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Old 04-22-2019, 05:14 PM   #1
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Aluminum fuel tanks, Yes? No?

Looking at picking up three older aluminum tanks to hold onto for a boat build. A 50 gallon and two 25 gallon add on truck/tractor auxiliary fuel tanks that were used to fill tractors from. They have been stored inside on pallets and used to hold red dyed offroad diesel only. They are clean inside and dusty outside. The only fault I see is adding inspection ports.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:57 PM   #2
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Do you know grade aluminum are they made from? Like stainless steel, not all grades of aluminum are created equal. 5052-H32 grade, I think, is the suggested grade aluminum for diesel fuel tanks.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:44 PM   #3
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5052 Aluminum is the preferred kind for fuel tanks. Other can be bused but typically have some kind of epoxy paint sealer. I’d say go for it if it works for your plans. Good luck!
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:53 PM   #4
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I'm not sure of the exact grade alloy but they are DOT stamped so I would think they are of a quality grade alloy. Also, they are baffled. I assume for strength and 0.125 wall thickness. I will add that they came from Northern Tool many years ago or a similar retailer. Maybe Tractor Supply.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:23 PM   #5
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Baffle construction and weldment on 5000 series marine tanks may well vary vs DOT. Example: marine baffles are to be fully welded all around so can't break loose from shell with movement experienced in marine service. Full penetration welds, root filler and cap pass?
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:58 PM   #6
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If surveys are in the future for the boat, many surveyors look for the USCG label. If not found it will be called out. May or may not have consequences depending.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:01 PM   #7
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If surveys are in the future for the boat, many surveyors look for the USCG label. If not found it will be called out. May or may not have consequences depending.
You are correct but .... I've never seen nor heard of an insurance company objecting and in almost 5,000 surveys I'd guess I've seen them on about 20% of those boats I've surveyed and never on a Taiwan trawler.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:24 PM   #8
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Good info guys, thanks. Yes, the boat will be surveyed for insurance purposes I would think. If things haven't changed, I believe SC requires owner-built boats to be USCG inspected before getting state registration. I'm looking into that next week.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:58 PM   #9
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Hi Ben2go,

I'm unclear on the idea of buying fuel tanks (and particularly DOT-specific tanks) before the boat is designed. Isn't that sorta putting the cart before the horse? Wouldn't it be more prudent to design the boat, and then design/build or buy appropriate tanks to fit? After all, even custom tankage is a wee small cost of any boat build, so why compromise the build on the front end?

And yeah, anything will work, until it doesn't. There's ABYC standards and CFRs on marine tankage for a real good reason. None of them apply to DOT tankage, and vice versa.

Regards,

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Old 04-24-2019, 03:43 PM   #10
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Hi Ben2go,

I'm unclear on the idea of buying fuel tanks (and particularly DOT-specific tanks) before the boat is designed. Isn't that sorta putting the cart before the horse? Wouldn't it be more prudent to design the boat, and then design/build or buy appropriate tanks to fit? After all, even custom tankage is a wee small cost of any boat build, so why compromise the build on the front end?

And yeah, anything will work, until it doesn't. There's ABYC standards and CFRs on marine tankage for a real good reason. None of them apply to DOT tankage, and vice versa.

Regards,

Pete

Way ahead of you there. I have several plans to build from. My original plans fell through with a friend and I building a boat together. I have the opportunity to buy these tanks cheap and squirrel them away. They should work for any of the plans I decide to build.
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