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Stik

Skeg Leak?

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Stik

I have a 2001 Sportster which has been leaking a considerable amount of water. So much water that the bilge pump almost needs to run non-stop.

I was hopeful it was simply some packing that needed replacing, but upon closer inspection it is clearly coming from forward of the motor (forward of the shield in front of the motor in the bilge). When I put the boat in the water, water is immediately visible in the hull coming from this area. There are no apparent entry points on the exterior of the hull and the water is coming from forward of the perfect pass speed wheel and raw water intake. I have no shower or fat sacks or any other intakes in the hull.

Is it possible there could be a leak behind the skegs? This seams to be the approximate location of the leak. Has anyone ever remove the skegs? Is it as simply as using an allen wrench to remove them?

Any help/suggestions is really appreciated,

Andy

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Bake's Marine

I have a 2001 Sportster which has been leaking a considerable amount of water. So much water that the bilge pump almost needs to run non-stop.

I was hopeful it was simply some packing that needed replacing, but upon closer inspection it is clearly coming from forward of the motor (forward of the shield in front of the motor in the bilge). When I put the boat in the water, water is immediately visible in the hull coming from this area. There are no apparent entry points on the exterior of the hull and the water is coming from forward of the perfect pass speed wheel and raw water intake. I have no shower or fat sacks or any other intakes in the hull.

Is it possible there could be a leak behind the skegs? This seams to be the approximate location of the leak. Has anyone ever remove the skegs? Is it as simply as using an allen wrench to remove them?

Any help/suggestions is really appreciated,

Andy

Easiest way to diagnose a water leak.

  • Is it hot or cold water? Hot - you know its engine water (heater hoses) cold, its lake water
  • Disconnect your battery or turn your battery switch off, fill your bilge with water (make sure not to get it so high that your starter or alternator gets wet. Look under the boat while its sitting on the trailer. Locate Any water leaking from any of the thru hull fittings/under water gear.

Some tracking fins are threaded into the glass some are thru-bolted.

Wish you the best.

-Paul

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eyepeeler

If you have looked everywhere and can't find the leak, sounds like the dreaded hydrobox failure :cry: . Have you ever hit anything with the underwater hardware? If you really like this boat and are going to keep it, get it checked/repaired ASAP. If you don't get it fixed then goes your steering cable, starter, and if your bilge pump fails you sink. :Doh: .

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Stik

Thanks for replies. Definitely not water from the engine cooling system. Water is cool and hoses/manifolds are not leaking.

I am not familiar with the "dreaded hydro-box failure," but I don't like the sound of it. The water does not appear to be entering the bilge from anywhere around the HDS. It is definitely entering the bilge from some point forward of where I can see in the motor box. Is there a space between the fiberglass hull and floor of the bilge? Could water from a leak in the hydro-box move forward in this space and then fill the bilge from a point forward in the hull?

The boat did (unfortunately) have a pretty spectacular encounter with a stump years ago. Dealer did an extensive repair. HDS I am sure was repaired/replaced at that point. Along with rudder box and shaft strut as well...

Thanks again for all the advice,

Andy

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WakingMeHappy

Park the boat level in your driveway. Turn on the garden hose and start filling up the boat. Crawl underneath and look for where the water is coming out.

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eyepeeler

Your HDS along with underwater hardware and fiberglass was repaired after hitting a stump. The repair should bring the boat up to specs and should be "guaranteed" unless another unfortunate incident should occur. Did the repair person stand by his work and give you a guarantee?

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wienrdog

Yes there is a hull/bilge liner. It typically extends from the back of the boat to just behind the pylon.

You should be able to remove the panel that hides the bilge pump with 4 screws. (I also have to remove one of the FIBECs vent covers to get mine off too.

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mattm

I had a similiar problem with a used '03 Sunsetter. I tightened the stuffing box, and re-caulked all the through-hulls (including the fins) to no avail. As with yours, I noticed the water was coming in forward of the engine in the area of the fins. Maybe, the previous owner hit something but I never was able to stop the leak.

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eyepeeler

I had a similiar problem with a used '03 Sunsetter. I tightened the stuffing box, and re-caulked all the through-hulls (including the fins) to no avail. As with yours, I noticed the water was coming in forward of the engine in the area of the fins. Maybe, the previous owner hit something but I never was able to stop the leak.

Sounds like another HDS. :Doh:

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BlastRlxi

Does the Sportster have a ski locker with drainplug? If so, is the drainplug missing?

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Stik

Lots of good replies. Thanks to all.

Tried some of the suggestions troubleshooting today.

First, with the boat level on the lift, filled bilge with water. No water dripping from any of the through hull fittings.

Second, removed the shield at forward part of the bilge and HDS (Hydro-Box) cover. There appears to be a small crack at the bottom of the HDS from which water is traveling under the bilge compartment and then out a small crevice forward of the shield that I had removed. I couldn't get enough water moving through this area to be sure, but I am hopeful (and somewhat confident) that this is the source of the water.

Unfortunately, I live across the country from where the original dealer repair was made so it will have to be someone new (and more money) making the repair. I am taking the boat to a glass shop tomorrow to get an estimate. I'll let you all know what I find.

Thanks again for the advice.

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eyepeeler

One last area to check. Get to a point under the propstrut where you can visually inspect the gelcoat surrounding the propstrut. If there are any cracks in this area you may need fiberglass work in this area as well. :cry:

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Stik

There are some very small cracks in the gel coat around the area of the prop strut. It doesn't appear to be anything that goes through to the glass. The cracks can not be seen on the other side of the strut (inside the hydro-box). Do you think water could be getting in there as well?

The glass guy looked at the crack in the hydro-box and agreed there would be a considerable amount of water coming through the route that I have described. Just $150 to clean and glass that area. I will get his take on the cracks in the gel coat around the strut as well. I am sure that repair will cost considerably more...

Thanks again for the input.

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