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Old 09-16-2015, 08:02 PM   #1
City: Savannah
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 8
fuel tank 1983 marine trader

Whats the best way to replace a fuel tank that is on the opposite side of the engine. Do you take the engine out or is there a way to break the old tank down and rebuild internally? My husband talks about a bladder?

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Old 09-16-2015, 08:17 PM   #2
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City: Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 4,553
Forget the bladder idea. Google this issue and/or search this site and you'll find how others have delt with that issue.

In most cases the old tank is cut up and removed and a couple of smaller tanks that are plumbed together are installed one on top of the other in its place.

In rare occasions the engine is moved or removed or the sides or bottom of the boat is cut out to install a new tank.

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Old 09-16-2015, 08:19 PM   #3
City: Savannah
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 8
So, you don't necessarily have to remove the engine to do this? That's good to know! Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:34 PM   #4
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City: Merritt Island,Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Sue Marie
Vessel Model: Prarie 29
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 239
Recently had to replace a tank. We carefully pumped the old tank as dry as we could get it. Then we cut the old tank in several smaller sections and then removed the old tank, section at a time. Carefully measured and then re measured the replacement tank. Be sure you have looked at every possible angle in order for this tank to be installed. We were able to replace the old with a single smaller tank, that we could snake into the opening and fit in the proper place. We sacrificed 8 gallons od fuel , which for Sue Marie is a non issue. Before ordering the tank, we built a model to the measurements , just to be sure.

I agree with Capt. Bill , stay away from the Bladder. It took a little bit longer to do the model but well worth the reduction in stress. Our Prairie 29' was originally built with two 50 gallon fuel tanks, made out of Aluminum . We have now replaced both tanks with Aluminum, they each hold 42 gallons. We are happy and we did not have to remove the engine.

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Old 09-18-2015, 05:46 AM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 14,908
Being able to fit the new tank past obstructions is the key.

Although just lifting the engine and moving it over a few ft , not removing it is sometimes fairly simple.

You may have to cut out the old tank and create a mock up of the new one to maximize the size.

For many trawlers a couple of smaller , easy to install plastic tanks is ideal.

No metal tank problems and the ability to leave most of the tankage empty , between long cruises can save contamination hassles.

If you have the space be sure to purchase a fuel tank, not a box for fuel.

A fuel tank will have a sump that can be drained, ending water and bug problems forever.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:14 AM   #6
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City: Jacksonville Fla
Country: USA
Vessel Name: The Office
Vessel Model: Marine Trader
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 141
We had leaking tank on our 1986 Marine Trader and did not have $$$ to spend so we, well read the story @ TheOffice: September 2013

We did a lot of research into this project. We would have replaced the tanks Grand Banks style by cutting the side out of the boat estimated at $7-8000. or removing the tanks piece by piece and replacing with smaller tanks. Too much labor! Estimate by yard at $5-6000. Our cost was below $1200. for all three tanks. 400 gallons. HTH S

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