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Newbie Needing Advice - Ref: 2015 270 Signature ...


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Hello everyone,  I just joined this group because I'm about to pull the trigger and buy a 2015  270 Signature.  I would love to hear from any of you that know or have firsthand knowledge on this boat.

Here's one of the things that concerns me the most, the boat has been in fresh water only since it was purchased and the engine has 30 hours on it.  I know the engine hours seem low but the story as to why it has such low hours checks out and the condition on the boat reflect it.  I live in Miami, FL and I will end up putting it in salt water here in Miami. So before purchasing it, I had a few questions ... I will apologize WAY in advance as I'm a super newbie to boating (yes, this is my first boat so your help is very appreciated).

First, when I asked the owner how he's flushed the Merc (350 Mag) engine he stated the boat doesn't have a flush system and he didn't need to flush the engine since it's only been in fresh water.  He's lived on a lake since he bought it and only took it to the middle of the lake and back to his dock since he's had it (hence the super low hours). My question here is that should this concern me?  I realize I will have to get muffs to flush the engines once I put it into salt water but the fact it hadn't been done while in use for 33 hours in fresh water, is that a problem.

Second, because the boat is 5 years old and has such few hours, can this be a major problem for me.  I've heard that not using a boat is almost as bad as abusing your boat (not my words). It was 3 years up north in the cold (Michigan) on a lake and the last 2 years here in central Florida.  He hasn't used it since Corona started in February (that's quite some time).  Any advice on this being a problem or what I should look out for here?

Lastly, I've heard some mixed reviews about this Merc engine vs the Volvo engine. It's my understanding Chaparral let you pic which one you would like when you purchase.  Some people say that the Volvo is a better engine with more power and ceramic coated manifolds and a fresh water flush system etc. etc. etc.  Does anyone know if the Merc is an issue to power this boat.  The owner says he's had 6 people on board and it's never been an issue, however one thing is on a nice calm lake and another thing would be in open ocean water.  Any insight or feedback here?

Lastly, the boat doesn't have a few things I'd like to put into it as he didn't get them when he purchased the boat because he had no need for them.  Generator / VHF Radio / GPS=Depth Finder / Bow Thrusters ... Would installing any of these after the fact be an issue.

I appreciate anyone that took the time to read all of this and more so any of you that respond and give me some insight on this boat.

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On 11/2/2020 at 9:41 PM, Donut Stress said:

Lastly, the boat doesn't have a few things I'd like to put into it as he didn't get them when he purchased the boat because he had no need for them.

1.Generator

2. VHF Radio

3. GPS=Depth Finder

4. Bow Thrusters

Would installing any of these after the fact be an issue.

1. Major undertake and expense to install a marine generator after the fact. The cost of marine generator is one thing. The cost of the after the fact retrofit of electrical systems (significant changes to DC and AC wiring and control panels), fuel line install, cooling water line and intake install, and complete exhaust installation is another even if you still have the dedicated space left uncluttered in the engine compartment. Hiring a professional marine electrician is a strong suggestion. Other trades as well as the multiple holes need to be drilled in the hull, some below water line, and proper fittings need to be installed, sealed and bonded correctly.

2. Minor DIY over the weekend kind of job. Need to get to know your boat's existing DC system and learn the basics of marine DC electrical systems.

3. Intermediate DYI job. Similar to #2 but a bit more involved as it will also require drilling at least one small hole in the hull. Need to learn how to drill and seal a FRP hull properly.

4. Major undertake when done after the fact. Not as involved as #1 above but still requires multiple know hows. Significant FRP work, could require some structural changes and enforcement to hull and cabin in the bow section to make space for the thruster and its dedicated battery, and a very thoughtful electrical DC design and execution: extra battery, better charger, and new and improved wiring. Professional kind of job.

If you want a full time marine generator on your boat, look for a boat with a generator already installed at the factory. Similarly with the bow thruster although it might be hard to find it on a 27' boat.

Welcome to the boating world, and to getting to know the meaning of a B.O.A.T.

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Bust Out Another Thousand ....

wow. Thank you for explaining all of it. I appreciate it more than you know since I’m starting out. As for the Generator, I think I’m just going to use my external one. When it comes to the Bow Thrusters, I will definitely pass (I only asked because it was an option that I saw on a boat identical to mine). The rest, I will get to work on getting to know. 
About the engine : power / hours / size. Any insight there. 
 

Thanks in advance for taking the time 

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On 11/2/2020 at 9:41 PM, Donut Stress said:

First, when I asked the owner how he's flushed the Merc (350 Mag) engine he stated the boat doesn't have a flush system and he didn't need to flush the engine since it's only been in fresh water.  He's lived on a lake since he bought it and only took it to the middle of the lake and back to his dock since he's had it (hence the super low hours). My question here is that should this concern me?  I realize I will have to get muffs to flush the engines once I put it into salt water but the fact it hadn't been done while in use for 33 hours in fresh water, is that a problem.

Not a concern if it was used on a lake especially in 4-season climate where boats are winterized for long winter storage. More important question is, was the boat winterized professionally/properly? If it was, the process of draining lake water from and filling the engine cooling system with marine AF effectively would flushed any water and mineral content from the system and the marine AF would prevent any corrosion during winter storage. The regular engine flushing is not a typical practice on fresh water boats.

Not sure how the boat was used in Florida as stated in the quote below.

On 11/2/2020 at 9:41 PM, Donut Stress said:

Second, because the boat is 5 years old and has such few hours, can this be a major problem for me.  I've heard that not using a boat is almost as bad as abusing your boat (not my words). It was 3 years up north in the cold (Michigan) on a lake and the last 2 years here in central Florida.  He hasn't used it since Corona started in February (that's quite some time).  Any advice on this being a problem or what I should look out for here?

Could be a concern, could be a gem. All depends on how this boat was used and maintained. Was it used every year? Was it winterized in Michigan? Was it flushed and prepped when stored or not used for longer periods of time in Florida? Ask for the maintenance info and records. What you hear back or get back in terms of records should tell you a lot about the shape this boat is in.

On 11/2/2020 at 9:41 PM, Donut Stress said:

Lastly, I've heard some mixed reviews about this Merc engine vs the Volvo engine. It's my understanding Chaparral let you pic which one you would like when you purchase.  Some people say that the Volvo is a better engine with more power and ceramic coated manifolds and a fresh water flush system etc. etc. etc.  Does anyone know if the Merc is an issue to power this boat.  The owner says he's had 6 people on board and it's never been an issue, however one thing is on a nice calm lake and another thing would be in open ocean water.  Any insight or feedback here?

There were multiple discussions about Merc vs Volvo, and one is still ongoing. Search this forum for more info, you will get a lot of good insight.

Bottom line, both brands are good. Merc is easier in terms of finding the qualified service. Volvo is easier to maintain DIY but harder to find factory trained service. It's mostly a personal preference. Look for what services are available around where the boat is going to be used and go from there.

I have no experience with Merc 350 Mag on this size of boat. I know that older Signature 270s (29') do really well with 375-400 hp engines. I believe that some people on this forum have older Signature 250 (27') which is nearly exactly the boat you are looking at and with the Merc 350 Mag engine they are quite happy with its performance. Again, you might be able to find more info searching this forum.

 

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On 11/3/2020 at 10:48 PM, Rambo said:

I believe that some people on this forum have older Signature 250 (27') which is nearly exactly the boat you are looking at and with the Merc 350 Mag engine they are quite happy with its performance. Again, you might be able to find more info searching this forum.

Yep, that's me.  2008 250 Sig with the Mercruiser 350 MAG MPI.  Great engine, but probably a bit under-powered.  Don't get me wrong...it gets up on plane just fine and does 28MPH at 4100RPM (can cruise at a little lower RPM, but that gives you a reference point).  Nobody ever complained about having too much motor.

As you were advised above, no problem not flushing if in freshwater.  Nobody does it on boats this size unless in saltwater. 

Generator and bow thrusters are MAJOR jobs that anybody (well, most anybody) here would advise you to buy a boat with those options already factory installed if you need them. 

VHF and Chartplotters are definitely DIY jobs.  Look to YouTube for tips and pointers.

Lastly, and most importantly...NEVER apologize for your questions.  We were all newbies once and this particular part of the forum is for exactly that.  This is one of the best forums I've ever been a part of and you can learn TONS!  Good people here with a lot of knowledge.

Good luck and keep the questions coming.  Also search the forum for specific questions...again, lots of data here!

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I would have to agree with Texas and Rambo! Adding a genset and/or bow thruster to me, you would be better off buying a boat with them installed. Actually, you may even need a bigger boat to fit them in.   

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