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HELP! Lake weekend about to be ruined!


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Hamboats

Just got my 2016 Malibu 25LSV back from the shop and now we’re out on the lake for a week camping trip. 
 

We just got back to the slip we rented and as we were pulling out our gear, we noticed that the forward starboard locker (behind the driver seat) was half full of water. Yes…HALF FULL!  I immediately checked the bilge and there’s maybe only 1-2” of water in there. The waterline is definitely MUCH higher in the locker than in the bilge. And that just doesn’t make sense to me. None of the hard ballast or ballast bags have any water in them. We baled out the locker, but it immediately began refilling. Again, the bilge remained at about 1” of water the whole time. 
 

A quick call to my boat shop and they pretty much told me that’s “impossible” unless it’s coming from the bilge through the drain line. Or, a possible ballast leak. It’s neither. 
 

Anyone here have any idea at all why we might be taking on water?

Before anyone asks: both plugs are in and snug. There has been no structural damage to the boat. 
 

Help!

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ahopkins22LSV

I feel like this has to be a ballast line leak because I don’t know how else water would only get there.


Or maybe a heater leak line leak. But I think in 2016 it was raptor engines with a closed loop heater?

Does this happen with the engine off and just sitting? Or does the engine have to be running?

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Most likely a ballast fitting isn't connected somewhere. Even if bags are empty water can enter the fill line and potentially siphon in. Check subfloor ballast connections as well. 

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Hamboats

Thank you all for the awesome quick responses.

It fills with the engine on or off, and when operating the ballast or not.

I checked the fittings on the ballast bags, but does anyone have a quick way of checking hard ballast fittings while on the road?

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did you fully empty the locker and see where its filling from? (front vs back)?  maybe close the seacock/ball valves on all the ballast intakes one by one to isolate?

did you notice both left and right rear ballasts filled up in same time during use? e.g.  if one was leaking significantly it'd start overflowing the side much later.

because we are all stretching for ideas: can you put it on the trailer or a lift and see if it keeps filling?  or did you bail it out a couple times to see if it stops?  i'm wondering if a rear ballast was leaking while you filled it, could it have filled some weird cavity that's slowly 'draining' into that section (it should drain to bilge but if there's a leaf clogging the wrong spot, maybe it backs-up and runs to that locker)

Edited by CaptainMorgan
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Hamboats
17 minutes ago, CaptainMorgan said:

did you fully empty the locker and see where its filling from? (front vs back)

I got all the water out by baling with a bucket. And it immediately came running in via the aft drain line (the aft line in the forward locker…if that makes sense). It’s the drain that is supposed to drain to the bilge. But the bilge is pretty much dry.

 

22 minutes ago, CaptainMorgan said:

did you notice both left and right rear ballasts filled up in same time during use? e.g.  if one was leaking significantly it'd start overflowing the side much later.

You know…..I DID notice that one side was a bit faster to fill and much slower to drain. Funny it didn’t occur to me at the time, but now I can’t recall which side it was.  Guessing that ‘could’ be the culprit. 
 

BUT…..it fills up the locker even with the ballast empty (and not filling it)

26 minutes ago, CaptainMorgan said:

can you put it on the trailer or a lift and see if it keeps filling?


It’s in the trailer now and I’m letting it drain overnight.  I plan on getting it back on the lake in the morning. I’m going to pay special attention to when/if it fills. 

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Hamboats
59 minutes ago, Cole2001 said:

Check subfloor ballast connections as well. 

How do I do this?  I have to admit…I’ve never done anything with the hard ballast lines. 

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You'll learn a lot if it can start day dry and pay close attention to that starboard rear ballast.

Related story: I had standing water / mild similar behavior in same locker as you after some rain storms this spring when it was on trailer and not quite level (had not launched yet for the season).  I poked screwdrivers through the drain hole so I know it wasnt clogged but water just wouldnt drain and after pumped it out a little even trickled back in as I poked screwdrivers around.  But once I moved the boat to water seems like something shook loose and drained like normal again.  So my hypothesis is theres a clog-able volume in there somewhere...but I could be wrong :)

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Hamboats
13 minutes ago, CaptainMorgan said:

I poked screwdrivers through the drain hole

So, I did this as well and it seems the shop I had it at recently to have them work on the poor drainage really did a number to the drain line. I can put my finger in there and it feels like insulation all over and I can feel, what seems like, plastic parts kind of loose in there. 

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ahopkins22LSV

The rear ballast pumps are typically on each side of the vdrive. I’d start by tracing the lines from there. They typically go up to an anti siphon loop and then back down. My guess is you’ll find your issue somewhere there. Or from the drain lines. Might be easier to start at the thru-hull fitting of the drain line and work your way backwards. Orrrr does your plug n play back connection have a leak?

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11 hours ago, Hamboats said:

Before anyone asks: both plugs are in and snug. There has been no structural damage to the boat. 
 

Help!

Both?  Might want to look for the 3rd one - unless they stopped putting 3 of them in.

1 t handle under the cover in walkway next to the helm 

1 t handle under engine

1 in the transom 

 

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Hamboats
3 hours ago, oldjeep said:

Might want to look for the 3rd one

Okay, I’ll admit I didn’t know about the third one under the motor. How do I access that one?  Just through the engine compartment?  I’d imagine I can crawl under the boat and see if that plug is in, correct?

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Hamboats
6 hours ago, ahopkins22LSV said:

Orrrr does your plug n play back connection have a leak?

I took a look at both the front and rear connections on my P&P ballast bags. Dry as can be. I was really hoping it was going to be an easy fix like that!  

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28 minutes ago, Hamboats said:

Okay, I’ll admit I didn’t know about the third one under the motor. How do I access that one?  Just through the engine compartment?  I’d imagine I can crawl under the boat and see if that plug is in, correct?

On mine you would need to remove the divider panels so that you can see under the engine.  I honestly can't remember what side mine is on since I never use anything but the transom drain unless I am winterizing and need to drain the "hump" where water collects around the front ballast pumps

Edit - it was by V-drive

Edited by oldjeep
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Hamboats
7 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

remove the divider panels so that you can see under the engine.

But crawling under the boat should reveal a ‘non-filled’ through-hull hole if the plug isn’t in. Correct?

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19 minutes ago, Hamboats said:

Okay, I’ll admit I didn’t know about the third one under the motor. How do I access that one?  Just through the engine compartment?  I’d imagine I can crawl under the boat and see if that plug is in, correct?

My 2014 23LSV doesn’t have one under the motor.  But it does have one under the center rear seat by the v drive. 

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1 minute ago, RyanB said:

My 2014 23LSV doesn’t have one under the motor.  But it does have one under the center rear seat by the v drive. 

Interesting - for ref, mine is a 2012 VTX

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4 minutes ago, Hamboats said:

But crawling under the boat should reveal a ‘non-filled’ through-hull hole if the plug isn’t in. Correct?

As long as hole wasn't covered by a bunk ;)

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4 minutes ago, RyanB said:

My 2014 23LSV doesn’t have one under the motor.  But it does have one under the center rear seat by the v drive. 

Well jeez.  That is where the one I was thinking about iis too.:cry:

17193317709351902917070271619221.jpg

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Hamboats

So, for perspective….is that a shot down into the vdrive access panel?  Looking aft?

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Wouldn't it have to be a fill line if it's ballast?  If all ballast has been empty and it continues to "leak" into locker, then it's not from the drainage system.  Just trying to help eliminate half of your searching!

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Hamboats
1 hour ago, oldjeep said:

Well jeez.  That is where the one I was thinking about iis too.:cry:

17193317709351902917070271619221.jpg

It doesn’t appear such a drain exists in a 2016. Or at least I can’t find any spot in the v drive area that looks like a drain plug hole (or t handle)

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50 minutes ago, Hamboats said:

So, for perspective….is that a shot down into the vdrive access panel?  Looking aft?

Yeah.  Seat off looking down towards rear of boat.

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So if water is coming in through the drain hose (which is higher than the bilge), then there is water in the bilge.  I'm having a hard time understanding how it is rising above the level of the water in the blige (i.e. being forced up through the drain hose) unless the water is also coming from somewhere else.  

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