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Bilgewater
#1
I just purchased a used 2013 Tiara Sovran 3500. I have never operated a boat with this type of bilge system and was wondering how much water is too much. I have done a little detective work to eliminate any equipment leaks by;

Completely drying all accessible bilge areas to "paper-towel", dry, then,

Let the boat sit idle in the water for 4 hours, no detectable water in the bilges,

I then started just the generator and let it run for 30 minutes, no water found.

I shut the generator off and ran all 3 AC units from shore power for 30 minutes, no water intrusion.

I shut the AC's off and ran both engines at idle for 20 minutes, still no water found.

With the bilges bone dry, the following day we took a 25 mile round trip to lunch at varying speeds with a total time in water of 4 hours. When we got back home I put the boat back on the lift and recovered 4 gallons of water throughout the bilge system and approx. 1/2 gallon in two non-draining areas next to the transom.
I don't guess there was enough water to trip the pumps, there was power supplied to them and they would function manually from the switches at the helm. I never saw the indicator lights come on and I also had the bilge alarm set.
I know this is a long explanation to get to the point but is this normal, or should I be concerned. If this is the normal condition of this boat, how does the water enter the boat under normal operations? It seems like a lot of water just to spray in.

Any insight regarding this would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve


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#2
did you taste the water? Is it fresh water or salt? It would certainly narrow it down to where the water is coming from
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#3
I should have mentioned that before definitely salt water.
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#4
I have a 35 open and had water in the bilge from the rudder shafts. Might want to also check the prop shaft seals. Does the head use fresh water or raw water? Do you have a raw water wash-down pump. Did you use it?
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#5
Steve, I would check all hoses and clamps on the main engines. One might be loose or even broken. The raw water pumps move some serious water. I too would check the rudder logs...being lift kept they dry out and may leak until they swell up. 4 gallons in four hours is alot. Seems to me, it should be a pretty steady stream. I would get in the engine room with a spotlight and check every hose and clamp while the engines are running. May sure you wear ear protection.
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#6
Sprinkle talc in the bilge and take a short ride. You should see tell tale water tracks. I'll bet on the rudder post packing. Remember the boat sits level at dockside and the bow rises when underway. Capt. George
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#7
Thanks Steve. The head uses fresh water, and the boat is equipped with Volvo Penta IPS drives there is less than 50 hours on the engines. There is a raw water fitting just above the swim deck but I have never used it. I've only had the boat for two weeks.
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#8
anthem,
I guess I'm holding off on the engine room ride until the last resort, but that may be what it takes. I'm a big guy and that's a small hot space.

Steve
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#9
Capt. George,

I had read about your talc powder suggestion in one of your earlier post in another thread. Sounds like a good idea and maybe the next thing I try.
Most of the leaking complaints I have read on the IPS drives seems to stem from water intrusion directly into the pods themselves. This was apparently addressed by Volvo by replacing the Nibril steering ring with stainless in 2010. My engine has this new setup along with the newer designed o-rings. I don't see any moisture around the IPS drives and both the drives and engines are sealed off from the bilge area. The engine mounts do not allow for water pass through into the bilge until you get about six inches of water and it spills over, but there is no water in those areas.
I have also read about an issue with the water strainers leaking on older Volvo systems, but mine has the newer locking ring tops. This was a fresh water boat, so before it was shipped south I had the dealer install the Aux. Bronze Sea Water strainers to the raw water intake system. This is a preventive measure to prevent a leakage problem found in some IPS units used in salt water.
I have to go out of town this week, but I think when I get back I'll give your talc powder a test run.

Thank you,

Steve
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#10
Hmmm, quite the conundrum. The IPS drives rarely leak and if the nothing leaks at the dock, something else is causing the water leak. As you know there are no shaft logs or rudder posts to leak in the IPS System.

My guess is your swim platform is leaking. The bottom portion of the swim step is a molded part of the hull. The top part of the swim step is a separate piece that is installed and caulked in place. Then a rub rail is installed where the top and bottom meet at the shoe box fitting. The fix is to remove the rub rail portion of the swim step, re-caulk the entire shoe box fitting and re-install the rub rail.

If you want to verify this is where the leak is coming from, go into the engine room at night (lights off) and have someone shine a flash light around the rub rail on the swim platform. If you can see light from inside the engine room, this is where your leak is coming from. This is a common leak on the Sovran series.

Good Luck and let us know how you make out.
Chris Burkard
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