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  • Water in Bilge

    Question?

    I have water entering the bilge in my 1973 23' C/C. It is an I/O model with a 5.7 Bravo engine and a Bravo 1 Drive. Splashed the boat 2 weeks ago and the bilge pump comes on at least once a day. The only thru hull fittings are the fish box and the main drain. Last year when I performed all of the work on the boat I opted to enimintate the expandible plug for the main drain and installed a garboard plug. The boots and hoses for the outdrive were also changed at that point. My question is, the thru hull to the fish box is a direct hose from the lowest point of the transom to the box. The shut off valve is located in an inspection port just outside of the box. Bad idea if the hose broke the boat would take on a tremenduos amount of water and sink. This spring I removed the hose not knowing the age and attempted to install a shut off valve on the the hull fitting. The threads definitely had signs of 32 years of deterioration.

    My questions are, did I possibly disturb the original caulking on the thru hull fitting, or is there another area to look at? The foam on both the port and starboard sides of the boat are dry. Granted that this old model did not drain very well with the weight. Could it possibly be that some how water is getting into the bilge from the scuppers? These were changed out last fall as well. If I pull the boat from the water and fill the bilge with water will I see where the leak is? Or is the hydroststic head on the hull greater than on land?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Tom
    Hugs Tug [br]2007 SteigerCraft 23\' Miami W/ 225 Suzuki[br]Former 1973, 23 Mako C/C with I/O[br]Mattituck[br]Long Island N.Y.

  • #2
    Hugs & Tugs-

    Is the water in the bilge salty or is it rainwater??

    The only way to find out where the leak is coming from is to go through everything and eliminate each one:

    Start with the garboard plug. Remove it and recaulk liberally with 5200. Let set for a few days.

    Do the same with the livewell intake fitting. Remove it and replace with one that has a long enough neck to accept a bronze check valve (seacock) on the inside. Bed down the thruhull with 5200 and let set. When it is cured, take the bronze check valve and wrap the threads with teflon tape or 5200 and tighten securely. Double clamp the livewell hose to it and you should be done. Not a bad idea to ground seacock to a negative ground.

    As far as the engine/outdrive setup is concerned, I will let someone else with more experience in I/O's tell you where you should start looking for a leak. Not my cup of tea. You may want to check and see if rainwater is coming in around the engine box.

    At this time, you may also want to check whatever else may be screwed or bolted on to the transom....this includes swim ladders, transducers, etc. They all can leak water into the bilge.

    I went through my boat shortly after I bought it and replaced every thru-hull fitting and seacock. It will take some time and money, but well worth it and it will be better than the factory setup

    Comment


    • #3
      Well you have changed the bellows that is the most common culpret.

      the other is a little ugly, the transom plate (gimbal housing) is sandwitched togather with a gaskit. this can leak over time. You need to get down with a flashlight and look for drips of water coming in around the housing. if you see this do not delay long in pulling the boat and getting this taken care of . This will rot your transom. the wood on the inside of the transom is not sealed well and water will soak in. Your boat did not come with a bravo drive as they wernt built in '73. could be the prevous installer cut some corners. To change the plate gaskit you must pull the motor and drive and the housing bolts. its a little ugly. lets hope its a simple thing. but I at least gave you the worst case senario, dave.
      [br]1994 Mako 215 Dual console Optimax 225[br]1978 Mako 19 with 90hp johnson[br]1996 Mako 22[br]1982 Mako 171 Angler 135 Black Max Mercury[br]1987 21b 225 Yamaha[br]1974 23 inboard Gusto gone.[br]1979m21 225johnson \"blue dolphin\" bought off this board and restored [br]with everyone\'s help!!Gone but not Forgotten....[br]1979 20 Mako 115 Suzuki gone[br]1977 19 Mako 115 Johnson gone[br]1976 23 Mako twin 140 Johnsons gone[br]1983 224 with closed transom and bracket[br]And 162 SOB (some other boats)[br]Venice Florida, Traverse city Mi.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have to second what michigan dave said about the transome plate. I have an Alpha 1. Same basic design, just smaller and less HP.

        I one time did not seal a bellows correctly when I replaced it and it pulled away from the "nipple" causing a leak. You may want to trim all the way up (full trailer up) and check to see if the bellows were glued to the nipples with the proper QuickSilver adhesive before the clamps were applied. The exhaust bellow usually will NOT be the culprit for a leak (technically you could get away with out it, but the motor would make alot of noise and reverse could force water over your riser). The real culprit would be the sealing around the shaft bellow (east to screw up because it is burried high in the housing AND if not aligned just right can be torn up by the U-Joint.

        Oooh... big thought here... happened to me on my first bellows change. Was the outdrive properly torqued back to place AND the O-ring around the outdrive oiler reservior properly seated?!? This can be devastating to the whole system!!![:u] In my case, it leaked water and gear lube into the bellow and eventually into my bilge. I also had to change and flush the gear lube in the foot a few times to get the water out. If those gaskets don't align and that O-ring is not in the right place, that can cause a similar problem.

        Hope this helps.

        -Pat.
        18ft MonArk tri-hull: 140HP Mercruiser Alpha One - still in pieces...to be continued[br](I know it\'s not a Mako, but hey, its mine!)[br] Time\'s fun when you\'re having flies![br]president/hostmaster:[br]P.Ring Technologies[br]Cornerstone IT, LLC[br]LOUISIANA WEB HOST, LLC.[br]CompTIA Certified Professional A+/Network+ // Microsoft Registered Partner

        Comment


        • #5
          I recently fixed the same problem on my '89 250. Found that the nylon thru hull had a hairline crack in the fitting itself. Something to look for.
          \'89 Mako 250 Cuddy[br]Stratford, CT

          Comment


          • #6
            Put the boat on a trailer and fill the hull with water then check the exterior for leaks. Thats the easiest way to find the culpret.[}][}][}]

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you all for responding. The garboard plug was bedded with 5200 and allowed to set for at least a week, the bellows and hoses were set with the proper adhesive and allowed to cure. I am really leaning towards the original thru hull to the fish box. Going to pull the boat this mid week and fill the hull with water and see if in fact where the leak is coming from. I certainly hope that it is not the transom mount as Dave thought could be the culprit[]. The drive,transom mount and engine were changed out in 2001 by a Merc Cruiser dealer. There are no transducer mounts on the transon that might be a cause of water infiltration.
              Hugs Tug [br]2007 SteigerCraft 23\' Miami W/ 225 Suzuki[br]Former 1973, 23 Mako C/C with I/O[br]Mattituck[br]Long Island N.Y.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hmmmm.... You didn't mention if this is happening while sitting at the dock or after running for awhile. Before you fill the hull with water, how about a very thourogh check of the engine cooling system. Its not inconceivable that a drain plug is a little loose after winterizing and now "un-winterizing" for the summer.
                1977 19B, 1995 175 Johnson. Currently in Central Illinois

                Comment


                • #9
                  Engine cooling system is another good guess... but like drydock1 said, will usually only happen under power. I doubt that exaust fittings that young would have a real problem. I'd look into a loose plug or petcock from this aspect.

                  Though I have to analyze the question here: Is it while running or just sitting?

                  **Well, taking your first post into consideration you said the pump comes on once daily. I gather this to mean it happens while sitting.

                  -Pat.
                  18ft MonArk tri-hull: 140HP Mercruiser Alpha One - still in pieces...to be continued[br](I know it\'s not a Mako, but hey, its mine!)[br] Time\'s fun when you\'re having flies![br]president/hostmaster:[br]P.Ring Technologies[br]Cornerstone IT, LLC[br]LOUISIANA WEB HOST, LLC.[br]CompTIA Certified Professional A+/Network+ // Microsoft Registered Partner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Actually the water enters the hull wether nsitting or moving. Hopefully when I pull the boat and flood the bilge I will see where the water is entering.
                    Hugs Tug [br]2007 SteigerCraft 23\' Miami W/ 225 Suzuki[br]Former 1973, 23 Mako C/C with I/O[br]Mattituck[br]Long Island N.Y.

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