I took my boat out on the river for the first time this year. I put the boat in and pushed it over to the side of the ramp and noticed that the back was filling with water. After a short investigation I realized that I had not put the drain plug in. No problem I put in the plug and started the bilge pump and got everything else ready.
Ten minutes later I we take off down the river and I notice that we are taking on water fast. I kill the engine and go back to make sure the drain plug is in. It is but the engine seems hot. The temperature gauge says that it is less than 120 which seems normal since it has only been running for a couple of minutes. In the few minutes that we are stopped I notice that the water level in the boat has stayed the same.
The engine temperature was something that I noticed but didn't pay any attention to because I was thinking about sinking.
I started the boat again and revved the engine to around 3000 and couldn't get on plane when I noticed that the water level in the boat was rising again so I turned towards the shore (which was a 20' cliff). The engine started to sputter but we made it to an area where the kids could get on some rocks so if we sank everyone would live.
After some investigation I found that the hose from the jet to the cooling system had come disconnected. I hadn't noticed it because of all of the water that was in the boat from the missing plug. I put it together and started it up. It ran fine but wouldn't rev over 3000. I drove straight back to the ramp and loaded up.
I have to say that I was scared to death when I realized that I was floating down stream in a sinking boat on water that is about 59degrees with cliffs on both sides and two nine year olds.
Now that everyone is safe I wonder about the damage that I did to my engine. It is a 455olds that looks like it has been stored outside but it has always run well. I am guessing that the first thing to go would be valves. I was only running with out water for 5 minutes but I know that that is more than enough to kill it.
I am going to do a compression check this week but how can I know if I ruined the bottom end? What should I check first? What was most likely damaged?