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Old 06-21-2008, 08:30 PM
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sputt409 sputt409 is offline
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Boat: 2003 triumph 170dc w/ 70hp yamaha
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water in gas tank

a year and a half ago, i went camping and after a mile of boating the engine stalled. Long story short, i found it was water in the tank. I drained the tank and refilled. I have taken the boat out many times since then with no problems. Tuesday, I loaded it up from Lake Greenwood (problem free) and took it to another lake today (saturday) only to have the engine stall again. I squirted gas into a 12oz pepsi botlle and there was at least an inch of water in it. Like i said, I left greenwood and it was fine - i parked it at my house until saturday (it has not rained) and now there is what appears to be GALLONS of water in my tank. Does anyone have any ideas on what could have happened? I would almost think it was done on purpose except it has happened once before and it's never happened to any other vehicle of mine.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:41 PM
TMCNo1 TMCNo1 is offline
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Sounds to me like someones thinks your boat runs on water and has been adding some to your tank for free!
I would start with a locking gas cap for your boat, like in this thread, http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/sh...hlight=locking
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Last edited by TMCNo1; 06-21-2008 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:20 PM
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sputt409 sputt409 is offline
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i would love to think it was as simple as that, but in the 15 years at this residence i have never has the SLIGHTEST thought of vandalism nor even heard of anyone in this neighborhood having any problems. Are there ANY other possibilities - i'm willing to get into the obscure but vandalism really is the bottom of the list. Thanks!
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:38 PM
bigmac bigmac is offline
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That is weird. Way too much water for condensation to be the culprit.

What kind of boat is it? What kind of gas tank venting does that have, and if it's an external vent, is it in a position where spray might be getting in? Electric fuel pump? Does it have a return line?

I could see the boat running with water in the tank, only to have it settle when phase separation occurs and after it sits awhile.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:55 PM
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The chance of temperature inversions causing this is slight. Even if it's really humid there, it would take a long time to accumulate that much water.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:11 PM
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sputt409 sputt409 is offline
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Bigmac, it's a Triumph with a 70 hp Yamaha outboard. I'm not sure how to tell what kind of vent it has - if spray getting in was the issue, would it not happen more often than 18 months apart? Please don't misinterpret me - I'm not being arguementative; I'm just at wits end and looking for solid logic. I assume it's electric fuel pump - how can I tell? How can I tell about a return line? Obviously, I don't know a lot about boats other than that they don't run on water.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:34 PM
bigmac bigmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sputt409 View Post
Bigmac, it's a Triumph with a 70 hp Yamaha outboard. I'm not sure how to tell what kind of vent it has - if spray getting in was the issue, would it not happen more often than 18 months apart? Please don't misinterpret me - I'm not being arguementative; I'm just at wits end and looking for solid logic. I assume it's electric fuel pump - how can I tell? How can I tell about a return line? Obviously, I don't know a lot about boats other than that they don't run on water.
Boy, I don't know. Usually, outboards have their own fuel pump, not an electric, and there wouldn't be a return line since the pump is on the motor. Assuming your boat has a hull-mounted tank, it's likely to have a vent. Sometime that vent line is part of the filler neck, sometimes it's a little chrome doodad that's usually located on the hull close to the filler neck. It's the thing that whistles while you fill the tank, and gas usually splashes of it when it's full. Outboards might have the vent line as part of the fuel line that goes from the tank to the engine. In that case, maybe water is splashing on the cowl and getting sucked in that way. Is the cowl on tight? Seals well?

I'm just guessing here. I know nothing about Triumph boats except that they're reputed to be pretty tough.
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Last edited by bigmac; 06-21-2008 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:35 PM
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Where do you buy your gas?
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:11 PM
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sputt409 sputt409 is offline
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got gas at Spinx where i always get it; I filled the truck up out of the same pump at the same time and it's fine. I just can't see any common denominator except the two times this has happened the boat was on the trailer for over an hour and then loaded into the water. When i squirt the water into a bottle and shake it up, it settles completly in less than 15 seconds, so i'd think that in a minute or so whatever is in the tank would be settled. Thanks guys for your concern and input; i really appreciate it and I hope we can figure this out. I'm gonna call manufacturer Monday and see if they have any ideas. Right now my best guess is that something isn't hooked up correctly; I just don't know enough about boats to know what that might be.
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Old 06-22-2008, 10:29 AM
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sputt409 sputt409 is offline
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Little update here, I removed the gas line from the engine and squirted it into a bottle. The first bottle had about an inch of water in it, the second had half as much, the third had maybe a teaspoon and the fourth and fifth had none. So, now it seems that rather than gallons of water in the tank, I'm looking at 6 - 8 oz. As far as a vent line is concerned, there are 3 holes at the back of the boat (not counting the 2 that plugs go in). 1 is where the bilge water pumps out (above the water line). 1 has a screen over it and 1 is near the drain plugs - both of these are below the water line. A few ounces getting in the tank seems much more reasonable than a few gallons but I still don't understand it. Any thoughts?
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