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Old 04-07-2014, 11:08 AM   #1
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Tank Cleaning/Coating

I just had a fun 6 days in the engine room and thought I'd share. Hobo has 2-350 gallon sheet metal tanks with no leaks (new 1987). I cleaned the port tank 2 years ago and was concerned when I saw the minor pitting on the bottom and the amount of sludge that had collected at the low end of the tank. This past week, after transferring all the fuel to the port tank, I opened the starboard tank and found about an equal amount of sludge and minor pitting. No surprise there.

The tanks have 3 baffles/4 chambers. All of the sludge/pitting was pretty much confined to the low area in the front chamber. I could see into the second chamber so I am guessing on the back 2. The tanks are 8 feet long.

After some internet research and looking at pictures of 2 tanks that had been coated, I went with FlameMaster 3204 A1/2. ($273/gallon)

http://www.flamemaster.com/Technical...ev%2001-07.pdf

Following the directions, I used a 4" brush to paint the bottom and sides up about 4-6". The stuff has the consistency, at room temperature, of honey with a 30 minute working time and a 30 hour cure time.

I didn't find any water in the last 5 gallons of diesel that I didn't transfer over. 15K plus gallons of fuel had gone through the tanks since the last cleaning. The engines never shut down due to clogged filters which were changed at 200 hour intervals.

Band-Aid or permanent fix? Who knows? But it's one less thing I'm worrying about.

The picture with the sludge, for perspective, you can see the blade of a 4" putty knife in the lower right corner.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:30 PM   #2
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Thanks for the pics.

Makes me realize how clean my tanks were when I checked.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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...15K plus gallons of fuel had gone through the tanks since the last cleaning....
My mistake. Should say...10K plus has gone through the tanks....
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:55 PM   #4
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Geez Larry, Only 10,000 gallons?? You should try leaving the dock sometime.......😊
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:42 PM   #5
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You're right. Lena and I were talking this week about that. We arrived in Florida last June and this is the longest we have stayed in one spot since 1997.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:58 PM   #6
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You're right. Lena and I were talking this week about that. We arrived in Florida last June and this is the longest we have stayed in one spot since 1997.
Larry- I hope you realize how totally jealous many of us are!! Carry on!
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:58 PM   #7
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where will you go next?
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:16 AM   #8
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where will you go next?

Good question. We have lots places on our bucket list; not sure where we want to start, but I do know we're not done yet!
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:54 AM   #9
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Hi Larry, how big is that inspection port in your tank? And are inspection ports the norm in the US? I've not seen that over here.
Cheers mate
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:10 AM   #10
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Hi Larry, how big is that inspection port in your tank? And are inspection ports the norm in the US? I've not seen that over here.
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Ours are 8" inside diameter. We had them on our boat also. The ports were on the top there. Standard, who knows? I know of boats that have added them for inspection and/or cleaning. Sea Built has a good product but expensive at ~$180 US for the 10" aluminum. You're handy enough that you could make them.

Seabuilt - Access Plate Systems
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:18 AM   #11
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Ours are 8" inside diameter. We had them on our boat also. The ports were on the top there. Standard, who knows? I know of boats that have added them for inspection and/or cleaning. Sea Built has a good product but expensive at ~$180 US for the 10" aluminum. You're handy enough that you could make them. Seabuilt - Access Plate Systems
Cheers mate.
Yeah only seen them on ships. I'd love to put them in my tank but I have two baffles in the tank so I'd need to put in three ports.

Thanks for your reply mate

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Old 04-09-2014, 09:42 AM   #12
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where will you go next?
Where to go next? And not sure where to start from . Sounds like fun . Can't wait to get this work thang out of the way so I can have those tough questions to answer . Larry do you have to prime the tanks first or just lay on the paint ? Have fun .
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:05 AM   #13
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... do you have to prime the tanks first or just lay on the paint ?...
After emptying, I used a scotch pad, then rags with acetone. I kept wiping till the rags came up clean. No primer, I just brushed the on 3204. The stuff will stick to anything so sacrificial clothes and brush an mandatory.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:48 PM   #14
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here is a good article about the tank sealants, very informative:

http://www.vansairforce.net/articles/tank_sealant.pdf
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