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Frank K

Help, water building in bilge, can't figure out how its getting in, driving me crazy!

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I have a 2007 256 SSI with approx 370 hours.  Volvo Penta 8.1L Gi-H with DPS-A sterndrive.  Hi & Dry kept its whole life and all services and repairs professional completed. 

I boat on the North East River and northern Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

I have had the boat out and in water 4 times this season and each time, after a few hours of running and anchoring up, I get a gallon of two of water out of the boat via the transom plug (while boat is hauled out and being put away, i have the boat lifted and tilted up by a Hi & Dry lift for me).  Now I did have a mysterious a 1 inch depression (hole) in a lower chine forward of mid-ships on starboard side this year that was fiberglass filled by the marina shop manager mechanic this season, noticed it after first outing and after boat was sitting overnight in water.  Shop manager said it was a gel-coat air bubble that broke inward to the foam core.  I thought the Hi & Dry techs bumped it somehow moving boat around.  Regardless hole was fixed and made seaworthy.   Mechanic Shop manager thinks water got in and soaked into the 'foam' within the hull and each time I run the boat more and more water exits the foam and into the bilge.  I have a hard time believing this because each time BEFORE I go out I have the lift driver raise the boat with a high tilt and open the plug and ... nothing... dry... no water.  Water only comes out after I return from an outing and running the boat/anchoring up.

Engine temp while running reads normal.

I also hand tested the water today coming out of the plug and it feels the same temperate as the river, warm, not very hot like it was coming out of the engine (water pump leak).

I also open up and observe the engine while running and I see no water coming out of the engine/water pump, no obvious leaks, but just water building up slowly down in the bilge. 

Recent history - I had a major service done on the outdrive in the fall including replacing the u-joint, plus fuel pump, spark plugs, etc.   Standard winterization was done in the fall.  

I asked Mechanic Shop Manager if the bellows could be leaking and he said if the bellows was leaking it would be a major leak.

All help appreciated as i don't know how to solve this one.

Thank you

Frank

 

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DO NOT run the engine after launch & tied up to the dock.  Leave it sitting there . if a hull leak it will fill up. 

If a engine leak ? It will fill while the engine is running.

Large pieces of stiff card board slid under the engine & revving it up to about 2500 rpm will show any engine leaks.    

Another punched in hole might be below the water line.  A defective rack support with a bolt sticking up ?  Small hole in the hull bottom ?  Lots of testing to find the leak.  

A drain hose my have come off somewhere in the bow area. That will fill the boat when running fast.  But not docked.

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Do you have water tanks in the boat ?  They or the hoses leaking.  Refilling the tank will tell you if they are draining

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Launch it but don't start the engine. Let it sit in a slip over night. Water in the bilge the next day = probably bellows. No water = cooling system leak. 

 

A fresh water tank would leak while in the rack as well. 

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Water could come from several locations; the bellows, the cooling/exhaust system, onboard water tank and/or lines, bad garboard drain, leaky thru hulls or brought onboard by swimmers or rainwater that don't get properly flushed out via floor drains. Start a process of elimination, you`ll figure it out.

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Check the transom seal.  If it is leaking it will tend to leak a lot more when running the boat in reverse than when it is in neutral or forward.

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A leak is a challenge to say the least. As said by several here, it could be one or more of the aforementioned. Another thing to check is the transom gimble ring. At the top of the gimble ring is the steering lever where an o-ring and seal are located. I’ve had to replace both of these and about to do it again. 

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3 hours ago, mikw said:

A leak is a challenge to say the least. As said by several here, it could be one or more of the aforementioned. Another thing to check is the transom gimble ring. At the top of the gimble ring is the steering lever where an o-ring and seal are located. I’ve had to replace both of these and about to do it again. 

You can actually fix the seal by installing a grease fitting:

 

http://forum.chaparralboats.com/index.php?/topic/32819-how-to-install-the-missing-grease-fitting-on-alpha-and-bravo/

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On 7/5/2020 at 9:46 PM, Frank K said:

I have a 2007 256 SSI with approx 370 hours.  Volvo Penta 8.1L Gi-H with DPS-A sterndrive.  Hi & Dry kept its whole life and all services and repairs professional completed. 

I boat on the North East River and northern Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

I have had the boat out and in water 4 times this season and each time, after a few hours of running and anchoring up, I get a gallon of two of water out of the boat via the transom plug (while boat is hauled out and being put away, i have the boat lifted and tilted up by a Hi & Dry lift for me).  Now I did have a mysterious a 1 inch depression (hole) in a lower chine forward of mid-ships on starboard side this year that was fiberglass filled by the marina shop manager mechanic this season, noticed it after first outing and after boat was sitting overnight in water.  Shop manager said it was a gel-coat air bubble that broke inward to the foam core.  I thought the Hi & Dry techs bumped it somehow moving boat around.  Regardless hole was fixed and made seaworthy.   Mechanic Shop manager thinks water got in and soaked into the 'foam' within the hull and each time I run the boat more and more water exits the foam and into the bilge.  I have a hard time believing this because each time BEFORE I go out I have the lift driver raise the boat with a high tilt and open the plug and ... nothing... dry... no water.  Water only comes out after I return from an outing and running the boat/anchoring up.

Engine temp while running reads normal.

I also hand tested the water today coming out of the plug and it feels the same temperate as the river, warm, not very hot like it was coming out of the engine (water pump leak).

I also open up and observe the engine while running and I see no water coming out of the engine/water pump, no obvious leaks, but just water building up slowly down in the bilge. 

Recent history - I had a major service done on the outdrive in the fall including replacing the u-joint, plus fuel pump, spark plugs, etc.   Standard winterization was done in the fall.  

I asked Mechanic Shop Manager if the bellows could be leaking and he said if the bellows was leaking it would be a major leak.

All help appreciated as i don't know how to solve this one.

Thank you

Frank

 

See if the drain hose has come off of the anchor locker, or forward cooler in the bow. Common issue on that hull, and allows sea water to enter bilge space anytime you are at a bow down attitude and/or crossing a wake.  W

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8 hours ago, mikw said:

Drewm3i,

 

will this work on a Volvo Penta?

VP doesn't have one of those.

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I don’t know if this is built the same as an H20 but my boat is made of an upper and lower half and I had water coming in from under the rub rail ( unsealed gaps )

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6 hours ago, Mr Twister said:

I don’t know if this is built the same as an H20 but my boat is made of an upper and lower half and I had water coming in from under the rub rail ( unsealed gaps )

All boats are built like that. It’s a more common problem than you’d think. Doesn’t seem like it would be hard to run a continuous bead of sealant before setting the top half on...

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