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TOPIC: Element - Water in sponsons? Help!

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 06 Dec 2016 17:29 #101

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undieingbreed wrote: Has anyone personally or through bayliner found why this happens? I looked all inside the storage areas of my newly purchased 2016. Its yet to be in the water so Im trying to avoid the water issue. The whole above waterline deck seems sealed all the way to the bilge. To me it sounds like condensation, or a terrible seal on the seem somewhere. I thought most if not all of the seem is out of the water while in the water...


This is only my theory. No proof, just guessing.
Because the Element has a manual bilge pump, the water that accumulates in the bilge area stays there until you turn the pump on. However, if you take the boat out with water in the bilge or the boat bounces around at the dock, some water will "spill" over to the sponsons. Once there, the water has no place to evacuate and will accumulate. Hence the need for the plugs. Water that has splashed into the sponsons from the bilge area, most likely will not splash back to the bilge area.
I'm no engineer. But, if I stand outside and look at the back of an Element M shape, I visualize 3 bilge areas. The one in the middle has a pump to evacuate the water. The ones on each sides don't. Bayliner needs to find a way to direct the water from the sponsons to the bilge area so that it can be drained with the pump as required.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 06 Dec 2016 18:39 #102

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Oakplank, that's what I thought as well. And after reading yours, and other posts the sloshing sounded logical. However when I took my phone in video mode, with the light on... I put it in the bilge areas, and looked all around where water could go if it sloshes... all I see is the sealed decking that leads back to the bilge. I even looked behind the wood near the battery, same deal it's sealed and leads to the bilge area. I have a bore scope coming and will check go see if anything leads below deck.

I did however contact the Rep you recommended. He helped and mentioned to contact my dealer and they will set up a good will repair for the drains. I followed that, and have an appointment for Friday, hopefully no charge as no cost was mentioned.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 06 Dec 2016 19:17 #103

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undieingbreed wrote: Oakplank, that's what I thought as well. And after reading yours, and other posts the sloshing sounded logical. However when I took my phone in video mode, with the light on... I put it in the bilge areas, and looked all around where water could go if it sloshes... all I see is the sealed decking that leads back to the bilge. I even looked behind the wood near the battery, same deal it's sealed and leads to the bilge area. I have a bore scope coming and will check go see if anything leads below deck.

I did however contact the Rep you recommended. He helped and mentioned to contact my dealer and they will set up a good will repair for the drains. I followed that, and have an appointment for Friday, hopefully no charge as no cost was mentioned.


I'm happy that they will look after you. There will not be any charge. I'm still curious as to why the drains are not pre-installed at the factory. This only builds up the bad press the Element is getting. Other then the sponsons issue, everyone is happy with the boat. I'm sure it's costing more per boat to install the plugs after production.
I would still love to see a blueprint of the hull and deck assembly. There has to be a reason that water enters those sponsons.
Looking forward to seeing any pictures you can take inside the inner workings of the hull.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 06 Dec 2016 19:54 #104

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I know I wish mine were mentioned and done before I went home. Now I have a 40 minute ride each way, the boat will be stored outside if I can't get back in time when they complete it, I was told it make take longer than a day..... I will definitely be poking around with the bore scope. It has a 10' cable so I'll see what I can do when I get it.

I think condensation sounds possible. Cold water, warm air, in an air tight compartment. I know Rich said possible bad sealant but I don't see the boat sitting that low in pictures. Especially since some people said it happens each time.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 06 Dec 2016 22:55 #105

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undieingbreed wrote: I know I wish mine were mentioned and done before I went home. Now I have a 40 minute ride each way, the boat will be stored outside if I can't get back in time when they complete it, I was told it make take longer than a day..... I will definitely be poking around with the bore scope. It has a 10' cable so I'll see what I can do when I get it.

I think condensation sounds possible. Cold water, warm air, in an air tight compartment. I know Rich said possible bad sealant but I don't see the boat sitting that low in pictures. Especially since some people said it happens each time.


I think it's more than condensation. Just look at how much water is coming out from each sponsons.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 06 Dec 2016 23:44 #106

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Yea I saw those pictures before.... unsettling at best. Hopefully I won't see just bare wood inside when I get the holes done And scoped. I'm going to caulk the rails all around, as well as the swim platforms when it's warmer before I float it.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 07 Dec 2016 15:28 #107

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There has to be something going on to get water in there. I doubt it's a hull crack issue externally, I can't see anything with the rub rail causing it, it's simply too high from the water.

I haven't used my yet but for those that have... what about the plastic cap at the seem near the motor, does that ever get submerged or is it always splashed?

Are the drains they put in sealed with caulk or something?

Looking at pictures of the boat in water I physicLly see no penetrating point below water.......

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 07 Dec 2016 19:14 #108

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undieingbreed wrote: There has to be something going on to get water in there. I doubt it's a hull crack issue externally, I can't see anything with the rub rail causing it, it's simply too high from the water.

I haven't used my yet but for those that have... what about the plastic cap at the seem near the motor, does that ever get submerged or is it always splashed?

Are the drains they put in sealed with caulk or something?

Looking at pictures of the boat in water I physicLly see no penetrating point below water.......


We got what we paid for. so you shouldn't expect to get grady-white quality with 1/5 of the price. bayliners are low quality boats with very low price.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 07 Dec 2016 20:19 #109

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tito123tito wrote:

undieingbreed wrote: There has to be something going on to get water in there. I doubt it's a hull crack issue externally, I can't see anything with the rub rail causing it, it's simply too high from the water.

I haven't used my yet but for those that have... what about the plastic cap at the seem near the motor, does that ever get submerged or is it always splashed?

Are the drains they put in sealed with caulk or something?

Looking at pictures of the boat in water I physicLly see no penetrating point below water.......


We got what we paid for. so you shouldn't expect to get grady-white quality with 1/5 of the price. bayliners are low quality boats with very low price.


Low quality? Not sure I would go quite that far. I was around boats back in the 1980s and I remember what low quality looks like.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 07 Dec 2016 20:52 #110

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I understand the element isn't meant to be a Cadillac. I don't need that for my purposes. However for both us the consumer and Bayliner there should be a proper cause and solution for this issue. Water just doesn't magically appear and for the longevity of my boat and company reasons of bayliner it should be addressed.

If it's condensation then bayliner should ok vents, if it's leaks a sealant, because as the warranty states it's lifetime if it's unfit or unsafe.... to me a soggy boat loosing speed is unfit and is just as bad as a rotten one and I'm sure bayliner won't be happy to replace every element.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 08 Dec 2016 14:31 #111

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Posted this in "2013 element, another with water where it shouldn't be / Bowriders/SkiFish/Cuddies/Deckboats" and thought it prudent to copy here in case Bayliner is monitoring one or the other.

Just a thought....
I believe Bayliner's initial view of affected vessels at less than 1% to be incorrect.Our Element is a 2017 and the issue has still not been addressed.

Last weekend we took our Element out after a week in the garage with plugs removed and boat jacked up as far as possible to drain any remaining water (i.e. completely dry). The weather was sunny with no rain.
Took it out to the St Johns for 4-5 hours for a leisurely cruise with water only ever coming up to swim decks while coming off throttle with the occasional splash onto bilge well.
Deck was dry the entire trip.Never dropped anchor.
After retrieving boat from river I immediately removed sponson plugs to release approximately 1-quart of water.


I like to state however that we are very happy with our new boat. We trailer home every day therefore giving us easy access to plugs. I do see where this may not be a viable option for individuals who keep their Element in the water or the people that may be plain unaware of the issue.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 08 Dec 2016 17:53 #112

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undieingbreed wrote: I understand the element isn't meant to be a Cadillac. I don't need that for my purposes. However for both us the consumer and Bayliner there should be a proper cause and solution for this issue. Water just doesn't magically appear and for the longevity of my boat and company reasons of bayliner it should be addressed.

If it's condensation then bayliner should ok vents, if it's leaks a sealant, because as the warranty states it's lifetime if it's unfit or unsafe.... to me a soggy boat loosing speed is unfit and is just as bad as a rotten one and I'm sure bayliner won't be happy to replace every element.


I completely agree. and adding extra plugs in the transom is not the right way to address this issue. I have a bayliner F16 and I don't have this issue (so far, but I have others) if I will have it, I will not be ok with that work around. you can't tell someone who has fever for a week to just keep taking ibuprofen... you must know the cause of the fever and fix it. Also the fact that bayliner knows this issue for over 3 years now and they didn't fix it in the new models make me really angry.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 09 Dec 2016 00:01 #113

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I was going to ask if the F series has this issue.

Where is the majority of people having this issue located? If you're all up north , maybe it is condensation. I keep going back to that.... totally sealed under belly, cold water, hot deck......

Also I emailed the rep Oakplank mentioned.. at least he confirmed in written email specifying that of the boat gets water logged to where it can no longer operate properly , and as long as the drains were done by a bayliner shop the lifetime warranty to the first owner is good... that makes me happy ish..... is it a fix, not at all. However it's enough to where if years from now my boat looses its use or rots from this issue, Bayliner "should" without issue stand for that lifetime warranty.

As several have said, at least there is plenty of written proof of these issues, if a suit ever happens.

However being that my boat will never stay in longer than a week while on vacation, most trips are a day. I hope I will have mostly good times with it.

However if I have water after the first outing..... the dealer and Bayliner will hear from me.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 09 Dec 2016 21:18 #114

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undieingbreed wrote: I was going to ask if the F series has this issue.

Where is the majority of people having this issue located? If you're all up north , maybe it is condensation. I keep going back to that.... totally sealed under belly, cold water, hot deck......

Also I emailed the rep Oakplank mentioned.. at least he confirmed in written email specifying that of the boat gets water logged to where it can no longer operate properly , and as long as the drains were done by a bayliner shop the lifetime warranty to the first owner is good... that makes me happy ish..... is it a fix, not at all. However it's enough to where if years from now my boat looses its use or rots from this issue, Bayliner "should" without issue stand for that lifetime warranty.

As several have said, at least there is plenty of written proof of these issues, if a suit ever happens.

However being that my boat will never stay in longer than a week while on vacation, most trips are a day. I hope I will have mostly good times with it.

However if I have water after the first outing..... the dealer and Bayliner will hear from me.



Yes, Bayliner has a good customer service now and they hear us when is needed. thats a good thing. but they really need to step in and fix those issues if they want to move to be quality boats.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 17 Jun 2017 21:35 #115

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undieingbreed wrote: I was going to ask if the F series has this issue.

Where is the majority of people having this issue located? If you're all up north , maybe it is condensation. I keep going back to that.... totally sealed under belly, cold water, hot deck......

Also I emailed the rep Oakplank mentioned.. at least he confirmed in written email specifying that of the boat gets water logged to where it can no longer operate properly , and as long as the drains were done by a bayliner shop the lifetime warranty to the first owner is good... that makes me happy ish..... is it a fix, not at all. However it's enough to where if years from now my boat looses its use or rots from this issue, Bayliner "should" without issue stand for that lifetime warranty.

As several have said, at least there is plenty of written proof of these issues, if a suit ever happens.

However being that my boat will never stay in longer than a week while on vacation, most trips are a day. I hope I will have mostly good times with it.

However if I have water after the first outing..... the dealer and Bayliner will hear from me.


I found water in my E16 sponsons a month ago and reported it to Bayliner. They had me take my boat to the dealer to install the sponson plugs. Two weeks later I had the boat in the water for 6 days and the sponsons had water in them again. So I reported this to Bayliner and once again my boat is back at the dealer. This is getting ridiculous.. If I find water again in the sponsons I will request they buy the boat back so I can get a model that doesnt have this issue.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 17 Jun 2017 22:14 #116

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CableBro wrote:

undieingbreed wrote: I was going to ask if the F series has this issue.

Where is the majority of people having this issue located? If you're all up north , maybe it is condensation. I keep going back to that.... totally sealed under belly, cold water, hot deck......

Also I emailed the rep Oakplank mentioned.. at least he confirmed in written email specifying that of the boat gets water logged to where it can no longer operate properly , and as long as the drains were done by a bayliner shop the lifetime warranty to the first owner is good... that makes me happy ish..... is it a fix, not at all. However it's enough to where if years from now my boat looses its use or rots from this issue, Bayliner "should" without issue stand for that lifetime warranty.

As several have said, at least there is plenty of written proof of these issues, if a suit ever happens.

However being that my boat will never stay in longer than a week while on vacation, most trips are a day. I hope I will have mostly good times with it.

However if I have water after the first outing..... the dealer and Bayliner will hear from me.


I found water in my E16 sponsons a month ago and reported it to Bayliner. They had me take my boat to the dealer to install the sponson plugs. Two weeks later I had the boat in the water for 6 days and the sponsons had water in them again. So I reported this to Bayliner and once again my boat is back at the dealer. This is getting ridiculous.. If I find water again in the sponsons I will request they buy the boat back so I can get a model that doesnt have this issue.


Do you cover your Element when not in use? From what I've read here lately, it appears water is entering the battery and/or gas tank area. From there it finds it's way to the sponsons via holes drilled into the floor by Bayliner for the fasteners holding the battery and gas tank. Knowing if you cover your boat when it rains or you wash it down will help to determine if this latest theory has any validity.
We Element owners are all working together to find out exactly what is happening. Hopefully Bayliner is doing the same.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 17 Jun 2017 23:59 #117

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oakplank wrote:

CableBro wrote:

undieingbreed wrote: I was going to ask if the F series has this issue.

Where is the majority of people having this issue located? If you're all up north , maybe it is condensation. I keep going back to that.... totally sealed under belly, cold water, hot deck......

Also I emailed the rep Oakplank mentioned.. at least he confirmed in written email specifying that of the boat gets water logged to where it can no longer operate properly , and as long as the drains were done by a bayliner shop the lifetime warranty to the first owner is good... that makes me happy ish..... is it a fix, not at all. However it's enough to where if years from now my boat looses its use or rots from this issue, Bayliner "should" without issue stand for that lifetime warranty.

As several have said, at least there is plenty of written proof of these issues, if a suit ever happens.

However being that my boat will never stay in longer than a week while on vacation, most trips are a day. I hope I will have mostly good times with it.

However if I have water after the first outing..... the dealer and Bayliner will hear from me.


I found water in my E16 sponsons a month ago and reported it to Bayliner. They had me take my boat to the dealer to install the sponson plugs. Two weeks later I had the boat in the water for 6 days and the sponsons had water in them again. So I reported this to Bayliner and once again my boat is back at the dealer. This is getting ridiculous.. If I find water again in the sponsons I will request they buy the boat back so I can get a model that doesnt have this issue.


Do you cover your Element when not in use? From what I've read here lately, it appears water is entering the battery and/or gas tank area. From there it finds it's way to the sponsons via holes drilled into the floor by Bayliner for the fasteners holding the battery and gas tank. Knowing if you cover your boat when it rains or you wash it down will help to determine if this latest theory has any validity.
We Element owners are all working together to find out exactly what is happening. Hopefully Bayliner is doing the same.


Supposedly Bayliner instructed the dealer to seal those areas which are what you said. The battery, gas tank, and light pole holder that are drilled to the floor. I do cover the boat while its on the trailer but I did not cover it when I had it docked that week. I'm now adamant about leaving it in the water for a week again knowing that the sponsons are leaking. It's just annoying to have to deal with this issue on a boat that only had 13 hours of use when I found the water.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 18 Jun 2017 19:34 #118

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Cablebro, is your boat a 2017? From reading I thought they potentially resolved the problem....

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 19 Jun 2017 09:29 #119

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3putthater wrote: Cablebro, is your boat a 2017? From reading I thought they potentially resolved the problem....


No it's a 2016. I asked Bayliner if they could help me get a 2017 and their response was to let them try to resolve the water issue. I will give them this last chance if it leaks again I will be contacting corporate or a lawyer.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 19 Jun 2017 14:43 #120

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CableBro wrote:

3putthater wrote: Cablebro, is your boat a 2017? From reading I thought they potentially resolved the problem....


No it's a 2016. I asked Bayliner if they could help me get a 2017 and their response was to let them try to resolve the water issue. I will give them this last chance if it leaks again I will be contacting corporate or a lawyer.


I TOTALLY agree with you. It's time for action. I don't understand why Bayliner won't issue a recall to fix all Element (pre 2017) holes they drilled to fasten the gas tank, battery and light post. They know this to be the issue. Yet, no across the board, plan to fix this issue.
Generally, I'm happy with my Element and the service I've received from Bayliner. However, I'm not happy about how they are handling this specific issue. Allowing water (that should not be there in the first place) escape is only a band-aid fix. Bayliner STOP the water from getting into the sponsons, PERIOD.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 20 Jun 2017 03:32 #121

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oakplank wrote:

CableBro wrote:

3putthater wrote: Cablebro, is your boat a 2017? From reading I thought they potentially resolved the problem....


No it's a 2016. I asked Bayliner if they could help me get a 2017 and their response was to let them try to resolve the water issue. I will give them this last chance if it leaks again I will be contacting corporate or a lawyer.


I TOTALLY agree with you. It's time for action. I don't understand why Bayliner won't issue a recall to fix all Element (pre 2017) holes they drilled to fasten the gas tank, battery and light post. They know this to be the issue. Yet, no across the board, plan to fix this issue.
Generally, I'm happy with my Element and the service I've received from Bayliner. However, I'm not happy about how they are handling this specific issue. Allowing water (that should not be there in the first place) escape is only a band-aid fix. Bayliner STOP the water from getting into the sponsons, PERIOD.


Yes exactly. I am not going to accept water getting in there at all. If water is still there when you pull your boat out you need to call Brunswick and complain until they fix it or replace it. I reminded them of the lifetime hull warranty and how I will not accept this issue much longer. They have this last chance and I will water test it immediately after to make sure it's 100% fixed. If not I am getting a replacement hull one way or another.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 20 Jun 2017 10:41 #122

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couldnt you guys fix the holes yourself and carry on with life? i know there new boats but sealing some holes is pretty easy. my 2016 215 db wasnt perfect but i fixed it up and carried on with boating.

trying to prove a point with a corperation like brunswick is a waist of time. if they cared the boats wouldnt be made in mexico to begin with.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 20 Jun 2017 12:28 #123

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Critterracing wrote: couldnt you guys fix the holes yourself and carry on with life? i know there new boats but sealing some holes is pretty easy. my 2016 215 db wasnt perfect but i fixed it up and carried on with boating.

trying to prove a point with a corperation like brunswick is a waist of time. if they cared the boats wouldnt be made in mexico to begin with.


Critter,
I agree with you. If it were would fix and not wait for Bayliner. I found several issues with my 215DB and choose to fix them. There is not much quality control in Mexico. They sure can't cut a board straight. But I can also see there side and what about all those that are not on this Forum or are aware of the issue. I feel Bayliner needs to man up and release the recall. But my thought is they know that there are a lot if not all that have this issue. If they issue a recall they will open a can of worms that will financially hurt them. So at this point they will just fix those that request it and best of luck to those that have no clue. Again this is just my opinion.......

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 20 Jun 2017 14:12 #124

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I have a 2017 (built in Feb/March 2017) with sponson drains added by dealer (and nicely caulked sealed, as far as I can tell). Stored covered and on a boatlift. A get a few drops of water out of the port sponson, nothing out of the starboard sponson, every few weeks.

As I stated in some of the previous threads, I believe that it is a flawed design; you can't build a boat with a sealed compartment and then instruct your unskilled mfg. labor to drill into it and caulk it. That having been said, Carolina Skiff, McKee Craft, Boston whaler, everglades, and others have probably sold hundreds of thousands of boats with similar designs and they have not been disasters.

For wetslipped boats, the sponson drains are not really a good fix. But I would just mark and watch your waterline. If it gets lower, you have a problem. But I am not sure how much water weight can really get into the foam filled sponsons. There are a LOT of happy element owners.

If this is a concern for you, and it is a valid concern for some, then spend more money and buy a different boat.

As for a buyback...I don't think that there have been any Elements that have rotted out or failed because of this issue, so a buyback is unlikely. There was one guy on here who had the DEALER (not Bayliner) buy his boat back but it was not anywhere near purchase price nor maybe even FMV, and though we don't know what went wrong on his boat, it seems to have been a dealer-created issue rather than a Bayliner created one.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 20 Jun 2017 15:11 #125

  • oakplank
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Critterracing wrote: couldnt you guys fix the holes yourself and carry on with life? i know there new boats but sealing some holes is pretty easy. my 2016 215 db wasnt perfect but i fixed it up and carried on with boating.

trying to prove a point with a corperation like brunswick is a waist of time. if they cared the boats wouldnt be made in mexico to begin with.


I agree that some of us are capable of sealing the holes BAYLINER drilled in their supposedly sealed sponsons. I'm even attempted to give it a try myself. But, not until I receive a letter, from Bayliner stating that "an issue, with the sealing of the fasteners, has been acknowledged and, therefore, Bayliner will still honor their hull warrantee should an owner wish to seal the affected areas himself/herself. However, should an owner not feel he/she has the required skills to perform this operation, we recommend they contact their Bayliner dealer and request they follow the procedures outlined in article XXXX."
The above is the very least Bayliner should do for their customers. Most owners would seal the area themselves. As we know, Bayliner is reluctant to honor their hull warranty for those who personally installed trim tabs. That's why I insist they put it in writing, with a reference to my specific hull number.

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Parry Sound, Ontario Canada
2014 Bayliner Element with Mercury 60 HP EFI Big Foot OB
12 foot aluminum fishing boat with 5 HP Mercury OB
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