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Pros and cons to a forward drive boat


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I'm looking to purchase a chaparral 246 ssi surf boat but I'm a little nervous about getting a boat with the forward drive. Can anyone help with the pros and cons to this type of boat ? Do you recommend getting that kind of a boat ?

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pros- obviously safer. I find that the boat maneuvers better.

cons- have had two prop strikes. 

overall we love it. kids and I enjoy surfing. no regrets (so far) 

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46 minutes ago, Raft-up said:

pros- obviously safer. I find that the boat maneuvers better.

cons- have had two prop strikes. 

overall we love it. kids and I enjoy surfing. no regrets (so far) 

When you say prop strikes,  like with the ground or hitting stuff in the lake when running the boat?  Shallow water hits are one thing,  but striking something while running seems like it would be a catastrophic event.

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No noticeable REAL difference when not skiing.   Average person would not feel any difference.  You might /  will have prop strikes going over driveway ramps boat ramps 7 pot holes in roads.  

A idiot who has engine running & backs up to the person in the water ?  Will STILL cut them to pieces. 

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I find the performance of my 257 better then my 220. more maneuverable both at high speed but especially in backing into a slip. hole shot and top end are better too. 

my prop strikes where both submerged debris. water is high here from all the rain. didnt see either object. had to get prop fixed and balanced, luckily no drive shaft issues. 

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I Heard that hitting the prop weather on land or in the water is a big issue with these boats. How shallow of water do you feel comfortable being in?

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I'm a big baby with depth.  I get a pucker factor at 6'. i really try to stay deep because my lake bottom is rock and very unforgiving. my boating buddies make fun of me. 

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I will be trailering the boat back and forth and the face that people said they bit the prop 2 times while on land from a speed Bump and  potholes is also a major concern that's making me think about it heavily

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55 minutes ago, Dom said:

I will be trailering the boat back and forth and the face that people said they bit the prop 2 times while on land from a speed Bump and  potholes is also a major concern that's making me think about it heavily

That is the first thing I thought that it look to low on a trailer and it will hit the ground.

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I don't trailer mine, but have seen the trailers for the forward drives. has a bar on the trailer to protect the props. might be worth a look to see if it would ease your mind. 

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I never thought about how low the props would be to the ground on a trailer with the Forward Drives. That's a great point. This trailer has the bar like Raft-up mentioned. I would say this is a must-have for one of these boats.

Cruise-Craft-14.jpg

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1 hour ago, JGuilesBand said:

I never thought about how low the props would be to the ground on a trailer with the Forward Drives. That's a great point. This trailer has the bar like Raft-up mentioned. I would say this is a must-have for one of these boats.

Cruise-Craft-14.jpg

That is way to low for me. The props or the lower unit are to much money to take a gamble.

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On 6/2/2020 at 9:11 AM, cyclops2 said:

Run shallow when they pay your prop & drive bills.  There is no kick up safety . Just the " I snapped off the entire drive unit.  "

Why do you say there is no kick up safety?  What leads you to believe that they removed the safety?  What knowledge do you have to suggest this.

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On 6/2/2020 at 9:01 AM, Raft-up said:

I find the performance of my 257 better then my 220. more maneuverable both at high speed but especially in backing into a slip. hole shot and top end are better too. 

my prop strikes where both submerged debris. water is high here from all the rain. didnt see either object. had to get prop fixed and balanced, luckily no drive shaft issues. 

Really interested to hear your experiences!  Have you surfed behind any direct drives?  If so, how does it compare?  Are you using the factory ballast only or did you add ballast?

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That picture says it all about a log or major floating  tree  trunk.  The prop shaft is forced down & the 45 mph trunk slams the drive DOWNWARD . That traps the tree in the hook shape of the drive. 

The boat is ...........YANKED .............to a very sudden deceleration. It will throw people forward at 45 mph.  as the boat slows down. I have helped people thrown forward  at below planing speeds. sprains & twisted joints. Ripped skin if they caught hard corners. 

My Father in Law hit a hard packed sand bar at 5 to 10 mph . his son was ejected from the seat next to me. FLEW & slammed into the cabin wall at the cockpit area. 1 TOUGH Italian  !! I hit the back of the padded seat in front of me . sprained neck & shoulder.

All 3 of us were moaning in pains.

I would not own any boat with a drive becoming a C hook on a floating object.  

The underwater drive parts ........MUST    MUST allow the boat to slide over the object.  Period

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14 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

That picture says it all about a log or major floating  tree  trunk.  The prop shaft is forced down & the 45 mph trunk slams the drive DOWNWARD . That traps the tree in the hook shape of the drive. 

The boat is ...........YANKED .............to a very sudden deceleration. It will throw people forward at 45 mph.  as the boat slows down. I have helped people thrown forward  at below planing speeds. sprains & twisted joints. Ripped skin if they caught hard corners. 

My Father in Law hit a hard packed sand bar at 5 to 10 mph . his son was ejected from the seat next to me. FLEW & slammed into the cabin wall at the cockpit area. 1 TOUGH Italian  !! I hit the back of the padded seat in front of me . sprained neck & shoulder.

All 3 of us were moaning in pains.

I would not own any boat with a drive becoming a C hook on a floating object.  

The underwater drive parts ........MUST    MUST allow the boat to slide over the object.  Period

I agree. 

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1 hour ago, chasingmemories said:

Really interested to hear your experiences!  Have you surfed behind any direct drives?  If so, how does it compare?  Are you using the factory ballast only or did you add ballast?

was just out surfing yesterday, really enjoy it. more rounded wave then the dedicated tow boats. my wave works better with a skim board than a surf board. currently only using the factory ballast. considering purchasing some lead bags to put in. just not sure i want all the extra weight all the time.  

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56 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

That picture says it all about a log or major floating  tree  trunk.  The prop shaft is forced down & the 45 mph trunk slams the drive DOWNWARD . That traps the tree in the hook shape of the drive. 

The boat is ...........YANKED .............to a very sudden deceleration. It will throw people forward at 45 mph.  as the boat slows down. I have helped people thrown forward  at below planing speeds. sprains & twisted joints. Ripped skin if they caught hard corners. 

My Father in Law hit a hard packed sand bar at 5 to 10 mph . his son was ejected from the seat next to me. FLEW & slammed into the cabin wall at the cockpit area. 1 TOUGH Italian  !! I hit the back of the padded seat in front of me . sprained neck & shoulder.

All 3 of us were moaning in pains.

I would not own any boat with a drive becoming a C hook on a floating object.  

The underwater drive parts ........MUST    MUST allow the boat to slide over the object.  Period

I would think if you hit anything at 45 mph you and your boat is screwed regardless of configuration. why I appreciate so many options, everyone can get what they like and what fits their needs. 

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On 6/3/2020 at 1:18 PM, Raft-up said:

was just out surfing yesterday, really enjoy it. more rounded wave then the dedicated tow boats. my wave works better with a skim board than a surf board. currently only using the factory ballast. considering purchasing some lead bags to put in. just not sure i want all the extra weight all the time.  

Thanks that is good to know.  Enjoy your boat! 

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On 6/3/2020 at 12:23 PM, cyclops2 said:

That picture says it all about a log or major floating  tree  trunk.  The prop shaft is forced down & the 45 mph trunk slams the drive DOWNWARD . That traps the tree in the hook shape of the drive. 

The boat is ...........YANKED .............to a very sudden deceleration. It will throw people forward at 45 mph.  as the boat slows down. I have helped people thrown forward  at below planing speeds. sprains & twisted joints. Ripped skin if they caught hard corners. 

My Father in Law hit a hard packed sand bar at 5 to 10 mph . his son was ejected from the seat next to me. FLEW & slammed into the cabin wall at the cockpit area. 1 TOUGH Italian  !! I hit the back of the padded seat in front of me . sprained neck & shoulder.

All 3 of us were moaning in pains.

I would not own any boat with a drive becoming a C hook on a floating object.  

The underwater drive parts ........MUST    MUST allow the boat to slide over the object.  Period

So if my aunt had balls she would be my uncle. 

 

Basically you are saying if something really bad happened, it would be really bad.  Just like it would be if it was a direct drive, a stern drive or a forward drive. 

There is exactly the same breakaways on a forward drive as a stern drive. 

Nothing will save a stupid boater, as your story proved

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