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Old 13-03-2014, 17:55   #1
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All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

While checking out a used sailboat today, the smell of diesel fuel in the cabin was quite strong. The salesperson said, "All sailboats with diesel engines will have some diesel smell in the cabin."

Really? Is that true? I've only used outboards previously, so have no way to judge.

Boat is a 1983 25' Bayfield.
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Old 13-03-2014, 18:11   #2
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Re: All sailboats with diesel engines smell?

All boats with diesel leaks smell of diesel.
Boats with no diesel leaks do not
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Old 13-03-2014, 18:14   #3
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Re: All sailboats with diesel engines smell?

I'd disagree. Diesel would need to be leaking or spilled in order for the smell to strongly permeate the cabin. In my last two diesel boats, the first had no smell (new installation) and the current has the faintest of smells around the fuel tank courtesy of a slightly weeping inspection port seal. In normal use there is no reason for diesel fuel fumes to be present in more than faint at the most quantities.

While on the subject of diesel and it's fumes, my mother used to love the smell of diesel exhaust to the extent that she would often follow closely behind a truck just to smell the exhaust. Mind you she was a two pack a day smoker. I don't care much for the exhaust fumes but I actually find the smell of diesel fuel to be quite pleasant in small doses.
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Old 13-03-2014, 18:24   #4
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

All diesel boats smell.

What utter nonsense.
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Old 13-03-2014, 18:26   #5
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

I agree. Unless you've got a leak there should be no discernible raw diesel odor. None.
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Old 13-03-2014, 18:31   #6
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

I'll stand with Nigel 1's observation. I bought my boat in 1985 with a Westerbeke 4-107 that had some diesel leak problems. I dealt with the problems of trying to stop the smell for years. I repowered in 2000 and haven't had diesel smells in the last 14 years. Earlier this year I over torqued the air plug (fuel bleed) screw on my Kubota generator and I needed a little "diesel "diaper" under the leak for the term until I replaced the part. It reminded me of how by boat smelled in the last millineum!

No! Boats with diesel engines do not need to smell of diesel!
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Old 13-03-2014, 18:37   #7
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

There is no excuse for any smell other than sloth and poor maintenance.
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Old 13-03-2014, 18:53   #8
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

"SALESPERSON TELLS FIB TO MAKE SALE"

What's the world coming to?
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Old 13-03-2014, 21:34   #9
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

This broker has identified himself as a unreliable source of info. I would not trust anything that he says in the future.

Cheers,

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Old 13-03-2014, 21:35   #10
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
This broker has identified himself as a unreliable source of info. I would not trust anything that he says in the future.

Cheers,

Jim
Maybe he's just a slob.
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Old 13-03-2014, 21:52   #11
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

That broker statement has as much believability as the used car salesman that says,
"They all do that."

Mine doesn't.
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Old 13-03-2014, 22:00   #12
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Maybe he's just a slob.
Well, yes, he surely could be a slob, too!

But he has identified himself as someone who will give self-serving advice to a customer with no regard for the truth. Why would one believe anything else he said? Things like:

This boat has only been sailed on sundays by a little old lady on her way to church so it is in extra good condition. Oh, all sails have big patches on them, no need to worry. And the water in the bilge is to keep the fibreglas from drying out on the inside... makes it last longer. And green is the normal colour for copper wires, not to worry. And the little plugs sticking up from the teak decks are there to keep you from slipping. And all marine toilets smell like an outhouse in the Ozarks, can't be helped. And so on...

Lots of boats, lots of brokers, your choice who you deal with!

Jim
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Old 13-03-2014, 22:40   #13
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

Many boats I have been on smell like diesel because these people cannot pour the fuel without spilling some of it and/or have leaks.

My boat does not smell like diesel, as I have no engine.
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Old 13-03-2014, 23:12   #14
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

More boat interiors smell of holding tank/sanitation hose issues, than diesel. But their owners are often unaware of it, having become accustomed to the familiar smell, over time.

For there to be a diesel smell, there will be the presence of diesel--a leak--but also look for a possible saturated fuel hose. I've seen an old fill hose deteriorate into such a soggy condition that diesel had entirely permeated; it was wet, to the touch, on the outside, where a slightly low spot kept it constantly wetted.
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Old 14-03-2014, 06:20   #15
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Re: All Sailboats with Diesel Engines Smell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
This broker has identified himself as a unreliable source of info. I would not trust anything that he says in the future.
Ditto. Along with the diesel odor, you just got a whiff of a dishonest broker.
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