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gonesailing13 06-10-2016 05:29 PM

I recently installed a counter to see how many times my bilge goes on. The boat sat at the dock for two weeks while we were away and when we came back the counter was at zero. Great I thought. So we decided to take the boat out for the day, about a eight hour trip. When we got back to the dock the counter was at eleven. Reset the counter,seven days go by -zero. Seems to only get water when we move. I checked the stuffing box,the engine and every connection that I can see and nothing. I can't tell if it's fresh water or not but it's making me crazy trying to figure it out. Any suggestions ?

jwnall 06-10-2016 05:39 PM

Um, two weeks at dock, no leak. Take out for a run, and bilge pump runs. Right? Several possibilities, I suppose, the most obvious one being the stuffing box. It will not necessarily leak while not running. Other possibilities would be hoses, etc. But probably you have checked those. I would bet on stuffing box.

78puget-trawler 06-10-2016 06:09 PM

Look in the bilge while running underway. If you don't see water anywhere, maybe your counter is wacko.

Hawgwash 06-10-2016 06:27 PM


Originally Posted by gonesailing
I can't tell if it's fresh water or not...

Are you only running in fresh water? Do you see water in the bilge? Only one pump supposedly running? How much spray do your ER vents take? How is the counter hooked up? Have you only been out the once? How have you tried to track it? Run it in gear at the dock? Run every FW fixture?

hmason 06-10-2016 07:03 PM

Water sits at the lowest level as the boat sits. Water accumulating at the bow for example will run back towards the bilge sump as the bow lifts underway.

Donsan 06-10-2016 07:30 PM

Did you have your air conditioning on? Perhaps it drains into the bilge.

bilge53 06-10-2016 07:31 PM

...and water sitting at the stern will move forward when you pull it back. Is A/C running and draining to bilge...might be part of it.

Ted 06-10-2016 07:51 PM

I don't know your boat, but;
If it is carvel planked it's common here that the planking will dry out over the
off season when the boat is not in use. When the first trip starts it will leak at the seams
where the water is forced up the hull until it tightens up (planking swells) on the caulking.


BruceK 06-10-2016 08:04 PM

Checked rudder seals?

cafesport 06-10-2016 10:16 PM

I can think of four or five scenarios which might explain your symptoms, but the easiest way I can think of to verify any one of them involves running a water hose from shore down to the bilge and turning it on to see what is truly going on. My guess is a bad bilge pump that is not able to fully empty the water that sloshes around when you are under way and keeps tripping your new counter. A cracked pump diaphragm, a loose suction hose or deformed syphon break could also cause the same symptoms.

Spell check via iPhone.

Hawgwash 06-10-2016 10:25 PM


Originally Posted by cafesport;
My guess is a bad bilge pump that is not able to fully empty the water that sloshes around when you are under way and keeps tripping your new counter.

Possibly been there all along and he never knew it was repeatedly short cycling until he stuck a counter on it.

Giggitoni 06-11-2016 01:35 AM

Inspect the engine room while running. Taste the water for fresh or salt. Salt water weighs about 9 pounds per gallon. Fresh water weighs about 8.3 pounds per gallon. Weigh a gallon. Is your hull wood? Check raw water pump and all hoses while engine is running.

Searios 06-11-2016 03:23 AM

Maybe sea water back flow through the vented loops of the bilge pump hose - seen that once or twice...

or a leaking engine cooling pump or its hose.

Mule 06-11-2016 07:17 AM

If is fresh water, is it rain or air conditioner water IE:no chorine. Swimming pool test kit answeres that. Chlorine in water=fresh water tank leak.

Steve 06-11-2016 07:42 AM

Could the counter somehow be wired into a circuit only energized while the key is switched to "on"?

From post #12
" Inspect the engine room while running. Taste the water for fresh or salt."
Be careful! I did the "taste test" on a small clear puddle in my usually dry bilge turned out to be battery electrolyte! got me a burn on lip and tip of tounge.

SCOTTEDAVIS 06-11-2016 08:35 AM

Pool supply places have a test kit for salt water as many systems now use a low amount of salt added to the water to electronically breakdown the compound to create chlorine (Salt chlorine systems). Get an inexpensive test kit so you don't need to use your body as a testing unit. (bilge water is not tasty stuff)

bayview 06-11-2016 09:46 AM

Engine leaks are another place to look.

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