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Thread: SeaSport bilge water

  1. #1

    Default SeaSport bilge water

    I have a 24ft SeaSport and can't keep the bilge dry. When sitting in the yard prior to launch, water gets into bilge after a good rain. Cowling over bilge doesn't seem to keep it out. While in slip in Seward water level up to bilge pump. Am I a loner with this problem? Suggestions for problem solution?

  2. #2
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    I have the same issue with my 24 explorer. I am sure its a leaking deck seam somewhere. The water drains from the fuel tank compartments into the rear of the bilge. One of these days I will pull the deck plates, make gaskets and 5200 them down.

    For me rain water doesnt add up to alot, but using the washdown does.

  3. #3
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    When I toured the Sea Sport factory Scott pointed out to me the floor seals do not last forever. But the only way I can see water getting into the bilge area from a leaking floor seal is if you have the plugs removed that allow you to drain the water around the fuel tanks.

    I leave these plugs in place and remove them once during the summer to drain the water and then remove them again in the fall and leave them out during the winter.

    On a side note, if you ever notice water in the storage compartments under the V berth is it coming from a leaking floor seal on the port side. There is a built in tunnel for wires and such for the heater that runs from the bilge area to the V berth. Pulling the plugs and draining the water out prevents this.

    I suppose you could leave the plugs out all the time, but then any water getting past the floor seals goes into the bilge immediately.
    Tennessee

  4. #4

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    I have no personal experience with this, but everything I read says that water up against an aluminum tank can or will cause corrosion and you need to have air flow around it. I think I would keep all plugs that drain the water from around the tank out. But I guess if there are plugs for those holes then maybe there is a reason for them to be in?

  5. #5

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    Thanks West. I never thought of a leaking deck seam but you might on to the problem.

  6. #6

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    I just removed all of the deck in the cockpit on my SS Explorer due to water getting into my bilge. I replaced all of the gaskets and then caulked up the seams-just like the factory did. I don't think you would want to use 5200 on those seams as 5200 is for bonding and will be very difficult to remove the next time you need to get to the gas tanks or remove a deck plate. I spent quite a bit of time cleaning the plates and bulkhead and used the best marine caulk-should last 20 years and can be removed when needed.
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

  7. #7

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    I have 27" Pilothouse and the deck seals are definately a problem. I pulled my deckboards to remove the ballast they placed in the compartment by the stern. I used an air chisle to remove several bags of hardened concrete (in plastic bags), steel bricks and lead shot. The seals were shot and there was water in the compartments. On the Pilothouse the plugs are in the fish hold rather than the engine compartment. I found some good stickyback rubber seals at AK Rubber and placed them down prior to reinstalling the deck boards. When reinstalling you need to be careful about not sliding the deckboard around and displacing the seal. Plus after reinstalling, snug the screws down at first and then over the next few days keep snugging as the seal compresses (don't strip them out). At the stern on my boat is a channel that holds water (slightly lower than the skupper) and I silicone the exterior where the deck board meets in this area. I think that if water freezes in the channel it could have potential to lift the deck board and comproize the seal...especially if you don't cover the back deck and go through the freeze/thaw cycles we go through each winter.
    On the note of salt water and aluminum fuel tank it will corrode. I helped a buddy pull both of his tanks and he had pitting. Had them welded and coated the tank with a good paint. One big problem is the tanks are foamed in and will waterlog if water is left standing. I pull the plugs several times a summer to check water and in the winter I pull the plugs & deck plates at the back and up front to allow some ventilation to dry anything out (Boat deck is covered with tarps).

  8. #8

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    I also removed about 200 pounds of #6 lead shot from two canvas bags that were located near the transom in both the port and aft fuel tank compartments. I don't understand why they were put there. They were right next to the fuel tanks-which sometimes will be full and sometimes be half full-which would change the weight ratio (bow/stern) (and port/starboard depending on which tank is full or half full) no matter how much lead weight you have in the stern. I also have an icechest on the back platform and depending on how much I weight I have in that would also change the weight distribution. Finally, I have a 240 pound buddy who sometimes sits in the cockpit and sometimes sits up front in the cabin which also affects the weight districution. At any rate, the boat seems to run just fine without the lead.....
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

  9. #9

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    My forward fish hold always is wet if I don't tilt the bow up while sitting level on the trailer. This is because the gutter that runs around the deck is all the way around the fish hold, the water floods over it's edge and fills the fish hold rather than running aft out the scuppers. If I wash the deck down without the bow raised, that water goes in the hold. I pulled the floor once and found the gutter channel to be full of dirt and leaves, probably years of stuff building up in there. In the winter it freezes into a big dirt claud. I now spray that channel clear often. I even had to fix cracks in that channel, probably ice damage. My engine box is usually dry if I keep it tilted and the gutter channel clear. Even though the back deck has a giant cover, still best to tilt it.

  10. #10

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    I keep my channels clean also but sometimes find the fish hold full of water like you have described. I think at times the rain pours down so hard the skuppers don't keep up and the water goes into the fish hold. I installed a macerator pump inside the cabin to pump out the fish hold, great for cleaning out a dirty hold at the end of a day. Also set it up to plug a float switch into the fish hold so it will auto pump when I'm gone. The lead is there for ballast so the boat sits nice in the harbor. It is just added unnessary weight for long weekend trips. I find it hard to justify not covering my deck in the winter with all the freeze/thaw cycles and water not draining due to frozen skuppers. It makes me cringe thinking of ice in the drain channels and potential dammage to lifting deck boards and cracking surface coat in the channels.

  11. #11
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myers View Post
    My forward fish hold always is wet if I don't tilt the bow up while sitting level on the trailer. This is because the gutter that runs around the deck is all the way around the fish hold, the water floods over it's edge and fills the fish hold rather than running aft out the scuppers. If I wash the deck down without the bow raised, that water goes in the hold. I pulled the floor once and found the gutter channel to be full of dirt and leaves, probably years of stuff building up in there. In the winter it freezes into a big dirt claud. I now spray that channel clear often. I even had to fix cracks in that channel, probably ice damage. My engine box is usually dry if I keep it tilted and the gutter channel clear. Even though the back deck has a giant cover, still best to tilt it.
    That's exactly what my 24' coho xl would do (a 1996 model). It's a fore/aft balance thing. I had an ez anchor puller mounted up front, so that didn't help the weight balance of the boat when sitting in the water...along with any gear stowed up in the v-berth. I loved that anchor winch, so there's no way I was going to get rid of that...just more weight needed aft to counter it when afloat (cooler on swim step, gas tank full, etc). Definitely get that tongue jacked up when parked on the trailer.

  12. #12

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    Like others have mentioned, my SS 24 Explorer is slightly bow tilted in the water, especially with crew in the cabin. Windlass, chain, extra anchor, and spare parts up in the v-berth storage doesn't help matters. If it's raining overnight, the cockpit deck channels fill up near the cabin bulkhead and spill over into the fish box and into the bilge. Not a big deal since I trailer, but if I had a harbor slip I would get the weight distributed aft.

  13. #13

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    The previous owned kept the boat in the harbor and I'm trailering so I won't miss the 200 lb of lead. On another subject has anyone installed a washdown pump on an Explorer? I ordered a Johnson Aqua Jet 5.2 and am going to be starting installation in the next week. Any suggestions as to where to mount the pump? I'm thinking in the compartment under the deck plate just inside the cabin next to the water tank. Also any suggestions on the outlet? Thanks
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

  14. #14

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    That is not a bad place as long as you don't get water in that compartment and flood the pump. Check to see where you can easily run the intake/outlet hose. Mine is under the galley sink where it stays dry and I can run the hose along the top channel with the shift/steering controls and then I have the coiled hose tucked behind the deck step. I also ran a fresh water line out with a valve and have quick connect on coiled hose so I can use fresh water. Didn't see a need to find a place and install a spigot.Where do you plan on putting the thru hull fitting to get water? When you consider intake fitting keep in mind to put it in a location where there is hard water when on step, otherwise when you are running it may not work very well if it is sucking air.

  15. #15

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    I'm planning on putting a tee onto the seacock that is already installed for the head and using that for my intake. I read about that on another forum and it seems like a much better option than putting another hole/seacock in the hull. Never thought about using fresh water-guess that would be an option for day trips. Did you put your switch at the helm or farther aft? A buddy recommended running my wiring directly to the battery but I'm not sure about that since if everything was wired that way there would be a mess of wires coming off the battery. Any suggestions on that?
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

  16. #16

    Thumbs up Why put another hole in your boat???

    Mine is mounted up under the gunnel wall, a toggle switch is located up in the corner so no one can turn it on or bump it without prior knowledge of where it is. The pump is attached to the battery box exterior wall under the gunnel. The pick up hose goes out the hole for the kicker wires, down the transom, zip-tied to the trim tab. The end of the hose has a really nice screen/plastic filter nothing gets in it and is easily accessable. The coil hose lays nicely in the side gunnel storage tray/shelf. Been there for years!

  17. #17

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    Myers, can you use your washdown pump while on step? I am in total agreement to not put any more holes in the boat. It sounds like you have a good setup for the pickup without another hole. A buddy of mine with a Pilot house has his connected to the head seacock and has had problems with it sucking air and not working 100% when you need it. He installed check valve thinking when he is on step intake is out of the water, water drains out and creates air block after stopping. My seacock is in the engine compartment...it ws there when I bought the boat. I hose my deck down while on step to clean the channels and any crap stuck in the skuppers. With the discussion of bow heavy at rest with water going into the fish hold, washdown while on step gives a good option to relly clean the deck/channels without it ending up in the hold.

  18. #18

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    Decent speed, usually nothing in the teens or twenty, people would fall out; but probably around 10 or so at least.

  19. #19

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    That's what I like about this forum lots of knowledgeable folks who are more than willing to share what they have tried that works. I think I'll stick with my plan to use the existing seacock for my supply via a Y fitting. But may consider the out the stern option too. At any rate, thanks for the input.
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriIron View Post
    That's what I like about this forum lots of knowledgeable folks who are more than willing to share what they have tried that works. I think I'll stick with my plan to use the existing seacock for my supply via a Y fitting. But may consider the out the stern option too. At any rate, thanks for the input.
    I used my existing seacock for the head. I put a T on it and it's worked fine for years. Didn't want another hole in my boat. Easy to winterize the pump. Just disconnect the hose at the T and stick it into a gallon container of RV antifreeze and turn the pump on until the pink stuff comes out the hose. I've seen the setup where the intake goes over the transom and into the water, but when on step the end of the hose was out of the water.

    I've never had problems, but you might think about or do research on the need for a check valve between the T and head. I don't think that water could be pulled from the head through the T and into the pump, but maybe?

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