View Full Version : I/O Boot Safety

08-08-2015, 09:18 AM
This may seem like a silly question, but here goes. We are remodeling (FULL remodel!) a 55' 1972 LazyDays with twin Mercuiser I/O. There have been several houseboats lost this year due to leaking outdrive boots. My question is, is there some sort of "dam" that can be installed inboard around the boots to prevent flooding? Are there any other in-water preventative measures that can be taken? Thanks.

08-08-2015, 02:31 PM
Change out of the boots every 5 years is your best preventive action. 7 plus years if stern faces away from the sun.

08-09-2015, 08:06 AM
There are lots of potential leaks to worry about. I'd also install a BIG backup bilge pump (mine is 4000 gph) with power to run it and a LOUD alarm, and make sure the marina (or someone) knows who to call or what to do if it ever goes off.

08-24-2015, 04:30 AM
I really liked this*information.

09-08-2015, 09:59 PM
There are actually three gaskets (or bellows if you like) in a sterndrive. The big one is obvious, but the others cover hoses and cables that go through the transom. As has been said, have these checked regularly, at least annually. Replace them every five years whether you think they need it or not. They are not only degraded by the working of the sterndrive but also by UV and crap in the water. Most sinkings occur at the dock due to leaky stuffing boxes (on inboards) and the bellows on I/Os. Install a bilge alarm and an oversized bilge pump. Also be aware that even the biggest bilge pumps cannot cope with a catastrophic failure of the bellows (or for that matter a thru hull fitting) They are there to deal with small leaks and incidental water from rain. Vigilance and maintenance are the best preventative.