Amberjack Owners: Your Opinions Please

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by Lord Farringdon, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Lord Farringdon

    Lord Farringdon New Member

    515
    Feb 19, 2010
    New Zealand
    2005 Sea Ray AJ, Raymarine C80.
    285 HP, DP-G Duo Prop Stern Drive
    Hi Guys,

    Clearly I'm a newbie here so please be gentle :) I have just purchased (subject to sea trial and survey) a 2007 Sea Ray Amberjack fitted with a KAD 300 Diesel and Duo Prop. I would be interested in any Amberjack owners thoughts on any issues with this model. The engine is a Volvo KAD 300 so European members of this forum may be able to help me with any known engine issues that I should look out for.

    Terry
     
  2. melida

    melida Member

    849
    Apr 1, 2009
    Istanbul-TURKEY
    Sea Ray 2007 375 DA
    Sea Ray 2005 315 DA Sold
    2xYANMAR 6LPA-STP 315 HP V-drives, 4kw Onan gen, radar, gps, autopilot, bow&stern thrusters, sat tv
    Welcome on board.
    I guess your boat is 290 and single engine. I have 2005 280DA with single KAD300. Had acceleration problem when fuel tank is full and more than 2 people on board. Tried smaller prop set and extended the trim tabs. Later solved.
    I suggest you to full your tanks(fuel+water+water heater) and jump on 5-6 adults try to planning. If its plannes dont wory, if not pm me.
    Best regards.
    Melida
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  3. Lord Farringdon

    Lord Farringdon New Member

    515
    Feb 19, 2010
    New Zealand
    2005 Sea Ray AJ, Raymarine C80.
    285 HP, DP-G Duo Prop Stern Drive
    Hi Melida,

    Thanks for your quick response. I went for a sea trial today and the boat seemed to lift pretty well, but it was light on fuel and with only 3 adults on board. I have a hull survey and engine performance sea trial to come so we will see what comes of that.

    The boat is a 2005 model Amberjack 270. The hull was imported into New Zealand and a single KAD 300 was installed by the NZ Searay dealer. The vessel was first launched in 2007.

    My first impressions of the boat were that the diesel sounded very smooth and reassuring and the boat carried well in the sloppy sea. I had some difficulty trimming the boat successfully but the Amberjack is a bigger boat than I am used to and I'm sure I will get the hang of trimming it when I become more familiar with its handling characteristics. The broker also had difficulty berthing but in fairness he got hit by a big wind gust at just the wrong time!

    It was unfortunate that the sea trial was conducted at the same time as several yacht races were being conducted. Along with ferries and other pleasure craft the harbour was very busy. This highlighted a visibility issue with the vessel. While downward visibility forward was adequate when the boat was on the plane, it was very poor when coming off the plane. Due to the congestion, boat speed was often down to 10 to 15 knots which resulted in a high bow and reduced visibility at a time when you really needed good visibility to avoid collision. As soon as water splashed over the screen, coupled with the lighting conditions, visibility went to nil. The wiper was of some assistance but another wiper on the other side would have been helpful. The boat has a full canopy as per the attached photo.

    Anyway, I like the boat and hope the survey goes well, but would be interested in any comments regarding visibility issues with the Amberjack or Sea Ray's of this size in general.

    Regards


    Terry
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  4. melida

    melida Member

    849
    Apr 1, 2009
    Istanbul-TURKEY
    Sea Ray 2007 375 DA
    Sea Ray 2005 315 DA Sold
    2xYANMAR 6LPA-STP 315 HP V-drives, 4kw Onan gen, radar, gps, autopilot, bow&stern thrusters, sat tv
    Hi Terry

    I thought that your boat’s engine is swapped from gas to diesel. I checked both engine options for 2005 270Aj and 290AJ, 270AJ diesel option was D6-310 and 290AJ diesel option was twin D4-260 or twin D6-310. KAD300 is discontinued in 2005 and it should be used engine before installed to your boat, or maybe SeaRay had plenty amount of stock KAD300.

    For instance if your engine hour is let say 100, the total 100 is not done in your boat. So I strictly recommend a Volvo Penta technician to diagnose the engine with “VODIA” for any diagnostic trouble codes and/or any overheating, low-high oil pressure or other possible problems if it had.

    Your boat is 270 and 9,14m LOL and mine is 280 and 9,47LOL also yours weight is 3323kg mine 3856kg. So your boat is luckier then mine to not having acceleration problems with KAD300.
    Do a sea trial again with 5-6 adults and full tanks (fuel, water, water heater)

    Keep us posted and don’t hesitate to ask question about KAD300 and Volvo Penta because if I’m not wrong only the guy owns Volvo Penta on this forum is I’m.

    Best regards.
    Melida
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  5. Lord Farringdon

    Lord Farringdon New Member

    515
    Feb 19, 2010
    New Zealand
    2005 Sea Ray AJ, Raymarine C80.
    285 HP, DP-G Duo Prop Stern Drive
    Thanks Melida,
    I have spoken to the Volvo specialists and they have the vessels history. They confirm the KAD 300 was installed new to the 2005 hull by the NZ Sea Ray agent and their records show the 50 and 100 hour servicings against that engine and that hull. Interestingly, in NZ (and I think Australia), these boats are referred to and badged as 275AJ, rather than 270AJ.

    So how do you find the visibility in your boat?

    Terry
     
  6. CW2008

    CW2008 New Member

    51
    Jan 10, 2010
    Panama City Beach, FL
    2008 270 Amberjack
    6.2L MPI Seacore DTS Bravo III
    I am a new 270AJ owner also. My other boat is a 22 ft center console bay boat, so I too had to get used to the size and performance difference. After 4 or 5 trips out with it I am getting more familiar with the trim and visibility issues and am even more pleased with the boat. The hull design does make it a little more difficult to trim out, but experience is the key. I've learned how much more wind and waves affect trim with this boat compared to my bay boat.
    All I can say is that I have no regrets. Very happy with the boat
     
  7. Lord Farringdon

    Lord Farringdon New Member

    515
    Feb 19, 2010
    New Zealand
    2005 Sea Ray AJ, Raymarine C80.
    285 HP, DP-G Duo Prop Stern Drive
    Thanks for that CW2008. Good to hear from a new owner whose just gone through what I am about to!!:grin:

    I did notice some Sea Ray promotional videos and brochures show the boat been driven in the standing up position. The trouble is it didn't seem that easy to do in the AJ. The seat was a little too close to the helm to stand comfortably. I have the bait tank option so the captains chair is in a fixed position. Anyway, it aint gonna stop me buying it! I'm sure I'll get used to the visibility issues and to adjusting the trims just like you say...with experience.

    Thanks again.[​IMG]


    Terry
     
  8. CW2008

    CW2008 New Member

    51
    Jan 10, 2010
    Panama City Beach, FL
    2008 270 Amberjack
    6.2L MPI Seacore DTS Bravo III
    Are you sure your seat won't move? I can swivel and move it back and forth, and I also have the bait station behind the seat. Hope you enjoy your new boat.
     
  9. Lord Farringdon

    Lord Farringdon New Member

    515
    Feb 19, 2010
    New Zealand
    2005 Sea Ray AJ, Raymarine C80.
    285 HP, DP-G Duo Prop Stern Drive
    Well actually, I just assumed that it only swivelled:huh:, but if it moves backwards and forwards too, then that would be great. :smt038


    I intend to use the boat for mostly cruising with a little bit of fishing. I was really looking for a Dancer but this boat came in at very low hours on a diesel engine, as a late model boat and at a price that reflects the difficulty some businesses might be having out there. I really couldn't turn this one down. I depends on how well the survey goes of course, but if we go through with this, any compromise I make for not having a Dancer will be well worth it.

    How do you use your boat CW2008? mostly fishing, mostly cruising or a bit of both. How many people do you carry normally? I think I read in this forum somewhere (maybe one of your posts) that any more than four on board a 270AJ can be a little cramped. With only 4 seats availalble on the deck, does anyone sitting in the transom seat get the occassional soaking?





    Terry






    Terry
     
  10. CW2008

    CW2008 New Member

    51
    Jan 10, 2010
    Panama City Beach, FL
    2008 270 Amberjack
    6.2L MPI Seacore DTS Bravo III
    We have only been out a few times, but we will be diving, fishing and cruising. This boat fits us perfectly. I am still trying to decide how I want to store dive tanks, but it works well as a dive boat. We have only had 4 or fewer people on the boat, but have not been able to tell any problems with getting her on plane. I think that I would be comfortable with 6 people, but would rather fish (or dive) with no more than 4. Keep in mind that I am a newby too, but so far it has done exactly what I wanted it to do, and I am happy with how well it does those things. I have not had anyone sitting on the transom seat when the seas were a little rough, but you would probably get wet back there in 3 footers with a good cross wind. We usually have 3 in seats and one standing, holding on to the arch.
    The more I sit here and write about it, the more I like it. I wish I was on it now rather than talking about being on it.
     
  11. Lord Farringdon

    Lord Farringdon New Member

    515
    Feb 19, 2010
    New Zealand
    2005 Sea Ray AJ, Raymarine C80.
    285 HP, DP-G Duo Prop Stern Drive
    :lol: I know how you feel CW2008. At least you have a 270 AJ, I have to make that step yet!!:grin: Thanks for the insights. I'll let you know how the survey goes.


    Regards


    Terry
     
  12. melida

    melida Member

    849
    Apr 1, 2009
    Istanbul-TURKEY
    Sea Ray 2007 375 DA
    Sea Ray 2005 315 DA Sold
    2xYANMAR 6LPA-STP 315 HP V-drives, 4kw Onan gen, radar, gps, autopilot, bow&stern thrusters, sat tv
    Hi Terry

    Glad to hear that the engine put new first to your boat.
    As a Sundancer owner can’t comment on Amberjack’s riding attidue, AJ guys would chime in. But I can comment many hours on KAD300 and VolvoPenta and diesel.

    I recommend you to set the 3000rpm (in my boat)maximum planning speed maybe your’s would plane at 2800-2900 but I thought the heaviest load of people, gear and liquids and after summer dirty antifouling. Don’t pass 3500rpm for extended cruising you can rev at 3900 for a few seconds to check everything is all right as I do 2-3 times in summer. I guess you’re gonna do the daily routine maintenance (checking oil-engine, outdrive trim and steering pump, level of FWC, cleaning sea water filter and racor / separ fuel water separator)

    About trimming the drive, if you have the button I have in below picture in front of the throttle black three button plastic, you can trim the drive between-5 and +5 to trim +6 have to push red button and simultaneously up button but it is not for cruising, +6 is the starting point of beach range and cruising at that range can cause severely harming the outdrive and its components.

    http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af108/melida315/trim%20tabs/28032010651.jpg

    Once my boat gets on plane I set the drive +1+2…+5 according to sea and wind conditions to not decreasing speed, and it is not as much a bow high ride and still there is good visibility. While seating I can see from windshield although I’m 185cm tall and the helm seat is at the uppest level.

    All about trimming and view angle is depending on your boat’s hull, your riding preferences and your height.

    Best regards
    Melida
     
  13. melida

    melida Member

    849
    Apr 1, 2009
    Istanbul-TURKEY
    Sea Ray 2007 375 DA
    Sea Ray 2005 315 DA Sold
    2xYANMAR 6LPA-STP 315 HP V-drives, 4kw Onan gen, radar, gps, autopilot, bow&stern thrusters, sat tv
    Just a few things came to my mind after posting.

    Since my boat is big and heavy and it is sold with twin gas engine option, while in rough seas I thought to it would offered with twin diesel for better sea keeping. But I solved it with autopilot. Once I set the rpm and outdrive/trim tabs then one engine can ride as twin by the autopilot keeps the course accurate. But there is no need for second, it would redundant.

    An other good point of having diesel engine is very difficult to get off plane. A month ago I was passing the strait, cruising to north and contrary to the strong north wind. Before facing the wind I was cruising at 20 knot and when the wind blew my speed decreased to 15 knot but rpm was still 3000. I only lowered the drive to 0degree and tabs totally retracted. I cruised half an hour like that and no problem with gettin off plane.

    Hope this gives idea about how strong engine you have underneath the hatch.

    Best regards.
    Melida
     
  14. Lord Farringdon

    Lord Farringdon New Member

    515
    Feb 19, 2010
    New Zealand
    2005 Sea Ray AJ, Raymarine C80.
    285 HP, DP-G Duo Prop Stern Drive
    Thanks for those comments Melida. Its great to hear that the KAD 300 perform wells in your boat. I think the AJ is a little lighter so that suggests it might perform even better!:wow:
    It was unfortunate that the harbour was conjested when I did the sea trial and I couldnt get the boat up on the plane much more than for a few moments, but I certainly noticed that when it did get on the plane the visibility was much improved. Like you say, it will be a matter of getting used to the trim tabs and the sternleg trim.

    I like the picture of your helm. The Volvo throttle on the side pedestal is a nice touch, along with the woodgrain wheel!


    Regards


    Terry
     
  15. melida

    melida Member

    849
    Apr 1, 2009
    Istanbul-TURKEY
    Sea Ray 2007 375 DA
    Sea Ray 2005 315 DA Sold
    2xYANMAR 6LPA-STP 315 HP V-drives, 4kw Onan gen, radar, gps, autopilot, bow&stern thrusters, sat tv
    Hi Terry,

    Since the engine is diesel, it has nearly 550-570NM torque maximum at 3000rpm. So if there is 1 person or 7-8, full liquids or empty water and 1/4 fuel, campers on/off, fresh or dirty bottom/outdrive boat gets on plane at 3000rpm and does 17,5-22 knot according to these different situationsbut most average 20.

    At high cruising speed (max at 3500rpm recommended by owners manual which is the 10% lower than wot) could do 25-27knot and wot 31-35knot.

    In my previous post as I told about cruising contrary to wind lowered my cruising speed because there was 5-7 beaufort weather and in turning way I got the wind back of me did 25knot at 3000rpm and hit the throttle to 3500 rpm did 33 knot and did wot got 39-41knot with the help of wind gust.
    So think about your boat how well will do speed like a gas engine boat.

    On the other hand I consume average in a full to quarter-mid of empty and quarter tank 12 liters per hour by cruising at 3000rpm. Once last summer I did 30 hours in full tank and bought 365 liters it makes 12,16 L/H, but nowadays I get 13-14 liters beacuse the antifouling is dead and outdrive is
    dirty also campers are on and keeping wind.

    Enjoy your new toy.

    Best regards.
    Melida
     
  16. Lord Farringdon

    Lord Farringdon New Member

    515
    Feb 19, 2010
    New Zealand
    2005 Sea Ray AJ, Raymarine C80.
    285 HP, DP-G Duo Prop Stern Drive
    That fuel consumption 12-14 l/hour and the smell of diesel first thing in the morning is what makes it so good to have a diesel powered boat. You don't have to think twice about going out with that kind of fuel consumption! I am so looking forward to it.:smt038



    Terry
     
  17. melida

    melida Member

    849
    Apr 1, 2009
    Istanbul-TURKEY
    Sea Ray 2007 375 DA
    Sea Ray 2005 315 DA Sold
    2xYANMAR 6LPA-STP 315 HP V-drives, 4kw Onan gen, radar, gps, autopilot, bow&stern thrusters, sat tv
    Terry,
    I've recorded this video last saturday.
    It is cruising speed 3000rpm 20knot trim tabs retracted and outdrive angle is +3.
    You can see the bow angle beginning of the video. Maybe it is high but not a concern for me and for boat's riding, didn't decreased speed. Boat is touching water at the point where the helm seat is.
    Also notice the the height of swim platform from water.
    Hope this gives idea of your boat gonna do better then mine with KAD300.
    Best regards
    Melida
    http://s998.photobucket.com/albums/af108/melida315/Cruising%20March2010/?action=view&current=27032010022.flv
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  18. Lord Farringdon

    Lord Farringdon New Member

    515
    Feb 19, 2010
    New Zealand
    2005 Sea Ray AJ, Raymarine C80.
    285 HP, DP-G Duo Prop Stern Drive
    Hi Melida,

    Thanks for the video. She was cruising along very nicely.:thumbsup:

    What engine temp does your gauge read when operating at say 3000 rpm. I have just had the survey completed and while it was all good, the engine performance sea trial highlighted a significant difference between the actual gauge reading (92 degs C) and another reading taken with a laser thermal gun (74 degs C).

    Terry
     
  19. melida

    melida Member

    849
    Apr 1, 2009
    Istanbul-TURKEY
    Sea Ray 2007 375 DA
    Sea Ray 2005 315 DA Sold
    2xYANMAR 6LPA-STP 315 HP V-drives, 4kw Onan gen, radar, gps, autopilot, bow&stern thrusters, sat tv
    Terry,

    Thanks for the compliments.

    The operating (and optimal) temp is 85celcius at 3000rpm and or wot. Before engaging kompressor (supercharger) under 1500rpm engine waits at 70C. When you hit the throttle and kompressor compresses more air then temp goes and stays at 85c. 1 minute or 5 hours of cruising no matter pull back to idle temp downs to 70c. Maybe your temp gauge failed or need calibration.

    Also watch the oil pressure. At first start with cold engine it shows 5,5. WHen engine temp increases it downs to 1,5 at idle, while runing it stays at 5 or 5,5.

    Altough voltmeter must show 14 when fully charged. Be sure that your batteries fully charged before leaving dock by shorepower. Because the generator/alternator of engine charges 60amps/hour. So becarefull of draining your batteries.

    There are many other things to consider about KAD300 please ask what you want to learn.

    Best regards.
    Melida
     
  20. Lord Farringdon

    Lord Farringdon New Member

    515
    Feb 19, 2010
    New Zealand
    2005 Sea Ray AJ, Raymarine C80.
    285 HP, DP-G Duo Prop Stern Drive
    Thanks for that information Melida. It is most helpful. I have read the KAD 300 Operating Manual and it states that the thermostat should start to open at 85 C and go fully open at 94 C. Therefore I assume the normal operating temparature to be somewhere between 85 and 94 and probably closer to 85. When the Volvo engineers did a performance check on the motor, they connected a computer to the EDC and printed out a table of performance data for when the engine was running wot.The EDC said the engine temperature was 86 degs. So, with what you have said and with the readout from the EDC and from the information in the KAD 300 operating manual, I am reasonably happy that the engine is performing within specifications.
    The temperature gauge however, seems to be reading inconsistently. I noticed the gauge on the first sea trial I did to be reading between 205 deg's and 210 degs F.(it is a farenheight gauge). That equates to 96-98 degs C. That seems too high. Then, on the vovlo engine performance trial the engine temp was checked while idling into the marina (about 1100 rpm) with a laser thermal gun at 74 degs C but the gauge was reading 92 degs C. Now the thermal gun is reading the outside of the engine so that is likely to be cooler than the inside of the engine which would be presumably less than 86 degs at wot...say 80 degs C? We still have a significant discrepancy between the engine and the gauge.

    So the engine temperature appears to be in accordance with specifications while the temperature gauge appears to be reading too high. Perhaps this is a simple matter of calibration or is something far more expensive at fault? The reason I ask is that the brochure for the 2005 Searay Amberjack specifies "SmartCraft Diagnostics" and SmartCraft instrumentation.
    http://media.channelblade.com/boat_graphics/electronic_brochure/company10923/43712_f.pdf
    I am not entirely sure what this means but I think it means the parameter data from the engine can be sent directly to a GPS/Chartplotter. But under the optional propulsion section of the Sea Ray brochure, it specifically says 'SmartCraft systems not available on diesel engine applications. In fact, this boat has had problems when it was first launched in 2007 with oil, temperature and voltage guages all reading incorrectly, I assume for exactly that reason. The problem was apparently fixed (at some cost) but I am concerned the same problem may be reoccuring. So, after all that, have you had any problems with smartcraft diagnostic gauges not working with the KAD 300 and if so how did you fix it?

    Regards

    Terry
     

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