2004 Sportster 4-Tec: water coming in!

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Andre900

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Hello,

Last week I picked up an '04 SeaDoo Sportster 4-Tec supercharged. It looks decent and runs strong. The seller took me out on the boat and it ran very well. I just noticed that it's taking on water whether tied at the dock or running. Just sitting tied to the dock, not running, the bilge pump kicks on every five minutes and ejects about one gallon of water. At idle speed, the bilge turns on every four minutes and, again, ejects a gallon of water; and every three minutes at mid-speed.

When I pull the boat out of the water and unscrew the two drain plugs, about one gallon of water flows out.

The hull looks solid other then a couple of small gouges that have cracked through the gel coat, but I don't think the volume of water that I'm seeing could come thru the hull. Is there some way the water can come in from around the intake grate or from the jet propulsion mechanism or the exhaust at the rear of the boat? Any thoughts?
 
I read where all seadoo boats take on some water around the drive shaft seal (carbon seal) and the bellows. My Challenger started showing more water in the bilge than usual and I found both clamps on the bellows were loose, tightened them and things returned to normal. Since you get a little more in with the engine running that might mean you have a leak or loose clamp on your exhaust (open loop) system......
 
Seadoo boasts are not designed to be stored in the water per say.

That said, they can remain in the water for MANY hours and should not have an issue.

You want to look at the carbon seal area. Fire the boat up. It should DRIP by design. This is what cools the seal. If it runs in, you need to either replace the seal and all components and or adjust it. There is a keep ring or an "O-Ring" under the collar. The O-ring style is pretty much obsolete as it fail and you must remove the shaft to replace it. The snap-ring eliminates the need to remove the shaft and is easy to fix.

So,,, first let us know how badly if at all it leaks while running at the dock.

It could be the scuppers, but lets narrow this down and go from there.
 
Thanks gents. I've read some other posts on water leaks and some of them also mention the carbon seal, but I still don't understand where that is located. Is the carbon seal part of the drive shaft and if so, where at?

The Sportster leaks when running and when not running, either at the dock or out on the water. The bilge pump clicks on every five minutes when not running; every four minutes at mid-speed, and every three minutes at higher speed. Ejecting about one gallon each time.

Any more thoughts?
 
A gallon every five minutes is allot!

I had a small gouge from nicking a rock, that just looked like gelcoat. But boat started taking on a gallon an hour (not 5 minutes!!!). Got ready to do a patch, and grinder went right through. Did a small fiberglass repair after grinding out the loose stuff, and as good as new and bone dry ever since.
 
I found the leak - it's at the rub rail along the stern. With the boat tied down to the trailer, I inched it slowly down the ramp. No leakage until the rub rail at the stern was under water. Getting upside down under the engine hatch, I can see water dripping in along the seam and in through a couple of the rivets that fasten the boat rail. About one gallon per 4 minutes leaks in; and that seems like a serious leak. I've purchased some 3M marine adhesive sealant from Home Depot and will seal along the top & bottom of the rub rail and see how that works. Looking closer at the rub rail at the stern, I can see that a repair was previously attempted using clear silicone caulk. I think I see a couple of gaps in that repair.

With the rub rail out of the water, no leak. I ran the motor with the boat on the trailer, and no leak coming in through the drive shaft or in the cooling system.
 
I was going to reply something to the effect that I highly doubt caulking the outside of the rub rail will prevent water from "finding a way in", and you would be better of removing the rail it and finding where the actual leak behind it is. Then I curiously googled how the rub rail is fastened, and these popped up ... you are not alone!

In case there is any help here:
http://www.seadooforum.com/showthread.php?49466-Speedster-150-water-leak
http://seadoosportboats.com/topic/5442-speedster-150-leak/
http://www.**************/forums/showthread.php?t=126070
http://www.jetboating.net/jetboating/common/forums/threadview.aspx?forumid=9&page=1&threadid=14516
 
What happened to IT LEAKS WHEN IT IS RUNNING?

Is the rub rail below the water line when underway? If so, that seems very wrong to me. If not,,, and it was leaking when running, I'm still thinking carbon seal.
 
Yes, the rub rail at the stern is underwater when not moving and when underway. At the stern, the rub rail goes around the swim platform, and the swim platform is at the water line, but dips into the water at the run rail. From inside the engine hatch, I can see water dripping in at a couple of spots at the backside of the rub rail at the stern. I'm going to seal it up w/ the 3M marine adhesive today and test it on Saturday. I've got a feeling that the leakage is a little bit to heavy to be fixed by a simple, but heavy re-seal. I've got a feeling I might need to install a new rub rail.
 
Coastjoe, right, when I was out on the river, running a low to medium speed, still got leaking into the engine hatch, but could see from where, and at those speeds the rub rail at the stern is still in the water. Yesterday, I ran the motor while still on the trailer (and the rub rail out of the water), and no leakage. So, that's making me think the rub rail is the problem.

Steve-Cay, thanks, I'll look closer at those rub rail links!
 
Coastjoe, right, when I was out on the river, running a low to medium speed, still got leaking into the engine hatch, but could see from where, and at those speeds the rub rail at the stern is still in the water. Yesterday, I ran the motor while still on the trailer (and the rub rail out of the water), and no leakage. So, that's making me think the rub rail is the problem.

Steve-Cay, thanks, I'll look closer at those rub rail links!
 
Very good.

I didn't realize the rub tail is under water.

To me that defeats it's purpose. So basically it is a cover for a sealing joint.
 
Yes, exactly. The rub rail comes up out of the water along the sides and bow and is a bit more functional. But, right, basically, the rub rail covers the joint of the two piece boat.
 
I water tested the SeaDoo Sportster today and the 3M 5200 adhesive sealant did the job! I ended up running a thin, tight bead the whole length of the rub rail, circumventing the whole boat; that's four seems - top & bottom of the rub rail & top and bottom of the rivet cover that is pressed into the rub rail. I ended up using half of one 10oz. tube of the 3M. Nonetheless, now, about half a quart of water drains out when I pull the drain plugs; where it was about a gallon before the 3M fix. I'm not sure how even this lesser amount of water is getting in, but I can live with it. No water at all ever drains out the plugs on my old '96 Speedster and old '96 Waverunner.
 
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