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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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  #1  
Old 03-23-2010
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Fuel Piping

We bough our Camper & Nicholson 58 four year ago and had it trucked to Michigan from Ft Luderdale. It has five diesel tanks totaling 380 gallons. Tanks are 3/16 welded stainless construction. They are rigidly glassed in place and totally immovable. The four aft tanks were ganged together with 1 inch soft steel pipe, steel unions and bronze gate valves connecting their lower ports. This piping was bent to fit by the builder. The upper tank ports are fill and vent lines; also 1" but bronze.

I removed all of the lower, steel (rusty) pipes and 24 year old gate valves. Ports at the tanks are 1" BSPT and are not visible from the outside of the tanks. the Glass ribs through which the pipes pass are 6 to 8 inches thick and up to 3 feet tall. I can easilly insert new pipes and I have the threadding dies and taps.

My intension is to install new pipe stubs from each tank and screw a bronze shut-off valve on each. I then plan to use hose barbs and USCG rubber hose to gang the tanks as before.

My Question is about materials. Since I can never see the pipe joint at the tank, can I use bronze or copper pipe or should I use Stainless pipe stubs. I am concerned about galvanic coupling. This may be pointless worry considering that the original steel pipes lasted 24 years.
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Old 03-23-2010
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I would recommend using flexible USCG approved fuel hose, rather than copper or bronze pipe Copper has a nasty habit of work hardening and then failing without warning...
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Old 03-23-2010
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If I understand correctly you have British Standard pipe thread ports in your tanks. You need nipples or hose barbs or hoses that are swaged to a fitting that will suit. Not sure how easy that is to find in North America. Since you have the dies make nipples out of bronze would be easiest I think.
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Old 03-25-2010
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Please read my original post. The tank ports are on the blind side of many inches of solid fiberglass. They are not visible and never will be. I cannot and will not consider putting hose barbs in the tanks. I must come through the glass structure that secures the tanks & into an open central pipe-way. This tank stub must be 1" pipe with BSPT threads (I have a die - no problem). My concern is material because I don't want to risk a galvanic cell at the tank port where it can never be inspected. At the exposed end of the pipe (bronze or SS ???) I must have a shut-off valve prior to any hose. The valve will be Bronze. After the valve I will use bronze hose barbs and approved hose.
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I would go with bronze then. The valve will be bronze, so that at least eliminates galvanic corrosion issues at that point. There isn't really much choice, since using stainless steel would add a third metal to the mix and complicate things that much more.

Also, as RXBot points out, bronze would be far simpler to machine as it is softer and easier to work.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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