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Author Topic: It's here, finally.  (Read 26197 times)
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Gringo
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« on: March 16, 2011, 06:37:33 AM »

Our "new" XO 18 finally arrived here in the Turks and Caicos Islands last week.  If you go to the XO Marine site, this is their "demo"  boat and is the  one in all their photos  of the 18 ft. XO.  Only differences are that they added Lenco tabs after those photos were taken, and then a small bimini that folds down onto the rear deck out of the way.    As some of you know, we are pretty active boaters and bloggers, so there will be a bunch of experience with the Mojito 18 hull going on down here.   Our first trip in it was a little snorkeling jaunt out to check on some Lionfish habitat at an old airplane crash site.

Picked up by yours truly at the sea freight company:



figured out that tying the bow line to the stern cleat makes it a lot easier for one person to maneuver the boat around some corners in calm water.  You just have one line to worry about, and and you can do it with one hand while the other hand hangs on to rocks and trees and stuff.  As you pull the stern in, the bow gets let out automatically.  Makes it easy for La Gringa to hold the boat while I go park the trailer in the bushes. Would make it easier to walk the boat around the end of a dock or piling, too.  Why didn't I think of this before?
duh.

 

My navigator and I setting a course on a handheld GPS.    This is a no-frills boat.  On purpose.


« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 06:43:54 AM by Gringo » Logged
beavis
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 08:15:09 AM »

Congrats on the new ride. Can't wait to hear how it performs. That picture looking back from the bow, man that thing looks wide.
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Gringo
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 10:37:05 AM »

yeah it is beamier than the traditional panga ratio.  We were immediately aware of the roll stability.

 It handles differently than my panga did.  We only have about fifteen miles or so on it, on a calm day, so we don't have much to report so far about chop, following seas, steep troughs,  riding at anchor...you know, all that fun stuff.    

My impression so far is of a combination of a fast skiff and a panga, but I am thinking it is set up for having more weight forward than it actually has.  The motor is cantilevered out about 12 inches from the stern, with the jackplate and a six inch spacer extension.   I am wondering if that weight on that moment arm is not levering the boat a little, making it ride light in the bow.  I have to design a hoist in my garage for another purpose, but when I get it completed it will be perfect for taking the weight of this Suzuki while I play games with the jackplate.  I think the motor needs to be closer to the hull.

I'm always messing around with stuff, anyhow, so don't take this as a criticism of this boat.  I think of it as fine tuning.  I never stop doing that.  Drives the wives bonkers.

We were pretty happy with it on our trip out on Friday.  An old coot climbing back into it without a boarding ladder probably would have made a funny video.  Actually I just did the power flipper, Shamu approach to boarding.

I've noticed there is no way to drain the hull at the lowest point in the transom.  This is not a huge concern for me, as I am going to keep this boat on a trailer, but I could see being able to drain it.  It does rain here.  That assumes there is a void in there to drain.   But you know how water is.   It would not be difficult to add some kind of drain spigot, or threaded plug thing.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 07:21:29 AM by Gringo » Logged
Gringo
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 08:15:41 AM »

Well, it's now been six months since we bought this boat.  I thought I would bring you guys up to date on my thoughts, in case you are wondering which US panga styled boat to buy.   Keep in mind this is my own opinion.  I have over 40 years in a career that involved boats.  I have driven, ridden, worked from so many different boats in my life I couldn't begin to count them. From wooden dugout canoes in the Amazon to the latest in high tech no expense spared patrol boats in Finland to the latest in military boats.  RIBs, aluminium, wooden, fiberglass, subs, I've been in a lot of boats.
Since living here in the islands I have run a Boston Whaler Montauk 17, a Boston Whaler Dauntless 180, an Andros Permit 22 panga, a Contender 25, two Hobies kayaks, and this Mojito XO.  Again, these comments are my own opinion.  But I do know a few things about boats.

First the good stuff.  The finish on the boat is good.  And I like the hull.  The hull is very interesting.  I have not been able to get this boat to slap or pound in chop, and we've been in a fair bit. It makes for a soft landing every time.  Very much appreciated after the Whalers.  The Suzuki 4 stroke is great so far.  Too bad it's about 150 lbs too heavy for this boat.

Now the bad stuff:   everything else.   I have never seen a boat worse rigged in my life.  The wiring was seemingly just crammed into a big loose glob in the space  between the battery and the inside of the little console.  Nothing secured, nothing coiled up, noting up off the deck.   I have been looking at unterminated hot leads left to sit in the sea water. The fuse for the jackplate corroeded away from being in the water. The stuffing tube from the console to the transom area is permanently full of seawater.  There is no way to drain it. All the wiring from the console to the outboard, and up forward to the fuel tank, is perpetually soaking in sea water.  There is also no way to drain the hull, which is foamed.  I would hate this if I left the boat in the water.  I keep it on a trailer, so it's not a huge drawback to me.  Just bad design.

There is way too much weight too far aft.  The scuppers are underwater with the boat sitting still.  The deck on the aft end of it is largely useless.  I wanted to put some grab rails on it, and realized that there is no way to gain access to the underside of it.  I had to cut holes in the storage lockers to get to it.    The entire rear section stays mostly flooded. I don't know who designed this boat, or who rigged it, but they should both be fired.  In my opinion.  I am presently looking at what I can do to move weight forward on it, but undortunatley there isn't much.  I think this might be a good boat for something like a Yamaha 65 two stroke with a tiller and a single bench seat set about three feet forward of the transom.

I would love to see what this hull would do properly set up.  I don't have the time or money to rip everything off a new boat and start over, but that's what needs to be done.  If you want more info on some of the many other things wrong with this boat, ask.

My advice is to buy an Andros, or maybe a pangamarine.  I sure wish that I had sone so this time. In any case, never buy a boat signt unseen.  If I had spent fifteen minutes on this boat beforehand, I never would have bought it.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 08:22:41 AM by Gringo » Logged
Captain Tyler
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 09:20:48 AM »

Thats very interesting... Thanks for the accurate report.

Seems like I remember hearing that The Mojito Boats and Panga Marine boats are made in the same factory side by side now, Hopefully Pangamarine wont fall to these same rigging problems. Dont Quote me on that I could be totally wrong. It just seems like I remember hearing that somewhere.

Gringo, Where is the Fuel tank located? external or internal? How about batteries?   What about buying a freshwater washdown tank and putting it up front.  Its amazing what 10 gallons of water weight will do to in the right spot.

Maybe you can just get Dooley to stand up front the whole time!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 06:46:47 AM by Captain Tyler » Logged

Mofishn
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 06:11:53 AM »

The Mojito and Panga Marine shops are just down the street from each other, but are in completely different facilities.  I am sorry to hear the news about the XO Marine problems.  I only hope they take this as an opportunity to improve on past mistakes.  As far as Panga Marine is concerned, all of the rigging for my engine and accessories is neatly bundled, tie wrapped, held in place with supports, and will never sit under water.  Everything was carefully laid out.  They even made sure all wiring/rigging was placed to remain clear of any item that might be stored in the boat to avoid abrasions.  The raised deck drains perfectly out the scuppers which remain high above the water line ... even with 12 gallons of fuel, a full livewell, gear, cooler, battery, and my big rear end sitting in the back of the boat. I couldn't be happier with Rob's team and their attention to detail.  I am sure no Panga Marine owner will ever have these issues.  I agree about trying to redistribute the weight in the boat.  It doesn't look like you have a hatch on the front deck that will allow you to store anything sizeable. Is it possible to install one?  Captain Tyler is right about water weight.  Each gallon of water weights 8.33 lbs.  It doesn't take much to really make a difference.  Let us know what you come up with.

Drew-B
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 09:48:41 AM by Mofishn » Logged
Capt Brennan
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 08:23:45 AM »

Mofishin ... I'm glad you said what I was thinking and about to say.
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Captain Mike Brennan
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Gringo
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 01:48:46 PM »

Hi y'all,
I can't believe it's been a year since I bought that boat, and six months since I posted anything about it.  I decided to come and check back on what I wrote, since the new Sales Mgr. of Mojito just wrote me an email wanting to know the story.   I give him a lot of credit for that, it's not easy to "cold call" an irate customer.

I just read what I wrote, and now, six months and a lot of water later, I stand by every single bit of it.     Mojito just told me that they considered this a "prototype" boat.  But it was offered to me as a "demo" boat.   I know in my industry there's a huge difference between an in-house prototype and a demo model.   

I haven't made any serious changes to the boat since the last post in September.  I did fix a few more salt water corrosion issues, in the wiring.  That's ongoing, the wiring is all underwater.  No way to drain the rigging tube.  I installed a compass and VHF and antenna after an unwanted adventure sixteen miles out in the ocean in a severe line of thunderstorms, with no compass, no radio, and about 100 ft. visibility at times.  Obviously, we made it.
I put another transom drain on the boat, on the left side.  It had one screw out drain on the right, nothing on the left.  And I have to drain it, under all circumstances.  Rain, after loading it on the trailer.   Can't really store anything under the rear casting deck, as it's too wet and if it gets too far away from the hatch, there's no easy way to retrieve it.  No access.

I've put some thought into it, and have had some trips over the holidays with two people in the bow, and that's really what it needs.  Weight forward.   I have been thinking about adding a full width, removable bench seat up forward, mostly for the weight but also so people have a comfy place to sit.  There's no way two of us can sit on the existing seat and drive the boat comfortably.  Can't see over the bow.  Driver has to stand up, and in my case, lean over to steer.  Makes your back ache after about five miles. I thought about adding some blocks under the console to raise it, but really, I need a new, bigger, taller console mounted a foot or so forward.  That would make it impossible to reach the controls from the useless seat, so that all could come out.  I think it's referred to as a rear casting deck.  Okay.  Well, what I need is a usable anykind of deck.    I did screw three stainless steel handles on the boat, so people have something to hang onto.  It was kinda scary otherwise.

They tell me that most of their customers are happy with their boats.   That doesn't help me one damned bit, though, does it

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Captain Tyler
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2012, 02:06:20 PM »

Damn Gringo, that really sucks! Especially coming from the sweet Andros you had and the contender. 

For extra weight I would put a washdown tank up front 8 pounds per gallon adds up pretty quick and it's useful to have it on the boat.

Hopefully things other than the boat are going well.  It's been awhile since I've been on the blog so I will have to check it out tonight.

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Howler
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2012, 05:34:18 PM »

Thanks, Gringo, for your clear description of the boat and it's pros and cons. 

I wish more people would do this on this board instead of just telling us how much they love their boat.  Like WHY do you love or hate your boat.....Huh? Any Panga Marine or Andros owners want to respond?
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snook321
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2012, 05:53:59 PM »

Thanks, Gringo, for your clear description of the boat and it's pros and cons. 

I wish more people would do this on this board instead of just telling us how much they love their boat.  Like WHY do you love or hate your boat.....Huh? Any Panga Marine or Andros owners want to respond?

Yep, the only thing I hate about my Andros 23' is, it isn't a 26' or 32' Andros. But that's my problem, I need a better job!
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Gringo
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2013, 01:59:59 PM »

I've been way busy with a lot of other issues to take on rebuilding this boat.   I'm still thinking of ripping everything out that Mojito put in it and just starting over with the hull and the Suzuki.

one thing I learned, never buy a boat from a company who decided to name themselves after an alcoholic drink.
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Captain Tyler
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2013, 08:44:55 PM »

haha no doubt!!

When they first started building those they were all over the forums. Then people started asking questions and having problems. Then POOF! they were gone!!

Are they still in business? I know they had a much larger boat building company attached to Mojito.
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Mojito-boats
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 08:41:30 AM »

Your 18 was the first of its kind ever built and we were willing to stand behind it 100%, I was not working for the company at the time but being a yacht builder customer service is one of our main priorities. From talking to the owner of the company, they offered to have your boat fixed on our dime and you said no. We do not argue with people over the internet but feel free to call me anytime 941 345 6131 and we can chat, my name is Chris. Yes we are still in business and have built over 20 boats in the last year, every owner is beyond happy and we have even began construction of new molds. As always feel free to contact me directly.

Best Regards,

Chris Dechow
Director of Sales and Marketing
941 345 6131
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Mojito-boats
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 05:31:33 PM »

It should also be noted that your boat is an XO and not a Mojito, essentially a no frills work boat. I would be glad to put anyone into contact with several happy owners all over the United States who have bought our boats and swear by them if there is any doubt as to our quality and craftsmanship. All of our boats are built at HANN powerboats which is located right next door to Yellowfin, who builds numerous boats for the military, sheriffs departments, and even constructs the largest center console around which is the HANN 50'. I am very sorry for your problems and would be more than happy to chat with you over the phone. For anyone interested take a look a recent video we made:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqvL_nFWPTQ
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