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Old 05-21-2019, 07:41 PM   #1
jazzman
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Default Gas Tank Woes

Anybody ever heard of a boat getting a leaky gas tank after only 4-5 years? I have a 2014 Key Largo 160 that seems to have a leaky gas tank. Problem is it's under the console plus surrounding decking. Somehow I think it would cost more to repair than the boat is worth. I unfortunately bought it on consignment from a local Winni dealer so I don't have much recourse. The boat has all of about 60 hours on it.

Options seem to be to feed it from a deck gas can. The options aren't even great there since they would sit on top of the bilge access and in front of the drain plugs.

Any ideas?
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:50 PM   #2
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Wouldn't be the first I have heard of that happening. Seems to mostly happen with poly tanks, but an aluminum tank with a bad weld could leak also.

It's not *that* big of a deal to cut out the deck, replace/repair the tank, and re-glass in the deck. Sure, it's not a weekend job, but it is commonly done.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:27 PM   #3
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Is this boat new to you (i.e. did you just buy it only to discover it had a bad fuel tank)? If so, I would think you would want to have a discussion with the seller through the dealer than was consigning it and work something out.

If this is something you have had for a while, I would try the portable fuel tank option to start and see how it works before ripping things up and putting in a new fuel tank. I assume a boat like that would have something in the 40/50 horsepower range and given the age it would likely be a four stroke. Could get a couple of six gallon tanks and run all day on that.

I know there is a Key Largo dealer in the area you could touch base with. Would be curious to know what it would cost to do a replacement.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:55 PM   #4
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I've had the boat a couple years now, so I probably don't have much claim against anyone. The boat always smelled a little gassy with a full tank and rough water, but I always wrote it off to some gas coming out the vent or something. When we pulled the boat because it wasn't running well, the marina noted that gas was running out of the bilge when they had it on a steep ramp (and the tank happened to be pretty full). They now believe that the upper level of the tank is rotten.

I see people online saying that changing out the tank could be 5-6k if you want to properly put the deck back together. The boat is probably worth 10k and it's sitting with a 50 hour 2014 60hp Merc bigfoot, so it doesn't seem smart to try to swap out the tank.

At this point I'd love to find a 10 year old 17 foot whaler without an engine and toss the hull.

I've been looking for a center console captains seat with a built in 10-12 gallon gas tank, but I don't think anyone makes one. Unfortunately the seat I have now seems to have a structural cooler built into it.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:22 PM   #5
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If you watch ShipShapeTV they frequently advertise firms that custom make a variety of fixtures to solve e
very problem.
I'd look around to see if there is a Technical service bulletin (TSB) from the manufacturer. (tank or boat?). This i unusual, but you may not be the only one.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:26 PM   #6
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Another consideration, and possibly more support for tossing the hull, is what gas can do to the floatation material located between the hull and the deck liner.

I do not know how gas affects the floatation in your boat but I do know that it eats styrofoam.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:48 AM   #7
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Did you check all tank seals especially where you sending unit is on the tank. Ethanol often will eat up gaskets. Buddy had this issue last year
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:34 AM   #8
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Seems like it occurs more with tank full or close to it. I have a couple of concerns,liquid is not the first major concern it's the fumes. So then thinking of fumes and electronics on the boat including but not limited to cell phones,do you see all the warnings at fillup stations? I would get a few repair prices and do the numbers. Buying another hull and reusing components is an idea but am I buying another headache? Another suggestion was brought up,there are alot of companies that build seats with built in fuel and coolers in FL.I would look into that as a cost effective solution.Look at Ship Shape tv for builders then flush the current tank. Good luck let us know
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:46 PM   #9
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So yea, the boat is definitely offline until we sort this out. I guess I'm leaning towards flushing the inboard tank and using a portable tank and seeing how that goes. I hate the thought of constantly filling small portable tanks, but I suspect the resale value of the boat is nil now and I may as well see what I can salvage. Other than the gas tank issue I like the boat. It's a perfectly good island tender. My only beef has been it's rating for only 4 passengers and it trolls a little faster then I'd like at it's lowest speed for fishing.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzman View Post
So yea, the boat is definitely offline until we sort this out. I guess I'm leaning towards flushing the inboard tank and using a portable tank and seeing how that goes. I hate the thought of constantly filling small portable tanks, but I suspect the resale value of the boat is nil now and I may as well see what I can salvage. Other than the gas tank issue I like the boat. It's a perfectly good island tender. My only beef has been it's rating for only 4 passengers and it trolls a little faster then I'd like at it's lowest speed for fishing.
Have you tried contacting Key Largo direct to see if there is anything they can do for you? It certainly canít hurt to ask...

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Old 05-22-2019, 09:45 PM   #11
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I find it hard to believe that the tank itself is the problem, however I can see where a fill or draw hose is leaking or the gasket where the sending unit is installed. Those poly tanks are really tough.

If the floatation foam is getting soaked with gas, that is really bad, for one it could start to dissolve it and also it is a potential fire hazard.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:43 PM   #12
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It seems to be an aluminum tank.
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Old 05-24-2019, 07:43 AM   #13
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Interesting read for what it's worth. It appears you aren't alone...

https://www.thehulltruth.com/boating...-2002-a-2.html
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzman View Post
Anybody ever heard of a boat getting a leaky gas tank after only 4-5 years? I have a 2014 Key Largo 160 that seems to have a leaky gas tank. Problem is it's under the console plus surrounding decking. Somehow I think it would cost more to repair than the boat is worth. I unfortunately bought it on consignment from a local Winni dealer so I don't have much recourse. The boat has all of about 60 hours on it.

Options seem to be to feed it from a deck gas can. The options aren't even great there since they would sit on top of the bilge access and in front of the drain plugs.

Any ideas?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzman View Post
It seems to be an aluminum tank.
Been there a real bummer, happened to me on my first Eliminator Daytona, aluminum tanks built into the sponsons. Although the manufacturer picked up the tab to fix the boat it really -u-ked seeing the floors of the boat getting cut out to remove the tanks. Not many people around these days that take on type of ambitious repair.
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