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Old 12-03-2012, 02:06 PM   #21
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especially if you only shop at marine stores for marine stuff....

but even then I know that isn't true as I bought stuff at Ross Marine just South of Charleston when I had my boat stored there and worked on it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:00 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by captrigney View Post
How does a day tank break? Perhaps it had a glass sight tube?
Perhaps it did. Everyone that's ever discussed using sight tubes on a boat swears they only open the valves while checking fuel level then close them. IF that's true, they would never be capable of spilling more than a half cup of fuel, if not true they can drain the tank. Perhaps closing sight tube valves was not part of this engineers SOP?

I do not normally close valves to sight tubes myself, but I'm also not using them within the confines of an enclosed boat hull. I've only witnessed one failure in 20 years and that was impact related to human error...(mine)
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:14 PM   #23
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Our sight tubes are closed other than when checking levels, SOP, I swear by it, really. They are teed into the outlet and return line so the only time you can get an accurate reading is when the engine is off so it's easy to remember when engine room/fluid level checks are performed.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:19 PM   #24
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Gimme a break...vinyl or PVC doesn't "dissolve" but it does harden with age. Long before any sever issues arise, the tubing will be replaced due to discoloration or I will be replacing my tanks in the next few years.

The real joke is the tubes are secured by shutoff vale. The only time they could leak more than a few ounces of fuel is when checking the fuel quantity and I'm staring at them.

Some of you guys got to get out more into the real world and see what is being used on boats all over the place. Not everyone shops down the street at West marine every weekend...
Maybe i should hyave used the word fail in stead of dissolve.
So if the tube leaks then their is an automatic shut off valve that seal off the site glass? I've never seen that, all i have seen are simply a tube connected to the tank with maybe a manual valve. My experiance is with large tanks and fuel is always in the glass registering the level in the tank.
Now i am not a chemical engineer but was involved in testing of different types styles of portable fuel tanks for CARB. When i asked our chemical engineers why it was necessary to include specific requirments as to the type of plastics used in the construction of hoses nozzles tanks, they looked at me like i was an idiot, repling, "don't you realize that most plastics are made from petrochemicals and as such may be prone to failure when used to contain petrochemicals or fuels? That plastics must be formulated for the purpose for which they are intended and only plastics certified for fuel use may be used for fuels." We did have issues with five gallon water jugs people were buying for gasoline when the new cans hit the market with the no drip or spill nozzles. People were buying them to use for fuel because they cost $5 and the new cans for fuel at that time cost around $20. Same can as far as shape size just different spout. The water jugs were not required to have the no spill drip spouts like the fuel cans were.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:40 PM   #25
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Maybe i should hyave used the word fail in stead of dissolve.
So if the tube leaks then their is an automatic shut off valve that seal off the site glass? I've never seen that, all i have seen are simply a tube connected to the tank with maybe a manual valve. My experiance is with large tanks and fuel is always in the glass registering the level in the tank.
Now i am not a chemical engineer but was involved in testing of different types styles of portable fuel tanks for CARB. When i asked our chemical engineers why it was necessary to include specific requirments as to the type of plastics used in the construction of hoses nozzles tanks, they looked at me like i was an idiot, repling, "don't you realize that most plastics are made from petrochemicals and as such may be prone to failure when used to contain petrochemicals or fuels? That plastics must be formulated for the purpose for which they are intended and only plastics certified for fuel use may be used for fuels." We did have issues with five gallon water jugs people were buying for gasoline when the new cans hit the market with the no drip or spill nozzles. People were buying them to use for fuel because they cost $5 and the new cans for fuel at that time cost around $20. Same can as far as shape size just different spout. The water jugs were not required to have the no spill drip spouts like the fuel cans were.
Manual shutoff....how complicated can some of you guys make this?

I just deleted a long answer about chemical engineering, vinyl tubing and the realities of keeping life simple...

So in short...read my first sentence...:whistlin g:
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:01 PM   #26
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Manual shutoff....how complicated can some of you guys make this?

I just deleted a long answer about chemical engineering, vinyl tubing and the realities of keeping life simple...

So in short...read my first sentence...:whistlin g:
use walmart tubing if u like to save a buck. My intent was simply to point out the many diferent plastics each designed for a specific purpose and improper choice for the application can pose potential hazard.
Is your life not worth the extra 50 cents?
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:09 PM   #27
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Since Boaters World closed, WM is the only game in my town.
There are a few others. Defender and Hamilton Marine are the first two to come to mind. Defender has a good website, reasonable prices and fast shipment.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:21 PM   #28
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There are a few others. Defender and Hamilton Marine are the first two to come to mind. Defender has a good website, reasonable prices and fast shipment.
Apparently I wasn't clear. West Marine is the only local boating retailer left in my town (and many others). Of course there are many Internet vendors. I use defender's prices to get West Marine to price match. I have an account at defender and buy stuff from them that is not available locally.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:26 PM   #29
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Apparently I wasn't clear. West Marine is the only local boating retailer left in my town (and many others). Of course there are many Internet vendors. I use defender's prices to get West Marine to price match. I have an account at defender and buy stuff from them that is not available locally.
Plus local marinas that sell stuff or can order it.....
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:27 AM   #30
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Sort of back on topic. Here is the gauge I made for my Albin-36. Because of the shape of the tank, it makes it easy to see what’s left or how much is needed to fill. Multiply by 2 for total tankage.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:51 AM   #31
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This chart will tell you what type of tubing is compatible with diesel fuel or other liquids"

McMaster-Carr

It seems that at a dollar or two per foot, tubing rated for diesel fuel would be worth the extra expense over water tubing from the home center.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:33 PM   #32
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When at the home center buying other "non-marine" parts for my boat...picking up a few feet of ANY vinyl tubing that works great for 5-10 years and DOESN'T endanger my boat seems like the thing to do....no shipping time or charges...

....but that just me... ...with my thousands of hours of professional water time...but I know that's meaningless to many here....

If I must...lets start a poll on how many here have lost their boats to cheap vinyl tubing used as sight gauges...
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:35 PM   #33
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We've had the boat 14+ years and the tanks and gauges were installed the year before we bought the boat. So the sight tubes are some 15+ years old now. They are by no means clear as a bell. They have discolored over the years. But it is still easy to read the level of the fuel in the tube.

Each tube has a manual lever valve at its base that we keep closed except momentarily when we check the levels in the tanks. There should be valves at the tops of the tubes, too, but for whatever reason the tank installer omitted them. Not a good idea but I haven't been motivated enough yet to install upper valves, especially since once the fuel level in the tank is below the upper sight tube connection an upper valve plays no role.

I've not been able to find any brand name on the tubing so I have no idea if it's run-of-the-mill plastic tubing or "marine" fuel tubing. But if the sight tubes are valved and kept closed off except when taking a measurement and if the tubing is compatible with diesel fuel I see nothing wrong with using inexpensive "run-of-the-mill" tubing for a sight tube.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:09 PM   #34
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And it helps to be aware that the bottom valve needs to be opened to get a read on how much fuel is left. An aquintance with his first ever Grand Banks did not realize there was a valve on the sight glass and even mentioned to his wife that the boat didn't seem to use much fuel, that was just before his engines quit as he ran out of fuel.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:43 AM   #35
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Depending on the boat , the simple dip stick, , a piece of old water hose can sometimes be slid GENTLY!!! to the tank bottom.

The depth of fuel in the tank will easily show on the plastic.

It will be a job to calibrate it while refueling, , Add 10 gal , measure , repeat till full.

But once done , and written in the log , nothing is simpler.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:08 AM   #36
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Depending on the boat , the simple dip stick, , a piece of old water hose can sometimes be slid GENTLY!!! to the tank bottom.

The depth of fuel in the tank will easily show on the plastic.

It will be a job to calibrate it while refueling, , Add 10 gal , measure , repeat till full.

But once done , and written in the log , nothing is simpler.
I thought of that and tried it, but my fuel fill hoses have an "S" bend that makes it impossible to do. My tanks are rectangular so calculations would be simple but I can't "stick" the tanks and have no sight tubes.

Each boat is different (except for the ones that are the same).
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:57 PM   #37
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When at the home center buying other "non-marine" parts for my boat...picking up a few feet of ANY vinyl tubing that works great for 5-10 years and DOESN'T endanger my boat seems like the thing to do....no shipping time or charges...

....but that just me... ...with my thousands of hours of professional water time...but I know that's meaningless to many here....

If I must...lets start a poll on how many here have lost their boats to cheap vinyl tubing used as sight gauges...
Your poll won't work as most of the unlucky ones are likely no longer with us to vote. ......I for one without your experiance would rather be safe than sorry and would rather not play russian roulette.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #38
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This chart will tell you what type of tubing is compatible with diesel fuel or other liquids"

McMaster-Carr

It seems that at a dollar or two per foot, tubing rated for diesel fuel would be worth the extra expense over water tubing from the home center.
cheap insurance to use the correct part for the job. Thanks for the link, I never thought of mcmasters carr i always end up at grainger
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:25 PM   #39
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Depending on the boat , the simple dip stick, , a piece of old water hose can sometimes be slid GENTLY!!! to the tank bottom.

The depth of fuel in the tank will easily show on the plastic.

It will be a job to calibrate it while refueling, , Add 10 gal , measure , repeat till full.

But once done , and written in the log , nothing is simpler.
But not convenient!

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Old 12-05-2012, 10:58 PM   #40
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But not convenient!
and the dipstick is a potential source of dirt and other contamination of your fuel

Hey, that tug is gettin way too fancy.......
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