SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Beneteau (
-   -   Fuel tank for First 42 (

first42 02-12-2008 04:40 PM

Fuel tank for First 42
I have a 1982 First 42 with a fuel tank that has a broken fuel gauge. Does anyone have experience in removing the fuel tank, which is forward of the steering pedestal and behind the aft portion of the cockpit liferaft storage area?


ericsmith3d 02-12-2008 05:56 PM

Suggest you try, a Yahoo group devoted to the 423. It's very active.

first42 02-15-2008 09:46 AM

Thanks for the information, unfortunately that website only deals with the 423's, and not the older First series. So, I'm currently working with a couple of other First 42 owners, looking for their experience.


lfrenchtx 03-03-2008 04:03 PM

fuel tank

Originally Posted by first42 (Post 264371)
I have a 1982 First 42 with a fuel tank that has a broken fuel gauge. Does anyone have experience in removing the fuel tank, which is forward of the steering pedestal and behind the aft portion of the cockpit liferaft storage area?


ive taken all my fuel lines off of my first.. an replaced the exhaust hoses. my boat has a access hole cut in the starboard lazzarete... if you can get the bolts out you can slide it aft to get access. not sure you can get it all the way out.. could you also include me in the first 42 group.. ive completely rebuilt mine over two years and last october recommisioned it.. i do have some question.. and a lot of answers... thanks.. lance

lbones 07-20-2008 12:10 PM

lfrenchtc - i see you have recently redone a First 42. I am looking to purchase one at a gov auction and would like to see any pics or ideas you have or what you have done to the boat.

do you have a website or other?



RandyonR3 09-25-2008 12:47 AM

FIRST 42 Retro-fits
I've also rebuilt our FIRST 42 from front to back and set it up for cruising.
You can see a photo in my profile.. If you need any info, I'd be glad to help
Randy & Ramona on R3

rickdonn 12-19-2008 07:29 PM

First 42 Fuel Tankby substaract
I have an 83 first 42 and removed the tank what we repowered.

The tank sits aft of the engine and short of doing major surgery to structural bulkheads can not be removed short of pulling the engine.

THere are flow meters which can be plumbed into the fuel lines that can give you fuel consumption and by subtraction you will know exacly what remains in the tank.

Rick Donn
First 42 Poeske

first42 03-31-2009 08:29 PM

This message is to RandyonR3 and lfrenchtx, as you both have First 42's would like to ask questions. I do not have enough posts to send you a PM direct. Hope you do. Please contact me for further talks.

First 42

svHyLyte 04-01-2009 09:05 AM

The fuel gage sending unit on the First 42 is located on the port side of the fuel tank above and aft of the water-lift muffler. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to access as the green ribbed ventilation ducts--which if still the originals are quite stiff--cover the sender and there is only a small access hole to the muffler space through the bulk-head between the port quarter cabin and the engine/fuel tank space. The access hole is below the panel that supports the cushion at the aft end of the berth, aft of the compartment where the hot-water heater and pressure water system are normally located. (I know this as I just went through replacing the water lift muffler and the exhaust hose on our 1986 First 42.)

There is no physical way to remove the fuel tank from the boat without first removing the engine. You must also gain access to the tabs at the aft end of the tank that are bolted to the stringers (port) and bulk-head between the sail locker and engine/fuel-tank space (on the starboard side). To reach to port aft tab you will have to remove the exhaust hose--a seriously major surgery--and the ventilator ducts, which will likely rip apart (as did mine) when you try to extract them as they have to make a sharp turn on the aft port side of the tank to be extracted through the space between the corner of the tank and the cockpit drain pipe from the bottom of the life-raft revetment to the hull. That is major surgery for little gain.

In our case, we enlarged the access hole under the quarter cabin berth by very carefully cutting--horizontally--through the bulk-head just below the cleat that is screwed to the bulk-head (to support the aft end of the berth) and then vertically down to the hull liner. You must be very careful doing so as all of the wiring for the instrument panel as well as the hose for the bilge pump also runs through this space. By opening it up, however, you gain better access to the muffler and the side of the tank where the fuel sending unit is located. Before doing any of this I suggest you see if you can reach through the access hole and find the sending unit by feel. There are two wires to the sender (which is a triangular shaped device) that can be fairly easily dislodged which may be the cause of your fuel gage not working. One goes to a very small ground post in the center of the body of the sender and the second goes to a post with a thumb-screw nut on the bottom rear side. It doesn't seem to matter which wire goes to which post.

For what it's worth I would not go through the brain damage of the foregoing for the sake of the fuel gage alone. The 4-108 uses about 9/10ths gallon per hour on average and I'd simply keep track of my usage as the gage is fairly inaccurate anyway and only gives a rough indication of the fuel level. Further, note that representations to the contrary not withstanding, the tank does not hold 40 gallons but only 37--as carefully measured and determined on another friend's boat.

I can give you some added information in real time if you PM me with your phone number.


/s/ Scott
s/v HyLyte

first42 04-05-2009 09:02 AM


Thanks for the information. That's exactly what I was looking for. Just for clarification, The issue that I have is the existing fuel gauge does not show when full and when the gauge shows empty, it still has somewhere around a quarter tank in it, so I don't know where "bottom" us. It wouldn't be that much of a problem if we were motoring only. This tank also feeds the Espar and that's an unknown usage.

Again thanks.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome