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    Water in bilge after running for an hour

    New boat to me, 2012 266 Discovery, Mercruiser 350 MPI, Bravo 3. Bought boat a week ago, standing water in aft bilge, bilge pump in, works fine, this was just the water that the bilge pump cant get out. I cleaned it all up, w towels, etc. dry as a bone when I left it. Came back next day after rain storm came through, the bilge was bone dry, so I know its not coming in from nature. Took the boat out for the first time yesterday, ran her for an hour or so, on/off plane, hit some good 3-4 footers, just getting the feel of the boat. Back at the dock, and sure enough got water in the bilge. There's enough where i know its not just from spray from running, this is coming in somewhere, hard to get into the engine compartment for a good look, but far as I can tell, no motor hose leaks, its coming in at the transom where the bottom of the out drive/motor meets the transom. I believe this is the spot b/c I can see dark (oil looking) staining in that area. Not enough water to even have the bilge pump activated, but I'd say over a pint, maybe 2 pints. I'm new to boating in general and definitely to an i/o setup, can anyone tell me if this is normal, abnormal, something I need to be concerned with, or just have it checked when I pull the boat out for the winter (she stays in salt water docked or moored).

    #2
    Most of the transom assembly is under water at rest, however the top is typically above water this is where the swivel shaft seal is and is a know source for leaking. If that’s it the swivel shaft is probably rusted and needs to be replaced.
    1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

    Mike

    Comment


      #3
      The point of water entry would suggest to me it could be drive bellows or shift cable bellows. If so...I would say its something you need to get addressed now...

      these are below the water line as boat is in slip...meaning they will continue to leak whether motoring or not....make sure you bilge float switch is working and you got charger hooked to bttry cuz that bilge pump will drain bttry if running a lot and then it gets ugly.

      being used you would need to have drive pulled and gimble bearing and bellows checked anyway....this just speeds that time table up a lot. Not sure on the shift cable boot for the bravo3, but mine failed on prior Alpha drive and that where it was coming into boat.

      For grins....you can go to boat with flashlight and watch that are of bilge....have someone crank her up and manipulate drive unit port and starboard and up and down in neutral obviously. If you see the flow coming increase as manipulated...money is on one of those bellows. If so...she needs to come out of water asap to avoid more expensive repairs.

      2008 H210SS Four Winns
      Volvo Penta 5.7 GISX
      Prior: 1997 2050SS Bayliner
      Brad / Texas Gulf Coast

      Comment


        #4
        Nauti_Mike Thank you for the response. I will have that checked.

        TX H210 SS Thank you for the response. It only built water in the bilge after running the boat. It was bone dry after I dried it out and checked it the next day, before we took the boat for a spin. Sounds like I should line up service sooner rather than later.

        Comment


          #5
          Here's a couple pics I tried to take of where the outdrive bolts to the transom, very difficult to access, but as you can see the remnants of previous build up of some sort of leak or water intrusion, it almost has an oily texture to it.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Dave Boroughes View Post
            Here's a couple pics I tried to take of where the outdrive bolts to the transom, very difficult to access, but as you can see the remnants of previous build up of some sort of leak or water intrusion, it almost has an oily texture to it.
            the oily texture is just that... its old bilge water, and will be present in all boats that dont get the bilge cleaned regularly....

            as for the water intrusion, if the picture shows a suspected leak, it would leak ALL the time and not just when the engine is running....

            it could be a loose clamp on one of the seawater lines in the engine compartment.... dry out the bilge and then run the engine while tied to the dock) NOT in gear) at about 1800 rpm and just let it run while you use a mirror to look and see where the water is coming from.....

            also.... make sure its not coming from a leak in the onboard freshwater system, that could be sloshing out when your boat is a rockin and a rollin over the wakes/waves



            NU LIBERTE'
            Salem, OR

            1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
            5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
            N2K equipped throughout..
            2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
            2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
            '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
            Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

            Comment


            • Dave Boroughes
              Dave Boroughes commented
              Editing a comment
              Centerline2 Thanks, I think my move is going to be to try and clean the bilge as much as i can, where i can, dry it out and then like you said, run the motor and watch, mirror is good idea, i doubt i can get in with the engine while it is running, that could be awfully painful... Then snap some more pics to see if i find wet spots/leaks anywhere. I haven't seen any leaks on the freshwater system, but i'll double check.

            #7
            Yeah bud, I'm no expert by any definition....just saying that since bought used and no idea of drive service history combined with saltwater use then you really need to have the drive checked anyway. Sooner to catch problems the cheaper they are.....its fixable no matter what, just hope the drive service kills two birds with one check.

            I've neglected to service mine and will be doing it and changing bellows this off season. Not as pressing for me as I'm on a trailer and no leaks.

            it could be other water sources too as you have alot of extra amenities on your boat than I do.

            as far as leaking while out and not sitting....my failed shift cable boot did same thing. I assumed the minor crack in the rubber boot closed under pressure of drive being down and straight, but as I motored and manipulated the drive then crack would open up.

            I scratched my head on several trips until I jumped back there while on water and had bud crank motor and work the drive.....I then saw a pissing stream of water on transom below the bell housing (guess that's what it is on boat).....its a free quick check though.

            no stream doesnt mean it's good, but yes stream means it's bad. Hopefully Lou or another knowledgeable boat mechanic will give advice. Im just offering food for thought based on my prior issues and have never had a bravo 3 drive
            2008 H210SS Four Winns
            Volvo Penta 5.7 GISX
            Prior: 1997 2050SS Bayliner
            Brad / Texas Gulf Coast

            Comment


            • Centerline2
              Centerline2 commented
              Editing a comment
              ........."on transom below the bell housing (guess that's what it is on boat)...
              the plate inside the hull against the transom would properly be called the transom plate assembly, as opposed to the gimbal housing assembly which bolts directly to the transom on the outside of the hull. the bolts pass thru the gimbal housing, thru the transom and thru the transom plate, and together they sandwich the transom to create a seal to make the installation cutout watertight.... the bell housing or drive hub housing bolts directly to the motor.

            #8
            After you dry everything up again stuff some paper towels around the suspected areas (shift cable bellow and upper squat shaft seal/steering arm pocket) this will help you locate the source as the paper towel will become saturated via the leak.
            Dave
            Edmonds, WA
            "THE FIX"
            '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
            (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
            The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
            Misc. projects thread
            https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

            Comment


              #9
              On my boat we recently found a small (drop by drop) leak coming from the bottom of the metal exhaust pipe going to the transom. There is some rust on the pipe also. Unfortunately this requires the engine to come out so we can access that area and replace the pipe and fix any other damage we can find. My boat spends almost 12 months in salt water so I don’t want to leave this unattended and fix it early to prevent the extent of the damage.

              good luck
              Retired, computer expert / executive
              Bayliner 285 Cruiser / Mercruiser QSD 4.2L 320 HP Diesel
              Live in the Bay Area, CA, USA, boat in Turkey
              D-Marin @ Turgutreis in Bodrum/Turkey
              [email protected]
              [email protected]

              Comment


                #10
                Is the water warm or cold? That may help determine if the system is leaking or its coming from outside. On my SeaRay with Alpha 1 G2 after 10 years I have a small leak in the bellows. Water would only enter the bilge will under way when the drive was trimmed up for cruising. When docked and the drive up with was dry.
                Also does your Speedometer work correctly? perhaps there is a hole in the speedometer tube.
                2016 Bayliner 215 Deck Boat
                Mercruiser 4.3 220 HP Alpha 1 Gen II

                2003 SeaRay 176 SRX Bowrider
                Mercruiser 3.0 135 HP Alpha 1 Gen II

                1988 Sunbird 170 Bowrider
                Evinrude 88 Special

                1970 Salem Skiff 13.5 foot
                1992 Johnson 40HP.

                Comment


                  #11
                  Finally got down to the boat today and completely cleaned out the bilge... boy am I going to be sore tomorrow, at one point I was pretty sure I was stuck and my phone wasn't close by, lets just say its a good thing I've already had kids! So, after I cleaned it, I started the motor, let it run 5 minutes, shut off and checked for leaks, nothing. Then I started the motor again, while steering the wheel back and forth for another few minutes, shut it off and checked, no leaks, finally I started the motor and trimmed the drive up and down and up and down a few times, shut it down and checked, no leaks. So, I'm thinking this is happening while under way, which many of you have mentioned. Hopefully be able to take the boat out this weekend and check that, I will let you know.

                  Centerline2 Tried [email protected] dock today, no leak detected. Fresh water plumbing seems fine, I think I'd see water in other areas if that was the culprit, but you never know.

                  TX H210 SS Thanks for the note, that could be my issue too

                  builderdude Will try paper towels next time out

                  MonteVista Engine has to come out to change exhaust?? Damn that's a bummer...

                  Waterdowg I'll check when I return from next time out. Could be either of those issues, speedo only really is good after 10kts.
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                  Comment


                    #12
                    Your last pic in post 11 shows some staining in the area of the upper square shaft (steering shaft).
                    Click image for larger version

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                    Dave
                    Edmonds, WA
                    "THE FIX"
                    '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
                    (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
                    The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
                    Misc. projects thread
                    https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

                    Comment


                    • Dave Boroughes
                      Dave Boroughes commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yes, it certainly does. I'll have to check closer next time at the boat, this would be a leak while steering, correct? What would you think the problem could be? Something that can be addresses when I have the out-drive serviced for the winter? The seller never had the out drive off, only changed the gear lube, so I know I'm in for a good bit of work on the drive when it gets serviced, I want to be good to go for a few years anyway... Thank you

                    #13
                    If this is where the waters getting in it’ll be a compromised square shaft seal. I believe Mike had mentioned this earlier. Not the simplest thing to replace but could be done while the drive is being serviced. You’ll need a new seal and square shaft and will likely want to upgrade to the stainless steel version.
                    again, to ensure this is the culprit tuck a dry paper towel loosely just under the steering arm to see if it gets wet.
                    Dave
                    Edmonds, WA
                    "THE FIX"
                    '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
                    (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
                    The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
                    Misc. projects thread
                    https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

                    Comment


                      #14
                      Just a simple thought....after reading original post again, there had been a rain storm before boat went out for the cruise. I know bilge was dry before the trip, but is it possible there was rain water toward the bow and other collection points that may have merely made it's way to bilge as the bow raised while underway.

                      Not familiar with interior of that boat but I know mine had collection wells in front of pass thru drains in my floor ski locker.....in assume they're there to allow drain to be set lower.

                      just something to ponder.....I washed out and towel dried my bilge while on the trailer last week. Before parking her in barn I backed into the slight ditch along the drive....I watched it drain a steady stream for several minutes when at first glance all water should have been out. Mine is a baby boat compared to your boat.

                      not saying to disregard and not continue to check....just saying assuming worst before knowing the answer is wasted stress
                      2008 H210SS Four Winns
                      Volvo Penta 5.7 GISX
                      Prior: 1997 2050SS Bayliner
                      Brad / Texas Gulf Coast

                      Comment


                      • rbcooper
                        rbcooper commented
                        Editing a comment
                        A very astute observation. There may be water collecting in the forward sections that get "washed down" to the aft when the bow rises to get on plane.

                      #15
                      If the 266 is like my 98 2655 (I know they are different designs per se) then it is very possible that water from the forward bilge compartments can drain back once underway. I went thru the same scenario last year. On mine it was the A/C unit condenser drain goes right into the forward bilge. Didn't realize that. And sitting still it didn't accumulate enough water to flow back for the short time it was run. But it did drain back the first time we went out after the A/C had been run.

                      So if your boat has a drain pile from the forward bilge compartment to the rear bilge any water getting into the forward area may not drain back well or at all until the bow is raised. Then the hunt will be how it gets into the forward bilge.
                      1998 BL Ciera 2655 Sunbridge LX (Special Edition)
                      "Sea Flights"
                      5.7L 2bbl w/Thunderbolt Ignition and raw water cooling
                      A​​​​​​lpha I Gen II Sterndrive/1.45:1 gears
                      M15.25 X 15P Black Max prop
                      MFG Extra's - A/C, Fresh Water Engine Flush port, HWH and Windlass
                      Docks @ Punta Gorda, Florida

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