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Old 09-11-2018, 06:07 PM   #1
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DeFever 49 RPH Fuel and water tanks

I'm in the market for a DeFever 49 RPH. I have found an opportunity for a 1988 that I can buy and do a refit. My broker has warned me that a boat this old with fiberglass encased iron tanks will eventually fail.
How common is this type of failure? And how hard is it to cut out the old tanks and replace them?
thanks in advance
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:09 PM   #2
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More and more people now days are choosing to have the tanks repaired as the process gets better and better. Most rust problems will most likely be caused by water leaking down the fuel fill in the deck. But on these boats that area of the fuel tanks can easily be seen on each of the four tanks.

I don't think the water tank on that boat is iron ( mine is stainless and is a 1988), it is located in the forward area of the boat under the floor of the master state room.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:50 AM   #3
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Our DeFever's steel fuel tanks have perfect visibility of the top. Provided you can see that the tank tops are bone dry and the bilge area likewise, the vessel may be OK.

That said, old water laden fuel can attack from the inside. Low hours on an old boat are not a positive. The fuel needs to be turned over, minimally once per year which is not easy on a large tankage vessel. Bore scope through the deck fills can help, but not perfect.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:21 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses, so when you say repair, are they just cutting out the damaged area and welding in new steel?
Is tank replacement possible without major modifications for access? I’ll be looking at this boat next weekend.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:22 AM   #5
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Again, look at the tank tops and other tank areas very carefully. Also, does the vessel have leak prone screwed down teak decks. Are the bilges bone dry. If not, where did the water come from?

Me? I'd never buy a big boat knowing a tank job was required. BTW, your broker is incorrect, there are many steel tanked older vessels that are just fine. Don't get scared off because his commission may be split, just be super observant.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:00 AM   #6
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Now days they are repairing the tanks by thoroughly cleaning them out and then coating them with a special epoxy that can withstand fuel. If the boat does not have access holes already cut into them, they will cut them in. It will usually require more than one access. That Defever probably already has them. I believe this has been talked about here many times in the past. Just do a search for fuel tank repairs or Google it. There are companies that are all set up to this kind of work.
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