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Author Topic:   1998 Outrage 17: Water in Bilge
2communicate posted 12-26-2005 01:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for 2communicate   Send Email to 2communicate  
I'm a new owner of a 1998 Outrage 17. Everything seems to work fine, but there is one problem. Whenever I'm underway, the bilge behind the helm fills up. The drain plug is in tight, so I have no idea where the water is coming from. Anybody have a suggestion?
Thank you.
aubv posted 12-27-2005 08:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     

There is a very small drain tube in the forward bulkhead of the rear in deck box. You may not even be aware that it is there, as it is located behind the wiring/hose bundle for the bilge pump, located under the grate. The drain tube is for the area around the fuel tank, located in front of the in deck box. This area around the fuel tank will fill, slowly, any time the in deck box is filled.

The drain tube(or fill tube as the case maybe) is only about 3/8-inch ID so it will take some time to drain the forward bilge area. The drain tube location and size makes it difficult to detect where this mysterious water comes from.

I think the total amount of water this area can hold is only a couple of gallons.

2communicate posted 12-27-2005 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for 2communicate  Send Email to 2communicate     
First, thanks a lot for taking the time to help. Thank god for the internet!
I'm not sure I understand completely the situation you are describing. I can imagine the little drain tube, since I once replaced the bilge pump, although I didn't notice the drain tube then. What I don't understand is how water would collect around the fuel tank while we are underway, even moving slowly, so that it could then drain into the bilge area. The last time I used the boat, I started with a dry bilge, cruised at 5 knots for about an hour in flat seas, and then returned to the dock. As I was putting the cover on the boat, I lifted the hatch on the bilge, and it was full of water!
4 Boys posted 12-27-2005 02:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for 4 Boys  Send Email to 4 Boys     
The drain that is being referred to is usually capped with a threaded insert. Now how does the water collect there? I have a theory. Mine collects water and what I have noticed is that it is fresh water (rain or wash down water). The water comes from holes in the floor - front cooler tie down, t top, console, floor panel seal, and the seat behind console I would imagine. Recalk these holes and the water should not accumulate as quickly. I keep the insert in the drain so that fish box ice and water do not fill the area when the box is in use. Now why does water run in the fish box when you are under way--gravity. The drain is about an inch (I am guessing here) above the bottom floor of the fuel tank. When you apply the throttle the boat tips up and the water in the fuel area runs out of the drain. When you are at rest the boat is level and the area does not drain completely. I would keep the insert in the drain and check it frequently. My boat stays in the water so I like to keep it sealed off.
assaf posted 12-31-2005 04:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for assaf  Send Email to assaf     
My last boat was a 1996 17 outrage II . the water is coming through the scupper that is beneath the starboard rear seat, and then through the rigging hole of the engine cables. there is a small hole for draining the rigging to the bilge. you get the water from there. to prevent this you must plug the scupper when you are on the way.
Jerry Townsend posted 12-31-2005 07:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Also having a 17' Outrage II (1996) - water can only get into the fuel tank cavity via 1)a leaking floor seal or fuel tank inspection port seat and a lot of water on the floor or 2)from having the storage compartment/bilge sump completely full. This compartment has to be basically full - as the penetration of the umbilical cables is NEAR THE TOP of that compartment. And water will get into the bilge storage area/sump from the scuppers (they are not totally leak proof) or from water on the floor and floor drain channels.

Now - your initial post said that "... Whenever I'm underway, the bilge behind the helm fills up." For this sump/storage area to fill up takes a lot of water - 25 - 30 gallons. Since that boat is basically dry - the only thing I can think of to fill that sump is the scuppers are totally shot.

As some have mentioned, drain the fuel tank region by removing the threaded nylon plug and see how much water comes from that area. This drain plug is on the forward wall of the storage/sump compartment, low and may be obscured by the 'umbilical cables'. By all means, periodically remove - and replace that plug. I will remove mine maybe once or twice a year just to see if any water comes out.

Do not block the scuppers - they are there for a purpose. But, you may want to replace them - with OEM parts or there are after-market ping-pong ball scuppers that some have mentioned.

In my case, I will periodically (every 2 - 3 hours) just hit the bilge pump switch and let it run until the sump is drained. ---- Jerry/Idaho

Dan posted 01-07-2006 08:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
I always install a new plug each year. I think the water comes from rain or when you wash the deck -- it seeps in somehow. I always leave the plug above bilge out. I also upgraded the bilge pump to an 800 gal per hour one.
folivier posted 01-16-2006 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for folivier  Send Email to folivier     
When I launch my '96 Outrage II, water comes in through the scuppers and drains into the in-floor fish box. This only happens when the boat is on the trailer tilted so that the scuppers are under water. I've never noticed if water gets into the area around the fuel tank and drains back out.
Could this be what is happening to yours?
Jerry Townsend posted 01-17-2006 12:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
folivier - any water in the fuel tank region will not drain automatically - you have to remove the nylon plug in the forward wall of the in-floor fish box. The plug is hard to see, and some miss it - a white nylon plug, just above the bilge pump. I keep mine in - but remove it, drain any water accumulation and put the plug back in - a couple times a year. ---- Jerry/Idaho
Arcturus posted 01-21-2006 08:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arcturus  Send Email to Arcturus     
I've got a 99. When I'm backing down on a fish or backing to free a snag I'll take water over the transom and it gets in through the tube that the rigging comes out of, it also can get in that same type of fitting that's on the starboard wall of the floor fishold.

I periodically (twice a year) remove the access cover between the pilot seat and the console and put in a couple of gallons of fresh water at the washdown station, tow home and drain the water out through the bilge.

I do this mainly because I don't want any corrosion due to salt accumulating in there. I'll do this only in the summer months and leave the access cover off and floor box cover open to allow the area to dry out.


KRios posted 05-14-2006 06:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for KRios  Send Email to KRios     
I get water in the bilge too. Not too much. I open the plug everytime I return from the water.

A friend has the same boat. Lots of water can out of the plug so he had the dealer check it and found out the hull needed to be changed. I hope this won't be a problem for me as well as the rest of you. I don't want a water logged boat. Got two more years w/ the hull waranty. If there's a problem I hope I can find out about it before the waranty ends.


Royboy posted 05-15-2006 08:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Interesting thread. I've got a 1999 Outrage 17 and I haven't noticed any of this yet, although when I took the access cover off between the console and RPS there was moisture in there. Also, my scuppers leak a bit, so when somebody heavy is in the aft cockpit the fishbox will fill up from there. I'll have to look for this drain in the fishbox.

Also, I noticed that the rigging tube in the starboard quarter box could take water so I installed a plug in the drain. Do you other owners leave the aft plugs in or out and why?


97crosstackle posted 05-16-2006 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for 97crosstackle  Send Email to 97crosstackle     
I have a 97 Outrage (Cross Tackle) and I get buckets of water in the area around the fuel tank. The previous owner had to replace the tank, no wonder why! I am at a total loss as to how it gets there. I have invested meny hours in trying to figure it out and it's making my crazy! I have talked with BW tech's and they have no clue either. My boat is trailered and after one heavy rain storm it will collect up to 3 gallons. That leads me to conclude that it has nothing to do with water comming in through the starboard quarter seat and up the rigging tube,which was BW's best guess. The fish box itself fills as well although I know that it's because the scupper flaps restrict water flow off the deck causing the box to fill. Some 99's I've seen BW added a gasket and lid latch, and auto bilge switch.
Royboy posted 05-16-2006 08:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
My '99 has the fishbox seal, latch, and auto-bilge pump and it all looks OEM. Even so, the "seal" doesn't look like it would be totally water tight, and indeed the fishbox will fill up if enough water leaks through the scuppers, like when my 250 lb son-in-law is standing back there.


Royboy posted 05-16-2006 08:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Well, I just went out in the driveway and located and pulled the plastic plug out of the fishbox. There was a gallon or so of pretty sour smelling water that came out of there. Guess I'll have to monitor that and see how long it takes for water to collect in there. It's been raining for the last few days, but I have a cover on her, so not much, if any, water makes it to the deck. By the smell, I'd imagine the water had been in there for quite some time.


97crosstackle posted 05-17-2006 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for 97crosstackle  Send Email to 97crosstackle     
Thanks royboy, thats helps norrow things down. I noticed last night that the entire rear edge of the removable portion of the deck (the section that sits over the fuel tank) is not sealed at all. That could explain everything! It may be filling when the deck drain gutters (gullies) fill just like the fishbox does. I'm not sure if that is typical or an oversight by the installers of the replacement tank. I would appreciate if someone could check it out on theirs. You will have to lift the fishbox lid to see. Thanks!
Royboy posted 05-17-2006 04:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I'll check it out tonight and post what I find.


Royboy posted 05-18-2006 07:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
My rear deck is completely caulked all along the forward edge of the fishbox. It looks to be well sealed.

Do you other owners of Outrage 17's leave your plugs in or out in the aft quarter seat wells, and why?


97crosstackle posted 05-18-2006 07:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for 97crosstackle  Send Email to 97crosstackle     
I had the same question and asked the BW tech when I spoke with them about the water in the fishbox and around the fuel tank. He told me they should be left out because rain and excessive splash will fill them over time. He acknowledged that when backing water will go in as well which is why they added the small opening on the starboard wall of the inside of the fishbox. The intent was that if it went up the rigging tube it would drain into the fishbox and NOT the fuel tank cavity. I personally only plug them when using the boat. Thanks for checking the deck seal! I am hopeful that that is my problem, although it would leave me to wonder why the tank went in the first place. Doubtful both BW factory and the dealer both forgot to seal it.
KRios posted 05-23-2006 06:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for KRios  Send Email to KRios     
My big concern is that the water doesn't soak in the hull. I don't want a major problem in the future. My friend had his hull replaced becuase lots of water was found in the hull which leaked out from the plastic plug in the rear deck cooler/bilge. The hull was drilled and that's when they discovered most of the water. If he didn't have it checked, he might of went past his waranty and end up spending a fortune on repairs.


Jakwolf posted 09-08-2006 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jakwolf  Send Email to Jakwolf     
Oh my gosh! I finally got around to looking for that little plug on the forward wall. Instead I found a hole 1-1/2". I could reach inside with a couple of fingers, and felt a smooth gelcoated tunnel (tube)? I'm a little bugged out here, because I've let the bilge fill right to the top when washing and let it soak overnight, etc. I cant imagine what this is used for. I'll be getting a late start fishing tomorrow, as I have to check this out with a little dis-assembly for a better look. (It's dark now).
Royboy posted 09-12-2006 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
There should be a plug in it that's threaded with an o-ring on it. I think it's an inch in diameter. I don't believe water can get into your foam from there, but I could be wrong. I hope not, because it would make it useless as a live well. Anyone know for sure?


Royboy posted 09-12-2006 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I've also noticed that there is a small drain in the starboard wall of the fishbox. It drains the rigging tunnel that runs from the aft starboard seatwell to the console. If the plug is left out of this seatwell while running water can get into the rigging tunnel and it drains into the fishbox. I think this is what someone above erroneously refered to as a scupper. They are drains; the scuppers are on the sides of the hull.

This condition is somewhat annoying because it melts my ice pretty quick. Blocks survive better, but best is to keep the bilge pump on auto to get rid of collecting water. I don't like to keep the plug in back there, because water can enter pretty easily through the notch for the engine cables and then into the rigging tunnel from there. If you've got bloody fish in your box (which I'm happy to report I often do) it sloshes into the rigging tunnel, making it, well...yuk. I'm sure this accounts for the funky smell of the water I drain out periodically.

I also get leakage from around the lid of the fishbox that comes from the scuppers, but this is mostly minor unless someone really heavy is back in one of the corners for a long time, then it may fill the box.


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