2006 Redfisher 16 fuel smell

TrafficTraffic Posts: 125 Deckhand
I have posted this at MHP but know I can draw on a much broader knowledge base here.

A few months ago I purchased a 2006 Redfisher from Tuppens in Lake Worth. The boat is a cherry and before sea trialing we topped off the tank so I could check for any fuel leaks or gas in the bilge. The boat ran great and we made the deal.

After the boat was home (it has been garage stored from day one by the original owner and now by me) I noticed a strong fuel smell in the anchor locker and rigging locker. It went away quickly if I left the compartments open. It has a plastic fuel tank under the floor. Over the last few weeks I have done the following:

1. Removed trolling motor batteries from console to access fuel tank. No gas, wetness or fuel odor in that compartment.

2. Used an endoscope camera to inspect fuel fill and overflow fittings and connections. Everything looks solid.

3. Placed toilet paper in bilge to catch and be stained by any fuel in the bilge. No fuel ever in the bilge.

4. Had fuel system pressurized for 30 minutes at 2psi by Tuppens service department. No leaks or pressure drop observed.

5. I found this picture of a 16 for sale with an inspection plate installed right where I am thinking of cutting one to further inspect the fill and overflow fittings. This leads me to think others have experienced the same thing.


6. I just read this article:


It says plastic tanks (sorry I don't know all the technical terms for plastic tank materials) like mine all seep fuel odor.

My question is am I looking for a leak or problem that I am never going to find? Is this fuel odor just a nuisance and not a danger?

Thanks for any advise or experience you can share.


  • MitzdemeanorMitzdemeanor Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    My Tailfisher did the same thing. Kept it ventilated when in garage and it was fine.
  • StankBaitStankBait Posts: 371 Deckhand
    I only smell the gas on a really hot day and that is when the garage is about 110 degrees. I do not fill up on the way home and that helps considerably. My hatches are left open nearly all the time in storage. The angle that it sits seems to make some difference. I keep it in the garage about the same angle as it would sit in the water. Mine is a 2009 and has the plastic tank. When the gas gets hot some fumes are going to escape. I think all the plastic tanks let some fumes out. That is why the new portable tanks cost so much because they are now made of a different plastic (California standards) that will not let gas fumes through the wall. Unless the smell was really strong I would just ignore it. It passed the pressure test so you do not have a real leak. It does not take much of gas fumes to really be noticed. One drop will smell pretty good until it totally dries. I do not use any ethanol gas. Is it gas or ethanol you smell? You will not have this problem in the winter.
  • squidvicioussquidvicious Posts: 529 Officer
    plastic tanks will indeed pass an odor - it's normal

    if the boat passed a pressure test - it shows the fuel system is ok

    again,plastic tanks will pass an odor
    can we please stop using the word ISSUE ? it's a PROBLEM
  • TrafficTraffic Posts: 125 Deckhand
    Thank you. I feel a lot more comfortable about using the boat now.
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