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Old 09-10-2019, 03:41 PM   #1
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Survey note, aft fuel tank not used, status unknown

Looking at my 3rd 48 Californian MY, this one the current owner and PO, did not use the aft tank. Should I consider this a red flag? Is this something I should negotiate over? Its seem this would be important. Isn't balancing the fuel and issue? I plan on running this boat up and down the East Coast.

On my cat it wasn't a big issue to remove the tanks and clean it them. On these motor yacht's is tank cleaning a big issue?. I have my own external fuel polisher with Racor filters and I've always pump fuel from can's into my tanks thru this process. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do that on this motor yacht as the volume of fuel is much greater. I've always been rather anal about fuel going in my boats.

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Old 09-10-2019, 03:48 PM   #2
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Was the tank left empty or does it contain decades old fuel ?
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:21 PM   #3
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No sure, fuel gauge reads empty, but I'm guessing some/little old fuel, no one seems to know, and it's been that way for atleast 2 1/2 + years, probably more like 5-7 years. So anything in there can't be good.

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Old 09-10-2019, 04:24 PM   #4
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Can you get a camera down to take a look?
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Brockerts View Post
Looking at my 3rd 48 Californian MY, this one the current owner and PO, did not use the aft tank. Should I consider this a red flag? Is this something I should negotiate over? Its seem this would be important. Isn't balancing the fuel and issue? I plan on running this boat up and down the East Coast.

I would consider the aft tank to be non-funtional until proven otherwise. A 48 Californian MY with a non-functional tank is worth less than the same boat with all tanks functional. If you made the offer on the boat before finding out the unknown status of the aft fuel tank, then I would renegotiate to have them get the tank in good shape, or lower the purchase price to reflect replacing the tank.


If you knew about the tank issue when you made the offer, then it is just a matter of deciding how much you want to invest in cleaning/replacing that tank.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:43 PM   #6
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When we bought our DeFever 44 the aft tank was decommissioned. No matter because the rwo saddle tanks carry more than 700 gallons. After purchase we had it removed as it was rusted badly. When the top was cut away about four inches of "mud" was found. That mud I think was the dead bodies of fuel bugs. We absolutely do not miss having the aft tank as with have plenty of capacity remaining. Plus, why drag around another 2,000 pounds of fuel to go where.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:57 PM   #7
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How hard is it to access the unused tank? Can you get it out and a new one in? What capacity is there without the tank? If you like the boat negotiate the price with having the tank replaced. Then enjoy the boat.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:15 PM   #8
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I had a quick survey of a few hours before I decided to even haulout and have full survey. I've chased to many boats at this time not to do a prelim survey. I'm doing a full survey next week and will get a camera down there or atleast find out more about the status of the tank.

Thanks for the info.

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Old 09-10-2019, 08:32 PM   #9
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Somebody is not telling someone everything.
The only reason I would close off a tank would be a leak. Borescope would be a start but baffles might prevent a complete view. If there are inspection plates I would insist on removing them as part of survey. There is always going to be a certain amount of unreachable fuel. If the bottom of the tank is an inch of black gunk I would get a quote for replacement.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:48 PM   #10
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I would just proceed on the assumption that the fuel tank is bad and ask for an appropriate price reduction.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:11 PM   #11
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The best way to tell if the tank is bad is just cap off the inlets and outlets. Run an air line to one inlet and pump 2 to 3 psi air to the tank. If the pressure drops significantly over an hour, then you got a leak. This will find any pinhole leak that a scope will not see.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:50 PM   #12
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It may also force out any diesel that might be left in the tank.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:17 PM   #13
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Isn`t the obvious step 1 asking the PO why he doesn`t use the tank? He might lie,he might not. Then confirm it somehow. If he lies, reconsider any other PO representations you relied on.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:32 AM   #14
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Could just be the outlet is partially plugged , passes enough for a noisemaker , but not a larger engine.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:57 AM   #15
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I would consider the aft tank to be non-funtional until proven otherwise.
This ^^^^^
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:02 AM   #16
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Everyone is assuming that there is something wrong with the tank. An unused tank does not necessarily mean problems. Many boats have too much tankage for how the owner uses the boat. If it was my boat I too would have left the tank empty, after cleaning it.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:30 AM   #17
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Everyone is assuming that there is something wrong with the tank. An unused tank does not necessarily mean problems. Many boats have too much tankage for how the owner uses the boat. If it was my boat I too would have left the tank empty, after cleaning it.
I probably wouldn't use it either. I would likely convert that space to fresh water.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:12 AM   #18
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The PO didn’t use our aft tank for reasons he never specified. For some, it might simply be the notion of sleeping over a fuel tank.

We had it inspected—it was immaculate and not leaking—and now use it as a day tank. Of our three tanks, it’s by far the easiest to access and view. An onboard “polisher” very likely won’t clean a fouled tank, but you won’t know it needs it until you look. Some don’t have a need for an aft tank, but I’d make any offer contingent on proof that the aft tank is functional.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:21 AM   #19
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I wouldn't immediately assume there is is an issue.

What is the total fuel capacity of all tanks?
What is the cruising burn rate?

I carry 300 gallons (2 x 150) and we both work full time. We live in New England and have, effectively, a 5 month season. The tanks are balanced port and Stbd and must contain the same amount of fuel, otherwise, the boat will list. I struggle to find ways to burn the entire seasons worth of fuel.

If I could isolate one tank and not introduce a list, I would.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:47 AM   #20
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Everyone is assuming that there is something wrong with the tank. An unused tank does not necessarily mean problems. Many boats have too much tankage for how the owner uses the boat. If it was my boat I too would have left the tank empty, after cleaning it.
That was the situation with our Jefferson, too. The saddle tanks hold 600 gallons, combined. The aft tanks (in the lazarette) hold a combined 135 gallons. The PO never used the aft tanks. The main tanks have about 1000 mile range, even with reserve. Still, I'm thinking about cleaning them and putting them back into service.
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