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      I have a B32 (2002) and there is a distinct smell of diesel in the cabin. There is no sign of the slightest leak from the fuel filters or fuel line nor is there any diesel to be seen in the bilges. In the summer I exposed the fuel tank and the filler pipe – both of which were spotless.

      Does anyone have any ideas where to go next?


        Have you filled up recently?


          Do you have heating?


            Have you checked your exhaust pipework?

            Is the smell when the boat is in use (motoring) or after you have left her and return?

            Sorry for all the questions….just trying to narrow down the options!


              I overfilled mine recently and had diesel come out of the filler pipe and collected just under the holding tank. Cannot find anything wrong with the pipework


                I overfilled mine recently and had diesel come out of the filler pipe and collected just under the holding tank. Cannot find anything wrong with the pipework


                  Many thanks for the logical questions:

                  The smell is there all the time and is worse when you first get into the cabin — thus indicating that it is not the result of the engine running. I do keep the fuel tank nearly full to the brim but there is no leakage around the filler pipe fittings. I don’t use the engine much as I prefer to sail whenever possible.

                  Does the fuel tank have a breather pipe that vents into the locker space and may be getting fumes into the cabin that way?

                  By the way I don’t have a cabin heater, not is the smell more noticeable either whilst the engine is in use or after it has been used.

                  I am most grateful for your replies.



                  Check all of your fuel pipe joints up to the engine and back again (run your finger round each one to see if your finger stays dry). I bet you have a slight weep on one of them. Also wipe your hand over the bottom of the filters, they should also be bone dry.


                    The breather pipe is part of the filler cap as found on most cars. Unlikely to cause the smel unless pipe clip is loose.


                      Dear Bob and Mike,

                      Thanks for your reply – I’ll have another go with a spotless kitchen towel. I must get this sorted as my wife is claiming this as a reason not to come sailing!



                        Hi David,
                        Not sure if the 32 has the fuel tank under the base of the Starboard cockpit locker like my 2001 B34 but if it does and you cannot find any fuel in the engine bay try looking in the locker just ahead of and at the inboard corner of the fuel tank. This is a low spot in which any fuel that has managed to escape from the filler pipe, breather pipe or any other tank opening would congregate. There are holes through the bulkhead between the cockpit locker and the engine bay that would let the smell in but as they are above the base of the locker the fuel would still be retained in that space.
                        Best of luck.


                          Agree with this, on my B32 the fuel spill collected in the exact spot which is partly hidden by the holding tank.


                            Many thanks for the last 2 replies — I will have a look when the weather improves a bit.


                              The fuel tank on Our B36 2004 leaked thro the bungs which take the fuel supply/ return pipes to the engine. The bungs were a push fit and the hole in the tank had been drilled on the skew, so minimal contact area. We never cured the problem, but made sure we didn’t fully fill the tank.



                                What a great lot of ideas. Many thanks to all concerned.

                                The smell is still there – I don’t notice it much but others do.

                                This is what I have checked :

                                -the anti surge valve on the filler cap;
                                -the union between the filler and the main fuel pipe and breather pipe;
                                – the union into the tank;
                                – the tank;
                                – the space under the tank and the low point just in front of the tank;
                                – the stop valve;
                                – both fuel filters;
                                – the injectors;
                                – all hard and flexible fuel lines; and
                                – the primer pump.

                                There is no diesel in the sump area and I have even tied a plastic bag over the air intake (when the engine is not being used!) to see if any smell was coming from there.

                                I have come away with a spotless tissue from the undersides of anywhere that could weep and I have removed my spare can of diesel from the boat.

                                I think I am going to have to live with it – unless you can think of something I have missed.

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