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post #21 of 49 Old 09-04-2015
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Re: Fuel tank woes

Crazy Fish was built and delivered in 1989.

The fuel tanks installed then did not have tabs at the top to sit. The tank sat in the bilge and has 2 rods across the
top that hold it in place.

In 1998 I noticed some diesel in the bilge - this was about a month after our planned departure date to head south into Mexico. There 3 holes in the base of the tank toward the front each about the size of the pencil lead in a standard wooden pencil.

My metal guy was not interested in repairing it, stating that standard practice was just to build a new one and suggested someone in San Diego North County to do the work - also commented that he felt the the tank should be made out of thicker aluminum.

The tank still had a sticker on it for the original builder of the tanks who was located in Huntington Beach, CA. He built a new one for me in couple of weeks after getting permission from Pacific Seacraft who were still in Fullerton at the time. The new one came with the tabs which I cut off prior to the install.

Before installing the tank I cut up some 7mm(1/4") neoprene into strips and layed them down over the top of the keel boats to isolate the keel boats from the aluminum tank. Once the tank was installed, we packed up the boat and headed south.

When I was installing the NMEA2000 network on the boat about 2 years ago I also removed a lot of dead wire. In the process I pulled the tank out so that I could get to the wires that were run under the starboard settee. The tank had a bit of corrosion on the bottom, the neoprene was still in tack and there were a couple of rusted stainless screws that were likely dropped into the bilge at some point and not recovered and came to sit adjacent to the fuel tank.

So at some point I am likely to replace it again. Have lost the address of the vendor in Huntington Beach but I think he is out of business at this point or at least relocated as I spent some time in Google Maps searching the area where they were located without success. Also drove around the area at some point.

When I remove that I will move the port for the level indicator to the center of the tank and install sender that can be tied into the NMEA 2000 system.

Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37 | SV Crazy Fish
(Just noticed yesterday I have not posted any updates to website since 2013 - I a, going to take the camera to the boat this weekend)
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post #22 of 49 Old 09-04-2015
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Re: Fuel tank woes

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Originally Posted by MarcHall View Post
The tank still had a sticker on it for the original builder of the tanks who was located in Huntington Beach, CA. ..... Have lost the address of the vendor in Huntington Beach but I think he is out of business at this point or at least relocated as I spent some time in Google Maps searching the area where they were located without success. Also drove around the area at some point.
According to my notes, my tank says:

Custom Marine
A Division of AVM Corporation
5298 Industrial Drive
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
No. 1799
Vessel Crealock 34 Deep
Tank Type Marine Fuel
Capacity
Material .090 Alum
Pressure Test
Date of Manufacture 6-1-88
Inspected by 13
This tank has been tested to USCG Safety Specifications #183.580

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
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post #23 of 49 Old 09-08-2015
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Re: Fuel tank woes

It was 1/8 inch aluminum. Thought about going with 1/4 inch but I felt the tank was well supported in the bilge and I thought some flex would be reduce stress at the seams.
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post #24 of 49 Old 12-17-2015
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Re: Fuel tank woes

My recent (Sept 2015) experience with my recently acquired 1989 Crealock 37, which agrees with nearly everything previously posted:

Despite being aware of the tank issue, I thought the discolored stuff in the bilge was spilled coolant. (Lesson #1: no distinct "diesel" odor). I pulled the tank (not that hard to do as noted), and the bottom was covered with a mess similar to other posted photos. A sandblasting truck was in the yard and he cleaned the mess in minutes (no charge!). On first look I thought I'd been lucky, but closer inspection showed a couple pinholes in the bottom seams. (Lesson #2: the tank needs to be pulled and cleaned to find the holes). A local welder fabricated a new lower section of the tank for $400 in 5 days, and it's held fine. Lesson #3: best cleanup method was to directly wipe up ALL the goo first, THEN finally use solvents (Purple Power) and water to get the last stain out. We wasted a couple days trying to wash the stuff out.

I decided an absolute catastrophe would be failure of the pvc pipe "shoulders" that keep the tank off the keel bolts (Major Oil Spill Issue) Instead of fitting pvc pipe over the keel bolts, I cut a piece of Starboard to fit and kept it from shifting forward/aft by screwing 2 transverse blocks of Starboard on the underside of the main piece. These are sited in forward/aft of some of the bolts. There is still a gap between the Starboard and tank. Hope this helps.
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post #25 of 49 Old 12-20-2015
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Re: Fuel tank woes

We also had similar corrosion of the fuel tank bottom and seepage of diesel into the bilge. Our tank was sitting on a strip of 1/4" ply which was sitting on top of the keel bolts. Around 1990 I had Custom Marine build me a new tank back when PSC was still in Fullerton and CM were still in business.

Robin (Thumper's predecessor) gave me his tips on preventing future corrosion: He said to put 3" Schedule 80 PVC pipe in the bilge to keep the tank up off the keel bolts and have Custom Marine double the thickness of the tank bottom, both of which we did. I also put four coats of West epoxy mixed with aluminum power on the lower 1/3 of the tank and put nylon caps on top of all the keel bolts as a fail safe.

I haven't had the tank out since then but also have not had any problems so Robin's advice seems to have worked.

John
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post #26 of 49 Old 12-20-2015
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Re: Fuel tank woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnewcomer View Post
... Around 1990 I had Custom Marine build me a new tank back when PSC was still in Fullerton and CM were still in business.

Robin (Thumper's predecessor) gave me his tips on preventing future corrosion...
I'm a bit confused. CharlieJ's boat is 1989, but Robin gave this advice in 1990. Are you suggesting that they changed their building method within that one-year period, or should we think they continued using the older method even though they knew of a better one (Robin's)? I would like to know what method they used in later years. That is, does anyone know when they started using the Robin method, or some other method, to prevent this from happening again?

Last edited by Lantau; 12-20-2015 at 05:33 PM.
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post #27 of 49 Old 12-20-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel tank woes

My '95 has PVC down the center (you can see it in the photo at beginning of thread) and I suspect it was put there by the factory --- it didn't appear the tank had been removed.

Dale

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post #28 of 49 Old 12-20-2015
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Re: Fuel tank woes

Thanks for the comment Sailak. I wonder if they found a fix in the 1990s. Obviously there was still a problem at least up to boats built in 1995. I wonder if they are doing anything different now.

To be honest, I was thinking about getting an Island Packet. One reason (but not the only reason) I got at Pacific Seacraft instead was because IP has a reputation for tanks corroding and, to make matters worse, not building them to come out easily. I really liked the way that PS (at least on my 37) builds tanks to come out easily -- all the way out, through the companionway. Of course I would prefer never to have to do it!

But I do wish all of these builders would install EASILY ACCESSIBLE and easily used tank drains. That would make life so much easier.
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post #29 of 49 Old 12-21-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel tank woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lantau View Post
I wonder if they are doing anything different now.
I talked to Thumper when I discovered my tank bottom was needing attention and as I understood from him they still use an aluminum tank, epoxy coated. As an option you can get a fiberglass tank but it is much more expensive and you lose some fuel capacity with the fiberglass tank.

Dale

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post #30 of 49 Old 12-21-2015
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Re: Fuel tank woes

PSC deserves a pass on the tank issue. Mine lasted over 25 years and the boat was mostly unattended the last several years with probable standing water in the keel bilge.

On the advice of the boat yard owner I bought a vacuum pump can from West Marine. It's a well made handy device and at a fair price for about $55. Designed for oil changing, it sucks up any liquid (the pump never contacts the liquid). Every couple days cruising I suck the bilge nearly totally dry (I was getting the stuffing box broken in). Clean water, then all is well.

Nearly every day I worked on the boat I found some little quality detail: something bolted instead of screwed, wires crimped and soldered....
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