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Crealock 37
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Discussion Starter #1


This is one of my fuel tanks. I have no idea if it has ever been opened or cleaned. The brown film you see easily wipes off.

Is this a normal amount of stuff? Nothing to worry about or an issue?
 

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One of None
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Normal as in any diesel tank that is "old" It's also the stuff that gets into the fuel when the boat starts it sloshing around like on a passage.. then it all goes right into.. yup.. the filter/s that everyone has many spares for when it happens.. uh huh.

Good for you having the willingness to get into it!
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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This is one of my fuel tanks. I have no idea if it has ever been opened or cleaned. The brown film you see easily wipes off.

Is this a normal amount of stuff? Nothing to worry about or an issue?
That's a great photo of the inside of your tank. I don't know if there is any "normal." What is the tank material? It almost looks like it may be a bit of corrosion on 304 s.s.?? (rather than just fuel deposits). The tank looks like it is nicely constructed.
 

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Diesel fuel is pretty much filthy, and because of this "stuff," which is nothing more than residue will accumulate in the tank. The big problem arises when water gets in the fuel - then the stuff soon becomes algae, clogs up lots of fuel injection parts and filters and the boat stops. There are fuel scrubbers available that take care of this, but they are expensive. Or, you can buy a bunch of spare filters, like all the cruisers do, and be prepared to change them frequently.

Good Luck,
Gary :cool:
 

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Crealock 37
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Discussion Starter #5
The tank is made of aluminum and is very well built (Pacific Seacraft has so far impressed me with the quality of their craftsmanship).

I started seeing just a tiny bit of particulate in the bowl on my Racors this year. What I found in this tank at the bottom was heavy, gritty, crumbly material.

I plan to open and clean the keel tank in the spring.

Thanks for the info.
 

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One of None
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Dale, is the tank removable? Older tanks tend to "seep" at the seams. Hope yours isn't!
 

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Crealock 37
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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, they are removable. The one in the picture came out in about 15 minutes, hardest part was working the fill hose off the pipe.

Keel tank appears to be as easy to remove.

I don't believe they are leaking anywhere.
 

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Riddle me this:

If the AYBC is so thorough, and if shore-side above ground fuel tanks require internal inspection for leaks ~ 15 years (API 653), why are tank in a marine environment so difficult (with some exceptions) to inspect? Seems like a design flaw to me. I can see why gasoline scares folks.

Regarding corrosion, while we can't solve all problems, Some additives can stop internal corrosion dead (ValvTeck, Startron, and Stabil Diesel have tested well). Also, test the pH of the water you drain from the separator; we have seen some VERY low numbers from tanks with relatively benign levels of bacterial infection; polishing might keep it functional, but it won't remove that thin layer of acid from the bottom. Apparently inadvertent mixtures of even small amounts of ethanol (shared pipes or trucks) can cause some nasty conditions.

(Both of the cats I have owned had tanks in the bridge deck which were ventilated and drained to the water, so I felt OK about that. If I had an old tank in the bilge, not so much....)
 

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Bail out the diesel, put some detergent in there and some fresh water and scrub it until you can see you face in it. Dry it off and you will be OK.
 

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Normal sediment and possible dead diesel bacteria. Clean it up and you'll be good for a decade.
 

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One of None
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When My alum tank started seeping it was a before a trip to the Chesapeake We replaced it with a Moeller 19 gal poly. Now.. I can (alone) remove it in about 20 minutes!
 

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I had a tank like this in my 1981 Pearson 323. Easily removable, I put a couple cans of Gumout in it and rolled it around for a few days. It had a big access hole in the top so it was easy to chase the last of the deposits with a small rag on a stick. Drained it, rinsed it with a little diesel, drained again and it was ready to go. Never did have any problems with filters.

Good Luck
 
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