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TOPIC: Element - Water in sponsons? Help!

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 24 Apr 2016 19:04 #1

  • Kilroy
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Hi all. So I'm trying to install smart tabs on my new Element, and when I drilled the holes for the tab bracket, a bunch of water came gushing out. Is that normal? It seems like there is no way for that water to drain out (other than drilling holes in the hull)...

Here's a pic. There must've been a couple of quarts in there.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 24 Apr 2016 19:11 #2

  • Ruffryder
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Shop vac

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 24 Apr 2016 19:27 #3

  • Kilroy
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So it's normal?

I should just try to fish the shop vac hose through the bilge and over into the sponson?

Thanks.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 24 Apr 2016 19:43 #4

  • Amadaies
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I never been around a Element but i would not think that water should be there.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 25 Apr 2016 02:23 #5

  • oakplank
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If it's on the port side, Bayliner has not made any accommodation for water to escape from the gas tank area. I think the reason is that they don't want spilled gas going into the bilge area in case a spark from the bilge pump may ignite it. Just guessing here.
I use a hand pump to remove any water in the gas tank area. Not sure what else I can do without introducing an electrical issue in that area.
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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 25 Apr 2016 02:51 #6

  • Kilroy
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This is beneath the gas tank. There was some water when I drilled the holes on the starboard side, but not nearly as much.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 25 Apr 2016 03:26 #7

  • Oakland4788
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I don't know anything about your model, but water coming from the transom would worry me. I would advise that you ask your dealer?

Surveyors use a small plastic hammer to tap on hulls and transom to determine if the sound changes. It sounds like a tapping noise when dry or more like a thud when moisture is present. I have also seem them use moisture meters. I am sure someone else has more specific advice but I would investigate before installing your tabs.

I hope you have a good outcome and I am offering needless worry.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 25 Apr 2016 15:01 #8

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Kilroy wrote: This is beneath the gas tank. There was some water when I drilled the holes on the starboard side, but not nearly as much.


Make sure that you post your findings as the majority of us Element owners would not be drilling in that area and would, therefore, not be aware of water residing in that area.
Good luck with your research.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 25 Apr 2016 18:10 #9

  • TigerBoat
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I am looking to pull the trigger on a 75 hp Element 160. What is the solution you guys are currently using to drain the element's sponsons?

I would like to think Bayliner is aware of this issue and has provided a practical solution. :dry:

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2016 75hp Element 160 w/ Smart Tabs & Sponson Drains
Last Edit: by TigerBoat.

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 25 Apr 2016 19:50 #10

  • Kilroy
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I emailed Bayliner about it. Will post their response.

If the bilge is only separated from the sponsons by the "hump" in the hull, I could see how this happened. The boat has been tossed around in the Gulf twice now, easily enough for water to slosh from the bilge over the hump and down into the sponson. That might also explain why the port side had more; we were anchored both times such that the waves lifted the starboard side first. Just an idea.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 26 Apr 2016 12:22 #11

  • chrisaw
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Why not put two extra drain plugs there?

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 14:04 #12

  • Kilroy
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Bayliner said that the sponsons should be sealed and there should not be water in there. They told me to take it to my dealer (who is four hours away). Great.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 14:50 #13

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Is the only way to know if there's water in the sponsons is to drill a hole???

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 16:00 #14

  • TigerBoat
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Kilroy wrote: Bayliner said that the sponsons should be sealed and there should not be water in there. They told me to take it to my dealer (who is four hours away). Great.


What are your thoughts on adding additional drain plugs to the sponsons?

I am thinking the small plastic types that you would normally see on a personal water craft. My Yamaha Waverunner has two small plastic drain plugs on either side of the waterjet on the transom.

I find little comfort in Bayliner's explanation that "there should not be water in there". :S

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2016 75hp Element 160 w/ Smart Tabs & Sponson Drains

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 18:11 #15

  • Kilroy
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I never would have guessed that there was water in there without drilling the holes. I don't know how you could tell, unless maybe if there was enough for someone to hear it sloshing while it was being launched/retrieved or parked.

Yeah, I suppose adding drain plugs might be an option, but...

I emailed the picture to my dealer. If they respond, I'll post it.

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Last Edit: by Kilroy.

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 18:21 #16

  • Kilroy
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I'm not the first person with this issue. baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/forum/t...1-fiberglass-element

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 18:34 #17

  • TigerBoat
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I'm thinking one of these installed near the bottom corner of each sponson.

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2016 75hp Element 160 w/ Smart Tabs & Sponson Drains

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 18:42 #18

  • Jlp10
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Got your message Kilroy. I don’t buy Bayliners answer that the stern is sealed on either side of the M hull. I believe water can get there by flowing back from any of the lockers or like you said by sloshing over the hump from the bilge. I have not had it in the water this season and got it at the end of last season so I need to look at it more. I have considered a second bilge pump with a hose over the hump on each side but it would be difficult to ensure the hoses are at the bottom of the M void. I don’t like the thought of drilling holes in the hull for drains but I like it better than having water in there all the time. Not sure what to do right now.
Thanks,
JLP

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 18:54 #19

  • Kilroy
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My dealer's response:

YES SIR WE DO SEE THIS SOMETIMES YOU CAN USE A SHOP
VAC AND GET THE WATER OUT AND LET IT SET OVER NIGHT
AND DRY IT SHOULD BE OK

I guess I'll have to look into the drains, or to see if there's a way to get a shop vac hose in there. We've had it out four times, it got rained on once, and I've washed it down multiple times, and there wasn't that much water in there. It must be a slow intrusion wherever it's coming from.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 18:59 #20

  • TigerBoat
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Can you get into the lower rear sponson areas with a shop vac? Is there enough room to do so?

Bayliner says the area is sealed. The dealer says to shop vac it out.

That's nice :unsure:

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2016 75hp Element 160 w/ Smart Tabs & Sponson Drains
Last Edit: by TigerBoat.

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 19:47 #21

  • Banana Slug
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How is there so much water in your bilge that it can slosh over the raised ends into the outer sponsons?

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 28 Apr 2016 21:08 #22

  • mrhandy
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I just repainted and sealed the Gas tank storage area with Epoxy primer and Brightside top paint.

There were cracks in the fiber glassed structure and it looks like water could get in. I also noticed that the access panel behind the battery needed some paint and so I painted that as well. I also considered filling in the depressions in the anchor locker, but just painted them instead. I'll deal with the water sitting their for now.



After 1 year in salt water, I am quite happy with how the boat held up. This year I repainted the bottom and the Engine Mount and replaced the gas tank tie downs and strap.


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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 01 May 2016 22:55 #23

  • Kilroy
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I checked today, and I don't think there's access to the sponsons from the bilge, at least not for a shop-vac hose. Banana Slug has a point: The only part of the bilge on level with the bottom of the sponsons is the little six-inch sub sandwich-sized area where the pump is. From there it expands into a bigger area where the top is more or less on level with the deck.

I can't add drain holes to the transom side of the sponsons because the smart tabs are there now. I'm going to ask the dealer where the bloody H I'm supposed to run a hose from, but when the answer is less than satisfactory it seems like an option might be to drill a hole down through the gas and battery compartments for a vacuum hose. What a pain.

On a side note, I'm digging the smart tabs. Only complaint, and others have mentioned it, they do tend to drive the bow down in following seas, and that's no good at all. Otherwise, they make for a much smoother ride, lower planing speeds, and the engine seems to labor less for the same speeds.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 02 May 2016 00:57 #24

  • TigerBoat
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Kilroy wrote: On a side note, I'm digging the smart tabs. Only complaint, and others have mentioned it, they do tend to drive the bow down in following seas, and that's no good at all. Otherwise, they make for a much smoother ride, lower planing speeds, and the engine seems to labor less for the same speeds.


Does trimming up a bit remedy the nosing down of the bow in following seas? Or can you reduce the aggressive angle of the smart tabs by slightly raising up the position of where the smart tab rod attaches to the hull?

I was thinking that there was an adjustment plate with several positions/elevations for the smart tab rod to attach to the hull to adjust the tab's angle.

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2016 75hp Element 160 w/ Smart Tabs & Sponson Drains
Last Edit: by TigerBoat.

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 02 May 2016 01:29 #25

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Trimming doesn't make enough of a difference, and changing the angle of the tabs isn't a good option while at sea because it involves trying to undo and retighten a bolt and nut on each side down at the waterline.
Bear in mind that the Element is a small, planing boat, and isn't meant to be taken into certain conditions. What I'm talking about is for conditions that the Element can, but probably shouldn't, operate in.
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