covedog

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About covedog

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    Bainbridge Island WA
  1. Jud, The boat could very well be underpowered for how you plan to use it. - I personally didn't tow stuff with my 215, but I did alot of cruising with a big load of big people aboard and never had any trouble with holeshot, even though I had repropped with a 3b stainless to improve top end. I did install smart tabs which really improved holeshot, and overall performance as well. It sounds like a sweet boat for a sweet deal. I would guess that the right prop (like a mercury high 5 - although the prop gurus on this forum know more than me about this stuff) and smart tabs would definitely make a big difference in how the boat comes out of the water - and those upgrades are less money than a V8 boat, if total cost drives the final decision. My last thought is that, given the loads you're dealing with, a bigger hull with even bigger power would be the ultimate choice - 25' or bigger, if budget and logistics can accommodate. Covedog
  2. Another non-technical advantage is perception. Boat brokers and dealers I work with up here in the northwest say used boats with raw water cooled engines that have been in the salt are extremely hard to sell. I share the same perception - I wouldn't buy one.
  3. After first summer with my 99 searay 290, here's an update on how I like the boat and how different it is from my 215. First of all, I just got the word this week that my 215 is nearly sold and deal should close this week. I had worked with the local dealer on consignment and they got no results all summer, so I switched to a Searay dealer I met up in Bellingham a couple weeks ago and they really marketed the boat very well and got fast results. The local chap dealer has some work to do to more effectively sell consignment boats. So, it looks like my 215's next life will be a lake union runabout for a nice couple. For all you 215 owners, the Searay sales guy who conducted the seatrial told me that the 215's quality, handling and performance was outstanding and the boat literally sold itself. OK, I love the new cruiser. I do miss how easy and quick it was to get the 215 out on the water, the good looks and fuel efficiency, and the ease of starting a fuel injected engine, but the larger boat is better in every way we use the boat. First, and most important, the Admiral loves the layout and the seaworthiness of the boat, as well as the vacuflush. It handles heavier seas much better. Overnighting with 2 couples is very comfortable. I love having 2 engines. The spacious and well laid out cockpit makes a great happy hour venue at our float without leaving the dock. We leave the strataglass (much better than eisenglass) and canvas forward of the radar arch in place all the time and use the windshield vent for warm day cooling. I love the port and starboard gangways for accessing the bow - no messing with canvas to walk thru a windshield. An aft mooring cover quickly encloses the cockpit and combined with engine heat, makes for comfortable cold weather cruising, and keeps the rain out at the dock. I love having propane cooktop for cooking - since we're on batteries when on anchor (ahhh, it's nice to have a windlass). Also, my mechanic rigged a cool system for freshwater flushing the raw water system (engines are closed cooling) while the boat is at the dock in the water. She will also quietly cruise on plane (with full tabs) as low as 3200 rpm at 17 ktsph burning about 16 gph which is nice for social outings. I do need to conduct some speed trials to find best overall mpg efficiency which I suspect is probably more like 30 kts. So, bigger is better!
  4. Very nice looking and performing prop. I had a similar experience with my 215. I replaced the stock volvo alum 4b 19p with a volvo stainless 3b 21p. I was looking for better cruising performance and speed and was pleased with the result. Faster cruise speeds at rpm with same fuel burn, max speed up about 4 mph and no loss of holeshot. Those stainless props sure seem to bite the water more efficiently. Although I'm selling the 215 now, having upgraded to a Searay 290 twin engine, the previous Searay owner pointed out to me that the boat props had been upgraded to the same prop that you have and it performs very well.
  5. Welcome to the forum! I got into power boating a few years ago with a Chap 215. It turned out to be too small for how we use the boat now so I upgraded this spring. Biggest problem was in rough water, the boat was too small and light. And, no vacuflush for the admiral. Although I ended up with a 31' Searay, I was initially looking for a larger Chap like a 270 (virtually same specs as the previous 260 designation). Anyway, while looking to find the right boat I was able to seatrial a 240, a 270 and a 290. In moderate chop, the 240 was getting banged around very much like my 215 would have. The 270 handled the chop much better. So, if you ever find yourself in rough conditions, the larger the better. And, you will always want a bigger boat. Good luck with your boat search. And DO ALL THE DUE DILIGENCE. Don't skimp. Get a full survey done and a full mech inspection done. Ask around the marina to find the best guys for the job. And, be present for the entire survey. Surveyors will tell you stuff in person that might not end up in the survey report - and you get to learn a lot about the boat systems.
  6. What might work is that spray they use around the permiter of a house to control ants and termites - if they walk on it, it sticks to their feet and eventually gets transferred to their mouths and kills the little buggers. Might be tough on birds and other critters that hang out in roof structures, although I'm not particularly fond of birds that hang out on or over a boat.
  7. Thanks for all the kind kudos! Even though I've gone the Searay route, I still plan to keep participating in the Chap Owner's forum. You guys and gals are way more fun than the Searay Club!
  8. After last summer, the Admiral said we need a bigger boat! So, after much looking this winter and a few seatrials, I found and loved a super clean, low hour, 1999 Searay 290 twin which will be in my hands in mid-April. Compared to Chaps, she is more like a 310 with beam of 10' - 7", loa of about 31' and displacing 10500 dry. Sadly, the dealer is taking the 215 for consignment sale next week. I will miss her, but am definitely looking forward to more comfortable cruising capabilities.
  9. My local Chap dealer has one that's a fresh water boat that the've known and maintained since it was born. Value, condition and hours look very good. Volvo 5.7 dp. Any knowledge of this model and any helpful feedback? I'll have it surveyed and will seatrial in a couple weeks. Happy New Year to all fellow Chap owners!
  10. I have a volvo sx set up on my 215. Boat came with 21p 4b alum prop - didn't achieve appropriate rpm's at WOT in salt water (4200 plus or minus)- chap replaced with 19p 4b alum prop - max rpm's were perfect (4900) but too much rpm's at the same cruising rpm range you are describing (3200 and only 26 or 27 mph) . I replaced with volvo 21p 3b ss prop - found the overall sweet spot - 4900 at WOT, 3200 rpm achieves 30 mph (my favorite long distance cruising rpm and speed) - perfect - and burning very little gas. So, based on my barely adequate experience of 4 vs 3b props for efficient mid rpm cruising performance, I'd say 3 is better than 4 and ss better than alum. you might just try the same prop you have in a 21p vs your existing 19p. Also consider condition of your hull and outdrives - smooth and clean makes a huge difference in speed.
  11. OK, all it takes for me to consider upgrading my 215 (which sits in salt 24/7) is when the Admiral is along for a particularly choppy ride, or when she has to use to porta-pottie - like yesterday. More displacement and a vacuflush are highly desirable at these times. And, letting my dealer know I'm thinking about upgrading keeps him very responsive! So, I longingly gaze at a 270 or better yet, a 310...That said, has anyone had good experience with the Ocean X outdrives? I know they're spec'd with closed cooling on the engine, but should you still flush the raw water, or can they really take the salt for year after year? Also, I assume the exterior coating still requires anti-fouling paint. Some feedback would be helpful.
  12. I've had very good success with a "gull sweep" mounted to my canvas frame. I also have a "daddy long legs" that I add on top of my windshield in the months when I have the mooring cover on. They keep birds completely off the boat. The daddy long legs is probably more effective as it doesn't need wind to make it work like the gull sweep. Both sit in a weighted base that quickly bungees on and off. All the online boat supply outlets carry them. I tried the fake snakes, owls, hawks and even a coyote profile. Our gulls round here have high IQ's and they figure out they're fake in about a day and then they come and crap on the fake animal deterrents too.
  13. In addition to condition of hull and outdrive paint, and potential mechanical issues, sounds like y'all need to have a prop discussion
  14. Yep, bubbles - that's when you know you are flushed...
  15. When I ordered the boat, I specified closed fresh water cooling for the engine, and the dealer told me that the remaining raw water cooled components would have the Neutrasalt system. Boat arrived - no Neutrasalt. So, I learned about Salt away on this forum and started using it after every use. Boat is still too new to tell if it makes a difference or not but since my boat sits in the salt 24/7, I thought it would be prudent, and it's so easy to use. I actually use a miracle gro in line hose fertilizer applicator to apply the product so it sits in my dock box all ready to go every time I return to the float. IMHO, a chemical solution that neutralizes the affects of sodium makes a whole lot of sense as some amount of salt would remain on the metal components even after a fresh water flush and have some degree of a corrosive affect.