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OSlawyer

A Lot of Water in the Bilge

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I seem to be taking on a great deal of water but can't figure out where it is coming from. I have a 1996 Redfisher with two livewells, neither of which do I ever use. I keep plugs in the bottom of each in order to use them for storage. After a full day on the water I have many gallons of water pumping out at the launch ramp but am not sure where it came from. The drain plug is in so I am assuming it is from the livewell pickups somehow. There are no cracks in the hull or other means of water ingress that I can tell. Any suggestions?

 

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My hewes gets some water in the bilge as well. I'm wondering if it's from my bilge pump outlet that goes below the water line when there's too much weight in the rear?

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10 hours ago, OSlawyer said:

I seem to be taking on a great deal of water but can't figure out where it is coming from. I have a 1996 Redfisher with two livewells, neither of which do I ever use. I keep plugs in the bottom of each in order to use them for storage. After a full day on the water I have many gallons of water pumping out at the launch ramp but am not sure where it came from. The drain plug is in so I am assuming it is from the livewell pickups somehow. There are no cracks in the hull or other means of water ingress that I can tell. Any suggestions?

 

Make sure your pie hole in the splashwell is good and sealed.  If the O-ring is old and brittle (or missing) it will take in water.  You should have ball valves at each well pickup.  Make sure to close them all the way.

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Was having similar issue with my 2000 16 Bayfisher. Turned out to be my cockpit drains needed to be resealed. Removed the clamshells from the outside of the hull and used silicone to seal where the tubes pass thru the hull....easy fix.

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This may be a long shot,but I have a 20ft LT that had a leak in the transom poling platform bracket,lower lag bolts.  Over time they loosened and leaked.  I keep  my boat in the water and found pump running and boat with 6 in of water in the bilge. Fortunately my batteries were hooked up and charging or much bigger trouble.  Yard found a way to thru bolt the lower fittings,which is a pain in the A--.

Just a thought if all else fails.

 

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I finally got a chance to get out and do some testing as to the water infiltration. The boat had been out of the water for two weeks and parked in my garage with all hatches left open and the drain plugs all open (no water in the bilge at the start of the day). I launched the boat, tied it to the dock, parked the car and trailer then jumped back into the boat. I then reached into the pie hole only to find about 6" of water. The float switch can't lift because of the mass of the wires in the bilge holding it down (an entirely different problem which I will need to resolve), but I was unable to tell where the water had come from. I turned on the bilge pump to evacuate the water, then took a ride down the CT River only to find that the bilge continued to fill with water. The side scuppers were under water and the stern bogged down with the weight of the water. When I got back to the ramp, I left the water in the bilge in hopes of seeing it pour out of wherever it came in. Nothing. I finally unscrewed the bilge drain plug and lots of water poured out. Once home, I tried running a hose into the obvious suspects, the two scuppers, the two livewell pickups and the two livewell drain holes in the bottom of the boat. Again, nothing. I did note that when I moved the boat to park it in the garage, water stated pouring out of one of the livewell drain openings. I do not ever use my livewells and I think the pump valves have been turned off since I bought the boat in 1996. The livewells themselves I use as storage and don't have any water in them except if it is raining and even them it is not much.

I am wondering whether it might be one of the livewell drain holes in which the hose from the livewell to the drain has somehow been disconnected thereby allowing water to rush in from the drain and thereby filling the bilge. Of course, I can't trace the hose from the bilge all the way to the forward livewell. Is this a possibility?

 

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I have put rubber stoppers in the two drains and used Gorilla tape to hold them in. I will dunk the boat tomorrow to see if that identifies the problem.

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18 hours ago, Redrum said:

Drain tubes need to be resealed 

This^  

 

The 4200/5200 whatever dries up on the scupper tubes and allow a surpringly large amount of water into bilge

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I put the boat in this morning with both live well drain outlets plugged and taped. Unfortunately that clearly was not the problem. The bilge immediately started to fill. I put the boat back on the trailer and took it home in order to crawl underneath for a look. The first thing I found is that I am way to old to be crawling under boats. Next I found that I have a hole where one of the trailer rollers comes in contact with the center-line of the boat. It feels soft and appears to be about 3" x 8". I am sure there has been water infiltration into the foam. I am not sure where to go from here or how big a project. I will have to find a fiberglass guy unless anyone out there has any suggestions as to where to go in Connecticut.

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Not sure if that's the problem, but it is a problem!    As you discovered you are too old to be crawling under boats ( ha!) did you notice coming from this hole?   Turn off power (auto bilge), lower front of trailer so that hole is nearly lowest part of boat, put plug in and hose a little water directly into bilge..if water comes out, probably the issue.  Either way...got to be repaired.  

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I will try filling the bilge with the boat tilted toward the hole area. I would hate to find that this is not the cause of the water coming in. I assume that in order to repair the damage and clean out the soaking foam flotation, the rubrail will need to be removed anyway and the cap and hull could at that time be re-sealed.

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where that damage is, can you see it from the inside and pour water on that area to see if it leaks out. if there is not a direct hole, jmo, can't see that much water entering that fast. yes that problem needs to be addressed asap. have you checked you transom drain plug and fitting. they do leak after time due to wear. if it were me, after all you have done, I would had it off to a pro for a look see. best of luck in solving this mystery problem.

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Thank you all for the advice. I have a fiberglass guy coming tomorrow to start repairs. I have checked the livewell drains in the stern which do not seem to be the problem. If there is another means of water ingress I have not found it yet. I will have the scuppers checked as well as the cap/hull seal. fin-addict, I take your point that the amount of water coming in may be more than is easily explained by the exposed fiberglass. I don't know the answer but I am really hoping that a hull repair will remedy the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

t

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As I have the fiberglass guy work on the boat, I am wondering whether I should be reconfiguing the trailer bunk/roller layout. It seems clear that the hole was caused by years of running the centerline of the hull into one of the rollers on the trailer. Right now I have two bunks that run from the stern to about midway on my 19' Redfisher. Thereafter there are two center rollers on two cross members. I wonder if it might be wise to get rid of the rollers and put two more bunks closer toward the bow. Prior to having one of the rollers I had a PVC "V" piece but it scratched the heck out of the hull. Any thoughts?

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Why not plug all the thru hulls from either inside the hull or if not possible from the outside using compression rubber plugs to rule out the thru hull water piping.??  From the amount of water coming in fast it should be pretty obvious if this is where the problem is.  

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I run a 20ft Hewes LT with bunks.  My rollers are only touching the hull if The angle of ramp needs to use the roller to keep the hull from hitting the cross member.  My boat never touches the roller.  BTW I put in at the Baldwin bridge in Old Saybrook.  You can probably lower the roller some to keep the hull clear. 

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If you have a chance, I would like to see the set up of your bunks. I am concerned that because my bunks are relatively short compared to the length of the hull, lowering the rollers will leave the forward portion of the boat  unsupported while trailering. Polliwog, while I don't use the Baldwin Bridge ramp as often as I used to,  I will keep an eye out for your skiff. It is a good ramp with nice access to the mouth of the CT River as well as Long Island Sound. The ramp is very convenient for my as my office is just off Main Street in Old Saybrook.

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