Diesel Fuel Tank Woes...or Bonehead mistake of the season - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 10-05-2007
rperret's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Western Long Island Sound
Posts: 220
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
rperret is on a distinguished road
Diesel Fuel Tank Woes...or Bonehead mistake of the season

Today was not the best of days.

I've got a 14 gallon aluminum fuel tank for my S2. The tank does not have a gas gauge, and the P.O. used a narrow teak dip stick to assess fuel levels. I'm 3 weeks from hauling the boat and was filling the tank and using the dip stick to check for full tank...

Of course, the dip stick snaps in the filler tube and about a 8-10" piece of teak falls into the diesel tank...@#%&!

Unfortunately I can't see the stick in the tube so it appears its at the bottom of tank.

No, I don't have a fuel tank access panel so I can fish it out. The inlet is probably about 1-1/4". Not that large.

Anyone have any creative ideas to get it out? My current plan is to:
  • have the tank drained
  • remove the tank (i remember that the tank was custom made 3 years ago) so it would fit thru the lazarette..
  • find a tank repair/machine shop to drill a proper access hole, remove the teak, and steam clean the tank (likely not that dirty but might as well do that now).
Would still like to go sailing, so I wonder if it's OK to use the engine over the next few weeks.

Thanks, and remember don't use a wooden dip stick...

Rick
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 10-05-2007
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 376
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Goodnewsboy is on a distinguished road
What is the problem that worries you? If there is a screen over the fuel pickup tube, or if the wood is larger than said pickup tube, you shouldn't have any problem getting fuel.

BTW, when you have the tank out of the boat, just have a plate fitted in the tanktop for the dual purpose of inspecting/cleaning and also mounting a fuel level sender.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 10-05-2007
camaraderie's Avatar
moderate?
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,878
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 14
camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
I agree entirely with GNB...enjoy sailing and run your motor with no worries. Run down the fuel level in the tank and then install a clean out port when you haul out. There should be no need to remove the tank...especially if just 3 years old. You or the yard can do the work on the boat....or pull the tank if that is easier for all. You might wanna think about getting a tanktender system! (g)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 10-06-2007
Owner, Green Bay Packers
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 10,318
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
And, if I recall correctly, teak does not float well even in water. I believe it's specific gravity is just a touch above 1.0 and so it's resting nicely on the bottom of your tank as diesel has a SG of less than water. On the bright side; how many things in your life can you say are right where you left them?
__________________
“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 10-06-2007
ebs001's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 2,025
Thanks: 3
Thanked 16 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 8
ebs001 is on a distinguished road
Actually teak would float in diesel fuel. SG teak 0.63 to 0.73: SG Diesel 0.82 to 0.95.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 10-06-2007
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,710
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
SEMIJim will become famous soon enough SEMIJim will become famous soon enough
It would bug the livin' hell outta me to know I had a foreign object like that in my fuel tank, but at the cost/expense/hassle of pulling the tank, etc., I think I'd learn to live with it if the object was just going to be there and it'd do no harm.

We use the dip-stick method, too. The PO of our boat fabricated it of a plain ol' dowel rod, couldn't even tell you what kind of wood it is, that is thick enough to largely fill the fuel fill port, so it wouldn't be very easy to break.

Yeah, Cam, those tank tenders are Real Nice . Also Real Expensive .

Jim
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 10-06-2007
camaraderie's Avatar
moderate?
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,878
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 14
camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Yeah....they are almost as expensive as removing the fuel tank! (g)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 10-06-2007
Boasun's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,048
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Boasun will become famous soon enough Boasun will become famous soon enough
On the work boats we use a weighted metal measuring tape. On your small boats with the associated size tanks you could use a measuring tape of 6' or 10' length. Make a tank volume table for your fuel tanks and just by measuring you will know how much you have and can tell the pump man at the fuel dock how much you need and when to slow down the flow so you don't spurt out the fuel vent.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 10-07-2007
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 376
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Goodnewsboy is on a distinguished road
An electric fuel level sender is less than $40 (Tempo)

http://www.iboats.com/Sending_Units/...view_id.238171

Add about the same for a matching gauge and you don't have to worry about a dipstick.
http://www.iboats.com/2_Fuel_Level_G...view_id.131608


If you don't want to do an electric gauge setup, they even have a mechanical gauge that reads out at the tank.

http://www.iboats.com/Tempo_Mechanic...-view_id.21305
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 10-07-2007
rperret's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Western Long Island Sound
Posts: 220
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
rperret is on a distinguished road
Thanks for the comments.

My main concern was if the teak would somehow begin to breakdown (lots of silica in teak i think) and start clogging up the filters, etc.

This new tank is a bit kludge...

The tank appears easy to remove - and would probably be easier (cheaper) for having a proper access port and fuel sensor installed.

At any rate, thanks all for the sage advice.

Rick
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Diesel Fuel Tank Retrofit sailingcal21 Gear & Maintenance 11 07-28-2006 10:37 AM
Diesel Fuel Essentials Tom Wood Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 03-22-2004 07:00 PM
Diesel Fuel Essentials Tom Wood Her Sailnet Articles 0 03-22-2004 07:00 PM
Diesel Fuel Concerns SailNet Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 07-08-2002 08:00 PM
Diesel Engine Woes Mark Matthews Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 09-19-2001 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:58 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012