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Small old boat taking on water

cranker789cranker789 Posts: 280 Deckhand
I have a 13'' 1976 whaler and it's taking on water when in full acceleration. Otherwise it's fine. I noticed this twice, once when coming back in from deep and had the throttle all the way down and another time on the lake when the throttle was fully engaged as well. Had to bilge out a few inches of water. Easy fix is I don't accelerate fully, but i'd like to find out why it's happening.  Anyone know why this may be occurring?

Thanks, Colin.
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Replies

  • gogittumgogittum SW New MexicoPosts: 481 Deckhand
    Not enuf info.  Is it coming in over the bow ??  Up thru the floor ??  In from the back/drain plug area ??  Something on the lower unit causing spray to come in over transom ??
  • GotseaGotsea Posts: 689 Officer
    If your boat is self bailing and is squatting under full throttle it may be coming on the scuppers  
  • cranker789cranker789 Posts: 280 Deckhand
    Not coming over the bow. maybe up through the floor/drain plug area behind me because when i stopped all the water came rushing forward on my feet. New to boating/this boat and not sure where exactly it's coming from. There's two drain plugs/scuppers. One lower down and another a little higher up. Not exactly sure what the one higher up is for but i plug them both up just to be safe. 
  • GotseaGotsea Posts: 689 Officer
    Not coming over the bow. maybe up through the floor/drain plug area behind me because when i stopped all the water came rushing forward on my feet. New to boating/this boat and not sure where exactly it's coming from. There's two drain plugs/scuppers. One lower down and another a little higher up. Not exactly sure what the one higher up is for but i plug them both up just to be safe. 
    Cranker you have to see how deep in the water your boat seats, and how much it is squatting while on full throttle, what you describe sounds that it may be coming through the scups, a picture of the transom of the  boat seating on water and another one while running could help to determine the problem.  Cheers 
  • Tony RomaTony Roma Posts: 818 Officer
    Plug the scups,run WOT for 10 minutes and see if water is in the boat. 
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,842 Captain
    Here's a basic test for small craft that sit on trailers... We always called it the "water test".  With the hull on the trailer and it set up so that the boat is level... put in the plug then slowly fill the hull with water from a hose - all the while looking under the skiff for any signs of water leaking out... Mark each water drip with a sharpie marker (we always used black...).  In short order you'll find any cracks in the hull or weak spots allowing water in.  If you don't find any water leaks at all - then the hull is sound - but you're not done... Drain out all that water (you don't want the excess weight on the trailer... water is HEAVY...). 

    Once it's dried out then come back with the hose and go around the gunnels up under the rub rail to see if water under pressure is getting up into the seam between the inner liner and the hull.  Go all the way around the hull doing this and you should find any open seam concealed by the rub rail... '

    Hope this helps - if you don't find any place with a leak then you'll need to find a good glass shop and have them check it out.  If you do find a crack or other place where water is coming in your troubles are just starting since every whaler is a sandwich construction - the hull, the inner liner once together is filled with foam - and very likely all of the foam is saturated with water and will need to be removed to do a proper repair... 

    "Aren't boats fun?"
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 249 Deckhand
    It's a 13 1976 Boston Whaler?  There are two through hull holes assume it's original.  One in the engine well usually left open ...the other below on the deck that's closed since it's below the water line.   Or is there some custom feature an additional through hull fixture?   What engine on transom and is your transom straight across or 20in or cut 15 in?   A 1970 13 foot whaler was my "skiff" 40 years ago with a Yamaha 40 tuned up to 50  which was light ... 
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,686 AG
    On the subject of leaking, has anyone ever used plumbers tape on their drain plug for additional help in sealing it?   Just a thought i was kicking around for an upcoming trip where the boat will be in the water for 5 straight days.   
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 249 Deckhand
    Addendum:  The drain plug is below the water line off plane.  My 13 at anchor in Caxambas Pass Marco 40 years ago...with two fatmen in the stern live baiting pinfish for Snook had three inches of freeboard but had to plug the engine well drain...that was more freeboard than a guide's  17 Mavrick him on the poling platform  and me taking a leak off the stern which was awash...
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,842 Captain
    Drain plugs wear out (the rubber gets worn, etc) and then they don't seal as well.  Along with that the brass parts that plug is made from wear and eventually the threads on the screw-in type plugs will fail on you (another of those "ask me how I know" deals...).  Rather than use teflon tape - if it were me... I'd want a new plug - and while I'm at it I always buy two and keep a new on on board as a spare...  All told two of them should be less than  $10.... cheap insurance since I'm in hard commercial service...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Homosassa, FLPosts: 1,211 Officer
    If water is only coming in at speed, as the OP stated, it probably isn't a leaking drain plug. When on plane, it would be out of the water on the transom. More likely spray on the underside of the rub rails that are no longer sealed.

    MY WORST FEAR......THAT WHEN I DIE MY WIFE WILL SELL ALL MY BOATS & FISHING GEAR FOR WHAT I TOLD HER I PAID FOR IT.......

    I may not always agree with what you say,
    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 249 Deckhand
    Some history of the 13...:

    Fisher and Hunt then took the boat on sea trials. One of these tests was to run the 13-foot (4.0 m) boat from Cohasset, Massachusetts to New Bedford and back, which is roughly 120 miles (190 km). During these sea trials, Fisher found another small flaw in the boats design: it was "wetter than hell." "A lot wetter," he said, "than the other boat had been." The reason for this, according to him, was the 9-inch-wide (23 cm) sole throwing spray into the boat.[1] Since the mold was already made, it was modified by adding to the flat center between the three chines, turning it into a V-shape. In 1956, this design became the original Boston Whaler 13.

    In 1958, boats made by the Fisher-Pierce manufacturing company were first marketed and sold under the brand name Boston Whaler. The boat was very stable and had great carrying capacity. These two features, along with great performance and rough weather handling made it very desirable. Also since the Whaler was so light in weight compared to the other boats at the time, it could be propelled by lower horsepower engines.[2] Thru the late 1980s, the classic 13 ft 4 in (4.06 m) Whaler, and the 16 ft 7 in (5.05 m) Montauk were the most popular models in terms of sales. Gradually though the company moved away from these designs to a more conventional deep-vee hull, and after 1996 no more of the classic tri-hull boats were manufactured.

    It is a structurally foam cored hull without any bilge...solid deck to hull with a urethane center sandwich...recall the early ads showed Fisher sitting in sawed half of the boat... afloat

    You have the highest hull weight/length to payload  for any skiff...600 lbs

    Yes I never should have sold mine
  • GotseaGotsea Posts: 689 Officer
    edited June 16 #14
    Drain plugs wear out (the rubber gets worn, etc) and then they don't seal as well.  Along with that the brass parts that plug is made from wear and eventually the threads on the screw-in type plugs will fail on you (another of those "ask me how I know" deals...).  Rather than use teflon tape - if it were me... I'd want a new plug - and while I'm at it I always buy two and keep a new on on board as a spare...  All told two of them should be less than  $10.... cheap insurance since I'm in hard commercial service...
    +1 to lemayniami, I buy SS drain plugs a lot more durable than the bronze, just replace mine, it was still working but  looked tiered, but yes keep a spare, I have given a few away at the ramp and saved some fellow boaters trips  
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,842 Captain
    Stick with brass or bronze rubber plugs... stainless has a nasty habit of failing on through hulls and other in the water uses -with almost no warning at all...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • GotseaGotsea Posts: 689 Officer
    The SS I am talking about is just like a bronze and rubber but the metal is SS, I had one for years, like I said   just looked wore out 
  • cranker789cranker789 Posts: 280 Deckhand
    Thanks for the responses. Did a leak test today to see if either drain plug was leaking by filling the inside with water (pic below). It's not the engine well or the bottom drain hole. i plug the engine well because water fills in there when out on the water. I'll test it this weekend on the lake and have someone else drive the boat while im looking at the back to see if i can see how water is getting inside. 
  • GotseaGotsea Posts: 689 Officer
    That engine looks low and that could be the reason, is the anti-ventilation plate running on clean water while on plane? you may be taking water from engine spray on to engine well and then from there on the deck 
  • cranker789cranker789 Posts: 280 Deckhand
    I had been taking the boat to the lake lately and it has been fine for hours running, i thought the problem had been solved. Then took it out to the bay yesterday and it was taking on water. Water was running up over the transom, into the engine well and onto the deck. Pretty sure it was from seaweed getting caught on the motor but not 100%. What could be causing this to happen, is it most likely seaweed? 
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,428 Officer

    With such a heavy engine on a small boat all one has to do to take on quite a bit of water is to cut the throttle abruptly, then water will cascade over the low transom. Try moving some weight forward like the fuel tank and slow down gradually. And yes, seaweed on the lower unit will often cause water to be deflected into the boat.

      And may I ask how much do you hit the scales at?


    Giimoozaabi
  • cranker789cranker789 Posts: 280 Deckhand
    It shouldnt be the engine, I've seen up to 50 hp motors on these boats. I'm a hefty 200. I can try moving the fuel tank forward next time im in the bay. Thanks. I think it was just seaweed getting caught on the lower unit. Had to stop and lift the motor a few times to release the seaweed. I just find it strange that seaweed can cause water to flow up and over the transom while running. 
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,842 Captain
    Re-read this posting and realized that this is an older Whaler (a lot older...).   One of the failings of older Whalers is that they tended over time to become "water-logged"... That is the foam used in the construction of the boat (That hull is a "sandwich" - a hull and an inner liner held together by a foam that went in between them as a liquid then expanded out to make a very solid unit..). The only problem is that foams way back then weren't closed cell at all and if any water got in between the hull and the inner liner it got sucked up by the foam like it was a great big sponge and just stayed there...    The result over the years is a hull that might have 100, 200, or more (much more) water weight so you ended up with a problem... 

    I can remember the guy who taught me the basics of working with fiberglass having more than one water-logged Whaler in for repairs.   Not an easy job at all but first you'd need to have the hull weighed to see exactly what your situation was... compared to what it should weigh...  Then if it is water-logged you stood the hull on its stern after drilling some weep holes in the transom to allow it to drain - followed by hooking up the bow with an air compressor fitting so you could pressurize it to drive out the water from the foam... The entire process might take a week or two to drain it completely - then you very carefully sealed up any breaches in either hull or inner liner so that it couldn't happen again.  The alternative would be to separate inner liner from the hull, remove all the old water soaked foam then re-foam it with closed cell foam as you put hull and innerliner back together... 

    If in fact your hull actually weighs much more than it should - that alone might contribute to you taking on water when you jump up on plane... 

    Hope this helps... "Aren't boats fun?"
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • polliwogpolliwog Posts: 296 Deckhand
    I'm going to bet that the engine cavitation plate is too high which can throw water over the transom.  There was a similar issue discussed in the HULL TRUTH web sight .  Engine when lowered showed the plate was above the lowest point of the transom. Put a straight edge from the bottom of the transom to the motor and see where it lines up.
  • GotseaGotsea Posts: 689 Officer
    IMO your engine is too low is the anti ventilation plate running on top of the water while on plane? just by looking at it it looks too low, there is no reason for sea weed to make the boat to take water, till you determine if the engine is running at the proper height 
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,428 Officer

    I am starting to think Lemay might be right. I once knew a guy whose father had a 13.5 Boston Whaler stetting in his yard unused for decades. When he inherited it he managed to get the engine running and then pumped up the flat tires, but the boat so heavy from the foam being water logged the tires could barely support the boat’s weight. I think he then drilled a hole and the water poured out from the foam for days.

     Maybe when this boat goes up on a plane the water inside the hull eventually moves towards the transom and then comes out of various seams into the well near the transom.


    Giimoozaabi
  • cranker789cranker789 Posts: 280 Deckhand
    So I took a ruler to the bottom of the boat to see where the anti ventilation plate lies and here it is in the lowest position, where I run the boat. 

    Its definitely low at This position where I run. I trimmed the engine up a bit to see if I could level the anti ventilation plate with the bottom of the boat. 
    After a little trimming the anti ventilation plate was level with the bottom. Should I run the boat after trimming up a bit or do I have to physically raise the motor to level it with the bottom of the boat?
  • GotseaGotsea Posts: 689 Officer
    IMO you have to raise the engine, remember that the keel at the transom is always running buried on the water, so if your are at same height of the keel you are low, for what I see you have to raise the engine 2 holes and try to see where is the AV at planning seeps, where it is in the driveway means nothing.  cheers 
  • cranker789cranker789 Posts: 280 Deckhand
    Took the boat out on the lake, trimmed the engine up a bit and went from top speed of 20 mph to 25 mph. What a difference to the handling as well. Boat was completely dry at the end of the day too but the real test will be the bay. I think that may be the solution to the problem. Im going to look into raising the engine a couple notches as well with my mechanic, see what he thinks. 
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,842 Captain
    Many would take their rig to a dealer or a mechanic to raise (or lower) their motor - but it's actually something very simple to do solo at home... Here's how I was taught to do it... All you need is a trailer jack on the front of your trailer and a few pieces of 2x4 or 4x4... and the right sized socket wrench for the bolts that hold your motor in place... 

    Take a look at the four bolts that hold your motor to the transom and note that the bottom two bolts aren't in specific holes - instead they're in a slot.... and that's the key to what you're going to do... First un-hook your trailer on level ground then lower that motor to the straight up and down position...  Now place a piece of 2x4 underneath your skeg and another one until you're just about touching that skeg... Now remove the top two bolts on your motor - noting what holes they  were in (top, middle, etc.).  Now loosen the bottom two bolts but leave them (and the washer and nuts) in place.  Now all you have to do is raise that trailer jack which lowers the stern of your boat.. Check periodically until you've actually lowered the stern until the bolt holes match up with the next lower bolt holes on the motor... Re-insert the top two bolts and secure - then re-tighten the bottom two bolts and you're done...  You've raised your motor by one position (and you'll want to water test the results to see whether that was enough to change how your rig operates on the water..). Pretty simple... Only go one bolt hole at a time since you need to test the rig afterwards to see how you're changes have worked out... 

    About that water test... keep your motor in running position at first... idle a bit, then power up onto plane, then once everything is running fine - do a series of sweeping turns each way to see if the prop blows out (revs go up, speed goes down, if the motor is set too high on the transom....).  If everything works okay - now you can play with adjusting the motor's trim to get your best performance... 

    "Aren't boats fun?"
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • cranker789cranker789 Posts: 280 Deckhand
    Thanks for the information LeMay, sounds like something i can do myself. Is it necessary to add adhesive to the motor mounting plate when i find the right height? 
  • Tony RomaTony Roma Posts: 818 Officer
    Marine silicon the the holes and bolts as you reinstall , did this on a Yamaha 115 two months ago. Tried lemays method but it didn’t work for me due to my transom having an outward pitch. As I raised the trailer jack the motor would just bind into the transom. If his method doesn’t work you can do what I did. Level boat out on trailer as close as possible.remove prop and procure 2 floor jacks and a 4x4. Run 4x4 under ventilation plate. Run a rope around top of motor and something strong on boat to prevent a large backward shift, I tied mine off around my center console. Loosen bottom bolts and remove top bolts. Jack motor up slowly. Silicone bolts and holes for top bolts and tighten down.once top bolts are secure remove bottom bolts and silicone those in. Think they sell starbrite marine silicon at Walmart. Made a huge difference in the speed and ride of my 19 center console. Good luck, it’s the motor height and not that water intrusion thing suggested by some. 
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