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awahl 05-07-2013 09:44 PM

Replacing Fuel Tank in E32
It's apparent that the fuel tank in our 1982 E32 has a leak. Not going to entertain the how and why- other than it's old, has been on the hard the last couple of years- and at least one of those two years bilge water was left and froze solid. In any event- it's time to take action.

I have read through the Endeavour Owners forums, Practical Sailor articles, etc. and while it's likely to be a fairly major job, I'm not about to let it get me down.

I am expecting that we will have to cut the sole aft of from the bilge hatch to somewhere around the foot of the companionway area in order to access the tank.

If anyone had done this in their E32- and especially if you have pictures, or aware of any existing E32 specific fuel tank replacement stories, blog postings, etc- would be great as well...

I will do my best to post our progress and pics along the way...


CalebD 05-07-2013 10:39 PM

Re: Replacing Fuel Tank in E32
Wow, that is going to be one sucky job to do.
I have seen the fuel tank on my friends E 32' so I know what miserable access you will have without dismantling part of the cabin sole.
You might check Roger Long's blog about his E32 "Strider"; he did quite a bit of a re-fit on his boat but I'm not sure if he re-did the fuel tank.
Endeavour 32

The design called for the fuel tank to sit in the lowest of the bilges just forward of the engine. This might make sense from a weight perspective but does not make that much sense considering that the fuel tank is made of metal (perhaps Monel?) and is likely to often be wet. I'll assume that your E32 is also the shoal draft version?
I wonder if it would make sense to place your new tank(s) a bit more forward where the bilge is much shallower, under the cabin sole. If you did this you could then add some lead weights to the now (hopefully) empty deep bilge to compensate for the weight of the fuel tank moving about 2' closer to the water line. You could contact Roger Long (he is a retired Naval Architect after all) and ask him what he thinks about this idea (or I could contact him for you, if you like).

This could be a chance to also re-do your cabin sole if it is starting to look "tired". I really like the cabin on my friend's 1982 E 32, but I dislike the plastic Beckson ports. His 30+ year old ports need replacing badly.

The original spec says the stock fuel tank held 20 gallons of fuel. Without doing the math I'd guess that the weight of the fuel would equal about 150 lbs of ballast being moved higher.
ENDEAVOUR 32 sailboat specifications and details on

awahl 05-08-2013 05:45 AM

Re: Replacing Fuel Tank in E32
Thanks Caleb - you pretty much hit the nail on the head there. I will take a double-check on all of Roger's various Strider pages and postings- but I do not recall him replacing the tank.

I have the shoal draft version (the only version made in 82 and I believe in 81 also). There is not that much more space forward to move it- perhaps only 6-8", which would still require cutting the cabin floor aft. Previous versions of the boat actually had the tank sitting much higher, aft of the engine below the cockpit- While better from a maintenance/access perspective- not sure of the wisdom of that from a balance perspective and think that may be why they changed the design...

Ditto on those old Beckson's....


bigdogandy 05-08-2013 07:54 AM

Re: Replacing Fuel Tank in E32
Andy - The previous owner of my boat replaced the fuel tank and had to cut through the cabin does not look like it was that difficult of a job. I'll send you some pics this weekend when I get to the boat.

awahl 05-08-2013 06:24 PM

Re: Replacing Fuel Tank in E32
That'd be great Andy - thank you sir!

I also got some feedback from Roger Long on the Endeavour Owners FB page- thinking the aft locker may be an option too- will depend on the extent of sawing/cutting/ripping required....

CalebD 05-08-2013 07:45 PM

Re: Replacing Fuel Tank in E32
In my somewhat extended rant (previous post) I forgot to mention the dreaded blisters.

My friend had kept his E32 in the water over several winters in the Chessy. About a year ago they became aware that the hull (below the water line) had developed blisters.
I thought that over wintering in the water might have been a partial cause but I'm told that there were problems with the layup on some of the Endeavors around this time. I also hear that there was a class action suit against the company.
I guess the good news is that if your E 32' has not yet developed this problem after all this time, well, that is good news.

Yes, there is some room below the cockpit for mounting a fuel tank or two. Having the tanks located here would make accessing the stuffing box, transmission and HX (if you have one) more difficult though. I'm just not sure about the ramifications of moving that weight farther aft rather than forward and over the top of the keel. I suppose an easy answer is to keep your water tanks full as they are up near the V-berth, IIRC.

MarioG 05-12-2013 05:40 PM

Re: Replacing Fuel Tank in E32
My tank sets under the cockpit and I find it out of the way and convenent.

bigdogandy 05-13-2013 05:44 AM

Re: Replacing Fuel Tank in E32
Andy - my apologies - I forgot to take the camera with me when I went to the boat this weekend, but I had these that I took wth my cell phone a while back when I cleaned the tank, replaced my fuel lines and moved the fuel filter from behind the engine to where the trash can had been.

Basically it looks like the PO cut along the lines of the existing aft hatch opening to the bilge all the way into the engine compartment, and then added some hardwood cleats on either side to support the piece that was cut out. I think he must have popped the teak parquet up in the area that was cut out before making the cut because with the piece in place you can't tell there is a seam between the two sections of flooring.

I hope this helps.



awahl 05-13-2013 11:19 PM

Re: Replacing Fuel Tank in E32
Interesting- and this helps a lot- Thanks-

I was thinking it would be nice to leave a hatch there, but was surprised the PO did not put the stringers back in. There are two- One is just aft of the original hatch, and there is another just forward of the engine (I can't tell but it may be there under where the battery sits in your pic).

In any case- do you hear any flexing or unusual creaking when you're sailing?

I was at the boatyard today- Got to get the boat down to them for proper estimate, but it's looking like somewhere around $2500+ to do, and that's with me doing some of the work to save on labor.... B o a t.....

CalebD 05-14-2013 02:39 PM

Re: Replacing Fuel Tank in E32
I think that is a very sensible set up you have with your fuel tank, engine compartment & battery on an E 32.
I much prefer the idea of the tank being under the cabin sole rather than under the cockpit where it would impede accessing the steering gear, stuffing box, heat exchanger etc.
How many gallons of diesel does your tank hold?

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