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Old 03-28-2021, 10:13 AM   #21
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Art - Are those belt covers on your Mercs factory? I occasionally wish for them on mine, as the exposed belts lead to me strongly disliking ever having to crawl outboard (past the front of the engines) with an engine running.
I imagine so... came with boat when purchased.
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Old 03-28-2021, 10:15 AM   #22
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I imagine so... came with boat when purchased.

Interesting. I wonder if they were only on early years, or if that was a Tollycraft addition. I've never seen another Merc engine with covers. Most are bare belts up front like mine.
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Old 03-28-2021, 10:20 AM   #23
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Interesting. I wonder if they were only on early years, or if that was a Tollycraft addition. I've never seen another Merc engine with covers. Most are bare belts up front like mine.
When you say "most"; have you seen others with belt covers similar to mine?
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Old 03-28-2021, 10:21 AM   #24
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When you say "most"; have you seen others with belt covers similar to mine?

I say most because I can't remember for sure, and I haven't seen every Merc engine model out there. But I don't remember ever seeing belt covers like yours.
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Old 03-28-2021, 11:36 AM   #25
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You have a rare opportunity to be in the drivers seat.
This is a time when youre not stuck w the boat the designers thought it should be.
Namely you can now change an significant part of the design yourself.

You now can change the capacity/size of the tanks, what they are made of and where they should be. Your boat as designed is/was the product of designers, marketeers and safety engineers. A boat designed to appeal to the average buyer. Now in this regard you can change it to the way YOU want it to be keeping resale value in mind if you have the need.

Go for it.
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Old 03-28-2021, 12:20 PM   #26
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When my boat went into refit, I decided to replace my aluminum tanks after googling aluminum expect tank life. The answer was shorter than I anticipated. The tanks in my boat were original build which meant they were 50 years old.

My refit guy actually fought me on replacing them. From the angles the tank could be seen, they appeared solid and undamaged. But I kept thinking these tanks are long past there "best before" date. I decided since the boat would be entirely gutted this was the time to redo the tanks, I could have saved many thousands if I had gone with the refits recommendation.

I also upsized my total gas tanks capacity. The original tanks were 50 gallons, I replaced them with 80 gallons (160 gallon total). The aluminum tanks were set out in the refit yard where they sat for some time. My refit guy discovered they had very very slow leaks from the corners that were not visible in the boat.

I went with poly tanks knowing they had great longevity. My philosophy during refit was to replace anything that would suffer due to age. Basically this meant about 98 % of everything went. I didn't want a boat to nickel and dime me to death as various components aged out.
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Old 03-28-2021, 12:30 PM   #27
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Boy o' Boy, Pete... glad you got that off your chest!

So... I'd like us all on TF to freely banter onto a "tankage-idiom" filled discussion of anecdotes and antidotes wherein experiences and solutions stand at forefront. That is, for the good of the boating community!
Well, Art, I've been on this toot for quite some time. Attached is an article I wrote in 2014 and forwarded to Professional Boatbuilder Magazine (https://www.proboat.com/). Unpublished, I'm sorry to say.

Also attached is a case study of the water tank replacement I performed on my Canoe Cove 53 in 2008, owned prior to my Tolly 48. This study was forwarded as information to the Canoe Cove Owners Association. Unfortunately, I was forced into a MUCH more significant fuel tank replacement on the same boat only a few years later. Documentation of THAT goat-rope was beyond my ability at the time. Needless to say, it was an interesting (and VERY expensive) experience!

Far more importantly than my meager contributions was an article written by Steve D'Antonio, and published in Passagemaker Magazine in September of 2001. I'm attaching a link to that article as well.

Given that, to my knowledge, NO (I say again-NO)production boatbuilder to date has chosen to acknowledge that tankage has A FINITE SERVICE LIFE, and a much shorter service life than the vessel as a whole. And much more troublesome, none have provided accomodation to that reality. Yes, some production builders do "a better job" than others in their tankage design and installation practices. Pacific Asian Enterprises, for one, does at least provide routine access to the internals of at least their fuel tanks. But when (not if, but when) those tanks fail, they'll still have to be sawcut out of the boat for replacement.

As to your desire that I, and others, contribute "...anecdotes and antidotes wherein experiences and solutions stand at forefront. That is, for the good of the boating community!", well I can only claim resignation after trying to do just that. And fall back on my previous plea to those professional boatwrights such as Steve D'Antonio to please keep up the fight. Maybe the manufacturers will listen to them.

And one final anecdote from me. My 42 year old Tolly 48 sprang a water tank leak in the summer of 2020. Yup, out came the sawzall, and several thousands of dead presidents later, a new one went in. FYI, the major culprit was foaming in place of an aluminum tank. Made the tank bottom into swiss cheese. Sigh.

Regards,

Pete
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File Type: pdf AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MARINE INDUSTRY.pdf (93.8 KB, 4 views)
File Type: pdf WATER TANK REPLACEMENT.pdf (419.7 KB, 11 views)
File Type: pdf STEVE D'ANTONNIO TANK ARTICLE.pdf (3.60 MB, 11 views)
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Old 03-28-2021, 01:51 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
When my boat went into refit, I decided to replace my aluminum tanks after googling aluminum expect tank life. The answer was shorter than I anticipated. The tanks in my boat were original build which meant they were 50 years old.

My refit guy actually fought me on replacing them. From the angles the tank could be seen, they appeared solid and undamaged. But I kept thinking these tanks are long past there "best before" date. I decided since the boat would be entirely gutted this was the time to redo the tanks, I could have saved many thousands if I had gone with the refits recommendation.

I also upsized my total gas tanks capacity. The original tanks were 50 gallons, I replaced them with 80 gallons (160 gallon total). The aluminum tanks were set out in the refit yard where they sat for some time. My refit guy discovered they had very very slow leaks from the corners that were not visible in the boat.

I went with poly tanks knowing they had great longevity. My philosophy during refit was to replace anything that would suffer due to age. Basically this meant about 98 % of everything went. I didn't want a boat to nickel and dime me to death as various components aged out.
Diesel?
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Old 03-28-2021, 01:58 PM   #29
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Pete

Thanks for "tank" input and links [which I'll look into].

How are the aluminum [I guess that's the material] fuel tanks doing in your 1979 Tolly... still OK - I hope!
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Old 03-28-2021, 04:15 PM   #30
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Pete

Thanks for "tank" input and links [which I'll look into].

How are the aluminum [I guess that's the material] fuel tanks doing in your 1979 Tolly... still OK - I hope!
Hi Art,

In an honest answer to your question regarding the condition of my Tolly 48 fuel tankage, I can only respond "Who the %^&* knows?" Certainly not my surveyor, myself, the previous owner(s), or the multiple marine professionals I've had aboard for service. Tollycraft is long out of production, so nobody's left at the factory. No drawings, and even the naval architect is long gone. And much as I'd like xray vision, Superman's not around.

There is a possibility of stripping the insulation off the inboard side of the tanks, and assuming one is about the size of a stringbean, shimmy up and over the main engines with a borescope and at least see the tank tops and inboard sides, and maybe the ends. But so what? There is no, zero, zip, nada, nyet way to remove those tanks in situ, should they either fail a visual inspection, or leak. Absent dynamiting the side of the boat, should you be so inclined.

The only practical way to non-destructively determine condition of the fuel tankage is to monitor the bilge. Should fuel oil show up, then one can conclude the tank(s) leak. Otherwise, I shut my eyes, pray they'll stay intact throughout my ownership, and quake in fear every time I contemplate a failure in one of those tanks.

Tankage contributes to a major conundrum of ownership of large, old cruising powerboats. They're old enough to be (relatively) affordable. Yet each is loaded with "tank-bombs", waiting to go off on the poor schmuck that happens to hold the keys at the time, causing probable major cost issues. Unfortunately, despite only a minor cost delta in new construction (incorporating soft patches, for instance), no current manufacture is willing to deal with this issue. Ditto for major engine service (i.e. a rebuild or repower). Pisses me off.

Regards,

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Old 03-28-2021, 04:17 PM   #31
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Do I actually own the only boat on here where both the engines and tanks can be removed without cutting new holes in the boat? Mind you, none of it is exactly easy on my boat, but it can all be done non-destructively with adequate effort applied.
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Old 03-28-2021, 05:25 PM   #32
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Do I actually own the only boat on here where both the engines and tanks can be removed without cutting new holes in the boat? Mind you, none of it is exactly easy on my boat, but it can all be done non-destructively with adequate effort applied.
Well - you may not have plastic covers over your engines' pully's and fan belts... but, the good ol' Chris Craft designers/builders sure did a good thing to give you features of relatively easy access to engine and tank replacements.

We can "sneak" our Tolly's engines and tanks out the starboard or port side of salon's BIG window holes. However, to get tanks out from under the saloon sole would be a bear... even after getting engine out of the way.

Plan I've mused: If perchance tank replacement need happens during my ownership stint. Attach a rented Industrial Vacuum Pump to gas tank [already completely filled with water] and proceed to internally create minus air pressure for collapsing the tanks.

That I believe would greatly reduce efforts for tank removal. Being they are "Gasoline" tanks - EXTREME caution would be the name of the game!!
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Old 03-30-2021, 06:43 AM   #33
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When wooden boats were scrapped most times the water and fuel tanks were in prime condition , and the tanks were still fine ., 30-40-50 years old.

MONEL was the material they were made from .

Monel is very easy to work with as it does not need to be welded to seal or create mounts..

The cost difference is a concern only to the boat assembler , not to the first purchaser who would hardly notice much difference.
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Old 03-30-2021, 07:43 AM   #34
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When wooden boats were scrapped most times the water and fuel tanks were in prime condition , and the tanks were still fine ., 30-40-50 years old.

MONEL was the material they were made from .

Monel is very easy to work with as it does not need to be welded to seal or create mounts..

The cost difference is a concern only to the boat assembler , not to the first purchaser who would hardly notice much difference.
Monel was lauded as the best marine metal for all sorts of items when I was working on wooden boats in the 60's.

A good read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monel
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Old 03-30-2021, 12:25 PM   #35
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When wooden boats were scrapped most times the water and fuel tanks were in prime condition , and the tanks were still fine ., 30-40-50 years old.

MONEL was the material they were made from .

Monel is very easy to work with as it does not need to be welded to seal or create mounts..

The cost difference is a concern only to the boat assembler , not to the first purchaser who would hardly notice much difference.
Hi FF,

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and guess that you've never personally had a replacement fuel tank actually fabricated from monel in this modern day. If you had, I presume you've had the deep pockets to support the 10X cost of raw sheet stock versus aluminum. Only titanium is (marginally) more expensive (14% more than monel). And you've had the wherewithal to locate a fabricator willing to deal with the handling and forming costs (something like 5X over aluminum) associated with monel tankage. For instance, as monel work hardens (and subsequently cracks if not accomplished judiciously) upon bending, it is virtually impossible to form a rectangular tank without 100% welding each seam.

"...easy to work as it does not need to be welded..." Hardly.

"...The cost difference is a concern only to the boat assembler , not to the first purchaser who would hardly notice much difference." Seriously? Your conclusion is questionable, given today's realities of material and fabrication costs for the general public.

It is undeniable that monel makes a "better" diesel fuel tank. However if your only metric for "better" is based on your personal experience with a vessel originally fabricated for the US Government under contract by a boatyard contractually obligated to fabricate in full compliance with all military specifications and standards, for an entity with perhaps the deepest pockets of us all (the US Government), then I'm afraid we must agree to disagree on the definition of "better". Or if your metric is based on observation of tankage out of wooden boats fabricated a half-century ago in a vastly different economic climate.

Heck, the old-growth redwood my grandfather delivered to Australia at the turn of the 20th century (much probably still in use today) is "better" than the redwood I can acquire today. So what?

Personally I would love to have the wherewithal to specify monel fuel tankage in a new-construction custom motoryacht. But the reality for me, and I expect the vast majority of readers of this forum, is that new construction (production or otherwise) is not the norm. And certainly not "cost is no object" new construction. Rather we must confront the realities of the day, and do the best we can to reach a balance between "best" and "good enough". Unfortunately, monel fuel tankage falls far, far to the outside of what is financially approachable for me, at least.

As with all things, your mileage may vary with this topic. Should you have the wherewithal to afford monel replacement tankage in your boat, go for it. My pockets are shallower.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 03-31-2021, 06:07 AM   #36
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"And certainly not "cost is no object" new construction. Rather we must confront the realities of the day, and do the best we can to reach a balance between "best" and "good enough". Unfortunately, monel fuel tankage falls far, far to the outside of what is financially approachable for me, at least."

I always assume the new boat assembler will shop for the custom parts required , so will not have to pay for the tank builders learning curve more than once.

Yes, monel is more expensive than plastic , the usual second choice , but the ability to install a deep bailable sump , means clean fuel forever ,no water, no bugs , no "polishing ", even after many decades, should have value especially as the boat gets older.

I have not built a fuel tank, but on WWII troop ships the toilets were monel , with a constant water flow for #1 and a pull chain for a big #2 flush. Great for 5000+passengers.


I have rebuilt a few to work as boat heads a with an Edson bronze pump they are superb for overboard flushing.


Here is a source of new monel to obtain pricing.

https://www.americanspecialmetals.co...SAAEgKdG_D_BwE
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:58 PM   #37
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The author is an experienced how-to journalist, however, this article misses the mark in several ways.

"Nevertheless, Id restrict fiberglass tanks to diesel fuel, just to be safe. And even then, maybe not."

And even then maybe not? Why not? Fiberglass is perhaps the best material for diesel tanks, bar none. I've cleaned out 30 year old FRP tanks on Hat's that looked like new when finished, what other material can boast of that sort of longevity, durability and accessibility? The plastic the author touts? Plastic is fine for gasoline, however, it can't be fully baffled, at least not roto-molded plastic, the kind that's seamless, and it can't be equipped with inspection and clean out ports, so what do you do when a plastic diesel tank becomes contaminated? He could have pointed out that FRP tanks are expensive and not easy to manufacturer, not as easy as steel and aluminum. He could also have pointed out that plastic fuel tanks are available in a range of sizes and shapes, but they cannot be custom made, at least not when roto-molded. Fiberglass and metal tanks are fully customizable.

"The classic scenario, and one Ive experienced myself, results from water leaking through the deck or around the fuel fill, and puddling on the tank top. Since the tanks are usually tucked under the side decks and with little clearance between tank top and deck beams, only the most scrupulous owner will discover, and dry up, this damaging puddle"

He is right, that is a classic scenario, however, if the tank is ABYC compliant the top will be sloped to prevent water accumulation, and the water will run down the inboard side of the tank, where it will hopefully be noticed before it damages the tank.

"Most fuel tanks last for 15 years, maybe 20, if properly installed and maintained."

Hogwash, I routinely encounter metallic tanks that are over 20 years old. FRP tanks, if properly built and installed, will last the life of the vessel.

"Corrosion isnt limited to black iron. Any metal, even aluminum and stainless steel, will crevice-corrode if water gets trapped against it without exposure to fresh air."

Aluminum suffers from poultice, not crevice corrosion.

" Id have the builder use thicker plate than required, for added corrosion protection."

He got that right.

"Every tank meeting USCG and EPA requirements must carry a label, affixed to the tank so its clearly visible, attesting to the tank having passed the appropriate tests mandated by the Code of Federal Regulations 33 CFR 183 Subpart J - Fuel Systems."

So if it doesn't meet USCG and EPA requirements it doesn't need a label? I think what he meant to say is that all gasoline tanks must meet USCG, EPA, CFR regulations, and this includes a label, and that label must include, among other things, the tank material and thickness, test pressure, intended fuel and manufacturer, and the label must be visible after the tank is installed.

I have nothing against plastic for gasoline tanks. For diesel tanks, especially larger ones, if you want to be able to clean it out, go with 1/4" aluminum or FRP. Make certain the tank is properly installed, especially for aluminum, ensuring it is not standing in water, being dripped on or in contact with anything that will retain or trap water.

Inspection ports can be added to most tanks, except plastic, only on the top for gasoline, top or sides for diesel.

My take on the subject, for diesel tanks https://stevedmarineconsulting.com/f...-installation/
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