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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
Outrage 17 fuel tank leak/tank replacement
|Author||Topic: Outrage 17 fuel tank leak/tank replacement|
posted 06-09-2004 11:35 AM ET (US)
I have a good friend with a 1997 Outrage 17 that has been getting water in the fuel tank (lots of it.)
She has taken it to a local marina that has determined that the fuel tank cavity has gotten water in it and the tank has corroded and is leaking water into the tank.
Is this common for such a new boat to have the tank perforated? Also, I have difficulty in believing that water has gotten into the tank (a lot of water) with no fuel smell whatsoever.
Is the tank still available from Whaler, and if so does anyone know what the cost of the tank is? Any chance of help from Whaler on the tank or repair cost?
Obviously to remove the tank involves de-rigging the console and cutting the seal out of the deck hatch covering the tank. I have suggested installing a couple of portable tanks under the flip-seat for a short term fix until the off-season.
Any other suggestions?
posted 06-09-2004 12:35 PM ET (US)
First pull the plug that is on the forward side of the fish well and see if water drains into the fish well. If there is a hole in the fuel tank then the water that will drain into the fish well should have fuel in it, and thus a smell. This plug is easy to miss because it is hidden behind the wires that go to the fish well pump. I too am suspect that water has gotten into the tank without a fuel smell coming from the fuel tank deck cover. I too have a 17 Outrage II and I always pull the plug and deck cover during long storage times to give this area a chance to dry out. I doubt if the 10 year hull warranty will cover this situation. I do not know if this tank is still made. Good Luck, let us know what you find.
posted 06-09-2004 12:38 PM ET (US)
Have your friend pull the plug for the fuel tank cavity. It's a Moeller fitting located inside the fish box on the forward bulkhead (vertical surface). (Nearly in front of the bilge pump). There is a small plastic threaded plug with an indentation for a flat head screwdriver. Jack the bow up and this will tell you if there is water in the cavity. In fact, even when level, water can drain out. Also have them pressure test the system.
Absent extreme corrosion or other damage, I doubt your friend needs a new tank. Is it possible that the fuel vent, which can be found behind the access plate on the port gunwhale, is somehow allowing water into the system? Is it possible that the water that sneaks past the floor inspection plate directly above the tank is leaking through a bad seal for the fuel sender?
I would get a second opinion and pressure test the tank before you pull the console and the floor. It's too bad you can't get an endoscope to peak around the fuel cavity.
posted 06-09-2004 12:42 PM ET (US)
RJM, do you ever notice a smell of fuel when you pull either of the inspection plates? I am not talking about smelling fuel as though it were in an open container in front of you, but rather a smell of fuel as though it has leeched through a plastic hose or tank. (I realize the 17 Outrage III has a metal tank, but I have noticed the derivative of a fuel smell)
posted 06-09-2004 12:50 PM ET (US)
Good input. The marina said they have pressure tested the tank, and it leaked down, I just have a hard time believing water is getting in though the tank without any fuel smell.
As suggested, I also suspected the fuel sender gasket, but it appears fine.
Interesting about the plug for the cavity in front of the pump. I am almost sure this has never been done. I suppose that the tank may have been sitting in saltwater for the last 6 years and has corroded.
Will (suggest to )investigate further before the go-ahead to pull the tank.
posted 06-09-2004 01:12 PM ET (US)
Advocate, No, I have not smelled a fuel odor in this compartment. Maybe you should tighten all the fuel hose connections and maybe the fuel sender tank seal. As a heads up, I was getting a lot of water into the fuel tank area via a poorly sealed (not the “O” ring, but the plug housing itself) fish well plug that we have been discussing. This was happening when I flooded the fish well. I think I fixed the problem by resealing the plug.
posted 07-11-2005 02:14 PM ET (US)
The fuel tank inspection port may be a problem . I own the same boat and had small amounts of water after washing the inner hull/deck. I drilled out the original inspection cover rivets removed the unit and reinstalled with a proper sealant and replaced the rivets with stainless steel screws. Since then i have had no water entry at all.Also the fuel tank is made from aluminum and should not leak due to corrosion.
hope this helps
posted 07-11-2005 02:46 PM ET (US)
SS17 - let us know what happens when you remove the plug. I have the same boat - and the fuel tank area drain is another very beneficial improvement incorporated into that boat.
I am dubious of a problem on a tank only 7 - 8 years old. There are different aluminum alloys - some will corrode in salt water, some will not - but be assurred that your boat tank is built of a non-corrosive alloy.
Now, when you "... have water in the fuel tank and no odor of gasoline from the inspection port ..." is very strange - and can ONLY happen if the water level is ABOVE the level of fuel in the tank. That means there is a LOT of water in the boat. If that is the case - water will eject from the drain for a long, long time.
How is your friend determining there is a lot of water in the fuel tank? Has the tank inspection/level-sensing port been removed? - of has the determination been made via water in the fuel filter?
Realize that a pressure test will "leak down" if there is a leak in the tank - OR a leak in any penetration to the tank - such as the vent, a leaking hose, a leaking seal around the inspection/level-sensing port, et.al. Or the marina might just want to replace a fuel tank. --- Jerry/Idaho
posted 07-12-2005 12:03 PM ET (US)
One place to look (for water and/or leakdown issues) is the filler hose on the port side. Pull the inspection plate there and check for cracks. Also a loose or corroded clamp at the tank could be causing the issue without the tank being at fault.
posted 04-16-2009 09:14 PM ET (US)
I have this [problem]. Water was trapped in the foam and cavity, and water DID corrode the tank. The tank is now leaking fuel and taking in water. [Give me] guidance on replacement. Can't find any information on the OEM tank.
posted 04-17-2009 04:28 PM ET (US)
Note - this is a 4 year old thread brought back by a new member.
The OEM manufacturer for the internal tank is Florida Marine Tanks.
You should be able to see the manufacturer's label by removing one of the round access plates in the floor.
posted 04-22-2009 09:25 PM ET (US)
I posted this when I was SS17. The tank was replaced, but gawd it was expensive. If it were me I'd probably run plastic tank on the deck or do the replacement myself.
She got the OEM tank installed by a Whaler dealer.
And yes, the tank is pretty much sitting in salt water all of the time if you don't pull the plug.
posted 04-23-2009 06:45 AM ET (US)
"Can't find any information on the OEM tank."
Use the search function to find information. The CONTINUOUSWAVE website is rich with information. That is the entire purpose here: collect information. To help make the information useful we have our own search tool. It searches the information collected here very efficiently. It builds the index many times each day, so the search is very current. To find information on an OEM fuel tank replacement, try a search like this:
Also, the information on the website's REFERENCE section is rather decently organized, so if you go to the REFERENCE section index at
you will find that the third item listed is
OEM Part Sources
and clicking on that link leads to this article
At the top of that article is a listing of subheadings, one of which is Fuel Tanks, and leads to this information:
Even a general search using GOOGLE leads rather quickly to good information. Searching GOOGLE for "Boston Whaler OEM fuel tank replacement":
leads right back here to the REFERENCE article. I am not sure how much easier it could be to locate this information.
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