water in the bilge?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by True North, May 28, 2013.

  1. True North

    True North Member

    165
    Sep 11, 2012
    Live: DeWitt, MI,West Michigan (Ludington)
    2005 SR 260DA
    350 MAG MPI
    Bravo 3
    (1) 350 MAG MPI w/Bravo III
    yes, up in northern MI, this was the first chance I have had to splash the boat. Spent a nice COLD weekend up in Leland, MI in a slip. Seeing that it was the first time out, had to check and double check to make sure things were going as supposed to (first full season with the boat for us). Boat ran great! One issue that I noticed is that when I would check the bilge, there was alway a little bit of water in it. Enough that a few times, especially when shifting weight in the boat, it would be enough for the bildge to kick on and pump out for about 15sec or so.

    before putting it in the water, bilge was completely dry with boat leaning aft in driveway, plug pulled. Plug reinserted with teflon tape and closed tightly.

    Is it normal for some water to appear in the bilge? What are some common areas of concern or sources? I looked with a flashlight, but could not find the source.

    the only reason I think this may be "normal" for this boat is when I changed out the fresh water impeller, the bottom hose had a "film line" where it appeard it had sat partially submerged in water. That line runs on the bottom side of my motor, practically laying on the floor in my bilge.

    All other water fittings (fresh water system) were checked without any leaks noted.

    Hull is in great shape, no bottom paint. Ideas? Not worry about it? I see other boats bilges kick on while being slipped on occasion??? Thanks.
     
  2. spikeitaudi

    spikeitaudi Member

    488
    Jun 3, 2011
    Raritan Bay, NJ
    HAD 2006 240 Sundancer
    Merc 5.0L W/ Bravo III
    Your bilge shouldn't be coming on alot or at all for that matter. If so you might have a small leak somewhere. Examples rainwater coming in via windows ports or rubrail, small leak from you transom, if freshwater cooled maybe your freshwater connection aren't on properly, maybe you have a small leak in your freshwater tank?

    Just some ideas.
     
  3. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    It is not normal to have raw water (lake/sea) entering the bilge. You'll have to do some investigative work. Launch it and get down in the bilge and start looking around. Watch for a good 5 or 10 minutes to see if anything is coming in without the engine running, then check again with the engine running.
     
  4. Bob & Sue

    Bob & Sue Active Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Browns Point Tacoma WA
    Sold 1999 270DA Sundancer
    5.7l Mercuiser
    Agree with LD I would first get in the bilge with a screwdriver and check all clamps to make sure there tight a loose clamp will let enough water leak into the bilge to turn on the pump. I had a loose clamp on the oil cooler after all day on the water there would be about 1" of water in the bilge. I now check the clamps and any electrical screws I can reach on a regular basis you'll be surprised how the vibration loosens things up. You need to find the source of the leak it may save you from a bad day on the water.
     
  5. AMFM3

    AMFM3 Active Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Okanagan Lake, British Columbia
    370 Sundancer 1995 Raymarine C 120 Plotter / Radar
    7.4 L Twin inboards,
    V-Drives
    I went through all this with my last boat. We tightened everything, pulled the boat and let it dry, then back in again. No water for the 30 minutes we looked. Then the next day, water in the bilge...argh!

    It finally turned out that the starboard steering pin was shot. Water was trickling in via the top of the drive. This was ultimately what got the transom wet.

    Now that's the extreme example. But I'd check the pin to be sure as well.

    Good luck.

    Mark
     
  6. True North

    True North Member

    165
    Sep 11, 2012
    Live: DeWitt, MI,West Michigan (Ludington)
    2005 SR 260DA
    350 MAG MPI
    Bravo 3
    (1) 350 MAG MPI w/Bravo III
    AMFM3-

    what "steering pin" are you referencing? I may know what it is, but not by that name. Can you please be a little more specific or more explanation?

    As for loose clamps, etc, I will double check, but I did thoroughly go through and tighten all I could see/reach while performing other service on the motor.

    What seals/areas of failure should I consider with the lower unit itself? I know exhaust bellows and shift cable bellows, but I would think those would be more significant??? Is there a seal that is between the outdrive and the transom that could go bad?

    I think my next strategy will be to drain the bilge completely with plug out, dry it out. Place boat in water (on trailer) and look for water entering before I start motor. Wait 15-20mins. If no water, start motor and let run for 15-20 mins, look for water. If still no water take boat out for short ride, then reassess and see if process of elimination can at least try to narrow down the needle in the haystack.

    Its not a lot of water by any means, but there is always water in there none the less, and the water is supposed to remain OUTSIDE of the boat in my opinion! thanks for the replies!
     
  7. kevin27

    kevin27 Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Tarpon Springs,FL
    1989 3600 Convertible. 2017 Scout 175 sportfish.
    2002 Cummins 6BTA 330hp diesel straight shaft.
    Also may be the y pipe with corrosion hole in it where it bolts up to the transom assy. Had it happen on my 270 and saw on several other boats over the last 10 years. It is hard to spot because it's behind the eng down low on the transom.
     
  8. True North

    True North Member

    165
    Sep 11, 2012
    Live: DeWitt, MI,West Michigan (Ludington)
    2005 SR 260DA
    350 MAG MPI
    Bravo 3
    (1) 350 MAG MPI w/Bravo III
    Kevin-

    would this be likely on a boat with only 300 hours on it only in fresh water and never left in the water? I don't know, that is why I am asking?
     
  9. pchanson8

    pchanson8 Member

    162
    Apr 16, 2009
    WI
    2000 340 Sundancer
    7.4l mpi
    I will throw something out here but I am sure you would have noticed this if it were the problem. I have 454s and when I did my impellers a while back I did not get the hose lined up correctly where all the belts are. The hose that runs from the water pump to the impeller had a chance to rub on the belt causing a pin hole to occur on the hose. Ended up having to replace it and re install being extra careful on the routing of the hose insuring it was in place away from the belts. Just a thought and a cautionary tale.
     
  10. kevin27

    kevin27 Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Tarpon Springs,FL
    1989 3600 Convertible. 2017 Scout 175 sportfish.
    2002 Cummins 6BTA 330hp diesel straight shaft.
    Fresh water and not kept in the water mabey not. Something to look at. You need to look behind the engine at the transom assy and y pipe.
     
  11. duckmnn

    duckmnn Member

    553
    Jul 21, 2010
    Grafton IL where the IL and Mississippi rivers com
    270sundancer 1996
    454 B3
    If the steering pin is leaking you should see it while you are in bilge.It will trickle down transome bracket.While looking there see if there is water on drive shaft too.Good luck
     
  12. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster New Member

    727
    Mar 27, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    1995 Sundancer 290
    Generator, AC
    Twin Mercruiser 4.3L
    I recently had a consistant but small amount of water entering my bilge & I couldn't easily determine the source of it....turned out to be a small leak around the transducer..if your boat has one thru the hull you might want to check the seal as well
     
  13. tbirdvet

    tbirdvet Active Member

    Sep 24, 2009
    Michigan
    Previous boat: 2008 330 Sundancer
    Vetus Bow Thruster
    Kohler Gen.
    Twin 496 MAG, 375HP Bravo III,
    I had a similar issue for 2 seasons. Turned out to be the depth gauge transducer. I had to pull the boat after it started to get worse and have it resealed.
     
  14. hobbs

    hobbs Member

    52
    Mar 29, 2009
    Chicago IL
    250 Sundancer 1995
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo I
    Based on initial description, my vote would be steering pin. If so, search the board. There is some pretty good info on how to do this type of repair. Two years ago, I had the same problem. I decided to pull the engine and replace the entire transom assembly.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  15. AMFM3

    AMFM3 Active Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Okanagan Lake, British Columbia
    370 Sundancer 1995 Raymarine C 120 Plotter / Radar
    7.4 L Twin inboards,
    V-Drives
    The steering pin is at the top of the collar that the drive sits in. It is what allows the drive to swivel to facilitate steering. Mine was worn our and leaked very slowly.

    Hope that helps.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. hd2002hd

    hd2002hd Member

    457
    Jul 20, 2010
    St. Louis
    1996-Sea Ray 215 Express Cruiser/1996-Sea Ray 330 Sundancer/1998-Sea Ray 400 Sundancer/1996-Sea Rayd
    5.7 Mercruiser/454's/454's w/V drive/120HP
    x3 on the steering pin. You really have to look, but you should see a drop slide down the transom every few seconds.
     
  17. True North

    True North Member

    165
    Sep 11, 2012
    Live: DeWitt, MI,West Michigan (Ludington)
    2005 SR 260DA
    350 MAG MPI
    Bravo 3
    (1) 350 MAG MPI w/Bravo III
    thanks for the replies guys (and gals if any :)) Sounds like the steering pin might be the culprit, and if it is, sounds like I may be up for a maintainance job! Will read the posts and ask here for "help" if need be. Thanks again, this sight is worth it's weight in gold in my opinion!
     
  18. kevin27

    kevin27 Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Tarpon Springs,FL
    1989 3600 Convertible. 2017 Scout 175 sportfish.
    2002 Cummins 6BTA 330hp diesel straight shaft.
    This is what it looks like. [​IMG]This is what to look for[​IMG]
     
  19. Tmacias84

    Tmacias84 New Member

    25
    Sep 24, 2010
    Trenton Ky
    1981 V245
    Boat #2 1989 220 DA
    Original mercruiser 350/260 1981 8 Cyl
    Alpha One
    Boat #2 5.7 V-8 Mercruiser
    Excuse me, what is that little blue nipple in the picture? I believe that is what is leaking water into our boat, we rolled up a piece of tape and stuck it in there to stop it at the marina....
     

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