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williemon

Fuel type smell from ski locker

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williemon

My 01 SSVLX seems to have what smells like gas In the middle floor ski locker. It has held water in there the pass month and a half and has a smell kind of like gas but just not a strong fuel smell. Could it be gas or does that ski locker tend to smell like that?

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GreenMan

You shouldn't have a smell of fuel anywhere except at the fuel tank vent port (or around the carburettor if you have one).

If you have fuel odours in the ski locker there is something wrong and I'd be pulling out the locker floor or whatever to have a good look around for loose or split hoses or tank, leaking tank sender flange or anything. Think about isolating the battery first.

If you think there's fuel soaked into the middle of the locker floor, I'd be thinking that you have fuel injection and the fuel return line is leaking at the tank connection?

It may only need a source of ignition to send you into the next zip code...

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Rednucleus

I hate the smell of burning fiberglass in the morning...

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GreenMan

I hate the smell of burning fiberglass in the morning...

... out in the middle of the lake.

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srab

FWIW, I, too, have frequently noticed a distinctive fuel-like aroma when I open my ski locker first thing in the morning. Its just a faint smell, but enough to cause a little concern.

But, since the bilge on my Sunscape tends to drain forward, under the gas tank and into the ski locker when my boat is sitting level in the water, and I can clearly ascertain that

there is no leaking fuel, in fact no liquid at all, in the ski locker with just a quick check (lifting up the plastic ribbed liner), and no fuel in the bilge itself (lifting out my center seat and

the storage tray allows me to look directly down on the fuel line connections from the gas tank to the fuel filter to the fuel pump), I'm fairly certain that I don't really have a problem.

Still, I keep my blowers on for several minutes before cranking the engine, and I don't think anyone could convince me to light a match in the ski locker without first leaving the

door open for a few minutes.

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Rednucleus

FWIW, I, too, have frequently noticed a distinctive fuel-like aroma when I open my ski locker first thing in the morning. Its just a faint smell, but enough to cause a little concern.

But, since the bilge on my Sunscape tends to drain forward, under the gas tank and into the ski locker when my boat is sitting level in the water, and I can clearly ascertain that

there is no leaking fuel, in fact no liquid at all, in the ski locker with just a quick check (lifting up the plastic ribbed liner), and no fuel in the bilge itself (lifting out my center seat and

the storage tray allows me to look directly down on the fuel line connections from the gas tank to the fuel filter to the fuel pump), I'm fairly certain that I don't really have a problem.

Still, I keep my blowers on for several minutes before cranking the engine, and I don't think anyone could convince me to light a match in the ski locker without first leaving the

door open for a few minutes.

Just got this great cartoon image of someone smoking a big cigar as they open the cover!

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GreenMan

Just got this great cartoon image of someone smoking a big cigar as they open the cover!

... a few seconds before an unscheduled visit to the International Space Station!

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GreenMan

FWIW, I, too, have frequently noticed a distinctive fuel-like aroma when I open my ski locker first thing in the morning. Its just a faint smell, but enough to cause a little concern.

But, since the bilge on my Sunscape tends to drain forward, under the gas tank and into the ski locker when my boat is sitting level in the water, and I can clearly ascertain that

there is no leaking fuel, in fact no liquid at all, in the ski locker with just a quick check (lifting up the plastic ribbed liner), and no fuel in the bilge itself (lifting out my center seat and

the storage tray allows me to look directly down on the fuel line connections from the gas tank to the fuel filter to the fuel pump), I'm fairly certain that I don't really have a problem.

Still, I keep my blowers on for several minutes before cranking the engine, and I don't think anyone could convince me to light a match in the ski locker without first leaving the

door open for a few minutes.

That's interesting. Does the boat have the Sun beating on it before you open it up in the morning - could it just be vapours from the tank vent that you're smelling...?

Petrol (gas!) is such a strong odour I guess you might readily smell just a drop or two that has all but evaporated making leak detection difficult? If there was a persistent weep from the tank connections you'd think there would be some fuel dye stains visible at the connections?

I keep my ski and rope in the rear locker so it gets accessed multiple times a day and I don't think I've ever smelled fuel in there or the engine compartment / bilge.

I just hate the thought of having fuel vapours in the boat - at our ramp a few years ago a modern direct drive ski boat (Mercruiser carb) blew the engine cover off and one crew into the river and minor injuries to one or two others. I think there was a leaking hose fitting on the engine. Don't know what the source of ignition was. Frightened the crap out of a lot of people. Was a pretty crowded area at the time. A real eye opener and luckily the boat didn't catch fire and no-one badly hurt.

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Bill_AirJunky

I think I'd be checking all the fuel lines, connections at the tank, EFI & pump, and that your blower is hooked up & working..... and use it a LOT.

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williemon

I do use the blower. I don't really get any smell from the bildge or rear lockers(this is a vlx) but I have noticed that while driving the boat, maybe at idle and some when going slow, I do notice a fuel smell. It's enough to notice and I never really smelled a fuel smell from my old boat. It stays parked in my barn so no direct sunlight. There is water in the forward ski locker and I just happened to decide to open it up and let it air before mushrooms grew in it and I noticed the smell there when I did that. I was not sure if that ski locker tends to smell fuelish like that if it stays closed up. Got me pretty paranoid now. Maybe I need to check it with a flame test? Not really. Is there a dye that can be put in the gas to see if there is any leaks?

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williemon

I wonder if I should shop vac the ski locker or towel soak the water out?

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RTS

I do use the blower.

Blowers are a relic from the days of carb'd engines in enclosed bilges. They are meant to exhaust fumes that are normally present in a carb'd boat from the fuel in the float bowl exposed to the atmosphere. They are not designed to compensate for an active fuel leak in a fuel injected boat....especially considering that fuel is under great pressure. All running the blower will do is ensure that at some point you will reach the proper fuel air mixture in the bilge that a spark will ruin your day.

In a fuel injected boat, you should never, under any cicumstances, smell fuel in your bilge. If you do, something is wrong....and needs to be found and fixed right away.

Is there a dye that can be put in the gas to see if there is any leaks?

Sta-bil is red, can be added to your fuel with not adverse effects on the engine, and can be used to help identify leaks.

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Bill_AirJunky

I wonder if I should shop vac the ski locker or towel soak the water out?

Clean the locker out. If there is a hole or plug that connects it to the bilge, plug it up good. Add some Stabil like RTS suggested. And see what happens.

Also check your connections at the fuel pump & filter. When was the last time the filter was replaced? Maybe it didn't get tightened down good?

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williemon

Good ideas. I will do all that. Hope it's really just a funky smell but if there is a leak I will find it.

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blk93jeepzj

I would not use a shop vac in the bilge! I know an insurance adjuster that has had claims on at least two boats due to using non marine shop vacs in the bilge area. Fuel vapors and sparky sparky did not mix. Also have an uncle that tried to clean up a gas spill in a garage with a wet/dry vac, again fuel and sparky sparky did not mix.

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williemon

Not to get confused but the smell I get is in the front floor ski locker, but point taken for sure. I will bucket bail and towel soak dry the area and work from there.

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