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Hatem

Too big a boat for a newbie?

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Greetings everyone!

Well, I just found this forum yesterday and decided to join after reading a few topics of interest and determining that this online, boating community is rather friendly and helpful. Those elements are critical to my dilemma that I am about to tell you folks and I'm not sure if the general consensus will be "you're nuts", or "are you crazy?" Or, and this is what I'm truly hoping to hear form you guys & gals is....."nah, don't worry you'll be just fine". Even if the latter is followed by role eyes and a turned head and a mouth-hidden comment - "he's screwed!" LOL! :D

All that being said, this is what I have done - I've always wanted to own my own boat and take the family and friends out on it and live the water life. I convinced my wife that since we're both approaching 50 years of age, if we're going to do it we better do it now because we have a good 15 years (if that) left in us and when would be a good time to start boating, when we're 65 or 70? I don't think so.

So as I researched different types and manufacturers, I came across the Chaparral bowriders and they were just perfect. After weeks of researching what's available within a reasonable distance, I found a 2010, 276 SSX with the black, hull band and the powder coated radar arch with the black bimini top. The boat has only 32 hours on it and I will be driving from Boston to upstate NY to pick it up on Tuesday. I haven't been able to sleep from excitement since I made the deal, but as it's settling in slowly, slowly, and watching many launches at several docks near my area, I'm beginning to wonder.................is a 28'-10" long boat is juuuuuust a bit too big for a newbie? Yikes!

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If you were 25 yrs old, I'd say yes. Since you're close to my age, I'd say, nah, not too big. Couple of suggestions:

1. If you've not ever been an owner or don't have much experience, you might consider inviting an experienced buddy along on your first ride and get him to show you the ropes. You can learn a LOT in 1-2 short trips with an experienced boater.

2. NEVER APPROACH A DOCK FASTER THAN YOU WANT TO HIT IT.

3. If you are going to trailer this beast, please read this post: http://forum.chaparralboats.com/index.php?showtopic=25855&hl=

4. Don't ever be too proud to ask for help at the dock - especially with wind blowing in or wind blowing out. It is a challenge for two experienced people sometimes - most people are more than willing to give a hand but are reluctant to unless asked for fear of embarassing the captain.

5. Gelcoat gets gashed. Gelcoat can be repaired.

Use the Search function on this forum, or use Google and include the word "Chaparral" and you can find out almost anything. There are many good tips in the Newbies section for gear you should be sure to have on hand, several how-to's, etc.

NEVER be shy about posting questions here, no matter how elementary you may think they are. There are great people on this board that love boating and want to help newcomers enjoy it and love it as much as we do.

Congrats on your new toy! We expect pictures - read the post about posting pics and set up your Photobucket account quickly so you're ready to feed our appetites. The only porn that gets posted here is boat porn....

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Welcome!

I say take it slow and you won't be disappointed. As previously stated, if you were 25, you'd likely end up with a pile of scratched and dented fiberglass in short order. Take it slow, use caution and develop good technique and you'll be fine.

When boating on rougher waters, in strong currents, or on windy days, take lots of time to have your planned takeoffs and approaches thoroughly contemplated. Take the boat out in open water and practice. Learn it's reactions. It'll take some time but the boat will act exactly like you tell it to, your job is to tell it right, otherwise you won't be expecting the resulting action.

A good docking practice is trying to get the boat to spin about the center slowly using the steering and throttle. Having that be an automatic movement has saved me from many hard crashes to the piers. While I teach my kids to drive, that is one of my favorite activities - Hard to port, engage forward throttle. Hard to starboard, engage reverse. repeat as necessary. As you might have gathered, docking, loading and mooring will be the hardest part of having a boat of this size. Smaller boats are like smaller trailers. Many time easier to manage, but by no means is a 276 going to be uncontrollable.

AND +1 ON THE PICTURES!!

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If you were 25 yrs old, I'd say yes. Since you're close to my age, I'd say, nah, not too big. Couple of suggestions:

1. If you've not ever been an owner or don't have much experience, you might consider inviting an experienced buddy along on your first ride and get him to show you the ropes. You can learn a LOT in 1-2 short trips with an experienced boater.

2. NEVER APPROACH A DOCK FASTER THAN YOU WANT TO HIT IT.

3. If you are going to trailer this beast, please read this post: http://forum.chaparralboats.com/index.php?showtopic=25855&hl=

4. Don't ever be too proud to ask for help at the dock - especially with wind blowing in or wind blowing out. It is a challenge for two experienced people sometimes - most people are more than willing to give a hand but are reluctant to unless asked for fear of embarassing the captain.

5. Gelcoat gets gashed. Gelcoat can be repaired.

Use the Search function on this forum, or use Google and include the word "Chaparral" and you can find out almost anything. There are many good tips in the Newbies section for gear you should be sure to have on hand, several how-to's, etc.

NEVER be shy about posting questions here, no matter how elementary you may think they are. There are great people on this board that love boating and want to help newcomers enjoy it and love it as much as we do.

Congrats on your new toy! We expect pictures - read the post about posting pics and set up your Photobucket account quickly so you're ready to feed our appetites. The only porn that gets posted here is boat porn....

Thanks, Keith! I appreciate the positive feedback very much. It's interesting to read yours and the other gent's posts because I feel like I've done quite a bit of research already before jumping into the real thing. Much of what you've mentioned is somewhat familiar to me or to my list of tasks, so at least that's a bit reassuring. Your comment about being 25 really sais it all. Amazing as we get older how other things develop such as awareness of what you possess and how precious these things are. You basically have a lot more to lose and so you pay more attention to details and caution becomes a much greater priority!

To your points -

1) Yes, I've already lined up two of my friends who have extensive experience to come out with us at least for the first time. That's a plus for sure. As a matter of fact, my friend Joe who's been boating for 30 years is actually driving up with me to be sure we trailer it back safely. The trip is long each way but I have a funny feeling the way back will take a lot longer with the slower speed because of the trailed weight and precious cargo. It's going be a long day, for sure. Joe is also helping me test all systems on the water prior to handing the seller the money. This was probably the main thing I was worried about until he offered to help. The fellow selling it who seems like a really nice guy suggested putting it in the water for us and show us all systems working which I thought was a good thing on his behalf.

2) Amazing how many times so far I've heard that saying. It seems to be one of those riddles that comes with boating! Love it.

3) That was one of the posts I read prior to registering on this forum and that got me convinced to do so. I thought that was excellent and well done by you and I also thought that is the first place a Google search on boat launching and retrieval should take you like someone else had suggested. You did a great job with that and I also liked the advice given by another member who suggested easing the friction on the bunks by spraying a bit of silicone spray on them. I thought that was great! I also had already watched the video of the fellow from Bourne launch his 30ft fishing boat since that's a local, favorite Cape Cod town and drew my interest. I like his little trick with the10ft rope tied to the bow cleat and to the front trailer post when launching alone. Also the mid-cleat tie-off instead of one at stern and bow and spring etc. if the boat is only going to be there for a few minutes.

4) That's one thing I never worry about is asking questions, even stupid ones. It never bothered me since I was a kid so it certainly ain't changing now. The way I see it, you don't have to answer and if you do, don't complain about it! :D

I do have a photobucket account and even know how to attach thumbnails out of my pictures albums since I'm involved in several forums and quite used to it so that's no problem at all. Trust me, I will be happy to show it off! :D Thanks again, Keith.

You will grow into it. Welcome aboard. :boating: Denny.

IMG_3264_zpsdc207366.jpg

Thanks, Denny. I think that picture in your signature says it all. I was on the fringe of this purchase, to tell you the truth, because let's face it these toys are not cheap, even used ones. So one of the things that pushed me over the edge in deciding (besides the CEO giving the ok LOL) :D is what my friend Frank said to me which was - "Yeah it's a bit of a pain to haul around, launch, recover, pay the dues, the insurance, the maintenance, the short summers we have up here and you barely get it in the water when it's time to store if for the winter..........but even just that one day you're out on the water and the weather is just perfect, the company is fine, there's nothing like it!" Kinda like that awesome picture of yours. Then it was - cha-ching! :)

Welcome!

I say take it slow and you won't be disappointed. As previously stated, if you were 25, you'd likely end up with a pile of scratched and dented fiberglass in short order. Take it slow, use caution and develop good technique and you'll be fine.

When boating on rougher waters, in strong currents, or on windy days, take lots of time to have your planned takeoffs and approaches thoroughly contemplated. Take the boat out in open water and practice. Learn it's reactions. It'll take some time but the boat will act exactly like you tell it to, your job is to tell it right, otherwise you won't be expecting the resulting action.

A good docking practice is trying to get the boat to spin about the center slowly using the steering and throttle. Having that be an automatic movement has saved me from many hard crashes to the piers. While I teach my kids to drive, that is one of my favorite activities - Hard to port, engage forward throttle. Hard to starboard, engage reverse. repeat as necessary. As you might have gathered, docking, loading and mooring will be the hardest part of having a boat of this size. Smaller boats are like smaller trailers. Many time easier to manage, but by no means is a 276 going to be uncontrollable.

AND +1 ON THE PICTURES!!

Good advice, Serviceguy. Thanks. I like the part about learning how to spin it on it's center. I was watching a lot of the dual motor boats doing that without any steering and I can see myself getting accustomed to that technique, even though the 276 is a single motor which I believe is harder? Maybe not. You're certainly right about the 3 hardest things to do and I learnt that quickly just from being out with my friends on their boats. But the interesting thing is that you never really pay attention to the intricate details until you're actually involved! Funny how that happens as I've become interested in purchasing my own boat, I've started noticing a lot of things I sort of took for granted as a passenger.

Your last comment is spot on and I'm beginning to see that - it's not like hauling an 18' boat, it is a big boat and there's no doubt that it's much tougher around tight corners and backing up and rear visibility etc. The added weight concerns me a bit also since my F-350 diesel crew cab with an 8ft bed is a 2005 with 173K on it and I use it extensively for my business which is construction. So it's been a good soldier but has done a lot of work in its lifetime. Add that limousine effect to the length of the boat and the overall is a pretty lengthy set-up. Hopefully it'll be able to handle it since I haven't really trailered much with it but have hauled and racked quite a bit! We'll find out soon enough.

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You are well set and will do just fine. Can't wait to see some pics of the boat on the water and hear about how much fun you guys are having!

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Hatem, forget all the BS these guys are telling you. The first thing, and I mean the first thing you should do when you get your new vessel is have an Ice Cold beer and sit in the captains seat. Then have another, then another.....

You get the point. Enjoy, it's a great life!

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Great posts by all and as a 68 year old, who hadn't boated in a dozen years, I took the plunge last year and purchased a 13 Sig 310. As others have shared: practice and ask for help when coming into dock is something i continue to do. I enjoy anchoring out for an evening or 2, taking 3-5 day cruises with others and still learning. Your only as old as you want to be and I'm negotiating to move up to a 43 and hope to boat at least another 8-10 years or MORE :-). My bride also loves the life style and around our marina, many are older than me and I continue to absorb all they share about being on the water.

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The old saying of practice makes perfect runs true here. Having a larger boat could make the learning curve a little bit stepper but in the grand scheme of things nothing that should intimidate you. In my opinion just getting a general feel of the water and the way a boat operates will help no matter what size boat you are on. With that being said you will run into a few "dumb" moments but all of us have. Slow is steady and stay positive, owning a boat should be a fun thing!

In this day the internet is a value asset to new boaters, forums like this allow you to ask any question you will have and will be met with honest answers from fellow Chap owners. Another good resource is YouTube, there are thousands of videos on how to operate and maintain boats. Worth a look.

Also, I would recommend starting a friendly conversation with people you encounter at the dock/marina you visit. MOST boaters are friendly people who love to talk about their boat and give helpful tips to new boaters.

Congrats on your new boat, have beer or two to celebrate!

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Congrats on your new boat. We bought a 276 Signature (29.5') last November as our first boat. I thought it would be enough but now I'm getting a case of 2 or 4 ft-itis. LOL.

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Wow I had a lengthy post but it got all scrambled so I will keep this one short. Fenders..probably 4 per side. Dock line..lots of it at various lengths...Hang fenders BEFORE you gouge up the sides....Dock Rash sucks, but it do happen.

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Man, the love that's in the air is just very touching, I'm tearing in both eyes. :D I feel like the orphan who's been suddenly adopted by the biggest and richest family in the neighborhood! Love it.

I really appreciate all the encouraging feedback. It sounds like this is not too out of the norm for a newbie so that's good to hear.

It's 8:10 pm EST and we're slated to depart the Boston area at 1:30am for Ogdensburg, NY. ETA is around 8:00am +/- just in time to meet the seller and see the boat and go over it's details. Next we're throwing it in the local waters for a quick test drive to make sure everything is working smooth which I'm guessing should be the case considering the hour meter reads only 34 hours, but I guess it's like anything else and so you never know. Once we're out of the water and back on the EZ loader, we'll give it a quick bath and rinse her really good, pop the canvas covers back on and head on back!

I'll be documenting the whole trip with photos that I'll post once I get back and settle down from the whole experience and the adrenalin rush. In the meantime, I'll be checking back in with you folks in a day or two.

Thanks again for all the great advice and encouragement. Cheers.

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The boat is not too big. Take it slow and easy, you will do fine. Take a Coast Guard course, and ask questions.

I assume the boat has been professionally surveyed by an independent surveyor?

Happy boating.

brick

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Man, the love that's in the air is just very touching, I'm tearing in both eyes. :D I feel like the orphan who's been suddenly adopted by the biggest and richest family in the neighborhood! Love it.

I really appreciate all the encouraging feedback. It sounds like this is not too out of the norm for a newbie so that's good to hear.

It's 8:10 pm EST and we're slated to depart the Boston area at 1:30am for Ogdensburg, NY. ETA is around 8:00am +/- just in time to meet the seller and see the boat and go over it's details. Next we're throwing it in the local waters for a quick test drive to make sure everything is working smooth which I'm guessing should be the case considering the hour meter reads only 34 hours, but I guess it's like anything else and so you never know. Once we're out of the water and back on the EZ loader, we'll give it a quick bath and rinse her really good, pop the canvas covers back on and head on back!

I'll be documenting the whole trip with photos that I'll post once I get back and settle down from the whole experience and the adrenalin rush. In the meantime, I'll be checking back in with you folks in a day or two.

Thanks again for all the great advice and encouragement. Cheers.

I don't know if I would tow it that far with the covers on. My dealer told me it was ok in the past but I wouldn't. We bought our last boat on Lake Sebago in Maine. After signing the papres and getting on the road, we went about 5 miles and decided to stop at Wendy's for lunch. When I went back to double check everything I noticed the cockpit cover had blown off. Fortunatly I found it on the side of the road a few miles back. We lost our rear cockpit cover 2 seasons ago when I didn't stow it properly on our last ride of the season before we were pulling it. I got a quote of about 1300 deer to replace it so it's an expensive chance to take. When our 276 was delivered from NC back in 09, the shipper had all the covers off and the seat cushions all tied down. Good luck with your sea trial and safe travel back home. We have over 325 hrs on ours so far and enjoy it every weekend.

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:banana2:

^^ Hahahahaaa! it's 12:40 am and I had barely 2 hours of sleep but that's exactly how I feel, Keith, just like Dancing Banana LOL!

The boat is not too big. Take it slow and easy, you will do fine. Take a Coast Guard course, and ask questions.

I assume the boat has been professionally surveyed by an independent surveyor?

Happy boating.

brick

Thanks, Brick. I am taking the coast guard course, thank you. It's starting in a week or so. The boat gods did the best they could to time it right for me. :D You know, it all happened so quick that I didn't really know that was something I should've done BUT, this is why my friend Joe is coming along with me and if you knew Joe, he's probably the worst mannered, tell it like it is, don't give a $&!7 about anyone, scrutinizing, ill-mannered and experienced boater. I think I'm in good hands but I do get 30 days as part of the agreement. But good advice for sure and there is an authorized Chaparral dealer right up the street from where I live, I was thinking of even taking it there for a thorough inspection since I'll be getting it serviced and probably stored there over the winter. Best I can do at this point, I guess but good advice on your part. Where were you a month ago, pal?! :D Jk.

I don't know if I would tow it that far with the covers on. My dealer told me it was ok in the past but I wouldn't. We bought our last boat on Lake Sebago in Maine. After signing the papres and getting on the road, we went about 5 miles and decided to stop at Wendy's for lunch. When I went back to double check everything I noticed the cockpit cover had blown off. Fortunatly I found it on the side of the road a few miles back. We lost our rear cockpit cover 2 seasons ago when I didn't stow it properly on our last ride of the season before we were pulling it. I got a quote of about 1300 deer to replace it so it's an expensive chance to take. When our 276 was delivered from NC back in 09, the shipper had all the covers off and the seat cushions all tied down. Good luck with your sea trial and safe travel back home. We have over 325 hrs on ours so far and enjoy it every weekend.

WOW, look at that beauty! That's what attracted me to this make and model, is exactly what you see in that signature photo of yours. Look at those lines! And I like the new style, radar arch on it with the all-solid frame. Is that a newer model or did you change it? I don't think those came out until the 2012 or 13 models, I think? Either way, beautiful boat. Geez, I might need a sedative soon with all this building anticipation lol.

Well, mrfixit, this post makes me think I am a genius for checking the thread prior to leaving! This is excellent advice that I wouldn't have known otherwise and I'm not sure if I would've been told this by either my friend Joe or the seller! I will do exactly that, keep them off (I can put them in the truck bed since I have a cover for that) and just figure out a way to tie down the seat cushions. There's too many of those to put them all in the bed, I think, so I'll have to deal with that for sure. But excellent advice, sir, thanks very much and may your 276 last another 5000+ hours! :)

Off we go!

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I do not tow with cockpit and bow cover on. Lost the original cockpit cover on I-75 southbound.

I know some on this site do tow with covers on, I was not that lucky. Mine comes loose at 45 mph.

brick

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^^ Hahahahaaa! it's 12:40 am and I had barely 2 hours of sleep but that's exactly how I feel, Keith, just like Dancing Banana LOL!

Thanks, Brick. I am taking the coast guard course, thank you. It's starting in a week or so. The boat gods did the best they could to time it right for me. :D You know, it all happened so quick that I didn't really know that was something I should've done BUT, this is why my friend Joe is coming along with me and if you knew Joe, he's probably the worst mannered, tell it like it is, don't give a $&!7 about anyone, scrutinizing, ill-mannered and experienced boater. I think I'm in good hands but I do get 30 days as part of the agreement. But good advice for sure and there is an authorized Chaparral dealer right up the street from where I live, I was thinking of even taking it there for a thorough inspection since I'll be getting it serviced and probably stored there over the winter. Best I can do at this point, I guess but good advice on your part. Where were you a month ago, pal?! :D Jk.

WOW, look at that beauty! That's what attracted me to this make and model, is exactly what you see in that signature photo of yours. Look at those lines! And I like the new style, radar arch on it with the all-solid frame. Is that a newer model or did you change it? I don't think those came out until the 2012 or 13 models, I think? Either way, beautiful boat. Geez, I might need a sedative soon with all this building anticipation lol.

Well, mrfixit, this post makes me think I am a genius for checking the thread prior to leaving! This is excellent advice that I wouldn't have known otherwise and I'm not sure if I would've been told this by either my friend Joe or the seller! I will do exactly that, keep them off (I can put them in the truck bed since I have a cover for that) and just figure out a way to tie down the seat cushions. There's too many of those to put them all in the bed, I think, so I'll have to deal with that for sure. But excellent advice, sir, thanks very much and may your 276 last another 5000+ hours! :)

Off we go!

We modified our arch. 3 seasons ago I removed it, sent it back to the mfg,had the front and rear tubes welded on and repainted then reinstalled it. There's only 1 other boat like it out there as far as I know. Another forum member did it at the same time with his 276 and we traded ideas through the process.

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All great suggestions. My wife and I also are turning 50 and just got a 2009 Signature 290 last Saturday. It is 31' with twin I/O. I couldn't wait to take it out, we got out of our dock in Southern NJ with a near miss, and went for a 3 hour ride. I pulled up to an open fuel dock next door and got my salesman to dock it because I did not want to hit any boats. I got plenty of suggestions from dock mates. I hired a captain for a 3 hour class next weekend and I would recommend that because the 20 minutes on the phone he told tons of great suggestions. I would also echo everyone's suggestions that slow and steady around boats and docks are the way to go. Thank god I was always going slow and steady.

Best of luck!

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Greetings everyone!

Well, I just found this forum yesterday and decided to join after reading a few topics of interest and determining that this online, boating community is rather friendly and helpful. Those elements are critical to my dilemma that I am about to tell you folks and I'm not sure if the general consensus will be "you're nuts", or "are you crazy?" Or, and this is what I'm truly hoping to hear form you guys & gals is....."nah, don't worry you'll be just fine". Even if the latter is followed by role eyes and a turned head and a mouth-hidden comment - "he's screwed!" LOL! :D

All that being said, this is what I have done - I've always wanted to own my own boat and take the family and friends out on it and live the water life. I convinced my wife that since we're both approaching 50 years of age, if we're going to do it we better do it now because we have a good 15 years (if that) left in us and when would be a good time to start boating, when we're 65 or 70? I don't think so.

So as I researched different types and manufacturers, I came across the Chaparral bowriders and they were just perfect. After weeks of researching what's available within a reasonable distance, I found a 2010, 276 SSX with the black, hull band and the powder coated radar arch with the black bimini top. The boat has only 32 hours on it and I will be driving from Boston to upstate NY to pick it up on Tuesday. I haven't been able to sleep from excitement since I made the deal, but as it's settling in slowly, slowly, and watching many launches at several docks near my area, I'm beginning to wonder.................is a 28'-10" long boat is juuuuuust a bit too big for a newbie? Yikes!

When I was young I would have said yes - that's a lot of boat for a newby. But...I have a friend who just bought a boat - a 32' Larson - and its his first. So stranger things happen. At the risk of repeating some of the other advice:

1. Take it slow. First few times out, get out in an open area, throttle it to idle and play with maneuvering. You don't indicate if you have single engine or twins - big difference and you'll need to learn the eccentricities of yours. Judge how it acts as you're idling against the tide, with the tide, with wind blowing from all angles. If you're approaching another boat with the intent of tying off, or approaching a dock, NEVER approach it faster than you're willing to hit it! Serously. As I'm coming into my canal to get to my dock, As I'm coming up on my dock I throw it in neutral and let it come to a near stop. As its slowing I point the pointy end at the far dock, kick the engine into reverse and turn the wheel left. As it begins to reverse and center itself, I give it a gentle kick forward with wheel pretty straight. Just nudge it into gear than back out - and it slides in like I knew what I was doing. Takes a bit of practice, you'll hit things and they'll get fixed and youll learn with each adventure. Get out there - have fun! I would strongly recommend hooking up with a Power Squadron safety course if you can find one. Good bunch of people very interested in advancing the craft of boating. Good Luck!

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Sometimes with all the advice you get from all the different people that want to give you their 2 cents... the real teaching moments will be the mistakes you make on your own.

Those lessens sink in quick and you know what not to the next time.

Believe me you will make mistakes on your own and you will find out what works and doesn't!

Good Luck!

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Not too big and no such thing in boating. My second boat was a Chap 275 SSi, the cuddy cabin version of the 276. I used to think that boat was a beast of a big boat, but she shrunk on me with time. So did my 310 Signature and so is my 470 Sea Ray Sundancer. Use your boat, enjoy it and never think you should have gone smaller in a boat. Never.

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+1 ( Believe me you will make mistakes on your own and you will find out what works and doesn't! )

Someone once told me when I first started in my trade. ( You have been to school and now you are going to find out what the trade is really all about ). If you care to read up on seamanship, ( Chapman Piloting ) is a great book to get some solid info. But you still have to put your hands on the wheel to get to know what she can do. And what you are capable of doing. And like I said before you will grow into her. Denny.

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