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About BradentonBoater

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  1. BradentonBoater

    Battery Switch Problems

    Similar issue for me. Brand new 2018 207Ex. Second time out my engine would not start in 1 or 2 position. Could only start it by switching to both batteries, which is far from ideal due to the risk of over amperage. Dealer found that my revised switch was bad, along with a loose starter relay ground. Several times since then I could only start my Merc after rotating the dial several times. Then it worked normally. Have a new Perko sitting around and would use that except it is the old style and much larger than these small profile switches. Not enough room to mount it. May just have to buy a new style Perko instead.
  2. BradentonBoater

    Convert Raw Water System to Switchable Fresh Water Storage System

    Sorry I took so long to respond. The 2 valves are positioned in series in the port side of the bilge in the stern, mounted against the support bulkhead in my 202EX. These valves each have three ports: one common port, and two other ports that are selectable by positioning the ball valve lever. They handle water flow in both directions. That is, the common port can act either as an inlet or outlet. They are available on Amazon for about $29 each. Valve 1 is the pump inlet (suction) valve. It allows you to draw either raw water (from the seacock and strainer) or fresh water (from the bait well) to the pump input. Valve 2 allows you to either add raw water to the bait well, route raw water to the wash down, or route fresh water from the bait well to the wash down connector. To install, remove the raw water line going to the pump inlet and connect the end to port 1 of valve 1. Next, use a short piece of hose to connect the common port of valve 1 to the pump inlet. Leave the pump outlet hose that connects to a T connector in place (one end terminates at the wash down fitting and the other connects to the bait well). Then cut the hose section running between the wash down connector and the bait well fill connector and connect both ends to valve 2. The section running to the bait well connects to the common port of valve 2. The other side that goes to the bulkhead water hose fitting connects to port 2 on valve 2. Finally, connect a short piece of hose between port 2 of valve 1 and port 1 of valve 2. Secure all the hoses by adding bulkhead clamps if needed. Mount the ball valves to the bulkhead or bulkhead extension, depending on the model of your boat. Last, connect a short piece of hose with a female hose fitting to the water inlet inside the bait well after unscrewing the existing fitting. The end of this hose sits at the bottom of the bait well and serves as the fresh water suction line when connected. I added a hose sediment screen to the female hose connector to trap any particles that might be in the bait well when using fresh water. Also, replace the original overflow pipe with a 1 ½” expandable rubber stopper available from Home Depot for about $3. I found that the overflow pipe, even when screwed tightly into the drain, loosens with boat movement and lets the fresh water drain out of the boat through the rear hull fitting. The stopper prevents this. Just make certain the bait well cover closes tightly to avoid water loss from sloshing. You may have to adjust the latch stop to form a tight seal. When using the bait well with raw water, simply remove the short hose and drain plug if attached, and reinstall the original bait well fitting and overflow pipe. Then open the seacock, set valve 1 to the raw water port (port 1) and valve 2 to port 2. With the pump running, this provides suction at the common port of valve 1 and starts a flow of raw water from the seacock and raw water filter to the pump inlet (suction). The output of the pump travels to the T fitting in the raw water outflow line that goes between the hose connector and port 2 in valve 2. Since port 2 in the second valve is open, water flows to the bait well through the common port on valve 2 that is connected to the bait well inlet, and to the wash down fitting, the same as originally rigged. To use the bait well to store fresh water, unscrew the original fitting and overflow pipe inside the bait well and attach your short hose with the female coupler and cap the drain with the rubber stopper. Fill the tank with fresh water and open the valve inside the bait well. Turn valve 1 to the fresh water port (port 2) and valve 2 to port 1. With the pump on, this creates suction in the bait well inlet line that now lies in the bottom of the tank. The water flows through the common port of valve 2, through port 1 on valve 2 to port 2 on valve 1, then through the common line of valve 1 to the inlet (suction side) of the pump. The fresh water exits the pump to the T connector in the hose running between the wash down connector and port 2 of valve 2. Because port 2 on valve 2 is closed, the line pressurizes, and fresh water is available by connecting a water hose to the bulkhead outlet. An alternative would be to use a number of small in-line, 2 port valves to rig the same system. However, it would be more complicated to operate.
  3. I wanted the option of storing fresh water on my 2018 Robalo 202EX without using a separate tank or pump, and without cutting or splicing any water intake or discharge lines that connect to the hull. The total cost of the conversion was less than $90. Materials included 2 heavy duty Banjo V075SL ball valves connected in series, some marine grade water line (same psi and number code as originally installed), a few bulkhead and stainless water line clamps, some 90 degree and/or straight (depending on your installation position) 3/4" NPT Male x 3/4" barbed hose connectors, and a 1 1/2" expandable drain plug for the live well. Total install time was about 90 minutes. I did this because although we use our boat in salt water, we often snorkel or dive and we needed a fresh water storage system for rinses. I also use it to rinse the boat and/or flush the motor if we have towed a long distance from home. But I also wanted to use the live well with raw water when fishing. This system allows me to do either. If we are fishing, I can fill the live well with raw water as originally outfitted. If we are snorkeling, diving, or just pleasure cruising, I can switch the live well to fresh water storage, fill it before we leave home, and have about 15 gallons available for rinsing. If anyone is interested in more detailed installation instructions, let me know and I will post the information along with some photos..
  4. BradentonBoater

    Battery Switch Problems

    Even the new switches fail. Have a 2018 202EX. Second trip out could not start on either battery. Had to switch to both. Dealer found that the battery switch (revised version) had failed and replaced it. 3rd time out after that again could not start on 1 or 2. Rotated the dial back and forth between 1 and 2 several times. Engine then started on 1. Seems likely that the contacts had corroded in just a few weeks and rotating the switch cleaned them. Done with this. I will be replacing this piece of junk with a Perko. Almost nothing worse than starting problems 20+ miles out.
  5. BradentonBoater

    2018 202EX 20 hour impressions

    Thanks Haz. I talked to the dealer about this problem when my boat first arrived, and they said that since Robalo added restrainer snaps and rubber deck mounts on the EX models, they have not had any problems with rear cushions blowing away. Unlike the front cushions, the rear cushions are bonded to bilge covers and are quite heavy. The bilge covers have 4 rubber plugs that insert tightly into fittings on the box deck, and they require a lot of force to pull them up. Not sure what the ES models use to retain the cushions, but after interstate travel in Florida, none of my rear cushions have ever been loose, and never have popped out of the retainer fittings. If I was to remove them every time, I also would have to empty the bilge of any lighter items that could blow away. So I will continue to trailer with the cushions in place right now. If the fittings loosen up in the future, I will either pull them or attache a cargo net over them like I do in the bow.
  6. BradentonBoater

    2018 202EX 20 hour impressions

    Thought I would provide my experience after 20 hours with my 2018 202EX. I ordered this boat with the fold down windshield and bimini top so that I could fit it in my garage. Also ordered it with trim tabs, dual batteries, fixed FM, Garmin map, and a few other items. Powered it with a Merc 150 four stroke instead of the Yamaha due to its reduced and easier maintenance, as well as the black color which matches my black hull. The Merc has been great- quieter than the Yamaha and significantly more torque. Planes almost immediately with little effort. At a 3200 cruise with a full 70 gallons of gas, all gear, and 2 people I average between 6.0 and 6.6 mpg, at about 22-24 mph (depending on winds and waves) with the stock aluminum 15 X 17 Black Max prop. Build quality overall was very good. No delamination, cracks, or blemishes. All the rigging appears to be of good to excellent quality (including the cushions) with the exception of the raw water fittings which are all plastic (except for the seacock). But quality control was not great. Issues I had were loose hatches (all had to be adjusted), a flopping bimini that required moving 2 of the bimini deck mounts, a dented plex windshield that had to be replaced, a broken trailer u-bolt, a stripped raw water fitting (replaced it with brass), multiple loose fasteners, and one major problem: by the second time out the motor would not turn over reliably. Turned out to be a faulty battery switch. They use a small, light duty switch that I may replace with a new heavy duty Perko that I have sitting in my garage. Dealer has been great through this, but Robolo had some problems sending the correct windshield. Took 3 attempts and 2 1/2 weeks to get it right. I live in Florida and all my trips thus far have been in the inland waterways and only out about 6 miles into the Gulf. This boat is stable! At rest in the water walking from side to side creates almost no list. Turns easily and smoothly without fighting the helm. Have been in 4-5 foot Gulf swells and it never felt the least bit unsafe, partly due to the deep cockpit for this size boat. Glides through a light chop and up to 2 foot seas without pounding when it is trimmed correctly. In 3-4 footers it will pound a bit, probably due to the shallower deadrise than most offshore CCs, but nothing drastic. It also is a pretty dry boat for its size. Unless there is stiff breeze, the entire boat stays dry. In a heavier wind there is some blowback around midships, but mostly dry forward. But the flared hull really catches the wind when planing and when the wind is off the bow it will lean significantly and require more steering muscle. In my opinion, trim tabs are a must if you use one of these offshore or in large bodies of water where strong winds may be more likely. I have 2 design criticisms. The first is the relatively small (15 gal) bait well, though frankly I'm not sure there is room to change that unless they delete the under-seat cooler. My second complaint is that the stern cushions are not really removable which is a problem if you use this to fish. Well, they actually are removable, but that leaves a wide open space across most of the stern where you access the bilge. So no standing there unless you build a cover and just leave the cushions at home. But these are trade offs I knew about beforehand, and I certainly can live with them. Overall, I am very satisfied. I would definitely buy this boat again (so far), and the 5 year full coverage warranty provides some increased confidence.