Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: West Vancouver, BC
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Don't need no stinkin' fuel tank!
I've had a mysterious diesel leak in my '78 Irwin Citation sailboat for some time. I've been working my way through fittings, hoses, and ended up suspecting it was a leak in the tank itself. Unfortunately the tank was all glassed into the port settee so it was impossible to check it out without some serious surgery. It became more of an urgent matter when I realized fuel was actually osmosing through to the topside of the locker hatch lid! Every week a sheen of fuel would build on the lid--we had to get in there to see what was going on.
Well, I left the tough stuff to the shipwright and over a couple of days they removed all the glass matting around the edges of the hatch, plus the 40 or so screws, plus the calking... until they had to cut out the hatch. Then guess what? NO FREAKIN! GAS TANK!!! It's just a fiberglass settee locker full of fuel!!! There was a small bulkhead in the middle acting as a bellows I guess, to keep the fuel from sloshing. And there were supply and return fittings as well as the filler pipe. But there was no tank. It was clear that after 30 years the hatch lid had become permeated with fuel and with a full tank, was leaching through the wood and glass to the outside.
I find this incredibly strange/cheap/dangerous, that the manufacturer designed this inaccessible, unserviceable, fuel storage inside the main cabin. The Citation line is supposed to be the deluxe Irwin model, and everything about this old sailer is definitely better engineered, and of higher quality. So I scratch my head, as we cut out this 'fuel locker' and prepare to put a proper tank in its place!
Anyone experience something like this?