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Boat Leak Need Help


mknolls

Question

My boat takes on water. Would like to fix before putting into storage. As I suspect it is from when I took out the lower unit two years ago on Lake vermilion. It has steadily gotten worse. Want to know what is the best way to locate leak. My boat is 16' Sylvan 40 Johnson. Hard floor pedestals and raised deck, just want to give you an idea of what I got. I believe there is flotation foam under floor. I thought about using a food color die in water. Dump a gallon or so of it in the bottom of the boat while I have the boat fairly level. Lay under it and mark the first sign of color bleeding through. Not sure If I should weld seems or what. I have a brother in law that has an aluminum welder as an option. Boat is all riveted. Any advice on what I should do would be helpful.

Thanks

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The best way to find leaks is to fill the boat with water while on the trailer, then look for leaks underneath it. It will probably take more than a gallon of water, and I don't think you need to have the boat 100% level --- the leak is probably at the back, so having the bow higher isn't going to hurt.

Another likely culprit for the leak is leaky fittings for your livewell pump, bilge pump, livewell overflow, etc. They can loosen up over time, or the caulk or silicone can go bad.

Good luck getting it figured out.

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I recently found my tricky leak. It was the bulkhead fitting for the livewell pump.

Check all your tbrough hull fittings, hoses, hose clamps, etc.

As Dave said, water in the boat will show you the leak if it's a seam or a rivet. No need to fill it all the way up to the top of the gunwales. Actually, be carefull not to over fill as that's a lot of weight you'll be laying under.

If it's a bad leak it should show itself fairly quickly. If it's just a slow nuisance leak it will take a while longer but will show itself eventually.

Good luck.

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Thanks I never through about checking the connectors for Live well and bilge pump along with all the clamps. I Just kept going back to the lower unit hit. Its just one of those things were I just don't think about all the other things that have effect on the water intake. I will have to check them first. Thanks a bunch. Very good advice. I hope its not to bad. One more question. Is it just best to weld that section of lose rivets if that is the problem or is there a better way? shocked

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If it's just a leaking rivet it can be replaced or re-set. Takes 2 guys to do it but it can be done if you can get to it.

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I too was going to suggest checking pipes/tubes of livewell.. They tend to go bad before a hole in the boat.. though a rivet can be the culprit as well.

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i am no mechanic by any means but here is a word of advice for people like me who felt good about my boat under the carpets. check your hoses, on the water periodicly especialy. my crestliner 1850 is a 2002 model and everything is great except one day camping this year up north i walk down were i had my boat placed on shore and half my boat was filled with water. fortunatly i put a new bilge pump in a week earlier and it pumped the water out. my fear was i some how had a hole somewhere somehow. i opened the area were my pumps were and my livewell pumps plastic connection to the hose was cracked, creating a small leak. i fixed it on the water pushing the hose further up from the crack and tightening the clamp. should have replaced the livewell pump at the same time as the bilge pump. i thought "nothing" was wrong with it why replace it. good luck.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Even with the livewell drained for winter storage the hose could have a high spot that won't allow all the water to drain from the hose. It might not crack the first winter but over the winters of this area getting expanded it can give out.

Blowing the hose out as part of winterizing is good preventive medicine.

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I had a small leak moons ago in an old Sea Nymph and tried filling it, colored water, hoses and the like. When I pulled the floor I found the culprit, a rivet that had been replaced by the previous owner had the center pulled through it. Easy fix but labor intensive to find........good luck to you.

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I hope its not a rivet. I'm not sure how I would get to it. The boat had the entire floor put down then live well then seats steering and so on. I think it may be more work then I would like to take on if its a rivet. It would pretty much be a total over hull of the floor. I still well check out the hose's, clamps and pumps first, then go from there. Still want to get out fishing a few more time's be for I have to get in two deep. Thanks for all your advice. Surface Tension Never thought about the water staying in the line's and freezing. Will have to make sure to check that each year. With that in mind I just had an idea. Or question. Could you not run a little RV Antifreeze through the the lines? The environmental friendly kind? Also from my understanding is that has a lubricant substance in it that may be good for the pumps. And then do a good rinse at the beginning of each year. Hole new subject. Any one do this?

Thanks all.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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