My turn: Leaking Pontoon

Vikingstaff

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Latest Update:

Pontoon repair update: Boat got into the welder. They found three areas of needed repair. Got the boat back Thursday. All work is falling under warranty since it involves weld points.

Upside: Felt light on the water, and mph and rpm’s at WOT were back. Topped out at 41.3 mph and 5900 rpms. 24’ SSBXP SPS 200 Mercury Verado Pro with Sea Legs. 3 people, 1/3 tank gas.

Down side: when we put it up on the Sea Legs, there was still some leaking taking place. Got under it, and there is slight leaking at one of the 3 weld repair points. We’ll need to get it back in.

YouTube links are remaining leaks after initial welding repair work:

Post repair leak video 1

Post repair leak video 2

Picture is my MPH at WOT when I first got it back. Best its been for some time.

CF823D8C-A9B1-4744-AC69-E432C5AB836F.jpeg

These are pictures from the welder during the initial repair.

65945DA1-6773-43DF-ADF2-92489F75F8D2.jpeg 245E81B3-65D4-4ED0-8D34-B4F9E77A8D1D.jpeg C6A03728-65A9-4995-A081-E32C8512A7AB.jpeg 87A569B7-572D-47B1-820F-2A99188F8F65.jpeg
 

Vikingstaff

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And what’s really cool, my WOT mph was only 3.5 mph off from my pre-Sea Legs best of about 44.8 mph from back in 2018. Once they get this all fixed up for good I am going to be thrilled.

Now that I had it back briefly without any water in the pontoon, I am wondering if a slow leak had not begun last year, and then this year on the 4th maybe it got significantly worse, and flagged my attention directly?

I have not gotten it above 39 mph since mid last year. First time out from the boat launch post weld, I put the throttle down and it jumped up on plan and shot right up to 40 mph almost immediately, and then had a slow climb to its top out at 41.3. It’s got me wondering...
 

BigKahuna

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Can't believe it's still leaking Take if back! Did you ever find out what the collar and OEM ones were all about???
 

Vikingstaff

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Can't believe it's still leaking Take if back! Did you ever find out what the collar and OEM ones were all about???

It was very disappointing putting it up on the Sea Legs and having my wife say: “is that leaking at the same spot” :oops: All the more so because it ran better than it has in over a year when I got it at the boat launch.

Going to for sure get taken back in. Dealership and welder appologized, but said they will get it taken care of. Waiting to get a scheduled date to take it back in. Last time it only took him a week to get to it, so I am optimistic we can get her taken care of the second week of August. Fingers crossed!

Did get an answer on what was meant by “Collar and OEM ones”.... It was changing up or replacing the pressure/tube access point for that chamber. Honestly, it appears they were just referring to putting in their own drain plug (See pic below):

E354905B-9F87-4689-86D9-8A6731D62C95.jpeg
 

BigKahuna

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It was very disappointing putting it up on the Sea Legs and having my wife say: “is that leaking at the same spot” :oops: All the more so because it ran better than it has in over a year when I got it at the boat launch.

Going to for sure get taken back in. Dealership and welder appologized, but said they will get it taken care of. Waiting to get a scheduled date to take it back in. Last time it only took him a week to get to it, so I am optimistic we can get her taken care of the second week of August. Fingers crossed!

Did get an answer on what was meant by “Collar and OEM ones”.... It was changing up or replacing the pressure/tube access point for that chamber. Honestly, it appears they were just referring to putting in their own drain plug (See pic below):

View attachment 27502
Hopefully they do it right this time. Must be disappointing for you happening in the middle of the season. I know they are doing everything they can to get it fixed permanently and efficiently for the long haul. But I think you might have a good case for total tube replacement in the off season.
 

Vikingstaff

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Hopefully they do it right this time. Must be disappointing for you happening in the middle of the season. I know they are doing everything they can to get it fixed permanently and efficiently for the long haul. But I think you might have a good case for total tube replacement in the off season.
I am going to broach this with the our dealership. Thinking the welder gets a second shot at it. He has been highly recommended to me by everyone I talk to up here, neighbors, residents and the dealership. I guess he is the best in the area. That said, if the second weld attempt doesn’t hold, then I believe the only reliable course of action would need to be a full port side pontoon replacement this off season.
 

BigKahuna

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I am going to broach this with the our dealership. Thinking the welder gets a second shot at it. He has been highly recommended to me by everyone I talk to up here, neighbors, residents and the dealership. I guess he is the best in the area. That said, if the second weld attempt doesn’t hold, then I believe the only reliable course of action would need to be a full port side pontoon replacement this off season.
We were lucky when we had water in the tube. The welder was highly recommended by everybody and he did it on the spot. He literally drilled the hole to drain the water out before I got out of our Expedition after backing it to his shop door. He was done that afternoon. I'm sure your guy pressure tested it when he was done. Wonder why he didn't catch the leak then. Hopefully your welder will get it right this time.......
 

Economy Mike

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That's a bummer, Jeff. I hope they get it resolved soon to your satisfaction.
 

Shmily

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We got SHMILY! back this past Saturday, and the leak seems fixed. No more sloshing in the 'toon. Like the OP, this was our second problem with the same section of the same 'toon.

Happy boating for all!!!
 

Vikingstaff

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We got SHMILY! back this past Saturday, and the leak seems fixed. No more sloshing in the 'toon. Like the OP, this was our second problem with the same section of the same 'toon.

Happy boating for all!!!
Wonderful. So glad to hear it. Maybe the second time will be the charm for me too.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Sorry to hear this Viking... punch gut for sure. Hoping you get through this with minimal downtime and hassle.

Thinking through this, how do we prevent these situations from happening, where someone could end up boating for several seasons without knowing there is an active leak? Loss of efficiency, speed and potentially stability from water-filled toons seems to be a problem worth solving. I’m reminded of the TPMS for automobile tires - why can’t these be installed on toons?

They have these monitors for RVs in 4, 6, 10 etc. tires, so why not tap a schrader valve in each chamber (6?) attach a monitor and put a slight pressure in the toon (1-3 psi). If a leak develops then pressure would arguably be at or near zero. Keep the display at the helm or just check it every season.


Guys that trailer have the ability to listen for sloshing, so likely less benefit but for those on lifts or in slips it could be extra peace of mind. The questions would be 1) would this void your toon warranty - probably yes, 2) how much pressure can a toon handle, likely low amounts, 3) can these be pressurized safely - I’m sure someone will kill themselves doing it, 4) are there other leak detection systems out there that make more sense - maybe plumb ports in each toon and use a digital endoscope which are relatively cheap.

Just spitballing, let’s hear some other ideas!
 

Alicedream

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Sorry to hear this Viking... punch gut for sure. Hoping you get through this with minimal downtime and hassle.

Thinking through this, how do we prevent these situations from happening, where someone could end up boating for several seasons without knowing there is an active leak? Loss of efficiency, speed and potentially stability from water-filled toons seems to be a problem worth solving. I’m reminded of the TPMS for automobile tires - why can’t these be installed on toons?

They have these monitors for RVs in 4, 6, 10 etc. tires, so why not tap a schrader valve in each chamber (6?) attach a monitor and put a slight pressure in the toon (1-3 psi). If a leak develops then pressure would arguably be at or near zero. Keep the display at the helm or just check it every season.


Guys that trailer have the ability to listen for sloshing, so likely less benefit but for those on lifts or in slips it could be extra peace of mind. The questions would be 1) would this void your toon warranty - probably yes, 2) how much pressure can a toon handle, likely low amounts, 3) can these be pressurized safely - I’m sure someone will kill themselves doing it, 4) are there other leak detection systems out there that make more sense - maybe plumb ports in each toon and use a digital endoscope which are relatively cheap.

Just spitballing, let’s hear some other ideas!
Leaking toons are so infrequent. I don’t worry about it. And if they do you just get it fixed.
 

jhill

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Sorry to hear this Viking... punch gut for sure. Hoping you get through this with minimal downtime and hassle.

Thinking through this, how do we prevent these situations from happening, where someone could end up boating for several seasons without knowing there is an active leak? Loss of efficiency, speed and potentially stability from water-filled toons seems to be a problem worth solving. I’m reminded of the TPMS for automobile tires - why can’t these be installed on toons?

They have these monitors for RVs in 4, 6, 10 etc. tires, so why not tap a schrader valve in each chamber (6?) attach a monitor and put a slight pressure in the toon (1-3 psi). If a leak develops then pressure would arguably be at or near zero. Keep the display at the helm or just check it every season.


Guys that trailer have the ability to listen for sloshing, so likely less benefit but for those on lifts or in slips it could be extra peace of mind. The questions would be 1) would this void your toon warranty - probably yes, 2) how much pressure can a toon handle, likely low amounts, 3) can these be pressurized safely - I’m sure someone will kill themselves doing it, 4) are there other leak detection systems out there that make more sense - maybe plumb ports in each toon and use a digital endoscope which are relatively cheap.

Just spitballing, let’s hear some other ideas!
Put a cup full of Dawn dish soap in each pontoon chamber. When you see a 6' tall trail of foam behind boat , you will know you have a leak. lol (not realistic, just for laughs!) or pressurize all chambers with helium and boat will float above water :rolleyes:o_O
 

jhill

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Leaking toons are so infrequent. I don’t worry about it. And if they do you just get it fixed.
Benny warranty is supposed to be the best. The toons should be lifetime as long as leak isn't caused from physical damage by contact with debris, rocks, etc.
 

Alicedream

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Benny warranty is supposed to be the best. The toons should be lifetime as long as leak isn't caused from physical damage by contact with debris, rocks, etc.
yep..16 year owner here of 3 different Bennington‘s and they will get them fixed.
 

Vikingstaff

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Update: In for second weld attempt this morning. Hoping that the second time is the charm, and when I get it back in a couple days we will be 100% back to normal with it. I feel good about it. :)
 

Vikingstaff

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Final Update? Hope so!

So, port toon continued to pass pressure tests, and didn’t seem to have water in it. However, there was a little bit in the sealed port performance foil. We had the welder drill a drain whole in the back of the performance foil for water to drain out. The assumption is that in doing the repair, there was a slight leak into the port performance foils as well that was overlooked, or was created during the weld repair. However, having that performance foil sealed isn’t necessary, and they are typically open anyway. Thus, we are giving this solution a try. Fingers crossed.
 

jhill

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Why are some closed and some open? Additional buoyancy with the sealed ones? What if those that have open ones had a welder seal them tight....perhaps improved planing? hmmmmm
 

lakeliving

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To keep the catfish out!

But in all seriousness it depends on environment. Here in Florida they are sealed to keep the critters out and keep saltwater from getting caught in there.
 
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