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Bayliner 32xx Fuel Tank Issues?

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    Bayliner 32xx Fuel Tank Issues?


    I have been looking for awhile for a 32xx with a hardtop and in good condition in the San Francisco area. Recently, I found one boat that had the port fuel tank replaced. Another boat said the starboard tank on his was replaced and that side generally had the problems. Another boat in the Pacific NW was cheap and needed fuel tanks replaced.

    Apparently, there are no spacers underneath the tanks?

    A friend has owned a 3270 for 17 yrs, less than 1000 hrs on 150 engines, covered, but I am concerned about the unknown. I now have a great boat, looking for something a little bigger and the 32 fits my needs but I am concerned about this apparent problem which I have run across through ads for the boats at least four times.

    Can anyone explain if there were certain years, the placement, the design, the construction material, the labor, what is the problem ?? And if eventually on all the boats it will have to be addressed, meaning replacing the tanks, pulling the engines etc?


    Last edited by Jim_Gandee; 02-04-2020, 08:58 AM.

    Welcome to the forum!

    Fuel tank issues are not just a 32xx issue, or a Bayliner issue.

    Fuel tanks are a boat issue. Anything older than maybe 20 years or so, will need to have tanks replaced at some point.

    Boats in general a rough environments for tanks. Fuel, water,moisture, temperature extremes, bouncing, sloshing, rocking and to top it all off stray electric currents.

    Find a boat you like, and if the tanks have not been replaced, negotiate that into the price.
    1987 3818 Hino 175
    "Knotty Girl"
    Prince Rupert B.C.


      An issue with the 3288 fuel tanks were two fold. The plastic strip under the tanks was stapled down with galv steel staples. The air vent on the port side did not have a rain louver behind the decorative vent so salt water could get in and flow under the tanks. With salt water, the galvanic action between the staple and the Al tank burned holes in the tank.

      Note that this was mostly a salt water issue, not so much a fresh water issue. I added a rain louver but being a freshwater boat it wasn't much of an issue. If you ever replace tanks add a 1/4 inch AL plate to the bottom and install new lifter strips with glue not staples.


        Thanks, sounds logical, have not closely examined the boat or the tanks, will do so with a "Bayliner Boat Whisperer" if it reaches that point, but good to be aware of the issues and the cause. Luckily, the last 17 yrs the boat has been in a covered slip in fresh water with a meticulous owner on mostly calm waters, not where I would be using the boat, San Francisco Bay which is very rigorous .

        Thanks for the assistance!



          Same topic of fuel tanks check
          Am looking for a Bayliner 32xx to purchase and use this season.
          Looking at
          seems need to pay attention to the fuel tanks.
          Normally like to do a pre-survey survey as many times the issues uncovered rule a possible offer out and no need to spend money on a formal survey, not interested in correcting big problems, even if the price is right.
          What should I look at as signs of problems? despite the obvious leaking fuel? are there visual clues you will use?


            Here is my two cents. I would check the fuel tank beds (plywood boxes the tanks are mounted on). Those were poorly designed and often dry rot out. As those begin to deteriorate, unwanted corrosion opportunities arise and can cause leaks over time. We are dealing with old boats here, but they are great boats. My tanks were inspected in Feb 2018 and they still look good as new. Pretty impressive for a 31 year old boat! Good luck!
            "Fog 1"
            1989 Bayliner 3288
            Twin 305s
            Kenmore, WA