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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, here we go again. I have friends that live in the same town as I do that had the exact same experience as I did at Siegler's and Thunderjet less than one month apart. I bought Duckworth and they bought NorthRiver. But... that's a subject for a different post. They are having a delimna with their New purchase - maybe you guys can help. Here's the deal: They purchased a new 19'175 sportjet and are VERY proud of their new boat. A short time after getting it home and putting it in their garage after using it, the "sheowner" went out to admire the new addition and could smell gas. She investigated and found gas leaking from the vent hole.... no the tank isn't overful... it was less than 1/2.... yes the garage slants slightly and the bow is not level - slightly angeled down like a garage should be. Not only is there gas coming out of the vent but it has removed the Paint! She calls the dealer (service manager) and is told that 1) the garage is too warm - it's uninsulated and not heated 2) you must of shook up the gas in the tank - boat had been sitting for awhile - lame reasoning - try NOT shaking up has in a boat 3) you must of overfilled the tank - less than 1/2 full 4) you're garage must not be level - since when do you have to have a boat perfectly level to keep gas from coming out a vent? At this point she is getting a little excited - all she wanted was a reason it was happening not to be blamed for wrong doing. Get's the same story from the store manager. Calls next to Roseburg and is told that if the paint problem is their fault they will fix it but that it sounds like it's your fault and your problem. So guys - what's the deal here? Do you have to keep your 175 sportjets perfectly level at all times? Anyone else have this problem with the bow down slightly from level? Should they have been told by the dealer that this is the case when they took delivery? Should gas take paint off your boat? I smell a rat here and offered to post to the board in search of good advise and maybe some help. The "heowner" wants to forget about it and the "sheowner" is sick about her baby being blemished and upset about the lack of service and apparent lack of warranty protection. Thanks for your input gents! :bowdown: zipper
 

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Actually, this will happen with many different boats. Here's what I think is happening. You fill the tank with gas. The gas is cold when you get it. You park the boat someplace, and for one reason or another, the gas gets warmer. It and any air in the tank expand. in the northrivers, the vent connects to the back of the tank. If the boat has any tilt upwards to the front when parked, the air bubble is in the front. So, as these things expand, gas gets pushed up the vent.

Has nothing to do with North River, every boat I've ever had has had fuel expansion issues.

As to the paint, I don't know about that. Fuel doesn't remove paint on either my cars or my boat. I have a northriver, and fuel has come out of the vent many times onto the paint without damage.
 

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One more thing, you can't believe the fuel guage as to whether your tank is 1/2 full. The sending unit is in the back of the tank, and is very susceptible to the boat's tilt. It's a very approximate measure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
SH - Their boat is parked with the bow down slightly from level not up and yes, boat guages are notoriously poor unless perfectly level and sitting perfectly still. The real issue here is the paint... I'm with you, gas has never taken paint off any vehicle I've owned or any boat I've owned though certainly it can dull clear coat. thanks for the reply! zip
 

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Zipper,

Gas leaking out the vent is DANGEROUS as in blow up boat, garage and owners.

Gas fumes in a garage, any spark could set it off.

I'd store the boat outside until it is fixed.

Want to know how dangerous, call your homeowners and boat insurance companies and ask them if you are covered for having a boat that leaks gasoline.

If gas leaks as you use the boat, in addition to the fire danger, you could get a nice pollution fine.

NR should fix it NOW. Can't believe they are balking at it. I'd put it in writing and address it to the President of NR. At least you are on record so you can sue them if any damages.

I had a NR Sportster 19 with the 240SportJet and it definitely didn't leak fuel.

On the gas eating the paint. I'd heard that, mostly regarding Zolatone but on the North River and now Boulton both with Zolatone, that hasn't happened. Sounds like the paint job was lacking, either in prep, application or curing.

I like the new gas fillers (no more gas tank vent) that come with plastic scupper to protect the paint. I'm surprised a new boat has a separate gas tank vent.

Brion
 

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I've had a little experience with this. It sounds like your fuel tank vent hose is not routed correctly. It probably has a "pee trap" (like under your sink) that is allowing gas to collect in it. As SH suggested, the trapped gas expands when it warms and pukes out the vent. An over filled tank will do this too. If you can, or if your buddy can, look and see how the vent hose is routed and if it would be possible for gas to collect in it. If so, ask the dealer to reroute the hose. In my experience, gas will eat paint and a lot of other things too. Maybe ifish's resident auto body expert Catch and Eat could address the paint issue. :smile: I think gas comes out of boat vent lines more than people realize. If your tank is really full, gas can come out the vent every time you go around a sharp corner whether its on a trailer or in the water. On the safty note that Brion Lutz mentioned a word of caution is in order. Gas vapors can and do explode. Gas vapors are heavier than air and will sink to the ground. If they pass an ignition source on the way down (like the pilot light to a water heater or furnace), an explosion could result.
 

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I to have had paint problems with my Noth River. I had a hard time getting them to fix the problem. The salt water ate the paint badly on my boat even though I washed it down every time I got back home with soap and water. It got repainted, I made two trips to Bout 10 with it and the same thing is happing again. My buddy paints boats and he say's they are mot etching the aluminum good enough. The paint should last awhile before it starts coming of in my opinion.
 

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I have the vent/gas problem on real warm days, but the paint is just fine on my Thorbuilt.
 

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Now that you guys mention it, I do have some paint bubbles forming where it looks like water has got under the paint. Anywhere something is screwed into the aluminum through the paint (like the snaps for the slant-back cover)there are little bubbles around it - they look like paint blisters. They are pretty small (less than the size of a dime) but I'll probably see if NR will fix them. The rest of my paint is beautiful though, even after repeated exposure to saltwater.

I'm glad I was able to help with the vent problem. Rarely am I so mechanically gifted when it comes to boats! :dance:
 

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Miss B, thanks for the correction. That's how I understood the explanation I got. The boat's manufacturer rerouted the line and fixed the problem. Could clarify for me though, if the boat's vent line has a low spot to collect water, wouldn't the low spot eventually fill up with water and block air flow to the tank? Wouldn't water run back into the tank once the low spot is full? Shouldn't a water separating fuel filter be able to handle this amount of water? Not trying to be argue... just curious.
 

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What a great forum! I have a 18' Fishrite Explorer. The fill and the vent exit at the back of the tank and the vent exits the boat on the starboard corner of the stern. Here in central Washington it gets hot, and on occasion my vent will puke, but I just lower the bow a bit. I also try to keep the tank half full until I go fishing (quite often) so that I'm always putting fresher fuel in the boat. My boat WAS red/white combo and it did flake and peel around the vent, but only a small amount. NR should fix it though if it's substantial. I did strip the paint off though, the hog-lines just eat it up and the ducks don't like bright colors.

I just came in from re-zolatoning the inside and windshield/bow area. I have the floor all out, so I've checked for any electrolis (none-yeha), but I was thinking of re-routing the breather hose. Thanks to Miss B' I won't. It too has a bend in it for a pee-trap. I never thought about the chance for water coming in -DUH! THanks for the advice!!!
 

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I know a guy that had a boice jet with the same problem. Boice Jet fixed his boat and since fixed the problem by double venting their fuel tanks. Seems Boice learned from the problem. Wonders what is goin on with North River? Don't they learn?
 

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My JET CRAFT is vented at the fill cap at the stern no problems. If it ever pukes out gas it goes out on the transom. :grin:
 

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Racor makes a fuel vent line device that seperates gas from air, so that only air is vented never any gas. This is still gas vapor in the air so a fire potential would still exist should the heavier than air gas vapors get to open flame or spark.

The part # for the 5/8" vent line is LG50
http://www.parker.com/parkersql/default.asp?type=2&id=27
Select the 7480 catalog from the left side, then select Marine section, then go to air/fuel seperators.

I do know that Fishrite uses the LG50 because we,Oregon Fuel Injection, sell it to them. North river wasn't interested the last time we spoke to them about it. It does add to the cost afterall. It would be about $54.00 for ifish members

[ 04-10-2003, 07:54 PM: Message edited by: fishwhenican ]
 

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I don''t know much about boat manufacturing, but I know something about paint. Anytime paint flakes off or bubbles there are two things that cause this. Poor ahesion and inproperly cured paint. First, gas should not peel paint, unless the paint is of poor quaulity or inproperly cured or applied. Second, if gas gets under the pained surface it will soften up and lift easily off the refinished surface. Primers and basecoats(zolotone)are not chemical resistant and will be affected by gas. In Zolotone, the clear coat finish adds the protective barried. The Question that should be asked is in the manufacturing proccess. Are these boat builders painting the hull then drilling for vent and fuel hoses, and other accessories? If so, this will be a potentialy weak area in the refinished surface. Often when a hole is drilled, you get a paint bruise around the area that has been subjected to heat,jarring, and flexing. I bet if you look carefully you will notice the paint flaking off around a hole or an edge. If the manufacturers are indeed drilling holes after the paint is applied, then they are liable. If this isn't the case go to the paint manufacturer and ask question the quality of there products. I can gaurantee you they will be onthe phone with paint department.

suckerfish
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks to all that have responded with suggestions and ideas on how to address this gas/vent issue. "Fishwhenican" I couldn't make the link work on the racor site, but sounds like an interesting part... where does it go in? On the vent tube itself?
I would really like to hear from all the North River owners out there that either have never had this problem or the paint problem or have had this problem and got satisfaction from the company in terms of repair and good service. Also, advise for my friends as far as how to get North River to stand behind their product would be appreciated. Interesting isn't it, that a company doesn't have to be sold to someone else to have issues related to warranty. :shrug: zipper

[ 04-10-2003, 10:13 PM: Message edited by: zipper ]
 

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Zipper:
Yes, the fuel air seperator goes in the vent line itself. Racor's web site is terrible, and we don't have it on our web site, sorry I can't get you a better picture at this time.

Sunless:
Even the best fuel filter/water separating units will only handle so much water. I have seen too many that are supposed to stop the water when saturated, but they let it thru anyway. Best to keep as much water out as possible to start with.
 

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My very first post on this website.

I have an ALUMIWELD with a 175 sportjet, and it doesnt leak fuel. I would be very concerned if it did. Also, on another note, I have seen 4 boats sent back to North River from the Corvallis Or dealer.... JUST FOR SHODDY PAINT JOBS. North River repainted these boats. One of these boats belongs to a friend of mine and the paint came off JUST FROM A SOAP AND WATER WASHING. Not all the boats were sportjets, as my friends is an outboard model.

Mike
 

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I have a 1995 seahawk. The paint bubbles up all around where items have been drilled. I just scrape, sand, and touchup. The fuel on mine is the same, I just got one of the Fuel/Air seperators at Fisermans. This was only about 12 bucks. I have had plenty of gas spill on my paint and it is not a problem. The only problems I have are around the areas that have been drilled after paint, eg: top snaps, rails, cleats, anything I put on the boat. I had a floor problem a few years ago and NR really stepped up and took care of me. I don't know what to tell ya, but NR has really taken care of me.
 

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Zipper,
I am interested at what happened at Sigler's, I have been considering a new TJet. Something I should know about?
 
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