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Old 02-04-2014, 12:51 PM   #21
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47 years including the day tank mounted on the cabin top, exposed to the environment.

Tanks can follow the power out through the cabin top if I ever have issues. There is a pre made hatch for such things.

I would replace with steel with a bit less capacity if I live that long.

Single engine leaves some space to work stuff out kinda.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:54 PM   #22
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How about tanks leaking from the inside because of water and sludge? Most of our tanks are not designed with a sump. I know of 3 tanks that leaked from the inside. Two were repaired successfully in place. The owner of the third replaced his. Just saying.
Larry hit on the key as I see it, design and installation.

In the case of my 47 year old steel tank it is cylindrical in shape, mounted amidship with 360 access to inspect the outside of the tank. Nowhere is it possible to hold moisture on the exterior of the tank.

If you can "stick the tank" your tank can "most likely" (but not necessarily) trap moisture at the top from a deck fill leak.
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:13 PM   #23
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I started this thread because my biggest worry with my boat is the unknown of if or when I will have a fuel tank leak.

Ease your mind and simply eyeball the tanks , as suggested.

Dont see Rust? No problem.

'inspect them and clean them for piece of mind'. If you're going to quote someone, get right.
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:21 PM   #24
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How about tanks leaking from the inside because of water and sludge? Most of our tanks are not designed with a sump. I know of 3 tanks that leaked from the inside. Two were repaired successfully in place. The owner of the third replaced his. Just saying.

Where is the water coming from? Condensation? Or failed fittings leading to the tank? I'd be interested in seeing examples of how condensation lead to rusting out of a black iron tank.
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:49 PM   #25
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Where is the water coming from? Condensation? Or failed fittings leading to the tank? I'd be interested in seeing examples of how condensation lead to rusting out of a black iron tank.
Water may come from the fuel or from condensate. I don't know from which. I'm not referring to failed fittings

Here are 2 picture of the inside of a sheet metal, 350 gallon diesel fuel tank last cleaned about 10 years before. The orange color on the first one is from the flash but you can see the sludge. After we scraped and cleaned the tank down to clean metal you could see the pitting in the steel. The next picture is of another tank that had a few pins holes along the lower edge that were prepped then glassed over. The last one is after using a 2 part polysulfide tank coating. These are both steel tanks not black iron.
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Old 02-04-2014, 03:07 PM   #26
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Condensation would not cause that kind of rust. It would be interesting to know the background..... how the water got into this specific tank. Was the water separator filling up with water? Where was the fuel being drawn from? The low point of the tank? There is certainly more to this story, it would be beneficial to the community if you have more information. Certainly the person whom owns this vessel would want to know why this happened in order to prevent new corrosion.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:28 PM   #27
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Ease your mind and simply eyeball the tanks , as suggested. Dont see Rust? No problem.
Is it possible to completely inspect a KK42's tanks externally?

(Great thread, BTW)
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:33 PM   #28
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I had rust inside my steel tank that had to have been from just humid air/condensation. It was only above where I kept the fuel for about 18 months after I brought the boat home...the PO kept the tanks full for all of it's previous life before me.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:42 PM   #29
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Condensation would not cause that kind of rust. It would be interesting to know the background..... how the water got into this specific tank. Was the water separator filling up with water? Where was the fuel being drawn from? The low point of the tank? There is certainly more to this story, it would be beneficial to the community if you have more information. Certainly the person whom owns this vessel would want to know why this happened in order to prevent new corrosion.
The previous first 2 pictures were from Hobo's port tank. There was probably 4000-5000 gallons of fuel that went through that tank over a 10 year period before I cleaned it. Fuel purchases were split between North/Central and South America. I would get some occasional water drops in the Racors when I'd drain them. The tanks weren't rusty (flash camera), just some sludge at the end of the tank well below the fuel pick up. The tank residue/sludge had waterery residue after sitting in the bucket for a few days.

The tank that was coated, 2nd and 3rd picture. The best guess from the experts is it leaked as a result of pit corrosion/moisture.

From talking to professional marine tank cleaners what I found, was not out of the ordinary.

The only place that we took on questionable fuel was Panama from a fueling barge but we never clogged a Racor and had the engine shut down.

This picture is looking up at the inside top of the tank. The rust looking areas I would attribute to condensation.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:45 PM   #30
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Inside to out is not unusuall. My steel side tanks had some pitting on the inside, not bad but it was there. I say that a 30 year old steel tank is gonna leak eventually, but I'm paranoid that way. I cant stand not knowing and will pull a tank "just to know". But thats just me.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:46 PM   #31
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Is it possible to completely inspect a KK42's tanks externally?

(Great thread, BTW)
Only the tops can you easily see by looking from the back. You may get a better view in areas with an endoscope.

Also, our tanks are coated on the outside.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:46 PM   #32
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"black iron" is a broker term. It means plain old mild steel, just like any other steel tank, some thinner some thicker. !0 gauge is not unusuall. 3/16 is normall, 1/4 inch is considered heavy for a boat less than 65 feet and non commercial. I know there are lots of steel tanks out there getting the job done, and aluminum for that matter, But on my boat, unless its monel, its coming out for a look see. I dont trust them and will not patch a fuel tank. Water yes, fuel no. If you buy a boat I have owned it will have new tanks or photo evidence of the removal and replacement of the originals with close up detailed pics. Unless, as on a previous post by CP, I can inspect visually every inch of the tank, inside and out. Like I said, I'm a little paranoid. My dad taught me as a boy to do it right the first time or I could do it right the second time, my choice.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:57 PM   #33
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Thanks to everyone who participated. TF members rock when it comes to sharing knowledge, experience and opinions.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:34 PM   #34
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I need to replace fuel tanks. Any suggestions on suppliers and cost I plan to cut up the tanks in place and replace with 4 smaller 80 gal tanks made of aluminum or poly. Currently has 2 175 gal tanks.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:32 PM   #35
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:38 AM   #36
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How about tanks leaking from the inside because of water and sludge? Most of our tanks are not designed with a sump. I know of 3 tanks that leaked from the inside. Two were repaired successfully in place. The owner of the third replaced his. Just saying. __________________


This is mostly a problem for a dock queen.

Motion , if the boat is operated , will usually mix the water with the fuel where the filter catches it.

Of course a leaking fill fitting might add enough water to be a problem over the years too.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:36 AM   #37
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51 years and they all look fine inside and what I can see on the outside.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:45 AM   #38
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Could it be said that no diesel fuel tanks used in boats have a better track record than steel - IF - water inside and out is kept at bay?
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:30 PM   #39
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Motion , if the boat is operated , will usually mix the water with the fuel where the filter catches it.
I wouldn't be so sure. the whole point of tank baffles is to keep fuel from moving around. I would think unless the boat is in very rough and/or choppy water and the fuel levels are low, there is not much if any real mixing going on.

If you put fuel and water in a glass jar and just roll it around not much mixing goes on. You have to shake it up for it to really start to mix together.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:31 PM   #40
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So Far I have checked out:

Duracast - They dont do fuel tanks
Inca - busy signal all day, sent e-mail
Kracor - Stock tanks, biggest is 80 gal would have to stack two to get to present volume
Moller- They have one saddle model, 83 Gal which is the closest, lowering capacity from 175 x 2 to 83 x 2.

A drawback to plastic seems to be, stuck with available designs and no inspection ports. They say they cant be installed in a plastic tank. How to you get the sludge out? Looks like Aluminium custom will be what I look into next.
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