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    Gas in the bilge-gctid388135

    We had a scare yesterday. Got back to the marina after about 3 hours of running the boat. When they had it up on the forks to put it back in the rack and pulled the garboard drain plug about 1 1/2 gallons of gas came out of the bilge. I climbed up and when I opened the hatch saw the port engine fuel/water filter was leaking around the top of the filter. Pretty good leak too. At the rate it was coming out it must have only been leaking for about 45 minutes---about the time it took us to get back to the marina from Ft. McRee. Took almost a full turn to tighten it back up and stop the leak. Hosed the bilge out for about 20 minutes.

    Talked to my mechanic last night he said there are two issues with Mercruiser/Volvo filters. 1. Alcohol can cause the rubber gasket to shrink and make it loosen up and 2. a loose fitting in the filter head. Both were replaced about 60 engine hours ago so it was not as simple as did not tighen them up enough. Going to pull and replace both of them this week. Will let you know what I find out.

    I guess my pre-start routine will now include hand testing them to see if they are tight in addition to checking the oil and bilges.

    This could have been really bad. Like my 80 year old Norwegian sailing master used to beat into our heads every chance he had, "Give them a chance and the boat and the sea will kill you without remorse."

    #2
    1.5g of gas sounds really scary! Mine always smells a bit but what do you expect from an inboard engine you basically sit on. I never found a drop of gas. I think one of these Xintex MB-1 will be a good investment too even with the replacement cost of the sensor every few years. $150 is cheaper than an explosion in the stern.

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      #3
      Bill

      I am so glad no one was injured. That is scary. Thank you for sharing this story.

      I too will add checking filters to my engine bay check list.

      Jim
      Jim McNeely
      New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
      Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
      Brighton, Michigan USA
      MMSI # 367393410

      Comment


        #4
        you shouldn't have posted your gas problems... :kidding Now I have my problem too but I can't find anything wrong and not a single drop of liquid anywhere and the worst gas smell comes out of the ski-locker.....

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          #5
          I had gas in my bilge a couple weeks ago on our first real outing. My fuel/water filter was dry and tight. My vent hose and fuel line had single hose clamps on them so I doubled clamped them. The sending unit was damp with gas. Resealed the sending unit and all is good now. used degreaser / cleaner to clean the bilge and get rid of the gas smell.

          http://www.baylinerownersclub.org/fo...as-in-my-bilge
          1992 4588
          WitchWay

          Seadoo Wake 170

          Comment


            #6
            it could well be that it's my sending unit seal too if I think about it. It started after I had filled her up the last time. Could well be that some gas came out there and found it's way towards the ski-locker. Being 16 years old this seal might have passed its time of making a seal. Have to check it next weekend.....

            Comment


              #7
              Glad to hear things worked out well and all are safe however I do believe your mechanic is full of it. To say this happens because the rubber shrinks due to alcohol (ethanol) is rather scary. I would think both volvo and mercruiser and all aftermarket marine filter makers would be in major trouble if this was common and had not changed their seals to something resistant like viton which would cost about 3 cents more. I'm thinking it was simply not tightened properly when changed last time. Regardless the advice for an MB1 is spot on as you never know what can happen in the bilge until sometimes it is too late. Here is an MB1, they go for about $160 delivered. http://www.fireboy-xintex.com/MB1.html
              Cheers, Hans
              2007 Carver 41 CMY
              Twin Volvo D6-370
              Montreal, Canada
              Midnight Sun I Photos

              Comment


                #8
                Highly recomment the Xintrex unit - make sure to get the MB 1 as discussed - this unit not only sounds an audible alarm BUT also turns on the blower.

                Please consider the inexpensive cost of this unit when you look at ALL the other items & things that you do when boating, not to mention that if this alarm when off - you would have found the leak immediately and corrected the problem after a few drops instead of 1.5 Gallons. Safety trumps all and when sitting over our fuel tanks - with our famlies - isn't that kind of important?

                I feel that as with seatbelts, all Gasoline engines should come with this as part of the standard package.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Clean up with a shop vac. Ten or fifteen years ago a mechanic working for Marine Services out of Stockton, Ca decided to vacuum the spilled gas out of the bilge on a Bayliner 3277. He did this in spite of being told by Phil the owner of Marine Services not to use a shop vac. The resulting explosion lifted the deck off the Bayliner and blew the mechanic out of the engine compartment and about twenty feet away into the water. Believe it or not the slightly singed mechanic was other wise unharmed. The Bayliner was totaled. I think I would have fired the idiot but he was still working for Phil when he sold out to Pick and Pull. Another story, years ago a friend of mine had a wooden direct drive skiboat with a Cad V8. Nice 50 mph boat. The fuel tank was padded with carpet and over time the carpet wore through and the seam of the fuel tank failed and fuel got into the bilge. He kept this boat up in Clear Ca and was towing a friend of his daughter skiing when the boat blew up throwing he and his daughter out of the boat. The blast broke his leg and shoulder and his daughter broke an arm. The boat burned to the water and refused to sink. Leaking gas is no joke.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Good warning. Thanks for sharing.

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                      #11
                      mrgoodwrench wrote:
                      I feel that as with seatbelts, all Gasoline engines should come with this as part of the standard package.
                      As no one seems to do anything on their own they should make it a law........ If all boat manufacturers have to install it none is disadvantaged in cost and I am sure that they could buy it for less than $50 directly from China.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Turns out it was the gasket on the filter.

                        Having the sniffer installed next week. Thanks for the advise.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks for the update. Wish everybody would do the same. :right
                          Cheers, Hans
                          2007 Carver 41 CMY
                          Twin Volvo D6-370
                          Montreal, Canada
                          Midnight Sun I Photos

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