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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-09-2008
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fuel tank replacement

I've got a 1976 Irwin 37CC sailboat and I am thinking about either replaceing it with a bladder or slipping in a smaller one in it's place, any ideas ?

Mike McKee
s/v Blue Bayou
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No expert Mike, but I've never read anything good about fuel and bladder tanks without a lot of effort given to eliminating all hard spots surrounding the bladder. Water either for that matter, too much friction and chafe.

Bob
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Tank replacement

Just a thought on replacing fuel tanks. I've found that replacement plastic tanks can be removed later for cleaning. You can glass a section in under the floor in the spider area for a built in tank( the least expensive). You are probably not going to use as much fuel as you think so a smaller tank might work even better. good luck. I didn't discuss aluminum tanks as they are too problematic.
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The problem with bladders for sailboats is that the diesel requires a return line. Getting the bladder positioned and properly supported and protected from chafe is generally a PITA. A hard tank, made of cross-linked HDPE, is probably a better way to go with less headaches in the long run. Plastic tanks need to be braced and supported as well, but not to the same degree as a bladder does.
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Old 06-09-2008
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Funsail - why will he use less fuel than he thinks ? I don't understand that at all.

Ref the tanks - we have an issue where the old tanks are rotten and have to come out. This can be done but not easily so we will replace the two large tanks with three of even four small polyethylene. I'd not be happy to reduce the overall capacity however. When cruising, fuel supply is not always that reliable so I like to carry as much as possible without resorting to portable jerry cans.

Sd - HDPE ? High Density Polyethylene ?
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Old 06-10-2008
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Whilst not advocating bladders for fuel (my preference is ali for fuel) if you're hell bent on them then the simplest way to take care of rub and chafe is to line the compartment with a piece of carpet (as long as the cavity doesn't get a lot of water in it). If the carpet is to be replaced down the line the bag can just be lifted when empty and a new piece stuck in.

Most bladders are easily mounted because they have eyelets from which they can be suspended.

My only rider is: Have you seen how far a leaked cupful of diesel can stretch? It is awe-inspiring.

Andre
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Sometimes the bladder solution is the only way of keeping your sanity.
Has anoyne ever looked at the fuel tank on a Union 36?
Has anyone ever tried to get the tank out?
Or a new one in?

I tell you, the only way to get a new one in there is to weld the new tank in situ and you'll burn the boat down if you try, assuming you don't die of welding fumes before that.
The Union 36 did not design the fuel tank, or water tank for maintainence.

If the fuel tank leaks again, I will cut the top off it, grind down the angles, line it with carpet or neoprene, and put a big bladder in there.

I might keep my sanity then.

I wish I had modular tanks as described. I don't though, and bladders are likely to be my only move if leaks develop.
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Polyethylene gas tanks - any problems/

I'm considering installing a Moeller cross-linked polyethylene gas tank ( sorry the site won't let me post the link - see moellermarine dot com/aftermarket/fuel_storage_tanks/permanent_tanks/). Sounds like a few of you have installed these. Anyone have any bad experiences with polyethylene versus aluminum gas tanks? The advice I've received so far seems to favor aluminum, but I don't understand why.
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I would remove the old one and make a new tank out of satinless steel. This way its a perfect fit and you don't lose any capacity. Here is ours we did 2 years ago. When we started this project it in the back of my mind to "do it right= do it one time" the stainless will be good for life.





Scott
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