My turn: Leaking Pontoon

Vikingstaff

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That Really Sucks ! So would they have been leaking from day one 2017? You Think? Or what goes wrong here? Can a weld go bad after 3.5 summers?
Good question. I think it started over the 4th of July weekend this year. We did a lot of water sports that weekend with my wife’s sisters family up. On Sunday, July 5th I noticed a slight list to port. Thought maybe weight and wind were causing it due to how people were sitting, and windy conditions with the bimini up. Thus, I didn‘t put too much Thought into it.

I then thought it was listing slightly on two other trips out since then. At the same time, the Sea Legs have were struggling, lifting the boat funny this stretch of time. Thought it odd, and that maybe something was wrong with my port side Sea Legs since they were not lifting the boat equally with the starboard side - actually left messages with Sea Legs support. Hence, my actual attention was focused on the Sea Legs.

It is only this 3rd time out that I noticed the water dripping/spraying out underneath when trying to examine the Sea Legs. I then thought that the boat seemed to be listing again on that same trip out. Not sure if it gave way more and was worse this time, or if literally I had been this inattentive the past few times docking it up. However, now I am sure the Sea Legs were “acting/lifting” funny due to the severe imbalance in boat weight between port and starboard due to the water leak.

Either way, I am fairly confident this is a brand new problem after 3.5 years of otherwise being okay. However, it is surprising to me after having had it for this long that two welds would have failed to this degree. That said, I don‘t know much in these areas...welds, structureal integrity, etc... Just not my area of expertise or knowledge...
 

Lay Lake

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My 2018 had a leak at the rear of the starboard log. It made the back side sit only a few inches out of the water. I was worried just getting it from the lift to the trailer. That being said, I don't think it would have sunk because of the leak, but I would not have wanted to use it the way it was. I guess it depends on how long it will be until the welder can fix it and how much your wanting/needing to use the boat.
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Is it possible you may have hit some type of debris which caused the breakage. Maybe a small log or something? Not that you’d notice at speed, but enough to stress the areas in question.
 

Vikingstaff

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Is it possible you may have hit some type of debris which caused the breakage. Maybe a small log or something? Not that you’d notice at speed, but enough to stress the areas in question.
Seems unlikely and not so much as a ding or scratch anywhere to be seen on the toon or near those performance foil welds. Really seems to be weld failures based on looking it over. Not very likely that it was a log or something as it is not a lake that has debris. Perhaps a stray plastic bottle, bumper or beach ball that blew away occasionally. Just weird being half way into our 4th year. That said, we were doing some more aggressive tubing with older teens and had a little chop on occasion. I just think it stressed those dang welds...? Hoping to have the welder examine all the welds under there when it eventually gets seen by them.
 

jhill

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Is it possible your lift doesn't support tubes evenly like a trailer does and repeated use flexes those areas? I never have seen a lift up close so don't know how they support the boat.
 

Vikingstaff

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Is it possible your lift doesn't support tubes evenly like a trailer does and repeated use flexes those areas? I never have seen a lift up close so don't know how they support the boat.
Different lifts have different bunks and support systems. However, I prevously had actual cradle bunks (like a trailer) on our lift under all three pontoons for 2 years (2017-18). See picture below of my previous lift. Then I switched to Sea Legs in 2019, so the pontoons are not directly lifted at all now as it sits on the Sea Legs. See picture below of newer Sea Legs.

870BEB14-64AF-44EC-8E1B-97A64585A265.jpegD53F4730-5275-4CC5-A737-A1A03E781532.jpeg
 

BigKahuna

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Confused..........My understanding is Bennington pontoon logs have bulkheads separating the sections with individual vent plugs at top. How can a drain plug at stern end drain any other section than the most rearward section???
Good question. All I know is they drilled a hole, drained the water out, pressure tested it and installed the drain for possible future use. No more water in the tube!
 

Vikingstaff

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Good question. All I know is they drilled a hole, drained the water out, pressure tested it and installed the drain for possible future use. No more water in the tube!
This part of the thread had me looking at mine as it raised very good questions for the repair. Thank you for the reminder. In looking at my port toon dockside, I think (and I HOPE I am wrong), that one of my failed performance foil welds is in forward main chamber, and the other one is in the rear chamber...thus compromising 4/5’s of that port toon. To verify 100%, I will need to lower the darn thing into the water, and raise it to drain out again and compare to chamber weld points. It never occurred to do so the other day when I went under it to check out the leaks and video tape them. I was still dumbstruck on what I was observing...
 

Shmily

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I feel ya. We had the nosecone section of our port toon leak "repaired" under warranty last Fall. Shmily has been in the lake since Memorial day, and when I pulled her out for the midseason cleaning today, there's water sloshing around in the nosecone of the port toon AGAIN!!!
 

Vikingstaff

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Dealership has my boat scheduled for this upcoming Monday with the alumunum welder they work with in these situations. I am supposed to get updated on Tuesday. Fingers crossed it can all get taken care of then. I will update after the work is done and I’ve been able to water test the boat.
 

Vikingstaff

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Update: The only pontoon compromised is the port side one. The other two are fine. On the flip side, the damage was a little more involved than we thought as he found another weld related problems/damage/leak area associated with the welds behind and along our port pontoon performance foil.

Overall, it is nice that they were able to confirm what we already knew: weld related failures and thus warranty coverage related. This is specifically what our dealer warranty person emailed to me after we talked on the phone:

”Doug our welder did the initial exam of the boat and discovered instead of 2 leaks there are 3 cracks behind the strakes. He will have to cut out sections of the strake in order to seal the toons up. None of these cracks look like anything you did so that is great news. In addition to the cracks behind the strakes he will need to install a collar on the inside because he can’t access the OEM ones.

As soon as he is completed with the work he will let me know or if anything else is discovered he will let me know as well.”

According to my dealership, we will hopefully have the boat back by the end of the week.
 

2fast4u

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Update: The only pontoon compromised is the port side one. The other two are fine. On the flip side, the damage was a little more involved than we thought as he found another weld related problems/damage/leak area associated with the welds behind and along our port pontoon performance foil.

Overall, it is nice that they were able to confirm what we already knew: weld related failures and thus warranty coverage related. This is specifically what our dealer warranty person emailed to me after we talked on the phone:

”Doug our welder did the initial exam of the boat and discovered instead of 2 leaks there are 3 cracks behind the strakes. He will have to cut out sections of the strake in order to seal the toons up. None of these cracks look like anything you did so that is great news. In addition to the cracks behind the strakes he will need to install a collar on the inside because he can’t access the OEM ones.

As soon as he is completed with the work he will let me know or if anything else is discovered he will let me know as well.”

According to my dealership, we will hopefully have the boat back by the end of the week.
Sounds like the dealer is providing you with first class service, Hard to find that kind of customer service anymore.
 

BigKahuna

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"In addition to the cracks behind the strakes he will need to install a collar on the inside because he can’t access the OEM ones." Just trying to understand.....install a collar on the inside of what? OEM ones?
 

Vikingstaff

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"In addition to the cracks behind the strakes he will need to install a collar on the inside because he can’t access the OEM ones." Just trying to understand.....install a collar on the inside of what? OEM ones?
I have no idea really. But I have no idea of these things going into this problem. It gave me pause as to what they are talking about, but then I moved past it. Should I follow up, or just go with the flow assuming I get it back and all is working well - in this case not taking on water?
 

DejaWiz

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I have no idea really. But I have no idea of these things going into this problem. It gave me pause as to what they are talking about, but then I moved past it. Should I follow up, or just go with the flow assuming I get it back and all is working well - in this case not taking on water?
Well, if you're not satisfied with the work after you get it back, tell your dealer and perhaps even get Bennington corporate involved.
 

Vikingstaff

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Well, if you're not satisfied with the work after you get it back, tell your dealer and perhaps even get Bennington corporate involved.
That was where I was at orginally. I suspect I am going to be fine. They seem to know what they are doing, and on top of things. Whereas, the extent of my insight is I have some bad leaks along weld points on my port pontoon performance foil. lol
 

Remediation

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My toon was not repairable per the dealer. Bennington took care of it. Let the dealer handle it.
 

BigKahuna

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I have no idea really. But I have no idea of these things going into this problem. It gave me pause as to what they are talking about, but then I moved past it. Should I follow up, or just go with the flow assuming I get it back and all is working well - in this case not taking on water?
Just curious that's all. Just wondering what the hell they are talking about. Collar on the inside of the tube or lifting strake? OEM ones? Why is a collar needed? I know as long as the tube/boat comes back in tip top shape and not leaking. But I would still wonder about what that all means if I were you......
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Just curious that's all. Just wondering what the hell they are talking about. Collar on the inside of the tube or lifting strake? OEM ones? Why is a collar needed? I know as long as the tube/boat comes back in tip top shape and not leaking. But I would still wonder about what that all means if I were you......
I wonder if he means the threaded bung on top for pressure testing?
 
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