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Old 08-11-2018, 04:46 AM   #21
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Bruce's comment about an allowance is right on. I assume a 47 ft Marine Trader has twin engines which mean that the tank replacement process will either have to remove both engines or cut out the sides of the hull. Expensive in either case. Also the down time is a cost factor unless it is planned to be done in a normal off season. From start to finish it took six weeks to replace the tanks in Bay Pelican and being a single engine boat we did not have to remove or move the main.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:57 AM   #22
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Yes, but OP already stated that if the tanks do leak, he will used bladder inserts.
I think that is a very good plan and cost effective.

Also, I agree with surveyor to not fill the tanks.

I do not think changing fuel will clean up the way the engine runs.

I don't know how big or where your inspection port is, but at some point, I'd open it up and take a look. My Kadey Krogen tanks are tiled forward and inside enough, so that what sludge was in there, was pretty much by the inspection port in the first baffle. It was easy to suck out with my Bucket Head shop vac.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:26 AM   #23
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"Also the fuel guy is going to put in an additive that will help clean whatever junk is growing in the tanks."

So you plan on replacing the fuel a second time as this majic goop "cleans" the tank?

I would simply set up a "polishing" system and run it till the fuel is clear.

Then burn it after a set of OK filters. Carry a case at least.

"ALL tankage will leak, eventually. It's naive to think otherwise."

Guess I am very naive, Monel and modern plastic seem to have an indefinite life.

At least I have seen 75 to perhaps 100 year old monel fuel tanks.

Iron tanks will usually rust from the outside in , deck leaks or crap mounting sitting in water.

If a sump was installed (rare on TT) and serviced ,the tank can be rust free also almost indefinitely .

That leaves Asphalting as a fuel clump hassle , EZ enough to filter out with a home brew transfer "polishing " system.

If the tanks do not have a visible leak now , there are many things you can do to prolong their life.

Bio Bor or similar bug killer will help , but the biggest help is removing water from the tank.

This may require a hose down to the bottom of the tank from the deck , or carefully disconnecting the fuel fill hose from the top of the tank.

If the tanks eventually fail , try to install a genuine fuel tank, with a built in sump, instead of just a box for fuel.
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:43 AM   #24
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Here’s what I’m torn with. Do I have then open the tanks or not.

If we do, I know we are going to see sludge. That’s a given. So what do we do then? Have them cleaned? We all know that alone might cause a leak.

+.
Having just cleaned the sludge out of my tanks while cutting them up, I would have opened them up and cleaned them out if I had manways. Taking the sludge out is no big deal. I just scooped it up with a 6" drywall blade. I then sprayed down with a degreaser and wiped down. If the tanks leak after that then they were marginal anyway and you want to know that before buying. The question is, can you access all of the tank with the manways you have?
On the drain and fill question. If I did that to my tanks I am sure I would have significantly stirred up the sludge. The sludge is normally covered by at least a foot of fuel. If the tank was emptied and then you filled it, the initial fuel would hit the sludge and move it around.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:52 AM   #25
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Here’s the only picture of the tank with the inspection port. I believe there is only 1 per tank.

I don’t know if opening that port could cause problems.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:05 AM   #26
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What really sucks is that it isn’t my boat yet, so my opinion on what needs to be done is just that, an opinion. Maybe just having the fuel polished will be the least stressful on the tanks and provide the best results.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:12 AM   #27
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The fuel itself will be fine after three years. I don’t understand the thoughts of babying the fuel tanks. The first few boat wakes will put large dynamic loads on the tanks far exceeding the static head of a couple feet of fuel. The exception being if the boat never left the marina again.
Buy the boat, use the boat, and if they leak deal with it.
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:15 AM   #28
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Here’s the latest.

I’ve spoken to 3 different surveyors now. Nobody recommended topping the tanks off because if they do leak you now have a ton of fuel to deal with.

They do recommend having the ports opened up and taking a look.

One recommended having the tanks pressure tested.



The latest a from the broker:
The tanks are going to be drained on Tuesday, Techno will be added and the new fuel be added, maybe to the half way make (150 gallons a side). Then they are going to take it out for 2 hours while monitoring the filters.
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:16 AM   #29
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Here’s the latest.

I’ve spoken to 3 different surveyors now. Nobody recommended topping the tanks off because if they do leak you now have a ton of fuel to deal with.

They do recommend having the ports opened up and taking a look.

One recommended having the tanks pressure tested.



The latest a from the broker:
The tanks are going to be drained on Tuesday, Techno will be added and the new fuel be added, maybe to the half way make (150 gallons a side). Then they are going to take it out for 2 hours while monitoring the filters.
Try to be there so you can observe the filters.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:35 PM   #30
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"because if they do leak you now have a ton of fuel to deal with."

It happened to me with near full tanks. Pump it off, drum and store it until necessary repairs to the tanks are effected. Polish the drummed fuel and reload the boat. Not a big deal.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:41 PM   #31
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Fill only one tank for test , then transfer that fuel to the other tank for test.
Sounds like the owner is pretty sure there is a problem with the tanks and doesn’t want to deal with it, so they will likely bargain for it.
Adjust your bid for two new tanks.
If they won’t go for that, keep shopping, I’m sure there’s other boats that will fill your needs.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:43 PM   #32
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Lost me of being afraid to open the access ports to clean. Get the fuel high pressure polished to churn up and filter out the crap then run the boat. Then on your schedule, when the tanks are about empty, and it is your boat, pull those plates get the years of crap out. Make the insides clean, stick a probe in and look em over. Add additional inspection ports as necessary. Perhaps coat with epoxie and go another 30 years.
Make sure they are insulated from dissimilar metals, bonded and outside stays dry. Since you know you are not going to need massive amounts of fuel, if they do go south, smaller tanks can be fabricated to install w/o major surgery.
From what you say, I doubt buzzards are circling.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:56 PM   #33
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Someone said that "all tanks leak". I have build into hull fiberglass tank. To make that tank leak I will have to use a heavy hammer or a drill. My previous boat was MT34 with single engine and 2 150G tanks.Still factory original and no leaks. I had no problem to fill them up.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:03 PM   #34
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Someone said that "all tanks leak". I have build into hull fiberglass tank. To make that tank leak I will have to use a heavy hammer or a drill. My previous boat was MT34 with single engine and 2 150G tanks.Still factory original and no leaks. I had no problem to fill them up.
Do your built-in tanks have inspection ports?
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:09 PM   #35
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When the tank is empty, the inspection plates are there to be removed and the tank inspected.
When closing the inspection port, reseal them carefully.
Check the seal carefully
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:17 PM   #36
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for several years and the engine room has been neglected.

Nobody wants to open the inspection ports due to their age.
The inspection ports are part of the fuel system and are meant to serve a function. The time for that function has come. Any deficiency in function should be negotiated in the sales price and planned into rehabbing the boat.

I haven't reconditioned a fuel tank in several ( to many ) years but the chemistry for cleaning and sealing tanks had been greatly improved.

Flexible tanks like in aircraft are also very good if replacement comes.

I was on one old boat that was so rusty you could see daylight through the pinholes in the bilge. When the diesel tanks leaked you just jammed some slivers off a bar of soap in the holes to stop them. Good times.


The rust in the hold of a vessel can react with all of the oxygen in the air and you go hypoxic and pass out. It has to be really bad. Don't lose any sleep over it.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:28 PM   #37
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You guys think I should have the ports opened? That’s what you’re saying?
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:42 PM   #38
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If you can't fill the tanks they are useless. Use it for leverage or prove the tanks are at least good enough for repair.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:07 PM   #39
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[QUOTE=Steve91T;688601]

One recommended having the tanks pressure tested.


Cross that surveyor off your list.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:13 PM   #40
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Man. Don't clean the tanks because that may cause a leak? Diesel is way different from gas. Good luck with the purchase.
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