Unanticipated New Fuel Tank - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Pacific Seacraft
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  #1  
Old 03-01-2010
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Unanticipated New Fuel Tank

I was planning on replacing the fuel tank on our 1986 PSC 37 next year but last week went aboard the boat and immediately smelled diesel. The good news is that we were out of the water so no EPA fines ($$$$$) were involved, but bad news is we need a new tank ($$$).

Below are my plans for the new tank based on lots of reading here and elsewhere. Anything I'm missing or doing wrong??? Any helpful suggestions??

Plans for new tank:
5052 or 5086 Aluminum, 3/16 sides and top, 1/4" bottom.
Add one (deeper) pick up tube for fuel polishing.
Add a clean out port for the section forward of the baffle (the old one only had access through the square plate housing the fuel gauge or meter).
Etch and 2 coast West System epoxy over bottom and sides (not top) + 2 coats West System G/flex 650 on the bottom square section.
Reuse PVC supports for tank across keel bolts BUT, use 4200 between tank and PVC to eliminate any standing water.
Replace hoses

Anything I'm missing here?

Many thanks, Jay

PSC 37, Kenlanu
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Old 03-02-2010
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fuel tank

Jay,

If you are on the west coast I have the phone number for the guy who made the fuel tanks for Pacific Seacraft when they were in California.

John
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Old 03-02-2010
MC1 MC1 is offline
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Sounds like a well thought out plan. I mention in the linked thread below that a surveyor recommended I have my new aluminum tank coated with RhinoLining, since the epoxy paint applied originally by PSC didn't prevent corrosion from occuring over time. There's also a discussion of zinc chromate paint in this thread, fyi.

PSC 34 fuel tank
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Old 03-03-2010
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Jay,

I'm restoring an '86 37' and am also replacing the fuel tank. The new one is on order. I planned on etching and epoxy coating, but hadn't thought about the 4200 under the tank. When you refer to the PVC support(s), are you referring to the 4' piece of PVC pipe cut in half along the length, laying in the bilge between the keel bolts and under the tank? ..and over the river and through the woods?

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 03-03-2010
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Thanks, everyone for your replies. I like the RhinoLining idea 'cause it is tough as nails and I have heard they have a "marine" product line rather than products made to go over auto-body paint. The folks at West Systems say the new G/flex is also MUCH tougher and more resistant to abrasion than regular West System. I'm going to explore both options but am glad to hear other are using the RhinoLining.

I'm in the East Coast (Maine) so am using a local machine/welding shop.

Jeff, your description of the supports under the tank is perfect and so much more poetic than mine. The only difference is that on my boat they used 1 1/2" pipe. Using my best Sherlock skills, what I *think* they did was apply a large blob of silicone to the top of each keel bolt, gently lay the pieces of pipe (which have been cut in half lengthwise) on top of each pair of bolts (and the singleton furthest aft) and then *gently* lower the tank on top of the bits of pipe. IN this way the silicone would take up any height differences between tops of keel bolts and, if you got it right, the tank should be bearing equally on all four cross pieces. My addition of 4200 on the tops of the bits of pipe is simply to eliminate a place in which water can potentially stand as I understand this is the prime culprit in later corrosion.

Thanks again, Jay

PSC 37 Kenlanu, on the hard in Maine
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Old 03-21-2010
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We replaced our fuel tank with one made by John Justin at Custom Marine, the original PSC supplier. It was a drop-in replacement. After reading of other's horror stories of modifications required to fit the new tank, I'm glad I used John's. (He added the additional pickup tube for free.)
We asked a great many people about coatings and came to the conclusion that the best coating was no coating. A number of coatings work quite well but if there's any imperfection in the application, corrosion will form and the tank will fail at that point. It seemed safer in the long run to leave it bare and keep an eye on it. Trouble is that you have to wait a decade or two to prove or disprove the concept...

Sam
s/v Grace PSC34#163
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