[Question] Help with '77 Tahiti Jet Boat
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Help with '77 Tahiti Jet Boat

  1. #1
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    Default Help with '77 Tahiti Jet Boat

    Hey everyone... A newbie here.

    I just bought a 1977 Tahiti Jet Boat in fantastic shape. Reminds me exactly of the boat we had when I was a kid except for the color. Original 460 Ford/Hardin engine, Berkeley Jet drive. Had my mechanic/jet boat expert go over it with a fine tooth and he agreed with me that for a 35-year-old boat it's in tip-top shape. The only thing we've done to it so far is put 9" trim tabs on the transom for faster planing and added a ladder to the rear.

    Took it out on the lake on the Fourth of July and skiied about half the day when I realized that the engine was only drawing fuel from the right tank and not the left. Opened the left tank's gas cap and the fuel was filled right to the top like it was when I left the gas station that morning. By that point I barely had enough gas in the right tank to get back to the ramp and pull it out of the water.

    I remember motorcycles in my youth often had a manual switch to feed gas from the two sides of the tank, so before I start diving through fuel lines looking for clogs, does anyone know if there a valve in the Tahiti somewhere that I have to use to manually switch tanks? I don't have an owners manual or anything like that (but if someone knows where to find one I'd be very interested). If so where are the valves?

    If it is as simple as opening a valve it brings up the question: is there any particular reason why you can't leave both valves open (or get rid of the valves altogether) and just let the manual fuel pump pull from both sides? My childhood boat was that way.

    Thanks in advance for helping this noob out. I've attached a few pictures.
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  3. #2
    Senior Member ol guy's Avatar
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    Nice looking boat! Congrats. Best way to find out is to eyeball the fuel lines as they come back to the transom. You should see one from each side go into either a manual valve (3-way) or an electric switch with wires attached. If it is the 3-way it's probably pointed at the tank you drained. if it is electric you need to study how many switches you have at the dash and figure out what does what!. In that style boat you should have a blower, bilge, running lights and a fuel tank switch. Now if the two lines go into a standard tee then you have a flow issue from the full side. Just trace the tank lines and you will find the problem! Mark

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    The Good mrjoshua's Avatar
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    My old Tahiti had a three way valve back under the transom.

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    Senior Member namba860's Avatar
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    If you are trying to pull fuel from both tanks at the same time, it will favor the tank that has the shorter distance from the tank to the tee. Easy remedy for this is put a manuel valve where the tee is and then you can switch sides.
    Shane
    offshore marine

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    Senior Member H20MOFO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepdishchad View Post
    Hey everyone... A newbie here.

    I just bought a 1977 Tahiti Jet Boat in fantastic shape. Reminds me exactly of the boat we had when I was a kid except for the color. Original 460 Ford/Hardin engine, Berkeley Jet drive. Had my mechanic/jet boat expert go over it with a fine tooth and he agreed with me that for a 35-year-old boat it's in tip-top shape. The only thing we've done to it so far is put 9" trim tabs on the transom for faster planing and added a ladder to the rear.

    Took it out on the lake on the Fourth of July and skiied about half the day when I realized that the engine was only drawing fuel from the right tank and not the left. Opened the left tank's gas cap and the fuel was filled right to the top like it was when I left the gas station that morning. By that point I barely had enough gas in the right tank to get back to the ramp and pull it out of the water.

    I remember motorcycles in my youth often had a manual switch to feed gas from the two sides of the tank, so before I start diving through fuel lines looking for clogs, does anyone know if there a valve in the Tahiti somewhere that I have to use to manually switch tanks? I don't have an owners manual or anything like that (but if someone knows where to find one I'd be very interested). If so where are the valves?

    If it is as simple as opening a valve it brings up the question: is there any particular reason why you can't leave both valves open (or get rid of the valves altogether) and just let the manual fuel pump pull from both sides? My childhood boat was that way.

    Thanks in advance for helping this noob out. I've attached a few pictures.

    Like Mark said...you should be able to track em down. I run a ball valve on each tank so I can run em separate..or together. I couldnt help but notice the provo sign.....you in happy valley? Where do you boat? Always good to see another Utard on here.
    Another Hot Boat refugee

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    Quote Originally Posted by H20MOFO View Post
    Like Mark said...you should be able to track em down. I run a ball valve on each tank so I can run em separate..or together. I couldnt help but notice the provo sign.....you in happy valley? Where do you boat? Always good to see another Utard on here.
    Yup, after 20 years on the east coast the fam and I are back in Planet Utah. Grew up in the Bountiful area, so as a kid we usually skiied at Willard Bay because Pineview was always overcrowded. Now that I'm in Provo I tried putting the boat in on Utah Lake but a) the channel was so windy we had whitecaps, b) the wakeless harbor out to where you can ski is so far that I just about went out of my mind, and c) I don't like a lake so shallow that you touch muddy bottom when you put your skis on.

    We spent the Fourth (where I discovered this gas draw problem) on Yuba. Yeah, it's more of a drive, but the lake had a lot fewer boats on it. I know Deer Creek is closer, but it's also crowded and colder.

    ...and, of course, ski vacations were spent on Lake Powell. I prefer Wahweap to Bullfrog.

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    Had the same boat for awhile back. There should be two small brass ball valves towards the transom coming from each tank. No electric setup

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    Hey all... thanks for your help. I found the valves behind the rear deck plates on either side of the boat. The one on the left was closed, which can explain why I was only drawing from the right. It didn't ever want to fire with the right tank empty so I siphoned some from the left to the right and gave the pedal a few pumps and she fired right up. Taking the boat out this weekend (Willard Bay, for H20MOFO's purposes) and we'll see how she handles two full tanks with both valves open.

    Thanks again for your help, everyone!

  11. #9
    DEG
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    So this is what a jet boat looks like before I get a hold of it!!! Lol
    On my Belmont I pull from both tanks at the same time..( make sure both lines from each tank are the same length before the tee and about the same height as the feed and it works good) I am know for running out of gas almost every time I go out.. On my Anthony I had a electric 3 way.. (VERY BAD IDEA!) almost lost my boat when the switch burned up due to a bad ground.. Now I have a manual mounted on the transom. Works good and I know it won't go bad..

  12. #10
    Senior Member jetboatperformance's Avatar
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    Most of these tanks are "dedicated" installs (glassed in to the gunnels ) with limited space above the tank, if possible pull the stand pipes out of the tanks as the often were eqipt with very restrictive tiny pickup screens , the OEM valves and antisiphon fittings are very restrictive as well , best thing you can do IMO is re-pipe your tanks from the pickups to a manual 3 way valve (R/L/ off) and run one tank at a time, typically we suggest you run tank down to a 1/4 level or so then switch (so you have a reserve) use minimum 3/8 lines and filters 1/2 is better good luck Tom

  13. #11
    DEG
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    Good point JBP I had to do that too on my Belmont..

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