underneath. Services agents reported visible external aluminium oxide (corrosion) would suggest a significantly higher level of corrosion could be expected inside the transom plate. Failure of the transom plate in respected of corrosion would lead to the ingress of water into the engine bay, initially slight, not simply making a mess but potentially sinking the boat should it be significant it also has the potential of wetting expensive electronic components with subsequent costly repairs. - not good! Who's responsible? In the first instance the motor manufacturer must be considered responsible, why would components be specified that will react in such a fast manner with seawater given the component is built to work in such an environment? In the second instance the boat manufactures can be liable for poor specification and secondly bad design which Requires such a major amount if work in order to access a failed component. (Cost cutting) After 2-3 years all warranties are void. In both cases the owners were reported as caring, sparing no expense on maintenance. Boat B living in a Seapen was fitted with fresh water flush facility, but service personnel doubted it would adequately flush the legs. Secondly living in a Seapen made it virtually impossible to flush the legs by fitting ears. The hull was in excellent condition. Comments suggested that flushing from the ears may not be possible by normal tap pressure, suggesting that such an exercise maybe futile anyway. Boat A could have had its engines flushed from the legs, but did it, boat A also did not have fresh water flush fitted. Suggestion were that had either boat lived in seawater full term that the transom plates would remain wet and possibly not be subjected to oxygen which enhances the corrosion process. Did the seapen accelerate the corrosion, due to some form of electrolysis, did the humid wet environment mean the hull and leg were nearly always wet or at least damp? The manufacturers representative suggested that 5 years is about right for this level of failure? Would that suggest it is an acceptable failure? It was also noted that all the boats he delivered had this problem and it was a when not if failure! So what is the conclusion, should both owners simply avoided dry storage in an attempt to reduce exposure to seawater, was it there attempts to look after either boat that caused the rapid failure of the transom plates. Does a Seapen create an environment that enhances corrosion? The legs were in poor condition why? The manufactures rep suggested he altered the polarity of an anti corrosion device when boats were in seapens. A common element is that both boats are exposed to seawater, removed from that environment and allowed to air dry, boat A by being totally out of the water in a dry under cover storage. Boat B having a skin* between the hull, (legs) and the seawater. (*A pump removes the seawater from the skin, rope between the hull and the skin encourages a dry environment or does it?) Is the motor manufacturer at fault for poor quality in other words the transom plate was not fit for operation in this environment! Was the boat manufacture guilty if cost cutting, using inferior parts? Did the delivering dealer under specify the boats for the Australian environment? Were the owners careless in not adequately flushing the motors? Result is a lots of unnecessary costs in order to fix a problem, unhappy owners, significant loss of value in the boat due to high maintenance, happy service agents? Delivering dealer suggested after the repair the issue maybe resolved for at least another 5 years. He wasn't sure? Ok, what's your take? Foot note: At the time of writing both boats have been on the market for 6 months, boat owner A is adamant and holding a high price - he wants his money back. Owner B is desperate to sell having found out he has a problem. After paying for a survey on boat B I walked away, shattered as I just wanted this! Lovely boats, but liability isn't an objective I'm seeking.
  3. I checked out a more drive line related forum and the issue is very real with many claiming the mercruiser were fine in fresh water but abimsal in salt, I can only hope later models had this resolved but the rig I'm looking at is 5 years old has seacore yet suffered the salt build up and transom plate failure. This boat spent 18months in salt and 4 years is dry stack, the dealer advised that's about right?
  4. I'm still being told it's the transom plate that fails and weaps' necessitating engine out for replacement, another mechanic said it was normal 5+ years on the mercruiser 8.2?
  5. Ok, I'd heard the hose gets compressed due to salt crystals, but local dealer said he had an in situ fix ? He then said that as you noted the transom plate will still corrode where a hose connects and thus necissates removal to replace the transom plates. I can't quite understand how Mercury can in this day/age design such poor equipment. The dealers quoting $10k for both out, fix & service? Im yet to buy this boat so if this is necessary the $ go down.
  6. Hi, I'm just looking to buy one of these too. Have you heard if issues with the inside transom plate corroding? FYI the hour meters are in the tacho window.
  7. Local dealer principle has said nearly all the 327 SSX he sold required transom plate replacement due to failure where a hose passed through the hull. The 2012 model I'm looking; he's suggesting allow for engine out repairs $$$$ Is this a real reoccurring issue with the mercruiser installations cheers
  8. All a learning curve, seems Chapperal use a vinyl ester resin in the hull construction which reduces the likelihood of osmosis. good thing!
  9. Just in response to Iggy, good point, Mercury dealer was quite skeptical of boats in Sea pens which haven't been sealed, seems a clear epoxy is the aesthetic choice whereas a antifoul likely the better. Any issues with the Chapperal hulls wrt osmosis?
  10. I propose to have a full survey plus have Mercury inspect the drive line. The issue that's thrown me is the transom plate, the chaparral dealer has advised me that all the 327's he has seen suffer with corrosion where the hoses go through the transom plate with the only fix being engine removal, he also mentioned the Teflon seal but advised this can be rectified insitsu. With an estimated A$20k cost for engine removal & transom plate renewal I'm hoping to avoid this, or at very least price down my purchase. is this routine, is a 5/10 year engine out normal - I'd hope not? cheers
  11. Good morning. I'm new here so please excuse my ignorance. I'm currently negotiation to buy a 2012 - 327 SSX, the boat is fitted with twin mercruiser 8.2 DTS B3X stern drives. The boat has lived in a sea pen all its life and never anti fouled, it has been outdoors in a relatively humid environment, the boat appears to be in very good condition and has done only 210 hours, I have been in dialogue with the broker who has confirmed service history including a recent service this includes water pumps for both engines. A Chaparral dealer has warned of transom corrosion issues with the 8.2's on the 327, advising of connecting hose problems where the conections are cast to the transom plate and these corrode, particularly on boats kept in dry storage and used in salt water, apparently there is also an issue of Teflon seals being crushed by salt build up again causing over heating problems. His advise is allow for this repair which is an engine out and expensive. I guess my question to other 327 owners have you had these issues, is it a once off fix? I've read many test reports which are highly favorable of these boats. Are there any other issues I should be aware of as I'm buying a 5 year old boat, there are no warranties as you will imagine. The boat is in Queensland Australia. many thanks