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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-26-2014 11:01 AM
Re: Fuel tank for First 42

It seems to be an interesting idea.
An idea where we allso were thinking abouth.
But I'm a little bit affraid to cut away the cockpitfloor and so lossing som stiffness of the cockpit , thath can lead to flexing drainholepipes?? and maybe leakage?
We are allso brainstorming abouth making a man/hand hole in the cockpit floor .
Changing the cockpit floor would allso giving some possebilities to enlarge the portside aftcabin. creating a real 2 persons bed.
If you have, i'm verry interesting in your video, ore pictures.
many greetings
12-25-2014 02:38 PM
Re: Fuel tank for First 42

I had to move the tank rearward last year when we replaced the shaft log. happens we had the transmition out to replace the chutches so I had a little more area to work..
But durring the process I was toying with the idea of building a larger tank for fuel and how it would go in..
Just some Ideas.....
If you look into the quad area behind the tank from the starboard side locker you can see a few inches between the tank and the tubes for the cockpit drain.
So if the floor of the area below the gridwork in the cockpit was cut across the bottom forward of the tubes, up the sides to the support ridge and forward around the front, the section should come out.. dont cut up into the support rail but just below the rail..
Because the area below the cockpit floor is tapered rising to the top, the tank should come out throu the cockpit..
Now glassing it back together..
A piece of marine ply can be cut to fit the rise at the rear giving a sump of a few inches where the tubes are.. the ply would rise to the floor (grid) level and another piece of ply under the grid area..
All areas could easilly be reached for glassing and epoxy and you havent changed the structure where the grid floor would set.. the floor would now be about an inch or two below the grid allowing for any water to run to the sump at the rear, with the origional tubes at the bottom of the sump..
If anyone has any ideas of pulling their tank without pulling the motor, give me a shout and I'll do a video of what I just described to you.......
12-15-2014 05:51 PM
Re: Fuel tank for First 42

Many thanks for the usefull information.
12-10-2014 07:59 PM
Re: Fuel tank for First 42


I regret that I have not responded sooner but, these daze, I don't visit this site too often as the BS Coefficient is nearing unity and I have neither the time nor interest to bother with it.

N'any case, there is no "easy" way to get at the fuel tank in the First 42 short of removing the engine and getting at the securing tabs through the fore'n aft inspection ports in the sail locker on the starboard side, the forward inspection port on the port side (unfortunately often blocked by the placement of the hot water heater) under the quarter cabin berth and, aft, through the port lazarett locker which will require maneuvering over and around the steering quadrant. (Frankly, I don't know anyone that's managed it.)

If you are certain the tank needs "polishing", one approach is to fill the tank with fuel and a good treatment such as BioborJF, let it sit for a few days, then "polish" the fuel by threading a 1/2" "pick-up" line through the fuel filler tube and attaching a return line to the fuel pick-up fitting on the starboard forward lower corner of the tank (behind the engine) after disconnecting the fuel line to the lift pump. By recirculating the fuel through a couple of filters for a day or two with this arrangement, you should be pretty good to go. Putting together a fuel polishing system consisting of a fairly high speed pump coupled with a pair of Racor filters (say a 30 Micron leading a 2 Micron) bolted to a mounting frame really isn't/won't be that costly and should do the job nicely. There are other approaches but the foregoing should work.

12-10-2014 04:27 PM
Re: Fuel tank for First 42

Is there anybody who has removed his old fuel tank and and maybe has some pitures of the tank?
It can help us to decide what we can cut away, to reach some flange or something.
thx in advance
11-19-2014 04:23 PM
Re: Fuel tank for First 42

Hello HyLyte,
I tried to send you a PM, but unfortunately, I couldn't post it because of newbe...I'm Karl, Beneteau first 42 1982 owner, since 10 years. Fantastic sailing machine, especially in light airs. But now we have a real problem with our fueltank, so my question How can we clean our tank? IS there any possibility to get into the tank for cleaning? Is it an option to make a hole in the side bulkheads port or starboard? Or can we use a manhole in the tank , or a levelindicator hole? ore what ever to clean the tank? or by making a hole true the cockpitfloor to reach a mannhole of the thank? is ther some compartimebtation inside the tank? All information is wellcome.
MAny thanks in advance.
04-05-2009 10:48 AM
svHyLyte I wish I had an answer for the inaccuracy issue. Unfortunately, the gauges are nortoriously inaccurate. We use ours as a rough indicator only and rely on the hour meter and our consuption rate. I can tell you that we have motored many hours past the point at which the gauge says empty without running out of fuel. (I don't recall ever adding more than about 32 gallons to the tank.) I suspect Espar can give you an average burn rate, which is likely very low in any case. (We run a Panda 4.2K generator that only uses 1/10th of a gallon of fuel an hour.) One thing we do is keep a 5 gallon jug of fuel in the life-raft revetment and add that once we've gotten down to indicated empty, just to be on the safe side.

Adding fuel at sea can be a bear so I carry a tube with a little squeeze pump, similar to the pump on an outboard. We heave too, steady down the yacht and for all intents and purposes siphon fuel into the tank through an in-line filter and water separator. Thus far we've not had a problem.


s/v HyLyte
04-05-2009 09:02 AM
first42 Scott,

Thanks for the information. That's exactly what I was looking for. Just for clarification, The issue that I have is the existing fuel gauge does not show when full and when the gauge shows empty, it still has somewhere around a quarter tank in it, so I don't know where "bottom" us. It wouldn't be that much of a problem if we were motoring only. This tank also feeds the Espar and that's an unknown usage.

Again thanks.
04-01-2009 09:05 AM
svHyLyte The fuel gage sending unit on the First 42 is located on the port side of the fuel tank above and aft of the water-lift muffler. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to access as the green ribbed ventilation ducts--which if still the originals are quite stiff--cover the sender and there is only a small access hole to the muffler space through the bulk-head between the port quarter cabin and the engine/fuel tank space. The access hole is below the panel that supports the cushion at the aft end of the berth, aft of the compartment where the hot-water heater and pressure water system are normally located. (I know this as I just went through replacing the water lift muffler and the exhaust hose on our 1986 First 42.)

There is no physical way to remove the fuel tank from the boat without first removing the engine. You must also gain access to the tabs at the aft end of the tank that are bolted to the stringers (port) and bulk-head between the sail locker and engine/fuel-tank space (on the starboard side). To reach to port aft tab you will have to remove the exhaust hose--a seriously major surgery--and the ventilator ducts, which will likely rip apart (as did mine) when you try to extract them as they have to make a sharp turn on the aft port side of the tank to be extracted through the space between the corner of the tank and the cockpit drain pipe from the bottom of the life-raft revetment to the hull. That is major surgery for little gain.

In our case, we enlarged the access hole under the quarter cabin berth by very carefully cutting--horizontally--through the bulk-head just below the cleat that is screwed to the bulk-head (to support the aft end of the berth) and then vertically down to the hull liner. You must be very careful doing so as all of the wiring for the instrument panel as well as the hose for the bilge pump also runs through this space. By opening it up, however, you gain better access to the muffler and the side of the tank where the fuel sending unit is located. Before doing any of this I suggest you see if you can reach through the access hole and find the sending unit by feel. There are two wires to the sender (which is a triangular shaped device) that can be fairly easily dislodged which may be the cause of your fuel gage not working. One goes to a very small ground post in the center of the body of the sender and the second goes to a post with a thumb-screw nut on the bottom rear side. It doesn't seem to matter which wire goes to which post.

For what it's worth I would not go through the brain damage of the foregoing for the sake of the fuel gage alone. The 4-108 uses about 9/10ths gallon per hour on average and I'd simply keep track of my usage as the gage is fairly inaccurate anyway and only gives a rough indication of the fuel level. Further, note that representations to the contrary not withstanding, the tank does not hold 40 gallons but only 37--as carefully measured and determined on another friend's boat.

I can give you some added information in real time if you PM me with your phone number.


/s/ Scott
s/v HyLyte
03-31-2009 08:29 PM
first42 This message is to RandyonR3 and lfrenchtx, as you both have First 42's would like to ask questions. I do not have enough posts to send you a PM direct. Hope you do. Please contact me for further talks.

First 42
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