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Water Infusion -- while docked... what is normal?

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Put our 04 VLX into the slip for the first time today -- at Elizabeth Lake, MI -- we slip in the water -- no lifts. Although I know it might be a problem with blistering -- I'm very concerned with the potential of water seeping into the hull (measured in the center inspection area, next to the driver's seat).

With all the holes, and fittings -- I thought some water in this area was to be expected -- the water level is 2" below the area drained by the brass plug -- but we went boating this evening and it appears that the water level is a little higher??? :)

I'll check again in the morning, as the boat will have sat in the water overnight -- but with no ballast use -- is a certain level of water seepage acceptable? And for reference -- how much water is too much water -- when viewed a the central inspection area.

As always -- thanks so much for the advice.

Regards, Olive

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You shouldn't take on water while the boat sits there. As you use the boat, the shaft packing will leak slightly to cool the shaft. Also, as you ride around, unseen water will migrate to other areas of the bilge. Monitor carefully to see how much you are really taking on, then go from there.

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I'm a little confused by "inspection area", and "water is 2" below area drained by the brass plug". ???

Regardless, yes.... you have a bunch of potential "entry" points into the hull where water could theoretically enter your boat. Most drive shafts have a slight leak..... around the "stuffing box". I suppose any of your water intake holes (you may have ballast pumps etc) could leak. The HDS could leak (Hydro Dampening System). I suppose also your exhaust outlest could leak....

Now that you are thoroughly afraid to leave you boat unattended in the water... I suggest you try the following. (I did, because I too was afraid of a submerged hull because mine sits at a dock for 2 ~ 3 weeks at a time.)

I assumed my bilge pump had an automatic float valve that would turn itself on if the hull started to fill with water. I tested it. Filled the area under my motor with buckets of water. Buckets and buckets and buckets. Eventually, the auto bilge pump came on..... and drained all the water away. Not failsafe I guess.... but I felt much better. Depends on a good battery, the pump functions properly, no debris in the input fins of the pump.... but I felt a lot better.

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Look under the V drive for where the drive shaft passes through the hull. There is a piece of hose and a couple of brass fittings on it as the shaft enters the hose. This is your packing gland. It is most likely the culprit. Also, to make you feel better (or rule out potential leaks) at each water port (ballast, engine intake, etc...) there is a ball valve that can be closed, basically leaving just the packing nut as potential leakers... If you close them overnight, MAKE SURE YOU OPEN THE ENGINE INTAKE VALVE BEFORE STARTING THE ENGINE.

Good luck!


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  • 1 month later...

hi i have 05 vride i have noticed same water level on mine. what bothers me is when you then use the boat the next day that water level is high enough to get into the rear storage compartment when you turn sharp . the auto bilge level is set very high it doesn't come on till there is a ton of water in the bilge. i took my boat to the dealer and they thought the water was possibly from swim platform bolts that wasn't it i am still chasing this problem. one thing i do when i see the water in there is drive slow (dont let the boat plane) with the bow up and turn on the bilge when all that water is at the back of the boat. i cant believe how much water pumps out. good luck

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