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post #11 of 15 Old 03-11-2005 Thread Starter
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Fuel Tanks

Hm, correction: "ubiquitous". For some reason got an error when I tried to edit the message.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-12-2005
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Fuel Tanks

In small tanks of 20 gallons or so, I don''t put a baffle unless it is long and skinny, but of course, once you start growing in size, OR if the tank is put under a berth, I put in baffles. One reason is to keep down noise, another is to limit sloshing so your fuel guage has a chance to tell you how much you really have.

If you do a google search on line for fiberglass cloth, you''ll find a place on Florida''s east coast, in Ft Lauderdale, I think. I forget. I order from them on line or over the phone, and they ship to me. Anyway, they have everything you need.

The resins are inexpensive and work fine. West is great stuff, but really pricy compared to conventional layup resins. I have done all major building on my boat using both. West for wood and wood/fiberglass assembly and adhesion, and polyester and vinylester for large jobs, such as the hull and tanks.

By the way, when it came time to actually build in fuel tanks in the bottom of my aft quarterberth areas, I got all the materials, got the areas ready, screwed up my resolve, and suddenly said ''Screw this'' and bought tempo plastic tanks for tis area.

Why?

Because I simply couldn''t be sure I could work in that small area with the confidence that the tanks could survive a really rough passage while being half full. The last thing in the world you need is 50 gallons of diesel fuel sloshing around your bilge and no engine in a stormy sea. It was simply too risky. If I could have built the tanks on land, then installed them, fine, but no way. I couldn''t get them into the boat, so I had to back off and go for factory tanks. All other tanks, though, are easy. Three water tanks and a holding tank.
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-14-2005
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Fuel Tanks

Try this for tanks www.ronco-plastics.com and they have a pdf that once you download it has a great selection of tanks of every sive with line drawings with the measurments you have to scroll way down to see the drawings.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-15-2005
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Fuel Tanks

One dark day last spring, I went below after the cover was taken off do find the bilge filled with liquid. It seems my diesel takn spilled its guts over the winter. It was aluminum, and 24 years old. Why had this happened? Someone had dropped a small pair of vicegrips down near the tank and they had managed to slip under the tank. Steel, the enevitable moisture, and viola, a nice vicegrip shaped leak under the tank. It was under a quarterberth, and a very unique trapazoidal design. No way was I going to be able to buy a tank from a stock builder. Anything I needed was going to be custom.

SP Sheet Metal Fabricators to the rescue! sptanks.com They are in NJ. I sent them pictures and drawings of the old tank, and two weeks and $275 (plus shipping and handling) I had my new tank.

I stayed with aluminum. I figured that because the old one lasted 24years, and looked fine except for the vicegrip incedent, I would stick with it. I upped the wall thickness to what SP said they use for offshore racing powerboats.

It''s only a 15 gallon tank, but they added two baffels, and it came ready to drop in with fuel gauge, pressure tested, and WITH A US COAST GUARD CERTIFICATION!!!!! Something that a future buyer might be interested in. As opposed to the homemade tanks. Nothing wrong with the homemades if you never plan on selling your boat, or getting stopped for a "Safety Inspection" by the Coasties.
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-17-2005 Thread Starter
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Fuel Tanks

Thanks all, for the words o'' wisdom. I''ll look into both the ready-made plastic and custom aluminum options.
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