First week with my 190 Bay & Lessons Learnt

RoryWainer

Contributing Member
City
Donvale
First week with my 190 Bay & Lessons Learnt

Selecting the Boat
Before buying the 190 Bay I quickly cut down the list of possible boats to Boston Whaler, Sea Fox, Trophy, Scout and Triumph. I would like to have purchased an Australian made boat, but the production volumes of the American boats results in a far superior finished product.

The Bubba test seemed to best match my trailer boat skills, so it had to be a Triumph. Then it was a question of which Triumph. Not having been boating in 20 years I wanted a small boat that would be comfortable in the local bay (Western Port) and coastal waters, and in spite of our cooler weather, I wanted a Center Console as other configurations just eat up the usable space.

There were only about 3 Triumph models for sale here:
1. 170 CC
2. 190 Bay
3. 195 CC

I loved the little 170 CC – it drove like a sports car & did everything perfectly except it rocked too much when 3 adults moved from side to side, didn’t have a self draining cockpit (a personal hang up from game boats) and was just a little bit too small for comfort with some of the sharks I plan to catch (threshers, whalers and makos).

Then it was down to the 195 CC and the 190 Bay. Both boats were well priced thanks to being 2007 stock when the AUD$ was very high, and both dealers were keen to do great deals. Looking at (but not testing) both boats in detail it was obvious the 195 CC was the more serious open ocean boat, but the overall design 190 Bay seemed better suited my ideas - lower water line (easier to get to fish, etc), better seating configuration, all round rails (passenger safety, ropes, etc) and a shallower hull design (should rocking less at anchor). Maybe it was just the boats I looked at (there are very few Triumphs are for sale in Australia), but the 190 Bay had a much higher finish standard than the 195 CC. The 190 Bay was gleaming white whereas the 195 CC was an off white/creamy color. Today, parked in boat storage next to a range of white fiberglass boats, the 190 Bay is much brighter than the other boats (maybe they just used a very white batch of powder the day they made this one). Time will tell if it keeps its shiny white looks. Anyway, I went for the 190 Bay and set about customizing it and finally had it delivered last Thursday.

Using the Boat
The 190 Bay really is an excellent fishing boat & true to theory, it rocks very little at anchor. On the other hand its flatter hull design has it skipping over wave rather than cutting through them (something new for me given my former boating experience is all in 28ft plus cabin boats). At low speed the 190 Bay steers like a much bigger boat and has none of the sports car feel of the little 170 CC. The boat came with the Mercury SmartCraft fly-by-wire controls and steering, which are really cool in a technical sense, but maybe they dull the steering feel? The low speed handling (and my skill level) has made getting back on the trailer an entertaining experience for on-lookers, but so far nothing worthy of YouTube. After the 4th trip, I’m getting the idea...I just pretend I’m mooring a big game fish boat and use the drift + momentum to line up the trailer; so far so good, I’m get up on the trailer first time every time – even if my legs are shaking & my heart is doing 180 beats per second! Possible this is how sub-cruiser boats are supposed steer and razor sharp low speed steering of 170 CC is just an exception.

The 190 Bay’s behaviour in 2-3 foot bay chop is very good – far better than I thought the shallow hull design would deliver. Thanks to Ropelene, the ride is really smooth. I didn't believe the ads, but it is true - there is no crash, no bang, no crunch, just a feeling of riding on an air cushion. And again it feels like a much bigger boat – very solid in the water but less than razor sharp steering. I suspect I've traded weight and stability for low speed handling, and if so, then it is an ok trade.

The 150 HP Mercury/Mariner Verado is (in my humble) is bit of overkill. It weighs a ton (510Lbs actually) and has more acceleration that I could possible want – with a full fuel load and 6 people on board the boat it gets on the plane in just a few seconds without ever going near WOT. A lighter less powerful engine would have been just fine for me, but sticking with the general advice from the site – more power is better – and this one sure has plenty of “instant” power (thanks to the supercharger). I have little experience with outboard motors, but other boat owners have commented on how quiet mine is. In summary, Mercury has produced an innovative product backed by a great warranty (5 years) and it has far more power than I think I will ever need.

All in all, the boat is what it is and works well for my plans...great bay fishing boat and really comfortable, but not something I would want to venture into big seas with. It is also surprisingly dry through waves (albeit only small ones) – and this is part due to the custom bow covers.

Customizations
The customizations have not worked out as well as I planned. Some will need to be redone from scratch to get the best out of the boat. I wish I had read the owners articles before doing any customization...but unfortunately I couldn’t join the site before actually buying a Triumph boat. I know I could have used “ask owners”, but really you don’t know what you don’t know.

Anyway after reading many of the posts, I now know there are things I should have done differently:

. Duel Batteries. The dealer located these in the two rear compartments – making the boat nicely balanced (port/starboard) and they are very easy to access. However I have lost two storage compartments, but of more consequence, the 190 Bay is now even more tail heavy. The 150 Mercury/Mariner Verado is the biggest rear weight culprit, but the batteries don’t help. I can live without the storage compartments, but the extra weight in the stern adds to additional scuppers back-flow when at anchor; not the thing you want when the water is full of berley. I’m going to send the boat back to the dealer and have both batteries relocated to the Center Console – it is more central and has lots of unused space. Hopefully this will reduce the tuna oil on my toes.

. The Clear Covers. The canvasser, in his wisdom, decided to make sure that clears fitted really tightly and to do this he had the front covers come straight down from the front of the T-Bar. Yes, they are drum tight, but with the clears down I lose the use of live bait tank?? He also made the side covers come straight down from the T-Bar too. These are also drum tight, but at the cost of access to console rod-holders? He made the bow spray covers out of clears – they work really well, no water comes over the bow (so far) and yet I don’t lose any forward vision. He is very good canvasser, but obviously doesn’t do much fishing. The clears around the centre console will need to be redone - they should follow the lines of the T-Bar stays and end where console starts to flair out. Nothing beats practical on the water experience.

. The anchor. The dealer did a fabulous job of fitting a bow sprit. And the anchor locks in the sprit perfectly for movement and noise free travelling. The dealer went to the extra effort of custom making a based for the bow sprit, seamlessly wielding it all up into a single sprit + base unit and then powder-coating the lot white to match the boat. Top marks. The anchor rope solution is not so good. The rope is designed to be stored in the left hand forward storage compartment. The dealer cut a small neat hole in the compartment lid, but the hole is so small & neat that it is a two person job to get the anchor & rope up – one pulls up the anchor while the other person holds the hatch lid open & carefully feeds the rope though. Very Neat workmanship, but not a very practical solution. A much large hole (preferable triangular to follow the line of the hatch cover) is required so that the anchor rope can just fall down the hole as it comes out of the water. I could be lazy & get an electric winch, but to me, pulling up the anchor is a basic part of small boat fishing.

. The trailer. The boat came on a EZ Loader trailer without brakes, and it had those really good low maintenance bearings in an oil bath. Under Australian regulations the Boat + Trailer weight required the trailer to have breaks if it was to be towed on the road. Also the hitch fitting didn’t comply with local regulations either (why I’m not sure as 150 times as many Americans seem to get by just fine using that style of hitch). The dealer did a great job of changing the hitch over and fitting a set of disk breaks (all at their costs), but in the process I had to settle for old fashioned grease packed bearings, which means higher maintenance costs down stream. Ironically the boat is never going to be towed on the road and is taken in & out of the water by a tractor as part of a storage service I have – and the tractor pulls much bigger boats “without” trailer brakes. Apparently it is common to have a type of trailer without brakes specifically for this type of services known as a “storage trailer”. If only I’d known; it would have saved everyone lots of time & money.

. Extra Electronics. Generally these all worked out well – but again it was a case of learning the extra things after the event. The NorthStar GPS works well but it’s a shame I didn’t know that it could hook up to the SmartCraft control system until after I read the manual. Seems Mercury owns NorthStar & have linked up the product lines – very innovative. The radio is well located & simple to use, but the aerial is so long that it would make a great outrigger, but needs to be folded down to fit under the storage roof. No big deal, but I a shorter version would have been better.

Conclusion
I’m not sure what the useful messages my experience has for others, other than the obvious that theory doesn’t always translate into practical solutions. However, maybe the owners site should be made available to serious prospective Triumph buyers on a limited time basis, ie. Pay the fee but the account only stays open for (say) 3 months if you don’t buy a Triumph boat.

Anyway, I love the boat, as does everyone who goes on it – and my weekends are booked solid with friends & family fishing trips for the next 3 months. Thanks to the boat being imperfect (like all boats) I’m sure to have plenty of things to keep spending time & money on, including a plan to replace that enormous cooler box (not even an Australian could drink 72 quarts on one fishing trip) with a large multi-draw tackle/storage box.


Just a Few Days Later - Bad Weather
Nothing like getting caught out in some nasty weather in the first week to really test a new boat. The weather report for Tuesday was ok with 10-15Kn winds & 1 to 2 foot seas, but with a gale warning with 3 to 6 foot seas was forecast on Wednesday. So we made the most of the last good weather for the week and headed out to try & catch a Mako or a Thresher.

No luck on the fishing front and at about 3pm Wednesday’s weather arrived early. Initially it started as a significant drop in temperature followed by a really icy fast wind and then the waves. We quickly pulled in the fishing gear & anchor then headed for the boat ramp (only about 20 minutes away @ 10 knots). Everyone in the bay had the same idea. I see the reason why the owners forum always says get the biggest engine your boat will take – I saw an under-powered half-cabin boat (about 18-20 feet) loaded with people really struggling into get in against the wind. I’m sure on a good day the boat would have performed ok, but it simply didn’t have the power necessary to beat through the high winds & waves. He probably saved a lot of money going with the minimum engine, but must have been regretting the savings as the boat had to zigzag across the weather just keep it moving. Eventually he did make it in.

I must say the Triumph 190 Bay is really confidence inspiring in such weather; I just throttled up, put its nose into the waves and easily pushed my way through the weather at 8-10Kn. And I was glad to have that “over kill” 150Hp on the back. While I could have gone much faster, I didn’t want to because I’m not sure how a boat would (or could) plane through such seas. Plenty of water came over the bow, but it just as quickly disappeared out the scuppers (they do work). My fishing mate, Martin, got the weather while I stayed dry behind the console (he was the forward ballast on the bait well).

There was a long wait at the launch ramp as everyone was trying to get out at the same time. I must say it was quite a lot of fun handling the boat at 3-4kn in the big chop near the ramp as I did circuits waiting my turn to go in. Waves coming from everywhere, with the boat bobbing around like a cork on top of the waves, up down, up down – like being on a short sharp roller coaster.

I’m sure it was the boat, not my skills, but I had far and away an easier time than others. Many boats were out of control being blown side on into the waves with the owners gunning motors to get some control. The vast majority of boats here are high-sided half-cabin boats rigged for deep sea fishing – owners think cabins & high sides protect them from the sea; maybe they do, but they also make great sails.

Anyway when my turn eventually came for the ramp - I was so busy concentrating on getting the boat on the trailer I didn’t have time for the usual nerves. I’m getting the idea of how to use the wind & waves to line the boat up & got it on the trailer at the first attempt (with a little assistance from the tractor driver). As it turns out, the weather was so bad that the boat shop had kindly sent out an experienced captain to bring my boat in & load it for me. Fortunately I didn’t know of the rescue attempt until after my boat was safely ashore – and I’m glad too, it would have been just too easy to say this is hard work & make it someone else’s problem. After this experience, loading the boat on the trailer will never be the great fear it was.

I spent the rest of the afternoon watching (and helping) others load their boats – lots of bow & stern roping from the jetty as owners tried to stop the wind drag their boats away. Experts just powered their boats on with few problems, while others spent ages being battered and drenched trying to rope & winch their boats on. One person commented that he had been regularly coming here for 5 years & that this was the worst weather he had ever seen in the bay.

In spite of the big-wave-fun, I wouldn’t by choice go out in that sort of weather, but I’m glad to know that if it does whip up, the 190 Bay is very competent (if driven like a tug boat) and better able to handling high winds and really big chop than many dedicated deep sea boats. Hopefully the weather will blow over in the next day or so.
 
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fridaysoff

Contributing Member
City
Leland
Rory,
That was an awesome post. Thank you for taking the time to inform all of us. There is a lot of good information for someone wanting to purchase a 190 bay. I know you will enjoy your Triumph.
John D.
 

NCangler

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Member
City
Raleigh
State
NC
Great post Rory. Thanks for the time that went into it.

We are working on a "Trial Membership" that would allow someone to register and log in for 24 hours for free even if they don't have a Triumph yet. We hadn't thought of a 3-month paid trial membership. Our goal in making the forums "owner only" was to foster the owners club that the site was intended to be. That is why we require the Hull ID number, but I understand the desire of a potential owner to have access to the site as soon as possible before ordering their boat so maybe there is a way for us to make that happen. It requires a lot of software programming but we'll work on the idea.
 

jack7265

Participating Member
City
Avondale
Rory, I read where you were planning to move the batteries from the stern compartments to the center console, which may work well for your intentions. But, if your 190 Bay is designed the same as mine (2003 model), which I'm sure it is, then the step up to the bow fishing platform also serves as a battery compartment. I have two trolling batteries in the compartment with a dual bank battery charger in between them. This configuration would definitely offset the weight of the heavier motor. I have a Yamaha 115 on the back of my boat that weighs in at 402 pounds, and the batteries and charger in the front compartment work out great.
 

RoryWainer

Contributing Member
City
Donvale
Rory, I read where you were planning to move the batteries from the stern compartments to the center console, which may work well for your intentions. But, if your 190 Bay is designed the same as mine (2003 model), which I'm sure it is, then the step up to the bow fishing platform also serves as a battery compartment. I have two trolling batteries in the compartment with a dual bank battery charger in between them. This configuration would definitely offset the weight of the heavier motor. I have a Yamaha 115 on the back of my boat that weighs in at 402 pounds, and the batteries and charger in the front compartment work out great.

Thanks Jack that is a very good idea - it certainly is more forward and lower too. I'm currently using that compartment to store my fishing tackle, in particular a Mako magnet that is housed in a circular wire cage that is about a 18 inches long, but I guess it can move to the live bait tank for traveling along with my berley bucket. I went out yesterday and had two people sit on the forward deck - the extra forward weight really improved the boats low speed handling.

In terms of the Verado motor weight, I got it wrong, I tried to convert metres to feet, kilograms to pounds, centre to center, etc as 99% of owners live in the US, but missed a few spots. The correct motor weight should read 510Lbs (or 235Kg).

ps The plug from the live bait tank fits a scupper hole perfectly.
 

boostjunkie1

Contributing Member
City
Lexington
Roy - - - --Get you 2 Pool Drain Plugs for the Scuppers..... You can put them in there before you put the boat in the water and you will not get any water on your feet. If you need to remove them to get water out because of splash over it only takes a second to remove. Any pool place will have them. Just measure the holes and get the right size..... GREAT POST by the WAY!!! I have the 150 HP YAMAHA 4-STK and it is heavy also. But the added power is great in the rough stuff ;)
 

greek215cc

Registered Member
Premium Member
City
Linwood
"The anchor. The dealer did a fabulous job of fitting a bow sprit. And the anchor locks in the sprit perfectly for movement and noise free travelling."

RoyWaiver, is it possible to post a picture of the bow sprit and/or other pictures of your customizations.

Thanks in advance

Jim
 

RoryWainer

Contributing Member
City
Donvale
"The anchor. The dealer did a fabulous job of fitting a bow sprit. And the anchor locks in the sprit perfectly for movement and noise free travelling."

RoyWaiver, is it possible to post a picture of the bow sprit and/or other pictures of your customizations.

Thanks in advance

Jim

Hi Jim

I have posted some photos under the 190 Bay Mods category, including the bow sprit. They are not great quality as they were taken with my phone. I'll post some better quality ones in future.

Regards, Rory
 

Whitto

Contributing Member
City
Sydney
You can always tell when someone is happy with their boat ... 'cause they tell the world.

Congrats Mate!

But ... you buy a beaut boat like that and can't catch a fish from it.

Geez Rory ... concentrate will ya? :rolleyes:
 

nocturn

Contributing Member
Lifetime Member
Premium Member
City
Colonial Heights
State
Virginia
Rory, I read where you were planning to move the batteries from the stern compartments to the center console, which may work well for your intentions. But, if your 190 Bay is designed the same as mine (2003 model), which I'm sure it is, then the step up to the bow fishing platform also serves as a battery compartment. I have two trolling batteries in the compartment with a dual bank battery charger in between them. This configuration would definitely offset the weight of the heavier motor. I have a Yamaha 115 on the back of my boat that weighs in at 402 pounds, and the batteries and charger in the front compartment work out great.


Great Post Rory!!!

I second the above post. I had a 2003 190 for a few years and had weight distribution issues with her also...albeit not a 500lb motor....a 400lb motor and a 250lb lard arse...me ;)

I placed both my batteries in the forward locker and immediately felt a difference in overall balance and trim angle. Add a cooler full of beer and ice and presto, all is in balance in the space/time continuum!

Cheers!
 

RoryWainer

Contributing Member
City
Donvale
Various 190 Bay Fixes/Improvements

Following on from my original post in March 2009 on my 190 Bay, and multiple trips later, I made up a list of items to change & improve. I then read virtually every related post on the site and wrote to Triumph to come up with various options & solutions:

Battery Location
Problem: My two batteries were stored in the stern lockers – one in each side. This transferred the weight to the outer edges of the boat and as far back as possible. This is generally a bad design for stability, exacerbated the issue with scupper back flow (below) and used up valuable storage space.
Options: Go back to the factory configuration, ie. Have just one in the rear starboard locker, or move the batteries up to the front storage locker, or move batteries to the centre console, or move batteries to the centre transom locker.
Solution: Copied Tytoolbelt's approach (Message - Triumph Boat Owners - Photo Gallery ) & moved the batteries to the transom locker because it was a vacant and otherwise unusable space, it freed up additional storage space without losing other storage, lowered, centralised and moved the weight forward, made the batteries substantially watertight and didn't pose the venting risks of the centre console.

Scuppers
Problem: Back flow when at anchor, resulting in water (and berley) sloshing around the rear walkways of the boat.
Options: Ignore the problem. Plug up the scuppers. Significantly redistribute the boats weight. Put in one way valves in the scupper lines.
Solution: Copied Putershark's approach (Message - Triumph Boat Owners - Photo Gallery ) and had one-way valves fitted to the scupper lines. I chose this option as a self-bailing hull is a safety feature so I didn't want to run the risk of having plugs in the scuppers just when I needed the deck to drain, and trying to solve the problem by changing weight distribution could take months and never really get it right, ie. How much weight would I put up front? Where would I store it? Even with extra weight up front, what happens when two people walk to the back of the boat?

Clear Covers
Problem: The canvasser made clear covers that prevented access to the live bait tank, the side rod-holders and even the cockpit when the side covers were down.
Options: Live with them as they are, get rid of them altogether, or redo from scratch.
Solution: Copied and modified Triumph's approach for the 215CC 215 Center Console Boat Photos & Video : Triumph Boats and had them redone from scratch. In addition, had the canvasser build in storage compartment in the t-top for holding PDFs & other gear.

Deck Marks
Problem: The white plastic deck walkways are impossible to keep clean as dirt from shoes gets ground into the plastic surface.
Options: Live with the problem, clean with a high pressure water gun each trip or cover the walkways with carpet or similar.
Solution: Covered the walkway ways in a plastic mesh that allows water to drain thru but prevents shoe contact with the desk itself.

Rust
Problem: Various factory screws and aftermarket screws were already showings signs of rusting. No idea why, but the boat shop commented that they had similar experience with some other American boats, including Glastron.
Options: Wait for them to rust out or replace them
Solution: All screws replaced with a better grade stainless steel screws

Boat Dragging at Anchor
Problem: Anchor unable to hold boat in strong current (Westernport Bay Australia opens to the ocean at two points and has an extremely strong tidal flow).
Options: Bigger anchor or more chain
Solution: More chain did the trick

Anchor & Anchor Rope
Problem: The factory does not supply the 190 Bay with an anchor so I had a custom made bow sprit and small circular hole cut in the forward locker for locating the anchor rope. The bow sprit worked perfectly, but getting the anchor rope back thru the hole was virtual impossible without two people – one to pull up the rope & the other to feed it down the hole.
Solution: Extended the hole in the forward locker past the locker lid lip

I'm sending a copy of this post to Triumph too because some of fixes/design changes should be done to all 190 Bays before they leave the factory, in particular, the battery location & the scupper valves. In addition, given the nature of Roplene which is virtually impervious to all nature's elements, except dirty shoes, covering the walk ways in a rubber/plastic mesh is a very simply low cost solution to keeping the boats looking like new for much longer.

Various photos posted under 190 Bay Mods.
 

boostjunkie1

Contributing Member
City
Lexington
Pics please :)
 

pamarine

Contributing Member
City
Portsmouth
State
VA
nefarious said:
postpics.gif

j/k bubba. Sounds like some practical and interesting mods. Thanks for posting.
 

Whitto

Contributing Member
City
Sydney
Maybe this will help ...

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Nice pics Rory ... great mods and a nice shark too!

.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

nocturn

Contributing Member
Lifetime Member
Premium Member
City
Colonial Heights
State
Virginia
Is that a clear vinyl bow rail dodger in the last pic? ****, thats a good idea. Never thought of a clear one.
 

RoryWainer

Contributing Member
City
Donvale
Thanks Whitto for putting the photos in the post...hope the next shark pic is one of those elusive threshers. Really enjoying the boat & regularly wagging work to go fish mid-week :)
 

boostjunkie1

Contributing Member
City
Lexington
Nice.......................:d
 
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