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How Much Water is Normal?


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I've owned my 1998 response lx for a year now, and have gotten a lot of good use but continue to be plagued by water in the bilge. One a typical day on the water (calm conditions) it seems within a few hours there will be around .5-1 inch of water in the bilge. There is not enough that it is tripping the automatic bilge, although I typically run the bilge for 20-30 seconds every few hours so it may not have enough time to get that far. I have kept the boat in the water in a slip for a few overnights and typically there is enough water in the bilge that it takes about 30 seconds to pump out prior to starting the boat the first time for the day.

Since I have owned the boat, I have had the HDS repaired with fiberglass (keeping the box in tact), and most recently had a "shaft log" installed. Still, a small amount of water (around 4-5 cups) seeps into the open box of the open HDS on a given day, and water makes it into other parts of the bilge as I mentioned above. I have had the fiberglass work done through a "professional" who has said he will stand by his work, although every time I go back it costs me a 4 hour drive and significant hassle.

My question to other owners of DD boats with the HDS (especially in the 8-12 yr old range) is how much water do you normally take on in the course of a day, and is it ever enough to trip the auto bilge? Talking to Malibu the company line is that the boat should only take on about a drip every 30 seconds through the shaft packing, although I have heard from other's familiar with tournament boats that "they all take on water". What I am trying to figure out is if I am expected too much out of the water-tight integrity of my 11 yr old boat or if I should be taking more steps to troubleshoot.

Thanks for the help in advance; if you can specifically tell me about how much water you see in your bilge during a normal day that would be much appreciated.

Ryan

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I can't comment on the DD aspect, but I can comment on a V-Drive and I/O. Last year, during the entire summer, we had no water in the bildge at all. The only water tha came into the boat was from over the bow as we got used to driving.

Our I/O on the other hand had water coming in about the rate that you specified. Never had a problem with it.

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I've owned my 1998 response lx for a year now, and have gotten a lot of good use but continue to be plagued by water in the bilge. One a typical day on the water (calm conditions) it seems within a few hours there will be around .5-1 inch of water in the bilge. There is not enough that it is tripping the automatic bilge, although I typically run the bilge for 20-30 seconds every few hours so it may not have enough time to get that far. I have kept the boat in the water in a slip for a few overnights and typically there is enough water in the bilge that it takes about 30 seconds to pump out prior to starting the boat the first time for the day.

Since I have owned the boat, I have had the HDS repaired with fiberglass (keeping the box in tact), and most recently had a "shaft log" installed. Still, a small amount of water (around 4-5 cups) seeps into the open box of the open HDS on a given day, and water makes it into other parts of the bilge as I mentioned above. I have had the fiberglass work done through a "professional" who has said he will stand by his work, although every time I go back it costs me a 4 hour drive and significant hassle.

My question to other owners of DD boats with the HDS (especially in the 8-12 yr old range) is how much water do you normally take on in the course of a day, and is it ever enough to trip the auto bilge? Talking to Malibu the company line is that the boat should only take on about a drip every 30 seconds through the shaft packing, although I have heard from other's familiar with tournament boats that "they all take on water". What I am trying to figure out is if I am expected too much out of the water-tight integrity of my 11 yr old boat or if I should be taking more steps to troubleshoot.

Thanks for the help in advance; if you can specifically tell me about how much water you see in your bilge during a normal day that would be much appreciated.

Ryan

I think that the drip rate is supposed to be a bit more than 1 drip every 30 seconds, but others can comment more intelligently on that. I do know that packing wears out over time. Is that something that has been addressed? I would assume so if you had a shaft log installed, but it's worth asking. Also, do you have any accessories such as a shower or heater that could be leaking, or do you know for a fact that the water is coming through the hull?

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Want a easy way to trouble shoot if you have a leak? With your boat on the trailer, Turn off your battery switch or disconnect your battery (so bilge does not kick on), stick a garden hose in your bilge, fill the bilge and ski locker up (don't let the water level reach components like the starter) Then wait for water to start dripping at a thru hull fitting, under water gear, shaft seal, etc. Then make your repair. Every spot is possible and I've seen it all from a loose under water gear bolt, poor seal on a exhaust port, etc. etc.

I've always been told at service training that the shaft packing seal drip every 10 seconds is normal with the boat in the water. You can tighten shaft seal as tighter if you like, but you will be replacing the shaft seal more often (but not dealing with as much water in the bilge)

I had a 98 Response and after a day of boating there always seemed to be a few gallons of water in the bilge.

Hope this helped.

-Paul

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One addition to the above test. If water level will be as high as shaft packing, tighten slightly before test and then loosen same amount and check drip rate next time running boat. Without tightening (or in some other way sealing off the packing nut) water dripping from the shaft opening may be a false reading.

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Here's a few add ons and thanks for the replies so far-

I have filled the boat up with water in the driveway- prior to the shaft log install the only place it was leaking was was through the shaft. Since the install I have not checked this but will do it again. Thanks for the tip w/ tightening the shaft packing prior to the test- I will try that. I am suspecting that the rate of water leaking is low enough that I may not be able to see a leak clearly from only the water pressure present from the fill up inside the bilge- we'll see though.

I have had a speedometer leak fixed since I have owned the boat as well. I don't think that is leaking anymore, although in order to tell the first time the tank had to be removed, so short of doing that I don't know how to know for sure. Does anyone have a good suggestion for checking if speedos leak without tank removal? Will I be able to see a speedo leak by filling up the bilge with water in the driveway?

The shaft packing has been tightened recently, so I don't think the majority of the water coming in the boat is due to this.

Tracking fins have also been removed and resealed.

Ryan

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Shower? Heater?

Have you looked at the engine at speed? I've seen situations where things look fine while the engine is idling, but when it gets going will present a leak somewhere, usually at somewhere like the tranny cooler or a large hose fitting like that (there are various areas where that can present). There's no other way to check it either, because running it in the driveway even at a higher rpm won't force enough water through the system.

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There is one more source of water ... especially if you have kids. I comes when you climb in the boat after skiing or swimming and can amount to quite a bit over the course of a day.

I would not view the amount of water your seeing as overly excessive. However, we ski non-stop and every time someone re-enters the boat, we get more water.

/Steve

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Here's a few add ons and thanks for the replies so far-

I have filled the boat up with water in the driveway- prior to the shaft log install the only place it was leaking was was through the shaft. Since the install I have not checked this but will do it again. Thanks for the tip w/ tightening the shaft packing prior to the test- I will try that. I am suspecting that the rate of water leaking is low enough that I may not be able to see a leak clearly from only the water pressure present from the fill up inside the bilge- we'll see though.

I have had a speedometer leak fixed since I have owned the boat as well. I don't think that is leaking anymore, although in order to tell the first time the tank had to be removed, so short of doing that I don't know how to know for sure. Does anyone have a good suggestion for checking if speedos leak without tank removal? Will I be able to see a speedo leak by filling up the bilge with water in the driveway?

The shaft packing has been tightened recently, so I don't think the majority of the water coming in the boat is due to this.

Tracking fins have also been removed and resealed.

Ryan

When you say the shaft packing has been tightened recently, was this done on the water or on the trailer? Was it done when the new shaft log was installed? Maybe it was tightened approximately to the right spot. Either way, you need to check the drip rate on the water with the boat at rest and while running. Adjust the packing nut so that it drips at about 1 drip every ten seconds, then run the boat to make sure the packing gland doesn't start to heat up. If it does, the packing is too tight. The amount of water in the boat sounds about right for a loose shaft packing.

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I haven't tightened the shaft packing since the shaft long install. I will look at it more closely this weekend when I am out on the water and get back to you guys. I will also take a look at the hoses (trans cooler, etc) under power to make sure they are not leaking.

I do not have a shower or heater on the boat.

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I haven't tightened the shaft packing since the shaft long install. I will look at it more closely this weekend when I am out on the water and get back to you guys. I will also take a look at the hoses (trans cooler, etc) under power to make sure they are not leaking.

I do not have a shower or heater on the boat.

I have a 2000 Response and it does not leak at all, I replaced the packing with the dripless packing and it does not leak one bit. If we are skiing we get some water from the wet suits and vest. If we are not skiing it stays bone dry and the boat has 649 hours on it.

Terry

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