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  1. #1
    Boating Fool

    HELP!!! Sea Strainer Question

    I have a problem/question.

    Putting the boat in the today, could not get any water to come out the starboard engine exhaust. Look back at the sea strainer and there is no water in there. So we pulled the boat back home and hooked it up to the fresh water flush system.

    Here are the scenarios I found when we turned on the water.
    1. Water came out the waterpickups on the drives. Put it did not have as much force as the other motor when I switched it over. However, crimping the hose and then letting go seemed to help it get some more pressure. Like it freed up or something

    2. The sea strainer still did not fill up with water.

    So I took the top off etc and still couldn't get any water into it. then I loosen the top nut on the sea strainer (these a gil marine anyway) and it filled with water. Started the engine and still no water from the exhaust and the water in the sea strainer did not swirl or anything.

    I am sure the sea strainers are not the problem. I am only stating what I can see visually. This is my 1st time with strainer type system also.

    Could it be possibly:
    1. A blockage before strainer
    2. blockage after strainer
    3. Vapor locked
    4. ??????

    The engine were just go over and were ran the other day when the dealer changed the oiler.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Charter Member #1055/Moderator Charter Member GO4BROKE's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Sonic 386
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    I  Voted
    The strainer filled when you loosened the top because you released the air pressure, letting the water in. Your impellors are probably shot. If the dealer ran your motors your strainers should have water in them already.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Gold Member Pwrbt33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Curtis Bay, Md USA

    Unhappy strainer problems?

    First thing is first. Make sure that the hose coming from the transom of the boat goes to the top hose fitting on the strainer.

    Second. Make sure the bottom hose from the strainer goes to the sea pump on the motor.

    Still if you have nothing, make sure the fittings on the sea strainer are drilled out when they welded the hose fittings on the strainer. I have gotten 1 like this in 15 years. (wasnt a Gil though). After that make sure that the flush valves are closed if the boat is equipped with such a device. This is important do to the flush might suck air when the engine is running and not creating a prime.

    Also may end up pulling the sea pump to make sure you didnt hurt it when running it dry, most likely it is damaged. Check the housing very well. If you need to install a new impeller, wipe alittle grease on the inside of the impeller housing. This will help with new start up until water gets flowing.

    If none of these help, feel free to give me a call on Monday.

    Pwrbt33- John
    Offshore Performance
    410-827-0200 x-1
    Pwrbt33-John S.
    2012 World Champion Throttleman
    JAWS Marine

  4. #4
    Boating Fool
    Thanks for the advice guys. I will be sure to check those things out.

    The boat was just purchase (used boat) last week and we did not pick it up til yesterday. That was so the could go over the engines and stuff. I specifically asked about the impellers and pumps and they told me they were okay.

    When sea trialed everything worked okay.

  5. #5
    Registered ragtop409's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1995 Nova Spyder
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Maximo FLA
    Hi, what year is the motors and boat? I would put 2 new impelers in it is a good safe way to start the season. The ruber dry's and gets hard with time a couple of the flaps could be torn off and they aprear to work ok and then one time the dont wotk at all. M freind got a 97 fountain last summer that did the same thing worked for sea trials and 1 time when we got home then the second time no water. His impealer was trashed but it was like a 35 dollar fix. Rag's

  6. #6
    Boating Fool
    02 KE 675 w/ 70 hrs.

    Pwrbt33: would I see water in the bilge area if any of the hoses were not connected.

  7. #7
    Gold Member Gold Member Pwrbt33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Curtis Bay, Md USA

    Unhappy strainers...

    Yes, you might see water in the bilge if a flush connection where the hose would connect was left off, or you have a slice in a hose, a hose left loose on the connection or even not hooked up.

    I would imagine that if you had an 1 1/4 hose left off you would know it in a very short time. But if it were only loose, you would have a slow leak.

    Try this if you can. Put the boat in the water and take the lid loose on the strainer. Does water then come in the top hose? If it does, your problem is from the strainer to the sea pump. If not, it is from the strainer to the back of the boat. Also do you have a flush connection on your boat? I would check every point of connection on that as well.

    Keep checking and give a call if you need to.

    Pwrbt33-John S.
    2012 World Champion Throttleman
    JAWS Marine

  8. #8
    OSO Moderator Charter Member BillR's Avatar
    My Boats:
    '00 Scarab Sport 302 CC
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This procedure will sound crazy (I have sea strainers too) but it works.

    There are times when I start the motors and water won't flow (VERY new boat/motors) at idle. I wait a few seconds till oil presure is built up, then I'll advance throttle to about 2000 rpm for about 10 seconds. Water starts to flow every time.
    First time this happened, I thought I had two blown impellers even though they worked 100% fine last time. At that time I would not raise rpms till I was sure water was flowing. Called merc tech to fix. The first thing he did was the above procedure. Works fine every time.

    BTW: Boat must be in water, will not work off the hose.
    Last edited by BillR; 05-18-2003 at 07:48 AM.

    '00 Scarab Sport 302 CC
    '02 Cigarette Top Gun TS
    '02 PQ 340
    '00 PQ 280
    '98 Scarab 22
    '97 Baja Outlaw 20
    '72 Checkmate
    '65 Glastron

  9. #9
    Boating Fool
    Bill thanks for the info.

    I have heard off that before. During sea trail of another boat it happened. The service manager revved up the engine a couple of time and then all of a sudden it water started flowing.

    We actually tried that but it didn't work. May have not waited long enough though.

  10. #10
    Registered mr_velocity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    He said he took the top off and couldn't get any water into the strainer, sounds like a blockage from the drive. Some bravos have had problems with this. Go inside the boat and remove the water hose from the fitting on the gimbal. See if the hose pressure give you water there, if not remove that fitting. The blockage is usually where the hose comes though the gimbal plate at that point.

    Now if you mean that you took the top off and just put it back on and started the motors, chances are the impeller is gone. You should replace them every year anyway.

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