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Nacimiento Lake, CA


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Thought I'd start off the 'General Discussion Area' with one of my blogs :)

Don't worry, it will eventually get to a discussion about Malibu boats.

We've been down to Nacimiento Lake LINK now going on 3 years in a row. We generally try and hit it during Spring Break. Unfortunately the place we've stayed in the past has been a pretty popular spot, and very centrally located. Very close to the water, 200 yards from the general store, and 100 yards from the bathroom. This has been a popular spot for the lovers of 300db Mariachi Band music and all night rap contests between camp sites. Trying to make that work with a tent - full of kids - and a CFO that doesn't sleep well in the first place - was difficult at best.

This time a friend of ours went early in the week and scouted out a new spot - one of the farthest spots away from the store but still close to the water. It actually backed up to its own little cove - closer to the dam then the other spot we were at in previous years. Since it backed up to the water we didn't have any 'rear' noise turbulence. And we were located on a hill so the campsites were pretty far apart - and the noise would literally have to travel down the hill to us - and fortunately for us it didn't. Our little cove wasn't being used by anyone, so I anchored our Bu in there. Nice, shady, partially secluded - we liked it.

- Oh, but there were lots of rattlesnakes. So don't try and find this spot. I think they'll be tearing it out and marking it radioactive- big accident you know. No need to try and find it in the future, especially during spring break.

Got there and set up camp, and headed out to the water for a boys run. There were 4 of us. My brother, that was coming up from So.Cal was supposed to be there but I hadn't heard from him. I could see I missed his call, but couldn't reach him. The mountains make cell service a joke. But as I drove by the store I saw his truck. He had just pulled in :yahoo: That made for 5 of us.

I've been stoked about surfing. Finally getting the ability to drop the rope and ride the wake was big for me. Considering that was with stock ballast on an LSV I'm pretty proud of that. Especially after this weekend. My friend brought two of his 'fat buddie' sacks - two small ones, I'm guessing 50 gal each(?). We filled the rear locker tank for the side we were surfing, then put the two fat buddies in the locker - one on top of the other. It filled the locker up completely - and if you've seen the LSV lockers, you know that's a lot of water. We then had a really big friend, 2 medium guys (me included) and 2 skinny punk kids. The big guy rode in the corner seat right next to the locker full of water. And one of the skinny punks hung from the tower.

- Center and bow MLS full, plus Wedge. Opposite rear locker was empty.

This created the biggest wake I've personally seen behind a tourney boat. I'm not pro level and don't hit tournaments, but this thing was waste high, no joke. I've attached a picture, but it's of the next day - same ballast set up, but only me, my punk bro and the CFO. So no real VOB © 'voice activated ballast' to speak of. But still, nice. And pump able. Now that I've discovered you can create a wake that's maneuverable while surfing, I'm hooked. Before I would have to stand in the exact sweet spot and not move a muscle. Legs, toes, feet got sore in a matter of seconds from trying to hold a pose. Now it's a lot more fun.

We were having a great time, water was OK - 62F, so we were wearing dry suits. Ya, you might call us wimps, but whatever, there was a bit of wind and being dry in the boat was nice.

- BTW- the Christmas present dry suit for the CFO was a great idea. Thanks Smooth Water Sports!

Second day is when things went awry.

There was a TON of debris in the lake. Many trees, literal trees, floating in the lake. There were debris fields - large areas where the wind / wakes had pushed a lot of stuff into a particular area. These were all over the lake in odd places. And the wind caused them to change from day to day. We were constantly swerving and dodging logs. It was scary really.

In the afternoon on the second day, our daughters all wanted to go tubing on my friends boat. The girls thought they would simply flag him down as he drove by, but when he didn't stop to their shrill shrieks and hollers I felt bad and offered to take them to him. They jumped on the opportunity and we headed off. We finally caught up with them 3/4 of the way to the end of the lake. We made the switch and I headed off back to home base by myself. I was going about 40mph, blasting the tunes and really enjoying the wind in my hair.

- Then a bump, and a shimmer/shake/vibration in the steering wheel that wouldn't stop. It happened, I had hit something.

I was bummed. After the initial expletives and shock of having the inevitable happen, and 'why me?' questions - I decided to put on the dry suit and take a look under the boat. See if there was any real damage, if I was taking on water, lost a fin, messed up the prop, etc.

My friend was only a few hundred yards back and eventually caught up with me. By then I had finished putting on the dry suit by myself, which is very difficult by the way. That zipper deal, not easy to do one handed. My friend, and all on his boat, camped for a few minutes while I went under to check things out.

Wacky, everything looked to be in order. Prop was sharp, rudder fine, fins OK, no visible holes in the boat. I couldn't see very well under the water and figured I was just missing something. So I limped all the way back to the dock going 7 MPH. If I went above that the vibration in the steering wheel would go nuts.

The CFO showed up with the rig and I pulled the boat out of the water. My friend who was driving the other boat showed up to see what was up. I was under my Bu and couldn't see a thing wrong with the boat - nothing. I had been hoping it was a dinged prop, but it all looked fine. Wacky. I figured I must have hit something that knocked the shaft out of alignment and miraculously left the prop and rudder untouched. I couldn't think of anything else.

My friend said I should put the boat back in the water. "What?" I said.

I didn't understand why. I told him I'd just driven for 20 minutes, made multiple turns, and every time I'd gotten it above 7 MPH it went vibration crazy.

He told me about what had just happened to him:

On our return, just before the marina, he saw a PWC that was waving to him. He stopped and towed it in - they were out of gas. He went through a debris field and didn't notice a 5 foot long board until the very last second. He swerved, but it went under the boat. He killed the engine hoping he'd just drift by it. When he started again, he said it was somehow caught under his boat - probably in his rudder because he couldn't steer because of some nasty vibration coming from his steering wheel - even at 5 MPH. So he killed the engine again. Started again, and still the vibration. Killed it a third time and gunned it. The board shot out of the side of his boat and all was fine.

- He thought probably something similar had happened to me.

I was upset, didn't know what else to do. Thought I had nothing to loose. So, pulled the retractable straps off the back of the Bu. Put the plug back in and put her in the water.

And what do you know... nothing was wrong after that. She got up and ran just fine. No more vibration. Something must have been caught and dislodged when we pulled the boat out of the water. Wacky, but I was grateful. Saved me a 4 hour trip to buy a new prop - and salvaged the rest of our vacation.

The rest of the day was great, took the picture below. And had another great day on Wednesday.

Naci was great, just be real careful of the debris in the water.


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Great pics Andy, I'm jealous. It will probably be another month before our water is that warm, but I don't think you're a wimp at all - if I had a dry suit I would have had it on.

You just never know with a debris hit - it can end up being nothing (thankfully that was the case here) or you can do several thousands of dollars worth of damage in one shot. Early spring is a wonderful time because especially for those of us in the north, we've just been itching to get our boats out, but it's also a scary time for that very reason. I'm really glad for you Andy, that it wasn't worse. You might think about getting yourself a spare prop & puller so that at least it will have to be pretty major to take you out of the game next time. I don't ever take the boat anywhere without mine.

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You might think about getting yourself a spare prop & puller so that at least it will have to be pretty major to take you out of the game next time. I don't ever take the boat anywhere without mine.

Oh great...yet another thing to buy for the boat! :cry:

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You might think about getting yourself a spare prop & puller so that at least it will have to be pretty major to take you out of the game next time. I don't ever take the boat anywhere without mine.

Oh great...yet another thing to buy for the boat! :cry:

Seriously. I wouldn't even know what to buy frankly. What kind of prop, or puller? I've seen kits advertized; prop and puller in one. But with space already so limited in the boat as it is, I'd hate to have something else on board. I know it's needed though. We used our spare a few times when I was growing up.

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Ski-Dim has what you need for the puller, & they've got great people that seriously know their stuff. Really though, it's just a prop puller, they're pretty much universal for inboards. For the prop, Wakeside has decent pricing, but the kicker with them is the free shipping & rewards program. If you're not sure what prop, just look at your stock one (unless you're unhappy with its performance & want to change sizes). The model number & size will be on the lip that is right up against the shaft. Heck, your dealer might carry the Acme props & you could just get everything you need through them.

I should write up a tech article on how to change a prop. I was really surprised at how easy it is. If you've never done it then yeah, it's a daunting thing. But it's a 10 minute job, if that.

Edited by WakeGirl
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Bent my prop this last Saturday. I was fortunate that I had a spare prop and puller. I have the full kit that Andy was talking about. The whole kit is only about the same size as a briefcase. Not too bad really.

I was tooling along about 30 MPH on Oroville when I ran over a bunch of branches. I stopped and finished floating through the debris field, then accelerated to see if something was damaged. Then bang! Hit something else. When I accelerated again, sure enough I had a good shimmy in the wheel. Limped back to the houseboat and then the ramp, about 10 miles from where I hit the debris. Fortunately all I had to do was change the prop. One blade was bent pretty good near the base with one other blade bent slightly.

I highly recommend a spare prop! Just in case... :oops:

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Give Jim a call at ACME He's very knowledgeable and customer orientated, If I remember right you can get a kit for about another $80 on top of the prop price.


Edited by Henken
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I saw you near the end of the day Thursday Andy. You looked like you were heading back to the ramp slowly. There was a lot of debris where you were navigating. KC

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Hey KC. Never heard from you on Thur.- I think I left my phone in the car that day :( HOpe you had a good day. Mine turned out well - as you can see from above.

Sorry we didnt' hook up.

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Give Jim a call at ACME  He's very knowledgeable and customer orientated, If I remember right you can get a kit for about another $80 on top of the prop price.



The number you gave is actually incorrect. Here's the right one:

1-888-661-ACME (2261)

I'm leaving a message for Jim right now.

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OK, I called and left a voice mail for Jim at Acme. I'm on the west coast and they're on the east coast. I called 3:50 my time - they're 3 hours ahead and they close at 4:30 EST.

I'm sitting here in my office and I get a call - 4:50 CA time. It's Jim. He said he was back in the office and wanted to catch up on some stuff and I was on that 'stuff' list.

Man, talk about service.

He recommended the 537 prop for my boat. Said, 'It's either OEM or it'll give you a better ride anyway.'

And he also recommended the Harmonic Puller, '1/2 the price and it's all we use here at the shop. They're selling like hot cakes.'

Total $484 (prop and puller 'kit') shipped to CA from Acme.

I was impressed. Even if I can save a few bucks somewhere else, I'm buying from these guys. Great customer service.

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