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TOPIC: Element - Water in sponsons? Help!

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 01 Jul 2016 21:23 #51

  • efarstad
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I installed my smart tabs last year (year two of the boat) and did not notice any water coming out the holes. I'm tempted now to unscrew one on each sponson just to check....ugh! :-(

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2014 Element w/60HP Bigoot, Smart Tabs, 4 Blade Prop
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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 01 Jul 2016 23:40 #52

  • element385
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efarstad wrote: I installed my smart tabs last year (year two of the boat) and did not notice any water coming out the holes. I'm tempted now to unscrew one on each sponson just to check....ugh! :-(


I didn't think I'd have any, as mine's a 2016, and figured MAYBE Bayliner addressed the issue for the new model year. All in all, I didn't have much in there. Maybe a quart from either side. Over the next few weeks, I'll address the issue, with or without Bayliner, warranty or not.

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'17 F18 - 115 Merc

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 05 Jul 2016 14:45 #53

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element385 wrote: Begin Rant (Cliffs):

Now I have to ask as well, what good are installing drain plugs in the sponsons? What if the boat sits in a slip all season? Is it supposed to come out every 2 weeks to be drained?


You would let the water sit in the sponsons for 2 weeks?!?! :blink:

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

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 05 Jul 2016 16:34 #54

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Most likely not. Just part of my rant... I'm actually heading over to my dealer tonite to discuss this issue. I think what I'm going to do is cut a hole in the floor under that back seat, ahead of the battery, and put an access hatch in there. This is about the only way I'm ever going to know now, whether or not there's water down there. If I install my own plugs without the blessing of Bayliner, they'll most likely void any warranty the boat has. Installing an access hatch might also void it too (water could seep down thru the hatch seal), but how else can I determine whether water is getting down there or not?

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'17 F18 - 115 Merc

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 05 Jul 2016 16:43 #55

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element385 wrote: but how else can I determine whether water is getting down there or not?


Grab yourself a stethoscope (CVS/Walgreens) and get a friend of yours to lift (and lower) on the trainer tongue a few times while you listen to the transom portion of the port sponson (listen for water movement). It is actually pretty easy to lift and lower the Element 160 by hand while it is trailered. Be sure to trim the outboard up before raising the tongue up though and watch out for the center-most trailer light. I've bumped that tailer light on the ground a few times already LOL. :cheer:
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2016 75hp Element 160 w/ Smart Tabs & Sponson Drains
Last Edit: by TigerBoat.

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 12 Aug 2016 13:11 #56

  • Jlp10
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I just spoke with my dealer and they said they would drill holes to drain the water from the sponsons and fill the holes with epoxy. When I asked about installing drain plugs because water will get in there again they said "the customer can have them installed but that will probably void the warranty". Bayliner’s webpage seems to only point to the dealers. Does anybody know how to contact Bayliner directly about this? Is this forum monitored by Bayliner itself? Does anybody know if Bayliner has published anything on this? I spoke to a surveyor at my marina and he said to get the water out of the hull that it will cause damage. It seems like the drain plugs should have been installed at the factory.
Thanks,

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2016 Element 16'
75 hp Mercury

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 12 Aug 2016 14:26 #57

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Jlp10 wrote: I just spoke with my dealer and they said they would drill holes to drain the water from the sponsons and fill the holes with epoxy. When I asked about installing drain plugs because water will get in there again they said "the customer can have them installed but that will probably void the warranty". Bayliner’s webpage seems to only point to the dealers. Does anybody know how to contact Bayliner directly about this? Is this forum monitored by Bayliner itself? Does anybody know if Bayliner has published anything on this? I spoke to a surveyor at my marina and he said to get the water out of the hull that it will cause damage. It seems like the drain plugs should have been installed at the factory.
Thanks,


Bayliner Customer Service phone number is (865) 971-6311
Call them, I heard they are really good. Also check that site: www.baylinercustomercare.com/
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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 12 Aug 2016 19:17 #58

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Some dealers are acting on their own and that's why so many "solutions". My dealer said they would drill and install the drain plugs free, IF THEY FOUND WATER. If no water, I would have to pay to have the holes filled.
I told them that it was not acceptable. They contacted Bayliner which decided as a "goodwill" gesture they would install the drain plugs, whether they found water or not.
So, don't give up. Keep on top of it.

P.S.
They did not find any water.
That's the whole problem. How do you know if you have water or not?
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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

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 14 Aug 2016 01:19 #59

  • Kilroy
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I got my drains installed yesterday. They're in the same place as Tigerboat's. The dealer said that not much water came out, but there was some. It was covered by warranty, although they did charge me 80 bucks for moving the smart tabs over to accommodate the plugs, and for a tube of marine sealant. Hopefully the problem is solved.
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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 14 Aug 2016 03:32 #60

  • Norma stitz
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Every low part of the hull should have a bilge drain. Just my opinion. I've had tunnel hull boats with 4 bilge plugs. No big deal.
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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 16 Aug 2016 13:42 #61

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Norma stitz wrote: Every low part of the hull should have a bilge drain.


Yep. I think you should be able to drain each of the hull's low spots (in this case three)

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

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 02 Sep 2016 17:21 #62

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Just got my port/stbd drain plugs installed at my dealer. Bayliner covered the cost. Very good customer service by Bayliner and Lynnhaven Marine in Virginia Beach.

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2016 Element 16'
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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 27 Sep 2016 17:05 #63

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Jlp10 wrote: Just got my port/stbd drain plugs installed at my dealer. Bayliner covered the cost. Very good customer service by Bayliner and Lynnhaven Marine in Virginia Beach.


Have you had much water come out of the sponson drains after boating outings since the install?

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

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 29 Sep 2016 18:40 #64

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I almost never leave it in the water over night. A little water (cup or two) comes out after boating in rough water. The starboard side is always dry but the port has the water. not sure how it is getting in. I have noticed some small hair like strands of translucent putty or caulk coming out from behind the rub rail on both sides of the bow and both stern corners.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 29 Sep 2016 20:30 #65

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Jlp10 wrote: I almost never leave it in the water over night. A little water (cup or two) comes out after boating in rough water. The starboard side is always dry but the port has the water. not sure how it is getting in. I have noticed some small hair like strands of translucent putty or caulk coming out from behind the rub rail on both sides of the bow and both stern corners.


Yeah, water comes out of my port sponson drain after each outing. I kinda thought it was leaking into the sponson from the gas tank compartment area (a fair amount of water accumulates in there during boating outings).

Have you read this post from Noxian (linked below)? I believe that he suspects that his sponsons are not able to fully drain even after using the additional sponson drains (post # 38 ). :dry:
www.baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/for...houldn-t-be?start=25

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2016 75hp Element 160 w/ Smart Tabs & Sponson Drains
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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 29 Sep 2016 23:33 #66

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Thanks for the link. Interesting read. This is a bigger and more widespread problem than I thought. Guys are talking legal action. The hull that was seale and put back in the water and still had water drain out is interesting. I can see if water splashes in but if it just sat in the water and took on water something is really wrong.

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2016 Element 16'
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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 30 Sep 2016 01:46 #67

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Jlp10 wrote: Thanks for the link. Interesting read. This is a bigger and more widespread problem than I thought. Guys are talking legal action. The hull that was seale and put back in the water and still had water drain out is interesting. I can see if water splashes in but if it just sat in the water and took on water something is really wrong.


This is the deal from what I gather. The Element (& XL) are pretty popular boats and quite a few their owners have participated on this forum.

Quite a few folks also decide they want to remedy the porpoising issue that the Element 160 suffers from at its higher speeds by adding smart tabs. The brave folks that do drill into the transom and add these tabs after the boat has been in the water a few times generally discover that water has made its way into the port sponson. Oakplank is one of the few members on this site that drilled into his transom and did not find water in his sponsons.

Apparently the Element XL also experiences this water getting trapped in the sponsons issue, however few owners discover it since it does not porpoise at higher speed due to its increased length. No porpoising means no need to add tabs and no need to drill into the sponson area of the transom.

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2016 75hp Element 160 w/ Smart Tabs & Sponson Drains
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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 30 Sep 2016 10:54 #68

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Good point. There are probably a lot more hulls out there with water in the sponsons that are not reported on this forum or even known about. I asked my dealer when we bought it and was told the sponsons were solid and could not hold water. Attached is a picture of my plugs. They are like everyone elses . I replaced the plugs with ones that have a loop. That makes it easier to remove them at the ramp with a screwdriver. I also tie all three plugs to the steering wheel any time the boat is out of the water. We use the boat to follow and observe sailboats in regattas in a river that is usually a little rough. It does not do well in chop at high speeds because of the hull design so I have not really noticed the porporseing and have not seen the need for the tabs yet. All that may change though. Like I said mine does not have the tabs and it seems most guys find the water when installing the tabs for the first time. We need to make it clear to Bayliner that the water is getting in somehow but not from the tabs. I think they get it but the first question my dealer asked me was did I install tabs.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 30 Sep 2016 13:16 #69

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Jlp10 wrote: Good point. There are probably a lot more hulls out there with water in the sponsons that are not reported on this forum or even known about.


I think that's a safe bet. How long do you think it will take for the unprotected backside of the Element's wooden transom to rot / get soft now that it is being exposed to water on a regular basis?

This is my biggest concern :dry:

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2016 75hp Element 160 w/ Smart Tabs & Sponson Drains
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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 30 Sep 2016 13:51 #70

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not long to see wood rot I am thinking. Atleast we are documenting it with this forum and the repairs we have had to do. I need to re read the hull warrenty.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 05 Oct 2016 17:28 #71

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Hi all -

I am preparing to pull the trigger on my first boat purchase and am looking at the Element. I have trawled this forum and have been astounded by the sponson issue. How can this be?!! This has me seriously considering my purchase now. The boat is priced very well for an entry level boater like myself, but an issue as serious as taking on water and potentially rotting the transom area over time is worrying to say the least. Has anyone had any experience in purchasing a new boat and demanding that the sponson drains are installed before collection? I know this doesn't fix the issue, but at least I know I can drain and dry them everytime I pull the boat from the water.

Any ideas if Bayliner has taken any steps to fix this for the 2017 model?

Thanks,
John

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 05 Oct 2016 18:14 #72

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I guess as the original owner of my Element I'm just trusting that the warranty will come through if this issue results in rot.

LIMITED LIFETIME STRUCTURAL HULL WARRANTY TO ORIGINAL RETAIL OWNER
Bayliner will repair or replace, at its sole discretion, any Structural Hull Defect, as defined below, which is
reported during the period of ownership of the original retail owner. For purposes of this Limited Warranty:
1) The “Hull” shall mean the single fiberglass molded shell and integral structure within that shell, including
stringers, floorboards and related structural reinforcements, all of which are below the hull flange; and 2) a
“Structural Hull Defect” shall mean a substantial defect in materials or workmanship in the Boat’s Hull which
causes the Boat to be unfit or unsafe for general use as a pleasure craft under normal operating conditions.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 05 Oct 2016 18:57 #73

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metz123 wrote: I guess as the original owner of my Element I'm just trusting that the warranty will come through if this issue results in rot.

LIMITED LIFETIME STRUCTURAL HULL WARRANTY TO ORIGINAL RETAIL OWNER
Bayliner will repair or replace, at its sole discretion, any Structural Hull Defect, as defined below, which is
reported during the period of ownership of the original retail owner. For purposes of this Limited Warranty:
1) The “Hull” shall mean the single fiberglass molded shell and integral structure within that shell, including
stringers, floorboards and related structural reinforcements, all of which are below the hull flange; and 2) a
“Structural Hull Defect” shall mean a substantial defect in materials or workmanship in the Boat’s Hull which
causes the Boat to be unfit or unsafe for general use as a pleasure craft under normal operating conditions.

1. Will you still have the boat in 20+ years? The Bayliners on here needing new transoms are 20+ years old so I imagine that's how long it takes the wood to rot away.
2. Will you be able to prove it's Bayliners fault? If anything was modified, you will be responsible. If you or the dealer installed anything on the transom, not Bayliners fault.
3. And does a rotten transom make a boat unfit?
I bet 99% of warranties will be invalid due to number 1.

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Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 05 Oct 2016 19:34 #74

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pearlyboy69 wrote: Hi all -

I am preparing to pull the trigger on my first boat purchase and am looking at the Element. I have trawled this forum and have been astounded by the sponson issue. How can this be?!! This has me seriously considering my purchase now. The boat is priced very well for an entry level boater like myself, but an issue as serious as taking on water and potentially rotting the transom area over time is worrying to say the least. Has anyone had any experience in purchasing a new boat and demanding that the sponson drains are installed before collection? I know this doesn't fix the issue, but at least I know I can drain and dry them everytime I pull the boat from the water.

Any ideas if Bayliner has taken any steps to fix this for the 2017 model?

Thanks,
John


Hey John,

I knew about the sponson issue before my purchase. My situation was this:
I wanted a new boat to take out and enjoy (now). It needed to fit in my garage, so 16 footers only. And, I wanted something with a good seating arrangement and easy to maintain. I did not want to pay over 20K on it.

The Element 160 is the only boat that satisfied all of my criteria. The little boat is awesome.

I spoke with the dealership before purchasing about the sponson issue and what I wanted done once water was found.

Everything has gone according to plan, and the boat really is a blast to take out and play around in.

Good luck with your decision :)

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

Element - Water in sponsons? Help! 05 Oct 2016 20:57 #75

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1 - If I don't have the boat in 20 years I won't really care if the transom is rotted, will I? As the original owner I have this warranty. That's what I care about.
2 - I don't plan on modifying anything. That takes care of #2.
3 - Umm..yeah, it definitely does.

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