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Badge57ME

Getting started in Maine

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My wife and I are getting in to the boating world after 20 years of camping.  We have great friends that have shown us the way of enjoying Spring, Summer and Fall that just makes sense.  We were paying for a camper that we only used 1 week a year. (foolish)  We are heading out this week with a great sale's person from a marina to look at a Chaparral 280 Signature. 2002. Any helpful advise would be encouraged.

 

28Chappral-640x456.jpg

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Welcome the boating world. If this is your 1st go around, highly suggest both you and the "Boss" take the Coast Guard or Power Squadron boating safety course prior to heading out on the big Chap. The big ones can be a handful for the 1st boat.

That 280 Sig looks clean as a pin, but check carefully on the maintenance records (if there are any) and have a good survey done. And pay special attention to those Volvo drive(s)..

Be safe and have fun.

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If that is a picture of the boat you are looking at, then I'll say a good looking boat.  It appears to have Mercruiser Bravo 3 out drives.  Stay away from the Volvo XDP drives that came out somewhere in mid 2000s.  Someone here may know more exact dates.  But I looked at a 2005 Chaparral that had them.  Buddy of mine who is a part time marine mechanic told me to run.  Far, and fast, you can look up the issues on line. 

One thing to look for is who will service your boat.  You may or may not have shops that are geared toward  Volvo or Mercury.  Around here, more people know mercury drive trains and carry parts, so I made sure our boat had Mercruiser hardware. 

Second, Survey, Survey, Survey.  Find a local marine surveyor, Do not use the recommended surveyor from the marina. Find an independent one, even if he needs to drive an hour (he'll charge you, but you want an unbiased inspection).  The costs are usually by the foot, and for that boat, can range between $500, and $700.  It will be the best money you spend.  Either he will find major problem, and you can walk away or negotiate better deal, or boat will be in great shape and you will have piece of mind and a document for insurance company. 

Third, get USCG or other boater safety training.  Include the whole family.  In NY, our 14 yo daughter took the class and can now take the helm when I need or at least knows the rules and can help me. There will be other things like safety gear, etc that you can get answers to later.  But these three things should get you a good start.

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Update on our purchase.  The Salesman drove my wife, friend and I to New Hampshire to put eyes and hands on our future purchase.  Knowing its a 2002, a 2 owner boat, and its just been uncovered from shrink wrap, my expectations were not outlandish.  To much of our surprise the boat was in really great condition.  The engine compartment was immaculate.  There was a bit of wear on the carpet at the stern entrance as to be expected but the rest of the snap in was really good.  All vinyl was perfect and well kept. Our sales man started to chuckle as he reached under the floor access and stated "watch this".  He pulled a key from under the floor and said "I put this key here the day I sold this boat to the original owner"  That was obviously back in 2002.  He knew this boat inside and out and began checking every inch of the vessel.  Besides the normal wear and tear on the boat, he highly recommended this boat.  It did make us feel better about this purchase.  We put a deposit down on the boat and the purchase is pending after sea trial.  The Signature 280 is deceivingly large with huge living space below.  I am so excited to be finally on the water. 

It is powered by Fuel injected 5.0L Volvo Penta engines.

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Myself and others will say to still get a survey.  There are some things they may find that look fine on the outside, but could be trouble underneath the nice shiny fiberglass.  Though doubtful since its in good shape, but recommended.  You may also need the survey results for insurance purposes.  At least my insurance asked for one.

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The picture shows what looks like a single prop aluminum drive (not XDP).

Yup, 2002 boat ... I would survey it before buying. Outside looks like in good shape, inside ... survey it.

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Things like toilets, sinks, water tanks, ranges, outlets, refrigerators, water drains, sewage pump outs & out of sight wiring & hoses.   Smell of gasoline due to worn gasoline hoses. The surveyor should check everything due to it being a 2002.  A CO2 & smoke detector.  Lots to depend on in a bigger boat.

Get a GREAT surveyor.  He is worth your safety & not worrying when going to sleep............... We can jump out of any camper in a emergency............. Not so with a boat miles from shore at night.    Enjoy the beauty.  :)

Please tell the surveyor this is your first boat.  He will be much more critical about all items on the boat.

 

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Congrats on the new boat!!

I have a 2011 Sig 290. Which is almost, the same boat. Same beam, twin engines, fuel and water capacities the same.

Maine has a great coast line! Are you doing lakes, salt water or both? There are different things you must do for ether one. Salt water is more of a challenge, but with that coast line I would differently do it. You could spend two or three years going places and never hit the same place twice. Even a short hop to Nova Scotia. 

But do take a boating course and think of adding a VHF if there is not one already.   

 

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Update on this journey of entering the boating world.  Last Wednesday the salesman brought my wife, close friend, and I to NH to inspect the boat. 2 hour drive from where we are in Maine but a nice drive.  Keeping in mind the boat was shrink wrapped all winter, the boat was in really nice condition.  Its a 2002 280 Sig so I expected some wear and tear. Minimal pin striping missing, gelcoat looks amazing (well kept).  Engine compartment clean as a whistle, galley, births, bathroom and storage areas all dry and clean. one small piece of molding missing, carpets in good condition. There is some pitting on the outdrives and the magnesium may need to be replaced.    Unfortunately Lake  Winnipesauke is still packed with ice so no sea trial.  

Yesterday I received all maintenance records beginning from 2011 to present.  Our sales man noted there was no work done to gimbal bearings and called the service manager in NH.  He found that the now owners were advised that both bearings needed replacing.  So our sales man told them to contact the owners of the boat and advise them that work has to be completed at their cost or we are not purchasing the boat.  The owners were contacted and agreed to complete everything.  This brings me to the next thread I will start. To be continued. lol

Thank you to everyone who has responded back to my questions.

ken

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