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Author Topic:   Water/fuel separator on 170 Montauk
Beaner posted 09-17-2004 09:21 AM ET (US)   Profile for Beaner   Send Email to Beaner  
Have any 170 Montauk owners installed a water/fuel separator? The gas in my area just seems to keep getting worse. Several people have suggested to get the separator. I would like to install one but just cannot find a place to put it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
LHG posted 09-17-2004 03:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
The fact that your Whaler came factory rigged without one is telling you something. They are only needed for boats with built-in tanks where condensation causes the problem. Not that you can't install one if you wish, but they are simply overkill and needless rigging clutter, in my estimation, in a boat using on-deck tanks. If you're REALLY concerned about being sold fuel with water in it, use a little MDR WaterZorb. A much simpler solution.

There has been previous discussion on this matter, which can be searched out. It's one of those situations like varnish vs Cetol, Mercury vs Yamaha etc. where it's mostly bickering, no one's mind is changed, and no one wins.

Phil Tyson posted 09-17-2004 05:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Phil Tyson  Send Email to Phil Tyson     
IMO I think it is a good investment for added protection.
WT posted 09-17-2004 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
My Boston Whaler dealer installs water/fuel separators automatically when someone upgrades to a Pate gas tank.

The separator is located in the stern behind the round cover which I believe is called an inspection port.


seasicknes posted 09-17-2004 09:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for seasicknes    
I own a 2003 - 170 montauk.
I installed a pate 24 gallon tank and also a fuel/water seperator.
The top part of my [Reversible Pilot Seat] is removeable. Just 6 screws hold the top part of the seat and once you remove it, you can gain some room to mount a fuel water seperator.

The 2004 - 170 montauk does not have this removeable lid on the rps.

I can show you photo's if you want to see them.


bigjohn1 posted 09-18-2004 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     

I feel LHG is right-on in all that he states. Matter of fact, I was not even going to post on this since I too believe it is overkill for your application. Then I thought better of it and remembered both the value to us as boaters and the spirit of helping that this forum is all about. That said, I will explain WHY I think it is overkill for you.

- If you had built-in tanks its a good idea
- If you stored your boat uncovered in your driveway its a good idea (rain posibly seeping in the tanks)
- If you were in a RIB or other inflatable and always took water over the stern that was drenching your tanks, its a good idea

Considering the layout of a 170 with tanks under the RPS, If you cover your boat when its not in use (keeping rain out), what types of situations are you going to encounter that put large amounts of water in your tanks?

I have owned two inflatables that used single 6.6 tanks exactly like the ones that come stock in the 170. Inflatables DO get lots of water in them and it gets all over the tanks. With my first one, I did install a clear glass water separator and it gave me piece of mind although rarely did water ever actually get in the gas. It was rather needless rigging clutter and always seemed to get in the way since space inside an inflatable is always at a premium. With the second inflatable, I didn't even bother to install one but did always keep an eye on the fuel filter for any signs of water -- again nada. As I was running out here in South Pacific where its a good idea to hose your block off after each outing, it was easy to keep up on this as I always removed the cowel when washing her down.

I mention these inflatables as, again, they are prone to getting large amounts of water splashed all over the tanks - much more than in the case of a 170. As WT states, his dealer is installing them when they rig the boat with Pate tanks - why? Is this an indication that Pate tanks have an inferior seal on their gas cap? OR is it an indication that his dealer is just trying to make a few extra bucks by pushing the sale and installation of water separators? I personally feel the latter is true but I'll let the other forum members weigh in. Remember though that we are talking solely about a 170 Montauk. You could broaden this by including all other sorts of other models and in some cases, perhaps a separator would be warranted.

Big John

seasicknes posted 09-18-2004 10:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for seasicknes    
You can also get water intrusion by getting bad gas from the docks or filling station.

My older whaler 17 montauk (1997), with a pate tank i noticed that there was some rust developing under the gas tank lid. So this tells me that water had entered some how.

So on this newer montauk (2003), I decided to put in a water seperator and use Quickleen.

The 1997 montauk was always stored inside the garage.

Maximus posted 09-18-2004 12:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
I think we have had this discussion before. It boils down to your level of comfort. Sort of like having dual batteries, AGM vs. Lead Acid, a kicker, two radios, etc...

As an owner of a Montauk 170 with two 13 gallon Tempo tanks, I have been considering putting a filter/separator for some time.

Can some owners with filter/separators post some pictures (or email) so I can get a feel for which installation to choose? I am intrigued by the 'inside' installation under the starboard-stern seat. Sounds real clean.

divefan posted 09-19-2004 12:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for divefan  Send Email to divefan     
I have a 2004, 170 Montauk with 90 4-stroke that sits outside on a lift all year round. I use the two red 6 gallon tanks that came stock with the boat. There is canvas (not always in use) that covers the console, seat, and engine. When I need gas I take the tanks off the boat, put them in the car, take them to the gas station, and fill them there. Other than that the tanks stay on the boat and outside all the time through rain, hurricanes (Frances) (canvas was in use), whatever. There has never been a problem with water in the gas.

IMHO I agree with LHG.

jimh posted 09-19-2004 03:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Removed dead links to attempt to post photographs]
mikeyairtime posted 09-20-2004 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
My 170's water seperator is mounted in the splash well directly below the motor. I mounted it there so that if I have to change it underway I dont dump a bunch of fuel inside the boat. Mine is a Mercury unit but Racor also makes an excellent unit. I've always run them on everything in the marine environment. A bad load of fuel is a bad load of fuel and water usually doesn't show itself until the afternoon when it gets rough and you can least afford to loose power. Carrying a 27 gallon Pate, two 9 gallon outboard cans, and three 5 gallon jerry cans we left at 4 AM for the 277 bank 35 miles from L.A. Harbor on our 170 Saturday and after trolling all day between there San Clemente Island and Catalina Island when we finally got in Saturday evening there wasn't anything dry on the boat. Can't believe how well the 170 goes through the rough stuff.
Beaner posted 09-20-2004 08:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Beaner  Send Email to Beaner     

Thanks to all that replied. I am concerned about water being in my gas from the pumps, not from rain or seawater coming in the boat. Most of my friends with boats have the separator, although they all have built in tanks (I have a Pate C24). If anyone has any pictures of their install they could post or email, that would be great. I have a 2003 Montauk so under the RPS would be an option for me if I choose to install a separator. Inside the access panel by the rigging tunnel may involve too much fuel line rerigging for my skill level. I though about the splash well, but my wood diagram doesn't show any backing in there.

Seasickness, could you please email me some photos of your under the RPS install? Thanks.

mikeyairtime posted 09-20-2004 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
You better believe there's backing in the transome where the motor mounts. My experience, for whatever it's worth, is that I've gotten two bad loads of fuel durring my boating career. The first time I had my separator tucked up into what would be a similar place to the Whaler's access port in the starboard aft corner in an aluminum skiff I used to own. While pulling lobster pots the filter pluged and to change the filter I ended up with gasoline up to both elbows, gasoline in my bilge and my knuckles all busted up. I moved it to the outboard well and the next time it plugged I simpily spun the easily accessible filter off and replaced it in about 20 seconds. Having mine mounted where it is also allowed me to plumb in a quick disconect on the other filter inlet so I can run two remote nine gallon outboard tanks to extend my range. I have a shut off vave on both inlets and whichever isn't being used is closed.
sr posted 09-21-2004 12:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for sr  Send Email to sr     
I don't know if this will work on your model: On our 91 montauk I boght a typical cast aluminum spin on filter housing. I mounted it to one of the o/b mounting studs by cutting a piece of ss plate (14") and drilled it to fit the bolt, and smaller holes to mount the spin on housing. a second jam nut holds the plate firmly. The filter sits high in the motor well and is out of the way.
Beaner posted 09-21-2004 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Beaner  Send Email to Beaner     

Can you email me some photos of your install? Thanks.

TexasWhaler posted 09-21-2004 04:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for TexasWhaler  Send Email to TexasWhaler     
I've seen two areas on older Montauks where these have been placed. One is actually in the splash well. The other place is mounted on the frontside of the splashwell above the bilge as seen here:

Maximus posted 09-21-2004 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
Great idea! ...using one of the engine mount bolts.

sr posted 09-21-2004 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for sr  Send Email to sr     
whoops 14" is actually 1/4" plate
Beaner posted 10-02-2004 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Beaner  Send Email to Beaner     

I was reading the Mercury manaul this morning and it says that if you use gas with any alcohol (New York-10% Ethanol)in it, you should install a water/fuel separator. Since I now know that Merc recommends one as well, I will install the separator most likely in the splash well. I was wondering if there is any problem with connecting the unit after the primer bulb - between the bulb and the motor. Also, anything else I need to know? It seems like a pretty easy install. Thanks again to all that responded.
Speedo66 posted 10-02-2004 01:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Speedo66  Send Email to Speedo66     
Any particular brand of separator and filter recommended?
sr posted 10-02-2004 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for sr  Send Email to sr     
I used a TEMPO 21606012 style housing, it has 2 inlets and two outlets and a napa 3225 spin on filter (looks like an oil filter).Plug one inlet, tank goes to other. One outlet goes to the main motor with a fuel bulb between. The other goes to the kicker, with, from the housing: a 1/4 turn shutoff and then a bulb. The shutoff keeps the main motor from fuel stavation if it chooses to draw from the kicker circuit instead of the fuel tank. Don't ask me how I know..
Clark Roberts posted 10-03-2004 07:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
In addition to trapping water the filter will intercept solid contamination (sand, grit, fuel line/primer bulb rubber bits and pieces). If you use a filter separator it's a good idea to carry a clear jar and funnel so that you can remove and empty filter contents for inspection or to change filter when at sea (dumping filter contents into water not a good idea and also you need to see what's in filter/causing a problem...). Some engines (Merc V6's) have an under cowling filter equipped with a "water in filter" audible alarm and manual suggests that additional filters not be used. These really work and take the guess work out of whether or not to check for water... it tells you in the event that about a quarter inch of water gets in the filter. The after market Racor filters with the transparent basin and drain could be beneficial but my experience is that the basin gets less transparent with age and hard to see if water is present and also the extra gasket and vulnerability of the plastic basin to cracking/damage (leaking could shut you down and would be dangerous) are disadvantages... beam me up... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy

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