Boat quality, 28' Center console

This forum is for owners and enthusiasts of the Sea Hawk line of Caravelle Boats. From the 190 Center Console model up to the 280 Center Console model.

Boat quality, 28' Center console

Postby jbird » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:11 pm

I own a 2006 28' seahawk which I now despise and whish I could get out from under it. The issues I have had with it seem over whelming for a relatively new boat. It is stored under cover and washed every trip.
Issues:
- The letters on the side CARRAVELLE came off one by one, we were able to get them fixed under warranty but less than a year later they are coming off again...disappointing
- The T-Top should be better secured to the consol, it shakes and twists every wave we hit, it has not ripped out any screws yet but I'm sure that day is coming
- On both side were the bolster cushions mount is a fiberglass plate that is screwed in (right above the rod holders in the cockpit), both sides came loose and had to be removed and reinforced. unfortunately that still did not do the job, they are still coming apart...dissapointing
- Two of the T-Top welded gold rod holders have come off, one is still attached but cracked 70% of the way and ready to fly off and hit one of our passengers like the last one did...dissapointing
- The live well has no latch and when we get into any seas the water comes out of the closed (but not secured) lid and sends salt water everywhere. We have replaced two pumps from rust under the livewell
- every trip we have to tighten screws back up in the consol, that is if we can find them, half of them are missing.
- Unfortunately we fish 70-80 mile out and the sea does not always cooperate. In the web page they say the boat has an amazingly soft, dry ride...I beg to differ, this is our 5th boat in about 25 years and we have had the opportunity to test soft and dry and this boat will beat you to death. Every hatch bangs and rattles, I have installed latches on some but it still sound like someone dumped a load of bricks on the deck every wave.
- This is worrysome for: recently in the past three or four trips when we were in 4-6' seas I watched the sides of the boat flex has we hit waves. I hope we have a warranty for when it just caves in. The sides flex in and out a couple inches...the boat quality is disappointing and almost frightening
- they have a bad bow cleat design, when you tie up the rope hits either the anchor pulpit, or the nav light, I'm just waiting to look up at the bow and see one of the lights just gone. The pressure the rope puts on the nav lights has cause cracks and now I have had to replace bulbs from corrosion.
- The anchor light is held on by zip ties because the scew knob is so corroded it won't spin...poor quality for a 2 year old boat
- We have had several spider cracks in the fiberglass fixed
- When we dropped it off to have warranty work done (spider cracks, letters on the side of the boat etc.) it took them 4.5 months to fix it, we missed the entire tuna season...dissapointing
- We purchased a Hummingbird 997 and later a Lowrance HDS both are having issues, can't seem to figure it out, interference from stainless bracket or motors?
- the door on the starboard side next to the driver has no latch and constantly pops open and dumps the tackle trays on the floor
- Both zippers on the T-Tops have corroded and broken off, now we can hardly access our life peservers...disappointing
- We bought an electronics box to hold our Radar head unit and radios (marine and AM/FM) we cannot use it unless we are in 1' or less seas because the T-Tops shakes so much you can never get a read off of anything and the mounting plate was ripped off of the box and broke everything except the Radar head unit. I know Carravelle probably doesn't make the T-Top but for 6K it should be a lot more robust...disappointing
- After a recent trip while cleaning the boat the trim tab buttons for the boat hull came apart allowing water in and now the trim tabs just come on whenever they feel like it, but never when you want them to work. the last trip was scary when we were cruising at 30knots and one tab decided to change it's position to fully extented throwing the boats sideways and almost dumping out a passenger.
- I wish we could of had a sea trial, there is hardly any flare in the bow, we always get wet, we just bring our rain gear and deal with it.
- The lock on the walk-thru transom does not work, in any kind of seas it will work itself loose and opens when you least expect it, it doesn't bother us but it is a pain to have to constantly shut it.
- I would of like to put a shoot-thru or thru-hull transducer in the boat but they left zero room for that, there is no way to mount any transducer inside the boat
- This may be picky but we have had the boat for just two years and the driver seat cushion/padding is almost gone, I can feel the frame under the seat while sitting on the seat, it definately needs more and or denser cushioning.
jbird
Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:16 pm
Location: Gulf Coast, Alabama
Location:
Occupation:
Interests: 0

Postby osuinco » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 am

jbird, sorry to hear you are disappointed but let me ask a couple of questions and make some comments regarding your concerns. None are meant to be derogatory.

You stated you have had several other boats over the years. What made you decide on a Caravelle? These other boats, and for that matter, other boats you looked at when you decided on the Caravelle, how did they stack up price-wise? Was this a consideration during your purchase? We all know Caravelles are not the best boat out there, but I think you would be hard pressed to find comparable boats with this price point. I know there are other boats out there that ride better, are faster, cooler graphics, yadda, yadda, yadda. But not for the price.

Corrosion issues. Not to be an a-hole, but if you cleaned the boat as stated, corrosion would not be an issue. A clean/dry surface of any grade of metal will not rust due to salt or moisture.

Movement/rattling. All boats move, rattle, shake, etc. 4-6 foot waves in a 26 foot boat? I know the website says "roughest conditions" but seriously, do you think it was designed for 6 foot waves? Open top boats move even more since there is no deck to stop the lateral movement. Steel will move, wood, aluminum, kevlar and concrete will all move. For grins, take your tape measure and measure across the gunwales at the widest point when on the trailer, then do the same when you launch it...be surprised what you find. Even my SC moves. The door to the cabin worked fine on the trailer but when I got it on the water, it was binding. That is the beauty of fiberglass, will bend and not break. Which by the way, you have no worries about the hull breaking. Unless you hit something, water will not break it (current 26ers have lifetime warranties). As for the tower, it is supported by the base with no upper support and limited cross-bracing. It will move.

Sure, they could have added additional layers of glass, more money. Thicker walled tubing for the tower/canopy, more money. Additional horsepower to move all this added weight, more money. More accessories, more money.

Not sure how you can blame the boat because a bolt-on accessory does not work.

Again, not trying to be an apologist or pick a fight. Nor am I a Caravelle dealer or offshore enthusiast so I may be way off base here...but you seem to be running the boat in conditions it was not truly designed for. IMO, 30 knots in 6 foot swells in an open 26 foot boat is suicidal. Asked myself this same question a couple of months ago when those NFL players' boat of similar design capsized. Call me chicken, but never catch me doing that.
2000 232 SC Interceptor, 7.4 MPI, 375 HP, Bravo I
osuinco
Member
 
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:33 am
Location: Prosper, Texas
Location:
Occupation:
Interests: 0

Postby buyfire » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:30 am

it seems caravelle offshore boats aren't nearly as popular as the standard units designed more for inland waters. you rarely see offshore owners on the forum. maybe there's something to that?

regardless, sorry to hear of your troubles. and i hope you can get some satisfaction through either the dealer or caravelle directly. good luck.
Boatless, again.
User avatar
buyfire
Member
 
Posts: 2145
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:47 pm
Location: iowa
Location:
Occupation:
Interests: 0

Postby jbird » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:06 pm

Osuinco, from Fort Collins, CO

We bought the boat in 07 because it was an 06 model. the price was substantially lower due to the dealer not wanting to sell those kinds of boats and the year model. They are out of the Offshore business now.
The boat itself had all the right "equipment" for going offshore, 28plus feet (not 26) a sharp deadrise, big fishbox, livewell, cockpit bolster pads etc. and fourstroke twins.
It sounds like you are saying we bought a poser Hyndai vs. a BMW because of cost.
Actually that is how it is working out, based on the quality of the boat AND how it was put together.
The corrosion issue, yes a clean dry boat will not corrode but if we didn't get slammed and soaked just about every trip (sometime 5-8hours comming back), we clean it every trip, it cost a lot of money and we do not want it to just fall apart we do our best to clean it but salt sneaks in no matter how well you wash it. By the way do you live in CO, if so what do you know about fishing/boating offshore?
We do not go 30 knots in 6' seas, we would be dead right now if that was the case. We are luck to go 8knots in 6' seas (bring your wet weather gear)
You really need to be on the boat to appreciate the movement that happens under way. I hope your right that it will never collapse on itself driving into big seas.
Our door works fine, the latch shakes so much it eventually opens and lets the door swing open and closed.
No issues witht the power or additional power

I see absolutely ZERO coparison witht he NFL players, their circumstances were entirely different, they sank while anchored, not while doing 30knots in six foot seas. We are diligent with checking weather reports, own a SPOT gps, bought a boat that should be able to safely transport us out to our fishing grounds, and I only need to take a test to be a certified Captain. We are not fools and it sounds like you own a Carravelle and seem disappointed somone said something negative about it and it put a dent in your pride of ownership.
Sorry, I call them like I see them.
jbird
Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:16 pm
Location: Gulf Coast, Alabama
Location:
Occupation:
Interests: 0

Postby osuinco » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:32 pm

jbird, again, sorry to hear you are disappointed. However, I sense animosity in your response so I will make a couple responses and leave you with best wishes for resolving your issues.

I would not use a Hyundai/BMW comparison to describe Caravelle boats. I would go more with a Toyota vs Lexus. You can go for all the bells and whistles with the Lexus with double the price tag or get the Toyota which is still quality but without all the extras. Just my opinion.

Yes, I am currently in Colorado and qualified my statement with not being an offshore guy. But I have been around boats since 1968 when my uncle opened Taylor Boats in Cushing and Drumright, Oklahoma. My current boat was run in salt water before I owned it and I understand what it does to a boat. Every boat has those nooks and crannies that let in water, it is not just a Caravelle issue. Cleaning a Donzi ZF is going to be just as time consuming as your Caravelle. It is not a boat issue but rather a factor of the environment where you run it. There is a reason dealers and aftermarket shops offer all of those spray protection boxes and gizmos...because everything gets wet and it is unavoidable regardless of the boat.

Also not intending to question your diligence or ability to pilot a boat. But your post did state you run it in 4-6 waves which I would believe could beat the tar out of any average consumer-size boat. My comment about the NFL guys was limited to the type of boat--relatively small, center console open-deck--being on open seas to begin with and I apologize if you took it some other way. Not intending to imply your or they were piloting the boats in reckless manners. My personal opinion, but I would not go 70 miles out in the ocean for extended periods of time in a boat of this style. To go back to the car analogy, yeah, the SmartCar is perfectly capable of driving on the Autobahn, but I would never do it.

Yes, I own a Caravelle but do not take exception to others having issues with the brand. Like I said, Caravelle is not known as the BMW of the inland waterways, let alone the open seas. When I bought my boat I was looking at Bajas, Formulas, Scarabs, Fountains, etc. but once the check had to be written, I settled on the Caravelle. I understood I was not getting the best but at the same time, was still getting a boat with a good reputation for quality and reliability. I realize there are much better boats, even on my little lake up here, but I think I got a pretty good bang for my buck.

I will reserve any future comments on the subject as I do not want to develop an adversarial relationship by making any assumptions you might take exception to. Sorry you are not happy with the Caravelle, but glad to have you onboard the Forum nonetheless.
2000 232 SC Interceptor, 7.4 MPI, 375 HP, Bravo I
osuinco
Member
 
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:33 am
Location: Prosper, Texas
Location:
Occupation:
Interests: 0

Postby jbird » Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:10 pm

OSUINCO,
Good evening, just a few notes to help you understand what or rather how we fish. We go anywhere from 50-100 miles out and stay overnight. If we get some rough weather in that period we have to deal with it that includes big seas. We do pay attention to weather but you just never know. If we get some seas on the way out then that salt water covers the boat until the next day when we get back to shore...it doesn't take long for salt to start the corrosion process.
In general the boat gets a C maybe a C+. It is not a cheap boat but cetainly not like a Regulator or Contender but they are almost 50% more cost wise but beefier all the way around and even hold a resale value which I am certain I am not going to hold my breath for if we every try to sell the boat...if we do I hope the buyer doesn't read this post. I guess it wouldn't matter we are diligent in replacing, re-tightening, rewelding, and repairing any damage because we have to trust it with our lives.
BTW - thanks for the positive response. cheers.
Dam boat.
jbird
Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:16 pm
Location: Gulf Coast, Alabama
Location:
Occupation:
Interests: 0

Postby jbird » Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:31 pm

Buyfire: thanks for the post, we had looked at this site before we bought the boat looking for data and there was non to be had. Now that have had plenty of time to test the boat we would make some changes:
- Put the live well in the center of the boat
- Make some room for a shoot thru the hull or thru-hull transducer
- Put rubber gaskets and latches on the hatches (especially the live well)
- redesign the layout of the forward cleats so the bow-line doesn't threaten to get rip off the nav lights and doesn't get tangled in the anchor
- Use more thru bolts vs screws so they don't keep comming out
- Put a couple more aluminum tube sections on the T-top for bracing
- Consider some Velcro for the T-Top Life jacket storage
- Put more flare in the hull, not Carolina style but just more than they have now
- Use better graphics on the side, we are riding around with RAVELLE on the side of our boat and we had the graphics replaced.
- Put in, if there is room, some cockpit floor storage on either side of the fuel tank

Blaa, blaa and the wheels on the bus go round and round. I guess I just added 50K to the price but it would be a much friendlier/nicer boat. That is just my opinion.
I wish I knew Icould get some sort of satisfaction out of the dealership or company but the dealership is out of that business and I'm sure the company is going to say a 2006/7 boat is out of any warranty except for the hull (we have gone through 2 water pumps all ready... oh don't get me started) hey I appreciate your kind post. thanks
jbird
Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:16 pm
Location: Gulf Coast, Alabama
Location:
Occupation:
Interests: 0

Postby mmcheney » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:09 am

Here are a few suggestions to help you manage the 280 C problems you described so you can spend more time fishing and less time having someone else work on your boat. Suggestions 1 through 3 will cost you less than $100 in stainless material.

1. Don't carry your rods in the T-top rod holders when running hard in heavy seas. The constant shifting of weight from heavy trolling tackle in rolling seas will damage the best welds, even on Contenders. We carry ours in rod holders situated along side the forward left and right hatches.

2. Pull the number 10 screws from centerconsole and replace with # 12s, then before screwing them in cover the threads liberally with a good marine sealant.

3. Replace the # 10 screws in the hatch with throughbolts washers and aircraft nuts.

4. My 230 has enough room in the transom for a large through hull transducer, but you do have to stand on your head to install it, so not sure why the 280 would be inadequate.

5. You are right about the nav lights, they do corode and you have to clean the contacts about once per quarter. Purchase LED navigation lights ($59 each) if you want better nav lights up front. Access to replace is easy through the front hatch. Then install a couple of rope guides to protect them. Stainless rope guides will cost you about $30 each.

6. You can improve the ride by shifting more weight forward. We moved the batteries from the rear hatches to the center console and carry heavy tackle boxes in the forward locker. Moving the batteries will cost you about $250 in material.

7. I have no suggestion for the live well, but if it is any consolation I have friend who has a $180K Merlago 35 with the same design.

These changes will improve many of the concerns you addressed at a minimal cost and you can do most of them in less than a day. I realize you probably feel you shouldn't have to do this on a newer boat, but just think about how much more fun you will have Tuna hunting in a boat that costs 150K less than a comparable equipped Contender that gets considerably better fuel economy. The operating costs on a Contender are at least twice the operating costs of the 280 C. Shucks with the fuel economy advantage alone you can fish twice as much and catch twice the sushi.

Last August we took a friends 1998 280 C from Key West to Try Tortugas, for the weekend. This is a 60 mile trip one way, after you leave the Marqueses it's a 40 mile trek across open water to Fort Jefferson. We had good seas to get over and made it in a couple of hours (twin 275 Verados:), but had 4-6 (some 7 footers) on the way back which made for a long day. I agree the bow flexes quite a bit in rough weather, but this boat is a 1998 and is owned by a hard core fisherman and gets this kind of abuse frequently and is still going strong.

Hope you find this helpful.
mmcheney
Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:17 am
Location: Fort Myers, Florida
Location:
Occupation:
Interests: 0

Postby shel » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:19 pm

Wow, we have action here finally. Jbird, sorry to hear about your problems. I've owned my 2005 280 since oct 05 and for the most part, love the boat. Did a lot of research before buying on orgin of mold, design and so on. Just a few notes.
The 280 is a mid tier boat. Caravelle uses a good layup schedule and good materials. The boat was originally designed for 2 stroke power and larger heavier 4 strokes will cause the boat to ride stern heavy. It will require large tabs to keep the stern up and the bow down in most conditions. Also I have found filling the front fish box up with a couple hundred pounds of ice helps. As far as the ride in 4-6 ft seas, it's not good. Most boats can't handle true 4-6 ft seas unless it's a swell that 15 seconds apart. This boat started life as a 26 ft boat and the tooling was stretched and 1 1/2 feet of bowpulpit added and the beam increased. Take a way the bow pulpit and it's really a 26-27 ft boat. With the reverse chine, I've actually found this boat to be pretty dry in most conditions. With all center consoles though, if you have a good wind and wave blowing from either side, anyone in the back will get wet. The livewell can be a problem, wish they would redesign with gaskets. The tackle storage problem I solved with 3 small pcs of velcro 3 years ago and now no problem. Console door if it wants to open on it's own, put small latch toward top. No problems with my t-top, solid as a rock. Rod holders will eventually bend and weld crack. Most with that thin aluminum strip the welds to the pipe will. I'm taking mine in next week and lowering mine and welding holder directly to pipe. Biggest problem I've had is the console screws, what a pain in the ass. Solved the problem by bedding screws in epoxy. No back outs in over a year. Now I will admit, I fish out to 65-70 miles offshore Jacksonville but try not to go out on bad days. But if I do get caught in bad seas, I just slow accordingly. In true 2-3 ft seas @ 5-6 seconds, no problem, rides good. I just repowered with lighter 4 strokes, twin Suzuki 175's (480lbs each) and great combo. WOT is 48 mph and get between 2.1 and 2.5 mpg on a typical offshore trip depending on conditions. Tight Lines!!
shel
Member
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 7:33 pm
Location: Northeast Florida
Location:
Occupation:
Interests: 0

Postby Jaimeson » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:03 pm

Iv'e read this thread a couple times; actually read it before I bought my 230. I have had my 230 in a few 5-6 footers before (not really fun nor intentional) but I have to agree with Shel on that if, you get caught up in some rough seas, just throttle back. That's what I do and it's gotten me through some rough siht and caused no damage to my boat. Only problem I deal with here on the Gulf coast is the dreaded short chop in which there ain't much you can do with except to come off of plane.

And what the guy from CO said, I could't agree more with. You can't compare apples to oranges, it just doesn't work. My boat is an 04' model and the only things wrong with it are the rub rail end covers at the walk though door are needing replaced and a couple hinge screw have become stripped out; easy fix.

I put some 5200 on my console screws and even in the 5 footers on my last trip, they are still sound.

I paid $20K for mine and it's equipped with a Yamaha F225 that had just under 500 hours. I lucked out because the guy I purchased from threw in a Garmin 740S and about 2-3K worth of deep sea tackle.

All in all, I think it's a good boat and if you take care of it, like most things, it will take care of you.
2004 230 Seahawk CC Top Gun outriggers Garmin 740S/18 HD radar Yamaha F225
Jaimeson
Member
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:46 pm
Location: MS Gulf coast
Location:
Occupation:
Interests: 0


Return to Sea Hawk Offshore Boats

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron