View Full Version : Sunk 18C in Fresh Water

09-01-2010, 07:56 PM
I just found out today that my old 18C sunk on a beach at Lake Powell over the weekend. I guess it was swamped during the night in a storm.

I know people pickle motors with diesel fuel when they sink in salt water but what about fresh water? What about the drive?

I work with the boat's owner and want to make sure it gets taken care of and doesn't just sit waiting for insurance.

09-01-2010, 08:12 PM
I think the drive is pretty well sealed.
Ask Tidbart what he did for his 502 that sprung a leak.
I think ultimately he had to have it rebuilt.

09-01-2010, 08:21 PM
The backyard mechanic way: Drain the oil (and water), replace the filter and refill with fresh oil. Remove the distributer and with an adaptor, spin the oil pump with a drill until clean oil pumps out of all push rods. Change oil/filter again. Squirt a crapload of oil in each cylinder and (with the plugs still out) crank the engine over a bunch of times. Change oil/filter again...and go boating.

Worst thing that is going to happen: Some rust will have formed that will prematurely wear the rings or bearings which will necessitate a rebuild...but there is a good chance this won't happen. Why rip the motor apart if it's not necessary.

.........then again, I'm just a cheap ass :canada:

09-01-2010, 08:51 PM

or sunk-sunk?

any gas sheen on the water?

09-01-2010, 11:10 PM
With some quick attention it should be made to run again asap . . . as stated drain and change all fluids . . 2-3 x atleast . .

I'd venture that if done right away and invoiced from a professional shop and documented the insurance company will pay, vs having to pay for a rebuild . .

Mario L.

09-02-2010, 07:22 AM
With some quick attention it should be made to run again asap . . . as stated drain and change all fluids . . 2-3 x atleast . .

Mario L.



09-02-2010, 08:54 AM
Do the above immediately. This happened to me in 1980 to a 302 Ford. I addressed the situation within a few hours. Now thirty years later, the engine is still running with good oil pressure, good compression, and doesn't even use an appreciable amount of oil. The engine has not been disassembled since the incident.

Phil S
09-02-2010, 09:23 AM
From the above posts, it certainly sounds like it can be readily "saved", and I certainly hope so. A couple thoughts come to mind though. A recent thread about bilge pumps came to mind and I wonder if his is working ? I'm probably wrong, but I would think that the bilge pump would be able to "keep up" in this situation, but I guess it depends on the severity of the storm. Also, instead of beaching it overnight, I would anchor it with the bow towards open water and tie the stern off to a tree or such.

Just my thoughts....and I do hope it can be saved without a re-build.

With kind regards,
Phil S.

09-02-2010, 11:24 AM
After the 13 March storm of 1993 I retrieved my fathers Dodge pickup from the turing basin at his marina in Keaton Beach Fla...it had been completely submerged for 5 days, we did not know where it was until the water cleared enough to see the shadow of a black truck at low tide...we winched it out, dad told me to get rid of it...I got it home, drained it (318), flushed it, replaced a bunch of stuff and used it for 4 more years...it was a rust bucket and the electrical system was a work of art...but it ran...I sold it to a guy who needed the drive train...

BTW any pics of the boat? If he sells it post it here...

09-02-2010, 12:19 PM
I talked to the owner last night. He pulled up on a beach that someone else had picked but had concerns from the get-go about the spot due to the exposure to the main lake channel. He went ahead though and nosed the boat in on the beach to get the gear off. Once he shut the boat off he discovered that the battery was dead and couldn't restart the boat. He tried to move the boat by hand but couldn't so he left the boat nose-in on the beach. I believe he said he disconnected the battery and left the boat for the night. The wind, weather and waves kicked up during the night, swamped the boat and sank it on the beach. They woke up in the morning to find waves coming over the windshield. They eventually got emergency services out to float the boat and pull it back to the ramp. During the process they pulled out one of the aft D-rings and smashed the fore deck into their steel barge which removed a good amount of the red gel deck stripe. From what I understand the motor has been pickled and the owner is waiting on insurance feedback.

I'm gonna go look at the boat today to see how bad it is. It sounds like it had quite a bit of gel damage on the hull and deck along with the flooding issues. The main concern with the motor is the likelihood that the flood water was mixed with sand and it probably got into the motor. At this point he thinks it may be a total loss in the eyes of insurance but we'll see. This was a nice Red & White 1996 18C w/350 Alpha. I'll try to get some pictures.

09-02-2010, 06:39 PM

or sunk-sunk?

any gas sheen on the water?

Swamped. I didn't see any gas sheen but certainly oil. Oil was running down the outside of the hull from under the rub rail. The mechanic said water poured out of the dip stick tube when he pulled the dip stick.

Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures but the boat looked a lot better then I though it would. I didn't see any damage on the hull other then the gel being rubbed off, down to the glass, on the front keel. The chip on the deck from the tow boat mishap is right on the nose of the deck just in front of the navigation light; maybe about 2" diameter w/no glass damage. All this is an easy fix. The drive looks good and didn't get banged up. The motor and electrical seem to be the only major issues. The boat was probably under water for 14-hours or so. I'll keep an eye on it.

09-02-2010, 07:39 PM
Just curious Rick, does the owner have any idea why the battery was dead?

09-02-2010, 08:03 PM
Just curious Rick, does the owner have any idea why the battery was dead?

He hooked the battery up backwards a month ago and cooked the alternator. He replaced the battery and alternator, used it once on the local lake then this trip to Powell. Sounds like the boat left the ramp fine then had a dead battery 20-miles up lake.

George, don't know if you remember him but this is Rob's boat from the first year we met at Powell. He showed up on Saturday or Sunday with the Red & White 18C.

joseph m. hahnl
09-02-2010, 08:50 PM
That's a shame. Pickling an engine doesn't work for saving an an engine to run again.It's only good for minimizing corrosion for a rebuild.The only way to save it,is to take the steps that yeller said. Although I did it slightly different when My truck fell through the ice, at the ice races. I changed the oil and filter. Took all the plugs out ,cranked it over to purge the cylinders of water. then I dumped 2 stroke oil down the venturi with the throttle plate fully open,cranked it over and repeated, until oil came out of every plug hole repeat a couple times with the 2 stroke oil down the open venturi. purge all the oil out of the cylinders. Put the plugs in and start it. let it run at idle to reach operating temperature and dry out.
change the oil and filter again. The key is to do it immediately

09-02-2010, 11:50 PM
His main issue is the sand. The water was so churned up that the boat is full of sand so more then likely some of it got into the motor. It's gonna have to be pulled and rebuilt.

The mechanic was telling me that he'd also have to replace all the gauges. I'm not sure I believe this if things are dried out quickly.

Here's some pictures of the boat from the 2006 DACA meet.

09-03-2010, 07:53 AM
Don't forget the fuel tank pump out, fuel system, gimble bearing, u joints & electrical system and trim. If it got submerged that stuff needs to be addressed too... ;) Jamie

Dr. David Fleming
09-06-2010, 01:37 PM
Merc outboard service manual covered this in my 1970's outboard. The factory people said you have 24 hours to get the engine to run or it would require complete dis-assembly. Of course these outboards are fully roller bearing engine with reed valves - corrosion was the key issue. Run it or pull it apart - the heat of operation dries out all the moisture. They also said to pour carbon tetrachloride over all the ignition parts to remove the moisture as powering up the solid state components would finish them.

Johnson Service literature from the 1930's discussing the same issue said to use another magneto to start the engine or place the magneto in a low temp oven and heat it slightly to dry the moisture.

It is common for racing engines to go under water - at power - due to accidents - usual result is same - except for bent connecting rods - saving the machined surfaces of the engine internals is the issue.

Personally have sunk a 40hp Mercury outboard (not running) and Honda generator at power - both were restarted without dis-assembly using alcohol or the carbon tet - restart was within the 24 hours procedure.

Interesting story of 1920's race boat sunk in Pennsylvania Lake while racing - hard hat divers could not find the wreck - had former WWI Liberty Aircraft engine - one of a handful built as 8 cyl not 12 cyl. Well 80 years later locals with side scan sonar located the wreck upside down - spotted the mid ship rudder sticking up - big publicity as two year salvage attempt was begun - as boat broke water the State of Penn took possession from the salvers placed it in museum at lake side. Engine was able to be turned over and started - seems the mud sealed in in upside down air bubble - pretty famous incident - but 80 years! Child spectator saw the wreck and lived to see the salvage as an old man. Kept telling the hard had divers they were looking in the wrong spot - was found where the kid said it was.

09-07-2010, 07:07 AM
Where can you buy carbon tet?


09-20-2010, 05:47 PM
I just found out that the boat is going to be totalled by the insurance company. The owner wants to move up to a 22 and the buy back on the 18 is pretty reasonable. I really don't think it'll take much to get this boat going again.

Is anyone interested in taking this boat on? I can get you info or in touch with the owner.

Ed Donnelly
09-20-2010, 06:50 PM
Ken .. Alibaba.com.................Ed

09-20-2010, 10:28 PM
You can certainly use something other that carbon tet. You would be safer using ether or isopropyl alcohol. The reason they used carbon tet was it isnt flamible. You have to make sure all of the ether (starting fluid) or alcohol is dry, or it will catch your electrical stuff on fire.

Carbon tet is very hazardous. That is why it was pulled from all consumer products. Labs have even migrated away from the stuff, because there are other reagents that do the same thing but aren't as dangerous to use.

09-21-2010, 03:10 AM
When water gets in the boat that much , from what i've seen is the stringers and transom won't dry out and will probably need replacement .

09-21-2010, 10:09 AM
You're correct Don, if it had beedn in the water for an extended period of time.
But a possible solution might be to slice open the bases of the stringers for about 2' in front of the transom w/a 4 1/2" grinder.
Then trim the trailer up by the nose so that water in the stringers will run to the transom.
'Let it sit that way for several weeks. The stringers will slowly dry out.
When they're dry, simply lay several courses of Knytex over the slits in the stringer bases.