View Full Version : quick question regarding bilge

04-26-2008, 05:40 PM
so took the family out today for the first time on the new-to-us ride. what a beatiful day. didn't get to go out for long, wife's due next week and fairly uncomfortable. just took her out to show her and the kids. what a blast. this is going to be a great boat for us!

so anyway we were out oh, about an hour and a half or so. first time out on it for my wife and kids, so we just cruised around. checked out the hole shot a few times. pretty funny hearing my 4 year old yell, "HIT IT DAD"!!!!

anyway, so we took a brake and stopped for a bit before coming in. can't remember if i turned the boat off or not, but i heard the water from the bilge spraying out. peaked over the gunnel and saw a steady solid stream coming out for a good 20-30 seconds at least. was kind of surprised at the amount of water. is that normal?

we did start and stop quite a bit, but i really didn't do any sudden stops. we took a couple small waves at the stern with passing boats, but other than that the water was quite calm.

is this anything to worry about?

i should mention that i had about an 1/8in of water in the ski locker because that little plug that seperates it from the bilge was out.

anyway, boat's really new to me, so just making sure this sounds normal.

thanks and have a great weekend!

04-26-2008, 05:59 PM
You may have a bad shaft seal where the shaft enters the boat, most likely it just needs to be tightened. Some seals are made to "leak" a little bit to lubricate the seal - but you should only be getting 1-2 drips every 20-30 seconds. If the seal is loose or bad it can leak quite a bit - which if you were cruising could be quite a bit of water in the bildge. You will also need to check all of the other area's where water could come in - fresh water intake, exhaust manifold or engine block -was the boat winterized correctly and all of the connections secured?

04-26-2008, 06:27 PM
it's not a super big deal to have the shaft seal replaced is it? or is it?

i'll have to take a closler look at it. pretty sure that all the connections are secure.

so that doesn't sound normal then eh?

04-26-2008, 06:38 PM
What year and model boat did you get? Any pics?

04-26-2008, 06:48 PM
2003 X-2


04-26-2008, 08:35 PM
anybody? is this something to lose sleep about?

04-26-2008, 08:50 PM
if that is actually what it is, then no, nothing to really sweat over...best case, you just tighten the nut. Worst case (again, IF that's what it is), you replace the packing.

I think you should take a good look next time you're on the lake to determine where the water is coming from (based on your initial post---that may be a while--congrats!)....IMHO, that's a lot of water to take on in a short amount of time from a loose shaft seal.

In the spirit of optimism though, if it's not the shaft seal, it's more likely to be something inexpensive and simple than something catastrophic and costly.

T Scott
04-26-2008, 08:52 PM
No....don't lose any sleep over it. Not a big deal at all, in fact, it is considered routine maintenance. Follow this link for general instructions on how to tighten the shaft seal.


My only advice is make sure ths is your problem and that your water intrusion is not being caused by a leaky water pump or something of that sort.

04-26-2008, 08:55 PM
thanks t scott. looking for some peace of mind. in order to diagonse, i'll have to splash it again, right? i can't diagnose this with a fake a lake can i?

Eagle Lake Rebel
04-26-2008, 08:56 PM
Not sure when MC converted to the new shaft seal arrangement (think it was '06) which is a mech. seal type. My good friend had an '05 Xstar which had the standard packing arrangement and it would bilge on a regular basis. I'd bet you need to have the packing pulled up to stop excessive leakage. NBD if the packing needs to be replaced. Your boat looks to be in great shape so I'd opt for the adjustment frist. Any good inboard dealer should be able to water test the boat and "pull-up" the packing properly.

04-26-2008, 09:02 PM
Being a new boat to you, it could be even something as simple as just the block drain still open etc from the last owner draining the water from the block or a loose connection to the through hull water intake. Some people take that hose off to feed fresh water to the engine or to winterize while on the trailer. If they didn't clamp it down low enough with the two hose clamps it will leak and it's hard to see that leak b/c it is harder to see than the hoses up front.
Don't worry.. be happy... you're getting another ski buddy!

04-26-2008, 10:48 PM
If your boat is not equipped with a "XPC or other Dripless Shaft Seal", this tutorial will help to show you what to look for, how to tighten up the stuffing box if it's leaking in excess and for replacing the packing, http://easttxskier.com/stuffingbox.html

04-26-2008, 11:35 PM
If it's a new to you ride, here's the places that people have mentioned finding water leaks over the years:
1. Propshaft seal. Look where the shaft goes through the hull; more than a drip a second or so is excessive, and you'll need to adjust the packing.
2. Rudder. Some have found water coming up from the rudder shaft. Try greasing it first per the owners manual; otherwise you may need to pull it and check the o-rings, etc.
3. Engine water pump. They wear out, and start dumping water out near the front bearing (mine was the weep hole on the bottom just behind the front bearing). Get a new one from your dealer; they are marine-specific.
4. As mentioned, engine and manifold drains.
5. Hoses, hose clamps, etc.
6. Exhaust hose/gaskets/fittings at the hull.
7. Water through the hull/deck seam. This may happen if you get a wave the reaches the rub rail - say, when toobing. This is kind of a pain to resolve.

Anyway, the amount of water you're bilging isn't something to get too uptight about. I know someone whose boat bilges that much every time they come off plane, and it's been that way for years.


04-27-2008, 12:44 AM
Yes...that is definitely an abnormal amount of water in the bilge. It's something to "pay attention to" but it's definitely an addressable problem.

Most common sources of water entry, assuming no obvious big holes in the hull, would be shaft seal or rudder port. Other possibilities are heater core leaking (fairly common on 2003-2004 ski boats with HeaterCraft heaters), or leaking from the engine somewhere such as untightened block drain, bad hose, bad hose clamp. One other possibility is leaking at the rub rail from water splashing up against it.

04-27-2008, 03:50 AM
Like many have said prop shaft or rudder is a great spot. Don't sweat the ski locker water. I will guarantee you no matter what you do you can't keep that dry. TRUST ME IT DRIVED ME NUTS ON MINE Always some water that gets there somehow from some where. It's a quirk about that boat. ALso if you notice where the blower vents are in the transom when you come to a stop especially when weighted water will get in from there as well.

Let me just add that boat is absolutely sick looking. I love all white boats like that.

04-27-2008, 10:14 AM
thanks everybody. gosh what a great site!

on the glass half full, it was AWESOME out and the boat's AWESOME!!!!

smiling ear to ear.