Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-10-2013, 05:59   #1
Registered User
 
RichandHelen's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Miami
Boat: 2006 Hunter 44 AC
Posts: 142
Best tank materials

If money is no object, what is the "best" material to use for fuel, water and waste tanks on a long-range cruiser?
__________________

__________________
RichandHelen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 06:08   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 5,774
My personal preference would be heavy rotomolded poly for fuel and waste and heavy stainless for water. I pick stainless for water as its the only tank I've ever had that leaves no taste in the water.
__________________

__________________
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 06:09   #3
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,744
Re: Best tank materials

Practically speaking: Well supported Polyethylene

Theoretically ceramic would be best, but rather harder to do.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 06:27   #4
Registered User
 
LakeSuperior's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Boat: Teak Yawl, 37'
Posts: 1,581
Images: 7
Re: Best tank materials

Monel is a high end tank material for fuel and water. Tough and more corrosion resistant than 300 series stainless. Agree that polyethylene is best for blackwater.
__________________
LakeSuperior is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 07:01   #5
Registered User
 
Simes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: River Medina, Cowes Isle of Wight, UK
Boat: Gaff Schooner 45' - Talisman of Fambridge
Posts: 142
Images: 1
Re: Best tank materials

Interesting Question.

I agree that Ceramic would be best but I also think that even with a money no problem attitude Ceramic would be expensive.

I like Stainless Steel but it does rust, it does not like to flex, it does conduct electricity (and heat), it does work harden. It does not taste (once it has oxidised).

All of the others with the exception of Polyethylene are non - starters. Aluminium, expensive, corrodes no I do not like it. GRP? not that bad but unless extremely well made with an Epoxy (Food grade if for water) lining then it is not reliable in the long term.Epoxy faced Plywood can be very successful but again the cost pushes it down the list although it is very easy to work for the amateur or home builder.
I would always opt for Polyethylene, reasonably cheap, easy to work, insulates against heat and electricity. stays clean, in its food grade incarnations it is taste free.

So tank of choice - Roto moulded or welded Polyethylene.

Simes
__________________
Simes
Talisman of Fambridge
Simes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 07:08   #6
Registered User
 
LakeSuperior's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Boat: Teak Yawl, 37'
Posts: 1,581
Images: 7
Re: Best tank materials

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simes View Post
Interesting Question.

I agree that Ceramic would be best but I also think that even with a money no problem attitude Ceramic would be expensive.

I like Stainless Steel but it does rust, it does not like to flex, it does conduct electricity (and heat), it does work harden. It does not taste (once it has oxidised).

All of the others with the exception of Polyethylene are non - starters. Aluminium, expensive, corrodes no I do not like it. GRP? not that bad but unless extremely well made with an Epoxy (Food grade if for water) lining then it is not reliable in the long term.Epoxy faced Plywood can be very successful but again the cost pushes it down the list although it is very easy to work for the amateur or home builder.
I would always opt for Polyethylene, reasonably cheap, easy to work, insulates against heat and electricity. stays clean, in its food grade incarnations it is taste free.

So tank of choice - Roto moulded or welded Polyethylene.

Simes
All materials conduct heat, basic physics.

How is monel a non starter??
__________________
LakeSuperior is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 07:47   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Best tank materials

How is aluminum expensive? It is probably the cheapest tank material used.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 08:04   #8
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,554
Images: 14
Re: Best tank materials

Polyethylene has two other advantages, it's translucent so fuel quantity can be seen which is re-assuring and it doesn't form condensation inside like a stainless steel tank when the temperature changes.

However, a custom made polyethylene welded tank for us is $900 and a roto molded tank $250.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
How is aluminum expensive? It is probably the cheapest tank material used. Mark
I think mild steel is probably the cheapest material to make tanks out of and lasts quite well. Our 25 yr old fuel tank is still going strong. I had a disaster with an aluminium tank that I won't be repeating and stainless steel has to be secured to stop it flexing or the welds work harden, then leak.

Pete
__________________
Moody 31 - April Lass
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 08:07   #9
Registered User
 
Simes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: River Medina, Cowes Isle of Wight, UK
Boat: Gaff Schooner 45' - Talisman of Fambridge
Posts: 142
Images: 1
Re: Best tank materials

Hi Mark,

I should probably point out that I am in England and over here Ally is relatively expensive. As a tank material it does not last long, often due to corrosion, so needs to be replaced on a fairly regular basis.
Is Aluminium cheap in the NW Carib'? how about the cost of getting it welded? Great if it is cheap, go to it. Over here it is not cheap, and lots of metal workers have little interest in it.

Simes
__________________
Simes
Talisman of Fambridge
Simes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 08:24   #10
Registered User
 
Strait Shooter's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Straits of Juan De Fuca
Boat: Ingrid
Posts: 786
Re: Best tank materials

Hi Guys,

Here in the PNW aluminum is a very viable material for fuel tanks.

These 75 gallon tanks are 1/2" aluminum with all fittings, clean outs, pick ups for a fuel polishing system, baffles, hatches and sensor fittings.

They were professionally made and pressure tested. They cost me about $600 in Port Townsend WA just a few months ago. I believe most of the commercial fishing fleet that gets fitted out there for Alaska also use aluminum.

I didn't realize it was that expensive in the U.K.

I had stainless tanks before that. Corrosion around the welds were their demise. 15 year old tanks, and I expect these to last considerably longer.

John
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	74
Size:	409.5 KB
ID:	68713  
__________________
"Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.” (Michael Leboeuf)
Strait Shooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 08:31   #11
Registered User
 
LakeSuperior's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Boat: Teak Yawl, 37'
Posts: 1,581
Images: 7
Re: Best tank materials

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simes View Post
Hi Mark,

I should probably point out that I am in England and over here Ally is relatively expensive. As a tank material it does not last long, often due to corrosion, so needs to be replaced on a fairly regular basis.
Is Aluminium cheap in the NW Carib'? how about the cost of getting it welded? Great if it is cheap, go to it. Over here it is not cheap, and lots of metal workers have little interest in it.

Simes
What about monel??
__________________
LakeSuperior is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 09:57   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Best tank materials

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simes View Post
Hi Mark,

I should probably point out that I am in England and over here Ally is relatively expensive. As a tank material it does not last long, often due to corrosion, so needs to be replaced on a fairly regular basis.
Is Aluminium cheap in the NW Carib'? how about the cost of getting it welded? Great if it is cheap, go to it. Over here it is not cheap, and lots of metal workers have little interest in it.

Simes
I don't need a tank, and don't know about the NW Caribe. I was speaking from US experience, where aluminum tanks are widely made everywhere and cost very little (see other post). Everyone works in it - you can find aluminum tank manufacturers in just about every city.

I'm not defending its use in tanks - just pointing out the US availability and pricing.

Monel would certainly be my choice, but it is almost completely unobtainable in the US and extraordinarily expensive if you find it.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 10:24   #13
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: Best tank materials

For a money is no object tank... Grade 2 Titanium.

It is immune to corrosion, is biocompatible so there is no leeching of chemicals back to the water, much stronger than plastics.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 10:49   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,362
Re: Best tank materials

titanium.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2013, 10:51   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,362
Re: Best tank materials

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strait Shooter View Post
Hi Guys,

Here in the PNW aluminum is a very viable material for fuel tanks.

These 75 gallon tanks are 1/2" aluminum with all fittings, clean outs, pick ups for a fuel polishing system, baffles, hatches and sensor fittings.

They were professionally made and pressure tested. They cost me about $600 in Port Townsend WA just a few months ago. I believe most of the commercial fishing fleet that gets fitted out there for Alaska also use aluminum.

I didn't realize it was that expensive in the U.K.

I had stainless tanks before that. Corrosion around the welds were their demise. 15 year old tanks, and I expect these to last considerably longer.

John
Half inch aluminum? wow!
__________________

__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.