Trump Parade Tears!!!

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lakeliving

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When water gets iffy I tell people to move to the back. For some reason guest always prefer to sit as close to the bow as possible.
 

Khartmanrph

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Went out on Lake Murray today for the Trump parade. Must have been over 1000 boats. Unfortunately we took a big wave. Scared the hell out of everybody AND crushed my front panel. Of course, I’m just sick about it. I’ve only had the boat two weeks.

My insurance deductible is $2550. Any advice on getting this repaired. Should I just file through insurance. Cost? Go through the Bennington dealer? DYI? Help!
I was at the Atlantic City NJ Trump parade. This past Sunday. It was a real disaster. 3 bridges in the ice that need to be raised causing the entire parade to jam up at the bridges. Dealt with 2 storms churning up serious waves in the bay. She managed well but lesson learned for this inexperienced Captain ! Can’t imagine taking a wave over the bow !
 

Potomacbassin’

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Everyone has to understand there’s a give and take with ANY boat design. For those that say “Bennington should” forget that this statement drives the cost up. Yeah, maybe they should offer the “Wave stuffer” option, so it adds $500 to reinforce the front panels. You’ve now eliminated the “responsibility” of the captain to maintain safe conditions. I’m not saying anyone was driving unsafe, but sometimes you shouldn't be boating in certain areas/times and things happen, but to arbitrarily assume Bennington should reinforce 11,000 plus boats a year (estimate minus Q’s) for the sake of a dozen or two (rentals don’t count, those renters don’t give a crap) that stuff a boat into a wave is not cost effective.
I mostly agree with this. I think what happens is buyers get sucked into the idea and marketing videos of running 60mph on a pontoon with dual 300’s and we forget it’s a floating sheet of plywood.

The part where I will disagree is that the bow-stuffers like me can serve to provide a feedback loop to manufacturers who can continue to evolve their product. So while Bennington should not be blamed or warranty for our unfortunate experiences or borderline negligence, they should be open engineering design changes that might make a better product and better owner experience.

I think about my Merc (car) and how when you open the door while in Drive it will automatically shift to Park to prevent a runaway vehicle. Should people be more responsible for their actions? Of course, but it’s a nice safety feature to have for that 1% chance you are absent minded. In much the same way, Bennington should expect people running their boats on large bodies of water including salt water to occasional hit a large wave. Why not beef up the fencing and use it as a selling point to differentiate against the competition? Marketing 101!
 

jhill

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Everyone has to understand there’s a give and take with ANY boat design. For those that say “Bennington should” forget that this statement drives the cost up. Yeah, maybe they should offer the “Wave stuffer” option, so it adds $500 to reinforce the front panels. You’ve now eliminated the “responsibility” of the captain to maintain safe conditions. I’m not saying anyone was driving unsafe, but sometimes you shouldn't be boating in certain areas/times and things happen, but to arbitrarily assume Bennington should reinforce 11,000 plus boats a year (estimate minus Q’s) for the sake of a dozen or two (rentals don’t count, those renters don’t give a crap) that stuff a boat into a wave is not cost effective.
......so a row of lasers on bow to vaporize oversize roque waves before they contact boat might not be a realistic option? Probably only add $25k to cost...lol
 

jhill

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Still think it might not hurt to add some fasteners/reinforcement ourselves if the furniture isn't too hard to get loose. Sorry to those that got damage. :(
 

BigKahuna

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Had a huge Trump boat parade here on Lake Norman on Saturday the 4th. That's why we boated on Thursday and Friday the 2nd and 3rd. Weekend boating is pretty busy and crazy to begin with on our lake. Add the 4th of July holiday to that and it's almost comical. Like a bunch of cockroaches scattering every which way. If we have visitors or family here on the weekend and we have to go out we'll go early, take them skiing/wakeboarding and go hide in a No Wake cove someplace. Oh yeah we have experienced the large wakes/waves. We try to hit them at an angle, trimmed up and accelerate through them. One more thing..... I had a dent in a side panel that I wanted replaced. Bennington quoted me just about $3000 to remove the furniture, remove the damaged panel/rail, install a new panel/rail, and replace the furniture. This price didn't even include painting the panel and new decals/graphics.......
 

BigKahuna

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I was going to start a “4th of July” thread to capture stories like this. I ate a monstrous wave at the confluence of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers coming back from the DC fireworks. 30-40-ft boats everywhere putting out major wake and it was just a washing machine of 4 footers. Bow stuffed a confused rogue 5’ and a wall of water came over the fence and soaked us from head to toe. I think the panel did ok but need to look in daylight.

Kinda refreshing until you realize you just showered with city runoff.

That was a little jarring, but the real pucker was driving 30 miles back to the marina at midnight guided only by the moon and the caravan of nav lights in front and behind you. 2-3 foot wake everywhere from the hundreds of boats churning up the river, unlit channel markers, floating wood thumping the skeg and guessing at basically everything related to my senses - I wore a blister into my finger working the throttle so much trying to make the ride and safe as possible.

Thankfully it was only a few of us, can’t imagine doing that with 10-12 people on board. And thank goodness for that 250, there were more than a few times I needed to power out of some bad angles and keep the boat upright.

I think I‘ll watch the fireworks on TV next year!
When we lived up there we put our first boat in at Gravelly Point just north of the airport for the fire works one year. You know where everybody watches the planes land at Reagan National. When the show was over everybody made a mad rush to get their boats out at the ramp. Took us almost 3 hrs. to load up. Never again.......
 

Timberlake Mark

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Checked in with a dent guy. He said these panels on so thin, dents can’t be pulled. He definitely recommended full replacement by Bennington. Sounds like this is going to cost a pretty penny. Afterwards, I’m going to lower my insurance deductible.
 

Potomacbassin’

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When we lived up there we put our first boat in at Gravelly Point just north of the airport for the fire works one year. You know where everybody watches the planes land at Reagan National. When the show was over everybody made a mad rush to get their boats out at the ramp. Took us almost 3 hrs. to load up. Never again.......
Yeah that sounds awful, not to mention trailering on GW Parkway and surrounding roads with all the traffic. For some reason the ramp was closed this year and the parking lot empty - I know it wasn’t for airline security since it is still open during normal times and the airspace was restricted during the show.

I keep the boat slipped down on the Occoquan so a long haul but still solves the pain of dealing with a trailer and ramp backups. From what I’ve read on this forum, pontoon owners can definitely contribute to the ramp woes especially with tide and wind! Don’t want to be “that guy” that spends 20 minutes trying to load!
 

Timberlake Mark

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My local Bennington Dealer quoted me $1700 for a complete replacement. I’m going to bite the bullet and let them do it.
 

BigKahuna

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Yeah that sounds awful, not to mention trailering on GW Parkway and surrounding roads with all the traffic. For some reason the ramp was closed this year and the parking lot empty - I know it wasn’t for airline security since it is still open during normal times and the airspace was restricted during the show.

I keep the boat slipped down on the Occoquan so a long haul but still solves the pain of dealing with a trailer and ramp backups. From what I’ve read on this forum, pontoon owners can definitely contribute to the ramp woes especially with tide and wind! Don’t want to be “that guy” that spends 20 minutes trying to load!
So you have a slip at Hoffmasters? Know the Occoquan area well. My son taught at Woodbridge high School. We bought our first boat at Tyme and Tyde marina off of Featherstone. If you have a chance to take your Benny down to Lake Anna do it! It's a nice lake! Boated there for years and that's where we bought our Benny.....
 

Potomacbassin’

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So you have a slip at Hoffmasters? Know the Occoquan area well. My son taught at Woodbridge high School. We bought our first boat at Tyme and Tyde marina off of Featherstone. If you have a chance to take your Benny down to Lake Anna do it! It's a nice lake! Boated there for years and that's where we bought our Benny.....
Yep bought the boat from Joe and have it slipped there at least for a year. I have a covered slip which isn’t cheap but it makes life so much more enjoyable. On the other hand, the no-wake is just brutally long so next year I may go to T&T or something else closer to the mouth.

I do enjoy Lake Anna, spent years on my buddies boat in Contrary Creek. But recently I’ve fallen in love with SML. Throw in an annual fishing trip on Lake Champlain and I am happy as a clam!
 

BigKahuna

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Yep bought the boat from Joe and have it slipped there at least for a year. I have a covered slip which isn’t cheap but it makes life so much more enjoyable. On the other hand, the no-wake is just brutally long so next year I may go to T&T or something else closer to the mouth.

I do enjoy Lake Anna, spent years on my buddies boat in Contrary Creek. But recently I’ve fallen in love with SML. Throw in an annual fishing trip on Lake Champlain and I am happy as a clam!
Yup love SML! That's where my Benny lives now. A couple from there came down and bought our boat this past spring...... Have you been to Tim's with your boat? Dumfries and Fairview Beach?
 

Potomacbassin’

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Yup love SML! That's where my Benny lives now. A couple from there came down and bought our boat this past spring...... Have you been to Tim's with your boat? Dumfries and Fairview Beach?
Tim’s no, but on the list for sure! Honestly once I get the warranty work completed, my prop dialed in and all my accessories installed I want to make some long runs including up to Annapolis and down to VA Beach. Obviously will have to pick the right days. When the croakers start running good maybe a few trips down to the 301 bridge are in order. Motor is going to get a workout as well as my fuel card!

If I could buy a nice waterfront on SML down by the dam I’d do it tomorrow but I’m a few million short! You are a lucky guy being down there, VA’s little gem.
 

BigKahuna

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Tim’s no, but on the list for sure! Honestly once I get the warranty work completed, my prop dialed in and all my accessories installed I want to make some long runs including up to Annapolis and down to VA Beach. Obviously will have to pick the right days. When the croakers start running good maybe a few trips down to the 301 bridge are in order. Motor is going to get a workout as well as my fuel card!

If I could buy a nice waterfront on SML down by the dam I’d do it tomorrow but I’m a few million short! You are a lucky guy being down there, VA’s little gem.
We were in Fredericksburg for 16 yrs. but before that lived in Maryland right outside of DC. We used to boat the Patuxent, Potomac, South River and sometimes venture out into the Chesapeake on calm days. One day we had the bright idea to go from the South River out into the bay under the Bay Bridge into Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Never made it! The wind whipped up and it got really rough. We had a 19 foot bowrider and we were getting tossed around like a toy. We had to put the cover over the bow and close the windshield. The water was coming over. Barely made it back. Anyway we're on Lake Norman down here in NC. not SML......
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Checked in with a dent guy. He said these panels on so thin, dents can’t be pulled. He definitely recommended full replacement by Bennington. Sounds like this is going to cost a pretty penny. Afterwards, I’m going to lower my insurance deductible.
Temp repair, pull The seat (not that bad, should be screws on bottom, couple through fence), get a “j”roller for Formica and roll it back and forth over the dent gently. It wont be perfect but better than the dent. I don’t think the metals too thin to pull, but the corrugating makes it impossible to “flatten” like a normal dent. If it pulled out of the crimp, you can try to “pry” the crimp open, then flatten back over the panel edge (couple people have done that over the years in forum). Worth a shot to see how it looks vs. spending the big bucks and stuffing another wave. “If” you pull it to fix, maybe put a backer of thin aluminum to see if it helps. Just remember that aluminum will now be against your seat backs and will discolor them.
 

M Jay Farr

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Yup love SML! That's where my Benny lives now. A couple from there came down and bought our boat this past spring...... Have you been to Tim's with your boat? Dumfries and Fairview Beach?
Good to see a few members heading to SML, we love the location.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Any engineers in the group? If we reinforce the panel to the point where it won’t deflect/dent do we now risk the fence bearing the load and finding a worse point of failure (I.e. anchor for the fence, weld, etc)?

I’m reminded of my old car racing days where you would break something (clutch in my case), upgrade it to withstand the HP and then break the next weakest link in the drivetrain (axle), upgrade that, then break the rear tranny, and on and on and on. I’d rather deal with an ugly dented panel than have to spend major bucks on something much more critical.

Food for thought - I’ll see if the Benny design team has any opinion and report back.
 

jtrovato21

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Driver error ! Not a "fairly commom issue" for Bennington to fix. Key word rental boat!
I'll agree to disagree on this one. Yes, driver error led to the damage, but it's a boat, that drives on water. Accidents happen and a boat of this size and cost should be able to take a wave over the bow without causing $1700 worth of damage. If it means $500-1000 more to put heavier gauge panels at the bow, that should be standard to make sure the boat can withstand taking the inadvertent wave over the bow.
 
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