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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 01-18-2006
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gas powered liveaboards...

my question is, how do you guys deal with the gas fumes? I tried sleeping in my 27 Newport, and unless I keep the top open (I try to close it because it can rain sometimes at night lol)I cant sleep because of the gas fumes! I thought about running the airbilge all the time, but I dont know if thats the smartest idea... I also thought of getting one of those sunpowered air bilge thingies but i''m not sure how effective they work...

how do you guys do it? sleep with an oxygen mask? lol
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Old 01-18-2006
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gas powered liveaboards...

You should not be smelling gasoline fumes. That is very dangerous. A proper installation of a gasoline system includes no leaks, and a passive bilge ventilation system. (An intake vent at the top of the compartment and an exhaust vent ducted to the bottom of the compartment.)

If you can smell fumes it suggests that there are leaks somewhere in your fuel system, or that your fuel tank is weeping. Either condition should be corrected.

Jeff
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Old 01-18-2006
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gas powered liveaboards...

hmm interesting, from what I see there are no fuel leaks on the boat, near the tank or the engine... but you can def. smell it... but prior to buying the boat, I had alot of people tell me that if I buy a gas powered sailboat, there will always be gas fumes which can be unpleasant, and unlike a car where the tank is outside, the tanks are inside the boat so the fumes collect, which is why I should always have the air bilge turned on for at least 5 minutes prior to starting up the boat...

but i''ll recheck everything and make sure there are no fuel leaks of any sort
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Old 01-18-2006
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gas powered liveaboards...

In the days before electronic sniffers became popular, the standard test on a gas powered boat (or a boat with a propane stove) before turning on any electrical equipment, staring the stove or the engine was to sniff the bilge for gas fumes. You should not smell gasoline fumes period. None of the gasoline powered boats that I owned smelled of gasoline once they were put into shape.

You need to check the outside of fuel lines and the tank for pinhole leaks, (Tank will have dark mildew looking splotches and either the hoses or the tank will feel a little sticky)

Frankly a faint smell of diesel fuel is far more common on diesel powered boats than the smell of gasoline on gasoline powered boats. You can live with a little diesel in the air but you can die from a little gasoline in the air.

Good luck finding your leaks.

Jeff
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Old 01-18-2006
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gas powered liveaboards...

i''ll def check it out...

but wouldnt gas be coming out of a hole (even if tiny) if there was a small leak?
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Old 01-19-2006
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gas powered liveaboards...

I agree, you should never smell raw gas on a sailboat with a gas aux. engine. First place I would check are the fuel lines and connections. If the boat is older, the fuel lines in the olden days were not resistant to alcohol, which is frequently added to gasoline these days. Easy to replace. Next place I''d look is near the carb. A stuck float, or choke could be allowing gas to spill out.
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Old 01-19-2006
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gas powered liveaboards...

It sucks being 6''2

I''m not fat or anything, but its like near impossible trying to cram myself into the engine area! lol its kinda scary in there too

but I will try my best to look for some leaks... hopefully I find something...

I always thought gas powered inboard engines with the tank inside had some fumes though
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Old 01-31-2006
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gas powered liveaboards...

I lived aboard my Pearson 35 with a gas engine and did not smell any gas at any time. I wouldn''t stay aboard untill I found the source of the odor. My present boat is also a Pearson 35 but with a diesel, which does give some odor to the cabin when it''s running.

Dave A
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Old 03-08-2006
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also.check.your.carb.make.sure.the.float.valve.isn 't.sticking.and.the.needle.seats.well.if.not.the.b owl.can.fill.and.overflow.into.your.bilge.once.tha t.happens.your.bilge.will.smell.for.a.long.time.
Eric
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Old 04-11-2006
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If there are no obvious fuel leaks, you may be smelling fuel that has spilled into wood and been adsorbed there. Solvent cleaning and then sealing the wood with epoxy paints is the best way to preclude or solve that.

But you may also be smelling fuel from the carburetor evaporating when the engine is off, or the fuel tank vent, or even a tiny leak from threaded fittings.

As others have said you should not be smelling ANY gasoline, if there is any vapor from any source in the boat, you have a risk of explosion. (And I have nothing against gasoline engines!)

If you clean, check, and recheck everything, use a toothbrush to clean old fittings and crevices, seal bare wood, and make sure the vents are vented overboard and still smell gas...That's not good, it IS toxic and you should not be sleeping with the vapors. I'd try a real thorough steam cleaning in the engine spaces, and adding a solar vent to give the engine spaces a constant positive ventilation out of the boat as well. They're expensive, yes, but I've never heard of anyone willing to give it back once they've installed one.
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