Ed

2017 337 SSX

9 posts in this topic

new to this site, i enjoy all the topics and hope someone can shed some light on our dilemma .  I purchased a new  2017 337 SSX last year, we have encountered some control issues and was wondering if anyone has ever had the same issues or heard of them. 

about a month into our new boat we lost shifting control on the port side engine where the engine was stuck in neutral. it happened after leaving a fuel dock, we were in open water and able to get back on one engine. the dealer repaired it and all was fine with the shifting. Fast forward  one year and we lost the same shifting control, where it would not go in reverse or neutral and stayed in forward . unfortunately this occurred when coming into our marina and was the cause of an accident. after securing the boat i found that the port side engine, while (shifter) in neutral was actually stuck in forward and actually started in forward gear!

i have been boating for 40 years, 6 boats and never experienced anything like this. We are working with the dealer who has been trying to get Chap and merc. to weigh in. But we have have lost all faith in this boat.It was a traumatic experience for the people on board and in our marina. Boats don't have brakes! I don't think its too much to expect your new boats controls to function properly. Mercruiser said they have this same set up on thousands of boats and never had this happen before. so i figured i'd reach out to the forum to ask.

I was told the volvo set up was the same.besides the fact that we could not stop the boating time , what really bothered men was that the boat could start in gear. i don't believe any of my outboards or inboards would start in gear and would think with modern technology some type of safety would prevent a boat from starting in gear.

very frustrated and disappointed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aren't all the newer boats throttle by wire? What is your dealer saying about the problem?  Lastly, the best advice I was ever given about boating near docks and other boats was never go any faster than you are willing to hit something. I hope you find out what the problem is. That's unacceptable. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I have a 2017 Formula 350CBR with the new 6.2L Mercs + BIIIs + JPS.

One time this past summer, my port engine stuck in F while in the marina. Fortunately my instinct to turn off the engine helped me avoid an accident.

I reported it to Formula (who relayed to Merc), but they didn't seem to care. (FWIW, I find Merc to be just an absolutely awful company -- to contact them about an engine under warranty incurs a phone charge just to *speak* with them.)

Anyway, I never had any more incidents throughout the season with the boat taking off on its own. I did, however, need to replace one of my shift actuators (under warranty) as it was popping the engine in and out of gear at cruise speed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎11‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 5:29 PM, Ed said:

new to this site, i enjoy all the topics and hope someone can shed some light on our dilemma .  I purchased a new  2017 337 SSX last year, we have encountered some control issues and was wondering if anyone has ever had the same issues or heard of them. 

about a month into our new boat we lost shifting control on the port side engine where the engine was stuck in neutral. it happened after leaving a fuel dock, we were in open water and able to get back on one engine. the dealer repaired it and all was fine with the shifting. Fast forward  one year and we lost the same shifting control, where it would not go in reverse or neutral and stayed in forward . unfortunately this occurred when coming into our marina and was the cause of an accident. after securing the boat i found that the port side engine, while (shifter) in neutral was actually stuck in forward and actually started in forward gear!

i have been boating for 40 years, 6 boats and never experienced anything like this. We are working with the dealer who has been trying to get Chap and merc. to weigh in. But we have have lost all faith in this boat.It was a traumatic experience for the people on board and in our marina. Boats don't have brakes! I don't think its too much to expect your new boats controls to function properly. Mercruiser said they have this same set up on thousands of boats and never had this happen before. so i figured i'd reach out to the forum to ask.

I was told the volvo set up was the same.besides the fact that we could not stop the boating time , what really bothered men was that the boat could start in gear. i don't believe any of my outboards or inboards would start in gear and would think with modern technology some type of safety would prevent a boat from starting in gear.

very frustrated and disappointed!

 

Wow, that is crazy scary.  I hope no one was hurt.  It's very stressful as it is pulling into a tight slip in a crowded marina let lone try doing it with a motor that's stuck in forward gear.  That must've been very frightening. 

I'm not surprised by the reaction you're getting TBH.  And if they fixed it the first time, what's preventing them from fixing it again and fixing it right, this time?  Is the warranty expired?  For a boat that size and that costly, you'd think they would be doing whatever it takes to fix a dangerous problem like that.

That shifter is also not exactly a simple piece of technology, and a lot of it is digital from what I vaguely know, so the problem is probably a lot more complicated than a simple, stuck linkage/cable or wedged mechanism. 

Hope you get it taken care of and keep us posted.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, FastMarkA said:

Interesting. I have a 2017 Formula 350CBR with the new 6.2L Mercs + BIIIs + JPS.

One time this past summer, my port engine stuck in F while in the marina. Fortunately my instinct to turn off the engine helped me avoid an accident.

I reported it to Formula (who relayed to Merc), but they didn't seem to care. (FWIW, I find Merc to be just an absolutely awful company -- to contact them about an engine under warranty incurs a phone charge just to *speak* with them.)

Anyway, I never had any more incidents throughout the season with the boat taking off on its own. I did, however, need to replace one of my shift actuators (under warranty) as it was popping the engine in and out of gear at cruise speed.

 

Yeah you don't want to be plowing into docks with other boats and people with a boat like that.  That's a crazy problem.  With all the new technology in all these motors, you would think there is a failsafe mechanism to not allow something like that to happen.  Must be super frustrating to be in a superb boat like that and run into that kind of problem, especially a brand new one and of the caliber of Formula.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Hatem said:

Yeah you don't want to be plowing into docks with other boats and people with a boat like that.  That's a crazy problem.  With all the new technology in all these motors, you would think there is a failsafe mechanism to not allow something like that to happen.  Must be super frustrating to be in a superb boat like that and run into that kind of problem, especially a brand new one and of the caliber of Formula.

Yeah, testing that "full replacement value" insurance thing by charging land with 14k lbs of fiberglass wasn't all that high up on the list of objectives I had for a new boat. :)

I place blame onto Mercury here. Their VesselView system has been buggy since the beginning of time (I had a previous generation in my 2011 SR, and I wanted to rip it out of the dash on several occasions), and while the newer version in my 2017 is definitely an improvement, it doesn't come anywhere close to the programming elegance that even economy cars feature today. (I get the car market is exponentially larger and reaches a much wider demographic band than boats, but that doesn't mean a product should be safe 98% of the time.)

I'm convinced the "runaway boat" thing is rooted in faulty software programming/electronics. In fact, it has to be, because if it were old school shifting cables, it'd be super easy to trace the problem.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks all for your reply's. Turns out the dealer got the merc factory rep. to come check it out . They were  really good about it. took care of the minor scratches to the other boat and all the scratches from the guys prop to my boat.

More importantly they assured me they never had this problem before. After their research they found it started with the first repair, which was the cable from the factory not running thru the grommet, causing the cable to shear. The dealers mechanic replaced the cable and did not attach the cable properly on the engine. the result was the boat stuck in forward no matter where the shifter position was. So, no so much a factory problem as it was human error. He did confirm there is not a safety mechanism with the key that would stop the boat from starting in gear in that situation. i would guess thats  because the shifter was in the neutral position and that is what the computer relates to. Thats the scary part!

Anyway, looking forward to next season and will never take any controls for granted, no matter how sophisticated.  And just glad i was only going  3 mph.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update and glad it’s worked out to your satisfaction.  Also glad you practiced a key rule of boating as mentioned by many folks on here; and that is, never approach any object (dock, shore, another boat, etc.) faster than you are willing to hit it!!  As with any mechanical device (like a safety on a gun), it can fail so handle it appropriately.

Looking forward to Spring!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Ed said:

He did confirm there is not a safety mechanism with the key that would stop the boat from starting in gear in that situation. i would guess thats  because the shifter was in the neutral position and that is what the computer relates to. Thats the scary part!

 

my guess would be down the road - sensors will be added to the throttle body and the controls as a safety feature.  glad to hear they took care of both you and the others at the dock

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now