Boat Gas Tank Vent Problems

By Matt Claiborne

One of the most common problems is with the boat fuel tank vent. Problems nearly always occur during fueling at the gas pump.

Most fuel pumps put the good stuff faster than our engines use it, so any problems with the vent show their heads first there.

If a tank is sealed, and you pull the liquid out for use, something has to be added back.

If there is no way to allow air into the tank, the lowering fluid level will create suction. Eventually, the liquid will stop flowing out.

For this example, a fuel tank has no vent or perhaps has a blocked fuel vent. If that’s the case, fuel may flow to the engine for a short time until a suction or vacuum forms inside the tank.

Once the force of that suction exceeds the pull of your fuel pump, fuel will no longer flow, and the engine will stop.

Of course, vents are also crucial during the fueling process. If you pour a liquid into the tank, the air from the tank needs an escape path.

The fuel pump will likely shut off prematurely if the only escape path is through the filler neck.

The most common problem during fueling is having gas spewed out the hull vent or fill hose. When you aren’t expecting it, it can make a real mess.

It helps to fuel slowly and carefully, but sometimes you have to be ready with a fuel absorbent mat – just in case!