new owner .. in over my head?

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by ballinsncbirth, May 11, 2014.

  1. ballinsncbirth

    ballinsncbirth New Member

    43
    May 11, 2014
    clear lake tx
    2006 320 sundancer
    350 mag
    hello all
    30 year old guy new to boating, purchased a 2006 320 sundancer, and moved into a new house with a boat slip
    took the texas online boating course, a boating class, and some private instruction .... just getting the boat in and out of the slips and learning cruising etc , having a blast
    been following the threads for a couple weeks .. great info but had a couple questions i couldnt find (excuse the ingorance lol)

    1. how do you all use you generators ie do you always have it runing when you go out, or just after a couple hours? or when anchor? (have it connected to shore power when docked)

    2. how long do the batteries usually last if you arent using the generator every outing?

    3. how the heck do you fit in the engine room? tried to change the sea strainers and felt like contortionist! lol any tips

    4. had a port engien overheat alarm when pulling into dock , and now it seems the port bilge is not draining, (port bilge pump replaced after survery ) will have a mechanic take a look at it

    5. brought a boat warranty for 3500( owner pain engine portion another 300) what does it mean by not covering "nondefective" parts, ie is a warranty a good idea?

    6 been trying to get familiar with engine room, the owners manual isnt very helpul, any sites with pictures and lablesof the various pumps, tubes , and important areas?


    otherwise been having a blast and enjoy learning a new hobby
    thanks for all responses
     
  2. JC3

    JC3 Active Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Kentucky
    N/A
    N/A
    You have come to the right place for help. There are many, many 320 owners on here. Do not worry about being new to boating, you will find alot of help here. Good luck thats a great boat! JC
     
  3. WDCboater

    WDCboater Member

    962
    Oct 3, 2010
    Washington, DC
    2010 350 Sundancer
    Raymarine c95 GPS
    KVH Satellite
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    Welcome to the forum. I'll try to answer as many as possible.
    First off, you picked a good size boat for your first boat. With that said, expect to hit some bumps along the road and don't get too frustrated. Also, don't be surprised by unexpected expenses. It can happen even with a new boat.

    1. Use your generator when you need it. i.e.; on hot days if you want your AC, start your generator before you leave the dock and leave your AC running. Your AC will struggle to cool down the cabin if you turn it off, cruise and then turn it on when you anchor. Some will say don't run your generator when cursing, but the newer generators are designed to run at cruise. If you don't need the 110v power, don't run your generator. It sucks about 1gallon of gas per hour. Also, know which tank your generator pulls from! This is important for budgeting fuel. Make sure you start your generator and let it warm up before you put a load on it. Also, generators are designed to run, but they only run well when maintained. Keep that in mind.

    2. Do you have battery switches? Make sure you switch to house batteries when anchored and if you're going to use your batteries without your generator/battery charger on. House batteries will last a good 6-8 hours, maybe longer, depending on the amount of power being used and the health of your batteries. When ready to start your engines, switch back to engine batteries so you have enough juice to start the engines.

    3. This is not easy and doesn't get easier until you're over 45' in my opinion. Ask a good mechanic how they reach certain items. Short answer, it's not easy.

    4. Make sure your seacock isn't clogged. Is water flowing overboard from the exhaust when you're engine is on?

    5. I've always had new or slightly used boats that come with warranties. My dealer has always been good at getting things "covered". It depends from item to item and the company that sold you the warranty. On both of my boats the warranty has MORE than paid off.

    6. The manual is very detailed, but doesn't give you a clear picture in "photo" terms. A few important items to identify: seacocks and strainers (check these regularly, they should be labeled), engine oil dip stick (check regularly), battery water level (check once a month), pumps, check hose ends for signs of leaks, check hoses for cracks.

    Some helpful items to carry on board:
    -Spare Hose Clamps of various sizes
    -Duct tape
    -Electrical tape
    -Socket set
    -Screw driver set
    -Knife/leatherman
    -Headlamp
    -Spare engine oil
    -Small handheld hack saw (my dealer gave me this, great tool!)

    Bottom line, have items on board that will allow you to make a bandaid fix until you can get back to the dock. It's much cheaper to limp back to the dock than have a towboat take you home.

    Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  4. ballinsncbirth

    ballinsncbirth New Member

    43
    May 11, 2014
    clear lake tx
    2006 320 sundancer
    350 mag
    thanks for your reply , great info

    i tried to changed the sea strainers on the port side, however for the life of me i couldnt get the seacock closed, no matter how much force, so i went ahead and open the strained without it...(is this bad to do ) ?there was nothing in it

    also the port engine exhaust does have water in it (not as much as starboard) but the bilge pump does not have water coming out, and the starbboard bilge seams to steadily drain overboard,
     
  5. dwna1a

    dwna1a Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 23, 2012
    James River
    88 Weekender 300 "Seahorse"
    Twins 350
    Don't fret the questions, Welcome to CSR. As for reaching things in the engine room, another member said it best here once. You need a well trained monkey to get to those tight areas. As for the GenSet, I run mine when I'm out on the river my hatch covers keep the boat at a good temp till I'm out then I want the AC running. There's no real clearcut way to boating, if you hire a service guy, ask if you can look over his shoulder and learn from him, I tip my guy a bottle of good bourbon after every lesson I've had with him. The members here are the best and a great wealth of knowledge
     
  6. kaz911

    kaz911 Active Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    In Transit -> London
    Boatless
    Boatless
    I don't quit agree with Ryan on point 1 :)

    RUN the generator as often and as long as possible. If you don't use it - it breaks down. Run it with load - 50-70% - and run it hard. Take the load off and let it cool for 10 min before shutting it down. Even if I don't take my boat out - I run the genny 1 hour every 1-2 weeks to keep it going. After I started doing that my maintenance time on it has gone down to almost zero!
     
  7. WDCboater

    WDCboater Member

    962
    Oct 3, 2010
    Washington, DC
    2010 350 Sundancer
    Raymarine c95 GPS
    KVH Satellite
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    I do agree running it is a good idea. Generators are designed to run and the more they run they better off they are. Keep spare generator impellers on board in the event you need to make a quick fix. I used to work in TV news and every news van uses a generator to power the electronics inside. We ran those things into the ground. The trucks that saw more consistent use were the most reliable. (most being Kohler)

    In terms of opening a strainer with your seacock open, that is perfectly fine. Your pumps should more than keep up with the water coming in. Just don't leaven it open and unattended.

    For your pump that's not working make sure your hose leaving the pump isn't kinked. It sounds like you may need to replace the pump.

    Another good old idea, grab a manual hose/pump from West Marine or another store. They're not expensive and it gives you a way to get the water out that your electric pumps can't reach.
     
  8. LTD.330

    LTD.330 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 5, 2009
    Lake Erie
    1999 Sundancer 330
    7.4 MPI
    Are you sure the seacock wasn't already closed when you tried to close it? If the seacock was open, then water should have poured in when you opened the sea strainer.
     
  9. WDCboater

    WDCboater Member

    962
    Oct 3, 2010
    Washington, DC
    2010 350 Sundancer
    Raymarine c95 GPS
    KVH Satellite
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    This is a good point.

    Also, if it was closed and you ran your engine there's a chance you could have burned up your impeller. These issues could lead to the overheat alarm.
     
  10. almostenuff

    almostenuff Member

    477
    Sep 18, 2010
    Cape Coral, FL
    2005 Sea Ray 390 Sundancer
    2002 SeaSwirl 2301 WA
    T-380 Cummins
    F225 Yamaha
    I think you're saying you're running without the strainer. This is a bad idea. Once you find a few "scary" items in the strainer, you won't do that again. My strainers have a sweet spot that allows them to sit 3/8" lower, which will allow you to properly close and seal the strainer. Good luck and welcome!
     
  11. magstang1

    magstang1 Active Member

    May 30, 2010
    Lake St.Clair
    1998 31 Sedan Bridge
    Twin 350 Marine Power
    You're not "over your head". It will just take you a little longer than the rest of us to start dreaming of a bigger boat.

    Already complaining about the tight engine room. It's a slippery slope my friend!
     
  12. ShaneOnYou

    ShaneOnYou Member

    361
    Jun 12, 2013
    Merrick, New York
    "Shane On You II"
    2009 43 Sundancer

    "Shane On You"
    2008 310 Sundancer
    Twin Cummings Turbo Diesel Engines, 480hp
    Join Seatow!!!
     
  13. Xplicitlnck

    Xplicitlnck New Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    Long island ny
    330ec
    Twin 7.4 straight drive
    The famous words! I have s stack of invoices from boat that add up to just over 3k just from last season and this season. (Yes I know, don't judge me lol) so for less then 200 $ a year its well worth it
     
  14. ballinsncbirth

    ballinsncbirth New Member

    43
    May 11, 2014
    clear lake tx
    2006 320 sundancer
    350 mag
    so thats why i was confused, so when i got the boat home it had the alarm, so the first thing i tried to do was open the strainer,
    it was in the open position (vertical) ,,,, i tried to close it (horizontal) but couldnt get it closed, .. so i just opened the strainer ... and no water came out at all ,
    still not water coming out of discharge pump on port side,
     
  15. LTD.330

    LTD.330 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 5, 2009
    Lake Erie
    1999 Sundancer 330
    7.4 MPI
    Join Boat U.S. Dues are less than $100 and includes towing. The even better benefit is they lobby congress on behalf of boaters.
     
  16. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    Did you try clearing out the inlet hose to the strainer. Sounds like its clogged or something is clogged in the seacock.
     
  17. Searaybio270

    Searaybio270 Active Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    Bush River on the Cheasapeake Bay
    1996 EC, Garmin 3210, Dinghy - Seadoo Jet boat with twin 85 horse. Fun and Fast.
    7.4 MC 360 HP each
    Westerbeke 7KW
    Welcome to the fourm. This is a great place for info, so start reading. I truly believe this forum increased my knowledge of boating issues, fun stuff etc like nothing else I have done. Lots of good advice.

    Add fan belts to your list and the boat.
     
  18. ballinsncbirth

    ballinsncbirth New Member

    43
    May 11, 2014
    clear lake tx
    2006 320 sundancer
    350 mag
    so if i opened the strainer without closing the seacock water is supposed to be coming out even with the engine off?
    so how does the whole thing work ?

    from my understandng basically a pump sucks up water to cool the engine and then is ejected thru the exaust outside the boat, ?
    also which pump is that , the engine water pump ?
    also why cant i open the seacock (maybe i just need more muscles?)

    how is that related to the bilge pump (if its is at all) which pumps water out of the bilge and is ejected from a small hole above the exhaust port?
    excuse my likely dumb questions just trying to figure out everything conceptually so it makes sensse !
    is there a good website like boat maintnence in a 320 sea ray for dummies? lol
     
  19. WDCboater

    WDCboater Member

    962
    Oct 3, 2010
    Washington, DC
    2010 350 Sundancer
    Raymarine c95 GPS
    KVH Satellite
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    Your seacocks are opening that allow water to come into the engines. The strainers are there to catch debris. Just like any hole in your boat water will come in even if your engines aren't on.

    You also have a seacock for your AC system, generator, and if you have it fresh water anchor wash down.

    Is your seacock handle in line with your hose that's attached or is it perpendicular? If it's in line it's likely open, if pushed down likely closed.

    Pumps have nothing to do with the engines or seacocks. They are a safety feature that removes water from your bilge. Water can get in from a leak, sometimes rainwater etc.
    the pumps are designed to remove that water and keep your engine compartment safe.

    If you empty the water and routinely see new water appear you have a leak and you should investigate where it's coming from.

    Hope this helps.
     
  20. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    The seacock lets on the sea water into the boat. It travels through the strainer to filter out sea crap to protect the engines. A sea water pump then moves it through the cooling system. There is also a separate pump called the water circulating pump on the engine. This pushes cooling water through engine block. In sea water cooled engines it's the same water the seawater pump is sucking into the boat. In close cooled systems it moves antifreeze mixture through the engines. On those systems a heat exchanger is used to take the heat out of the engines and the seawater only goes through the heat exchanger to take the heat of the engines out of the boat.

    The strainer is below the water level of the sea. So, yes, if you open the strainer with the seacock open you should start sinking the boat.

    The bilge pumps are simply safety nets should too much water ever get in the boat. They have float switches connected to them that turn on the pumps once the float up to get two contacts inside of them to touch and pass current to the pump.
     

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