Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-20-2016 Thread Starter
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Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32

I finally had to face about the most dreaded task I would ever have to face on my entire boat, and that is a leaking fuel tank. I know this is a common and even unavoidable problem at some point in the life of an aluminum tank, and so I did a full write up on my blog with photos. In it I tell the full tale of chambers, baffles, jigsaws, dremels, and Flamemaster 3204B2. Anyone facing this sort of project may benefit from my struggles, mistakes, and ultimate triumph.

Stories of Aeolus- Our Gulf 32 Pilothouse: Fuel tank repaired in epic fashion


May your boat stay on the water, the water out of your boat, your people on the boat, and your fuel in your tank!!
jrd22 and Faster like this.

Aeolus
Gulf 32
Bainbridge Island, WA

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post #2 of 14 Old 01-20-2016
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Re: Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32

That is the kind of job that would have me cussing a blue streak. Well done.


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post #3 of 14 Old 01-20-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32

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That is the kind of job that would have me cussing a blue streak. Well done.


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post #4 of 14 Old 01-20-2016
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Re: Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32

Looks like a good project. I'm in the same situation. Keel mounted fuel tank, filled it up for the first time to find it leaking (then pumped out), and now in need of fixing/replacing it. My tank is mounted right under the engine so I pulled the engine and found a lot of issues with that so doing a bit of rebuilding on the engine too.

Good work on your fix. Hope the rest of the tank holds up.

Daniel
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-21-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32

Rhapsody, good luck with it all. As I touch on in my blog, the decision to repair the tank in situ was driven by the cost and horror of trying to remove it and install a new one. If an easier option, I would consider replacement. Although, having said that, I feel my tank is now absolutely as good as new, and even better because I have access hatches fore and aft and middle. The new aluminum plate I put into the bottom is thicker than the original tank, and the Flamemaster sealant will last practically indefinitely.

As much of a PIA as it was, it is enormously satisfying and reassuring to have it done. To no longer have to worry about any crud in my tank, and to not have any diesel smell, or overflow, is all quite wonderful.

Aeolus
Gulf 32
Bainbridge Island, WA

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post #6 of 14 Old 01-22-2016
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Re: Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32

Well done, a nasty job for sure. Glad it ended well.
I'm just getting ready to try and pull our starboard tank (95 gal. SS) out for repairs or replacement. I think I'm going to lack 1-2" of needed room to do so, which will entail some serious decisions to be made. I've successfully put this job off for two years now, but it hasn't fixed itself so I guess it's time.

John
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-22-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32

jrd22, I waited several years hoping mine would fix itself too, but the boat gremlins never got around to it. That 1-2" you talk about can be a really serious PIA. If I was still in Friday Harbor I would try and swing by to see your process. Good luck.

Aeolus
Gulf 32
Bainbridge Island, WA

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post #8 of 14 Old 01-23-2016
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Re: Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32

A friend of mine with a Leaky Teaky Taiwan Trawler had iron tanks go out on him.. he had to zipcut the old out in pieces, (after removing the engine - no small job) and then had new tanks made that he shoehorned into place.. but the only way that was going to work was with tanks 30% smaller - so he lost quite a bit of range.

Ron

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post #9 of 14 Old 01-25-2016
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Re: Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32

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Well done, a nasty job for sure. Glad it ended well.
I'm just getting ready to try and pull our starboard tank (95 gal. SS) out for repairs or replacement. I think I'm going to lack 1-2" of needed room to do so, which will entail some serious decisions to be made. I've successfully put this job off for two years now, but it hasn't fixed itself so I guess it's time.
Hey John,

The previous owners of our boat replaced one of two 130 gallon fuel tanks before we bought the boat.

They ended up cutting the top off of the stbd iron tank; cleaning and patching the leaks; lining it with astroturf like carpet; and having two new tanks fabricated [access constraints] that nested nicely inside the old tank- which now acts as a temporary fail-safe if [when?] the new tanks leak.

The two new tanks were connected together on facing sides near the bottom with 1.5" fuel hose, so they behave as one baffled tank but with about 18 inches of space between them- which is now used for less than convenient storage...

The replacement tanks only have a total capacity of 86 gallons, but the savings in labor and demolitions was worth the net loss of capacity according to the POs.

I have all their detailed, annotated photos if this approach is of interest.

Best wishes with your project.

Cheers!

Bill


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post #10 of 14 Old 01-25-2016
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Re: Diesel tank repaired on Gulf 32

Nice work and good, helpful blog post. I replaced our leaking diesel tank last summer, but fortunately it wasn't all that hard since access was easy and the OEM part manufacturer is still in business.

Catalina 34

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