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How much is too much water in bilge?

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How much is too much water in bilge?

Old 09-10-2019, 03:03 PM
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Default How much is too much water in bilge?

THTó

Iíve always stuck to old boats because of an inexplicable addiction to Aquasports from the 70ís (also that whole Ďbudgetí thing). Iíve finally pulled the trigger on a new boat and love the thing. Itís a 2200 Bulls Bay.

That said, there is always some water that comes out of the drain plug at the end of the day.

Never having owned a boat with live wells beforeóI suspect that this water is live well related. Last night, I intentionally fished all artificial and didnít fill the wells. I spent 2 hours on the water trout fishing and there was still some water when I pulled the plug at the end of the day. Significantly less than an 8 hour day with both wells full of eelsóbut water nonetheless. Nothing choppy and didnít touch the wash down.

My gut tells me that some water still works itís way in through the wells; but I also have this hunch that there may be some kind of loose through-hull.

Is it normal for some water to show up? I havenít done the hose-test yet and turn to you to see if that is warranted.



Old 09-10-2019, 03:05 PM
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Also forgot to mention that my 1975 AS is bone dry every single time I pull the plug.
Old 09-10-2019, 03:08 PM
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Water can leak in from multiple places. If boat is on trailer just fill up each bait well and see if any water gets into the bilge while on the trailer and of course not raining on the boat. Hatches, cover plates, cracked or loose hoses, though hulls and unseen cracks can all leak water into the bilge. Visually inspecting the bilge while on the water usually can give you a clue as to how the water is getting into the vessel.

Jim
Old 09-10-2019, 03:19 PM
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If this is truly a brand new boat - have the dealer fix the leak.

Bait/Live wells can leak as they have plumbing that runs the length of the boat (usually) - on older boats it's common as water in these hoses will freeze in the winter & cause a split in the line.

You really should not have any water get into the bilge. I had the same problem with split lines ( I have an old boat ) & I finally just plugged the through hull's & use a cooler.
Old 09-10-2019, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jfwireless View Post
Water can leak in from multiple places. If boat is on trailer just fill up each bait well and see if any water gets into the bilge while on the trailer and of course not raining on the boat. Hatches, cover plates, cracked or loose hoses, though hulls and unseen cracks can all leak water into the bilge. Visually inspecting the bilge while on the water usually can give you a clue as to how the water is getting into the vessel.

Jim
Thanks Jimóso are you saying it should typically be dry (provided thereís no rain, spray, etc) ?

-Kevin
Old 09-10-2019, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Brass Monkey View Post
If this is truly a brand new boat - have the dealer fix the leak.

Bait/Live wells can leak as they have plumbing that runs the length of the boat (usually) - on older boats it's common as water in these hoses will freeze in the winter & cause a split in the line.

You really should not have any water get into the bilge. I had the same problem with split lines ( I have an old boat ) & I finally just plugged the through hull's & use a cooler.
Dangónot what I wanted to hear but if that is the case, need to address asap. Thanks for the heads up as it truly is a new boat.
Old 09-10-2019, 03:26 PM
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Theoretically it should be dry. If a small amount of water can enter the bilge from a leak then thereís a possibility that leak can worsen.

If see more than about a cup of water discharge from my bilge that I canít explain from heavy rain or wash down use then I investigate.
Old 09-10-2019, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by andosan View Post
Theoretically it should be dry. If a small amount of water can enter the bilge from a leak then thereís a possibility that leak can worsen.

If see more than about a cup of water discharge from my bilge that I canít explain from heavy rain or wash down use then I investigate.
Easily > than one cup. Thank you
Old 09-10-2019, 03:33 PM
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Depends on the boat.

On my FW, the anchor locker drain can take on a small amount of water if the water is choppy enough. Also getting in and out of the boat while soaking wet can lead to some water down there.

Mine's never any more than I can't dry up with a towel after a day on the water, and not even close enough to activating the bilge pump. If the bilge is kicking on that's too much IMO.
Old 09-10-2019, 07:04 PM
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boat should be dry, but if it rained a few days before there could be water more forward in the hull, after running it or now on the boat ramp that water can be pushed back to the drain/blige
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Misterfu02 View Post
Depends on the boat.

On my FW, the anchor locker drain can take on a small amount of water if the water is choppy enough. Also getting in and out of the boat while soaking wet can lead to some water down there.

Mine's never any more than I can't dry up with a towel after a day on the water, and not even close enough to activating the bilge pump. If the bilge is kicking on that's too much IMO.
Hopefully your anchor locker doesn't drain into the bilge. Normally they drain straight overboard.
Old 09-10-2019, 07:08 PM
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On my boat, wellcraft did a lousy job sealing the screws thatís attach the trim tabs to the hull. After I resealed the screws...no more water.
Old 09-10-2019, 07:19 PM
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Put the boat on a steep angle and drain for a few minutes before launching. Put teflon tape on the drain plug for that run. Jump on plane for a minute and check the bilge.
Be logical and rule things out one at a time (with no one else on board so you aren't rushing).
Old 09-10-2019, 09:32 PM
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I've owned multiple boats: Mako 253- always a wet bilge. Pursuit 247- not quite dry but close. Southport 26- had some scupper issues, so more water than I would have liked. Hydra Sport 21 - always has some water. These boats were always kept in the water. When these boats were underway, I'd always run the bilge pumps to empty what water that had accumulated. Never enough to activate the switch. The pumps never get rid off all the water. Once a month, I'd put some simple green in the bilge area and hit it with a bush. From washing, rain, and the occasional wave coming through the transom door, there were way to many points of entry to the bilge for me to track them down. I don't think any of these boats had any leakage, it's just hard to keep water from getting into the bilge.

Heck, the current family cruiser I own is a 38' Sabre, kept on a mooring. I'm meticulous about maintaining this boat. I can assure you, there isn't a thru hull leak. The last I looked Sabre doesn't have a live well live, so it is getting into the bilge from any of a dozen sources. I bet there is always a gallon or two in the bilge, which isn't much based on it's size. My point being, I wouldn't worry about a small amount of water in your bilge. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to figure out where it is coming from. That is what bilge pumps are for.

There is always going to be some water that makes it way into the bilge. Enjoy the boat and worry about catching fish, having fun with the kids. A little water in the bilge, if removed when necessary, isn't going to hurt anything. For people who don't trailer, it's a given.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by KPHuss View Post
Also forgot to mention that my 1975 AS is bone dry every single time I pull the plug.
yup. my 1970 Sea Ray bone dry when I pull the plug.
Old 09-10-2019, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by andosan View Post
Hopefully your anchor locker doesn't drain into the bilge. Normally they drain straight overboard.
It drains overboard, supposedly water comes in from the overboard fitting and makes it into the bilge somehow. At least thatís what I read on a Four Winns forum lol. Itís about three cups of water total so Iím not overly concerned.
Old 09-10-2019, 09:44 PM
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I had a leak like that and traced it to a hose that drained the front fish box. The hose ran from the fish box all the way to a Tee and transom thru Hull. Water would run up the hose because of static pressure and then leak into the bilge. Confirmed it by plugging the thru Hull - no more leak! I can’t get to the hose yet to repair or replace it but disconnected it from the thru hull Tee and just let it drain to the bilge if the box gets water - don’t use it anyway. Also, of course, plugged the Tee that the hose was connected to. No more leak but had me perplexed because the leak was not at the thru Hull but further up the hose. Boat is a Skeeter 2200.
Old 09-11-2019, 03:44 AM
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OCDing on a wet bilge is a bad thing.

if you’ve ever had a traditional shaft/prop boat you’ve probably never had a dry bilge.

water can make its way to a bilge many different ways, anchor locker, bilge pump discharge thru hull (rolly boat in rocky seas), anchor wildcat/winch access (running in sloppy seas taking water over bow).

its better to accept and let be that a couple cups of water is fine. Larger amounts of water and cycles of the bilge pump is not fine and should be traced.
Old 09-11-2019, 04:42 AM
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To track live wells....put some water in your wells, put different color food dye in the wells...see which color makes it to your bilge...if any. If none...you know it ain't your wells...it's something else.

I don't like water down there....prefer it as bone dry as possible. I have twin v-drives...so I have a pair of shafts going through packing, but even on a long run there's barely a half a shotglass worth of water that drips out from them, not even a long enough drip to make it back to the lower bilge area. Constant water down there also contributes to mold (those black blotches that will appear)...not good. I've spent summers on old antique wooden cruisers too..where they'd leak so strong after launch they'd visibly stream in water for a couple of says keeping all pumps working full speed until the wood swelled mostly shut. That first overnight can be a "not much sleeper".
Old 09-11-2019, 05:15 AM
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Plug your livewell intakes, then see if you still get water in the bilge. If you still got water in the bilge without filling your livewells, the leak would most likely be between the intake thruhull and the livewell itself. Hopefully someone never tightened a hose clamp.

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