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Author Topic:   Effect of flooding of electricals in 170-Montauk
Holy Cow posted 05-27-2003 12:46 AM ET (US)   Profile for Holy Cow   Send Email to Holy Cow  
[Assume] the Bilge [pump] does not work. How high will the water come up in [a 170-MONTAUK]? What wiring will the water get to inside the console? If the water does go HIGH, I assume the battery will fry. Will that cause all the breakers to trip and will the wiring still be good enough to reuse? Planning for any and all events, Holy Cow

I bet the water will travel right up the [rigging] tunnel if the Montauk 170 is flooded. Also I left my canvas cover off the console and noticed water came into the console cabin area. It lookled to be just a few droplets. I know the drink holders have clear drain tubes and can slip off easy, but mine were on. So where did the seepage come from? HC

Jimm posted 05-27-2003 12:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
If I leave the plug out of my Montauk 170, water comes into the rear area about an inch - that's all. No water near the console.
Holy Cow posted 05-27-2003 01:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Holy Cow  Send Email to Holy Cow     
:) Wow. Really! That's great news!!! HC
James posted 05-27-2003 07:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for James  Send Email to James     
The 170-Montauk Owner's brochure recommends that you leave the plug out of the bilge when moored. I left the plug out of my 170 for over a week to save the batteries (fairly steady rain and cold throughout May without much engine use). My marina basin is in Raritan Bay and has both algae growth and a decent tide movement. I leave the 90-4 stroke fully tilted when the 170 is moored in my slip. The water/algae stain inside the boat stayed around the bilge area with the plug out. There was some minor water accumulation in evidence out of the bilge area. My 170 stern faces the marina dock. The water level rose noticeably in the back of the boat when we entered. I could not stand the sight of the algae stain so the plug is back in the bilge. When they say unsinkable, they mean it!

James.

Holy Cow posted 05-27-2003 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Holy Cow  Send Email to Holy Cow     
Great News James. Hope to be up to the Raritan Bay soon for some great fishing. I remember the first time I was there. Wow! Oh, the municipal water main was corrected I hope! Thanks for the good word. HC
Holy Cow posted 05-27-2003 08:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Holy Cow  Send Email to Holy Cow     
Keep an eye out for "Bet. Kim's Revenge" Thanks, HC
Lars Simonsen posted 05-27-2003 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
A battery can survive being immersed in water (even saltwater). As a result of some brainlessness on my part, I had a personal experience of swamping my 1990 Montauk at Oregon Inlet on the NC coast. I could feel electricity in the water and in the steering wheel, but had no real trouble getting the water out of the boat and continuing on. The battery lasted another couple of years. The VHF radio in the console lasted only one more year. The lesson (and the ribbing from the guy who was fishing with me that day) will last a lifetime . . . .
Holy Cow posted 05-27-2003 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Holy Cow  Send Email to Holy Cow     
Lars,
Does that mean the water came up 1 foot or 1.5 feet? The battery is about 12-inches above the [deck]! Good thing your Montauk didn't end up like some of those lesser boats that get swamped and thrown into the jetty on the south side. I saw a nice stainless prop on the back of a 20 footer turned upside down almost at the end of the jetty but couldn't get to it. The outdrive was buried deep in those rocks almost at the light on the inlet side. Oh well. I guess it's best to put up with a little dunking and ribbing from a fellow fisherman than to see our pride thrown to the raging seas and ungrateful jetty rocks. HC
Lars Simonsen posted 05-28-2003 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
A styrofoam cup is unsinkable, yet it can be filled with water. The same is true of any whaler (particularly the Montauk since it's not self bailing).

When my Montauk got swamped, the top of the transom was underwater (but the power head of the motor was still out of the water.) Fortunately, I was in shallow water. I got in the bow of the boat, and the guy I was stood in the water lifted as hard as he could at the stern while I bailed like crazy. Both of us were praying that no one would come "help" us and see us in such an idiotic predicament. It worked, and we got enough of the water out that we pulled the plug and got up to speed and ran the rest of the water out. And I'm quite certain my hull wasn't waterlogged (either before or after); it had been trailered and kept in a garage most of its life, so I don't think lack of flotation that was an issue. I probably could have pulled the plug on the boat and it would have slowly floated up and pushed most of the water out of the drain hole, but I didn't think about it at the time. FOrtunately, even when swamped like this, the Montauk still floats, and can be drained (or bailed) fairly quickly without a great deal of difficulty. If we had been in my buddy's boat (an old Privateer), we would have had to flag down another boat, as we would have never gotten all the water out of it.

My bilge was working fine, but since the lowest point of the top of the transom was underwater, it was just recirculating the ocean (or the sound).

I hate to admit it, but the way this happened is that we anchored at an island to go catch some minnows for bait. We didn't expect to be gone long, so I just tied the anchor off to the stern cleat. We got to having fun catching bait, and got out of sight of the boat, and when we returned, we both noticed that the boat was sitting awfully low in the water.

Since I tied off to the stern, the chop was splashing over the transom, and the bilge couldn't keep up, so eventually, the boat filled with water. It was a lovely experience, needless to say. The lesson, of course, is never tie your anchor line off to your stern (unless you have another anchor tied off the bow to keep it facing into the wind and waves). Bow to the waves!

However, it certainly made me appreciate having a Boston Whaler. We all do stupid things occasionally, and it's good to have a forgiving boat.

Holy Cow posted 05-28-2003 10:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Holy Cow  Send Email to Holy Cow     
Well. Lars, you said the battery lasted, which surprises me because if the two terminals make contact with the water wouldn't it short circuit the battery? And what happened to the other wires and contacts???
I placed anti-oxidant flux on all the contacts on the newly installed bus bar and other points of contact as to halt the salty air and any salty spray. Also, did you have a bucket to bail? It would seem to me that it was a hurried experience. I've been there. My friend in Avalon, NJ didn't watch the water rising out back and didn't re-tie the four permanent guide lines to my twin 200 Merc 23 FT Seacraft and she ended up under the water. I said I will never leave my boat with any one again who cares more about drinking their beer and whisky. And I will always remember new moon [neap] tides with Nor'easters always push more water so make sure your guide lines are on a pully system to ride the tide! Glad you made it! HC
Lars Simonsen posted 05-29-2003 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
I washed the boat very thoroughly after that episode. I also sprayed all of the connections (battery terminals, connections under the console, took the cover of the VHF and coated the circuit board) with Fluid Film. The only casualty was the VHF; but even it worked fine till about a year later. I didn't have blown fuses or anything like that.

I now always bring a five gallon buck with me (I keep my cast net in it when I'm fishing)

hooter posted 05-31-2003 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
Some years ago, a merely foolish couple o' fellers took their old-style Montauk into the Gulf out o' Orange Beach, FL just ahead of a hurricane, just t' see what's what. Gettin' through the pass was real interestin, with "chop" runnin' at least four feet and comin' from ever' which direction. About six dudes on jet skies were catchin' crazy amounts o' air in there as we came through, but once out, 'twern't too bad. The rollers were well spaced and runnin' 4-to-5 foot. We tootled on down t'where the girls and kids were stayin', just t'have a destination. Bein' just a li'l more stupid than he is t'day, the captain decided t' run inside a bit so he could be heard yellin' across the surf to his bride, somethin' brainy like, "Hey, how 'bout these waves, Hon!" Well, not thinkin' at all about wave construction he somehow managed to get in betwixt the inner and outer sandbars, and as soon as he "found" the inner one, his skeg caught sand. Next moment, a five footer curled over the side and filled that rig like a beer cup on foamer night at the Astrodome. Yeah, Schits happens, but a lot more so to the chronic'ly stupid. Thinkin' quick, the pilot kill't the 90 and flipped on the li'l bilge pump, he and passenger pulled plugs fore and aft, hopped out into the surf and turned the bow into the waves before she could take on another one. They used batt'ry box lids to bail while keepin' the rig pernted right, havin' t'hang on while the rig corked up with each new wave. Their arms started t'feel like weenies must feel when inside one o' them hot-dog electrocuters; you know what Ah mean? Its a plastic box with a clear window and metal prongs inside for stickin' a couple wieners and the prongs on one end of a wire the other end of which you plug in the wall...friggin' sparks, smoke and poppin' greeze makes quite a show on a slow summer night. Well, anyway, with the batts under a foot o' salt water thaz what our arms was goin' through the whole time we was bailin'. In mebbe four, five minutes o' this fun we had the boat deck up and mostly drained. Brainiack captain hopped back in, fired up the 90 and took off for Mexico. The boat drained completely in another couple minutes (who said the Montauk's not self bailin'?). He made it back through the pass where all them rocket scientists and brain surgeons were still flyin' around on their SkiDoos, thinkin' at least they knew where the friggin' sand bar was. Inside the bay, life returned t' normal, and he berthed up at the marina wizened and a li'l tiny bit humbled.

So what happens when you fill that beer cup t'the brim? Ah doubt the new 170 will react any dif'rent than the old 16'6" hulls. And you know what? Those bat'ries lasted another couple years, just like somebody up above has reported. Ah gots the feelin' back into mah fingers about two days later, too, no woise f'the experience. And after the fact, the respect showered on me by the brides o'that li'l party, you cannot even imagine:-!

jimh posted 05-31-2003 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Some comments about the battery and circuit breakers question:

IMMERSED BATTERY
If the battery is immersed in water, some current will flow between the battery terminals. The amount of current will depend on the conductivity of the water, the distance between the battery terminals, and the voltage of the battery.

WATER CONDUCTIVITY
Pure fresh water is not very conductive and only a tiny current will flow. Salt water is more conductive, but not nearly as conductive as copper, silver, and other metals identified as electrical conductors. A larger current will flow, but typically not so large as to immediately discharge the battery, or "fry" it as you suggest.

CIRCUIT BREAKERS
If the battery becomes immersed it is unlikely that "all the breakers will trip" because the slight additional current flowing as a result of the immersion does not travel through any circuit breaker at all, let alone travel through all of them at once.

EFFECT OF IMMERSION ON WIRING
Most marine-rated wire used on boats can tolerate immersion in water on a continuous basis. Bare connections, on the other hand, cannot tolerate much exposure to water. If the connections are well sealed and the connectors of high quality, brief immersion in fresh water is probably not "terminal" (if you get that pun). Exposure of bare copper wiring and terminals to salt water is not recommended.

It is often seen that exposed wiring terminals and connectors are sprayed periodically with a coating wax or lubricant.

One such product is BOESHIElD T-9. This product was developed by Boeing aircraft for protection and lubrication, and its label mentions explicitly that it can be used on marine electrical and battery wiring.

Another product is WD-40, which can expel water from electrical connections. I don't think it provides long-term protection.

If your electrical distribution panel has been immersed in water, spraying it with WD-40 may be helpful.

Lagged posted 05-31-2003 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lagged  Send Email to Lagged     
I would be careful when spraying WD 40 as it is conductive.
jimh posted 06-01-2003 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I would not hesitate a minute to spray WD-40 onto an electrical distribution panel that operates at 12 volts that has just been immersed in water, nor would I hesitate to spray it onto a 12-volt battery's terminals.

WD-40 if often used under the hood of cars to help get wet engines started by displacing moisture. You can spray it on the high tension spark plug wires, according to the makers of WD-40.

jimh posted 06-01-2003 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Edited articles to remove triple punctuation (!!!, ???, ...) and replace as appropriate with single punctuation marks.]
smgrogue posted 06-01-2003 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for smgrogue  Send Email to smgrogue     
Jim--When I first took deliver of my MT 170, the battery terminals were coated with a slimy green gunk, and for that matter, so was the propeller shaft. I assumed it was for corrosion protection; it actually seemed like it was wheel bearing grease. Anyhow, I was wondering if as a replacement product I should try a dielectric lubricant compound (many of which are silicone based, I believe) such as I have used on the plug connection for my trailer brake lights? Is the Boeshield product better and/or easier to work with? I like the idea that it becomes "dry" to the touch--the "green slime" used by the factory is really messy.
HAPPYJIM posted 06-01-2003 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
While in the Coast Guard, I attended a "salt water recovery course".

ASAP all items would be immersed (55gallon drum) in fresh water, even electronic items.

Then they would be immersed in CRC electronic cleaner. This was to displace the fresh water. Allow to dry.

The CRC leaves no oil film. CRC is also great for cleaning electrical/electronic connectors.

It is available in spay cans just like WD-40.

Lars Simonsen posted 06-01-2003 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
smgrogue; the green slimy stuff you had on your propeller shaft was probably Fluid Film (or some equivalent). A friend of mine works at the coast guard base near here where he rebuilds helicopters. They use CRC on all of their electrical connections, and paint all of their circuit boards with fluid film.

On my VHF radio, I used much the same technique HAPPYJIM described; after swamping my boat with saltwater, I took the radio apart, washed it out with a hose, then sprayed it down real well with WD-40 to displace the water, then let it dry. ONce it was dry, I sprayed it all down real well with fluid film. I don't know how long the radio would have lasted had I not done that, but I was impressed that it lasted another year after that. The guy who was fishing with on that fateful trip was a commercial fisherman, and he said that he knew of a lot of commercial fisherman who would take their brand new radios, and dunk the circuit boards in five gallon buckets of fluid film. It's an amazing anticorrosive, and does not conduct electricity. In addition to my five gallon bucket, I also keep a can of WD-40 and a can of fluid film on my boat.

Holy Cow posted 06-01-2003 10:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Holy Cow  Send Email to Holy Cow     
[Great Replys]

I applied Anti-oxidant slim type grease to all the connections to the new [Bus Bars] and the "O" ring contact points. This is a 12 ounce funnel nosed, plastic squeeze type container which was sold to me at Tecot Electric for use on aluminum wiring contacts on 120 volt receptacles and switch... I used it for all exposed and crimpped 12 and 14 gauge connectors(no wing nuts Thank You).

I am a hard core out in the water 1-4 foot wave rider and do not look forward to the water entering from the back transom, because I know it will find its way up the toe kick of the console... Guess all I can do is use the CRC on all those salt sprayed connections.
What does everyone think of marine silicone caulking the top and bottom horizontal open slits at the [Toe Kicks]?
I also like the CRC as a light spray over any internal under the crowl parts on my Mercs! HC

jimh posted 06-03-2003 12:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I wonder if you are referring to a Burndy product called PENETROX-A. It is more of a joint compound, not a top coating. I used to use it when assembly aluminum radio antennas.

For copper I believe PENETROX-E is recommended.

It is conductive so you don't want to use that as an overall sealer on a panel.

Holy Cow posted 06-03-2003 02:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Holy Cow  Send Email to Holy Cow     
Jimh...

The Product says its an anti-oxidant Joint Compound made by Ideal... Noalox reduces galling ans seizing and promotes good ground continuity through the joint. I just want the bare copper to not be oxidized by salt and salt spray as it ties into the O ring connector! HC

Whalerdan posted 06-07-2003 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Getting to this conversation a little late but I have a couple of comments.

1. Lars Simonsen commented that a montauk (170 I assume)is not selfbailing. I thought the definition of self bailing is if you pull the plug and get on plain the water will drain out through it. Will the new montauk not do this (as I know my 85 montauk will), or is my understanding of self bailing all wet?

2. I know from experience (at least I think I know) that WD40 will conduct electricty. I had an electric motor I coated with it one time. After I installed it and it ran for about 5 min. it fried (smoked and quit working),

Lars Simonsen posted 06-07-2003 03:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
By your definition of self bailing, the Montauk is self bailing. My definition of self bailing (and it may be wrong) is that you don't have to remove a plug (i.e. it has scuppers or the equivalent rather than a plug), and the water exits via holes level with the deck of the boat.

I think just about any boat is somewhat "self bailing" if you pull the plug while underway. I was out with a group of folks in a friend's bayliner one night, and we were just drifting along with our feet propped up, looking at the stars and drinking beer. Apparently no one had their feet on the deck, because as soon as someone sat up and put their feet down, there was a "sploosh" and we all looked down to see life vests and skis floating around in the boat. My buddy had forgotten to put the plug in at the ramp. He started the motor and took off (it was pretty sluggish) and we ran until we got as much water out as we could, returned to the boat ramp and called it an adventure. Water drained from his boat for about a week after that. He sold the boat shortly thereafter.

Before long, I guess I'll be confessing all of my stories of boating stupidity in which I have played a starring role.

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