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Ketchafew

Gas smell in bilge but no apparent gas leak

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I have a strong gasoline odor when I open a hatch open to the bilge of my 2002 RF16 (anchor/battery) but there is no gas in the bilge just fumes.  Raised the bow as high as it would go on the trailer and removed the plug to drain what liquid was in the bilge....no sign of gasoline.  The fuel tank is less than half full.

Any thoughts?

 

 

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If you have a plastic tank, the smell will come from that.  Plastic tanks are known to be kind of semi permeable in terms of allowing gas smells under the deck.  I have a plastic tank in my Path 2200V, and I can open the battery hatch in the starboard rear, and you will smell gas until the hatch is left open long enough for the smell to dissipate.

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Yep, my old bay-boat had a poly tank and you could smell gasoline fumes from day one. You need to gain access to the top of the tank and check for leaks around the fittings. Might have to fill the tank to capacity to force liquid fuel to leak. Or, take the boat to some who can pressure test the tank.

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26 minutes ago, SCFD rtrd. said:

Yep, my old bay-boat had a poly tank and you could smell gasoline fumes from day one. You need to gain access to the top of the tank and check for leaks around the fittings. Might have to fill the tank to capacity to force liquid fuel to leak. Or, take the boat to some who can pressure test the tank.

I don't think there has to be a leak to have a slight gas odor.  In fact, the OP said no leaks.  And my Path has no gas leaks, just the faint odor.  

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If he has a poly tank, you are right, he could have a gas odor without a leak. But, the op said no visible gas when he pulled the plug. That doesn't mean he doesn't have a leak. If the op has a metal tank and smells gas, then he has a leak. Might be just a vapor leak (not liquid), but still dangerous and needs further investigation.

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You are right.  I was thinking he said he had the plastic tank. I had plastic tank on the brain.:D Went back and looked, and he didn't indicate.  I am not sure what they put in the RF16.   That WOULD be pretty important info!!!!  If metal, he has a problem, even if just vapor.  If plastic, and no leak, he doesn't  have a problem.   

EDIT.  I checked around, and saw a reference to some corrosion on the fuel tank in another RF 16 thread, soooo, he probably has a problem. 

 

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My 2000 Bayfisher 16 had a poly tank and would get stinky with all the hatches closed.  There should be an access plate on the deck under the console so you can first verify a poly tank.  I used to prop open the rear starboard hatch with a tennis ball and it provided enough ventilation to prevent the buildup of fumes.

Good luck!

Bud

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