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tnsouthpaw

Boat taking on water?

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tnsouthpaw

Took my VLX out for the first ride of the year today and noticed that the (bilge?) pump dispensed water out of the front right drain hole for nearly two hours. While on the lake I opened the compartment to the drain plug and it was nearly 1/2 full. I watched it for a few minutes and the water level would drop but then fill back up. When I got the boat back on the trailer water (full stream) poured out of a drain hole under the wedge for more than 5 minutes. Do I have a leak somewhere or is there a part that's possibly worn out? I usually have a little water but never this much. Any ideas?

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Bobby Light

Took my VLX out for the first ride of the year today and noticed that the (bilge?) pump dispensed water out of the front right drain hole for nearly two hours. While on the lake I opened the compartment to the drain plug and it was nearly 1/2 full. I watched it for a few minutes and the water level would drop but then fill back up. When I got the boat back on the trailer water (full stream) poured out of a drain hole under the wedge for more than 5 minutes. Do I have a leak somewhere or is there a part that's possibly worn out? I usually have a little water but never this much. Any ideas?

If you had a stream coming out of the drain plug when it was installed in the boat I'd say you have an issue with the drain plug. I hate to even ask but was the drain plug installed in the boat? It seems like it had to have been or you probably would have sunk but I don't see any other way you would have a full stream coming out of the drain hole if the plug was installed.

Edited by 06vlx

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Soon2BV

I am guessing the drain plug was not in.

Water will come in, but underway the pressure difference can actually pull the water out of the bilge area.

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tnsouthpaw

The drain plug was in. When I trailered the boat, I removed the drain plug and it was tight as usual. Wait, is there more than one drain plug?

Any other ideas?

Edited by tnsouthpaw

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Ndawg12

Then, I doubt it has anything to do with your drain plug. It sounds like what ever caused the leak, your bilge was able to keep up...just barely. Also your bilge will only fill up to the water line, or how deep the boat sits in the water, which is kinda what Soon2BV was eluding to. It could be a whole host of possiblities, fill your bilge with a water hose and see where the leak is from underneath, should be apparent, unless it's a ballast fitting issue.

Edited by Ndawg12

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NorCaliBu

The packing gland on the driveshaft. Over the winter lay-up the stuffing material that creates the seal will shrink up as it dries out and will allow excessive leaking when the boat sees water again. Ideally you should see a drip rate of one drip every ten seconds or so. If drip rate is greater than that you'll need to loosen the jam nut on the packing gland and then tighten down the adjusting nut. after adjusting don't forget to retighten the jam nut. Next time on the water check the drip rate and loosen or tighten as needed...it's a trial and error type thing.

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NorCaliBu

And yes there is more than one plug.

You should also check all of your ballast inlets and make sure none have broken or become detached.

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RTS

And yes there is more than one plug.

You should also check all of your ballast inlets and make sure none have broken or become detached.

My boat has three drain plugs...The T-handle one near the engine, one in the transom and one in the ski locker.

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WakeGirl

He doesn't say what year his VLX is, but typically there is one in the transom, a t-handle next to the tranny/vdrive & the t-handle in the compartment next to the driver.

Sounds like an awful lot of water even for a packing gland. I'd be looking at all of those plug fittings to make sure that there isn't a failure occurring, as well as the ballast pumps & fittings. He'll also want to check the engine itself, sometimes hoses don't get put back properly & even if it doesn't show up at rest or at idle, sometimes a leak can become profound at a higher rpms. Having someone that you trust drive while you check that is really the only way, since you shouldn't rev the engine in the driveway on a fake a lake.

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ac88926

I had the same issue with my 2000 vlx when i got it. Turned out to be the packing gland. it would take on a lot of water in a very short time. good news is it was fixed. Bad news was the dealership charged me 200 in labor and the part only cost 4 bucks.....

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Bill_AirJunky

I had the same issue with my 2000 vlx when i got it. Turned out to be the packing gland. it would take on a lot of water in a very short time. good news is it was fixed. Bad news was the dealership charged me 200 in labor and the part only cost 4 bucks.....

I saved the 200 in labor but believe me, it's a PITA. I used the "semi-dripless" packing sold by skidim.com.... I believe I read that it's made out of Gortex. It definitely leaks less than the wax/rope thing did.

To the OP, drain the bilge & open your back seat. Look under the v-drive at the packing around the prop shaft. It'll be easy to see it leaking if thats the culprit.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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WakingMeHappy

The packing gland on the driveshaft. Over the winter lay-up the stuffing material that creates the seal will shrink up as it dries out and will allow excessive leaking when the boat sees water again. Ideally you should see a drip rate of one drip every ten seconds or so. If drip rate is greater than that you'll need to loosen the jam nut on the packing gland and then tighten down the adjusting nut. after adjusting don't forget to retighten the jam nut. Next time on the water check the drip rate and loosen or tighten as needed...it's a trial and error type thing.

:plus1:

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Ndawg12

He doesn't say what year his VLX is, but typically there is one in the transom, a t-handle next to the tranny/vdrive & the t-handle in the compartment next to the driver.

Sounds like an awful lot of water even for a packing gland. I'd be looking at all of those plug fittings to make sure that there isn't a failure occurring, as well as the ballast pumps & fittings. He'll also want to check the engine itself, sometimes hoses don't get put back properly & even if it doesn't show up at rest or at idle, sometimes a leak can become profound at a higher rpms. Having someone that you trust drive while you check that is really the only way, since you shouldn't rev the engine in the driveway on a fake a lake.

:plus1: Easy to check your drip rate as stated above but pumping continuous for 2 hours...I'm betting on a ballast fitting or something else.

Edited by Ndawg12

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tnsouthpaw

Update: problem solved. I dropped it off at the dealership and they solved the problem in 30 seconds. The rear drain plug, where all of the water was draining, was missing. Hmmm...I nominate myself for the Idiot Award of the Week.

Not sure how the plug went missing, but I'm guessing when the dealer winterized it last fall they forgot to put it back in....maybe they had one left over and were just waiting for someone to show up? I don't know, just glad it was a simple and free fix.

Thank you all for the great feedback and suggestions.

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shawndoggy

Well it's certainly good to know that the boat won't sink without it, eh?

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RTS

Don't thank us, thank your bilge pump. That lil fella saved you from some major headaches. :)

I have launched with my rear plug out (after dealership service, of course, cough, cough). My problem was that the bilge pump did not work. Luckily, I noticed the light for the pump on the dash was lit, and when I went to 'investigate' saw all that water coming in, and was able to get back to the trailer before it got serious.

It happens to most of us at one time or another (launching without a plug in)...find out where all your plugs are and make it a point to check them before launching.

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tnsouthpaw

ha, so true. i'd hate to sink her over a $5 part.

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NorCaliBu

When you said...

...When I got the boat back on the trailer water (full stream) poured out of a drain hole under the wedge for more than 5 minutes...

I assumed that you meant that you took the plug out and then the water drained out.

:Doh:

You might want to familiarize yourself with your boat just a wee bit more. :crazy:

:lol:

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WakingMeHappy

Update: problem solved. I dropped it off at the dealership and they solved the problem in 30 seconds. The rear drain plug, where all of the water was draining, was missing. Hmmm...I nominate myself for the Idiot Award of the Week.

Not sure how the plug went missing, but I'm guessing when the dealer winterized it last fall they forgot to put it back in....maybe they had one left over and were just waiting for someone to show up? I don't know, just glad it was a simple and free fix.

Thank you all for the great feedback and suggestions.

All in favor… :plus1:

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WakeGirl

We've all been eligible for that award at one time or another. Don't sweat it, lesson learned.

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mcbean7

At least we can laugh about it now versus crying over a sunken boat. Lesson learned. :clap:

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