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Old 20 September 2008, 14:44   #1
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Fuel tank size ?

After advice after I had a problem today that I think is down to running out of petrol, which in my mind is the biggest sin I can manage in a boat. I have been told by the previous owner & manufacturer that I have 180L tank , but after using 80L the low fuel warning popped up on the smartcraft gauge. I ignored it as I trusted the builder to know how big the tank was. I know the tank is roughly calibrated to be 180L.

Anyway , 200m out of the harbour, it dies on me. Started again & ran for 10 seconds, dies again. Got towed in , same again.

Now tied up alongside the fuel bulb is soft. Got towed back to the mooring, put 10 L in and I can feel the bud start pumping &the engine started & ran fine.

First question - am I right in thinking this si out of fuel ?

Second , any idea how to check the size of the tank ( its buried under the deck ! )

Thanks
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Old 20 September 2008, 14:56   #2
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It's MT now so brim it and you will know how big the tank is.

Jon
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Old 20 September 2008, 15:01   #3
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After advice after I had a problem today that I think is down to running out of petrol, which in my mind is the biggest sin I can manage in a boat.
You obviously haven't tried too hard...

Quote:
First question - am I right in thinking this si out of fuel ?
Sure sounds like it.

For a practical capacity, you had the optimum chance to see: You were completely empty; filling the tank would have given you a positive indication of how much fuel you can pull from the full tank before the engine dies from starvation.

Do you have a second tank in there somewhere that needs to be switched over?

jky
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Old 20 September 2008, 15:48   #4
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To be doubley sure you could try siphoning any remaining fuel thats in there out then brimming it. I have been told my Solent has a 160l tank - we have put 200l in it
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Old 20 September 2008, 18:38   #5
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If your tank is supposed to be 180 litres and it runs out after 80 litres then there may be a problem with the pick up in the tank.
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Old 22 September 2008, 06:20   #6
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Thanks for all the replys - it seesm like when I thought I had filled it up ( due to the pumps cutting out when filling it) , I hadn't . I worked this out as the smartcraft gauges told me I had used 95 L ( from full ), but I put 60 L in it manually on Saturday, then used 10 getting to Yarmouth , then got another 73 L in it at the pump . (Went to the folly had a nice lunch & came back etc etc )

All this means that the 95l I had used from full ( or what i though was full! ) was actually 95 l from near empty ! ( otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get 123L in over Sat & Sunday ! )

From this I have learnt I may have to slow down when filling, & may have to resort to a slow fill manually to what I know is an absolute full tank ! If anyone sees someone lugging lots of jerry cans around Dorset its probably me !
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Old 22 September 2008, 06:51   #7
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Originally Posted by Blackroady View Post
Thanks for all the replys - it seesm like when I thought I had filled it up ( due to the pumps cutting out when filling it) , I hadn't . I worked this out as the smartcraft gauges told me I had used 95 L ( from full ), but I put 60 L in it manually on Saturday, then used 10 getting to Yarmouth , then got another 73 L in it at the pump . (Went to the folly had a nice lunch & came back etc etc )

All this means that the 95l I had used from full ( or what i though was full! ) was actually 95 l from near empty ! ( otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get 123L in over Sat & Sunday ! )

From this I have learnt I may have to slow down when filling, & may have to resort to a slow fill manually to what I know is an absolute full tank ! If anyone sees someone lugging lots of jerry cans around Dorset its probably me !

Don't you have a tank sender that tells you when the tank is actually full then?
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Old 22 September 2008, 08:21   #8
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I do , but how can I say - its crap ! You can calibrate it , but it involves adding 1/4 tank at a time from empty - either i Have 180 L ( if thats what it is? ) in cans which would kill me, or I have to judge it so that I run out as I coast in to the pontoon ( also not a great idea). The other option is to allow the gauge to take an educated guess, but this wont allow for an odd shaped tank. I dont think its an odd shape, but who knows !

I had made sure the sender gauge 'knew' it was reading from a 180L tank , but even then it was saying low fuel at 80 L used (from what I thought was full so I ignored it- to my cost).

I'll be taking the sender out tomorrow & seeing if I can take an educated guess at the size of the tank by peering inside it , then I'll work on the assumption it was empty when the engine stopped , I know what I have used & put in so I know how much it 'should' take to fill it. I can only think it was not full when I thought it was, or the pickup is not at the correct height so there is still 80-90L in there it cant get to.

All will be worth it if I end up knowing what is going on - all this stuff is why I would always buy a new boat if I had the cash !
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Old 22 September 2008, 09:58   #9
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i only use the fuel gauge as a guide like everything else electric on boats they can give false readings try making a dip stick that way you know its right for a true second opinion , but it does seem that you may have a pick up pipe fault as someone else said earlier on , unless the boat was not level when filling ,up or the gauge sender unit is set up wrong.
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Old 22 September 2008, 11:51   #10
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Slow down when filling - will let air out easier and the fuel won't "surge" back up the fill nozzle and trick you into thinking its full.
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