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Old 09-12-2013, 07:52 AM   #141
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I too will have to study my fuel system. I have 1 sight tube for both ot all 4 tanks??? I am assuming that you open one tank and it fills and gives you a reading. Close the valve, drain the tube, then open for the other tank and so on.
shouldn't have to drain the tube...it should seek the selected tank's level...
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:05 AM   #142
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Have exact set up, one sight tube for tanks. When I close the valve for one tank and open the valve for the second tank the sight tube seeks the level of the second tank.

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Old 09-12-2013, 12:29 PM   #143
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Thanks PS and Bay. This is all new to me. Nervous going on this trip without knowing fuel burn, but by the time I get to Eureka I should have a good idea.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:25 PM   #144
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Don't pull the bone-head move I did. I gravity transferred about 120 gallons from one side and transferred a slug of bad fuel from the bottom of one into the other.

I have separate sight tubes on all tanks. I just had them pump, clean and polish the tanks and fuel (to the tune of $1400) so I'll not do that again.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:17 AM   #145
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Electrolitic Corrosion

FlyWright, With a bronze filler neck and new SS filler caps, is there any concern with respect to dissimilar metals corrosion? gts1544 - retired airplane driver
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:16 AM   #146
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bronze props are placed on stainless prop shafts all the time without major issues.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:04 PM   #147
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FlyWright, With a bronze filler neck and new SS filler caps, is there any concern with respect to dissimilar metals corrosion? gts1544 - retired airplane driver
No, as PSN noted, they're commonly mated together. That was a concern of mine as I noted earlier in this thread. I modified my RW pump impeller cover with SS knurled allen-head screws in a bronze pump. They are adjacent on the noble metals chart, so they're compatible. Plus the fact that they're not submerged in saltwater will minimize this effect.

What airplanes did you retire from? Congrats on your retirement. Many of our fly-boy brethren have had theirs pulled out from under them.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:39 PM   #148
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Al, rather than hijack SeaDuctions waiting period thread, here is a question - assuming you have steel tanks.

After opening up your tanks and noting the condition of the iron innards, any thoughts on what material is best to make a diesel powered boat tank from?
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:00 PM   #149
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My steel tanks were replaced with aluminum tanks by the PO in 2006. I'm no expert on these matters but, according to my fuel polishing guy, aluminum is a very good material for the purpose. Steel is also good he said. Of course, the key to success or failure is protection from moisture. He said that was the problem with many of the tank problems he encounters.

I just measured the thickness of the plug cut from my tank. It's 0.125 in (1/8).
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:51 PM   #150
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..... according to my fuel polishing guy, aluminum is a very good material for the purpose. Steel is also good he said. .
Interesting....My fuel tank (single) on my 54 sport fisher was baffled and held 1365 gallons. Right on the center line of the boat..It was made of fiber glass.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:19 PM   #151
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That is interesting. I never discussed fiberglass tanks with him and I've never seen any either.

Having owned a boat with FG tanks, would you recommend them as a suitable replacement for steel tanks?
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:45 PM   #152
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My 2 cents is design/install standards is far more important than material choice. FF calls most of them fuel boxes and that's a great description of over 95% of the boats I inspected pre-purchase. Flat panels form fitted to maximize capacity do not lend themselves to ease of maintenance and periodic cleaning.

I have a 47 year old steel tank, shaped like a tank that should well outlive the boat around it.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:06 PM   #153
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All visible exterior areas of both our 100 gallon Tolly’s aluminum tanks appear to be in real good condition. Although they look as new... I believe they are 1977 originals?? I've searched all enterable areas with an extender camera’s snake-end that has lights for illumination and a large view screen at home base. I've also used 3M candle power spot light to further eliminate tank tops, sides and rear. I can’t see the complete rear of each tank as they are very close to hull sides, I am a bit concerned that some moisture may have entered via hull vent louvers... either by sea spray or hosing the boat down. As we know... water moisture held against aluminum can corrode that metal to point of failure (that includes internal water pockets). So far so good, not one whiff of gasoline ever upon my many, many entries into engine compartment. I’m kind of a junkie with my engine and tank and genset area, in that I often wake very early while aboard and to my added enjoyment end up down there for at least a few minutes – simply checking things out!

Tank interior condition is an unknown. When we acquired our Tolly there was water and schmeg in the gas; I had to often clean/replace the filters. Once I began treating the fuel in tanks with plenty of Soltron additive the water and schmeg within months disappeared and by using Soltron as prescribed (actually I use about twice the volume recommended – which they say in perfectly OK) for many years now I’ve not found a drop of water or any schmeg in my filters. IMHO... Soltron works wonders to keep gas or diesel clean and in top condition.

Long and short of it for our Tolly fuel tanks: This is a wait and see (errr sniff) situation! I sure do not look forward the possibilities of new “exactly same” tanks placed where they reside. But, I have a good plan of action already conceived as to how we can collapse them via vacuum pump for removal as well as to how to and where to have similar gallons placed into the boat.

I am always interested to learn input from boaters regarding fuel tank materials as well as most other items having to do with gas or diesel storage, equipment, and handling.

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Old 09-20-2013, 09:39 PM   #154
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integral fiberglass tanks are great if they were decently constructed and of good resin.

for smaller tanks, poly tanks are great too...

aluminum got a bad name with high sulfur fuels as did stainless if I remember correctly...but the high sulfur fuels are pretty well gone now.

mild steel/black iron is great if properly installed and maintained...thick steel even with minor rust episodes can easily last 30-50 years with less than perfect maintenance.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:34 PM   #155
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Having owned a boat with FG tanks, would you recommend them as a suitable replacement for steel tanks?
Yes, but for diesel only. If used for water storage, they do impart a bad taste to the water . Also, should not be used for gasoline that contains ethanol.

As a diesel tank material, I understand it's an excellent choice as nothing attacks it and it doesn't corrode. (Even sitting in water for 35 years.) Same as a fiberglass hull.

Here's part of an article out of Passagemaker Magazine.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:00 PM   #156
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My 30 year old stainless tanks diesel tanks are hanging in there. I have no inspection panels, and I am sure the any tanks of this age could use a good cleaning. My fuel outlets are very close to the bottom, and I would expect there is a small amount of "gunk" collected below this point.

So far I've only blocked up filters once, after a few days of rough seas a couple months ago. I was close to home, and trying to get there before dark. The revs would intermittently drop to an idle over the final 5 miles, but she wouldn't die. With my little 36 hp fuel sipper, enough fuel got through to get me back to the dock. When I changed the filters, I couldn't believe how it kept running with the crap that was in the primary filters.

Using rough seas to clean a fuel tank may be risky, but my alternative is to pull the engine and the tanks, due to the tight "ER" I have to play in. I will just keep a good supply of filters on board until the timing is right for the big overhaul.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:06 PM   #157
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My tanks are very thick above normal according to Duke. He told me that fiberglass tanks are more suseptable to condensation than other tanks. He finished today on both tanks, he instructed me on my Racors and I will change them tomorrow.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:11 PM   #158
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My tanks are very thick above normal according to Duke. He told me that fiberglass tanks are more suseptable to condensation than other tanks.
I'm having a hard time swallowing that as if that were the case, we'd all be running around with our FG hulls sweating.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:57 PM   #159
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Yes, but for diesel only. If used for water storage, they do impart a bad taste to the water . Also, should not be used for gasoline that contains ethanol.

As a diesel tank material, I understand it's an excellent choice as nothing attacks it and it doesn't corrode. (Even sitting in water for 35 years.) Same as a fiberglass hull.
Walt - Only problem I see is that any fuel might affect FRP tanks... in that, water can penetrate gel coat and produce blisters - some water intrusions even get into the glass fabric causing delimitations from the resin. Therefore - it stands to reason that most if not all fuels would also eventually permeate FRP tanks. Especially being that gasoline with ethanol (guess e dissolves gel coat and resin) is not good inside FRP, as you intone by mentioning diesel only!
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:07 PM   #160
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OK...back to this old thread...

I'm replacing my fuel shut off gate valves with quality ball valves. It appears thread tape was used on the old connections. My plan was to use thread dope/sealant instead. Now I'm wondering if that's the best idea. What say you who know these things?

Tape or dope?
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