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Old 08-11-2012, 07:42 PM   #21
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Talking with the tank fabricator we use here in St Petersburg last week regarding pricing and the wall thickness came up. For tanks less than 100 gallons the wall thickness is around 1/8" then over 100 gallons wall thickness is 1/4". From what we can estimate when sounding tanks and probing during cleaning is the ballfes are no more than two feet apart. When we cut tanks open, baffles are fab'd from the same outside material.

For pricing; up to 100 gallon tanks are $10.50 per gallon and the heavier wall tanks (he didn't mention). And of course sending units are an additional charge.

I have been away from the forum since the website change over, primary due to work. The spring time is our busy time and it looks like the economy may be improving a bit. We will top our annual beachmark this year with cleaning over 350 fuel tanks.

For you guys with diesel fuel, be darn thankful you are not using gasoline......

Thanks for the info...got a bit of thinking/designing to do...

Mind releasing the fabricators name...might be interested.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #22
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Thanks El Sea. Great info!
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:10 PM   #23
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Aluminum would be my last choice
Why is that? I just replaced 2 of my 250 gallon tanks and had the other 2 rebuilt, They are 8' long and 2' x 2' (height and width) I think mine are thicker than 1/4", I think they are a little less than 1/2". There are two baffle's making it into thirds with small cut outs on the corners in the baffles. The two new tanks were 5k for 500 gallon, 10$/gallon. The two I had rebuild were pressure tested and had new bottoms welded on as well as several patches and 6 16"x16" patches on top were I cut out to clean them. That job for both tanks cost $1,400. Not bad, I know it's a lot of fuel but we will be running the boat about 60-80 miles out and staying for at least a week at a time running on the genset. 1 mile/gallon running and 1.7 gallons/hour on the genset would add up to about 400 gallons for a week running the genset 24/7. Good luck an what ever you decide.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:47 AM   #24
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Why is that? I just replaced 2 of my 250 gallon tanks and had the other 2 rebuilt, They are 8' long and 2' x 2' (height and width) I think mine are thicker than 1/4", I think they are a little less than 1/2". There are two baffle's making it into thirds with small cut outs on the corners in the baffles. The two new tanks were 5k for 500 gallon, 10$/gallon. The two I had rebuild were pressure tested and had new bottoms welded on as well as several patches and 6 16"x16" patches on top were I cut out to clean them. That job for both tanks cost $1,400. Not bad, I know it's a lot of fuel but we will be running the boat about 60-80 miles out and staying for at least a week at a time running on the genset. 1 mile/gallon running and 1.7 gallons/hour on the genset would add up to about 400 gallons for a week running the genset 24/7. Good luck an what ever you decide.
It's not a distant last choice.

All tanks need to be built correctly, installed correctly and protected from the environment/accidental whatever. Any can suffer the consequences of not doing something right.

I just have had bad experiences with aluminum (it's not necessarily the miracle product many lead you to believe), and some other "pros" have written articles pointing out the same weaknesses (mostly corrosion) I feel so there's a bit of confirmation of my life experiences.

But I may even go with my last choice just because it may be the easiest/most inexpensive to get for my boat....and as I said...it's not a distant last...just last in a very close pack.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:13 AM   #25
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Those contemplating replacing older tanks with new tanks of substantially different volume and/or location, should be aware that the boat's designer planned the location and weight range of the original tanks with the vessel's trim and stability in mind.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:55 AM   #26
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Those contemplating replacing older tanks with new tanks of substantially different volume and/or location, should be aware that the boat's designer planned the location and weight range of the original tanks with the vessel's trim and stability in mind.
true but it's pretty easy to see what will work or not if you have an eye for it and a little common sense.

adding might present more of a problen...but not necessarily any more than downsizing. Keeping the same footprints and possible volume/weight levels less than what would have been there before.

Compare that to adding one or two people standing there in the salon...not really all that hard or scary.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:47 AM   #27
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The tanks in my vessel were installed in the 50's. They were installed on 2x4's that were on edge. The only problem with corrosion was were they had nailed the wood frame together. Were each nail was the aluminum was compromised. I've installed them with nail free wood at the contact point and bought some heavy duty rubber to install between the al and wood. Your right though, when they go bad they sure put a bad taste in your mouth.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:33 AM   #28
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The tanks in my vessel were installed in the 50's. They were installed on 2x4's that were on edge. The only problem with corrosion was were they had nailed the wood frame together. Were each nail was the aluminum was compromised. I've installed them with nail free wood at the contact point and bought some heavy duty rubber to install between the al and wood. Your right though, when they go bad they sure put a bad taste in your mouth.
Especially when it looks like the rest of the tank could last 1000 years more!
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:56 PM   #29
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I've seen old tanks removed and replaced with smaller...and the vessel trimmed bow-down: not good. I'm just saying be careful. Also drastically reducing fuel capacity will impact selling prices.....surveyors will note it (on the other hand, they'll be +ve about new tanks of course)
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:15 PM   #30
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I've seen old tanks removed and replaced with smaller...and the vessel trimmed bow-down: not good. I'm just saying be careful. Also drastically reducing fuel capacity will impact selling prices.....surveyors will note it (on the other hand, they'll be +ve about new tanks of course)
Again...it's not for everyone, but anyone with some experience can figure out the trim issue easily and/or ballast if necessary which will improve stability... if done well.

As far as tankage changing price....I think you are right in that it's a push for new tanks vs smaller tanks...some boats...the effect on price would be negligible...plus the smarter buyers will recognize the improvements
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:15 AM   #31
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In response to an earlier poster -- When I converted from the manual pump to an electric one I removed the manual pump and fabricated a metal plate to cover the hole. I would not advise leaving the old pump in place as one of these days the diaphragm will fail and you'll have oil everywhere.

Interesting discussion about trim -- Recoring the decks and approximately 25% of the house plus the smaller tanks raised the waterline four inches (Wet wood is very, very heavy) -- vessel handles exactly the same, just goes faster.

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Old 08-15-2012, 10:00 PM   #32
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"vessel handles exactly the same, just goes faster."

A fast Marine Trader. Now that's something to think about.....
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:53 PM   #33
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I have just repaired my fuel tank due to a minor leak. If I had to change tanks it would be a nightmare with the lifting of an engine.. I cut an access oval hole at the end where it was leaking big enough to work inside the tank. It was full of sludge which obviously has tobe cleaned out, then using a cleaning solution like thinners (beware of the fumes) sand blast 60/80 grit a good area around the leaking section and within 2hours cover with 105/205 west system epoxy use a thin coat to start to allow to enter into the small orifices caused by the corrosion, keep the area above 20C to allow to cure then rough over with 80 grit paper and re do but thicken the epoxy this time. Leave for around a week before putting in fuel to test not leaking. Have covers made to fit hole and secure. If your tank is not to badly corroded internally this should give you a few more years.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:25 PM   #34
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Interesting repair. What material is the tank made of?
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:29 AM   #35
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Hallo RT Firefly, the fuel tank is steel 8' long approx it was the forward end that leaked at the bottom, the repair was carried out up to the first baffle. On opening the tank it was found to be pitted only at the bottom and at the end only where water obviously had lay for some time even though the tank had been drained a few years ago and refilled, so it may have turned a bit acidic. Cannot complain though the tank is 33years old. I would not advise aluminium tanks, there are bladders that can be used. There are several options but to cut out the tank in situ would be a lot of work and to have smaller tanks made and butted together to give the same volume is also expensive.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:43 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Castrol View Post
I have just repaired my fuel tank due to a minor leak. If I had to change tanks it would be a nightmare with the lifting of an engine.. I cut an access oval hole at the end where it was leaking big enough to work inside the tank. It was full of sludge which obviously has tobe cleaned out, then using a cleaning solution like thinners (beware of the fumes) sand blast 60/80 grit a good area around the leaking section and within 2hours cover with 105/205 west system epoxy use a thin coat to start to allow to enter into the small orifices caused by the corrosion, keep the area above 20C to allow to cure then rough over with 80 grit paper and re do but thicken the epoxy this time. Leave for around a week before putting in fuel to test not leaking. Have covers made to fit hole and secure. If your tank is not to badly corroded internally this should give you a few more years.
Regards and good luck Castrol

Castrol,

Yours is an interesting way to fix a leaking tank, have you experience in doing this kind of fix before?, or have knowledge of it being done this way?. Do you plan to replace the tank in the future and are just using this fix as a band aid temp repair?. With the dissimilar properties of steel and epoxy and adding fuel to the equation I wonder how it will last. Most times when a steel tank is coated the entire tank is coated to form a tank within a tank. Please keep us informed as to the success of the fix.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:58 PM   #37
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I had one of my tanks fixed in a similar way. Only difference was that we used an aircraft fuel tank sealer on the inside. Been fine for 8 years or so now. I figure if it's good enough for the FAA, it's good enough for my boat.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:04 PM   #38
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I had one of my tanks fixed in a similar way. Only difference was that we used an aircraft fuel tank sealer on the inside. Been fine for 8 years or so now. I figure if it's good enough for the FAA, it's good enough for my boat.
Keith,
Did the tank get completely coated ( wing tank coatings normally coat the entire surface of the inside of the tank ). Also gas tanks are a lot cleaner
(like in aircraft or a hot rod for that matter ) than a 20+ year old boat diesel tank. It sounds like this fix was just a spot fix. If this is a long term fix it may solve issues for some of the old Taiwan trawlers that are prone to these problems.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:01 AM   #39
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Yes, pretty much up to the top. I'd post pix but I'm on a work computer now. They are here somewhere in an old thread. The guy that does it around here has done countless fuel tanks like this, as did his dad. The key of course is getting the tank perfectly clean. He gets everything out, cleans with what smelled like lacquer thinner, sanded to bright metal, washed with another solvent, dried then applied the coating. Not cheap at all, but easier than replacing entire tanks. You could do this yourself if you don't mind getting grungy and pay attention to fresh air/respirators. Those fumes are nasty!
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:11 AM   #40
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Leaks in Al tanks can be sealed similarly to Keith's description. I've seen it done on +2000 gallon Al tanks where welds started seeping. It you are selling your boat, the full disclosure issue arises - a different topic obviously.
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