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Old 04-19-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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New Owner Formosa 42 Double Cabin

Sea trial next week. Can't seem to find ANYTHING on these boats! Anybody know anything about them? Built in Taiwan in '81, 14' beam, twin 120 Lehman's, 700 gallon fuel! It's in great shape and I hope to take her from south Florida into the Caribbean for extended cruising. How far should I go if I leave mid May?

Thanks for any and all your input and help!
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:04 PM   #2
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Sea trial next week. Can't seem to find ANYTHING on these boats! Anybody know anything about them? Built in Taiwan in '81, 14' beam, twin 120 Lehman's, 700 gallon fuel! It's in great shape and I hope to take her from south Florida into the Caribbean for extended cruising. How far should I go if I leave mid May?

Thanks for any and all your input and help!

Until a thorough hull survey, detailed engine and genset inspection and sea trial how do you know it is in "Great shape." Taiwan boats from that era don't have the best of track records for deck leaks, window leaks and fuel tank integrity. How about hull blisters? I feel a sea trial with full fuel tanks is a very good check on the immediate conditions of tanks, not perfect for the long term though.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:19 PM   #3
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Forgot to mention...

Survey is scheduled before sea trial... VISUALLY in great shape! Teak decks have been removed and replaced with fiberglass. Previous owners spent a lot of money on her in recent years and I would think major issues would have been addressed. Hopefully! I'll know next week! Thanks for mentioning.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:33 PM   #4
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Previous owners spent a lot of money on her in recent years and I would think major issues would have been addressed.
You are more trusting than I am. Thirty + year old fuel tanks with known leaking decks on top should be a real watch point. Too many times the tanks cannot be seen so no surveyor opinion can be rendered. ANY diesel smell when tanks are full is a bell weather. If you offer to pay for the fuel fill if you buy the boat the current owner should have no problem, unless of course he knows tank tops are bad.

Boat buying is an emotional experience, don't be afraid to walk if issues arise. We've all been there.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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Fuel Tanks..

Thanks Sunchaser. Do you KNOW these are the original tanks? Can you point me to a thread about replacing tanks and what that entails in case I want to go that route? That's why I'm here, trying to learn what I'm up against.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:30 PM   #6
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Fuel tank removal

http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s...sion-5640.html

Built in place tanks

preferred fuel tank replacement material choice

Here are a few to get you started. There is a search function in the red bar at the top of the forum page that can find you some more.

Welcome to the forum Bigfish.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:55 AM   #7
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Thanks Sunchaser. Do you KNOW these are the original tanks? Can you point me to a thread about replacing tanks and what that entails in case I want to go that route? That's why I'm here, trying to learn what I'm up against.
It entails mucho money!
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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It entails mucho money!
I read a few of the threads on leaky tank problems and I should know soon enough. And Sunchaser, as I reread my response to you, it sounded like I was doubting your comment about the tanks being the original ones but that's not what I was trying to say. I don't know yet what the PO's have or haven't done and I can't find ANY info on Formosa trawlers so I don't know which yard they were built in or any look-alike boats with different names either. I was hoping you knew those tanks were original so I could ask you what else you knew about the boat. I appreciate all your input and I already found a way for my surveyor to at least look at the tops of the tanks with a "SeaSnake..." I think. Looks like a nice tool to have. If the tanks need to be replaced, I think I'll bail on the deal. I'm too old for a serious project boat...
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:57 AM   #9
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You may get lucky, the PO maybe replaced the decks before they were leaking water onto the tank tops. Take a look at Ralph Yost's Classified Section posting linking you to a 41' DeFever for sale.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:48 PM   #10
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Everyone seems concerned about the top of the tanks. That covers only one area of possible leaks. Mine went south in the lower bottom corners due to water sitting under the fuel.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:59 PM   #11
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Everyone seems concerned about the top of the tanks. That covers only one area of possible leaks. Mine went south in the lower bottom corners due to water sitting under the fuel.
So what did you do next??
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:06 PM   #12
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So what did you do next??
I had them replaced with heavy aluminum exact replacements. The boatyard removed the engine and transmission and took the tanks out intact through the salon door. At the time the boat was only 15 years old and had a loan against it. 20 years later, I think it was a good decision at the time. Now I would go for something cheaper and more creative.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
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I had them replaced with heavy aluminum exact replacements. The boatyard removed the engine and transmission and took the tanks out intact through the salon door. At the time the boat was only 15 years old and had a loan against it. 20 years later, I think it was a good decision at the time. Now I would go for something cheaper and more creative.
I've heard of people cutting them out piece by piece with a sawzall.. I've tried to drill into cast iron and it's tough as nails, is "black iron," the same thing? Doesn't sound like a real fun project. But it would feel great when you were done!

Can't wait.......
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:36 PM   #14
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I've heard of people cutting them out piece by piece with a sawzall.. I've tried to drill into cast iron and it's tough as nails, is "black iron," the same thing? Doesn't sound like a real fun project. But it would feel great when you were done!

Can't wait.......
Black iron is a euphemism for cheap thin steel. They were nothing magical. Just cheap thin steel tanks. Now mine is a Marine Trader - a Formosa might be higher quality.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:06 PM   #15
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Evaluating tanks is difficult with out opening them up? There are thousand of boats with 30 to 50 year old black/mild steel tanks. The Eagles are 35 years old, so I keep a close watch on them, and have a basic plan if they need to be replaced. However, I would try to repair in place before even thinking about replacing. I had the mid tank repaired in place as a seam split. There are things you can do to prolong the remaining life of the tank.
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