Lq0518

Shallow water operations; jet boat owner

25 posts in this topic

Hello, I'm new to the forum and have a quick question regarding chaparral trim and draft. I currently own a Yamaha 242 Limited S that has a jet drive. Before that was an older 20' foot sea ray. My friends and even myself were skeptical of getting a jet boat. After two years I really like my Yamaha but want something bigger with a better ride. The Yamaha is very light and with no lower unit can get a little bouncy and won't track great. Anyway overall I like the boat and really got it because its shallow draft. I'm looking at the 277 ssx for next season. So my question is when you trim up the Volvo or the merc all the way can you still idle into shallow areas? I go into many shallow coves now without question and at low tide right around 2 feet. I've been reading conflicting opinions about this. Particularly on the 277 do you think I will be able to regularly travel in 2 feet? I'm just looking for some first hand knowledge and any info will be appreciated Thanks.

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I came from a 23' yamaha. Just got the Chaparral this year. I can only get out of my cove at high tide. Now I have to watch channel markers I didn't even know we're there in the past. Can't get close to the beach in most places. Two foot? Forget it. I just came back from a day out. Stayed to long and it's less than two hours from low tide. Trimmed up three quarters and still felt it scrap a little twice. If you are in shallow water stay with the jet or even better get a big ugly tri toon. At least the toon will go straight. I can't even get to the water front bars we used to go to. Love the boat. Love it, but it needs three foot of water or more. Smooth as glass compared to your boat and it goes straight, but only in deep water. Love it, but it's for sale after 6 months. Though I am ok either way

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Oh man that's a bummer. I really don't mind my boat at all but just looking for something bigger. I was hoping to be able to trim up and be ok guess not. I too am very careless around channels now and just cut across the bay to get where I want. I really love that freedom and in over 15 years of owning jet skis and jet boat never had anything get sucked up. That's a shame I don't really want the tides to dictate my boat but I guess it looks like if I want a bigger boat it may have to.

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It is a binary equation as well. If you hit with a jet boat you will prolly be okay. With a stern drive bad things happen. Been there twice. Welcome to forum.

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Thanks misterscott. Any way to possible to drive with the trim all the way up? I don't mind staying in channels from now on just need to get into a couple shallow spots that I know I will frequent often. Just like 20-40 feet of trim all way up. I really like this 277 haha but I don't want to damage it or not enjoy my boating experience as much.

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Thanks ric. That's what I was wondering so its a fact trimming all the way up will do damage? I'm familiar with the cobra fine thanks for the suggestion. Leaves me wondering how all these I/O's get into some of the same spots. I know of many that hit bottom and saw a couple but a lot make it through fine. I figured they were just trimming to like trailer position. One guy just posted on facebook fan site that he sustained worth of damage his way out this weekend. I assume they all just wait for high tide. I never thought about that till now but a majority must because when I left on Sunday it was very low tide and my depth finder was reading 1.8 feet.

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I don't know what the minimum draft required for a 277SSX with the drive trimmed all the way up to the swim platform, but you should probably look into it. Why?

If trimming all the way up to the swim platform gets you into just 2' of draft, then you are fine. NEVER run the motor that way, because you don't have to. The water is only 2' feet. Simply jump out with your water shoes on and pull/push the boat the 20'-40' into deeper water. Jump back in, trim down and away you go. You get your dream boat for just a tiny bit of occasional work. Seems like an easy route to me and if its high tide, you don't even need to worry about it.

FYI........If this pans out and works for you, don't get lazy and try to take short cuts. Don't try to hit that same area at 20mph, shut engine off and trim up and try to glide through it. I know guys who thought this was a good idea. What they forget is that all boats under power "hydro squat" and sink into the water, so your boat is deeper than you think. The bigger the boat, the more it sits. The extreme real life example is the QE2 squat almost 5' deeper then planned and ran aground off the coast of NYC tearing up the hull.

Just my 2cents.

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The 277 is showing a draft up of 26 inches. Now put in 8 friends, several coolers, water in holding tank, gas, and several hundred pounds of gear and that probably gets closer to 30 inches. If you are talking 20 to 40 feet, coast in with drive up and then get out and pull it in by hand. Not sure what type of bottom you are going into, but the boat bottom is going to be hitting it.

On one beach we go to I back in with the front anchor out and then when in about 4 feet of water get out with another anchor and hook to shore. The stern will be sitting in around 3 ft of water with the drives full up. This way it keeps it off the bottom and we can still stand behind the boat.

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I keep a push pole on the boat so I can get over the extreme shallow areas. Trimmed up to trailer position, most of the 25' and smaller Chaparrals can probably float in 1' of water or just a little more (mine can float in 1'). I often find myself shutting the motor off, trimmimg all the way up and drifting or poling over the sandbars. There are occasion I just jump in and push the boat, as well. In any case, if the shallow areas between you and the open water are small and predictable, these methods can allow you to come and go with a bigger, deeper boat than you otherwise might use.

Edit to add: I just noticed you were looking at the 277, and that will require more water even with the drive up. Still, if the shallows are not too long and are predictable, the drifting/poling method with the drive up can get you there.

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Thanks for the replies guys kinda what I figured. A couple shallow areas won't stop me from getting it. Just gotta see how I like it and how much I can get off the sticker price. Ill just deal with the tides when going to certain areas.

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Here in Florida our water is warm, when I need to venture to very shallow spots I put the drive in trailer mode and walk it with a dock line. No big deal you get used to it. The most important thing you can do is calibrate your depth gauge and set alarms.

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I was told not to put in gear and idle at any more than half way up. At just over half I can get thru slightly under 3 foot, but I k ow it isn't healthy. Still love it and don't really care much if it sells. On weekends where the tides are right I think I would never part with it.but.......

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Sandman, I seriously think you're so conflicted about selling your boat that you'll be pretty upset to see it go. You mention replacing it with a pontoon, which you find ugly. If I were in your position, and looking out at the lift with a sexy red 256 that you say you love, and think of replacing with a pontoon that you'll find ugly, personally, I can't see how I'd ever be happy in that situation. If i looked at my boat and thought it was ugly I'd start to hate it and resent that I sold a beautiful boat I loved to buy one I didn't.

Wingnut has pointed out on several occasions that the real risk of trimming up too far underway is the loss of lateral support for the drive, not the u-joints. I looked carefully at my drive and noted the maximum height at which the lateral supports are still holding the drive (about 50% contact area) and also noted that the total flex on the driveshaft is about what it would be at full steering lock. This way I know I'm not stressing the u-joints too much. This height equates to the 3/4 mark on the trim guage (though yours could be different) and is about half way through the full vertical travel of the drive. It is also about 6" higher than normal operating "trim up" position, and gets the prop well clear of the bottom. In fact, I don't see the outboards get much higher, and I can carefully idle over some very shallow bars this way. If I get uncomfortable, I shut down and trim the rest of the way up to drift or pole the rest of the way.

If your main challenge is getting in and out of your cove, i suggest giving the 256 more time and try perfecting these methods. Good luck either way you choose.

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Oh, I am waaaay conflicted. Best looking boat in the area. But always afraid how much water I am in. Pontoon, ugly, but care free driving. I doubt there are many buyers out their at any price. If I have it forever it will be fine. It is hot, toilet flushes, great stereo and cuts waves like a dream. Typical Chaparral!!!

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Coming from the local "King of the Lake" here with my 215 SS, I would never downgrade from that status. Only up!

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Yes, I understand. That is a great song (it's my wife's ringtone) and it makes me want a pontoon, BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF A REAL BOAT!!!

Very seriously, I thought long and hard about getting a pontoon before I got the Sunesta. I even rented them to try the idea out. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself that it was "practical" because I live on a shallow river, I couldn't do it. I couldn't make myself like them. In hindsight, the Chaparral was the right move. I use it in open ocean conditions all the time, and I take 50 mile coastal cruises with it. I never would consider that with a pontoon, and I know I would have felt so limited with one as my primary boat. Also, I just like the way the Sunesta looks. I would not have been happy looking at a boat I didn't like the looks of. Yes, there are some really nice big pontoons, but they don't have "something" that a proper, nice looking traditional boat has.

Now, having said that, I also get sick of watching the depth all the time. It can get nerve-wracking. In fact, my neighbor with a beautiful Robalo had to call Sea Tow last week and get pulled off a sand bar in the river. His six year old had distracted him and he didn't quite hit a critical turn just right. My family never understands why they can't talk to me until we get to the no wake zone/start of the marked channel.

My answer is to look for a cheap old 'toon that I can ram around the river with (including drive golf balls from ;) not care about salt or depth and just drive up onto the shore when I'm done. Maybe this would work for you???

Anyway, all I'm sayin' is think long and hard about trading that beautiful boat you worked so hard to get and love so much... Maybe you don't have to trade it, but can supplement it.

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STOP WORRYING !!

Take the jetboat WITH YOU. Anchor the Chaparral. Launch the jet for the shallow stuff as usual. Canadians carry BIG boats on the stern of their boats all the time. They anchor & Zodiac around.

Canadians

Save this boater. :)

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All right, two more thoughts, then I promise I'll leave this alone!

First, I once heard a quote that's stuck with me for years. "Never go to sea in a boat you don't love."

Second, how many pontoons do you see where the owner loved it enough to give it a name?

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Ok miska, I couldn't do it. Had a buyer. Had to tell him I couldn't sell. Boat is just to hot! Friends go crazy over how comfortable it is and the stereo along with having a toilet to use. Even the most conservative people comment on the sleek look and the red. I am trapped by ego!! Now I have to find a beach area with a faster drop off so I can get close.. Their is one thing I miss about the Yamaha though. Their forum. On Ours people post pics of dogs , on theirs it's pics of hot girls with as little on as legally possible..

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I knew you couldn't do it when the boat showed up in your signature! I could tell, you liked it too much.

As for the forum, well, Chaparral owners probably just have more class. That class means that we have the hot women at home and on our boats with us, so no need for pictures on a forum ;)

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Ok miska, I couldn't do it. Had a buyer. Had to tell him I couldn't sell. Boat is just to hot! Friends go crazy over how comfortable it is and the stereo along with having a toilet to use. Even the most conservative people comment on the sleek look and the red. I am trapped by ego!! Now I have to find a beach area with a faster drop off so I can get close.. Their is one thing I miss about the Yamaha though. Their forum. On Ours people post pics of dogs , on theirs it's pics of hot girls with as little on as legally possible..

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