Fuel tank Question
I was going by what the survyor said who did the buyer's survey on the boat in Alameda where we bought it. He said stainless was not approved by the ABYC and cited this on the survey, although he added the caveat that he'd seen many boats in the SFO area that had stainless tanks and most of them were holding up fine. This was in 1998 so perhaps this was the position of the ABYC at the time and they have since changed their position.
The surveyor told me stainless was not approved (at least not at the time)*for two basic reasons.* One, the quality of stainless can vary all over the map depending on who makes it.* Just because it's labeled "316" does not guarantee that it will have the desired properties, particuarly if the steel was made in Taiwan, China, etc.* Two, he explained how welding alters the property of stainless, and if not done correctly can lead to corrosion problems and leaks*developing along the weld lines.* He told us it was because of the variable nature of stainless construction that the ABYC did not consider stainless steel a satisfactory material to fabricate fuel tanks with.
In conversations with people I have met over the ensuing years in the marine engine and fuel tank fabrication business I have heard the same explanations as to why stainless is a less-than-ideal material to use for fuel tanks.* So based on this input I would not recommend stainless as a good fuel tank material even though our boat has it.* There are apparently*too many variables to be fully confident with it.
-- Edited by Marin on Monday 30th of November 2009 06:41:40 PM