View Poll Results: Which material is best for replacement fuel tanks? (Material cost in parentheses)
Poly ($1500) 13 23.64%
Black Steel ($2500) 8 14.55%
Aluminum ($4500) 16 29.09%
Stainless Steel ($5500) 4 7.27%
Other 14 25.45%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-18-2015, 10:58 PM   #41
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Not sure if this is what you mean, but SeaBuilt has no O-ring. I had 2 SeaBuilt inspection plates professionally installed. They have nitrile (or similar) seals, not O rings.

Here's an image from their website:



Here's my installation:







Who the heck is Beckson????
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:47 AM   #42
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Some more insight from an interesting article...

Quote:
Stainless Steel
My article “Tanks: Fuel, Water, and Holding” in the June ’01 issue of PMM included a discussion on fuel tank materials. At that time, stainless steel had not been approved by ABYC for use as a diesel fuel tank material, other than in 20-gallon cylindrical designs with domed heads (an impractical design at best). I’m pleased to report that the guidelines changed when the diesel fuel system standard was reissued in 2005. Now, stainless steel may be used for fuel tanks, provided the metal meets all other relevant ABYC requirements, essentially those outlined earlier for other metallic tank materials. Stainless steel, if used for fuel tank construction, must be of the 316L or 317L alloy variety and a minimum of 0.0747 inch thick.
As most cruisers know, stainless steel is an exceptionally durable, long-lived material. Provided it’s properly designed and constructed and the correct stock material is used, a stainless fuel tank will serve you well. Stainless steel that is exposed to wet, oxygen-depleted environments will sometimes suffer from a phenomenon known as crevice corrosion. Much like aluminum, stainless steel must be exposed to a fresh supply of oxygen in order to remain corrosion free. If starved for oxygen while wet, pits or crevices will begin to appear on the metal’s surface. Once these materialize, the process accelerates as the pits form small galvanic cells. The key to enabling a stainless-steel tank to live a long life is keeping it dry (on the outside) and exposing it to circulating air.
Finally, the “L” suffix after the alloy designation refers to its low carbon content, a prerequisite for any stainless steel that is to be welded. If stainless steel that is welded is not low carbon, weld decay (also called “carbide precipitation”) will occur: a narrow boundary on either side of the weld will be become susceptible to corrosion in much the same fashion as ordinary steel.
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:48 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by what_barnacles View Post
Some more insight from an interesting article...

Good article. Jim a old salt retired commercial captain, now the owner of a sister RW58, and I had a discussion about replacing repair our 37 year old 400 gallon tanks. Our first choice would be multiple smaller tanks as we both have not filled either of our three 400 gal tanks. Plastic, poly would be our first choice as they are light, easier to handle, not have the concern mettle tanks would and last a long time.

Mild steel is the second, as they have lasted 37 year's and do not have the inherent concerns other metals do, and being old school. Also there are thousands of tanks older than ours still being used. The company I work for had 70+ year old tanks?

There is an old saying, a happy tank is a used tank.
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:58 AM   #44
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I chose 3/16 aluminum for a replacement of the old steel tanks in the Grand Banks. After removing the old tanks, I built mock tanks from rigid foam to be sure that all would fit through through the doors and down into the bilge. Worked great. Aluminum was light enough to easily handle and with the help of a buddy, slipped right into place. They're smaller than the originals but with three, there's still enough capacity for me.
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Old 12-20-2015, 07:31 AM   #45
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Fiberglass would worry me as the Gov is mandating bio trash be added to truck fuel, and the same tanker fills the marina as the truck stop. B-10 , now B 15.

When bio junk ( Ethanol) was forced into gasoline many boats had their fuel tank come apart inside.

The jets in a car are far larger than the diesel injectors , and fuel filters may pass particles 5x-10X larger than their rating.
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:12 AM   #46
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the same tanker fills the marina as the truck stop.
Well that's one low grade marina whatever it is. Every fuel dock I have ever used dispenses off-road diesel, with no ethanol whatsoever. Likewise it is easy to find non-ethanol gasoline in most major boating areas.
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:46 AM   #47
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"Well that's one low grade marina whatever it is. Every fuel dock I have ever used dispenses off-road diesel, with no ethanol whatsoever." That may be correct today, but,,,,

Have you checked with the fuel delivery truck weather that red died "off road fuel" is not just home heating oil , run perhaps thru a filter to remove extra sludge and water?

When delivered to areas where less than full truck lots are the delivery norm , this is not uncommon.

Caviat Emptor!

The "best" fuel is usually at the commercial docks , but that 2 or 2 1/2 inch delivery nozzle deters some folks.
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:57 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by FF View Post

The "best" fuel is usually at the commercial docks , but that 2 or 2 1/2 inch delivery nozzle deters some folks.
The safest fuel remains at the highest volume marinas which definitely includes the commercial docks.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:20 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Fiberglass would worry me as the Gov is mandating bio trash be added to truck fuel, and the same tanker fills the marina as the truck stop. B-10 , now B 15.

When bio junk ( Ethanol) was forced into gasoline many boats had their fuel tank come apart inside.

The jets in a car are far larger than the diesel injectors , and fuel filters may pass particles 5x-10X larger than their rating.
Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Well that's one low grade marina whatever it is. Every fuel dock I have ever used dispenses off-road diesel, with no ethanol whatsoever. Likewise it is easy to find non-ethanol gasoline in most major boating areas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
"Well that's one low grade marina whatever it is. Every fuel dock I have ever used dispenses off-road diesel, with no ethanol whatsoever." That may be correct today, but,,,,

Have you checked with the fuel delivery truck weather that red died "off road fuel" is not just home heating oil , run perhaps thru a filter to remove extra sludge and water?

When delivered to areas where less than full truck lots are the delivery norm , this is not uncommon.

Caviat Emptor!

The "best" fuel is usually at the commercial docks , but that 2 or 2 1/2 inch delivery nozzle deters some folks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
The safest fuel remains at the highest volume marinas which definitely includes the commercial docks.
Let's stick to fuel TANKS. Please feel free to debate the quality of various fuels in a dedicated thread.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:24 AM   #50
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"Let's stick to fuel TANKS. Please feel free to debate the quality of various fuels in a dedicated thread."

The quality of the build of the fuel tank will decide ,if when next filling they accidentally use a water hose , or you get really crap fuel ,, weather its merely a hassle or almost a disaster!

A bailing sump is the difference .

"Perfect" fuel every time , no problems.

Real world,, the tanks abilities should match the fuel being delivered.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:12 AM   #51
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I voted aluminum, as my 1981 vintage tanks are doing just fine.

But more importantly is the grade of any chosen material (if welded, the filler metal, too) and the quality of the fabrication (welding procedures).
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Old 12-27-2015, 10:04 PM   #52
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Went with aircraft alloy alum alloy thirty second greater than required thickness pressure tested to spec. Used USCg snd ACBS info and application info for guidance.
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Old 12-27-2015, 10:21 PM   #53
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I have stainless-steel fuel tanks. Nevertheless, I don't know which material is best, so did not vote.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:10 AM   #54
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I'm not a fan of aluminum, I've had two fail because of corrosion. Frp is the best for diesel. Cross link poly is my next choice. Monel would be the high end choice. One of the major advantages old Hatteras Yachts have frp tankage. I've never heard of a failure with diesel or water.
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Old 12-28-2015, 07:36 AM   #55
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"Nevertheless, I don't know which material is best,"

Regardless of the material,,

the tank mounting and condition of the deck over the tank, and the filling setup are perhaps a bigger part of the equation.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:36 AM   #56
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Quote:
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"Nevertheless, I don't know which material is best,"

Regardless of the material,,

the tank mounting and condition of the deck over the tank, and the filling setup are perhaps a bigger part of the equation.
Fred's statement is Very Very True!

In addition to tank material choice... at least for metals, I don't know about plastics... keeping water out of tank insides is also paramount for longevity.
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:31 AM   #57
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"keeping water out of tank insides is also paramount for longevity."

As water in small quantities is part of all clean diesel fuel this is impossible.

The best system I have seen has been posted a few times and consists of a sump which can be drained or even better bailed with a cup and strainer that is lifted up thru the fuel fill pipe.

Advantage here is the close fitting cup is all the water sees , so any bug waste is easily wiped as the water is removed.

Of course should you get a 1/2 tank of water , bailing may be slow but sure , and no electric or spare filters are required.

That's why I always say for a vessel a Fuel Tank is not simply a cheap box for fuel.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:54 AM   #58
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Strange, I have not seen any comment about fiberglass encased steel tanks like mine. These as near as I can determine were used for a time in newer Albins and Defevers.

Properly done it would seem the best of all choices, basically a tank within a tank. On the outside of the tanks all the problems with rusting from water leaks and improper mounting become non-issues. On the inside of the tanks, the steel could rust away and the tank remain leak free.

If properly glassed, I think this construction method could produce indestructible tanks but in the hands of the unskilled it would be the worst possible type of tank, Any moisture at all that gets between the tank and the glass dooms it to rapid failure and this was indeed the case with one of my day tanks which rotted out at a bottom fitting exposed to bilge water.

Again, I guess it all comes down to proper construction & installation.

What would be interesting to know out of all this tank discussion however would be how many have had a catastrophic failure resulting in filling the bilge with diesel. My worst fear is of this happening and my bilge pumps kicking in and pumping it all overboard into the marina. If not caught quickly, one might as well shoot themselves because no amount of insurance would cover the millions in clean up costs and frivolous law suits.
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:08 AM   #59
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We have 2 ea 55 gallon and 2 ea 75 gallon aluminum tanks and one 150 gallon fiberglass . The aluminum tanks had just been installed before we purchased the boat . Not sure what was installed before . Having new tanks helped with the decision on which trawler to purchase when we were looking .
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