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Author Topic:   Fuel Tank Inspection / Fuel Guage
JOHN W MAYO posted 08-07-2002 09:36 AM ET (US)   Profile for JOHN W MAYO   Send Email to JOHN W MAYO  
[I have a] 1976 Whaler 19-Revenge [on which] it appears I have silicone on the floor that is not sealing on the panel on the deck. [It is possible that water is] getting...around the area of the fuel tank. Is this a problem for the boat to be absorbing water in the fiberglass?

When taking the panel up, I have not been able to remove the front passenger seat, I have taken all the screws out on the out of the outer plate (8 screws), I have been unable so far to get the screws out of the inner round circle of the seat except one, and it does not appear to be holding the seat to the deck. Any suggestions?

Fuel guage does not work.It appears the wire is missing and broken off. I would like to put a dash mounted one on. Any suggetions on repairing that? [This post has been edited for clarity--jimh.]

jimh posted 08-07-2002 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am not familiar with the 19-Revenge fuel tank arrangement. Is the tank mounted in a central hull cavity in the middle of the cockpit? Or is the tank a saddle tank arrangement on the gunwales. Please describe in more precision where the fuel tank is located on your 19-Revenge.
JOHN W MAYO posted 08-07-2002 10:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for JOHN W MAYO  Send Email to JOHN W MAYO     
The fuel tank is mounted in the center of the floor of the Revenge-19. The floor panel [extends] from forward of the two chairs in front, [aft] to ...about 2 feet from engine.

The tank has about a 6-inch glass in the center of the deck to read the contents.

jimh posted 08-07-2002 10:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Please stop using ALL CAPS.
jimh posted 08-07-2002 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Virtually all larger Boston Whaler hulls with a central fuel tank cavity have some potential for water to drain into the fuel tank cavity area. Water that enters here cannot saturate the "fiberglass" because the fuel tank cavity is a completely finished, gelcoated surface, just like the bottom or deck of the boat.

If you operate the boat in such a way that there is a constant, chronic flow of water into the cockpit and this water continually drains into the fuel tank cavity, then there may be some accumulation of water in that area, but you should not panic. Think of it as a bilge space. It is natural for there to be some water in the bilge space.

Water that flows in there can only exit by evaporation. There is no other place for it to drain--the bottom of the fuel tank cavity is one of the lowest points in the hull and is just a few inches from the the keel.

It is also fairly typical that the seam between the deck cover plate and the rest of the cockpit floor has shrunk with age and time, permitting more water to enter the fuel tank cavity than was possible in the original design. You can remove and replace this sealing if you want.

As for the gauge, you appear to have completely misunderstood the gauge. It is not electrical at all. There are no wires associated with it. The gauge is a mechanical indicating gauge which shows the level of the fuel in the tank. If the gauge is not working you may have something mechanical stuck. Try using some WD-40 to free up the linkage between the gauge and the float in the tank.

There is no known experience in installing a remote reading electrical fuel tank gauge in this type of tank. If you do this successfully please let me know, as you will be the first person (as far as I know) to have done this. Most people find the mechanical gauge to be much more accurate and reliable. Electrical gauges are not known for either of those qualities.

By the way, did I mention you should please stop posting in ALL CAPS? I have taken the time to edit all of your postings to conform with the general style we use on this FORUM, which is to eschew ALL CAPS and other affectations of Cyber-Stupid grammar and style. Also, unless you are ee cummings please don't post in all lower case, either.

JOHN W MAYO posted 08-08-2002 08:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for JOHN W MAYO  Send Email to JOHN W MAYO     
Thanks for the info. I did not realize the inside of the fuel tank holding area had a gel coat protecting the area from water. I may just leave it alone and seal the deck. I would like to replace the fuel line if i can do it without removeing the deck cover.

You may be correct on the fuel guage. I did remove it, but it appears there is nothing mechanical attached for the guage with 2-small screws attaching it to the what is probably a sending unit.

jimh posted 08-08-2002 08:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Generally you can replace the fuel lines from the tank to the engine without much trouble. This is a good idea on any boat ten years old or more, particularly with today's alcohol laden gasoline. The alcohol will rot older rubber components; modern lines will be alcohol resistant. Be sure to use the proper grade of hose (Rating = A1). It is quite expensive, but required by law.

Replacing the filler hose is another story. This can be more difficult. One tip that has been suggested: pre-stretch the hose to more easily fit over the tank fitting. The amount of working room is limited and it is reported to be difficult to get the hose onto the filler pipe fitting at the tank.

Regulations require the maker of the these hoses to include the date of manufacture on the tubing. Inspection will show you the exact age of all your fuel lines. If original with the boat they are probably in need of replacement after 26 years.

Tom W Clark posted 08-08-2002 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
John,

The fuel tank does not sit in the the hull so much as it sits on top of the hull in a recess created just for it. Over the tank is a fibergalss and plywood "fuel tank cover" that was originally sealed to the floor of the boat around its perimeter with silicone caulk.

The fuel tank gauge has two parts. The dial itself which is held on with two machine screws and two little springs. This gauge is magnetically actuated by the rest of the gauge mounted underneath it.

This other part has a float on the end of a swing arm that is geared to a magnet that rotates as the float rises and falls. The magnet moves the needle in the gauge and thus the fuel tank remains totally sealed from the dial itself.

What typically happens is that the cork float will become waterlogged (or gasolinelogged) with time and will no longer float. The remedy for this situation is to pull this part of the fuel gauge by removing the five machine screws that hold it to the tank and remove the entire unit.

Buy a new float. They are sometimes made of plastic but coated cork floats are still available as well. Install the new float and reinstall the gauge assembly with a new gasket under the five screws. You may also want to use some gasket sealing compound as well to help insure a good seal.

bkaus posted 08-08-2002 10:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for bkaus  Send Email to bkaus     
I recently checked the sending unit on the fuel tank on my 21 revenge because it was sticking. I cleaned it up and lubed it with WD40, it works great. However my gasket is shot. I made a cork one to temporarily replace it, but I think the original was of a different design. Does anyone know of a replacement source. My boat was made in 78 and has a 27 gallon tank built into the center of the deck. I believe this is the original tank. Thanks
JOHN W MAYO posted 08-08-2002 04:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for JOHN W MAYO  Send Email to JOHN W MAYO     
Tom, what a great explination.....of how the fuel guage works, I will pull the guage and see if I can solve the problem.

Good info on fuel line replacement and how to do it.
I see how you can rebuild a whaler.
I will try the wd-40 also....good answers to my questions....
THANKS.

Chap posted 08-08-2002 04:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     
Hello,
Mr. Mayo you hit it on the head and it is not mentioned enough on this site, "I see how you can rebuild a Whaler."

This site is a testament to the quality of the Boston Whalers because the informaition shared here allows the owners to maintain and refurbish or rebuild their boats.

A quality boat is, generally speaking, always fixable or repairable. Boats break and the ones that remain broken were probably not super repairable in the first place.

Sponge or no sponge.

Thanks
Chap

jimh posted 08-08-2002 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Another small detail that often goes unappreciated but is typical of the sort of engineering put into the Whaler is the use of springs to hold the fuel gauge indicator flush against the clear coverplate. By doing this the gauge is made much easier to read than would be the case if there were a gap between coverplate and gauge.

People wonder why we like Whalers so much; the many fine details like this are the reason.

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