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First recorded activity by BoatBanter: Feb 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 472
Default The Boating Season That Wasn't

Last fall (2021) I sold my Carver. To be honest with the high cost of fuel I just wasn't using the boat. I launched in May motored over to my dock. Never took the boat out once. In October I motored over to the haul out dock and had the boat hauled for the winter. I then let it be known the boat was for sale. I ended up selling it.

January of 2022 I decide that I still want to boat so I went to a local dealer. I found a boat I liked so I worked up a deal. I traded in my jetski and i bought a 2022 Tahoe T-16 with a 75 HP Mercury outboard motor and trailer. They kept the boat in storage for me until I took delivery on April 15th. Now all I had to do was wait for some decent weather and I could go boating.

Of course for me the reason for downsizing was to lower my operating costs. There are things about the old boat I will miss. Things like cruising to Put in Bay and spending the weekend on the island. Overnighting on the hook. I've done that countless times, more than I can remember. Spending nights at the marina. My cruisers had all the comforts of home. From now on I am a day boater.

May 28th was the first really nice day that I could get out on the boat so I trailered down to the Metro Park where I have a season pass to launch the boat. This would be my first or shakedown cruise. I fired up the motor and let it warm up for a bit like the manual stated I should do. I loosened the lines and put the throttle into reverse and the engine stalled out. It would not restart. End of shakedown cruise attempt #1.

Back to the dealer I go. They hook up some muffs, hook up a computer to the engine and fire it up. They change some engine settings on the computer. The engine runs OK at various throttle settings so I think it is fixed and ready to go. I take the boat back to storage and wait for my next launch.

June 4th was the next attempt to launch. I trailer once again down to the marina. I fire up the engine it's running fine. I let it warm up and as soon as I put it into reverse it stalls out again. I do manage a few times to get it back running but it is shaking so bad I am afraid it might fall off the transom. Shakedown cruise attempt #2 failure.

Back to the dealer I go and drop it off again. The dealership calls me on June 10th and say the motor is fixed. June 11th I drive 95 miles to the dealership and pick up my boat. They say that it was a defective ignition idle control module. Down to the marina for another attempt. I fire up the engine and once again it stalls out shaking violently and will not run. Now I am getting frustrated. June 13th I drop off the boat at the dealership once again.

July 13th comes and I called the dealership and they still cannot get the motor to run. I call a lawyer thinking about starting a lawsuit to get the motor replaced or get them to buy the boat back from me. I want to avoid a lawsuit if possible. July 29th the dealership calls me to say the motor is fixed and there were several things wrong with it. I forget most of what the said they replaced.

July 30th I once again drive the 95 miles to pick up the boat and try again. I drive to the marina and put the boat in the water but this time I only pull the trailer just up out of the water. I fire up the engine and once again it will not stay running shaking violently on the transom. Frustration mounts, and shakedown cruise attempt #4 is a failure.

August 1st I drive back up to the dealership and drop off the boat once again. This time I ask to speak to the owner. He's not on site so my salesman takes me to the general manager of the dealership. I explain everything to him, He was not made aware of my problem with the boat and promises me he will get directly involved with getting it fixed.

On August 5th the GM calls me to say my boat is fixed and running well. He himself took the boat out on to Lake St. Clair and ran it personally. He has me drive up to their other dealership to test the boat. On August 6th he and I take the boat out and it runs perfectly. We had it out for about a half hour. I do tell him that I personally will never fully trust that motor to not leave me stranded. He feels it has been fixed and will be OK.

I take the boat out on August 12th and I was out for about 4 hours. Early on it ran fine but I noticed a drop off of the RPM's as time passed. When I first started the day it was running up to 4700 RPM's but as the day progressed they dropped of to only 3600 RPM's. I take the boat up north to Traverse City and get out on East Bay. It's running OK but not great. The RPM's would drop off to 1200 so I would shut down the motor and wait about 5 minutes then restart. RPM's would go back up to around 4000 then drop off as time passed. We finally motored back to the dock and pulled the boat.

I drop the boat back off at the dealership on August 20th. I talk with the tech who has been working on the motor and he agrees with me that the motor is a lemon but says that Mercury would rather spend $40000 dollars replacing one part at a time than swapping out for a new motor. They call me on September 1st and say the motor is fixed. This time they offer to drive the 95 miles and drop the boat off at my home. I take them up on their offer. They drop the boat off September 2nd.

I hook it up to my truck and head off to the marina. I launch and the motor runs perfectly. I was out all afternoon about 4 1/2 hours running all up and down the Detroit River. I think to myself maybe they have finally fixed the motor. I take the boat out again September 3rd. The motor runs great. Half thinking maybe it is finally fixed but still have that lack of trust in the motor in the back of my mind. I take the boat out again September 9th and it runs fine.

I decide to take the boat out again on September 10th. Motor starts out running fine. Suddenly the RPM's drop off from 4000 to 650. It's kind of windy and I am being blown towards a rocky shoreline as I cannot make any headway against the wind. I get on the phone and call Boat US for a tow. I ask them to make it an emergency because I am being blown towards the rocks on the shore. Tow Boat US arrives about 15 minutes after I called and they tow me back to the dock. I am now totally frustrated and determined to get rid of this boat.

September 17th there is a boatshow at Metro Beach here in Michigan. I decide to go. I first go to the dealership where I bought the boat from. I see the GM and let him know that I am broken down again. He said he would get with the owner and see what he could work out. I let him know that if I can get a decent trade in I would order a Tahoe T-18 from them the next size up from the T-16.

On the way out I stop by another dealership and take a look at the Stingray 182 SC deckboat. It is a leftover 2022 model with a 115 Yamaha SHO motor. I really like this boat so I tell them about the Tahoe and all the problems I have had with it. They said to drop off the boat and their techs will fix the latest issue and if they give the OK they will make me an offer on my trade in. They called me a few days later and said the tech approved the trade. They fixed the motor and tested the boat and it ran fine. The problem was the linkage to the engine had somehow become disconnected from the throttle lever that is why my RPM's dropped down to 650. They offered me a really good trade in more than the dealer where I bought the boat from did so I traded in the Tahoe for the Stingray and on October 7th I bought a new boat.

They offered to shrinkwrap and winterize the new boat and store it for me for free. I thought that was pretty nice of them. That said on April 15th 2023 I will take delivery of my new 2022 Stingray 182 SC boat. I certainly hope that my 2023 season will be better than my 2022 season. At 73 years of age who knows just how many seasons I have left.

So ends the saga of my 2022 season and a Tahoe T-16 boat. The sad thing about all of this is when that boat ran it was a blast to own.

For anyone who is curious here is a link to the boat:
Rick Grew

2022 Stingray 182 SC

2004 Past Commodore
West River Yacht & Cruising Club
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First recorded activity by BoatBanter: Feb 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 472

The good news is that the 2023 season was a success. The Stingray didn't miss a beat. Put 48 trouble free hours on the engine.

Looking forward to the 2024 season. Just waiting for the temps to get just a bit warmer. Could get out possibly this weekend but next weekend is looking better.

Launching soon.
Rick Grew

2022 Stingray 182 SC

2004 Past Commodore
West River Yacht & Cruising Club
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