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AlLorman 08-30-2011 11:13 AM

Need a new fuel tank
 
I pulled the fuel tank on my 1990 PSC 31 yesterday and found the source of the fuel that has been filling my bilge: a 3/4" diameter hole at the aft end. Aside from some corrosion in that area, the rest of the tank looks to be in good shape. I've had conflicting advice on whether something like this can be repaired. Can anyone recommend a source for a new aluminum tank? Given everything else I've done and plan to do, a new fiberglass tank from the factory is not in the cards. My boat is in Annapolis.

Many thanks.

Al Lorman
s/v Ann West, PSC 31 No. 55

PorFin 08-30-2011 11:39 AM

Al,

One local fabricator is Atlantic Spars & Riggging -- I'm working with them on my tank replacement project. Ask for Jim.

The folks at Bacon's mentioned a smaller shop just south of them -- recommended the guy pretty strongly. The name of the shop escapes my memory, but it might be worth a call/visit to Bacon's to nail it down.

There are likely several others -- hope other folks will chime in.

landmineop 08-30-2011 12:15 PM

Another idea is to visit a motorcycle shop. The tank repair sealants they use stand up to a lot of vibration and abuse and they work very well. A lot cheaper thsn a whole new tank.

pc37howard 08-30-2011 12:31 PM

tank
 
what every you do, weld it or use a sealit , make sure you get them to pressure test the tank. with you there. if you weld the tank coat the thank with a alum. paint or a spray undercoating material. presure test it first.

PorFin 08-30-2011 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by landmineop (Post 767881)
Another idea is to visit a motorcycle shop. The tank repair sealants they use stand up to a lot of vibration and abuse and they work very well. A lot cheaper thsn a whole new tank.

Interesting idea, but I'm betting that sealant won't work on a 3/4" hole.

landmineop 08-30-2011 12:39 PM

Permatex "Instant Gas Tank Repair" is a putty like sealant that works if the tank is wet from water or fuel. Ding your tank when you're out riding and a tube of that stuff is like a gift from God. It costs less than $10. Just don't ask me how I know that it works.

AlLorman 08-30-2011 04:34 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. I contacted West System epoxy and they sent pretty specific directions for using fiberglass and epoxy to fix the hole, which they thought was no big deal. Other folks have told me that that kind of fix won't last. I think I will see about having an aluminum repair plate welded over the area, as the rest of the tank seems sound. And I will certainly pressure test any repair that is done.

Al

PorFin 08-30-2011 05:03 PM

Al,

Sounds like you've got a plan -- that's half the battle.

Just curious -- what do you think caused the hole? 3/4" is a pretty healthy sized unwanted vent...

AlLorman 08-30-2011 05:11 PM

I'm no expert, but it seems that water/bilge gunk might have been trapped against the tank in that location since it is next to the fiberglass piece that s holds the tank in place. Another possibility is stray electrical current from one of the cables running in the area. The hole was less than 3/4" when I pulled the tank; it got that size when I barely touched it with one finger.

Al

PorFin 08-30-2011 06:23 PM

So it's corrosion then... ouch.

If you've got an inspection port in the tank, you'll probably want to open her up and check out the inside thoroughly. If you don't have an inspection port you may be able to get a mirror in through the fill hole or some other opening. It'll be a pain in the kiester, and may require draining the tank. Unless you can be absolutely sure you've removed all of the corroded metal, this may become a recurring project.

Hope all works out well.


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