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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been rebuilding a shallow runner and someone in my neighborhood put something in my gas tank (we think). I took the boat out Friday June 10th and the boat ran on the hose in the morning took to the boat ramp an got 1/4 mile from ramp and the boat stalled and quit. Determined it was fuel related and walked the boat for a while and with the help of a tow I got back to the boat ramp.



Now I bring the boat back home and pull some gas from the line and it is brown, with lot of water in it. In a canning jar half full, the contents are about a 50/50 solution of gas at the top and a brown sludge on the bottom. The sludge is not thick and full of particles but all water based.





History:

  • I bought the boat back in November.
  • Ran the boat hard in January. The boat ran good, the motor ran great. Jack plate all the accessories ran fine.
  • January started the "shallow runner deck repair" (see boating forum)
  • March finished boat deck repair.
  • April too windy and no time to fish.
  • May took the boat out and a jack plate wire burned up and the motor could not come down. Motor would run but I could not get the prop to bite the water at all to get going. We did get the prop to bite once and the boat ran for about ten solid minutes hard, and then had to turn around and come back. We actually thought we had spun a hub.
  • May (late) made the repair on the jack plate after diagnosing the problem as stated above. Got prop cupped so it would bite water with prop high in water.
  • June 9th took the boat out and it stalled with the fuel problem.


The boat stays in a covered stalled in Katy so I know nobody could put something in it there, lock and key. I work on the boat at the house and it sits on the side street under the light but some thug may have put something in it. Before I call the sheriff and file the report, is it a possibility that this brown substance is not a sludge that has finally broken loose from the inside of the (I think aluminum tank)? And where would all the water come from? I drained the tank into 5 gallon containers and I cannot tell but just watching the clear siphon tube I think I got five gallons at least of yucky colored fuel at least. Do I call the sheriff and report it now or and give them the bad sample? Your input here is great and I really need some input before I look stupid in front of the law.













I am really irritated that I have bought this boat and done all my hard repairs and I still have not even got to fish out of it yet. This is what the most irritating part is really.
 

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Man, that's just part of owning a boat. They always need repairs. It is especially part of buying an older boat and overhauling it. Once you get the bugs worked out it'll be smooth sailing. You don't get something for nothing though. If you buy an older boat expect to have to do more than you thought you would to get it functional.

Did you drain the gas when you bought it? Do you have a water seperator type fuel filter installed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Updated.

Took the sample of gas to the local boat shop and they said it is just water.

To Salty Dog.

When I bought the boat the tank was as empty as it could be. I got some water treatment stuff today and a new filter for the water seperator. Sport Marine aslo gave me some new tips on the gas tank. By the way they have always been an honest shop since I started using them about seven years ago. Hopefully I can fix this today and run boat tommorow for another test.

JC
 

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Whenever you leave a gas tank (especially metal) for a month or more without using it, fill it to the very top, and add Stabil to the fuel. Especially if the boat sits in the sun. With a half full tank, the sun heats the air in the tank during the day, then after sunset, the air inside cools and contracts pulling a vacuum and sucking in the humid night air. 4-5 weeks of this will easily accumulate a cup or more of water in the fuel in our humid coastal air.
 

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Always use fuel stabilizer and put on a water/gas separator from Academy. Had the same problem and after doing the mentioned never happened again. I change the filter once a year.
 

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I have owned many boats with aluminum tanks, and never had the amount of water that you desrcibed from condensate. It either came in when you filled it up, was intentionally put in, or like one of my Makos, they o-ring on the gas cap was leaking and it got in there each time I washed it down. Never shut me down, I found the water in my seperator. AS the others said put a good sperator on it and you can eventually drain it out.
 

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If you ahve a lot of water in the tank it would be wise to pump as much water out as you can. Raise the bow of the boat as high as possible and hook an electric pump to the fuel line that runs to your engine. Pump until you see clear fuel coming out. This will not get all the water but it will remove enough of it to allow a good water seperator to handle the rest. Then follow pocketfisherman' ad shallowminded's advice.
 

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Could it possibly be something to do with ethanol?

The reason I ask is a friend of mine is having trouble with his boat, lots of water and junk in the seperator. He uses it weekly, so at first we thought he just bought bad gas. But I'm beginning to think it has something to do with ethanol.

"Ethanol stirs up the junk in your tanks, and if it gets brought into the injectors, it's going to be a real problem," he said. "Most of the manuals tell you really to take a lot of precaution with ethanol so you don't ruin your engine."
Entire Article:

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/story/6266161p-6172320c.html

Google:

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-51,GGLD:en&q=ethanol+in+boats
 

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I drain my water fuel seperator every time I use my boat. If I run much it gets checked during the day, more often when it is getting water. Yea the brown sludge looks different from the milky fuel that has water mixed with it. In the past I have pumped mine out then added a few gallons of gas and rocked the boat some and pumped it out again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All is well.

I pumped out all the water from the tanks plus all of the fuel I could. Changed the fuel filter on the seperator. Added Gas absorb and stabilzer to the tank. Added $ 100.00 bucks worth of new fuel and ran that sucker today. Did not fish much, just ran the boat. It sure was nice to actually run the thing. The water looked great at San Lusi Pass.

JC
 

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Flustrateting I know but things do happen get one of those plasstic tanks from academy
and if the motor runs ok, if it does just chalk it up to experience. The plastic tank is removable and put it your garage and lock it up, I know that it is sad that you have to do that but that is this world has come too.
 
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