Leaking fiberglass fuel tank - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-13-2013 Thread Starter
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Leaking fiberglass fuel tank

My fiberglass fuel tank leaks. I'm draining and scrubbing it out and plan to paint the interior with west systems epoxy, in an attempt to seal it. It's only a 15 gallon tank. I would welcome any suggestions or helpful hints.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-13-2013
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Re: Leaking fiberglass fuel tank

Odds are, based on years of oil business expereince, that the fuel has permeated the FRP just enough that nothing is going to bond. The probability of pealing is very high. Additionally, the tank may be leaking due to failure of the laminate; it's not some pinhole corrosion issue.

I'd build a new one, using a more suitable resin.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-13-2013
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Re: Leaking fiberglass fuel tank

What about using a fuel bladder? There are custom and standard sizes available. I can't offer advice on fixing a fiberglass tank. You don't mention if you are storing gasoline or diesel. That might make a difference, especially since the ethanol in most gasoline is hard on fiberglass.

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Leaking fiberglass fuel tank

Cut the top off and lay up a new tank inside. Start with making a top with a removable plate that includes the fuel supply pipe. Try and keep a green flange going to bond with the rest of the tank.

Any resin should do but I think epoxy or vinylester have better resistance. Ask your supplier.

Easy job. Some notes here WEST SYSTEM | Modifying and Customizing Boats - Wood/epoxy composite tank guidelines
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Leaking fiberglass fuel tank

Good Luck on your FG tank repair
I have a larger tank 75 gal that seeks slowly.
I believe (hope) it is pinholes at a seam. The boat has other tanks built the same way and none show delamination.
Someone has already commented that no repair 'sticks' to fuel impregnated surfaces. That is what I have found with my attempted repair. Now I have kept this 'extra' tank empty with a drying-out light bulb for sometime and will try again.
I would appreciate any advice.
When I was using the tank, I carefully monitored at what tank level it stopped leaking, thinking the leak might be higher up in the tank. It appears to be down low, but I am not certain.
A liner/badder is a good idea not possible.
I would appreciate any advice from others who have a leaky FG tank
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Leaking fiberglass fuel tank

Ethanol in the fuel WILL slowly disolve the fiberglass and it will gum up everything ai have been down this road and it is BAD news. I would replace the tank with either the high density polyethelene or stainless period. A bladder is also a possibility. depending on shapes and accessability. I went with the poly.

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