Fuel tank leak

Classic Parker Boat Forum

Help Support Classic Parker Boat Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-known member
Supporting Member
Feb 23, 2006
Reaction score
South Orange County, CA
First off, let me say I love my boat and hope no one reads this as "Parker Bashing". I discovered diesel fuel in my engine bilge and found that I had a leak in the aluminum tank of my '97 boat.
After much research, I have found that foamed in fuel tanks are not the preferred way to install an aluminum tank. I don't know if this problem is encountered much on the East coast since not many of you have large bait tanks mounted above your fuel tanks, such is the norm here on the West Coast.
With hoses coming up through the deck in this area, minor water intrusion is much more likely. Once in there, no matter how diligent you are at ventilating it, I think it is next to impossible to maintain a dry environment.
I spoke at length with a couple of Parker representatives and both told me they've only heard of one leaking tank due to corrosion. I know of at least five people in Southern California who have had to deal with it.

Sorry for the long winded post, but I am just curious about how many of you have had or heard of this problem.
This has been a costly, four month process for me. I have taken some preventive measures on the re-install. One thing that I did was completely coat the tank with "Rhino Coat", that truck bed lining stuff. Hopefully that will insulate the aluminum from salt water exposure.
Below are some photos of the project.


  • Finished-Deck-Port.jpg
    94.4 KB · Views: 7,876
  • New-Rhino-coated-tank.jpg
    153.8 KB · Views: 7,876
  • Cut-Deck.jpg
    38.8 KB · Views: 7,878
That sucks !!!
But looks like a nice neat job you or someone did cutting the deck and removing the tank.
I wouldn't mine seeing some pics of the finished job with the deck repair done.
9 years is not old. I'm very surprised the tank leaked.

How did you know exactly where to make those cuts to get to the tank?
Parker sent me a couple of schematics to show where the bulkheads were. That, along with a couple new inspection holes made the deck a little easier to cut accurately. Parker also offered to sell me a new tank at their cost, through my local dealer. Their cost was about the same as the low bid I got from some local custom tank builders.
John_Madison CT":emf2d4bd said:
9 years is not old. I'm very surprised the tank leaked.
Wow, I'm surprised it leaked after 9 years too! FWIW I had an aluminum tank last 26 years when I sold the boat ... and as far as I knew then ... it was still sound. I am a BIG believer in venting out the bilges though and I have a few tricks in that regard once I can get under the tarp and the sun is shining!

Did you wet out the edges of the new inspection port cutouts with epoxy to seal them? When putting down the new ports, did you bed them with goop, push them down, and let them sit like that for almost the whole day? I do that and then I drill the holes for the screws once the goop has really tacked up. Then I tighten the plate to the floor only when the goop is like 2/3rds set ... so it compresses some and acts more like an O-Ring or gasket.

In my experience, far too many people just torque away at bedded hardware/items and wipe up the excess goop that runs out from underneath ... to me that's making nothing but a "dry joint" as they compressed all of the goop out from under the item. Not accusing you mind you, just trying to help, as I do believe it is possible to make deck ports that are truly water tight.
Nice job.

If you've ever been to David Pascoe's site ( http://www.yachtsurvey.com/ ) you'll know how he hates foamed in tanks. I had read all of his material BEFORE I went to the Parker factory to see their construction. Made a comment to Robin (who escorted me through) that foaming in aluminum tanks provided tons of problems. She indicated that because the compartment is 100% sealed, they've never had problems.

However...it is NOT 100% sealed. If you look down in the bilge, there is a small gap between a bulkhead and the deck where the fuel lines come out of the fuel tank compartment. Also, there is a 6" PVC pipe coming in from the port side where the fuel fill line and vent lines pass. Moist air (or water) can get in at either location. Both of the deck plates can (and do) leak. Since there is no drain out of the compartment, any water that gets in there is trapped.

If I ever have to replace a tank, you can bet it won't be foamed in, and there will be a drain out of the compartment.
I saw that site and it has a pretty informative description of the "proper" way to install a tank. The problem was that to do it as he described would have added mucho $$$ to an already expensive repair. I am hoping that coating the tank will do the trick. And you are right about the compartment not being 100% sealed. Deck plates leak very nicely as well as the other areas you pointed out. I have a plug at the bottom of my fish hold that leads to that fuel compartment. I would routinely remove the plug and find water inside.
Pascoe's site is brought up all the time on many forum's.

The boat's most of us have do NOT have a way to vent the entire bildge.

This makes his way obselete for our smaller boat's. Nothing wrong with refoaming a tank in.BUT The new tank should be coated to protect it.
The "Rhino Coat" should do well or Coal Tar epoxy coated. Then refoamed with 4lb density foam.
I remember about 5 years ago another guy from cali had to replace his tank on a 2320--same deal, livewell leaked into the tank compartment. He said he drilled a hole under tank from the bildge and water poured out. I was concerned enough to drill a hole under my tank and not even a drop came out. The moral of the story is to watch where you plumb your livewell. I hope you sealed those hoses well with silicone. I would have replaced the hoses with higher quality one while I'm there--the outlet hose with the ribbing looks like it is susceptible to weepage...

As to condesation in the tank compartment, the only time I notice any condesation in the cockpit of my boat is when overnighting on the water. When my boat is on the trailer, I never have condensation. So if you keep your boat on the water, you might want to ventilate it as routine maintenance. As for the deckplates, the instructions on the packaging says only to use silicone--I think it's due to heat/cold cycle in the cockpit that could cause other sealants to leak.
I followed your story from when you were first having problems on Allcoast, that is one of the reasons I mounted my tank further back, I do not have my bait tank over the fuel tank, it is more twards the stern, it may be in a weird place for some guys, but it works great for me and it is my boat :lol: I am glad yopu are finished with the headack, happy boating !
I love my boat and all, but I will never understand why Parker doesn't have a removable section like most other boats do over the gas tank. I used to have a Seaswirl Striper and had to remove it one time. It was so easy and fast to do what I wanted to do and just screw the deck/cover back on. I too have been following your post on Allcoast and thought the idea of the Rhino coating was brilliant.

Another thing that can wreck a gas tank is bare wires somewhere against the aluminum. Dissimilar metals and all. Saw a boat one time with pin holes in the gas tank because of a bare wire.

Ken/ So Cal
1992 2520DV with flybridge.
Yeah but Whalin Dave spent over $5K on his replacement. I think I would rather have the sealant to worry about.

I like your Maycraft. I was seriously thinking about buying the 25 or 27. In fact I flew from CA to NC and toured their factory. Ken May spent about two hours taking me around and answering my questions. If I didn't find this Parker at a great price I would have tried to get the 27.

Interestingly, Mr. May and Mr. Parker are lifelong friends. Ken May only had praise for him and his product. That REALLY impressed me. Very nice man.
Here is where I put my bait tank, further back so it is not over the fuel tank, Iit worked out much better for the install to !


  • Tank 001.jpg
    Tank 001.jpg
    32.3 KB · Views: 7,643
  • Tank 002.jpg
    Tank 002.jpg
    17.7 KB · Views: 7,642

first, let me advocate in the most strenous terms to buy and read
david pascoe`book......it should be required reading before any boat
purchase.......second, foaming in tanks is iffy....one could put out the
extra money (note that monel and money only differ by a single letter)
for monel.....or, one could provide air flow all around the tank to prevent
POLTICE corrosion (which will also eat away at your ss tank!)......

third, foaming is ok IF the whole cavity is dry.......pascoe stresses
repeatedly how commonly the deck "hatches" are not watertight......
in fact, they are a common cause of SINKINGS......the bilge pump
gives out or is simply too small, and down she goes.....at the very least,
LOOK frequently into the cavity, sniff, and use a flashlight to inspect the
whole thing.....should be dusty and smell faintly of resin only.

remember that those hatches have rubber "o" rings....rubber is never
forever!,,,,,... they can get nicked, cut, compressed, stiffened, even eroded from cleaning materials......replace the o rings every year or
two, and replace the WHOLE HATCH if any water gets by it......either a
sinking or a gasoline leak is disastrous.......

one last thought......waxing the horns or oiling the teak is all fine and