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Ed

2017 337 SSX

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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!

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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. 

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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.

 

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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.  

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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!!

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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

 

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Hi Ed. My husband and I have the same boat. Just purchased it from a dealer over summer.  We just had a problem where there was no steering at all.  Joystick and steering wheel didn’t work.  They did fix it though. It was electrical. 

But jump back two weeks ago (we only used the boat 3 times) and the batteries are draining even while everything is off.  

Brand new and in the shop more than we have driven it. 

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Check your bilge pumps for running a lot due to leaks in the drive hoses & cracks around the drives hull fastening plates.  A C & generator plumbing & hoses are possible leakers.

A lot of electronics can consume power. I have left the music power system on, depth finder, night lights, etc.  So can defective shore powered battery chargers.  A defective battery can pull all the others down if the battery selector switches are left in the ALL position.

You are now a experienced boat stuck in any gear operator .  Turn the ignition off & brake with the shifting engine . If you can process this problem fast enough  again.

The marina mechanic gets the repair bills. To reimburse you.

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27 minutes ago, Bt Doctur said:

See if you can retro it to straight mechanical shift and throttle

Why?  She would lose so much of all the great features of a digital throttle control AND the joystick control.  The difference from a DTC to a conventional cable shift is like night and day.  I don't even think it's worth doing it only on the steering wheel since it's all integrated with the digital FBW system.    

Finding the problem and fixing it is really the only way to go.  

19 hours ago, Sharon n steve said:

Hi Ed. My husband and I have the same boat. Just purchased it from a dealer over summer.  We just had a problem where there was no steering at all.  Joystick and steering wheel didn’t work.  They did fix it though. It was electrical. 

But jump back two weeks ago (we only used the boat 3 times) and the batteries are draining even while everything is off.  

Brand new and in the shop more than we have driven it. 

It's a brand new 2017 337SSX?  It should be under warranty and I would stay on top of the dealer, aggressively to make sure they fix it and fix it right and in a timely fashion.  I'm sure that boat was a pretty penny and something like that should be taken care of with great enthusiasm by the dealer and Chaparral.

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Hi sharon n Steve,

Sorry to hear about your issues. I hear ya, and know its totally frustrating and not expected with a new boat. Unfortunately we are not alone. My neighbor took delivery of a  brand new 44ft viking and has similar electrical problems. so Chaparral is not alone! Believe it or not my dealer told me it is not unheard of to work out some bugs with new boats! 

With that being said, Your best bet is with your dealer and stay on them. During My first season my boat was either in the shop or the dealer doing  service calls every couple weeks. they finally changed out 8 sensors. 

My shifting problem was a cable break(1st time) and then a mechanic failure on the repair  the 2nd time. It was all good this season until this week. again sensor warnings all over again!

Good luck and stay on the dealer, they should be able to figure it out. it does sound like a electronic issue.

once its repaired, i recommend you do a test drive  and show them exactly what you were doing when the problem occurred .

Best,

ed

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Sorry forgot to address batteries. they told me to just keep the house battery on and shut the others in the panel in the cabin. I also have mine boat hooked up tp shore power when not in use for more than a day and have not had any issues.

ed

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on one of my past boats, I had the carbon monoxide detectors draining the batteries.  They were hooked up to the batteries directly, and so constantly draining.  I had the connection moved to the battery switch and the CO detector replaced since I would never be on board without the batteries turned on.

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