Tracker Boat Leak Repair

Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 – Picked up 2019 Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW from dealer.
Wednesday, Nov. 7 – Went fishing and noticed the boat took a long time to get on
Monday, Nov. 12 – Went fishing and noticed built-in ice chest had water. That led to
discovery that bilges contained approximately 12 gallons of water. Later that afternoon I
returned the boat to dealer for leak diagnosis.
Monday, Nov. 19 – In AM I called dealer to check on progress and was told two people
were taking my boat out to run it and look for leak. I was told to call back at 3 PM. I called
and was told the boat was put in the water and put through its paces and no leak was
found. They speculated that water might have entered the bilge via a loose drain plug.
Wednesday, Nov. 21 – I drove to dealer and hauled the boat home.
Thursday, Nov. 29 – Took the boat to a lake for a 3-hour fishing trip. First time I had it
in the water since the dealer had checked it for a leak. When I got home and pulled the
drain plug about a quart of water drained out.
Wednesday, Dec.5 – Took the boat out for a 4-hour fishing trip on a lake. This time
after re-loading the boat on the trailer and pulling it out of the lake and it setting on the
incline ramp I pulled the drain plug and about a gallon of water drained out.
Friday, Dec. 7 – Took the boat out for a 4-hour fishing trip and after re- loading boat
and it setting on the incline ramp I pulled the drain plug and about a gallon of water
drained out. I’m now convinced the boat is taking on water.
Saturday, Dec. 8 -- Tighten the plug in the live well and filled live well with water to about
¾ full. Removed bilge drain plug from transom and jacked up the front of the boat. Used
a wooden stick to measure the depth of water in the live well and also made a mark at
water level on the side of the live well. This will test the live well plug.
Sunday, Dec. 9 –  Appears no water is leaking past the live well plug as the water level
in the live well is at the same level as yesterday. I started the live well recirculating pump
and let it run for an hour. Water level in the live well was the same and no water was in
the bilge. Appears the live well plumbing is sound.
Monday, Dec. 10 – No visible drips from the transom drain hole for the bilge. Water
level in live well has not dropped. I plugged-up the live well drain hole in the transom and
removed the drain plug in the live well. Then I quickly removed the live well drain plug at
the transom, got a steady stream of water, then quickly replaced the transom plug. I
wanted to purge any air in the drain hose. That should fill the live well drain hose with
water and I’ll check later to see if there is any water in the bilge due to a leak.
Tuesday, Dec. 11 – No water in the bilge and water level in the live well is at the same
level. Connected a water hose to the live well fill hole at the transom. Put water pressure
on that hose and could not detect any leaks into the bilge.
Wednesday, Dec 12 – I plan on going fishing tomorrow so I have plugged all 5 holes in
the transom that are under water when the boat is on the water. While fishing I’ll check to
see if any water shows up in the bilge.
Thursday, Dec. 13 – After a 4 hour fishing trip about one gallon of water drained out of
the bilge. So the 5 holes in the transom that I plugged are not the source of the leak.
Friday, Dec. 14 – Used a garden hose to put water in the bilge to see if a seam was
leaking. Will check for a leak tomorrow.
Saturday, Dec. 15 – No leaks detected.
Monday, Dec. 17 – Launched boat in the lake and ran about 100 yards and used
flashlight to check for leaks inside the transom. No leaks found. Ran the boat WOT for
one mile and checked again for leaks with flashlight. Still no visible leaks. Ran the boat
another 100 yards and noticed water in the bilge. Boat is leaking somewhere. After
being on the water 3 hours I loaded the boat back on the trailer. I turned on the bilge
pump and pumped about a gallon of water out of the bilge.
Tuesday, Dec. 18 – Applied Attwood clear marine sealant around all the through-the-
transom fittings plus the lower motor mount bolts.
Wednesday, Dec. 19 – Put T-handle drain plugs in all the transom openings.
Monday, Dec. 24 – Took the boat out for 2.5 hours. Decided to drive slowly and so
never got above 5 MPH. Later back at the ramp while the boat was back on the trailer
and on the incline I removed the drain plug. No water drained out. The bilge was dry.
Tuesday, Dec. 25 – Launched at the lake and warmed up the outboard at a fast idle
across the lake. Then advanced to ¾ throttle and got the boat up on plane while
adjusting the tilt to match the attitude and speed. Ran for about 2 miles at 25 MPH.
Slowed down, stopped, checked the bilge, and saw it was dry. Made the same run 2
more times and this time I saw water accumulating in the bilge. Back at the ramp with
the boat trailered and on the ramp incline I removed the drain plug and about a gallon of
water drained out. Boat is leaking at fast speed but not slow speed. Later in the day I
posted my problem/findings on a Forum in the category of Bass Tracker Boats.
Thursday, Dec 27 – Received many replies from Forum members who were eager to
offer their experience and suggestions. One suggestion explained they had a leaking
problem and found it was from the transom well. Upon inspecting my transom well I
decided to do a test by adding water to the transom well.
Friday, Dec. 28 – I plugged the transom well drain hole and started putting water into
the well while checking under the deck for a leak. I saw water running down to the bilge
under the mounting plate for the gas cap. I drilled out the 3 pop rivets and removed the
gas cap mounting plate. Turning the plate over I discovered why water could flow under
or splash under the plate and then pour into the bilge.
Sunday, Dec. 30 – I caulked the underside of the mounting plate so it would no longer
allow water to enter the bilge and allowed the caulk 24 hours to dry.
Monday, Dec. 31 – I replaced the mounting plate and put in pop rivets to secure it.
Looks good and the job is completed. Now for a final test on the water, hopefully later in
the week.
Sealed and waterpoofed.
I'm going to use a baby bottle nipple to seal the opening of the factory boot.
While water proofing the transom well I decided to modify the factory boot for the
battery cables. It appears it could allow water through the opening.
Gas cap base replaced and secured in the transom well.
White water proof caulking applied to underside of the base plate.
I used Attwood Marine Sealant to seal the gap in the underside of the base plate.
Note the gap in the underside of the base base.
I drilled out the pop rivets and removed the gas cap base plate.
Water was flowing or being sprayed into the transom well and up under the lower
portion of the gas cap base plate.
This photo indicates where the leak into the bilges was taking place.
Wooden plug in the transom well drain hole so water could be added to the well.