Fuel smell 2320

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sweetjourney

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I am the new owner of a 2007 2320. Unfortunately, during my first trip out I had a very strong smell of fuel in the cabin along with a mix of water and raw fuel in the bilge. I have had the tank pressure tested and it appears to be ok. The dealer put 4.5lbs of pressure on it and it held for 1.5hrs. The fuel fill, fuel supply and vent hose look to be in good shape and the sending unit was replaced with new gasket a couple seasons ago and shows no signs of leaking. I can't see or feel a leak around the fuel filter/water separator. I have reached out to Parker for advice and stringer layout in the worst case scenario that I have to replace the tank but they have not been responsive unfortunately. I am hoping that possibly the previous owner had a pretty serious fuel leak in the past and I am smelling the fuel from that but this is likely wishful thinking. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
 

Mpellet

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I am the new owner of a 2007 2320. Unfortunately, during my first trip out I had a very strong smell of fuel in the cabin along with a mix of water and raw fuel in the bilge. I have had the tank pressure tested and it appears to be ok. The dealer put 4.5lbs of pressure on it and it held for 1.5hrs. The fuel fill, fuel supply and vent hose look to be in good shape and the sending unit was replaced with new gasket a couple seasons ago and shows no signs of leaking. I can't see or feel a leak around the fuel filter/water separator. I have reached out to Parker for advice and stringer layout in the worst case scenario that I have to replace the tank but they have not been responsive unfortunately. I am hoping that possibly the previous owner had a pretty serious fuel leak in the past and I am smelling the fuel from that but this is likely wishful thinking. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

If you’re 100% sure that the tank passed a pressure test, kinda eliminates a lot of issues.

If the 2320 design is the same as the 2520, fuel tank sits in a coffin under the deck that does not have a drain. You mentioned that the sending unit has recently been replaced, it is possible that there may have been a leak at the sending unit and gasoline leaked out and into the coffin and now that gasoline is slowly leaking out of the coffin into the bilge.
 
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sweetjourney

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I'm assuming that their test is definitive. Seems like they did a good job and gave me good info. It would be great if the previous fuel leak is what I'm smelling and seeing now but that leak happened in 2020 and I would have thought that the fuel would have evaporated by now. I should add that when I bought the boat there was a faint smell in the cabin which was explained by the fuel sender problem. The first time I took it out I had a 3/4 plus tank of fuel and the water was very rough. The fuel was definitely getting sloshed around as we were fishing. when I got back to the house, I completely dried the bilge and using the boat lift, tilted the boat bow down for 20min then stern down to see if I was getting fuel in the bilge. I did this 3 times and got water and fuel each time. I was definitely draining "stuff" from the bottom of the boat. I dropped the boat off at a local dealer and he hasn't been able to find anything. a bit frustrating.
 

Mpellet

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I'm assuming that their test is definitive. Seems like they did a good job and gave me good info. It would be great if the previous fuel leak is what I'm smelling and seeing now but that leak happened in 2020 and I would have thought that the fuel would have evaporated by now. I should add that when I bought the boat there was a faint smell in the cabin which was explained by the fuel sender problem. The first time I took it out I had a 3/4 plus tank of fuel and the water was very rough. The fuel was definitely getting sloshed around as we were fishing. when I got back to the house, I completely dried the bilge and using the boat lift, tilted the boat bow down for 20min then stern down to see if I was getting fuel in the bilge. I did this 3 times and got water and fuel each time. I was definitely draining "stuff" from the bottom of the boat. I dropped the boat off at a local dealer and he hasn't been able to find anything. a bit frustrating.
I went through it in 2020, yes frustrating…..
 

sweetjourney

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Hey Brent, I only see one fuel pickup at rear of tank not too far from sending unit and it's tight with no sign of leaks. That being said, the foam at the rear of the tank is moist and smells like gas but I attributed that to the fuel sender leak from a couple seasons ago. the hose to the motor looks good. I asked the dealer to look at the fill and vent hoses and they said they look good but I'm having them replace them out of an abundance of caution. Not sure what you mean by external fuel water in the bilge but if you mean have I had fuel mixed with water in the bilge then yes.
 

2801 Parker

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Just went through this on my '03 2801 CC. I think it's wishful thinking that the "very strong" fuel smell is from a couple of seasons ago, especially if you actually see fuel in the bilge. The pressure test is not 100% as the tank is embedded in foam. Do another pressure test and let it sit overnight. Also, flood the bilge with soap and water, and completely drain it. If you continue to smell the fuel, it's likely the tank. Not uncommon with older Parkers.
 

Roccus

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How much fuel and water were in the bilge? Most sc Parker’s smell of fuel a little bit. Did you smell fuel when you sea trialed the boat before purchase?

Pin hole leaks are common in Parker fuel tanks, and might sneak by a short pressure test, but wouldn’t account for a lot of fuel in the bilge. Parker probably won’t be of much help, the company is not the same one that built your boat and they are producing a garbage product these days.
 

rfleming

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I am the new owner of a 2007 2320. Unfortunately, during my first trip out I had a very strong smell of fuel in the cabin along with a mix of water and raw fuel in the bilge. I have had the tank pressure tested and it appears to be ok. The dealer put 4.5lbs of pressure on it and it held for 1.5hrs. The fuel fill, fuel supply and vent hose look to be in good shape and the sending unit was replaced with new gasket a couple seasons ago and shows no signs of leaking. I can't see or feel a leak around the fuel filter/water separator. I have reached out to Parker for advice and stringer layout in the worst case scenario that I have to replace the tank but they have not been responsive unfortunately. I am hoping that possibly the previous owner had a pretty serious fuel leak in the past and I am smelling the fuel from that but this is likely wishful thinking. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
I have 2 Parker boats, a 23 deep vee and a 2801. I live about 3 miles from the Parker boat manufacture on highway 101 in Beaufort NC. I love both of my boats and had to replace the tank on the 23. Don't look to Parker for any help. I have been there a few times about some question I had. Although the people there are very friendly and I like them all, they are pretty clueless of any questions I have had. It's almost like they just build the boats and they don't know anything else. I hope you get your issue worked out. In 1999 when my 23 was built the tank was 1/4" aluminum. Nobody will build a tank less than 3/16" today.
 

Reel Rebel

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I've had a similar issue in my 1998 1801CC. Was your tank "full to the top" when this happened? If so, suggest you run it down or siphon a number of gallons out. Mine only leaks into the bilge when full...helping me find the leak at the fuel sender. I purposely don't "fill to the top" any longer and my problem has been resolved (I don't make any long runs needing every drop of gas I can bring onboard).

Make sure none of your bolts on the fuel sender are stripped...if any are that could be the issue point. Rebore that hole for a larger bolt.

Good luck!
 
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sweetjourney

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I've had a similar issue in my 1998 1801CC. Was your tank "full to the top" when this happened? If so, suggest you run it down or siphon a number of gallons out. Mine only leaks into the bilge when full...helping me find the leak at the fuel sender. I purposely don't "fill to the top" any longer and my problem has been resolved (I don't make any long runs needing every drop of gas I can bring onboard).

Make sure none of your bolts on the fuel sender are stripped...if any are that could be the issue point. Rebore that hole for a larger bolt.

Good luck!
Yea it was pretty darn full. The fuel sender is very visible on the 2320 and there is no sign of fuel coming from screws.
 

sweetjourney

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I have 2 Parker boats, a 23 deep vee and a 2801. I live about 3 miles from the Parker boat manufacture on highway 101 in Beaufort NC. I love both of my boats and had to replace the tank on the 23. Don't look to Parker for any help. I have been there a few times about some question I had. Although the people there are very friendly and I like them all, they are pretty clueless of any questions I have had. It's almost like they just build the boats and they don't know anything else. I hope you get your issue worked out. In 1999 when my 23 was built the tank was 1/4" aluminum. Nobody will build a tank less than 3/16" today.
You are right.... everyone I have talked to has been friendly but unfortunately they haven't done what they said they were going to do. The email they gave me to ask for a for the stringer layout doesn't even seem to be monitored.
 

sweetjourney

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How much fuel and water were in the bilge? Most sc Parker’s smell of fuel a little bit. Did you smell fuel when you sea trialed the boat before purchase?

Pin hole leaks are common in Parker fuel tanks, and might sneak by a short pressure test, but wouldn’t account for a lot of fuel in the bilge. Parker probably won’t be of much help, the company is not the same one that built your boat and they are producing a garbage product these days.
When I bought the boat the bilge was bone dry with just the hint of gas smell which was explained by the sending unit issue. It's hard for me to quantify the amount of fuel that was in the bilge because it was mixed with water. It was definitely more water than fuel but there was no doubt raw fuel was in the mix. The boat has been at a dealer (the one that did the pressure test) for going on three weeks now. Since the pressure test, they have completely filled the tank and have pulled the boat around their yard with a tractor, up and down hills. They have not been able to find anything. It's unfortunate that Parker is not maintaining the quality and customer service that they were known for,
 

sweetjourney

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Just went through this on my '03 2801 CC. I think it's wishful thinking that the "very strong" fuel smell is from a couple of seasons ago, especially if you actually see fuel in the bilge. The pressure test is not 100% as the tank is embedded in foam. Do another pressure test and let it sit overnight. Also, flood the bilge with soap and water, and completely drain it. If you continue to smell the fuel, it's likely the tank. Not uncommon with older Parkers.
I hope you're wrong but I have my doubts also. thanks for the input
 

Mpellet

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Yea it was pretty darn full. The fuel sender is very visible on the 2320 and there is no sign of fuel coming from screws.
The sending will only leak when the fuel tank is totally full and once the fuel leaks off full or you burn off some fuel the sending unit stops leaking. The top of tank dries off and you don’t think that’s the problem but the leaked fuel still collects in the coffin, makes the boat smell like gasoline and continues to trickle slowly out of the coffin into the bilge. Let’s say 1/2 a gallon of fuel leaks from the sending unit every time you fill the tank. That 1/2 gallon of fuel may leak from the sending unit in 15 minutes after the fill up and then the fuel level drops enough in the tank that fuel is no longer leaking from the sending unit, however the leaked fuel collects in the coffin, soaks the foam and gives off fumes for a long time. The coffin isn’t 100% sealed and allows fuel to trickle slowly into the bilge for hours or days after the sending unit is no longer leaking.

If you want to 100% confirm that your sending unit isn’t leaking, tape a bunch of clean and dry paper towels around it and then fill the tank till it vents. If the boat is in the water run it somewhat aggressively, if it’s on the trailer, tow it a bit with some starts and stops, up hill, down hill.

The goal of running the boat aggressively or trailing it is to get the fuel sloshing about in the full fuel tank so that the fuel will be pushing on the sending unit gasket and leaking out if you have a problem.


As soon as you stop, check those paper towels and see if they’re wet & smell like gasoline.

If the paper towels are dry then you know for sure that the sending unit isn’t your problem. If the towels are wet with gasoline, you can most likely solve your problem with a new sending unit gasket and save yourself $6000+ and a lot of down time.
 
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sweetjourney

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The sending will only leak when the fuel tank is totally full and once the fuel leaks off full or you burn off some fuel the sending unit stops leaking. The top of tank dries off and you don’t think that’s the problem but the leaked fuel still collects in the coffin, makes the boat smell like gasoline and continues to trickle slowly out of the coffin into the bilge. Let’s say 1/2 a gallon of fuel leaks from the sending unit every time you fill the tank. That 1/2 gallon of fuel may leak from the sending unit in 15 minutes after the fill up and then the fuel level drops enough in the tank that fuel is no longer leaking from the sending unit, however the leaked fuel collects in the coffin, soaks the foam and gives off fumes for a long time. The coffin isn’t 100% sealed and allows fuel to trickle slowly into the bilge for hours or days after the sending unit is no longer leaking.

If you want to 100% confirm that your sending unit isn’t leaking, tape a bunch of clean and dry paper towels around it and then fill the tank till it vents. If the boat is in the water run it somewhat aggressively, if it’s on the trailer, tow it a bit with some starts and stops, up hill, down hill.

The goal of running the boat aggressively or trailing it is to get the fuel sloshing about in the full fuel tank so that the fuel will be pushing on the sending unit gasket and leaking out if you have a problem.


As soon as you stop, check those paper towels and see if they’re wet & smell like gasoline.

If the paper towels are dry then you know for sure that the sending unit isn’t your problem. If the towels are wet with gasoline, you can most likely solve your problem with a new sending unit gasket and save yourself $6000+ and a lot of down time.
the tank was pressure tested and I assume that they left the sending unit in when they did that. I would think that this would have tested the integrity of the sending unit gasket. Also, they did fill the tank to the brink and towed the boat around their yard up and down hills and were not able to reproduce. I am having them replace the fill and vent hose out of an abundance of caution and will just have to run it and see what happens.
 
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