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Old 09-12-2018, 03:52 AM   #1
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Bladder or smaller poly tanks?

So one of the fuel tanks on my C&L 37 looks like swiss cheese around the fill neck and generally has a lot of rust on the top.
No one seems to think repairing this tank is worthwhile.
I just drained and pulled the inspection port off and in the interior I found 2 baffles and it looked pretty good overall.
This boat has 2 engines and replacing the tank would definitely require removing an engine, if not both and the generator.
I could probably get a few 40ish gallon poly tanks in there maybe with just moving the generator a bit... or I could cut cut the baffles out and put a bladder in.
The current tank is about 150 gallons.
Let me know if yall have any advice or ideas!
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:56 AM   #2
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I'll try to post pictures of the engine room when I find them or get home and take more... but it's got 2 Ford Lehman's and the generator in a quiet box at the front of the engine room.
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:09 AM   #3
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These pictures are just to give an idea as to how tight the ER is and I was taking them for something unrelated. The fuel tanks are outside of the engines.
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:13 AM   #4
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Before you go with a bladder determine what effect a bladder will have on your resale price.

If I were in the market for a boat with a bladder I would reduce my offering price by more than the cost of the tank replacement as both a fudge factor and compensation for my hassle.

Replacing a 150 gallon tank with two or three smaller tanks would probably cost less than the potential reduction in the resale price as buyers tend to estimate the costs higher than they would be.
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:52 AM   #5
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Since the tank seems fine below,

It sure looks like there is room to get a wire brush or small grinder to the top of the tank.

I would seal the deck above that is probably the cause of the rust & rot , and simply lay up about 1/4 inch of epoxy and CSM .Lap it over the tank walls about 2 inches to stiffen the tank.

Unless you are in rather extreme conditions the top of the tank is seldom under load , so a good sound repair should be possible.
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:56 AM   #6
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Before you go with a bladder determine what effect a bladder will have on your resale price.

If I were in the market for a boat with a bladder I would reduce my offering price by more than the cost of the tank replacement as both a fudge factor and compensation for my hassle.

Replacing a 150 gallon tank with two or three smaller tanks would probably cost less than the potential reduction in the resale price as buyers tend to estimate the costs higher than they would be.
Sooo you're basically saying poly tanks are much better for resale value.
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:59 AM   #7
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Since the tank seems fine below,

It sure looks like there is room to get a wire brush or small grinder to the top of the tank.

I would seal the deck above that is probably the cause of the rust & rot , and simply lay up about 1/4 inch of epoxy and CSM .Lap it over the tank walls about 2 inches to stiffen the tank.

Unless you are in rather extreme conditions the top of the tank is seldom under load , so a good sound repair should be possible.
Yes the seal around the filler neck is the issue...
The outside of the top of the tank is pretty bad is terms of rust, I'm not sure that would be a long term fix. If yall know someone in the Houston are who might be interested in fixing these tanks or ar least taking a look at them before I cut them out let me know!
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:06 AM   #8
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These are a couple of screen shots from a video I made sticking my cell phone into the inspection port.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:03 AM   #9
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Cut the hull side open and take that whole thing out intact, no cutting it up. Get a poly tank of the right size, put it through the open hull side and rest it temporarily on far side of ER. Make good the hull side and then install the new poly tank. Fast, which means time and labor effective. Use a 1st class 'glass guy and you will lose no strength and the hull repair will be invisible. You will get a lift in boat value instead of the mark down that a bladder would bring.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:35 AM   #10
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Cut the hull side open and take that whole thing out intact, no cutting it up. Get a poly tank of the right size, put it through the open hull side and rest it temporarily on far side of ER. Make good the hull side and then install the new poly tank. Fast, which means time and labor effective. Use a 1st class 'glass guy and you will lose no strength and the hull repair will be invisible. You will get a lift in boat value instead of the mark down that a bladder would bring.
I briefly thought of that.... but the inside of the hull would be impossible to access to properly glass it back together.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:52 AM   #11
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I would determine how difficult it would be to remove both engines and the generator. While ir can seem like a huge task, I would think it's only a couple of days to pull them and a little more to reinstall. The main issue is lifting them and removing them from the boat. If that's a reasonable task, I would plan an engine room refit, replacing both tanks with aluminum. IMO, the total cost would likely be about the same as what you will lose on resale if you do a bandaid repair or put in a bladder.

Before going further, I would drain and inspect the other tank.

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Old 09-12-2018, 08:02 AM   #12
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I would determine how difficult it would be to remove both engines and the generator. While ir can seem like a huge task, I would think it's only a couple of days to pull them and a little more to reinstall. The main issue is lifting them and removing them from the boat. If that's a reasonable task, I would plan an engine room refit, replacing both tanks with aluminum. IMO, the total cost would likely be about the same as what you will lose on resale if you do a bandaid repair or put in a bladder.

Before going further, I would drain and inspect the other tank.

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The other tank holds air but had rust on the top for sure.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:40 AM   #13
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I briefly thought of that.... but the inside of the hull would be impossible to access to properly glass it back together.
Why? The new poly tank is out of the way, disconnected on other side .of ER on top of other engine. With the old tank gone there's room beside the relevant engine and the hull side to do a proper repair. The new poly tank is installed only after the hull side is reinstated.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:47 AM   #14
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plus ....


I am pretty sure the glasswork can be done from the outside after the tank is reinstalled...from seeing photos and reading about this procedure.


My guess in this case its easier and cheaper "to pull the engine" route.


One yard that specialized in Grand Banks drops them through the bottom of the boat so the finish work is less and saves a ton of money.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:48 AM   #15
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"


"Cut the hull side open and take that whole thing out intact, no cutting it up."

This works great in a well skilled yard with a METAL boat.Steel, or aluminum .

It is death to a GRP boat , although folks have done it.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:58 AM   #16
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I have seen vessels with new fill necks welded on a say 1ft square plate and then that plate bolted on the top of tank in place of "swiss cheese" old fill.

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Old 09-12-2018, 09:14 AM   #17
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...I could probably get a few 40ish gallon poly tanks in there maybe with just moving the generator a bit...

I'm pretty sure you already know this, but to be on the safe side...The poly tanks made to hold water and waste cannot be used to hold fuel because they're made using LINEAR poly that soaks up petroleum products. Fuel tanks must be made from CROSS-LINKED poly and must also be USCG certified that they meet certain standards...no horizontal surface on which liquid can pool, specific types of fittings and fitting locations among others.


Just thought this worth mentioning...


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Old 09-12-2018, 09:24 AM   #18
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...My guess in this case its easier and cheaper "to pull the engine" route...
That would be my guess also. When we replaced our tanks we had to pull the engine and running gear. Granted we had a single but it went faster than I thought it would. It took one hour to disconnect the engine and get it ready to pull and 1.5 hours to get it out. It took about 4 hours to reinstall including the hook ups. The only problem is project creep. It’s easy to say, while the engines out lets repaint, replace this or that, etc. You get the idea but you would have great access for the job and when you get done, the boat will be worth more and easier to sell. Good luck with what you decide.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:43 AM   #19
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And that's for tank replacements of the same size.

If willing to go smaller tanks, the steel tanks might be cut up in place then the engines just moved slightly to get smaller poly tanks in.

Whole operation lift in, lift out could be done in a day possibly if someone was good at measuring and getting things ready.

Still a lot of work, but much now is diy and by only partly skilled labor.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:49 AM   #20
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And that's for tank replacements of the same size.

If willing to go smaller tanks, the steel tanks might be cut up in place then the engines just moved slightly to get smaller poly tanks in.

Whole operation lift in, lift out could be done in a day possibly if someone was good at measuring and getting things ready.

Still a lot of work, but much now is dry and by only partly skilled labor.
Yes, smaller poly tanks are what I had in mind while avoiding engines removal.
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