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CoastalDreamin

Brand New 203 Vortex Major Problems

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So.... I have been checking out these awesome boats for some time. With the holiday weekend approaching fast, I decided to pull the trigger on a 2015 Vortex 203. I went to the only authorized dealer in the area despite all the bad online reviews. After paying for the boat, filling it up with gas and getting it in the water, I started to notice issues.

First, the neutral idle is at 2k RPMS. This obviously makes to boat go forward and there's no way it can be on without moving.

Second, after navigating out of the canal at 5MPH, I punched it..... WOW! What a loud boat at 8-9k RPMS. You would think I was going super fast..... NOPE. Still 8-10 MPH. Let off the gas and let water get tot he back of the boat..... Then hit it..... You get a better result. This does not seem right at all.

Third... Let do some digging into our paperwork. No DVD, No owners manual, no papers, no diagrams... NOTHING.

At this point, no need for counting. After 3 counted hours of the same issues.... Now the battery light in on, the check engine light is one, the service engine soon light is on..... AND the boat seems to simply cut off wen running at full speed. If you try to accelerate too fast, you just get major sputtering and the throttle just stops working all together.

Did I mention the rear light pole is majorly bent, the seal around the windshield is torn in several places, the instrument panel has glue spots all over, the gas gauge show 3/4 of a tank right after I fill it up, there's a hole on one of the rear seats and there appears to be clear silicone caulk around one of the ports in the rear of the boat?

After investigating a bit, I hear I could be suffering from cavitation and it may be an impeller issue. So, I pull the boat out of the water and investigate.... The impeller has chip marks on the blades. This helps explain but still does not explain all the issues with the engine, battery, etc.

I simply cannot imagine this is a product that Chaparral signed off on and sent to the dealer. Can anyone help me with what my next move should be?

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Wait...... I failed to mention that the boat does not sit on the tailer property. It does not touch on the exterior rails or the one that supports the bottom of the bow. I think they may have switched things around on me and taken advantage of a first time boat owner.

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Sorry to hear this, and it ain't right, but ...

Have you done any serious research of the type of boat, brand, and the dealer before you decided to buy?

Have you done any serious inspection including a sea trial before paying for that jetboat? Hmmm ...

Not what you want to hear, but your only hope now is to work with the dealer and with Chap to resolve as many issues as you can squeeze from them under warranty, and a strong boat lemon law in your state (if any) to support you. Good luck my friend!

BTW, start collecting all correspondence and sale/service documentation starting with boat window sticker and dealer's offer.

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I cant comment on the boat issues, but your comments on the trailer i can. The side guides are not supposed to always be against your boat. They are only there to help you center the boat while putting out on the trailer. The bunk under the bow is only used while doing the same. If you are on a steep ramp, it will prevent the keel from banning against the center steel beam I on Your trailer

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Really sorry to hear about your new boat experience, the Rotax engine should idle at 1,700 rpm, which is higher than an I/O drive but it shouldn't be as high as 2k rpm.

I'm wondering if the jet / bucket is badly adjusted, at neutral a bucket drops behind the jet nozzle to direct water to the sides rather than behind to stop the boat going forward (at speed), if the jet nozzle is badly adjusted the back of the boat will swing in one direction or the other - but that said it is the nature of jet boats to coast when the engines are running, the only sure neutral is engines off.

If the bucket is partially down when you throttle up the jet thrust will be blowing in all directions which explains why the revs are up, and you're only getting 10mph - it should be well over 40mph at 8k rpm.

As has been mentioned, none of that explains the spluttering engine, service light or excuses the quality issues - you definitely need to work through with the dealer and Chap - good luck, let us know how you get on.

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I'm with Richard. Pre-delivery inspection and sea trial would have flushed almost all those issues out.

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Talk to your dealer about the fuel gauge. As soon as I mentioned fuel gauge, he stopped me and said, "let me guess, stuck at 3/4 tank when completely full". Apparently there is a known issue with the fuel float in the tank. They will swap it out with another and you should be good to go. Should be no charge if still under warranty. Mine is out of warranty by a month and they took care of it for free. I concur with "Baum's" explanation about your trailer as well.

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I recently purchased the same boat I had the ¾ tank thing happen to me as well the 1st time I filled it up. I waiting to see what happens the second time. My check engine light also came on the after my 2nd time out. The reason it did is because I forgot to place the throttle in the locked neutral position prior to starting and it is a built in safety feature (for good reason) the dealer was able to troubleshoot that fairly quickly. I am a 1st time boat owner as well, but have been around boating for years. Owning is definitely different than just riding on a friend’s boat. I always put my boat in docking mode when maneuvering in and out of wake zones. It will minimize the sound issue and it is a good practice to avoid cranking the RPM’s higher than needed. It always helps with launching and docking.

My dealer provided me with several owner’s manuals and a DVD. Chaparral is now offering a 5 year warranty for their summer promotion. I would ask the dealer if you get that deal since you are having some issues. It might provide you with some piece of mind going forward.

*Remember the boat won’t reach its full RPM capacity until after the break-in period usually 7-10 hours of runtime. I wouldn’t push the boat too hard until after that time is completed.

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You were sold .................DEMONSTRATION RIDE BOAT..............They collect those problems.

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