what if something goes wrong on the water

Discussion in 'Boating' started by centexcop, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. centexcop

    centexcop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Texas
    What if something happened to your motor, or you started taking on water?

    I'm just curious how many people know a little something about boats.

    I have some quirky habits that have saved me a time or two.

    Before I go to the lake each time, I put a charger on both of my batteries to make sure they are fully charged. I don't use my trolling motor much, but I still want it fully charged just in case something happens to my cranking battery. I made a set jumper wires (out of 4 gauge wire) that will reach from my trolling motor battery to my cranking battery so I can connect them together if needed. When I take the batter charger off, I hook up the muffs and start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. Then when I get to the ramp, the engine has already been warmed up and it fires right up.

    Every once in a while I flip on the bilge, just to see if there's any water to be pumped out. I have a built in ice chest, and if I don't plug the bottom when the ice melts, it drains into the bilge. The overflow from my livewell does the same thing. One time I had launched the boat, idled out of the no wake zone and stopped to fish an area before ever getting on plane. I had been there a while and I flipped on the pump. It does like it normally does, pumped a little water out. When I went to flip it back off, after a couple of seconds, I noticed it was still pumping out water. I initially didn't think anything of it, but I left it on a few more seconds. It kept on pumping water out. :angry:

    The first thing that came to my mind was that something had happened to the plug and that I was taking on water. I thought I'd fire up the boat, get up on plane and let some water out then see what was wrong. I had taken on enough water that I couldn't plane out. I headed for a shallow water spot (all while the bilge was still pumping out water). I got as shallow as I could and then got out to check the plug. I couldn't see in the murky water, but I could feel that there was no plug in there. I got the extra plug and put it in.

    To this day, I believe that I put the plug in. When I head for the lake, i put the plug in the center console of the truck and when I back down the ramp I stop to put it in. I don't know what happened to it, but that habit of flipping on the bilge pump may have saved me from taking on too much water to fix the problem.
     
  2. corklabus

    corklabus New Member

    Messages:
    359
    State:
    West Virginia
    I too keep the batteries up both before and after a trip. Also have cables rigged for a quick connection back to the start batteries. Carry basic tools and a small portable tool kit, extra oil, rain suits and about everything immaginable and then some "possibles" for emergencies.
    I too nearly sank the boat because of forgetting the plug. Mine went down and settled on the ramp before I ever got the truck parked.
    NOW that plug goes in BEFORE the boat leaves my driveway. Last item before key gets put in truck ignition.
     

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    2 Things a recommend.
    A jump box. Spend 50- 80 bucks for a high amp jump box. Keep it charged and in the boat. They are a lifesaver.

    The other is bilge pumps. Alot of boats come with some sad bilge pumps.
    I'd run 2 at 2000 GPH a piece atleast along with the battery capacity to run them until I could get to some land. And when running multiple battery configurations have a switching capability to throw the pumps from battery to battery independently.

    Critical systems should always have redundancy.
     
  4. centexcop

    centexcop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Texas
    That would be a sickening feeling to park your truck and come back to find your boat under water.....:angry:
     
  5. centexcop

    centexcop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Texas
    Good suggestions Mark. Jump boxes are handy, and a spare bilge is a good idea.
     
  6. lendog

    lendog New Member

    Messages:
    2,141
    State:
    berks, PA
    i always keep tools on the boat along with spare plugs, jumper cables, duct tape, aluminum patch putty, plenty of rope, cell phone, first aid kit. some times it seems like i carry too much stuff on board but there have been times some of that stuff came in handy to help out other people :wink:
     
  7. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    All this talk about batteries makes me love my pull start motor even more.

    I have been thinking about buying a bilge pump for my jon boat after a few "events" this year. Duck hunting in the pooring down rain, forgetting to put the plug in when you launch, waves lapping over the stern when you beach the boat. Its amazing how long it takes to bail out a boat. I'm thinking a manual pump and just sticking the hose over the side and flipping the switch when its needed.