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Old 05-26-14, 05:44 PM   #1
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Boats

Grrrrr,. Walked by my 22' SeaSwirl (on a trailer) and smelled gas. Now that's not totally suspicious but it didn't take more than a second to notice the blackened path under the bilge drain. After an hour of crawling around the I/O 305 SBC I ruled out carb, hoses, filter/trap, pump, fittings, and came to the ominous conclusion; something's not right with the aluminum 42 gallon under floor tank. Siphoned the 42 gallons out through a 3/8 hose over last two days (that takes some time) and filled up everything in sight (lawn tractor, 9N tractor, pressure washer, etc). Likely a cracked weld seam as the last time we went out, hit some waves hard. Just to get at the tank to drain meant pulling seats, deck plate, top fittings to tank. What a PITA. It's a custom tapered tank too Oh well...filling that floating hull with $$$.
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Old 05-26-14, 05:49 PM   #2
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Boats are a hole in the water to sink money in.

You knew this going in. And 'custom'!
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Old 05-26-14, 05:59 PM   #3
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Sounds like fun! I just sold my sailboat. I still have a canoe, though. Good luck on the tank repair and yeah, I'd guess a cracked seam, as well. You ruled out all the other variables.
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Old 05-26-14, 06:14 PM   #4
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Just be happy you noticed it now. You could have started the engine out on the water and you might not be here to complain about this little inconvenience.

The only thing worse than a fire onboard a boat is a fir onboard an airplane.
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Old 05-26-14, 06:59 PM   #5
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Just be happy you noticed it now. You could have started the engine out on the water and you might not be here to complain about this little inconvenience.

The only thing worse than a fire onboard a boat is a fir onboard an airplane.
Yeah, I figured that happened for a reason and kablooie was avoided. Permeated doesn't even come close to describing what I smelled when I pulled the rear cover off. Yikes. I figure a quart leaked out, maybe not even that. It's a tapered bottom tank and once I siphoned enough to clear the start of the taper...within an hour...no gas smell. I use a small plastic hand pump to start the siphon, works good.
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Old 05-26-14, 07:08 PM   #6
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No where in the danger area of a fuel leak but you should smell the stench from a leak in the bilge and seawater has collected and been sitting a while. It has to be smelled to be believed.
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Old 05-27-14, 10:36 AM   #7
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BOAT = Break Out Another Thousand!
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Old 05-27-14, 10:55 AM   #8
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It could be worse.

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Old 05-27-14, 11:12 AM   #9
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Yep, this is going to cost you. Pull the floor, repair or replace the tank, replace the floor.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 05-27-14, 11:18 AM   #10
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It could be worse.

Ouch.

However I have to say this... on my dock I regularly see the same have dozen or so people... and yet there are about 50-55 boats on the dock... some of which are growing spider webs. Some folks simply do not come out and visit their boats... period. And for some odd reason... powerboats seem to pump out their bilges far more often than sail boats.
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Old 05-27-14, 08:43 PM   #11
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Bad thing about a below deck Al tank in a 30 year old boat..is it might as well be custom...particularly V bottom tanks. A dinky loner hole can be repaired but that implies corrosion. A weld crack is another matter. I'll pull & throw 1-2 psi in it and see where and what the leak is. Then decide.
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Old 05-27-14, 10:32 PM   #12
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And for some odd reason... powerboats seem to pump out their bilges far more often than sail boats.
I've seen a lot of boats sink in their slips and can't remember any sailboats. More plumbing and more thru-hulls.

I heard or read somewhere that low scuppers coupled with non-sealing or loose hatches were a big cause.
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Old 05-28-14, 03:12 AM   #13
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It could be worse.

In this case, BOAT means BOATT > B rea k Out Ano ther Thirty Thousand!

That'll be the sum total roughly of the marina charges for recovery of a sunken boat. Add another $830K mandatory automatic fine for a fuel and oil spill if the marina is in Federally regulated waters like the Intercoastal. That's why it's always wise to carry marine insurance on your boat.
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