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After You

Scary Sunday- Thank you DCBiker!!

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Let me first say that I don't post often but TXTWIN and MPM330 were instrumental in my joining the Chap family two years ago. Their advice and expertise were hugely appreciated when i was going through the survey and inspection phase of my purchase. I am extremely grateful to them for thier help. and guidance in buying my 330 In additon, the information provided by them and the rest of this forum has always been an extremely valuable part of owning a Chap. I have to get better at sharing my experiences (both good an bad) with my 2005 330 and I will certainly try going forward.

Ill start with last Sunday... I was about 50 minutes away from the boat enjoying a pretty crappy Sunday (overcast and windy) with my GF when I got a call from the Marina telling me that the boat was taking on water, the high water alarm was going off and the swim platform was about to go under... Worst call I can ever remember recieving in my 8 years of owning a boat.

I probably drove a little too fast to the marina but I don't think I can ever remember a more frantic feeling than what I had last Sunday. I finally fought the traffic and arrived at the marina to see DCBiker (who is on the same dock as me) and another dock mate on my boat frantically working to make sure the water didn't make it to anything important. DCBiker had already raised the engine hatch and the mid-bilge compartment and was working with a pump to get as much water out of the bilges as possible. DCBiker immediately told me the water was coming out of the starboard raw water pump and my aft bilge was not working. I jumped on the boat and closed the seacock after removing the access panel in the rear of the cabin. Once the water intrusion started to slow, I took a deep breath and asked DCBiker to tell me what he saw had happened. Basically the impeller and bearings in the starboard engine water pump had given way and when he heard the high water alarm he jumped on my boat with another dock mate and tried to save it from going under. The water was almost above the bilges at the inboard oilpans before they jumped on but thanks to them, the water never touched anything important. Once everything settled down, I called Boat US and arranged for a tow.

He helped me make sure the seacock was functional and the boat wasn't in danger of sinking anymore and helped me tie up to the tow boat once it arrived.

Long story short, DC Biker saved me significant heartache and cost in what might have been a salvage operation if he and the other dockmates didn't take action. I'm greatly appreciative for thier efforts and definitely indebted to them for what they did for my boat. I just wanted to post about this experience to say how proud I am to be part of the Chaparral family and how grateful I am for DCBiker and my other dockmates actions.

Before anyone gets too uptight about the impeller situation... I had a mechanic come out two weeks beforehand to evaluate both raw water pumps and impellers for routine maintenance for the spring season. He was Merc certified. After removing both, he told me that both were in great shape and that nothing was in need of repair. I will obviously be using a different mechanic from now on. The bilge pump was on me... I had a replacement in the cabin after i saw the red light stay solid on the helm the week prior. I was waiting for an opportunity to change it out but I obviously learned my lesson. Make sure your bilge pumps are working at all times!!!

Again, just wanted to thank DCBiker publically for his help. It's great to think that other Chaparral owners are looking out for you! Thanks DCBiker!

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glad all worked out, with boating, things happen. this just makes you appreciate friends and life in general a little more,

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Wow, scary story.

Which marina are you in? I'm at Fairfax Yacht Club on the Occoquan.

If you don't mind, I'd also like to know which mechanic you were using. Feel free to PM me if you don't want to post it on the forum.

Thanks,

Mike

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It is good to have good dock mates! :beer-7687-1:

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No real thanks necessary, I did what I would do for any fellow boater in a bad situation. Certainly wasn't how I had planned to spend the Sunday, but sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and jus have to go with it. I credit all my years of boating and my 21 years in the military with helping me to keep my wits about be, helping to control and manage the situation with not only the DC Harbor/fire patrol, but also the marina staff. We were just thankful we could do something before the situation got too far beyond control. Certainly isnt the easiest decision to climb onboard someone else's boat and start messing around, but I would hope that any of us Chap owners would do the same for a fellow boater. I have to say it is a scary thing to know a boat is taking on water, and pumps aren't working, and you have no idea what else is going on. Probably not the brightest of my moves to stick my hand down into the bilge and feel around to try and figure out what is going on, especially with live batters/wires and water. But hey, if one can survive an 8 month tour in Iraq and come back in one piece, then a little electricity is nothing to be scared of. I have to say that as a boat owner and a Chap guy, I was very satisfied to help stop the leak, discharge the water and help get his boat rigged up and off with Towboats US. I was just as relived to see the boat was in good hands with its owner and off to be repaired. Seriously, another 15-20 minutes and the cabin would have been flooded and I suspect not long after that we would have seen a submerged 330. Taking on water is no laughing matter and so many people don't realize the short Amount of time it takes for water to overcome a vessel. I suspect that I acted just like any other boater would in that situation. It is always nice to know that as a "community" boaters, and Chap owners in particular, stick together and look out, for each other.

I am ready for our dock mater After You to return, engines all fixed and raring to go, and some awesome times rafted up, enjoying the life of being boaters!!

So glad things worked out and There was no serious damage to the boat or engines!!

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I make it a habit to remove the shore power plug if the water level is high enough to possibly reach A C power outlets.

Go into the water & feel for the suction of a failed below the water line opening. Somebody usually donates a T shirt to stuff in the suction opening. Having it with me saves time.

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John,

What's the latest on repairs, didn't see you this weekend, so hopefully they are getting you taken care of and will be back on the water real soon

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DCBiker you are the MAN! :beer-7687-1:

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Repairs just finished today and should be back in the slip on Saturday. Luckily no damage to anything thanks to you and Tom getting to it before the water left the main bilge (besides the faulty sea water pump). Thanks for checking!

I had them do a lot of preventative maintenance and check over everything. Replaced both sea water pumps/impellers, belts, etc. While it was pulled I had them check/rebalance the props (was supposed to be done before launch), check the running gear, etc. In addition, I took your advice and had them up the GPH on both bilge pumps.

Tom was right about these guys. They're really good, but really expensive! It'll be worth it for the piece of mind I'll have for the next month or so. Thanks again for all your help and see you this weekend!

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Just came across this post. Scary.

So, if I go ahead with a purchase of a 330 with inboards, what specifically should I inspect / have changed out to prevent this?

Thanks!

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Strick, sorry for the delayed response. I would say, and I am sure most would agree, make sure on top of having a survey done, you take the time to check certain things yourself. While this is by no means a complete list - more just highlights of things from the experience noted above -- make sure you have working bilge pumps, and highly recommend that if they are small capacity ones, you upgrade them to something a bit larger. Ensure there is nothing clogging the bilge pumps either. Amazing how a bit of slime or some residue chunks and clog the pump. Maker sure you batteries are in good condition and have enough juice to open the engine compartment at a moments notice. Double check to ensure all your hoses are clamped properly, if not double clamped. Get to know exactly where your thru hull connections are and their shut off valves. Ensure your raw water intake collant pumps are not rusted, cause that could easily hide a leak. Know exactly where your fuse panel is, and where other fuses that may not be in the breaker box are located. While all of this would be something a surveyor would do, it still is best to do it yourself. Or at least be there and be an active participant in the survey. Ask questions, keep notes, make sure you understand things fully. There are no stupid questions, so don't be afraid to ask, even on the simplistic things. Double check all fittings, screws, retainers, nuts/bolts, etc. things have a tendency to work themselves loose on a boat, so take the time to ensure they are tight/secured. And make a habit of checking all of them periodically.

And even after you have the survey, and all checks out and you proceed with purchase, spend some quality time getting to "know your boat". It's quirks, it's nuances, all the nooks and crannies. Take your engine manuals and boat operating guide and go through the schematics and visually look at each of the major systems, so you have "eyes on them" and can go right to a particular item if you have trouble. Take the time to look at all your hoses and know what leads where. Some times knowing that a certain hose has a curve or bend, can be helpful down the road when you might have to do some trouble shooting.

While I know all of this sounds like it should be common sense, often times we overlook these things, cause we are so happy and intent to get out on the water. Major rule of captaining your own vessel -- know it inside and out!!

Don't be afraid to seek advise from other friends with boats, or this forum, or dock mates. If you have any questions, or just general things you want to BS about send me a message.

Welcome to the group, best of luck with the purchase and enjoy boating! There is nothing better than being on the water, cherishing all the joys it brings with family, friends and those you will meet a along the way!

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A lesson learned by ignoring a faulty bilge pump. I try to kep reminding our boaters that Boats are not Cars ! Some things you can't ignore when you are on the water.

Yes I know that the batteries would have run down anyway but...

A scary call and glad everything turned out OK. Good friends willing to jump in.

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A lesson learned by ignoring a faulty bilge pump. I try to kep reminding our boaters that Boats are not Cars ! Some things you can't ignore when you are on the water.

Yes I know that the batteries would have run down anyway but...

A scary call and glad everything turned out OK. Good friends willing to jump in.

thankfully dockmates acted and understood what that alarm was telling them. - good job :clapsmiley: were the screws on the housing broken or loose? I am picturing not a blowout but water spraying out around the gasket?

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Actually it was a crack at the base of the raw water pump. From what we could see/feel, it wasn't the gasket. The water was by no means spraying or coming out fast enough that would have indicated gasket/seal failure. I think the pump was just old and it was at the bottom where there had been some rust accumulation. Believe it just finally gave way, fortunately it was a slow and steady release of water, rather than massive rupture, otherwise I am not sure anyone would have been around in the middle of the night when the high water alarm went off.

Best advise, always check and double check everything. And very true about finding/having a reputable and trustworthy mechanic -- stick with them.

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