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Trying to find origination of water leak

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I have a 2002 Malibu Sunsetter and have been getting water in the engine compartment  whenever the boat is in the water - running or not.  After drying everything lowering the boat into the water while on the lift, the water looks to be originating from the back of the boat. 


I have been able to determine the water is not coming in from the exhaust, the fresh water intake, or the drive shaft or rudder.  Is it possible the water is leaking past the speedo pick ups or the swim platform brackets that are bolted through the hull?  The water is running from the back of the boat towards the engine compartment, but it is along the left wall of the engine compartment and not visible until it enters the engine compartment near the vent in the side wall.

Edited by davehrejsa
found a typo
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38 minutes ago, davehrejsa said:

Is it possible the water is leaking past the speedo pick ups or the swim platform brackets that are bolted through the hull? 

Yes.  Passive leaks may originate from the following (bold are more likely candidates for your situation):

  •   Tracking fins (seal at thru bolt holes)
  •   Raw water intake (seal at thru-hull, hose connections/condition)
  •   Raw water strainer (hose connections, seal on bowl, and misc leak)
  •   Paddlewheel/temp probe (seal at thru-hull or damaged hardware)
  •   Ballast system intake valves/hoses/pumps and connections
  •   Prop shaft log and shaft seal (includes HDS, shaft packing and dripless)
  •   Prop strut and rudder assembly (seal at thru bolt holes)
  •   Exhaust hoses (seal at thru bolt holes, hose connections/condition)
  •   Swim step mounting bracket seal (seal at thru bolt holes)
  •   Transom and garboard plugs (many boats have more than 2)
  •   Speedometer hoses, LED lights, wake plates, and any other misc hardware
  •   Other undiscovered hull damage (such as a crack, or accidental drill hole)
  •   Any other miscellaneous entry point below the water line (bad seal/damage)
Edited by formulaben
  • Like 3
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Do you know if the swim platform is bolted through with nuts on the back side of the bolts, or are they lag screws?  I can't see where the bolts go through the hull, I was going to try and back them out a bit and seal they with silicone, but I am not sure if I can just back them out from the outside of the boat or not.

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On my 2002 there are bolts with nuts and washers.  The inside was covered with a carpet pad.   Having said that, on my year of 23 LSV there is a "step" that goes backwards so in this case they mounted the hardware so that the plate is horizontal, where most others I see are vertical.


Edited by formulaben
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So we pulled out the rear seat and storage cover so we had a better visual in the back of the boat.  We even had a remote camera, and we can't see where the water is coming in.  It is not coming in from the swim platform mounts, or the speedo pick ups, not from the rudder and not from where the exhaust exits the hull, not from the fresh water intake, not from the stabilizer fins on the bottom of the boat either.  Ski locker is dry. Water seems to be running from the back of the boat, towards the engine compartment - but it is running along the stringer that is on the port side of the engine bay and coming through the weep hole below the vent in the engine compartment.   I am slowly going crazy.  The water comes in fast enough that the bilge pump will go on while the boat is sitting in the water and not running after about 20 minutes.  Now it is up on the boat lift with the drain plugs pulled to completely dry out the inside of the engine bay and the rear of the boat so we can drop it in the water again and try and see where the water is coming in. . I am completely baffled right now. 

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10 hours ago, Eagleboy99 said:

This is a V-drive?  Or the Sunsetter direct drive?  If the latter, then you could have a leaking HDS.

It is the direct drive model.

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