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Old 10-12-2012, 12:58   #16
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

There is no diesel smell in our boat ever. So I think that boat has an issue - maybe there is some amount of fuel sloshing up and down the engine bilge/sump, main bilge? Diesel leak perhaps? An old dirty rag pushed into a nook? Etc.. b.
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Old 10-12-2012, 13:27   #17
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

Only diesel fuel smell on my boat is when I had a small fuel oil leak after replacing a filter, after fixing the leak & cleaning the spill, the smell was gone almost immediately.
Diesel exhaust fumes on the other hand, put up the sails, and shut down the engine.
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Old 10-12-2012, 15:45   #18
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

Some people are more sensitive to smells than others. I can always smell diesel on a diesel boat, whether or not it is perfectly clean. A lot of boats have a very strong smell--some of these boats you can smell when you dinghy by. Luckily, diesel doesn't particularly bother me. A strong smell probably has to do more with dirty bilges than any particular smell from the engine space, but I don't care how neat you are some diesel is bound to spray or drip out at times when you do normal things like bleed the injectors or change the fuel filters. Plus, there is bound to be a bit of oil around on any engine and in most drip pans--I have never had an engine that didn't drip a bit. A lot of engines have a pretty strong smell from the air intake when the engine is off. Smell can be reduced a lot in a boat with a sealed engine space that has ventilation to the outside of the hull--and doesn't have air connections to inside the boat.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:24   #19
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

I wonder if bio-diesel would be any better
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:34   #20
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
There should be no diesel smell. Have you tried identifying and eliminating the cause(s)???
Bingo !! You need to find the problem and if your boat smells like diesel that is a problem because it should not.....
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Old 11-12-2012, 20:22   #21
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

We found that fuel-absorbent blankets in the bilge went a long way to getting rid of our diesel odors. Changing out the foam cushions also helped. The original ones apparently absorbed odors over the years, even though the dark material didn't show any obvious stains.
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Old 11-12-2012, 20:53   #22
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

Bio diesel smells better.
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Old 11-12-2012, 22:29   #23
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

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I wonder if bio-diesel would be any better
I read about one of those guys who turn McDonalds cooking oil into bio-diesel...he swore his exaust smelled like french fries
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Old 11-12-2012, 23:38   #24
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Or maybe McDonalds food smells like oil. Says something about putting that crud in our bodies.
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Old 12-12-2012, 13:38   #25
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

Heck, I like diesel smell. It's an acquired taste. Me and my boy Hutch chase after old Volvos together ...
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Old 12-12-2012, 17:10   #26
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

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Heck, I like diesel smell. It's an acquired taste. Me and my boy Hutch chase after old Volvos together ...
"nothing like the smell of burned disel in the morning"
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Old 12-12-2012, 17:27   #27
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

As others have stated, find and fix the leak if any, re-route the tank breather if required.

For any that don't like the smell of burnt diesel (for whatever bizzare reason ) try some perfume in the tank.
https://www.americanoils.com.au/fuelfragrances.php

Not to derail the thread, but my experience (on land) with bio is that it is very agressive on seals in injector pumps. If you wan't a leak switch to bio without having your punp re-kitted.
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Old 12-12-2012, 17:57   #28
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

A bit OT, but you can read old magazines and books from back in the 50s and 60s when boaters were debating the merits of some some of the small diesels that were becoming more common. Most auxiliary sailboats had gasoline engines. There are the usual lists of advantages/disadvantages and one of the disadvantages of diesel engines listed was the smell. Some people do find it objectionable. And, despite what some on here are saying, you can smell it even on very clean boats.
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Old 12-12-2012, 19:30   #29
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

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A bit OT, but you can read old magazines and books from back in the 50s and 60s when boaters were debating the merits of some some of the small diesels that were becoming more common. Most auxiliary sailboats had gasoline engines. There are the usual lists of advantages/disadvantages and one of the disadvantages of diesel engines listed was the smell. Some people do find it objectionable. And, despite what some on here are saying, you can smell it even on very clean boats.
Every single fuel and water line connection on our boat is wrapped with a piece of paper towel held in place with masking tape and all connections are routinely checked. My engine compartment is high gloss white (as are all bilge compartment), wiped down and vacuumed weekly. My wife suffers from wide ranging and severe allergies, neither she nor I will put up with any odors on the boat. We have even done away with waste hose and replaced with ABS pipe (with only a few inches of hose at each connection). I guarantee there is no diesel smell in our boat .
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Old 13-12-2012, 06:10   #30
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Re: Boat partner's wife hates diesel smell

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The only difference between the two is the colorant added to signify road tax has been levied on diesel. The other diesel "sold for boats" is the same exact thing and is ULSD too.
There is no high sulfur diesel anymore (in the United States) and you can't smell the dye.
Actually small refiners have until the end of 2013 to produce ultra low sulfur diesel for marine and non-road use, so it depends on his diesel source. Large refiners had to be converted by the end of last year. The other thing we don't know is how long his diesel might have been in his tanks, it may still be the older stuff. Even if the tanks were only half full of the old stuff when he bought the boat, the resulting mix with ULSD would still smell a lot more than a tank of fresh ULSD.
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