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sstout

Leaking boat nonsense

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Hi everyone, so you may have seen my build with gutting my boat and building it all back up again. Well, I took it to the lake for the first time since finishing it this morning. It leaked like it's never leaked before. Holy crap.

 

The rivets are coated in gluvit. I had it on the water without the floor in and it didn't leak. Now its finished and I could pump the bilge pump every 10 mins. I tried 2 different drain plugs, that didn't help. I filled the bottom of the boat with water from the hose and there's no obvious sign of leaks. This afternoon I re-sealed all the bolts through the transom both outside and in with 5200. 

 

Is there anything you guys. Can think of that would make it do this? It's kind of disheartening to finish a build and the boat leaks worse than when you started. Grr. I appreciate any advice.

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Yeah that’s frustrating. I hope you get it figured out and get rewarded for all your hard work.


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It's not the live well. There's no livewell on the boat. I'm thinking it's some of the bolts through the transom. The previous owner had trim tabs and a couple other things that are now removed. I had them sealed but not with 5200. They are sealed good now. I just don't think after 2 coats of gluvit it's coming from the rivets. Hopefully Wednesday night I'll test that theory. I really don't want to rip the floor I just finished back up.

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when you added floor, motor, fuel tank etc.. it is sitting lower in water. Did not look up your build to see what make of boat. I had 22' Starcraft center console 1985. Thru hull fittings and rivets were issue. cut plugs from wood dowels. Wired brushed holes after removing thru hull fittings. Sanded plug so about a third would just barley fit in hole. buttered it up with 5200 then drove it home with mallet with wood block in between. Bullfrog rivets replaced 38 rivets in hull. Went from leaking 5+ gallons an hour to 1 gallon in 5 hours. Transom bolts same as thru hull fittings. Plug let dry for a couple weeks then drill and replace bolts. Did you replace transom?

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It is deeper in the water then when you had it in the water with no floor.  I think you are heading in the right direction with filling the transom holes. 

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Yeah. I replaced the transom last year. I found 5 leaky rivets, re set them and then applied 2 coats of gluvit over all the rivets. The boat sitting lower in the water is a good idea. When I took it out to test it had no floor, 1 battery, and 1 gas tank. Now it's got the floor, vinyl, seats, 2 batterys, and 3 gas tanks. Hopefully some 5200 is the answer. Thanks for the info. I like the wooden down idea

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Just out  of curiosity is it a I/O  or outboard ? Filling it with water and putting it in the water are two different animals as far as finding leaks go . When in the water you have pressure trying to force water into the hull through any opening. When you put water in the hull,it's pretty much gravity with very little pressure /force trying to do its thing. A example ,put some water into a plastic container with a slight crack,but the crack is tight against itself, maybe a you get a drip out of it,maybe not.  Now put a lid on it with a valve and put some air/  (pressure ) into it,watch the water pour out in seconds. 

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FYI, be mindful of the weight of the boat with water, can put some serious strain on the trailer. When you say it doesn’t have livewells, did it at one point? Is there a difference in the leak sitting in the water at the dock vs running around with it?


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All good points. It's an outboard. Boats never had any live wells in it. It's a 1975 starcraft, so very basic hull. It's getting about the same water coming in whether sitting still or moving. The more I think about it is coming through the bolts in the transom. The boat was halfway on the trailer the second time I was noticing it was leaking and the bow was out of the water. Hopefully Tuesday night I can splash it again now that the transom is sealed more to see

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The bilge exits near the top of the hull in the back on the left side. It is just a manual switch that I pull every so often.

 

The more I think about it, i think the water might be coming through the bolts that hold the power trim on. They go through the hull up a little higher. When the floor was out, the bottom bolt most likely wasnt under water. Now with more weight it is. I'll seal it up good and see. I definitely think the leak is coming from the transom area

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I also had leaks from the splash well down to the bottom of the boat. Along the transom.

My bilge outlet is on the side of the boat normally above water but when tipped the water rushed in thru the bilge pump. Bad location but a check valve fixed it for now.


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There's no leaks from the splashwell down into the bilge. When I rebuilt the transom last year I sealed that very well and don't see any coming in. 

 

Thanks everyone for the ideas. I'll keep you posted how the next water test goes.

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A,friends of mine has a starcraft 17 ft  70 s . His,leaked where the Transom met the  hull by the drain plugs . He had a friend who was a welder weld it some how . We thought it was the bolts also and it wasn't. 

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I have a star craft that I thought was leaking. It was my bulge pump. I had a hose on it extending into the water, when I turned it on it would pump all the water out of the boat but it would also prime the system so when i turned it off it would syphon water out of the lake through the pump. It was slow but it would be about 5 gallons in an hour or so. Took me 3 trips to figure out where it was coming from.
I cut the bulge exit line off above the water line and haven’t had any issues since.


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The live well pump in my boat cracked. It only leaked when I was under way. Sitting at the dock no leak at all. The bouncing opened the crack and I got about 5 gallons of water in 20 minutes. Luckily I found it before it broke completely and closed the valve to the pick up fitting.

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My concern is that it is what HB2 is talking about. There's seems to be some sort of rubber in the seam from the factory where the transom aluminum meets the floor aluminum down by the drain plug. Anyone have any ideas to fix or seal this riveted seam? 

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Well, I found the leak tonight. My dumb a** drilled a 3/16 inch hole through the boat when I riveted the floor down. I put a patch of jb water weld over it for bow and its holding. Now I've gotta find a more permanent fix. It's near the back of the boat so shouldn't take any pounding from waves. Atleast I found it, all though I am not happy with myself right now haha. I've got a buddy with a welding shop. Maybe he can patch it

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My boat had the same thing when I bought it. Never noticed the sheet metal screws and caulk for years until I did the floor.

I got the big rivets from traxstech and sealed up a few holes. some next to each other that i had to file down the rivets.

If u need one rivet and the big rivet tool let me know. Im in north greece.




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Smat64, thanks for the offer. I think that'll be the route I take if the jb weld patch doesn't hold. I'll see what happens in the next few months. 

 

Thanks to everyone for the ideas on the leak. I'm glad to have finally found it

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Well, I found the leak tonight. My dumb a** drilled a 3/16 inch hole through the boat when I riveted the floor down. I put a patch of jb water weld over it for bow and its holding. Now I've gotta find a more permanent fix. It's near the back of the boat so shouldn't take any pounding from waves. Atleast I found it, all though I am not happy with myself right now haha. I've got a buddy with a welding shop. Maybe he can patch it
Just put a quarter inch screw in it with sealant

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19 hours ago, sstout said:

Well, I found the leak tonight. My dumb a** drilled a 3/16 inch hole through the boat when I riveted the floor down. I put a patch of jb water weld over it for bow and its holding. Now I've gotta find a more permanent fix. It's near the back of the boat so shouldn't take any pounding from waves. Atleast I found it, all though I am not happy with myself right now haha. I've got a buddy with a welding shop. Maybe he can patch it

3/16 rivet with 5200 on it?

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