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Water In bilge but clueless as to how it gets there


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I have a 1991 Starcraft Islander 221. 4.3L V6. I have been getting water in the bilge since I bought the boat in 2012. I have had my marine mechanic look to see if something on the engine is leaking while running. He could not find anything. I have checked the hull over thouroughly and I do not see any cracks etc. 

Interestingly, I can leave the boat in the water for as long as I want and I only get about 3" of water in the bilge and that is it, it seems to just stop. Any ideas?

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I had the same thought as Jason...is is a pretty common situation in older boats (bellows).

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bellows were checked over by my mechanic last fall, all are good however did not remove them. My float switch has never triggered, dont even know if it works really.

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getting funny now! haha. Well, it happens even when it doesnt rain and I dont have a wash down. Also, if  Iwere to guess, it will take around 45 minutes to get to where it stops maybe slightly less, but we are not talking about allot of water here, like 5 gallons or so

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Water seeks its own level. So any leak will fill to the outside water line of boat. Then, of course, the weight of the hull pulls itself under. That is unless you have 2 holes then the water goes in one hole then out the other, then you'll be OK. So take a drill.......Just kidding!!!!!!! 

 Sounds like water from above deck like condensation, spray, rain, someone tinkling in your boat at night.......

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Don't feel bad.. my 1989 Islander always has a little water in the bilge.. Not much, maybe a gallon at a time  .. Takes me about 2 mins tops and it stops pumping.. I have left it in the water (is now) for weeks at a time and the auto switch never kicks on , as I have stayed aboard for days at a time.. Yet there is always that 1 gallon of water if I turn on pump.. Bellows are good so I just chalk it off as a tin boat with lots of rivets ..

 

P.S.

Something to check as I found out last year..

Is there more water with engine running or is there just water from sitting at the dock ?

I had a bad water pump last year that was spewing out the little hole when the engine was running and noticed a LOT more water then just docked.. Water pump replaced but now only get that always present 1 gallon at the dock..

I'd say 5 gallons and 45 mins to pump is a little excessive though.

Good Luck

Rich

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I will have to do some more investigative work  I guess. The water comes up to the very bottom of my water/fuel seperator filter.

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I have an aluminum hull that just started getting way more water in the bilge than normal.   While it was on the trailer, I just put a hose in the bilge and turned it on with the plug in.

 

Found 3 small cracks that I never saw when just inspecting the hull when the water filled the hull.   

 

Still get a bit of water, and I'm guessing its due to a crack(s) that are hidden by the boards that support the hull while on the trailer.   Only way to check is going to be finding someone with

a hoist that will hold an 18' boat 1/4 full of water!

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Good thoughts everyone much appreciated. Once I pull it out of the water to prep for a lake o trip I will try filling the bilge using a hose

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upper outdrive swivel pin.

I had that problem on two Merc drives had to pull the engines and transom brackets . A lot of work for a two bit seal got lucky the pins were not corroded they cost big bucks.

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bellows were checked over by my mechanic last fall, all are good however did not remove them. My float switch has never triggered, dont even know if it works really.

And you keep your boat in the water?

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I would have to think it's pretty minor issue, something like the steering cable, bellows or drain plug . My guess however is leaky rivets , it's an older tin boat (like mine) and I'm quite sure there is some water gets in through all those possible areas..

 

as long as it isn't serious, I wouldn't worry about it to much, mine has been in the water since May and I visit it once a week to pump out that 1 gallon or so.. I have left it for extended times even heavy rains it hasn't been an issue to where I'm concerned enough to tear the entire floors out (again) to put sealer in..

As long as your bilge is working (you can adjust the auto flapper) properly and it's only a little water don't sweat it.. 

ever see deadliest catch ?  Now them boats take on some water ..lol 

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