PSA on center tube storage

dshannon11

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Make sure bilge bypasses the battery switch!!

2022 Bennington. Turned off battery Memorial Day. Havnt been back to lake house since this weekend. Was working Friday and thought the back of the boat looked low…

The rear deck was about 1” from the water. Center tube was completely full. Took over an hour for bilge to drain. Crazy how much water can get into the center storage door from flooring.

Also noticed boat is noticeably slower. Could only hit 27 when I was doing almost 40 when new in water Memorial Day. Toons are REALLY dirty already… could drag make that much difference?!?! I really hope I don’t have water in outer toons…

Hope everyone has a great fourth
 

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Dirty toons will dramatically lower speed however I would have concern over center toon. Was there a large rain storm and your boat not have mooring cover on as have hard time believing toon took on that much water unless there is a leak in the toon.
 

dshannon11

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I only have seat covers. I am pretty sure it’s from rain. I’m pretty sure all the rain from the seats “funnels” right to the center tube door. It has also been a quite a few rain storms.

I’m up here for the week and turned bilge off again to see if water accumulates while I’m here. No rain in forecast so it should be obvious if water gets in there
 

BigKahuna

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Make sure bilge bypasses the battery switch!!

2022 Bennington. Turned off battery Memorial Day. Havnt been back to lake house since this weekend. Was working Friday and thought the back of the boat looked low…

The rear deck was about 1” from the water. Center tube was completely full. Took over an hour for bilge to drain. Crazy how much water can get into the center storage door from flooring.

Also noticed boat is noticeably slower. Could only hit 27 when I was doing almost 40 when new in water Memorial Day. Toons are REALLY dirty already… could drag make that much difference?!?! I really hope I don’t have water in outer toons…

Hope everyone has a great fourth
Holy crap it's a good thing you caught it before it went under! Our old boat had a floating bilge switch that would activate if water got underneath in the motor pod of our I/O. I take it yours doesn't activate that way. Can you place something over the storage door to prevent water from entering?!? Looks like it time to get in the water to clean your pontoons with some rags, sponges or a couple of car wash mitts. We used to do that every time we went out when we kept our boat in the water. We would float on those throw pillows and clean the water line and below. It's amazing how much "stuff" accumulates on them!
 

Timdelta

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He probably has a float switch. Mine has a float switch. The problem is the pump is not hot wired to the battery. Mine runs through the helm switch and that switch has a “manual on “ and a “automatic” mode. It has no power unless I leave a battery on. It should be hot wired to a battery. The other issue, which is a common issue with bilge pumps, is they all leave a 1/2 inch or more of water in bilge, in Florida that is swamp water in a week (just no gators). I’m going to put in a “dry bilge” that is hot wired, this should solve the issue. Google dry and arid bilge and check out the equipment and solutions. It ranges from a $60 diy to a $800+ solution.
 

Vikingstaff

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I think the central issue first is not covering it with a mooring cover. If in a climate that gets lots of rain, that center tube is going to flood a lot.

IMHO hot wiring the bilge pump in THIS scenario is not a good solution UNLESS you are around the boat nearly full time. If absent a couple weeks at a time (maybe more than 1 week at a time), it seems to me you’ll just drain batteries fairly quickly because the bilege will be running a lot with an uncovered pontoon in a rainy environment. If rain is a rarity, then I can see getting away with direct wiring the bilge.

I know a few others disagree on this topic, so to each their own on this one. Just be sure to consider all the ramification of bypassing battery shut off switches.
 

Mozekian

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Exactly. Can’t leave the boat uncovered like that. Not trying to judge, but sure seems like a simple fix, like leaving the sunroof open on a car in a driveway for a week and hope it doesn’t rain
 

dshannon11

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I’m going to hot wire bilge to one of the batteries this week. The float switch wasn’t active due to better switch being off.

We only have seat covers and will not be getting a mooring cover. I can put them on, but wife and in-laws can’t. Seat covers are VERY easy for them. I am investigating someway to block the cover but I don’t think much water is “falling” into cover. I think it’s rubbing off seats, onto the floor and “funnels” into cover. I may just need to divert the front portion of the hatch.

Future options I may do/try
- leave two Bimini open
- upside down plastic container to block water (temp solution)
- run electric to maintain battery (or solar)
- Boat lift with roof or sea legs/roof
 

dshannon11

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Exactly. Can’t leave the boat uncovered like that. Not trying to judge, but sure seems like a simple fix, like leaving the sunroof open on a car in a driveway for a week and hope it doesn’t rain
Buying a cover isn’t really a simple fix but is a definite fix. I find them difficult to use and My in-laws, who are up way more than us can’t use them.

Not the best analogy because a car isn’t meant to get wet and doesn’t have a pump but I do understand what you mean :)
 

Timdelta

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Water still goes into center toon if you have a deck that protrudes out in front. That front area would have the water run down the length of boat and some go into the center toon. How much, I don’t know. I think Jack had a attachment put on playpen cover to cover that area. This extension would prevent water from going in. Of the 14 boats I stopped by today ALL had hot wired bilge pumps. I’m thinking that is they way it should be. Of course boats down here at used often. All the sailboats have solar or wind generators so they have no issues and bigger boats have big battery banks.
 

LaurencetheAdventurer

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Well - it should be noted that the Mooring Cover that comes with the Bonington's don't really work if the boat sits in the water or not exactly level. My Havasu Benny is docked during the summer / monsoon months, and even covered the volume of rain that hits the front deck and travels down into the center toon is significant. I believe the exposed rear deck would result in a similar issue if on a trailer and tilted forward.

Yes, I have seen the custom covers that completely cover the front and rear decks - maybe after the original one wears out?

Thus, I paid the dealer $250 to wire the bilge direct and put the line on a separate shut off switch for storage (though have yet to check if / how they installed the switch).
 

Turbojack

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When I was playing around looking at the toons, I found a plug at the back on the top of the outside tubs. If the back of the outside toons were under water and if the plugs did not seal perfect, then there is a possibility that you have water in one or both outside toons. As to best way to tell, I have no idea.
 

Vikingstaff

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Our mooring cover totally covers the front, but has the exposed rear corners that they do with the swingback layout. Water could come in on the rear due to that. Prior to my Sea Legs, I had it on a lift with a canopy so not an issue what so ever. Got rid of both with Sea Legs. However, one of the advantages for us of the Sea Legs is I can put it up, but with a slight angle rear-ward. Takes care of that well.

If a total cover is too much, perhaps an independent canopy system - they do make those. Or a full lift with canopy? Just some other options, as I can appreciate if a normal cover is too much for aging in-laws. Hope a solution presents itself.

My boat covered with mooring cover. Front looks like this:
image.jpg

Prior to Sea Legs, Canopy covered it fully like this:
08020F7F-BC9A-4280-BC16-C3B0BC6E5CB9.jpeg
 

dshannon11

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When I was playing around looking at the toons, I found a plug at the back on the top of the outside tubs. If the back of the outside toons were under water and if the plugs did not seal perfect, then there is a possibility that you have water in one or both outside toons. As to best way to tell, I have no idea.
I will have to look. I have an endoscope but don’t really want to undo those plugs… probably best for dealer to do. Thanks for the tip!!
 

dshannon11

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Our mooring cover totally covers the front, but has the exposed rear corners that they do with the swingback layout. Water could come in on the rear due to that. Prior to my Sea Legs, I had it on a lift with a canopy so not an issue what so ever. Got rid of both with Sea Legs. However, one of the advantages for us of the Sea Legs is I can put it up, but with a slight angle rear-ward. Takes care of that well.

If a total cover is too much, perhaps an independent canopy system - they do make those. Or a full lift with canopy? Just some other options, as I can appreciate if a normal cover is too much for aging in-laws. Hope a solution presents itself.

We are definitely looking at the sea legs! I love the idea and my initial research showed that a lift is basically the same cost… then I have to figure out how to get the lift in and out of the water every year.

A lift/legs are not in the cards yet but I def will have one of them eventually.
 

jcr159

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counterpoint to the thought to seal up the storage locker...

musty, moldy, nasty... I actually use the wood block trick to keep my lid open and put the extension pole on the wood block to vent the locker. makes a huge difference in how dry and musty it gets...
 
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