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De Wiscourt

Dewinterization Mishap

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De Wiscourt

Taking advantage of the warm weather we are experiencing in Austin, Texas, I decided to dewinterize the boat and put it in the water yesterday. For the first five hours of operation, the boat ran as it alway has in the past. After the first hour of operation I opened up the hatches to look at the engine and bilge compartments and there were no issues. Towards the end of the day, the boat started feeling a little sluggish. What caught my attention was that my water temperature went down from the usual 160 degrees to 138 degrees. It was then I decided to remove the hatch cover next to the driver's seat. The bilge was full of water - 4 inches below the floor. It was at that point I decided to take the 4 minute run back to the boat ramp and put the boat on the trailer. In hindsight, this was not the proper course of action since I had not isolated the problem before taking the appropriate action.

Fortunately, when arriving at the boat ramp, it was clear and I was able to get the attention of four people who held the boat while I got the trailer in the water. We got the boat out of the water and I removed the rear drain plug and kept the bilge pump running. Eventually all the water was drained from the bilge.

I brought the boat home and hooked it up to the hose and started the engine to determine the source of the problem. The problem turned out being the hose clamp on the water pump coming loose. The worse thing I could have done was to run back to the boat ramp because the faster the engine went, more water was being pumped into the bilge. Had I first isolated the problem, all I would have needed to do was to close the water intake valve on the seacock, let the bilge pump do it's job while I re-secured the hose and properly fastened the hose clamp.

I am happy to report that all is well with the boat. It is currently in the front yard drying out. As a precaution I am going to change transmission fluid even though it appears to be free of any water contamination.

I thought it would be valuable to share this experience with the group should someone else experience a similar situation in the future.

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Bill_AirJunky

Congrats on the lesson learned.

It's for this reason I think all boat owners should do their winterization themselves. A guy who pays to have it done won't ever know what to do if/when there is a problem.

Years ago we had something similar happen on the Pitt River up in Vancouver BC. To compound the issue, the river has a current, a pretty fast one in the spring. So we had to throw an anchor overboard to get the boat to sit still so we could make the repair without bouncing off the shore or a bridge. :Doh:

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Steve B.

I did the EXACT same thing last year. I just hadn't tightened that same hose clamp quite enough. My trip back to the boat ramp was a minute or less, fortunately no issues here too. Lesson learned also.

Steve B.

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glasslake

In this case, the trip back to the launch wasn't necessary, but with all of the possible things that could go wrong, I don't think making it back to the launch can really be considered a mistake. Glad to hear it was a simple problem to fix.

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jwl019

I had a mishap yesterday as well! Started going down the river for first time this year, about 10to minutes up river, water started pouring out from under the engine cover onto the floor. Opened the cover to find my impeller housing was shooting water everywhere. Apparently I did not tighten the brass screws up enough, so grabbed in and problem solved.

Unrelated: My trip was cut short due to all the trash (logs and debris) floating down river since the water level is very high. Got tired of dodging and doing 10 mph the whole time! Have to wait a couple weeks for the water level to drop and clean up before trying again.

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electricjohn

I neglected to make up the exhaust manifold cross over hose one time. Did not go to far from the ramp, but it took me two pull outs and drains to figure out where the water was coming from. After I realized the water only came in while the engine was running, I thought to check that hose coupling.

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malcontent

It's for this reason I think all boat owners should do their winterization themselves.

I have my boat on a relatively isolated lake. I know little about cars/engines/boats. How does one learn without messing everything up?

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martinarcher

Spend some time looking through old threads. I spent hours reading through old posts on the board after I bought my first Bu. Those hours saved me at least that much time in headaches and lessons learned.

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Bill_AirJunky

I have my boat on a relatively isolated lake. I know little about cars/engines/boats. How does one learn without messing everything up?

Hang out here, ask questions & learn tons about your boat. It WILL pay off sooner than later.

In this case, the trip back to the launch wasn't necessary, but with all of the possible things that could go wrong, I don't think making it back to the launch can really be considered a mistake. Glad to hear it was a simple problem to fix.

One could say it's a bit early to say this....... Flooding the bilge can have long term effects. For instance, if the starter or blower got wet, their life spans could very well have been cut short. Neither are expensive problems but could come back to bite you down the road.

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tvano

One could say it's a bit early to say this....... Flooding the bilge can have long term effects. For instance, if the starter or blower got wet, their life spans could very well have been cut short. Neither are expensive problems but could come back to bite you down the road.

note that "down the road" is located just up the river (without a paddle) where there is no cell phone reception, help or daylight.

edit: adjusted misplaced quote

Edited by tvano

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Sixball

The first time out at the start of the year I start my boat on land with a Fake a lake and check everything befor getting to the launch. When I get to the lake I always start the boat get it off the trailer and idle with the engine cover up and check all out one or two more times as the boat comes up to temp.

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Ndawg12

If that's the worst thing that happens to you all season then it was good timing and you're in for a pretty good season :thumbup:

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De Wiscourt

Thank you for all the replies and the encouragement. I was the one who de-winterized my boat and the hose clamp not being completely secure was my fault. The boat ran beautifully for the first 5 hours of the day, it was during the last 15 minutes when the problem became evident. All worked out well for us. My point was that I should have isolated the problem first before deciding on a course of action. This is the first time something like this has happened to me and hopefully it will be the last.

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old skool malibu

I did a modificaiton on my boat and removed a line and never tightened it up properly. Same thing...lots of water in the bilge. Lesson learned, I always check all hose clamps!

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UWSkier

My senior year of college, we had a brand new 2002 RLX as our ski team boat. Since we were in Northern WI and impatient to wait for it to warm up, we would ski as soon as the ice would go out and winterize the boat after every use. We had a nice procedure written up and only four guys from the team were allowed to touch the engine. Anyways, I'm out skiing one time and I notice the wake is getting really really hard. I thought maybe it was just bad early season form until the last time I spun at the end of the course when I noticed the boat listing over like a deep V wally runabout does in a turn. I knew something was wrong so I gave the girl driving the signal to drop me. When they idled around to me, the Malibu sticker was 1/3 of the way under water and the swim platform was about an inch under. Knew something was up right away.

A quick investigation revealed that the hot water feed hose from the bottom of the engine block had worked its way loose and the water was about 1/2 inch from spilling over on to the carpet. Bilge must have run for a half hour after that one but at least we saved the boat and the carpet, and the bilge water was nice and warm after skiing in 38 degree water. :)

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Sixball

I checked my hose clamps befor starting in the spring and this year I did find one that I forgot to tighten. :whistle: I would fire the bumb who winterized the boat but I can't find anyone who works this cheeeeeeeeeep.

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