Boat leaks-at my wit's end.

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by Johnny Slalom, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Johnny Slalom

    Johnny Slalom New Member

    7
    Jun 5, 2019
    Madison, MS
    99 Sea Ray Sundancer 270
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
    Bought a 99 Sundancer 270 in April and cannot find where it's taking on water in the bilge. Mechanics first said it was a boot-fixed that. Then the plug assembly was loose-fixed that. Then pulled the outdrive to repair transom seal. I've got to make a decision on what to do next. Any ideas on what else to check?? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    Did your mechanic check or comment on the steering pin on the outdrive?
     
    Craig, Chris-380 and Little Ducky like this.
  3. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Dickson, TN / Chattanooga, TN
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alphas
    Kohler 4kW
    How fast does the water enter the bilge?

    I used a small shop vac to vac out all the water in my bilge and climbed all over the place to witness where my water was entering. I have a steering pin that was gone bad in one of my transom assemblies which allows water to enter.

    Does your outdrive have excessive play left and right?
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  4. scoflaw

    scoflaw Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    cape cod mass, cape coral fl
    1999 Powerquest legend 260 sx
    502 mpi Bravo 1
    Well with a single engine it shouldn't be that difficult to see where the water is coming in. Mirrors, light, go-pro.
    The transom assembly has to come off to replace the seal. Did he do that ?

    swivel pin seal
    trim ram manifold gasket
    goose neck water inlet on TA
    trim puck wire seal
    shift or u-joint bellows
    Hole rotted through the TA
     
    Johnny Slalom likes this.
  5. Johnny Slalom

    Johnny Slalom New Member

    7
    Jun 5, 2019
    Madison, MS
    99 Sea Ray Sundancer 270
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
    I will check with him to see. Thanks for the info.
     
  6. Johnny Slalom

    Johnny Slalom New Member

    7
    Jun 5, 2019
    Madison, MS
    99 Sea Ray Sundancer 270
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
    It's pretty slow. I plan on asking the mechanic about the steering pin.
     
  7. Johnny Slalom

    Johnny Slalom New Member

    7
    Jun 5, 2019
    Madison, MS
    99 Sea Ray Sundancer 270
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
     
  8. Johnny Slalom

    Johnny Slalom New Member

    7
    Jun 5, 2019
    Madison, MS
    99 Sea Ray Sundancer 270
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
    Yes, he did that. I will check with him on your other suggestions. Much appreciated.
     
  9. scoflaw

    scoflaw Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    cape cod mass, cape coral fl
    1999 Powerquest legend 260 sx
    502 mpi Bravo 1
    Trim tabs can also be a source, it gets in, in a round about way
     
  10. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    Taking off the transom assembly (transom ring) also means pulling the engine.
    Was the engine pulled for the repair? I ask because removing the transom assembly (ring) requires pulling the engine. That’s also a common method of repairing a leaking steering pin.

    A leaking steering pin is common due to Mercruiser using plain steel for the pin. It eventually corrodes and chews up the rubber seal. Checking for a leak is fairly easy. Find the steering linkage at the back of the engine. Follow it where it passes through the transom. It will be on center and above the bellows/ drive shaft area. Observe, or stick your finger in the space. If it’s wet the pin is leaking. It can leak without causing loose steering or play in the drive.
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  11. Johnny Slalom

    Johnny Slalom New Member

    7
    Jun 5, 2019
    Madison, MS
    99 Sea Ray Sundancer 270
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
    Yes, they pulled the engine, so hopefully that was checked. I will find out today. I'm just at a difficult place trying to decide if I can trust these guys' expertise or just cut my losses and go somewhere else. Or, should I expect to just have to live with water in the bilge. That doesn't sound like a good option. I've had bowriders all my life and this is my first experience with a cruiser.
     
  12. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    I'm sorry you're having trouble. I hope they checked out all that other stuff so you don't have to pull it again.

    My father in law has a 1998 270 Sundancer and he was having water in the bilge for about 2 years. He was "just dealing with it" and it got to the point were he was bailing the boat most every day. There was a little oil in the bilge that the pumps sensed and prevented them from operating.

    He was at the point of getting out of boating but we convinced him to get it fixed (by paying for it ourselves). His main issue was the transom assembly was corroded and leaking. The transom assembly itself is about $3000, so it's not a cheap fix. While the engine was out we had a number of other parts on it replaced to make it last, as it had salt water sloshing around in there. Pulleys, alternator, circulator pump, starter, oil pan, etc. It was a "make it right to last" kind of job. He had been extremely reluctant to do the job. But, now that it's done the boat is bone dry; I mean not a drop of water anywhere. He's thrilled with the outcome and it has renewed his joy in boating.

    My point is, it's frustrating when your boat leaks and it's not good for it's longevity. If you can get a good mechanic to ID and fix the issue, I'm sure it will help your enjoyment. Oh, you might want to update your profile to show your location so folks here can better help.
     
    techmitch likes this.
  13. Johnny Slalom

    Johnny Slalom New Member

    7
    Jun 5, 2019
    Madison, MS
    99 Sea Ray Sundancer 270
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drives
    Man, your words of encouragement are very much appreciated. I'm not going to give up, but just been a tough day. I'm scheduled to meet with the mechanic soon to look at next step. Thanks again for your help and thanks to everybody else. This is an awesome forum. I will update my profile right away. Thanks again!!
     
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  14. outobie

    outobie Member

    32
    Apr 26, 2019
    2006 340 DA Sportsman
    87 Tiara 270...For Sale
    8.1 Horizon Vdrive,
    Twin Mercruiser 5.7 alpha 1 gen2
    I’m chasing similar issues on my 340. Don’t forget some leaks can come from rain and fresh water sources. I’ve been rebedding deck and hull fittings as well

    so far I’ve found: my hot water heater was leaking, deck inspection hatches, bilge vent cover prop shaft seal, through hull transducer, ac seacock.

    It’s getting better but I keep finding new stuff
     
    Stroh likes this.
  15. mquiet

    mquiet Well-Known Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    North carolina
    1999 480 Sedan Bridge
    Caterpillar 3196
    The best idea I've heard to to totally dry the bilge and get in there and find the leak. So many areas are of potential. Leaving it to a herd, they will not sit in it and wait. I would dry it. Sit in the water and watch everywhere for a few hours. Next I would have someone use a hose and start spraying different sections one at a time.
     
    Stroh likes this.
  16. DWABoat

    DWABoat Member

    37
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    Johnny Slalom,

    If the mechanic pulled the engine, did he go ahead and disassemble the gimbal/transom assembly and replace the steering pin seal? I see no other reason to pull the engine when looking for a small water leak. I hope he did since I would bet money on a boat that age needing a steering pin seal replacement.

    Unlikely, but the Y-Pipe May be corroded and leaking near the connection to the transom assembly. Surely that would have been handled on an engine pull.

    I have a small water leak where the exhaust riser meets the rubber connector to the Y-Pipe. I plan to handle that this winter.

    There are so many possible leaks in our older boats.

    Like playing Whack-A-Mole.
     
  17. SloBurn

    SloBurn Member

    806
    May 30, 2013
    Greenwood Lake, NY
    1994 270 Sundancer. 7.4L Merc. Tow with a 2006 Dodge RAM Hemi
    340 HP Merc 454 c.i.
  18. DWABoat

    DWABoat Member

    37
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    I have heard good reviews of the JR Marine procedure. I would be doing that if my nearly 20 year old transom assemblies weren’t corroded badly.
    I just bought the boat and transom assembly replacement was figured into the purchase price.
    My challenge now is determining a long-term rust-corrosion prevention strategy.
     

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