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dwboater

Should I buy a new 277 SSX?

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I currently own a 2008 Caravelle 267 bowrider and a 1979 Century Arabian 200. I am considering selling both boats and purchasing a new 2019 277 SSX.  We rarely use the Century as the Caravelle 267 is much more family oriented. I typically just use the Century for the occasional cruise from our dock to the marina for dinner or for a quick ski run. I like the size, amenities, and power the Caravelle 267 has.  It’s powered by the merc 5.7 Ltr 300hp bravo III.  It’s still a great boat but we are looking to upgrade to a newer boat with an upgraded interior. I am considering this boat with a volvo 350hp closed loop cooling system as we boat in north Texas year round and would like to easily winterize and de-winterize. We have owned several boats over the years including the two I mentioned and a skeeter center console, a Glastron and a crownline.  In our search for a new boat, we have narrowed it down to the regal 26 fast deck, regal LS6, and the Chaparral 277 SSX.  

Suggestions?  What is your experience?  How do you like your 277’s. How are they powered?  Tower or no?  Volvo or merc?  Closed loop experiences?

Thanks in advance

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8 hours ago, dwboater said:

 It’s powered by the merc 5.7 Ltr 300hp bravo III.  It’s still a great boat but we are looking to upgrade to a newer boat with an upgraded interior. I am considering this boat with a volvo 350hp closed loop cooling system as we boat in north Texas year round and would like to easily winterize and de-winterize. We have owned several boats over the years including the two I mentioned and a skeeter center console, a Glastron and a crownline.  In our search for a new boat, we have narrowed it down to the regal 26 fast deck, regal LS6, and the Chaparral 277 SSX.  

Suggestions?  What is your experience?  How do you like your 277’s. How are they powered?  Tower or no?  Volvo or merc?  Closed loop experiences?

Go for it!  The 277SSX is a BEAUTIFUL boat!  Absolutely awesome.  That was what we were going to buy but being that it was going to be our first boat, we decided to buy a slightly used boat and in 2014, there weren't many (if any) 277 ssx's around, so we found our 2010 276 with only 40 hours and jumped on it.  But I've looked closely at the 277 and love everything about it.  The one thing that I would definitely do is get the version with the wetbar, but that's me and your needs could be better served with more seating than having a wetbar. 

I'm a Vovlo guy but the newer Mercs are pretty dam good and I'd say either are on par with one another.  Customer service seems to be better with Merc than with Volvo but there are some features you get with VP that you don't get with Merc and I believe the main one is the flushport.  VP has one right at the engine and you can flush the system very easily but I don't believe any of the new Mercs come with that.  Anyone can correct me if I'm wrong but that seems to be the case.

Closed cooling systems seem to be beneficial since almost all the new motors come with them now.  It keeps the engine block separated from the raw water which probably keeps it cleaner and free of accumulating junk, gunk and debris through the years of usage.  It probably also helps maintain a much steadier temperature for the engine  than raw water which is greatly affected by the condition of the impeller, even though the antifreeze is still at the mercy of the raw water to cool it down through the heat exchanger, I think it's still better to have it closed and separated from the raw water.  So that's a good thing.

Forget about the Regals and go with the Chaparral! :)  You'll also have to decide on the tower that you want.  I'm not sure if you can request the fixed ones anymore or if you only get the folding towers now with these newer models, but check on that too.  If it is indeed that it only comes with the folding arch, take a close look at it and be sure you like it. 

And do a thorough walk-thru of as much as you can see.  Check for quality control issues and make sure you have anything that doesn't look or seem right fixed before you take delivery.  There have been some cases of these QC problems recently but they are mostly isolated to the H2O line and some of the smaller models.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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8 hours ago, dwboater said:

I currently own a 2008 Caravelle 267 bowrider and a 1979 Century Arabian 200. I am considering selling both boats and purchasing a new 2019 277 SSX.  We rarely use the Century as the Caravelle 267 is much more family oriented. I typically just use the Century for the occasional cruise from our dock to the marina for dinner or for a quick ski run. I like the size, amenities, and power the Caravelle 267 has.  It’s powered by the merc 5.7 Ltr 300hp bravo III.  It’s still a great boat but we are looking to upgrade to a newer boat with an upgraded interior. I am considering this boat with a volvo 350hp closed loop cooling system as we boat in north Texas year round and would like to easily winterize and de-winterize. We have owned several boats over the years including the two I mentioned and a skeeter center console, a Glastron and a crownline.  In our search for a new boat, we have narrowed it down to the regal 26 fast deck, regal LS6, and the Chaparral 277 SSX.  

Suggestions?  What is your experience?  How do you like your 277’s. How are they powered?  Tower or no?  Volvo or merc?  Closed loop experiences?

Thanks in advance

You mentioned ease of winterization, and doing the potable water system and head is not all that easy but on the engine, the Merc single point drain system is really straight forward. A small air pump similar to a bicycle tire pump is used to inflate the multi-point drain valves which are pneumatically actuated. It takes less than 2 strokes of the pump before the valves open, and the air manifold is mounted high at the front of the engine and is easy to access. Once the system is up to pressure, two poppets move upward indicating that the system is up to pressure. At this point you will hear sea water begin to drain into the bilge space. The trick is to look at each of the various remote actuated drain points to be sure there is water flow. If the ports are blocked by debris, then you need to get them clear, but as long as you do a full fresh water flush of the raw water system a couple times a season and don't use your skeg as a depth finder, then they should stay clear. This action drains the exhaust manifolds, risers, and the remainder of the raw water network to include power steering cooler, cool fuel module, tube side of heat exchanger, raw water pump, and engine oil cooler if so equipped. After draining is complete (about 10 seconds) you must remember to pull the depressurizing ring valve to relieve the air pressure which closes the valves. As far as flushing the engine while in the water, have your dealer add a flush port to the suction side of the raw water pump. A simple tee is added to the suction hose and a hose is run to a remote location of your choosing somewhere above the waterline. A simple screw-on cap isolates that port. W

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Hatem, 

The arch I am looking at order is a power tower. I like the fact that you can lower it at the push of a button.  The down side is that the Bimini is literally half the size of the one on my 267. If I get the Tower, its a must that its folds for storage. I have a boat dock/house with ceilings 10’ Off the deck. 

Wingnut, 

I have the very system you are speaking of in my Caravelle on my 5.7 Merc.  The system is considered a season extender.  It doesn’t work for my boat in the slip on a cradle hoist.  It’s angled to allow the boat bilge to drain when needed.  This can trap water in the back of the motor when you pump it up and open the valves.  I have been winterizing this boat for 10 yrs and before I built my boat house, I would open the valves and trailer the boat home to allow all of the water to slosh and drain.  The one year I didn’t do this, I drained the motor with the pump system and It was on a slight angle. Water was trapped and I blew a freeze plug. I am lucky that there was no more damage. Now, in my slip I run rv/marine antifreeze through the motor and then pull the plugs.. then we boat on a warmer winter day and do the process again before we leave. That’s why I am looking at the Volvo with the closed loop cooling.  One push of the blue button and the heat exchanger drains at the low point and supposedly its pretty fool proof. Thoughts?

 

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I have thought about ordering the 277 without the power tower but everyone says it will hurt resale.  I will keep it 10 yrs plus..and the lack of it doesn’t seemed to hurt my 267’s value. I am not sure that everyone that is looking for a big bowrider wants a tower. I do like the way it looks though.

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2 hours ago, dwboater said:

That’s why I am looking at the Volvo with the closed loop cooling.  One push of the blue button and the heat exchanger drains at the low point and supposedly its pretty fool proof. Thoughts?

Yes, that quick drain port is fantastic.  The only thing that scares me about it is that safety pin that you have to pull out before you slide the cap up and all the water just drains right out.  That pin doesn't look like it takes much effort to remove it although I haven't tried it myself, I've seen it done and it just came out easily.  I would want to add a zip tie to the pull ring on that pin and wrap it around the port hose or something, just during the season so that pin doesn't work it's way out on its own while underway or while the engine is running.  It's probably harder than it appeared in the video I saw, but that was something I noticed.  

As far as the folding arch, from what I saw on the Boat Test video, it's flimsy as @#$%@#!  Which is why I mentioned looking at it carefully and be comfortable with it.

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10 hours ago, Hatem said:

Yes, that quick drain port is fantastic.  The only thing that scares me about it is that safety pin that you have to pull out before you slide the cap up and all the water just drains right out.  That pin doesn't look like it takes much effort to remove it although I haven't tried it myself, I've seen it done and it just came out easily.  I would want to add a zip tie to the pull ring on that pin and wrap it around the port hose or something, just during the season so that pin doesn't work it's way out on its own while underway or while the engine is running.  It's probably harder than it appeared in the video I saw, but that was something I noticed.  

As far as the folding arch, from what I saw on the Boat Test video, it's flimsy as @#$%@#!  Which is why I mentioned looking at it carefully and be comfortable with it.

I agree. 

Any quality issues with your boats?

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On ‎10‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 11:04 PM, dwboater said:

I agree.

Do you know if once you use that quick drain port if you actually pour the antifreeze from the same port or from the flushport?  I'm assuming you can't run AF through muffs after that to fill the exhaust and manifold and the rest of the raw water system since it will be empty and the impeller running dry for quite some time before it gets any AF.  Or is it meant to stay dry?

On ‎10‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 11:04 PM, dwboater said:

Any quality issues with your boats?

Every boat has some issue or another.  There isn't a perfect boat on this planet and those who say "my boat is 100% perfect without a single issue" are lying through their teeth! :lol:  Yeah we all have little (sometimes big) issue here and there, but this is an industry problem and not relegated to Chaparral or any other specific builder.

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5 hours ago, Hatem said:

Do you know if once you use that quick drain port if you actually pour the antifreeze from the same port or from the flushport?  I'm assuming you can't run AF through muffs after that to fill the exhaust and manifold and the rest of the raw water system since it will be empty and the impeller running dry for quite some time before it gets any AF.  Or is it meant to stay dry?

Every boat has some issue or another.  There isn't a perfect boat on this planet and those who say "my boat is 100% perfect without a single issue" are lying through their teeth! :lol:  Yeah we all have little (sometimes big) issue here and there, but this is an industry problem and not relegated to Chaparral or any other specific builder.

I am told it’s supposed to remain dry

 

 

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It is my understanding that draining the raw water (after a fresh water flush) is all that is needed.

From my 2018 VP Owners Manual:

Long-Term Storage

For long term storage (more than two months), we recommend that you have your Volvo Penta dealer “winterize” your engine and drive. Your dealer will provide the proper servicing and maintenance to ensure that your equipment is treated and stored properly.

Should you decide to winterize the engine and drive yourself, carry out the following procedures, in the order in which they are listed below:

  • Fuel system treatment as described in Preparing the Fuel System for Storage, page 92.
  • Check coolant for proper fill level and freeze protection level. See the Service and Maintenance Manual.
  • Drain water from raw water side of engine cooling system. See Engine Shutdown, page 53.
  • Pump the bilge dry and air out engine compartment.
  • Store battery as recommended by manufacturer.

 

From Page 92 Referenced:

Preparing the Fuel System for Storage

If the boat will not be used for two months or longer, the boat and engine must be prepared for storage.

Both the fuel in the tank(s) and the engine must be treated with a fuel treatment (stabilizer) that counters the negative effects of ethanol-blended fuels.

Use Volvo Penta Ethanol Fuel Treatment(3) to treat the fuel in the tank(s). Add the treatment according to the instructions on the label.

During storage the engine’s internal components must be protected from corrosion. This is done by introducing a Fuel Storage Mixture in to the engine. Fuel treatment and two-cycle motor oil are mixed in gasoline and then run through the engine. The oil in the mixture coats the inside of the engine and components with a light protective film.

See your Volvo Penta dealer to have the fuel system and engine treated with the Fuel Storage Mixture whenever the boat and engine will be stored for more than two months.

The Fuel Storage Mixture is also covered in the Service and Maintenance Manual.

 

From 53 as referenced:

Draining the Engine

This procedure covers draining the raw (sea) water from the heat exchanger and seawater pump. Draining these components also drains the exhaust manifolds. This is usually done to prevent damage to these parts during freezing temperatures.

NOTICE! Risk of freeze damage to engine components. If the water is not drained, during freezing conditions expanding ice will crack and damage these components.

NOTICE! If the engine is run with these damaged components major engine damage is possible.

Draining the coolant (antifreeze) from the engine is only done as part of scheduled maintenance. Do not drain the engine block for storage or freeze protection.

Easy Drain

All engines covered by this manual are equipped with Volvo Penta’s one point drain system; Easy Drain.

The system ties all of the engine drain points together into one drain manifold, that is actuated by a handle on top of the engine.

The handle is located on the port-side front corner of the engine, behind the heat exchanger.

Easy Drain can be used with the boat in the water or on land (trailer or storage rack).

 

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11 hours ago, VAJeff said:

It is my understanding that draining the raw water (after a fresh water flush) is all that is needed.

From my 2018 VP Owners Manual:

Thanks for posting that.  I guess it does stay dry.  So do you just put muffs on it in the spring time to fill it up and start the engine to check systems?  Or do you have to put the hose through the flushport and let it fun and fill before starting?

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8 minutes ago, Hatem said:

Thanks for posting that.  I guess it does stay dry.  So do you just put muffs on it in the spring time to fill it up and start the engine to check systems?  Or do you have to put the hose through the flushport and let it fun and fill before starting?

The engine itself is closed cooling.  Yes, all the areas the raw water touches just drain into the bilge using the Easy Drain.  They say to just leave it open, and provide a tag to hang from the ignition as a reminder to close the valves before starting the engine.

Really no mention of startup procedure except for the fact that if the drains are not closed the raw water pump will not prime.  So, if in the water, you can start business as usual (provided drains are closed).  If out of the water, connect the hose just was you would to flush the engine.  VP has to fresh water connection points, one in the engine compartment, and the other by the outdrive.  For both, you just hook the hose directly to, no muffs needed.

I am really happy with this setup!  We are back into boating after 13 years out of it (RVing for those years).  Last boat had a 454 Merc, and took a lot more effort to do these things!

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50 minutes ago, VAJeff said:

The engine itself is closed cooling.

I realize that.  :)

50 minutes ago, VAJeff said:

Yes, all the areas the raw water touches just drain into the bilge using the Easy Drain.  They say to just leave it open, and provide a tag to hang from the ignition as a reminder to close the valves before starting the engine.

I like the tag idea!  I can just see myself forgetting to close it, almost similarly to forgetting to put the blue cap back on the flushport after flushing.  Did that once and learned my lesson quickly!  Now I leave the wrench I use on the hatch so that it's impossible to close it without remembering to put the cap back on. 

50 minutes ago, VAJeff said:

Really no mention of startup procedure except for the fact that if the drains are not closed the raw water pump will not prime.  So, if in the water, you can start business as usual (provided drains are closed).  If out of the water, connect the hose just was you would to flush the engine.

Very cool.  So which way have you done it?  Or is this your first winterizing season and next spring will be the first time?  Personally, if the boat is at my house for the winter, I would stick the hose in the flushport, run the water for a minute or two and start the engine to check systems.  Then put it in the water.

50 minutes ago, VAJeff said:

VP has to fresh water connection points, one in the engine compartment, and the other by the outdrive.  For both, you just hook the hose directly to, no muffs needed.

It has a port on the outdrive?  Which outdrive is on your boat? Do you have a picture of that?  This is a first for me.

50 minutes ago, VAJeff said:

I am really happy with this setup!  We are back into boating after 13 years out of it (RVing for those years).  Last boat had a 454 Merc, and took a lot more effort to do these things!

Not a fan of sucky Merc lol. :lol:  That's great.  Wow, 13 years out of boating?  That's actually pretty good.  Do what makes you and your family happy for however long you want.  Live life.  Is it jus boating now or are you still Rving as well?  I'm yet to see this, but this is really the ultimate setup!

rig3.jpg 

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2 hours ago, Hatem said:

I realize that.  :)

Figured you did :)

2 hours ago, Hatem said:

I like the tag idea!  I can just see myself forgetting to close it, almost similarly to forgetting to put the blue cap back on the flushport after flushing.  Did that once and learned my lesson quickly!  Now I leave the wrench I use on the hatch so that it's impossible to close it without remembering to put the cap back on.

Yes, it is clever on VP's part!  I would do the same thing :), and I dod the same as you to leave a "reminder" for things.

2 hours ago, Hatem said:

Very cool.  So which way have you done it?  Or is this your first winterizing season and next spring will be the first time?  Personally, if the boat is at my house for the winter, I would stick the hose in the flushport, run the water for a minute or two and start the engine to check systems.  Then put it in the water.

First year with this boat.  It is kept at an indoor rack storage marina, wit ha soon to be trailer kept there as well.  Can't keep it at our house (stupid HOA) permanently, only a few nights in a row.  Knowing my wife and I (she has Early Onset Parkinsons too) we would not use it nearly as much as we do if we had to launch it every time off a trailer.  Nice to just call the marina up, say we are on the way, and they will even top the tank off...  Trailer will be to bring it home when we want and to take it to lakes  We live in South East VA, and boat the Elizabeth River, James River, and lower Chesapeake Bay.  I digress...  I will most most likely do the same as you described at the beginning of the season (or on nice days we do get during the winter months).  I will run Antifreeze through the boats freshwater tank, pump and faucets, and not touch those until spring.

2 hours ago, Hatem said:

It has a port on the outdrive?  Which outdrive is on your boat? Do you have a picture of that?  This is a first for me.

Yes, VP DuoProp, Volvo V-8 Gen V 2.32 DP 300 HP Catalyst.  I do have a pick of the transom after having tabs put on, I have cropped it in, so it is fuzzy.  Look to the left of the drive itself, and you will see a blue fitting.  That is the freshwater flush hookup by the drive.  It has a fitting to keep it in place when not in use.

d01829a7-65db-4efa-ac9a-5860da89c73c.png

2 hours ago, Hatem said:

Not a fan of sucky Merc lol. :lol:  That's great.  Wow, 13 years out of boating?  That's actually pretty good.  Do what makes you and your family happy for however long you want.  Live life.  Is it jus boating now or are you still Rving as well?  I'm yet to see this, but this is really the ultimate setup!

I will say I am liking the VP!  Our prior two boats were Mercs...  the 454 gave us some occasional issues.  In the early 2000's we had a Bayliner (I know) 2855 (I love the quality of the Chap in comparison).  It did suit our needs well at the time as a newly married couple.  We both grew up in boating families in this area.  

In 04 when our daughter was born, we used the boat so little (too much to take with an infant), it was a waste of our money to keep it.  Enter the RV, easy to pack up and go with the child, we could bring the RV home to do so!

Well, now she is a young teen, and not wanting to go away for weekends on the RV with mom and dad...  We made the decision to sell the RV (nice 5th Wheel Toy Hauler that we loved) golf cart, and all things related to the RV in early 2017.  Went that summer without either a boat or RV.  This past summer, we decided a decent size bow rider would suit our needs (really wants) well, and keep our daughter engaged too.

 

As you said, live life...  We make our leisure time activities match what fits us best :)

I have seen that setup a few times at some of the campgrounds we have been to!  Potentially when it is time to retire :) 

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21 hours ago, VAJeff said:

First year with this boat.  It is kept at an indoor rack storage marina, wit ha soon to be trailer kept there as well.  Can't keep it at our house (stupid HOA) permanently, only a few nights in a row.  Knowing my wife and I (she has Early Onset Parkinsons too) we would not use it nearly as much as we do if we had to launch it every time off a trailer.  Nice to just call the marina up, say we are on the way, and they will even top the tank off...  Trailer will be to bring it home when we want and to take it to lakes  We live in South East VA, and boat the Elizabeth River, James River, and lower Chesapeake Bay.  I digress...  I will most most likely do the same as you described at the beginning of the season (or on nice days we do get during the winter months).  I will run Antifreeze through the boats freshwater tank, pump and faucets, and not touch those until spring.

I'm very sorry about the Missus.  That is a very difficult thing to deal with but the immediate family support is essential in making the best of everything and it sounds like you have that under control.  That's one of the reasons why I find it extremely offensive and un-classy (borderline low-life-ish) to ever poke fun at someone's family members like has been done on this forum by the lowest scum of the universe that participate here because you never know what could be going on.  

Speaking of Chesapeake Bay, I towed my 276 from Boston to Ocean City back in 2015 to meet up with another forum member who had a 327ssx and we boated both sides of the bay and did quite a bit of fishing.  Nice place to boat. 

21 hours ago, VAJeff said:

Yes, VP DuoProp, Volvo V-8 Gen V 2.32 DP 300 HP Catalyst.  I do have a pick of the transom after having tabs put on, I have cropped it in, so it is fuzzy.  Look to the left of the drive itself, and you will see a blue fitting.  That is the freshwater flush hookup by the drive.  It has a fitting to keep it in place when not in use.

That is friggin awesome.  Unfortunately the pic is not showing up anymore but I did get to see it on my phone yesterday.  Love that!  So it's basically just a modification that you could do to any drive or is it limited to the DP?  I have a 2010 8.1Gi DPS-A.  I think it could probably be retrofitted.  I'll have to ask my Volvo dealer since that would be the ultimate to get rid of those gaddam muffs once and for all!

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16 hours ago, Hatem said:

I'm very sorry about the Missus.  That is a very difficult thing to deal with but the immediate family support is essential in making the best of everything and it sounds like you have that under control.  That's one of the reasons why I find it extremely offensive and un-classy (borderline low-life-ish) to ever poke fun at someone's family members like has been done on this forum by the lowest scum of the universe that participate here because you never know what could be going on.

Thank you.  Yes, we have a great support system in family and friends locally!  I hear you on poking fun, not cool!  

 

16 hours ago, Hatem said:

Speaking of Chesapeake Bay, I towed my 276 from Boston to Ocean City back in 2015 to meet up with another forum member who had a 327ssx and we boated both sides of the bay and did quite a bit of fishing.  Nice place to boat. 

A little further North of hear, but awesome boating area too...  We have some friends in Annapolis we need to go visit.  At the same time we were buying our Chap, unknown to us (and to them for us) they were buying a 21 H2O Sport.  We are planning a visit to each other for some weekend.  Next year, lake house rental :)

16 hours ago, Hatem said:

That is friggin awesome.  Unfortunately the pic is not showing up anymore but I did get to see it on my phone yesterday.  Love that!  So it's basically just a modification that you could do to any drive or is it limited to the DP?  I have a 2010 8.1Gi DPS-A.  I think it could probably be retrofitted.  I'll have to ask my Volvo dealer since that would be the ultimate to get rid of those gaddam muffs once and for all!

Yes, earlier today, I got on here and noticed PhotoBucket was down.  Looks like it is back up and running as I am typing this...  I am not sure, but the right person can make things happen, if this can be retrofitted or not?  Definitely well worth talking to your VP dealer to see though.  One by the drive and one attached to the block if the boat is in the water.  Don't have a pic of the one in the engine compartment.

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