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Water in the Bilge issue, I need some suggestions...FIRST POST-gctid392839

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    Water in the Bilge issue, I need some suggestions...FIRST POST-gctid392839

    I bought a 1990 Cirra Sunbridge 2255 a few years ago. She has been a little small, but an absolutely fantastic boat. I spent years looking for her and when I saw her I knew she was the perfect boat for me! However, from the first test drive it had water in the bilge. The owner of the marina from whom I bought it from and his first mate who helped sell her to me both assured me it wasn't a big deal and not to worry about it. So, since they seemed like decent guys/boaters/businessmen who also sell $200k formulas and because I was failrly new to boating, I believed them. It has and is always been the same amount of water, just barely below the float for the automatic bilge pumps, except after taking her out and running her.

    Well, I dropped her in the water Saturday, before we even left the dock within 10-25 minutes the bilge was full again, right to below the pumps. I know the the leak isnt too bad, because I checked immediatley after I dropped her in and I didnt see any water, but when I opened up the engine hatch right before we left the ramp, it was a familiar picture. Yes, I left her at the ramp (not unattended for 15 minutes, while I took my trailer home...). We had a great day on the water, She ran great with four adults on board. As we were going back to the dock, I turned on my bilge pumps and they started pouring out water. We got to the dock and I turned them off, switched off the battery, covered he back up and left for the night. I went back the next morning and she was quiet as could be. However, When I steped on to the swim platform the float engaged and started the bilge pumps and out came the water, before I was able to un botton the canvas and look insdie the engine compartment the pumps turned off...I do not have shore power, YET. That will probably be one of my next posts(should I put this in myself....?I have a few friends who are electricians who should be able to help...

    To make a long story short, I pulled her out on Sunday and I'm determined to have her dry and stay dry, because I plan on keeping her for some time, and since I'm no longer new to boating I know that having a significant amount of water sitting in her bilge all summer is not a good thing and will significantly reduce her life expectancy. AND I mean significant because the amount of water that comes out of her drain when I unscrew the drain plug is a HECK of a lot more than what Im seeing when I open the engine hatch...

    So I'm looking for some suggestions on how to troubleshoot the issue(s).

    Im thinking of taking her to the steapest ramp or hill near me and filling the bilge up to water up to the point right before the engine or any other components that shouldnt get wet and trying to see where the water exits?

    I know this isnt the most scientific way but that is all I got so far?

    What would the pro's do?

    Any suggestions on what to be looking for and how to check/peform them are greatly appreciated!?

    Could be your drive boot...check it next time you haul it out...look at the hose clamps...they may be SS bands but I bet the screw part is not. Also...with the boat in the water engine for silence on the deck..lift the engine cover and then might hear a trickle.


    Ft Myers
    Vic Stewart SN
    Past Commander
    Cape Fear Power Squadron
    Ft Myers Power Squadron
    1998 2859 7.4 L/B2
    Raw water cooled


      If you can find the leak when she's in the water that's the best. Sponge the bilge COMPLETLY DRY and follow the direction of the source. It's way easier said than done and some areas won't be accessable but you should at least narrow the location down to a small area. Around the outdrive and any through hull fittings are first priority.


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          I boat in salt water. When I take the plug out, if any water comes out, I taste it. Not salty? I don't worry about it, it's from my washdown.

          Salty? Did I take any water over the bow? No? Then I have a leak.
          Tally and Vicki
          "Wickus" Meridian 341
          MMSI 338014939


            Thanks for the quick and serious suggestions! I will try them all, but I dont think I can $pring for the fibre optic camera, I may know a plumber who has one though...

            I actually saw the clamps tonight and thought the same thing after I got home when I was looking for my outdrive model to post, its a merc, I think Alpha one, but its been corroded and needs a new paint job, because I found out that my sacrifical anode was gone a little to late last year, but that is onther post...

            I boat on Lake Erie in Cleveland(Eastside) and may be utilizing the taste test method one day, you definitely gave me something to think about for further troubleshooting.

            I've tried the dryout method using a mini shop vac, but the leak was/ and hopefully still is so slow to wait out, especially after a number of beers....I think.... I think it is(one of the possible leaks is) on the upper right side of the transom/ drive boot area behind the engine in a position where I couldn't get to to even watch for a extended period of time....That is why I am thinking of trying the fill up the bilge ramp method...first...

            So in your opinions, can 3-4 full summers of being docked in the water all summer do enough damage to the stringers, transom, bilge or other any other area for me to be worried about?

            When I bougth the boat it was in the water, but I was told the previous owner had it dry docked for years...

            Thanks again guys!


              Another possible issue is rain water getting in when on trailer and moving from under fuel tank to back of bilge when you put boat up on plane.