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Old 11-02-2007, 02:47 PM   #1
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City: Anacortes, WA
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Vessel Name: Juz-B-Cuz
Vessel Model: 38' Rawson Trawler
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Preserving an empty fuel tank

Hi -
My Rawson has three fuel tanks - two 150 gallon aft, and one*75 gallon forward - all aluminum.* The boat is pretty light aft, as the hull was originally designed for a commercial fishing boat with lots of equipment, etc mounted aft.

So I'd like to keep the forward tank empty, but leave it in a state that I could use it in the future if I need it (an Alaska trip, for example).

My plan is to drain it down as much as I can.* Then I'll disconnect the vent from the overboard fitting and route it to a small in-line dehydrator , ultimately venting to the engine space.* This should keep any additional moisture from entering the tank during temperature changes.

The tank doesn't currently have inspection ports, but I'll add those prior to using the tank again in order to clean out whatever's left in the bottom.

Any other thoughts about what I should do?
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Old 11-03-2007, 04:24 AM   #2
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Preserving an empty fuel tank

Any fuel in the tank will revert to a primitive state with time , even with NO air.

If you could simply pull the tank and have a bottom plug drain installed , it would be really EZ.

Even better might be to use it as a day tank , if its forward position doesn't put you out of trim.

If it pumps WAY down , a few gallons of ashphalt mixed with 70 of fresh diesel should only be a filter change

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Old 11-03-2007, 11:10 AM   #3
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RE: Preserving an empty fuel tank

I fill the three 400 gallon tanks about full with fresh diesel and a lot of additives that absorb water and prevent tarring each year.***My biggest concern short term is water/condensation not so much tarring, long term, as we tend to turn the fuel yearly or at least ever two years.* The new off road/bosat diesel has like 1/10 the sulfur and water the old diesel had which is better on old tanks and storing.* PMM had a good article a couple of issue back on diesel fuel.
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Old 11-04-2007, 03:37 AM   #4
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Preserving an empty fuel tank

The sulfur content does not alter the rate of fuel reverting to tar by clumping.

All low sulfur does is remove another needed lubricant for no reason, except to raise fuel prices , and therefore sales tax extraction.with out the need for a vote.

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Old 11-04-2007, 01:12 PM   #5
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RE: Preserving an empty fuel tank

Chris
Beautifil boat. It's very likley you don't need that 75 gal tank. Fuel is very availible here in SE Alaska. The most troublesome aspect of cruising SE for many is anchoring. The longest runs ( unless things have changed ) is Shearwater to Hartley Bay and Hartley Bay to Prince Rupert. Summer is very busy up here and there may be quite a few boats bobing up and down around fuel docks but if you get fuel when it is availible a very long range is'nt nessessary. I cruise in Alaska with a 400 mile range and have never been low on fuel. Perhaps you could change the tank to water and shower more often. Also Iv'e never heard of a boat that didn't neen more storage so if you don't need it on a boat ....get rid of it. About SE .. it's a good practice to stay in towns booth large and small during windy weather and anchor out when it's nice. By the way I worked for Uniflite in the mid 70's and lived in Fairhaven. My Willard is now in LaConner and I'll be comming down there in May to finnish the refit and take her home.

Eric Henning
M/v Willy
Thorne Bay AK
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:29 PM   #6
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Preserving an empty fuel tank

Hi Eric -

Yeah, I figgered that the only reason that I might want to use it for a long trip is if the fuel costs were significantly better at one end or the other. Turning it into an extra water tank really makes more sense once I thought about it - I do need all the showers I can get!

I need to change my sig line, as I'm moving her down to Anacortes this next weekend. I was subletting from the previous owner, but my name just came up on the list. Don't tell anyone, but I'm actually from Kalifornia - bought some property in Burlington and will be moving up there next year.
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