Leaking Catalina Fuel Tank - Help!?! - SailNet Community

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Old 11-24-2007
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Question Leaking Catalina Fuel Tank - Help!?!

I just discovered a major leak in my Catalina 270 fuel tank. Has anybody else encountered this problem? I think that the tank can be removed through the rear starboard locker. It looks like the tank is epoxied in place now. Is there a better way? Any pointers or tips??? Thanks, in advance.
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What is the tank made of? Where is the leak in the tank?? Is it diesel or gasoline??
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Leaking C270 fuel tank

The tank is made of some type of metal (aluminum?). The leak seems to be on the bottom, but it's not visible. It's a diesel. Any ideas?
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sounds like the tank has pinholes in it from corrosion. My guess is that you're going to have to rip the old tank out and replace it. I kind of doubt that it is epoxied in place. It may have some sealant around it..but most tanks—unless they're fiberglass tanks that are part of the hull—are attached via screws, bolts, straps or some other type of support/restraint.

It might be worth contacting Catalina and asking them for suggestions, particularly if you want to remove the old tank—since the tank is probably original to the boat. They can probably tell you how the tank was attached and what the best way to go about replacing it is.
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Grizzly...

I have been there with this one. The leak is likely to be in the floor of the tank where a little water has lain.
It is not difficult to fix, just time-consuming.

*Pump the tank out until there is no diesel in it.
*Wash the tank again and again with washing-up detergent to get the diesel traces out of there, or at least minimised.
*You are going to need access to the floor of the tank.
*If you don't have already, you are going to have to cut an aperture in the top of the tank. In my case (a steel tank) I had to cut the top of the tank off. A grinder will do it.
*Be careful. You will have to flood the tank with water before you risk the sparks of a grinder.
*When you have access, scrub and scrub until the floor of the tank is clean.
*You should see where the leak is. If not, there is a trick.
*Now, flood the bilge with a hose until the level of water in the bilge climbs the wall of the tank. With a flashlight in there, you will see the leaks. Mark the leak(s).
*Pump bilge dry.
* Buy some two-part polysulphide adhesive... they normally are in tins. This adhesive is not cheap but it is a superb tank sealant.
*Clean the tank leak area.
*Apply adhesive with a wee roller.
*Let it cure... it takes a few days.
*Flood bilge again to test for leaks.
*If it is still leaking, place a coin to mark the leak(s).
*Drain bilge, let it dry, repeat application.

*Eventually, the tank will not leak whan the bilge is flooded.
*Pump bilge dry.
*leak test the tank by filling it.
*leave it for days to be sure.
*build an access hatch into the roof of the tank and weld the top on again... the water must be in the tank or the weld spatter will burn the floor of the tank... watch your fire safety... beware radiated heat !!!!
*pump the water out.
*dry the tank internals.

*celebrate.

If you can get the tank out, just make a new one, but if you cannot (I could not), then fix it in situ you must.

Rockter.
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