Draining the fuel tank on the 1801

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Well-known member
Mar 16, 2006
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Denver and MV
I had my 1801 winterized when I was back on MV last month to fish the Derby. Changed to a new yard as I was tired of getting ripped off at Maciel's and picked up the boat the day after I dropped it off.

When I went to hook up the boat, I noticed a cut off plastic bottle upside down in the fuel fill. I am sure that it was used when they added stabilizer to the fuel, but I was a little pissed that they forgot to remove it as it RAINED all day long.

They then had the gall to send me the bill and point out that the filter was full of water and to make sure to change it out next season! Time for yet another boatyard.

My question is how hard is it to totally drain the fuel tank? I am down to the bottom (Yamaha fuel gauge shows last bar) of my old NON Ethanol gas, so it probally is a good idea to drain it anyway before filling up with the new gas next season.

Is this something I should farm out, or will the old suck and siphon into a jug work? Do I put the tube down the fill, or go directly from the tank through the access port?



I just ventured into this area for the first time this past weekend. From what I have heard, it is very difficult to siphon gas out through the fuel fill.

What I ended up doing is purchasing a small hand siphon pump (non-electrical) and some extra tubing at my local hardware store. The pump was designed to transfer gas and/or oil from one tank to another.

With the boat on the trailer, I removed the fuel tank level sending unit (I also wanted to take a look into my tank to see if there were any obvious problems before laying up for winter, and also to replace the screws which were somewhat stripped out and starting to corrode from the previous owner) and inserted the tubing down into the tank. I ran the tubing out through the transom cutout into some gas jugs on the ground. After pumping the siphon like a madman to create the initial vacuum, I finally got the fuel flowing into the jugs. Once the fuel started moving on its own, I didn't have to pump anymore, and just kept switching out the jugs.

Hope this helps..

-- Tom
Remove the fuel line after the primer bulb and start pumping, keeping the output end LOWER than the level of the tank.

If there is an anti-siphon valve at the tank fitting where the fuel line attaches ... ugghhh, you'll most likely have to manually pump the primer bulb to drawout the fuel, otherwise once the flow starts, she'll go on her own.
Last weekend, I did the same as TomS:

1- I used a spare primer bulb and 8 foot piece of fuel line I bought at the boat store.
2- With the boat on the trailer, I removed the sending unit from the top of the fuel tank and set it and the screws aside.
3- Next, I lowered in a hose and ran the other end through the drain plug hole.
4- With the external end if the hose lower than the boat, I pushed the Primer Bulb in the end.
5 - I took the first of four 5GAL fuel cans and gave the bulb a squeeze about 10 times.
6- The rest was a waiting game, I noticed in took about 10 or 20 minutes to fill each 5 gal fuel can....
7- I Watched Football, Rigged Tackle a had a Beer
8. After 10 minutes I repeated Steps 5, 6 and 7 for each additional can...

The beer is optional and if you have a lot of cans, you'll need plenty of beer.

I inspected the fuel and it was very good shape, so I filled up my car, my wifes car and of course, the bottom of the tank in my Mother-In-Law's car . :lol: (just kidding)

( I tried to explain to my wife and mother-in-law why you could not just run a boat gas tank dry while on the water.... NEVER MIND...)

* Also, be sure and change your fuel filter, keep a spare on board and check it a couple of times as you run your 1st tank of E10.
* The dealer advsied me that I should have a 10 micron fuel filter
* Also, I read that you should use a GOOD quality fuel stablizer like, STA-BIL, Yamaha Ring Free, or some other NON-ALCOHOL based stabilizer.

Anyway, I plan to top it off next week and add Yamaha Ring Free, since a have a F200 4 stroke.

In any case, BE SAFE:
* No smoking
* Don't slam the wrench arounnd on the sending unit!
* For extra maeasure, turn your battery switch to OFF

Overall, it was very easy and really did not take that long....

Best Regards & Be Safe,
I think I will try to remove the fuel sending unit and siphon out the gas. In an 1801, where is this located? Is it at the inspection port just aft of the center console?

Any tricks or things to watch out for? Will I need a new seal to reinstall the unit?



The fuel sender should be at the inspection hatch just aft of the console, thats where mine is on the 21'.

Here is a hint that I learned the hard way. The top of the fuel sending unit has a 5 hole pattern that is not symmetrical. One of the holes, along with the corresponding hole in the gasket/washer underneath is off by the smallest amount. This is to ensure that you re-install the sender such that the float arm is in the correct orientation.

I would take a sharpie and make a reference mark on the top of the fuel tank and the fuel sending unit to use as a guide when re-installing the sender. Once you partially remove the fuel sender, make a similar mark on the gasket/washer.

I had a bit of a panic thinking that the gasket had become deformed after drying out a bit during the siphoning process. Luckily a friend of mine had gone through the same thing and was able to clue me in.

Another tip, make sure you use the correct screwdriver! The screws on mine were partially stripped out and a little corroded, so I had to try several different drivers before I found one that worked.. I believe it was a #2?

-- Tom
Another tip ... that gasket should be fiber-based and not a cork gasket, so if you go slow and be careful they are far less likely or tear.

Coat both sides of the gasket and then the screw threads with a fuel-rated gasket sealer like PermaTex #2. Snug up all screws equally, don't OVER-torque them and force the extra goop out! What I do is put them sorta "snug" and then wait for the stuff to form up and then re-torque them (if needed) in another day or two (if I'm not going to use the boat).

In my experience, far too many people tighten up something way too tight, too fast and then squeeze all of the sealant out of the joint ... resulting in a "dry" seal.


Good tips from Tom about that flange, the pattern on the boat circle is intentional as stated, so that the sender/flat arm can only go into the tank one way.