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Old 11-17-2019, 11:55 AM   #1
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Fuel Tank Change

I have a 40 trawler that has steel tanks and I am considering changing them out . They do not leak but look rusty. Does anyone have any thought on the subject . Oh it is twin engines
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:06 PM   #2
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I have a 40 trawler that has steel tanks and I am considering changing them out . They do not leak but look rusty. Does anyone have any thought on the subject . Oh it is twin engines
We need more info on the specific make/model boat you have. If they are rusty, then yes, it's probably time to have them check out and replaced. If the rust is on the outside, and the inside looks good, they can be cleaned up and painted. Provided there are no leaks.


Depending on where your tanks are and how difficult it would be to get them out, will determine the best course to take to replace the tanks.
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:09 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response . This is my first post on TF I don't know if I am responding correctly
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:43 PM   #4
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DIY or are you going to have a yard do it?


Twin Engines or single?


Replace in kind or willing to change capacity and material?


Budget?


Wanting to cleanup entire engine room spaces/bilge or just tank replacing?
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Old 11-17-2019, 04:47 PM   #5
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fuel tank change

I am going to do it myself and have some help from a local worker help me . I am also going to clean up the engine room and replace any hose I can lay my hands on. I don't have a budget in mind ,But I think it is going to take between 1 to 2 months
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Old 11-17-2019, 04:49 PM   #6
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I am also going to reduce cap. a little just to make access easy between the tank and the engine. I am going use marine alum.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:38 PM   #7
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As part of a larger refit, I am replacing my steel saddle tanks (200g each) with four fiberglass tanks of 100g each so capacity is about the same (I might lose 10g) with one baffle per 100g tank. Fiberglass is more labor intensive to fabricate , aluminum is more material intenaive/expensive. I'm having the tanks built in Ensenada MX so fiberglass.

Each pair to be connected by 1-inch valves at the bottom. There will be one deck full on each side so each pair will act as a single tank. Pickups will be off the 1-inch valves, return into the top.

If I read your post correctly, you are reducing size to gain some space. One thing to consider is how the tanks will be secured. I found that by using the old tanks as a pattern, allowed using existing bracing to secure the tanks.

This job is bigger than I wanted to tackle, especially with highly capable labor at affordable cost in Mexico (Niza Marine in Ensenada, 70-miles south of San Diego). Total cost is about $7500 plus fittings, but includes remove and replace of single engine. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-17-2019, 05:43 PM   #8
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Its a big job but really just a series of smaller, sometimes nasty jobs. I am pretty sure each engine will have to come out in its turn. Cutting up steel tanks with a sawzall is also pretty easy and not dangerous. Maybe do one side this winter and the other side next year. Might make it a little more bearable.

Good Luck

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Old 11-17-2019, 06:02 PM   #9
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Depends on how well the tanks were cared for and the steel thickness.

My 1942 steel tanks are still going strong.
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:24 PM   #10
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I am in process and have ordered a new custom aluminum tank. The original tank was integral to the hull, all but the top which was steel. I have the steel top off.


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Old 11-17-2019, 06:54 PM   #11
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Thanks for the response . This is my first post on TF I don't know if I am responding correctly
You're welcome. You doing well here. A lot of good recommendations for your tank situation. Knowing your boat model could help with more specific answers. If you're not using your boat's maximum fuel range, no reason not to hold back on some capacity to make the tank install easier.
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:55 PM   #12
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I am in process and have ordered a new custom aluminum tank. The original tank was integral to the hull, all but the top which was steel. I have the steel top off.


What was the issue with your tank? Looks like a pretty nifty design but may have flaws I don't see right off.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:05 PM   #13
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How dirty was the tank when you opened it up Fritz?.....
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:30 PM   #14
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What was the issue with your tank? Looks like a pretty nifty design but may have flaws I don't see right off.
The tank leaked slightly when it was full or close to full and the boat was rolling/pitching. The fuel leaked from under the top around the perimeter. The steel top was laid on the stringers and then fiberglassed around the top edge to the surrounding fiberglass. There was no sealant or gasket between the top and the stringers underneath. The top was rusting at the interface of the fiberglass and steel thus breaking the bond. The tank held 112 gallons and I only burn 1/2 gallon/hr and it has not been a problem to keep only 20-40 gallons of fuel in the tank and like that it didn't leak. The new tank will be 76 gallons and will hang from the stringers. Like the old tank the new tank top forms the floor of the saloon.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:38 PM   #15
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How dirty was the tank when you opened it up Fritz?.....
What you see in the photo is what it looked like when opened. When I first got the boat a few years ago it had a bad algea problem. I jury rigged a temporary polishing system and cleaned it up pretty good. The inside looks dirty now but what is there is pretty well stuck on. I do plan to hit it with a pressure washer before installing the new tank, we'll see how much it cleans up.

One thing about this installation before and after the new tank is the easy access to the tank's lowest point through the 2.5" fill right on the floor of the wheelhouse.
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Old 11-17-2019, 08:17 PM   #16
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What you see in the photo is what it looked like when opened. When I first got the boat a few years ago it had a bad algea problem. I jury rigged a temporary polishing system and cleaned it up pretty good. The inside looks dirty now but what is there is pretty well stuck on. I do plan to hit it with a pressure washer before installing the new tank, we'll see how much it cleans up.

One thing about this installation before and after the new tank is the easy access to the tank's lowest point through the 2.5" fill right on the floor of the wheelhouse.
It seems Homer Hughes did a lot of things right on those boats.Solid systems, easily accessed for maintenance and repair. I would love one of those brought over to the east coast
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:21 AM   #17
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The tank leaked slightly when it was full or close to full and the boat was rolling/pitching. The fuel leaked from under the top around the perimeter. The steel top was laid on the stringers and then fiberglassed around the top edge to the surrounding fiberglass. There was no sealant or gasket between the top and the stringers underneath. The top was rusting at the interface of the fiberglass and steel thus breaking the bond. The tank held 112 gallons and I only burn 1/2 gallon/hr and it has not been a problem to keep only 20-40 gallons of fuel in the tank and like that it didn't leak. The new tank will be 76 gallons and will hang from the stringers. Like the old tank the new tank top forms the floor of the saloon.
I completely understand that. I would have done the same thing. I really dig those Allweather boats. I looked for one around '07-'08 and couldn't find one with a trailer to bring to the ASE.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:05 AM   #18
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I have replaced the tanks on my 44 foot Sun deck Cruiser without removing the twin cats. Remove the old steel tanks with a sawsall. Fabricated 3 fiberglass tanks to replace one steel tank. By removing the tailpipes I was able to get them around the back of the motor and in place. Glassed then together and to the hull. Feels great to get rid of the leaking steel tanks
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Old 11-29-2019, 01:39 PM   #19
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We replaced both port and starboard iron fuel tanks on Sanderling in 2015. Had a well-respected yard do the work and in the process reworked a lot of the engine room. Had a single so just put the engine in the saloon. In 2005 we had the tanks on a smaller trawler with twins replaced and the engines sat outside the boat on engine stands during the work

You can read about our replacement at out web site:
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I have a 40 trawler that has steel tanks and I am considering changing them out . They do not leak but look rusty. Does anyone have any thought on the subject . Oh it is twin engines
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:01 PM   #20
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Fuel tanks

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Originally Posted by Almalola7 View Post
I am also going to reduce cap. a little just to make access easy between the tank and the engine. I am going use marine alum.
The previous owner of my boat broke out the old cast iron tanks and replaced with aluminum tanks that fit through the main cabin door so replacing them if required, will be quite simple.
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