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Author Topic:   Water in 18' Outrage Fuel tank
commodore posted 08-07-2001 08:56 AM ET (US)   Profile for commodore   Send Email to commodore  
Our recently-purchased 18' Outrage apparently has some water in the tank--the motor has shut down several times with water in the external filter. I am going to have the tank pumped out to remove the bad stuff, but are these permanent 63 gallon under-floor tanks prone to this issue? Any tips? The previous owner used it lightly, we have been banging it around pretty regularly, so maybe I've just stirred up some old junk at the bottom.


tbyrne posted 08-07-2001 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for tbyrne    
My 18' Whaler made massive quantities of water. The best remedy I found was frequent filter changes, plenty of Zorb (a form of dry gas), frequent spark plug changes and keeping the tank as full as possible to minimize the formation of condensation. Is it any wonder I sold the boat?

The biggest problem for me was filling the tank after running the boat for the day. If I had run the boat for a while and bounced around, the fuel fill tube would fill up with bubbles and keep me from refueling at anything other than a snail's pace (about 1 gal. per minute). The vent was replaced, so I suspect there was a problem with design/routing of the fuel fill tube. I always wondered if others had the same problem.

Good luck - I think cleaning out the tank is a good idea. I'd try to blow out the vent and fill tube, too.

Bigshot posted 08-07-2001 10:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Flashback from my 1974 19 Revenge. That was the biggest 40 gal tank when you had to fill it. If you went any faster than a snails pace, it would backfire and blow it all over the place. My tank was subject to water build up also. Might thave to do with semi-v hull and tank being close to deck or water and the insulation from the foam making condensation a bigger issue. Never had a water problem like that boat did. Be careful with Dry-gas. It is an alcohol and they have a tendency to strip oil from metal which is pretty important with a 2 stroke. Try and get the boat on a trailer, tilt it high in the bow and pump out the tank from the back of the tank until no more water is seen in the jar.
Tom W Clark posted 08-07-2001 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

There is nothing unusual nor poorly designed about the fuel tank in your Outrage. It is aluminum and subject to corrosion and thus may spring a leak but I rather suspect that water getting into the tank has more to do with the fuel fill and vent lines than anything else. Check out: and

Getting the tank cleaned out is a good idea at any rate. Fuel polishing is an expensive way to go though. I had a tank done last fall for about $400, ouch.

Next time I might just drain the tank and dispose of the fuel properly and be dine with it. For more read: But you still have to deal with any gunk or debris in the tank and this is where fuel polishing becomes valuable.

tbyrne, gasoline does not foam like diesel. How could the fuel tube fill with bubbles?! The important thing to remember when filling the Outrage is to make sure the tip of the fuel nozzle has made it past the attachment point for the cap's safety chain and that the handle of the nozzle is in the boat, not on the outside of the boat. I generally climbed into the boat when fueling at the gas station so that the curvature of the nozzle would more closely match the curvature of the filler hose otherwise the fuel would back up and trip the nozzle's shut-off and make a mess. So long as you meet these two conditions, filling the tank should be no problem.

Peter posted 08-08-2001 11:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I never had a problem with water in the tank in my '87 18 Outrage. But I used it pretty hard. My guess would be that you've stirred up some junk from the bottom.
jward posted 08-08-2001 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for jward  Send Email to jward     
My recommendation for removing water from the tank is to buy an automotive electircal fuel pump...generic model... and run the fuel hose through a water separating filter into the fuel pump and then run a fuel line back to the fuel filler and back into the tank. You can then run the pump, stop empty the filter, and run the pump some more until there is no water build up in the filter.
dburton posted 08-08-2001 12:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for dburton  Send Email to dburton     
I would suggest to unscrewing the panel on the port side that covers the fill tube and vent hose. This is 5-6 screws and will take 1 minute. Inspect the fill tube. I can almost guarantee that it will look awful. That is, dry and cracked. Now do a sniff test close to the hose. Try and smell gas vapors. I'm not sure if you might smell normal vapors from the vent hose or not. Someone else might know. What you are trying to tell here is if there is a hole in your fill tube. If you are like me, you flush your deck down with fresh water after each salt water use. You may be forcing water under the side panel and into a crack in the fill tube.

You might also pop the middle rear hatch and inspect the fuel hose and the fitting to the gas tank. It's not likely that you have a problem here but you might as well take a look.

I think you a candidate for removing your console and pulling your deck plate and replacing all hoses to the gas tank. I believe from a previous post that pre 1987-88 hoses are especially subject to deterioration from alcohol in today’s gas. I am planing on doing my 1986 18’ Outrage this winter. I will redo the electric while I’m at it. The member who posts under the name “maverick” did his 18 in the last year or two.

Good luck,

eric_from_MD posted 08-08-2001 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for eric_from_MD  Send Email to eric_from_MD     
I have the floor of my 18 Guardian up and the tank out and could possibly provide pic's to anyone interested. Mine is an 88 and some corrosion did exist on the tanks exterior. I have sanded and glassed over the entire tank and should be replacing it soon. My logic was that if water can't reach the aluninums (exterior)it can't corrode it. Perhaps Jim may be able to post the pics as an FYI for all 18 owners. Just a thought. Eric
lhg posted 08-08-2001 05:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Eric - Almost all aluminum built-in tank corrosion is from within, the combination of alcohol and water in the gasoline.
eric_from_MD posted 08-08-2001 06:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for eric_from_MD  Send Email to eric_from_MD     
Larry- Thanks for the insight. The inside looked great from what I could see but there were several exterior spots that were corroded pretty badly. Water that gets down into that well/belly can never completely get out from what I have seen and still feel that extra protection for the outside can't hurt. Just a bit more weight to push around. Eric
tbyrne posted 08-09-2001 06:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbyrne    
Tom Clark - I don't know how the fuel fill tube filled with bubbles, but I know it did. When the boat had sat for days, I could fill it without much trouble. When I tried to fill it after a long day on the water, it would kick back time and time again, with bubbling fuel coming out the vent holes and the top of the fill tube. Weather/temperature made no difference.

Any idea why the difference? I can only attribute it to agitated fuel/oil (& Zorb?) in the tank.

commodore posted 08-09-2001 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for commodore  Send Email to commodore     
Thanks for all the input. The mechanic pulled the large (6" diameter) plate where the fuel pickup is, and we could see a small amount of water but also pieces of silicone sealant. It looked like an earler owner may have also pulled this plate, and resealed it with silicone which fell into the tank. We fabricated a new gasket for that plate from sheet nitrile rubberand replaced it. Got all the bad stuff out, next step is to replace the fuel delivery hose, priming bulb etc. I will also pull the side panel and inspect the fill and vent hoses---thanks for the tip!!
Tom W Clark posted 08-10-2001 12:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

I'm still not convinced. Take a jar of your fuel mixture and shake it up. Gas won't foam. I guess I don't actually know if an additive like "Zorb" alters that fact, so perhaps I'm wrong. But try that experiment so others will know.

Are you sure there is not some other parameter that is not being controlled? In other words: Are you sure you are not jumping to an incorrect conclusion based on the evidence at hand?

Any problem with the fuel nozzle triggering prematurely will cause bubbly gasoline to shoot out the fuel vent and/or filler but this does not mean the fuel itself is "bubbled up" down in the tank. I strongly suspect it is something in the filling process and not the fuel that is causing your troubles.

jimh posted 08-10-2001 08:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The circular inspection ports on the Outrage (and other Whalers) were made by BECKSON MARINE INC.

Beckson has a high-information-content/low-glitz website. See


I am certain you can purchase the rubber o-ring seals for the deck ports from them at reasonable cost. We recently ordered some replacement parts from them and got excellent service.

By US Coast Guard regulation, the fuel hose must have the year of manufacture stamped on it, so you should be able to tell the age of your hoses by visual inspection of them.


tbyrne posted 08-10-2001 09:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for tbyrne    
Reasonable minds can differ - I just know that when I filled the tank at my marina before I went out (pump 100 ft. from slip), I had no problems. When I tried to fill the tank at the same pump after a 40-50 mile day, it took forever. What in the filling process do you think could cause that?

It's really academic since I sold the boat. It was too nerve wracking to have to constantly change the separator (not enough clearance for a Racor with a bowl/drain) and then pray I had enough juice left to start the balky old Johnson 150.

Tom W Clark posted 08-10-2001 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

You've got me stumped. I have filled my Outrage under the same before/after boating conditions and never had that be a factor. It was always a matter of position of the nozzle relative to the filler that mattered.

I'd still be curious about the "Zorb" and gasoline/fuel mix. I'll do the experiment and report back.


Before the mid 80's Whaler did not use Beckson pry outs but rather PYHI. PYHI was sold to Bowmar and the PYHI name disappeared. The PYHI plates were different diameters than the Becksons. For more on deck plates look here: and

White Bear posted 08-10-2001 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for White Bear  Send Email to White Bear     
Went all through this deck plate nonsense several years ago when trying to replace original items on a '79 Blackfin. PYHI went to Bomar which is now part of Pompanette, Inc. [Tel.(603) 826-5791] I got my units from Bomar after having been assured that they were the same O.D. as the PYHI and found they were 1/2" larger making it difficult to fit the recesses formed in the deck. No big deal to reduce the O.D. using a sanding disc or sanding drum as there are already radius marks on the underside of the plate surround allowing for a neat concentric trimming.
maverick posted 08-11-2001 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for maverick  Send Email to maverick     
Commodore...i have an 85 Outrage and simply put i would recommend that you remove the rear inssection cover sn middle (pry open]....then remove fuel line (hose clamp]. Next remove screws around aluminum cover and remove plate. This provides easy and good access to see inside the tank and clean it out. i was fortunate as mine was shiny inside. NOTE that in this plate the fuel tube neck (90 degree bend] has a screen in it. i removed this on mine as i have an inline water separating filter. i cut a new gasket from gasket material and replaced. Replaced all hoses wsth USGC approved hoses. This included the big fill hose. Simply remove side covers (i removed entire floor as i did an entire refit anyway.] NOTE that i found the refill hose was rotted at 90 degree bend and was GLAD to replace! Doing all this myself was inexsensive and fairly easy not to mention i know it was done right. ALL 18 owners...BE SURE and CHECK your FiLL HOSE at the 90. Best....Mav

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