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310 signature 2012 buying advise.

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I’ve been looking for a Chaparral for some time and I think I’ve found one. I’m in Australia.

2012 with twin 5.0 Mercruiser DTS, 215 hours, salt water. visually she is excellent and I’ve booked a pre purchase inspection plus engine check.

1: Are there any known issues I should focus on?

2: I am considering retrofitting a bow-thruster as I’ve a tricky mooring anyone done this?

Will be my first big boat, so I’m some what initially intimidated any comments on handling etc.

cheers

Andrew 

 

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Bow thruster is not a bad idea at all. Just remember, a boat like that you steer using the engines. Not the wheel........  

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1 hour ago, AFDD said:

I’ve been looking for a Chaparral for some time and I think I’ve found one. I’m in Australia.

2012 with twin 5.0 Mercruiser DTS, 215 hours, salt water. visually she is excellent and I’ve booked a pre purchase inspection plus engine check.

1: Are there any known issues I should focus on?

2: I am considering retrofitting a bow-thruster as I’ve a tricky mooring anyone done this?

Will be my first big boat, so I’m some what initially intimidated any comments on handling etc.

cheers

Andrew 

Excellent, good luck that's a beautiful boat.  Couple fellas on here with the same model and year.  It is a bit intimidating at first but once you get it and get busy driving it, it'll all be fine.  There's a member who bought a 330 for his & her first ever boat and they've done fine for their first season.  But then again they did have the Axius joystick option on theirs which made life much easier.

I will be doing a bow thruster installation on mine (smaller than the 310) coming up in April and will post the whole process.  It's a heck of a project but nothing we can't manage and handle ourselves.  Hardest part really is cutting the holes correctly and knowing how to glass the tube to the hull with the proper epoxy and fairing compound.  That's a process that requires a bit of skill and knowhow, but not too difficult if you have some level of personal skill.  And if it has bottom paint, then you don't have to worry about matching and blending the gelcoat finish.  You can skip that step and go straight to the primer and bottom paint.  Plus the 310 has much better access to the bow area for placement.  Mine -- because it's a bowrider -- will be a bit more difficult.  Take a pic of the boat and post it.

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If and when you get it, I would use the twin engines first because you might get used to spinning and controlling the bow using the separate, digital throttles and might not need a bow thruster.  It would help and make controlling the bow much easier, but might not be completely necessary.  Mine is a single engine so it would help a lot more.

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3 hours ago, Hatem said:

There's a member who bought a 330 for his & her first ever boat and they've done fine for their first season.  But then again they did have the Axius joystick option on theirs which made life much easier.

I thought you were talking about me (although my 330 is my second boat), then I read the Axius joystick part and wished I had a joystick :(

Anyways, the 310 will be a great boat, especially a newer one like a 2012. I have not heard of any known issues. 

If you've never had a twin engine boat, I would try it first without a bow thruster. You may find that you can handle it just fine without one. 

What makes your mooring tricky?

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A 31 footer can CRUNCH quickly in current and or wind.  You need a PRACTICE AREA DEEP enough to play without worry.. 

DO NOT TAKE the boat out the FIRST TIME  after owning it if there is wind or currents running !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You wait for STILL weather & water !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then load up with 4 or 6 cinder blocks & floating fenders. Use a SMALL DIAMETER  CORD . like Masons use. Cheap stuff that the props cut easily.   Lay them out in a straight line first. Do practice runs until confident.  Then make them into a BIG ENOUGH space to pull into from different directions confidently...……...Then make the space your space size. Different directions until VERY GOOD.

Have a simple to dock space somewhere that is NO PROBLEM in wind & current.  Get robbed for that space if necessary. Save your boat & insurance payouts. Get the space JUST UNTILL you can dock in weather,  that you would get in trouble with.

Do not get yourself into a crunch. 

Lots of BIG fenders on the sides & STERN BUMP EDGES  are needed at first. I use 1/2 all braided. No filler stuff in the braiding. for the fenders on even the 16'aluminum boat. 2 day storm yanking & bashing the boats endlessly.

I have horizontal floating fenders tied to the dock boards / pilings. The have a hole at each end. They are excellent in storms. Tie them ALMOST TIGHTLY. Leave slack to float up about 12" in storms.    Vertical boat fenders CAN jump up on a low floating dock.   You biggie needs a different mind set for storms.

You might like bow & stern cleats. WITH 2 cleats spaced in the middle of the hull.  They do all the bumping in a storm at any place except your dock.  My 2 amid ship,  8"   fenders,  provide huge stabile bumps on 19 foot boats . your 31 Might like 3 cleats. It depends on hull curvature at each fender. I carry fenders with a hole at each end & 2 lines for CONCRETE piers. I stay on board the boat if forced to use a concrete pier.

I have rambled.

I forgot.  Have the added cleats & fenders & floating fenders all made up & installed...………… Before you move the boat the first time/ 2 boat hookpoles will be needed some time.  long dock lines are a must for you. use them in a X configuration.  Bow line goes to a cleat on the dock near the stern. That line goes in place first. It allows the stern to move the boat around very easily. A little idle forward and all you need to do is left & right to hold the boat parallel while the boat stern line is tied to a  dock cleat near the bow.

Pieces of cake.

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Thanks guys.

I've a 9 x4.6m mooring perpendicular to the canal, most of my neighbors with single screws reverse in and they have thrusters, although neighbor with a big beamy Cabo & twin stern drive just bumps in. Good point maybe try first before fitting thruster, but I’ll be mostly single handed so I just being cautious.

Any comments re ultra sonic anti fouling Devices?

cheers

 

 

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The real docking fun begins when wind & current are pushing you away from dock & into next boat. I had to add cleats to my dock every 8' to do a alone in winds.  Also had pre made dock lines to just pick up as my drive position was about 8' into the slip. I lifted it with the boat hook and dropped it on the added mid ship STRONG cleat. This held me close to the dock.  The rest of the way in. Some days I just tied up in the visitor open wave areas. Safer. Only 2 rubs in 17 years of docking by a geezer.

 

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7 hours ago, AFDD said:

Thanks guys.

I've a 9 x4.6m mooring perpendicular to the canal, most of my neighbors with single screws reverse in and they have thrusters, although neighbor with a big beamy Cabo & twin stern drive just bumps in. Good point maybe try first before fitting thruster, but I’ll be mostly single handed so I just being cautious.

Any comments re ultra sonic anti fouling Devices?

cheers

 

 

You have 1.5m (5 ft) of extra width in your slip. That’s plenty. 

How wide is your canal? I maneuver my Sig 330 (35 ft LOA, 4 ft more than the 310) just fine in a 70 ft (21.3m) wide canal into my 4.6m slip  using twin engines without a thruster.

Make sure your boat is protected from your slip. Metal pilings should be covered with PVC pipe. Metal or concrete docks need permanent fenders. Make sure there is nothing exposed besides wood, plastic, and rubber. 

When you tie up, you should center your boat in your slip so you can’t rub anything. You have enough space that this is possible. Use 2 bow lines, one to either side. Use a forward running spring line from the mid-ship cleat. This prevents you from drifting back into the dock. Use 2 stern lines and cross them. With this line setup, you should be able to set it up that the boat stays centered in the slip and doesn’t touch the dock or pilings at all. 

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7 hours ago, AFDD said:

Thanks guys.

I've a 9 x4.6m mooring perpendicular to the canal, most of my neighbors with single screws reverse in and they have thrusters, although neighbor with a big beamy Cabo & twin stern drive just bumps in. Good point maybe try first before fitting thruster, but I’ll be mostly single handed so I just being cautious.

Any comments re ultra sonic anti fouling Devices?

cheers

Good luck.  Take a pic and post it so we can see it.  What type & size engines? 

And typically here in the US, a mooring is that ball that's tethered to an underwater weight that you can tie your boat to, kinda like a preset anchor.  A dock space is a slip, just FYI. 

I'm guessing a 2012 Chaparral Sig 310 with low hours like that is not cheap in the land down under.  Keep us posted so if you do end up getting it, we can share a Fosters and throw some shrimp on the barbie. 

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I just bought a 2014 310 Sig with the 5.0 MPI / DTS and Axius.

Things that I would make sure to look out for:

1) These engines with DTS and/or Axius need adequately sized batteries.  My manual calls for 1000 MCA.  The previous owner of my boat had skimped on batteries and there were several intermittent faults as a result.  Make sure there are the correct batteries in your boat.  Budget around $300USD-$350USD EACH for good AGM batteries if not.

2) Based on the age, I would budget for an engine survey, and ask for maintenance records.  You'll want to know when the last annual/100 hr service (lubrication, impeller, etc) was done, and when/if manifolds and risers have been done.  I skimped on the engine survey, and missed the aforementioned battery issue, and a couple of other items.

3) I don't think you need a bow thruster with two engines.  With practice, you'll get to a place where you can rotate the boat in its own length just by using the throttles.  Springing off of a dock or piling is why we have rub rails on our boats.

4) If all of the above check out, you'll LOVE this boat.  We've spent several weekends on ours and hosted friends for day trips out on the water, and she's a joy. I love it so much that I enjoy being on the boat even if I'm just there for a maintenance visit.

 

Best of luck!

 

-- Mike

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Great stuff.

thanks for the advise.

I’ve full history since early 2014 showing 3 major services, and 3 x antifouling, it’s had 2 new batteries. First owner used it hopping islands in the whitsundays, lucky him, I’m quite pleased that 140 hours was done in just the first 2 years, then typically 20 a year,  The current owners fitted new clears & canopies plus upgraded the garmin. He’s only owned 1 year and is upgrading to his mates bigger boat so wants this one gone, lucky me?? Maybe?

Booked full survey and engine test, inc compression, headers risers, bellow checks, plus corrosion check legs and coolant pipes in transom. Usual Mercruiser diagnositics etc. The drive lines my major concern as in 2017 I walked away from a 327 ssx with corroded legs & transom plates, I’m just hoping this ones clean.

watch this space.

Cheers.

8EE63A92-515D-448C-8296-C674AE2F04DB.jpeg

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2 hours ago, AFDD said:

Quickie 

anyone put a ladder on the bow?

Why would you, thats high off the water. I would not even think of going in less than 8 feet of water. You run the risk of sucking up up sand or mud. Never mind hitting anything.............

For the fun of it, I was reading that some of your tides are around 3 to 6 meters...  http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2002/05/01/2683462.htm  This place down under in 11 meters!! "Holy smokes Batman".  I don't know if I would want to get that close to the shore line. I thought a 4 to 5 meter tide in Boston was pretty good.

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7 hours ago, AFDD said:

Booked full survey and engine test, inc compression,

Really?  They're going to do a compression test on both 5.0 Mercs?  That's amazing considering that's quite the process on just one engine, let alone 2.

7 hours ago, AFDD said:

watch this space.

Cheers.

8EE63A92-515D-448C-8296-C674AE2F04DB.jpeg

Gorgeous.  That's a ton of space, my friend.  You won't need a bow thruster, guaranteed.  Once you get used to it, you'll be able to back that bad boy in easily. 

Can't tell and probably not because of the inflatable pad, but does it have bottom (anti-fouling paint?)

6 hours ago, AFDD said:

Quickie 

anyone put a ladder on the bow?

Tough to do on that model because of the windlass anchor.  Although I can't see it in your pic, but it should have a top bow windlass anchor that not only would get in the way, but the anchor locker is designed for only the windlass anchor and rode and not for a folding, bow ladder.  Other Chaparral models such as mine come with only a bow ladder and no windlass and so the retrofit of a windlass as well as keeping the bow ladder is easier to do in that case than the other way around.  Plus you can't use a top of the bow anchor but rather under the bow so as not to interfere with the ladder.  We use the ladder all the time when we beach the boat.

The Signature 330 has this type of windlass anchor, mounted on top of the bow.

aFagcc0.jpg

You need this type of windlass so the bow ladder folds out from above and over.

See the source image

O26Sgx6.jpg

FdtUSdV.jpg

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Appreciate the comments re handling and bow thruster, I’ve checked out YouTube and should be fun.

Re the photo unfortunately that’s not my mooring, mine is 4.6 x 9m, I’ve a jetty on one side and a $700k  boat on the other, the seapen shown isn’t on my agenda at this time, but she has been antifouled. 

I’m moving out of a Searay 220 sundeck, it has the bow ladder as on Chaparral, we beach it regularly as the water ways which are fairly shallow, the 310 has about 10cm additional draft, plus as the legs are almost 10 feet further behind should still be fine. Indeed you generally see 30+ footers with there noses in the sand. I guess a collapsible ladder of sorts, some thinking?

Yes, full pre purchase inspection (survey of sorts), Hull, electrics etc etc, includes full compression tests plus removal of one riser & header per engine to ascertain condition, even a leg removal to check, fairly extensive and envasive but $ well spent it I feel. In my A$ it’s A$1200 excercise + slipping A$300.

She come out of the water Monday, anxious.!

 

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One issue with the boat, that i found annoying js sleeping in the front berth.

It slopes slightly downward. We put some padding under the mattress to solve.I

We recently got a custom mattress that addresses this.

The biggest with the boat is servicing the port starboard engine.

Very hard to reach the starboard side.

Boat rides great. Enjoy and good luck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, AFDD said:

Appreciate the comments 

I’m moving out of a Searay 220 sundeck, it has the bow ladder as on Chaparral, we beach it regularly as the water ways which are fairly shallow, the 310 has about 10cm additional draft, plus as the legs are almost 10 feet further behind should still be fine. 

When beaching your 330, your stern will face the shore/beach, your swim platform has a ladder use that.  We and other cruisers approach the beach in reverse, dropping the bow anchor as we approach the beach and set the anchor and lift the outdrives. When we gets near 4 feet of water, we cut the engine, and run a stern anchor to shore.  Your 330 will be fine in chest deep water allowing guests on and off the boat in waist deep water. 

All this is predicated on you knowing the  water and it’s bottom, and having a bottom that can hold an anchor.

It is terribly bad form for you to bring  a 330 in bow first, beach it and have your guests climb over a rail and down an 8 foot ladder.

 

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I have always avoided gently sloped beaches with tides. Thy can  cause a bottoming out of the hull. Sand or anything else. You need to be caught in a sudden squall on the beach to know fear & apprehension. The white capped 4 to 5'  waves hitting the bow and causing the hull to bounce on the bottom.   It might convert you to using a inflatable taxi & deeper water from shore at full moon low tides & waves.

I am a convert.  :)

Great all cylinders compression test. Only 1 bad cylinder & no test at all,  would give the same repair bill.   Way to go.

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31 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

I have always avoided gently sloped beaches with tides. Thy can  cause a bottoming out of the hull. Sand or anything else. You need to be caught in a sudden squall on the beach to know fear & apprehension.

Cyclops,

You live in a world of fear that others thankfully do not suffer by way of common sense.   Day trips to beaches and good judgement, boaters are able to overcome avoid the perils that haunt you.

 

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This is what I call beaching, no waves, Very calm, small peninsular surf beach on the other side.  

The accessors on the clock so he stops if we agree it’s a no go, he starts with the deal breakers and progress to the minor items, done it a few times in my search, you can trust an Aussie!

1B8F0C0C-A9A0-4467-9EE7-7F6E03EBE81A.jpeg

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On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 8:53 PM, rjbergen said:

I thought you were talking about me (although my 330 is my second boat), then I read the Axius joystick part and wished I had a joystick :(

It's amazing how responsive it is.  I figured at first it would take a little more movement to get a reaction from the engines and steering, but that wasn't the case.

16 hours ago, AFDD said:

Re the photo unfortunately that’s not my mooring, mine is 4.6 x 9m, I’ve a jetty on one side and a $700k  boat on the other, the seapen shown isn’t on my agenda at this time, but she has been antifouled

Most slips are tight and I think once you get used to the twin engines, you'll be good to go.  That's pretty much the reason why Chaparral doesn't install a bow thruster with twin engines, because of the ability to control and steer each one separately gives you a lot of control of the bow.  And now I believe the joystick is standard all across the board.

They used to offer the bow thruster as standard on the older Signature 330's that came with V-drives, not stern drives.  So V-drives were just propeller shafts that came out of the center of the bottom hull and had their brackets holding the ends, then the propellers and behind the propellers were the rudders.  Imagine backing up a boat with prop shafts and rudders?  At least with twins you can push starboard prop in forward and portside in reverse to steer because rudders are practically useless when backing up.  So they would add bow thrusters to those V-drive models to assist in that reverse dilemma caused by the rudders.  They kept the bow thruster as a standard feature for a short while once they started putting sterndrives on the 330s, even though you could actually turn the boat easier since the entire propeller turns with the ouotdrive and get much better steering response.  So there were a few years of the 330 (not sure about the 310) that they did offer them with twin outdrives and BT but they slowly ditched the thruster as the newer models came about.  Here's once of the 330s with a BT and twin stern drives.

See the source image

 

16 hours ago, AFDD said:

I’m moving out of a Searay 220 sundeck, it has the bow ladder as on Chaparral, we beach it regularly as the water ways which are fairly shallow, the 310 has about 10cm additional draft, plus as the legs are almost 10 feet further behind should still be fine. Indeed you generally see 30+ footers with there noses in the sand. I guess a collapsible ladder of sorts, some thinking?

Oh man, there is all kinds of stuff out there for that, if you really want to have a bow ladder.  Here's just one example!  Not sure this is very appealing, but to each his own.

41cb6db9c0583d4adc87a57ef917fc57.jpg

What I would suggest is to do what most of us here do and like someone mentioned already and that is to back up.  Drop the windlass anchor at the bow at the right depth, get it to grab well and then back up a little slowly while lifting your outdrives until you're in about 4ft of water and then use the swim platform ladder to get on and off that way.  Much easier and more comfortable.  I do it all the time.

ymhpFhK.jpg

Then tie off a stern anchor to shore.

NSX0C5o.jpg

16 hours ago, AFDD said:

Yes, full pre purchase inspection (survey of sorts), Hull, electrics etc etc, includes full compression tests plus removal of one riser & header per engine to ascertain condition, even a leg removal to check, fairly extensive and envasive but $ well spent it I feel. In my A$ it’s A$1200 excercise + slipping A$300.

She come out of the water Monday, anxious.!

Compression test on each cyclinder on both V-8s and removal of riser & manifolds to visually inspect?!?!?!  That's unbelievable!  You'll never see that in this country LOL!  Good for you and good luck.

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