Jump to content

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

How do I find where my boat is leaking?


GrahamM

Recommended Posts

Hey,

I have a 2005 VLX which I got this year, and I live on a lake so it's out there... I got a lift, but its not functional yet (my levelling job was less then superb. However, this allowed me to figure out my boat has a slow leak... What is the best way to figure out what is leaking? Should I be concerned? After 24 hours there is enough water in the bilge that the bilge pump will run for about 2-3 minutes to clear out the water... so it's a fair bit of water.

Also, any idea on how much that affects the battery? If I were to leave power from one battery would the bilge pump totally drain the battery?

Thanks,

Graham

Link to comment

You own an inboard. They come from the factory with water in them :biggrin: Seriously, my guess would be the packing gland. Do a search on how to tighten your packing nut and see if that helps.

  • Like 3
Link to comment

You could pull the boat out of the water and fill the bilge with a few inches of water. Eventually after watching if for long enough, you'll see the water leaking out of the boat. Kind of a low tech version, but it should work.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

I'd also vote to check the packing gland first. The first time out this year, I was checking things over and had a pretty steady drip coming through mine.

Link to comment

The bilge pump draws a pretty low amperage, so it would take a lot of running to get the battery dead. But I would still move to get this fixed.

I am going through the same thing right now. My 2006 247 has a couple of inches of water in it after 2 hours on the lake. My buddy's is bone dry.

Link to comment

Also check drain plugs and the rudder assembly. I had an older inboard that had a slow leak for the rudder -- needed new seals and recaulked into place.

Link to comment

Hey guys. I fought a leak like this on my 05 X2 for 2 years. First I thought it was the front ballast bag, then the shaft packing. I was convinced it was the shaft packing. Water seemed only to leak into the boat when we were using it. After a few runs, coming off plane the auto bilge would kick on. Boat stored on a lift, too. Thankfully Chuck from Sundance Marine in Spokane made a house call to our lift. He said shaft packing looked good. The guy is a miracle worker. He took it for a test drive and discovered one of the hoses that came off the impeller housing was a bit off. The thing would only leak water under a heavy load! The problem stemmed from when we had the MC dealer in Spokane change the impeller. THEY DIDN'T PUT THE HOSE BACK ON CORRECTLY. (muffler in the way to change the impeller the easy way). So, my guess 1) Shaft packing 2) hose leak under load somewhere. Good luck guys......

Edited by skurfer
Link to comment

Hey guys. I fought a leak like this on my 05 X2 for 2 years. First I thought it was the front ballast bag, then the shaft packing. I was convinced it was the shaft packing. Water seemed only to leak into the boat when we were using it. After a few runs, coming off plane the auto bilge would kick on. Boat stored on a lift, too. Thankfully Chuck from Sundance Marine in Spokane made a house call to our lift. He said shaft packing looked good. The guy is a miracle worker. He took it for a test drive and discovered one of the hoses that came off the impeller housing was a bit off. The thing would only leak water under a heavy load! The problem stemmed from when we had the MC dealer in Spokane change the impeller. THEY DIDN'T PUT THE HOSE BACK ON CORRECTLY. (muffler in the way to change the impeller the easy way). So, my guess 1) Shaft packing 2) hose leak under load somewhere. Good luck guys......

You said on an MC right? And a MC dealer did your service right? Hmmm ... :whistle:

I've seen a few 05 VLX's that had the dripless packing installed from the factory, definately worth a look but also look at all ballast fittings, rudder assembly, swim platform mounts, check the winterization guide to make sure all water carrying hose (clamps) are tight, and of course, make sure sure all your plugs are screwed in tight.

Link to comment

OP, is your leak during use or sitting in the water?

Mine leaks when it is just sitting in the water, although it is a very slow leak.

I think I'll start looking at the shaft packing first. Thanks for all the ideas, hopefully it'll help me out!

Link to comment

Mine leaks when it is just sitting in the water, although it is a very slow leak.

I think I'll start looking at the shaft packing first. Thanks for all the ideas, hopefully it'll help me out!

i am about to switch out to the gortex packing in my 2002 before i go out the first time. Should keep my bilge much drier than the factory waxed rope.

Link to comment

You said on an MC right? And a MC dealer did your service right? Hmmm ... :whistle:

Yes!!! :( They also ran our boat out of gas on the fake-a-lake while my brother and cousin were standing right there! So, to no surprise the dreaded MC fuel pump failed as soon as we got it to the lake 2.5 hours away! To our defense, we just bought the boat and didn't know it didn't have any gas in it? After this we switched service to the BU dealer, but they weren't much better. Thank God we found Chuck at Sundance! He has been top notch! I hear the MC dealer is better, haven't heard about the BU dealer, though?

Link to comment

Yes!!! :( They also ran our boat out of gas on the fake-a-lake while my brother and cousin were standing right there! So, to no surprise the dreaded MC fuel pump failed as soon as we got it to the lake 2.5 hours away! To our defense, we just bought the boat and didn't know it didn't have any gas in it? After this we switched service to the BU dealer, but they weren't much better. Thank God we found Chuck at Sundance! He has been top notch! I hear the MC dealer is better, haven't heard about the BU dealer, though?

Not to talk smack....... but I had a couple of bad experiences with Alpine Haus (the old MC dealer in the Kan). And have heard multiple bad experiences with WA Watersport (the new dealer). Most recent one was when they didn't winterize an X30 properly & it cost them a transmission. :Doh:

Or there was the X1 they sold to my neighbor with an X2 cover.... he was too embarrassed to ask why he couldn't get it to fit properly (pickle fork vs conventional bow). I spotted him fighting it one day & asked what the problem was. Took them a month to find the right cover.

That all came into play when it was time for me to buy a new boat.

I've been doing my own maintenance on my Vride. But occasionally I need help with instruction or a part & the Yacht Club has been great in that respect.

Link to comment

I had a slow leak too, although mine was when I was on the lake. I keep it on a trailer so it only leaked on the lake. Same thing, the bilge pump would come on when going on/off a plain and going on the trailer. Turned out when the factory installed the muffler, there wasn't enough clearance between the water pump pulley and the body of the muffler so after a while a small hole developed and it leaked. After that was fixed, there was still a lot of water in the boat, so again the stuffing box was adjusted. Didn't help. So one day on the lake I had my wife drive at an idle and I crawled all over the engine. I finally found water pouring down the port side of the engine. It was like someone turned on a tap. I have the hammerhead in my 07 sunscape. So off to the dealer I go again with dreaded thoughts of water getting in the cylinders and the rest of the engine. Thankfully, the boat was still under warranty. The dealer removed the port exhaust manifold and found a casting defect. There was a small hole in the side of the manifold in a spot you couldn't see when it was installed. So they put a new manifold on and I haven't had a problem since. Thankfully the boat was under warranty, the new manifold was $1500!!! Anybody else had a manifold fail? I hope the other manifold doesn't fail...lol

Link to comment

Not to talk smack.......

I've been doing my own maintenance on my Vride. But occasionally I need help with instruction or a part & the Yacht Club has been great in that respect.

Bill, you referred my to the BU dealer :whistle: Not to talk smack, but here is my experience with the BU dealer. IMO, not any better. Every dealer has stories:

You may remember me after our troubles with the MC dealer. I have a 2005 X2. Your service department is barely better. Not much luck with James. 2 weeks late in getting our boat summerized and the water leak is NOT fixed after I told them to fix it. It's hard for me to understand. I was willing to PAY to get the leak fixed. No water test? The tech. said he was not trained to fix shaft packings?? Are you kidding me? Also, I sent MC calipers to replace the REAR calipers on our trailer. They replaced the RIGHT calipers leaving the left rear caliper stuck. We had to take time out of our vacation to tow the trailer 2.5 hours back. They've had our trailer ALL summer and it's still not fixed. Never an update phone call. I've always had to call them. You can let your sales manager know that your service department most likely has cost you a sale of a VTX.

On top of that. They made me pay a $600+ bill for the left caliper before I could take the trailer after they told me they would take care of it?????????

Edited by skurfer
Link to comment
  • 5 years later...

I have an 07 Sunsetter and have had a leak for several year driving me nutts.  I filled the boat with water until it started coming out the hole where the propeller shaft runs.  I have been wanting to take off the plate over the drive shaft (direct drive) and see if I see any leaks but the plate is difficult to remove.  Afraid I'll cause damage.  Boat takes on more water while running under a load but now it leaks when boat is sitting in water.  I did replace the empeller shaft thing, it was leaking badly but still seeing water.  I''ll check the manifolds again, but it disturbs me that the boat now takes on water sitting in lake.  Bilge pump takes care of it, but the leak is driving me nuts.  My ski compartment always gets full of water and I have to suck it out with a shop vac after lake trips.

Bob

Link to comment

Shaft packing,rudder packing, tracking fins, wedge bolts,swim platform mount bolts. Aside the engine components about all I can think of. Could be heater core if you have a heater but I would think you'd notice it on the floor

Link to comment
4 hours ago, bwright25 said:

I have an 07 Sunsetter and have had a leak for several year driving me nutts.  I filled the boat with water until it started coming out the hole where the propeller shaft runs.  I have been wanting to take off the plate over the drive shaft (direct drive) and see if I see any leaks but the plate is difficult to remove.  Afraid I'll cause damage.  Boat takes on more water while running under a load but now it leaks when boat is sitting in water.  I did replace the empeller shaft thing, it was leaking badly but still seeing water.  I''ll check the manifolds again, but it disturbs me that the boat now takes on water sitting in lake.  Bilge pump takes care of it, but the leak is driving me nuts.  My ski compartment always gets full of water and I have to suck it out with a shop vac after lake trips.

Bob

With the bilge bone dry, while under way have you checked the motor compartment for leaks? Sometimes if a hose clamp isn't tight enough it will leak and it will really leak going fast....

Link to comment

To the OP: get a shop-vac, two sets of towels, and a good book or electronic device with something that will entertain you. Go to the boat and run the bilge pump to get as much water out as possible, now use the shop-vac and get the rest of the water out. Once all the water is out to the point the shop-vac isn't doing any good, take the first set of towels and dry the bilge (and clean it) so you see when a drop of water appears. At this point you may have found the leak since there is that one spot you can't seem to get to stay dry; if not: Take the second set of towels and lay them flat in the bilge in every area you can reach. After they're all in the bilge, check all them to make sure they're dry, if so you can read a chapter in your book/watch something on your digital device/etc.

Once you spend ~20 minutes doing something else, check the towels to see if any of them are wet. The idea is that the towels won't dry as fast as water on fiberglass and you can locate the leak faster. If you can't find the leak right away, repeat the wait 20 minutes and check process 2 more times. If the towels are still dry, change the interval to 1 hour. You should find your leak within 5-6 hours. My '02 had a leak that was water coming in at the bow eye and at one of the lift/tie down transom rings, they were never sealed properly and I would have the bilge fill to the point the pump would turn on after 4-5 days. Keep searching, you'll find the leak.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

thanks for all the advice.  I"m not going to remove the plate covering the propeller shaft.  I'm going to look for leaks elsewhere.  I always thought the "inner" bilge area had a leak but realized the bilge bottom was the boat bottom.   There is a large area where air circulates on each side of the bilge area.  This gets full of water and leaks out in the ski compartment area.  maybe my hoses or exhaust hoses are leaking.  driving me nutts.

 

Link to comment

On this topic how do I get to the tracking fins on my '01? I noticed the front one is loose which is only asking for water to come in. 

Link to comment
17 minutes ago, mountaineerhill said:

On this topic how do I get to the tracking fins on my '01? I noticed the front one is loose which is only asking for water to come in. 

You don't.  There is no nut on them so you can only tighten from the bottom.  If the screw holes are stripped out then you need to fill/redrill them with fiberglass or JB weld or something.  My inlaws ripped a fin out of their 04 LXI and a fiberglass repair kit seemed to do the trick.  Soaking squares of glassmat , shoving through and then filling the rest of the hole with resin and chopped mat is how they did it.  Then redrilled once dry.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...