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Eric D

2015 R180 tilts to port while docked

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Hi, we bought our 2015 R180 new; it has a 115hp Yamaha outboard.  In the past few months, we have noticed that the boat tilts down on the port side about three inches lower than on starboard.  We've run the bilge manually to be as sure as we can be that it is empty, and the boat still tilts.  We've made sure any of our carry-on equipment is stored in the center hold.  We had trim tabs added about two years ago, but didn't notice any tilt then.  The boat has two batteries, and we have noticed some water in the starboard battery area - about a half inch at times.  The live well does not fill up with water.  The only other thing I can think of to note is that when we run the bilge pump manually, we get a lot of water.  Maybe that is normal, but I'd think that the automatic pumping would keep the boat empty.  Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

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Hopefully you've checked to be sure the pump does start automatically when it should. My circuit breaker for the automatic part of the pump failed and the pump would work manually, but not automatically. The switch can also fail and it won't work automatically. I usually checked the switch every month or two and I know several people who check it every trip.

I don't know about the 180, but my R207 had a lot of things that drained into the bilge. However, none of them would have put water to one side or the other - just the center of the boat.  From the factory it did tilt to starboard, but it was only about 1/2 to 1 inch. I guess with extra water any tilt would have been magnified, but 3 inches is a lot.

After you've run the pump, does it list to starboard by 3 inches, or does the boat level out a bit?

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Many thanks for the advice.  I'm not sure how to check that the pump works automatically.  I guess I could run a hose into one of the drains and see if the pump starts.    I'll see if there is an easier method to verify that the automatic feature is working.  This is definitely a great tip.

Unfortunately, when we did the manual bilge pump-out, it did not help the list at all.  You can see the tilt in the below pics.  Is it possible that when they put the trim tabs on, the control unit/motor was installed further to port side and we just didn't notice the list? 

I'm still learning all this stuff.  I don't even seem to be able to find where the bilge pump is located in the boat.  I'll keep looking on line.

Again, thanks!

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Again, it's a different boat, but normally the pump would be located near the lowest point in the boat. The switch for automatic pumping will be very close to the pump. I would take my gaff and lift up the switch to check that the pump started. Usually there wasn't enough water in the bilge for anything to pump out as my boat didn't stay in the water, but I could hear the pump start.

The list on your boat is fairly severe and it should be corrected. Based on how low the port side is I'd say you have well over 100 pounds of something on the port side that shouldn't be there. Could be water, but your port is too low and starboard too high.

Without being there, I can't think of much else to tell you. What's it look like when you completely pump out the bilge? If there are no changes, then try and locate the extra weight on the port side. If the port side comes up (and hopefully starboard down a bit), then fix the automatic bilge pump so it  keeps less water in the bilge.

 

Good Luck

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  I have a R180, ,,I agree you have something going on, Water on that side somewhere, ..Or  weight of some sort....The Hull can't be warped,  how much fuel on board,... or fuel tank Baffle issue. The tank is pretty centered...

Mine lists to the Starboard some as of course the Dual Batteries are there.  Keep us posted.

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There should be an access port to the bilge.  In looking at the pictures on the Robalo site, it has to either be in the areas under the rear seats, or the hatch by the ladder?  Unless there is a hatch behind the live well.

I assume in investigating the list, you've opened both rear seats and looked to see what you see.  Also, you can have people stand on the upper side (rear) to even it out, run the pump manually, and when it's dry get off the boat and see if it still lists.  If it does, then go out and accelerate to just before you plane off (i.e. bow pointing up, rear end way down), and run the bilge manually (assuming it's not running already) until it's dry.  Then again, check for list.

 

R180 rear.JPG

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I also have an R180. As this has come on relatively recently and you have no other extra weight on the boat, I would think that it must be trapped water that is causing the listing to port.

Apologies for saying anything too basic....

To access the bilge, open the circular hatch in the recessed area just in from of the outboard / transom. Same place as the live well seacock. You may need a torch. Have a look to see if there is any water. You can test the automatic bilge by either lifting the float manually or simply running a hose into that area and seeing if the bilge comes on; you need to fill it more than you would think. Then pump it out until dry (with the manual bilge if necessary). Assuming you are still listing, try rocking the boat from side to side whilst inspecting the hatch to see if any water flows into that area whilst rocking the boat. It may also be worth trying to weigh down the stern, again whilst inspecting the hatch.

Have you got a dual battery set up with one under either of the stern flip up seats? It would also be worth inspecting this area for water, although access is limited.

Finally, do you keep a mooring cover on the boat or just a console cover? I ask this as with a mooring cover on, it is highly unlikely to be rain water and of course the converse is true.

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Let me begin by saying, when Grant from Great Britain says "You may need a torch", don't be alarmed.  I believe Grant is just suggesting a flashlight will be helpful.

That said, as Grant mentions, there is an 8-inch screw-out deck plate (red circle in image below) underneath the hoses & flexible conduit in the engine splash well...

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To remove the splash well deck plate, hold a wooden stick on an angle in the molded depression(s) and tap the stick with a mallet or hammer to rotate the deck plate counter-clockwise...

28887218518_5de054bc57_o.jpg

Once you've rotated & removed the splash well deck plate, the bilge pump & float switch are directly below the opening, about two feet down...

36152443285_6b3cf94fda_o.jpg

Raising the float switch should cause the pump to run, even when your R180's dual-battery switch is in the "off" position.

To test the bilge pump's automatic operation, you can either lie across your R180's swim platform & reach through the deck plate opening (it's a long reach; wear your PFD), or, bend a stiff wire into an L-shape and use it to lift up the float switch.

Ideally, the switch & pump are working properly and you can reinstall the deck plate by rotating it clockwise into the opening and seating it back snugly with the wooden stick & mallet or hammer...

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Regarding your R180's listing to its port side, as others have mentioned, it's possible that a non-auto-functioning bilge pump has led to high water in your R180's bilge that has become trapped somewhere.  This image from the 2013 R180 Parts Guide (PDF download), looking from the bow toward the stern, shows the below-deck structures and cavities where water theoretically could become trapped...

42762945921_afca13beda_o.jpg

And finally, looking at the posted photos that show the waterline differences on the R180's transom, I'm struck by the disparity in soiling from port-to-starboard. 

I suppose it's possible dirt that is fully adhering to the port side transom gelcoat is otherwise being repelled by the starboard side transom bottom paint, but it causes me to wonder if the hull is running at speed with the same port-low list -- that is, if the list is evident and not being corrected by the R180 running on plane, and/or the port trim tab is not being used to correct the list when underway.

Good luck!

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Hi All, many many thanks for the helpful advice on how to start figuring out why my boat is tilting so badly.  Per your instructions, I opened the round cover behind the live well, and found and tested the bilge pump.  It worked fine on automatic.  There was about a two inches of water in there.  Once empty, unfortunately, the tilt was still there. 

In looking in the hole, I found a screw and a piece of boat plastic.  Then, using a flashlight and looking through the gap in the battery compartment saw something clogging the little hole into the next compartment.  It was a bigger piece of boat plastic and a plastic bag of some sort.  I got a piece of wire and removed them.  A bit more water came out but not a lot.  I fished the wire gently through the hole and didn't hit anything else.  Attached is a pic of what we found.  I have no clue how it got there; I'd assume direct from the factory, but who knows.

The boat is still tilting.  Now I'm wondering if there is more debris in other drainage holes between compartments.  I'm not sure how I would even be able to access them, but it looks like something I need to do.  Any ideas?

Of note, I have not taken the boat out since this tilt was recognized.  Now that we're confident that it is seaworthy, we'll be trying RickR160's suggestion on running the manual bilge pump while the boat is plowing to see if any water comes out.

Again, many thanks!1826655564_R180BoatDebris.thumb.jpg.710da79e0fa6c7d7c9f6f3ed0bd0662c.jpg

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That is not a wire, that's a wire tie.  My boat was full of wire ties, plastic bags, and screws from the "slobs" that assembled it.  I say slobs because a simple shop vac would have cleaned up the mess.  

You can easily put a hose (or dump buckets) into your livewell (after unscrewing the drain tube), and any other compartment with a drain which should flow right through to the bilge, and flush out anything else that's there.  Rod holders should also drain to the bilge.  Work your way from the front to the back.  

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any updates ?....interesting topic as I own the same hull.  Thanks

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Hi all, the boat continues to tilt by about three inches to starboard.  I followed all of the ideas written so far with no fix.  We have let the boat sit for the past month or so because of the rain and other priorities interrupting our pleasure cruising/fishing.  During this time we have checked the boat regularly to confirm that the bilge is empty to the degree possible. (Confusing, but we flip the manual switch on the console and it pumps even more water.  I should shut down the battery when we not using the boat, right?) Once the bilge stops pumping, the tilt is still fully there. 

Today, I dug as far as possible (from my limited knowledge) into every place I had even a chance of see if there was water in the starboard cavity.  From the pic sent by haz, it looks like there is a cavity there.  I totally failed to see anything.  Of note, in unscrewing panels under the center console in the storage/toilet area, I did find more tyraps and a bolt nut.  I also found another piece of fiberglass debris in the bilge area.  Factory leftovers, I guess.  This makes me even more curious if there is a clogged hole somewhere I'll never find.

I just sent a note to Robalo to see if they have any ideas on how I can get into all the cavities on the boat.  If anyone knows how to get into that starboard cavity, please let me know.  

Thanks for all the suggestions, Eric

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Hi, sorry, I should have said port.  My bad.  I'm left handed and still get my left and right confused.  I guess that carried over to my thought pattern on port and starboard.

Thanks for catching this.  Yes, it is definitely the left side of the boat when facing the bow.

Eric D

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The stringer system should be made of fiberglass with injected foam.  Perhaps you can have one of the local fiberglass boat builder persons in your area check the stringers to see if it is water logged.  Water saturation can add weight 

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You haven't yet taken it out, hit throttle and holded it at nose up to see what bilge pump does?

I assume you have tried putting people on right side and seen if weight makes water come pouring over?  Watching through open ports, compartments?

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any luck upon Running bow up ?.probably no help,........has to be water trapped in there  to tilt that much.....keep us informed. thanks 

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Hi no luck so far.  Bow up does nothing.  We have bounced when running and no more discharge. 

I have a commit from Robalo for the dealer to call me.  I'm going to wait another couple of days and then call them. 

I'm wondering if this is a hazard to even run it around like this.

Many thanks for the inquiry.

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As described, the sea trial should have coaxed any water from the R180's normal drainage paths into the bilge pump.

As others have mentioned, it may be useful to try to estimate how much water may be trapped on the hull's port side.

You might put a 5-gallon bucket on the starboard swim platform, at the edge of the engine splash well. and thread a garden hose into the bucket.

Ideally, with no one on the boat, run water into the bucket(s) until the hull balances from side-to-side, and then run the bilge pump to ensure the bilge is emptied.

Knowing how many gallons it takes to achieve balance may suggest where the water is trapped.

I am curious about the possibility of water leaking through the trim tab hinge mounting screws, as described by Wayne Connors here on the Robalo Boat Forum and on the Robalo Owners Facebook page.

Looking at my R180, I am finding what appears to be a sealed compartment on either side of the stern bilge, which is bounded by the vertical wall rising from the bilge floor, the hull's sidewall, the floor of the below-jump-seat battery compartment floor, the backwall of the battery compartment, which the rises to just beneath the swim platform and runs aft to the inside of the transom. In short, these are surprisingly large spaces into which the trim tab hinge mounting screws may pass, and through which the trim tab control wiring passes.

In the past, I've presumed these compartments are foam-filled for flotation, however, I threaded a stiff wire from the battery compartment through the trim tab control wiring hole and I was able to twirl it around, so, at 7-inches off the battery compartment floor, where the trim tab control wiring passes, there is no foam in that blind compartment.

It may be worthwhile to ask the dealer to remove the mounting screws from the port side trim tab hinge to see if any water flows out. Or, slide a suitable length of stiff wire through the trim tab control wiring pass-through hole, as a dipstick, to try to determine if any moisture exists at the bottom of the compartment.

 43744128681_a41734407b_o.jpg

 

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Good luck!

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After looking back at Forum member wildoats past comment about his finding foam in the blind compartment when he installed trim tabs on his R180, I took another run at probing from the battery compartment back wall through the trim tab control wiring pass-through hole into the blind compartment, using a longer wire.

Our R180's port side transom blind compartment is foam-filled.

Good luck!

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Hi Haz, thanks for the info.  Once it stops raining here, I'm heading down to the dock to check out the port trim tab.  I think you are on to something, as the boat was not tilting until after the trim tabs were added, per my wife's recollection.  I can't speak for my memory these days. 

The dealer is supposed to help me with this.  Let's see what happens.  I'm all over it.

Eric

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ah,....bet your on to it,  that area is  foam filled on mine, as I remember needing a long drill to feed the trim tab wire through there.

the transom area on these R180's ( probably the R200 too), leaves a whole lot to be desired....access is terrible. 

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The trim tab components on our R180 show an appropriately sized telltale of bedding sealant, including around the screw heads and where the control wiring passes through the exterior cylinder mount.

Whoever installed them at the factory did a great job, which is important, because of the immediately adjacent foam-filled compartment that can become waterlogged if a leak occurs.

Good luck!

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