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Old 03-08-2016, 06:38 AM   #21
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Steel tanks still make the best replacement , and are still Std on the high end Euro boats.

Fix the deck leaks , and you wont have to touch the tanks.
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:18 AM   #22
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Greetings,
Mr. 44. Rather, I think it is much truer to say water leaks "...are the number one major problem on older boats, Taiwanese or otherwise." Sometimes, more often than not, steel fuel tanks just happen to be in the line of fire.
Yep. It would seem that some here are in denial and blame their steel fuel tank's woes on the material used rather than following the basics as oft mentioned on this thread. It starts with boat fuel tank related construction techniques and design and all too often goes downhill from there ------------
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:01 AM   #23
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Greetings,
Mr. t. I think it's safe to say that the greater number of fuel tanks rust out from the top due to deck leaks which is most probably fresh water (rain/wash downs).

...or from standing water between the tank and the stringer. According to the PO, this what happened on our boat. Failed welds from vibration, perhaps contributes to the problem.


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Old 03-08-2016, 11:14 AM   #24
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I would add that any new metal tanks, any reconditioned tanks going in that it is VERY cheap insurance to cover with light grade glass cloth and a couple of coats of epoxy. Be sure all screws securing wood or whatever material securing the tanks are well counter sunk and sealed.

I pulled my 110 (2) tanks from my Mainship 34 Mk 1 and everywhere there was a screw securing the bunk there were pits in the Aluminum, none were touching metal to metal. The humidity let the wood conduct just enough I guess.

I sanded and sealed the tanks sanded and sealed the bunks with glass-resin then 5200 the tanks in place, with accessible access holes to each baffled (3 each) for future clean out.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:38 PM   #25
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I know the average life expectancy of a steel fuel tank in a saltwater environment is approximately 20 years. Does the same hold true for a freshwater trawler?
Please don't tell my 32 year old tanks this!

Seems that it is all up to the install and keeping them dry as many have mentioned above. My survey ten years ago showed them to be healthy and no issues. The tanks on my Ocean Alexander are wrapped in insulation which I imagine cuts down on condensation.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:25 PM   #26
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I would add that any new metal tanks, any reconditioned tanks going in that it is VERY cheap insurance to cover with light grade glass cloth and a couple of coats of epoxy. Be sure all screws securing wood or whatever material securing the tanks are well counter sunk and sealed.

I pulled my 110 (2) tanks from my Mainship 34 Mk 1 and everywhere there was a screw securing the bunk there were pits in the Aluminum, none were touching metal to metal. The humidity let the wood conduct just enough I guess.

I sanded and sealed the tanks sanded and sealed the bunks with glass-resin then 5200 the tanks in place, with accessible access holes to each baffled (3 each) for future clean out.

There is no way I would coat properly painted metal tanks with glass cloth. To much chance of the tank flexing and the glass cracking and/or pulling away from the metal. Then moisture could get in in between the glass and metal.

I'd much rather that they were properly painted and left with air space around them.
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:10 PM   #27
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There is no way I would coat properly painted metal tanks with glass cloth. To much chance of the tank flexing and the glass cracking and/or pulling away from the metal. Then moisture could get in in between the glass and metal.

I'd much rather that they were properly painted and left with air space around them.
especially if the epoxy lifts the paint off...could turn into a mess...
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:24 PM   #28
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1. I sold the boat, so test results will not be known. 2. The cloth was the lightest out there. 3. They were bare unpainted aluminum. Guess we will never know.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:50 PM   #29
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Good for you Mule cause the new owner is gonna have to pay . I would think it very obvious that stainless (or worse bronze) screws into wood bunks that the tank rests on would be problematic. Glue down some rubber strips, its really is that simple.. Also rubber between the tie down straps and the tank, glued with 5200 to the straps, again super simple. And the inspection of steel fuel tanks wrapped with insulation would be a problem for me. How can you know,,, until they puke there contents into the bilge. False sence of security.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:17 AM   #30
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Well, if I did wrong I had no reason to believe it at the time. I have no idea where the boat is. I, at the time had planned on keeping it. There was seeping fuel through one of the pits caused by electrolysis. Lastly, just because you said I did wrong, does that necessarily make it so. The manufacturer certainly did not engineer the bunk system right, I did the best I could. So your implication I smugly handed off a problem to a future owner intentionally is certainly offensive and not factual. I did what I thought was right at the time.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:35 AM   #31
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Probably still good to this day.With my luck the guy would be calling me a month after the sale. I have seen the "screw corrosion" thing you mentioned a few times, Even well sunk screws are a problem if the tank supports get wet. Another one of those things where you say "who'da thunk it ?".
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:49 AM   #32
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I used a pedditt product called Splash of epoxy putty to seal all the pits after wire brushing, acid wash, acetone wash. Smarter people than I advised this. Then epoxy on the tanks.. I wonder if there is a semi flexable, paint on product to coat tanks with?

Seems there may be 2 ways to go. Ventilation or encapsulation. If no moisture or oxygen gets to the metal then no corrosion. I will never know, but I have been told (rightly or wrongly) that manufacturers are now coating their tanks as I did.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:13 AM   #33
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Greetings,
Mr. M. I think POR15 makes a 1 part fuel tank coating. As to it's flexibility...I have no idea but POR15 has GREAT products.
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:52 AM   #34
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Thanks, hopefully I will never have to need it.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:09 PM   #35
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My black iron tanks did'nt last 40years. I pulled them out ten years ago and replaced w new aluminum. My water in tanks is almost non- existant because I pump a quart or so out of each tank every two months or so. I bend a 1/8th" copper tube to get to the lowest corner of each tank. I pour the fuel back in and the wTer out. Most all the time there's only 2 or so very small bubbles of water. I'm almost always supprised how little water is in there.

This is a reminder. I'm overdue for the little pumping session.
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