If the diesel tank is done for... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 22 Old 05-17-2015 Thread Starter
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If the diesel tank is done for...

Well, I'm still trying to confirm but it might be that my extremely rusty old diesel fuel tank on my CAL 29 is finally seeping fuel out, leaking.

If it is, it seems my options are:

1. Replace it. As it's tucked behind my engine under the cockpit, I imaging that means cutting up the cockpit, lifting it out of the hole, replacing it and putting the cockpit back together.

How much might that run in a boatyard?

2. Leave it and install additional. I imagine I could pump the fuel out of it, then seal it up with something if possible. Do they make tank sealant? Then install 1-2 new (probably smaller) tanks somewhere else. Maybe in the cockpit storage under the seats or something. Is this an idea?

Unfortunately, I think both are ones I'll get boatyard's help with, though #2 sounds cheaper.

Anyone have thoughts? Anyone know how much a boatyard might charge for either?

Thanks in advance, and always, for the ideas and help!

-Charts
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post #2 of 22 Old 05-17-2015
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Re: If the diesel tank is done for...

By the time you figure out how and where to install new tanks, and make them, and get them hooked up, fix #1 will start to look really good. Depending upon where you have it done, it might not cost too much to replace the old one. You could save yourself some money by cutting out the bottom of the cockpit yourself and taking out the old tank. Make as clean a cut as possible. A circular saw with only a half inch of the blade showing should do most of it. A Sawzall or jigsaw could also work, but it is harder to keep them going in a clean, straight line. Make sure no wires,cables or controls are in the way first! Hold the saw firmly with both hands. It will be awkward, since you'll need to be kneeling on the seat, not the cockpit floor that you're cutting out. Once the old tank has been removed, chances are good that there's a standard -sized tank that can be fitted in, strapped down and hooked up. Various retailers show tanks in the size range you'll need for about $200. I Then you need to fiberglass the cockpit floor back in. If you want to do THAT yourself, materials might cost $100. The trickiest part will be figuring out a way to hold the floor in place while applying the fiberglass and letting it 'kick'. Temporary supports underneath might be the best, if you can get in there somehow. If you hire it out, it might take 3 to 4 hours for the mechanic to install the new tank, and another two hours for the fiberglass guy. All told, maybe $1000 to have it done for you? Pick what works best for you.
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Last edited by paulk; 05-17-2015 at 08:50 PM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 05-17-2015
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Re: If the diesel tank is done for...

Mine was big, behind the engine and came up and out the lazertte! So, before you start moaning and groaning and calling "the yard" get a tape measure, measure measure and measure, think how and if, rather then chop up the boat, cut up the tank! All we needed to was cut the filler neck off. We (when I had employees) cut up fuel oil tanks to get them out of basements. A boat tank should be allot less trouble!

Why does everyone want to cut up boats? Just about ANY diesel tank can be sectioned in an hour or so. If you are really scared of an explosion set a hose to spray water mist on the blades and in the tank. Use cordless saws. A horizontal cut will give you 2 "pans" replace the old with a smaller standard size if necessary. My 19 gal Moeller was less than $100
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Last edited by deniseO30; 05-17-2015 at 10:49 PM.
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post #4 of 22 Old 05-17-2015
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Re: If the diesel tank is done for...

Cut open the tank and install a fuel bladder..aircraft use these all the time.With good measurement's they can build them custom in Eagle River Wi..........Dale
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-18-2015
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Re: If the diesel tank is done for...

Yes... I sound a bit angry.. it angers me allot when people are so quick "cut" and don't/won't/can't even use a ruler and photos to determine if things can be wrestled out or reduced in size BEFORE crying the blues and reaching for saws and check books

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post #6 of 22 Old 05-18-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: If the diesel tank is done for...

Hey Denise, thanks for the feedback and the idea of cutting out the tank rather than the cockpit. I'll definitely include that in the options to talk about.

By the way, I don't see any "crying the blues" or "moaning and groaning" in my original post. I must be reading it differently than you.

Try not to be angry. Some day I hope my life will allow me to spend more time on boat projects and to get really good at things like cutting up diesel tanks. But I'm not there yet. I don't know why that would make you angry, though.

Thanks again for the feedback and idea!
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post #7 of 22 Old 05-18-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: If the diesel tank is done for...

Thanks for the feedback and potential costs, Paul, it'll help me plan, and LSS, that's an interesting idea I hadn't thought of. Anyone else using fuel bladders?

-Charts.
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-18-2015
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Re: If the diesel tank is done for...

It was a rant. I used the word people and not your name. We get tons of tank posts and most seem hellbent on cutting up a boat without even thinking of "ways" to get the tank out. I do realize some tanks just have to stay because the boat was essentially built around them. But when behind the engine under the C-pit floor... there should be a way. My friend joe had mine out to the filler neck while I was walking away to to the truck to get a sawzall We cut off when I walked back with the saw. 20 mins! Now the new Moeller tank can come out almost as fast!

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post #9 of 22 Old 05-18-2015
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Re: If the diesel tank is done for...

A couple of years ago we were greeted in the spring by 4" of diesel under the engine. We sawzalled the 30 year old corroded aluminum tank out & replaced with an outboard fuel tank. We've sailed the Chesapeake 4+ years since with no problems.
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post #10 of 22 Old 05-18-2015
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Re: If the diesel tank is done for...

If the holes aren't too bad you might get by with polysulfide aircraft tank sealant. Seals up to 1/4" vertical seams. Others report 20 years of success.
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