Removing the wall panel is a routine job already. I had little diesel bug issues since we bought the boat last year and have removed that panel a few times to get to the pickup lines. Which BTW don't have a gauze in our case. The slime was fat enough to clog the pipes. We tried some chemicals and also cycled the diesel from the tank through filters to clean it but obviously this failed to remove the bug. I wanted to handle this issue in the yard over wintertime.
But yesterday we were caught in a heavy thunderstorm with sustained winds of 55kn and peak gusts just above 60kn. Big steep waves and water
pouring down as well as thrown up from the sea. That in itself was for us a pee-in-the-pants situation but to make it worse the stirred up diesel bug caught us and both engines died in the first minutes. Surfing down the waves we made 14kn under bare poles. Luckily the wind
was parallel to the coast and it lasted only 20minutes. But it left us with a full calm afterwards and we had to get going as a gale was forecast
for the afternoon and we were from the next shelter. Northern Sicily
isn't a nice place to be these days.
I jury rigged a jerry can of clean diesel which brought us to the next safe port. Im glad that i never throw things away so i still had plenty of hoses and connectors of all sizes left over from the watermaker
install. Without these bits it would have been much harder. Even so it was ugly work in a smelly cabin
while being tossed around.
After that experience we won't continue with this sort of problem. Just cleaning
or chemical treatment isn't enough. I want this bug gone. The diesel bug we have seems to be extraordinary productive and fat. I fished through the inspection hole with hook from a coat hanger and there are palm sized slime things in the tank. There is much more of this in the tank so i don't see an alternative to the tank removal
So today i removed the tank.
Really it didn't look like a bad job initially. The panel was already removed, just like the pickup and return lines. So i sucked out the diesel and disconnected the vent and filling hose (hard job, very thick hose with lots of stainless reinforcements so i cut it away). Removed the lashes that hold the tank in place and slid it into the bunk. This is not that easy as its a tight fit.
I sucked out some more diesel. The bug clogged even my 16mm hoses so i fished for some diesel bug from the inspection hole. I got out maybe 3liters of slimy things and could finally get almost all diesel out.
I cleaned the tank on the outside and put some tape over the holes to prevent spill.
All that was relatively easy work.
The hard part was to get the tank up the stairs. We needed to snug it through at an angle buy it still would not fit. After carefully trying for an hour I finally true without much care but using some brute force instead. It left some stains on walls and ceiling but the tank is outside now. If stains are the price
for getting rid of the bug so be it.
What have these designers thought? Had they made the tank just 197cm instead of 200cm it would have been easy. Granted, that would reduce the capacity from 210 liters to 207 liters but who cares.
Anyway the tank is out now and will be pressure cleaned tomorrow.