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phil17

Taking on water. Has this happened to you?

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phil17

I have a new 2007 VLX with about 20 hours. Last weekend we were on the lake just after out 10 hour service, cruising at a slow speed and all of the sudden the engine started losing power, the automatic bilge pump came on, and we started taking on water. I was in about 100' of water and my instinct was to head toward shallower water and to not stop moving as I feared I would take on water more quickly. I picked up my mobile phone and called the mobile phone of the service manager at my local dealer and quickly explained the situation. He asked if I had hit anything. When I responded no, he said to shut down the engine. I opened the engine compartment and plain as day I could see th problem. A hose became disconnected from a T valve. I believe this is the hose that brings water through the engine for cooling. Instead, it was filling the boat. After the bilge emptied the boat and we re-connected the hose, we were good to go.

I hope this is helpful for other new boaters as something to watch out for.

I am curious, does this type of situation happen often? Is it likely that these hoses come loose? Any feedback?

By the way, it was amazing that my Malibu Service Manager, Jon Compton, at Water Ski America in Dallas took my call on a Sunday afternoon and solved the problem in about 5 seconds! If he had not been available, I would likely have sunk the boat. Instead, I got to enjoy the rest of my weekend! Malibu is a great boat, and as a new boat owner, I have learned that you need to be just as selective with your dealership as you are with your boat. You are truly buying both and one without the other can ruin your experience. I did not purchase the boat at Water Ski America, but you better believe I will purchase my next boat there! Thank you Jon and water Ski America!

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No Wake Zone

Thanks for the tip. I can only imagine what would have been going through my mind if that had happened to me.

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WaveMake'nLSV

I would say that it is pretty rare. Although it does happen from time to time. Likely just a loose hose clamp is all.

Yeah...pretty smart to shut of the motor, since IT was the culprit. Guess it got hot and threw you into SAFE mode anyway. :unsure:

Have never had my boat worked on at a dealership, but when I winterize/de-winterize I always make sure all the hoses are secured firmly. I bet it will NEVER happen to you again.

Lesson learned tho, huh? Whistling.gif

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uk_exile
Thanks for the tip. I can only imagine what would have been going through my mind if that had happened to me.

I know the first thing through my mind would not be call the dealer ! It would be safety first. If boat was feeling really heavy and obviouosly taking on water it would be life jackets first (if not already on anyway as they would be in a big natural lake), lift engine cover, find the problem, hopefully make it safe and then later deal with who's fault it is and how to fully resolve the issue.

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Bill_AirJunky

Yea, I've seen or known several people who have been thru something similar. Heres one I was directly involved with that got pretty hairy.

We had just done a ski show on the Pit River in Vancouver BC. I can't remember the name of the waterfront shopping area, but I remember they had a Canadian Naval battleship & a Russian sub sitting there taking tours. We rode for over an hour while people stood on these ships & watched. At some point we notice we're taking on water. We pop the engine cover & notice a giant hole in the raw water intake hose. Apparently the alternator bracket had broken & it moved over & gouged the hose till it had a 2" or 3" hole in it. So obviously we shut the boat down to stop the pumping in of water & save the motor (which is starving for cool water). But the problem is we're in a river with a pretty good flow to it. So we rig an anchor & go to throw it over. Of course the rope is zinging thru our hands as we try to stop it. We wrap it around the extended pylon to try & get some leverage. Good thing there was 100' or more rope (and the depth wasn't more than about 30') because it took us a while to slow that thing down. So we tie it off & go to work on the raw water pump hose. Luckily there is enough hose length there so we can cut the bad section out, and reassemble things. As we're wrapping it up, I look up & there is a huge barge heading straight for us! It's close enough that we cut the anchor line, start the boat & buzz out of there in a hurry!

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trreid

Raw water intake mishaps are all too common in my experience- have had it happen several times over the years, and in every case it could have been prevented if I had taken the time to check hose clamps & connections after a service.

The last time, I was doing a pre-season shakedown run (February)- air was 60 deg, but water was around 50. My 5-year-old was on board with me- and when she noticed water coming over the floorboards around the engine box & said something. Pulled the cover to find outlet hose from raw water pump had come loose, & was pumping lakewater straight into the bilge. Bilge pump couldn't keep up.

Fortunately was able to fix this one on the spot. Imagine though, if I hadn't been so lucky- even with lifejackets, how long would a 5-year-old last in 50-degree water? Big lake, not a lot of traffic in Feburary. Not a happy thought.

It pays to be prepared- and I always check twice now.

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Stanley Wheelhouse

i feel your pain and had the same thing happen we almost sank. there was a recall on the hose. bought an extra hose that we keep on board. it is amazing that a small rubber hose can down an 85k boat

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mlange

My buddy's quick disconnect for draining the exhaust manifolds actually cracked on him this weekend. The funny thing is... when he put the boat in the bilge pump kicked in after just a minute or so. He opened up the engine box and noticed that he forgot to put the plug in. Thinking everything was cool, he continued on his merry little way and assumed the bilge pump would catch up sooner or later. Well, after another 5 minutes he says "what the f*ck", opens up the box again and sees the cracked quick disconnect spewing out water.

What are the odds of your quick disconnect cracking the same day you're dumb enough to put the boat in the water without the plug?

Mike

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Macutak

At the cost of relating my multiple stupid acts I will provide a possible helpful solution to keep in mind. I left a hose off after winterization once so the impeller was just pumping into the boat. In a panick, the decision to try and get to shore can be fatal because it only makes it worse the faster you try and get there, not to mention the overheat shut down that gives you the "I'm screwed" feeling that really can not be duplicated anywhere else but in your boat.

Also, if none of you have experience the "surprise...it's a new rock just under the surface in the middle of the channel" at Lake Powell, your in for a treat when despite every effort to avoid it, you rip your keel fins off in 250 feet of water with no shore to go to. They are made to pull out without ripping your hull open, but now you have 12 holes from the bolts and 6 of them are under your gas tank and center ballast tank (VLX).

Keep a cool head. Determine if it is engine related or otherwise so you do not make the problem worse by running the engine. When you are stupid, you also have to be creative in these situtations which requires thinking ahead so that you do not panic. I actually had assumed I would do something stupid some day and formed a plan. Water coming in faster than the bilge pump can bail? I have 4 visible Pirranna Ballast Pumps that pump 80 gallons a minute EACH, and all I have to do is shut the valve, take off the hose and unscrew it then put the hose back on. I did it and only needed two pumps to quickly drain the boat and rode 30 minutes to the trailer, where I easily bolted the fins back on and finished the vacation. If it had not been for the stupidity of causing the problem, I would have been patting myself on the back for being so intelligent. The hoses are on pretty good so be ready to pull hard. Hold the wiring straight up as you unscrew the pump. Make sure you keep your bilge area clean so that you do not suck up paper, wire clippings and jam up you ballast pump, cause then you are screwed.

you are now filling your ballast tanks, but when they are full, you are pumping out. (A good reason to not have auto shutoff switches when the ballast pumps are full...let your boarders tell you your tanks are full.) I would never want to give up the saftey and peace of mind I have knowing I can pump 320 gallons a minute if I want to while I plug a hole, fix a hose, shut an intake valve or replace a t-plug that some idiot forgot to put back in. Yes, I know, I am a genious. You have to be when you are also an idiot.

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