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Old 09-20-2016, 04:02 AM   #1
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Exclamation Sudden leak in my boat?

I have a '98 Maxum 1900 boat with 3.0 Mercruiser sterndrive. Every time I take it out, I would say maybe 1-2 ounces of water tops drains from the plug. But last Friday when I took it out, I'd say a quarter to half gallon of water drained out.

The only thing different I did was have adults riding in the bow and my daughter driving the boat, who did have a tendency to quickly decelerate the boat.

I've read a number of posts online about the bellows being the source. I looked around the sterndrive tonight and don't see any problems there but I'm sure that's a flawed approach.

Anyway, I'm wondering if the boat is safe to use or should I get it to the mechanic to prevent further damage? It is getting close to winterization time, so maybe I'll have them take a look then.

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:27 AM   #2
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Tom to inspect the bellow the drive needs to be raised then you look between the folds for cracks, both the drive shaft and shift bellows may be the source.

Another source may be the seal for the swivel shaft at the top of the drive.

Other than that you would be looking for an internal leak from a hose of somewhere on the engine.

How old are the bellows? Life is typically 5 - 10 years.
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:24 PM   #3
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Default Sudden leak in Maxum boat

Thanks for the suggestions. I checked this morning and didn't see any obvious tears (though I could easily be missing them). Based on the below picture, it looks to be in pretty good shape?

http://www.maxumownersclub.com/forum...albums403.html

More importantly, is it recommended to NOT use the boat with a potential sterndrive-related leak?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by twerner View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. I checked this morning and didn't see any obvious tears (though I could easily be missing them). Based on the below picture, it looks to be in pretty good shape?

Maxum Boat Owners Club - Forum - twerner's Album: 98 Maxum

More importantly, is it recommended to NOT use the boat with a potential sterndrive-related leak?

Thanks,
Tom
Tom I cannot see the pictures as my work firewall is blocking them, I'll look tonight. If the driveshaft bellows is leaking it may damage the gimbal bearing however if the bellows are the source I would replace the bearing anyhow. The amount of water you mentioned is not drastic but if its getting worse I would wonder if that continues the boat could sink. So it's your call.
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:32 PM   #5
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Well I just clicked on the Photos tab and I can see your pictures. That is the exhaust bellows and the one in question is above it however since it looks good I suspect the driveshaft one is as well. The lower exhaust one typically fails first.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:59 PM   #6
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Default Sudden leaking in my boat

Thanks Mike. I'm less concerned with sinking as I am ruining the drive.

Can all of this be inspected with the naked eye or does the sterndrive have to be pulled for more thorough inspection?

As I mentioned earlier, this started after boating with my daughter driving and quickly decelerating (causing water to splash against the transom). Does that help isolate anything?
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by twerner View Post
Thanks Mike. I'm less concerned with sinking as I am ruining the drive.

Can all of this be inspected with the naked eye or does the sterndrive have to be pulled for more thorough inspection?

As I mentioned earlier, this started after boating with my daughter driving and quickly decelerating (causing water to splash against the transom). Does that help isolate anything?
Typically the worst a sudden deceleration can do is cause water to flood up the exhaust and into the engine, not a good thing but no water in the bilge.

Did water flood over the transom?
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:35 PM   #8
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Don't forget to look at the shift cable bellows. That was split/separated on the '89 2000SR we bought this year. The exhaust and drive bellows were in good shape. Of course, before it went in the water, they all got changed along with the gimbal bearing. We also had a cup or 2 of water when we were out for ~5 hrs. After several weeks of searching, that was traced to a chip in the gel coat near the center of the hull. Once the chip was repaired, the water intrusion went away.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:32 AM   #9
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Thanks guys. No, water didn't go over transom, just splashed against.

I'll check the body again to make sure no damage to gelcoat, though I don't recall any impact to the boat. Sounds like there's not really a risk of further damage if I use the boat again. Maybe I'll have all bellows inspected with winterization this year.

Thanks all for the help.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:08 AM   #10
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As I stated before the source may be internal, look around the engine when running on the hose. Also put the drain plug in when doing this to see if any water accumulates in the bilge.
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