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Old 09-10-2012, 03:10   #16
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Have to agree with Dockhead, once it starts to leak repairs are going to be tricky and the task of cleaning it up to a standard that epoxy will stick to it will be very time consuming and dirty.

Price up the cost of GRP and epoxy or a flexible tank, then price up a standard polythene tank of about the same size. If its close then a new tank would give you peace of mind. The last thing you need is another leak in 6 months time, especially in a foreign port. Also the smell of diesel throughout a boat is terrible never mind the mess. I viewed a Sigma 33 which had a fuel tank leak over a winter. 20 gallons had sloshed throughout the bilges for months and soaked into the ply bulkheads. I didn't think it could be cleaned up without a huge amount of work.

How about something like this, okay it's a UK company but they are available everywhere.

http://www.tek-tanks.com/website/wp-...el_1_Tanks.pdf

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Indeed.

If you can make do with a standard size (no idea what shape your existing tank is), maybe even at the sacrifice of some capacity, it might not be that much more expensive than trying to repair what you've got.

The other question, however, is whether you can get the new tank in without cutting your boat to pieces

If you can't put in a new tank, then of all of the other solutions I think I like a flexible bladder inside the existing tank best, FWIW. It's a relatively short term solution -- won't last forever because it will flex and rub as it is filled and emptied and as it moves around when you're at sea and will eventually rub through, but should last for a year or three at least -- maybe enough to get you through your cruise.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:25   #17
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

Okay, my plan after a good night sleep.

1 Drain and clean.
2 start chopping it up.

If I can remove it in sufficient time to get a prefab in, I will do that. If I get halfway through and everything is going sideways, I will get a small prefab, strap it in the lazarette, and carry extra on deck with cans.

When we get to Mexico and we are chilling in a marina waiting for the new kid, I will make a plywood and epoxy model.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:37   #18
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

Sounds a good plan. BTW our mild steel fuel tank is 24 years old and rusty. Thankfully it is also slowly rising up the job list, just hope it doesn't leak before hand. Plastic is my preferred option espcially if its clear or translucent because you can see how much is in it then as UK diesel is dyed red.

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Old 09-10-2012, 08:53   #19
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

Had to remind myself that indeed I own a sailboat. Why am I worrying about diesel? Child's play.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:20   #20
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

A friend used this stuff on a leaking tank like yours and it's held for years. If the tank is basically sound, it will save a lot of work. You do have to remove the tank because you have to tip it to coat all sides. An advantage is that they've tested it with the new diesel fuels. They have a "prep" that you use first to clean the tank (see the instructions on the site)

US STANDARD TANK SEALER-POR-15 Inc.

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Old 09-10-2012, 09:36   #21
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Had to remind myself that indeed I own a sailboat. Why am I worrying about diesel? Child's play.
Since I converted to electric propulsion I have not had any diesel fuel issues. That's because I don't carry even a drop of diesel on board anymore. Though I find a pretty easy and clean way to drain my fuel tank after the conversion:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: REMOVING DIESEL FROM THE FUEL TANK

You might also want to get an inspection camera in for a look before you start cutting:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: TOOLS OF A SAILOR: INSPECTION CAMERA
When I did I discovered my 30 gallon tank did NOT have any baffles which made cleaning it easier and if yours does not have a baffle too maybe a bladder tank would be an easier and faster fix for now. Just a suggestion.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:51   #22
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
When I did I discovered my 30 gallon tank did NOT have any baffles which made cleaning it easier and if yours does not have a baffle too maybe a bladder tank would be an easier and faster fix for now. Just a suggestion.
Has anyone ever actually done this? I ask b/c I've been seriously considering going the bladder route for one of my tanks.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:18   #23
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

If you can get to the top of the tank, I think I would just use an angle grinder with a cutting wheel to cut out the top with a 1-2" lip around the edge. Then remove any baffles and use the old tank as a holder for some smaller poly tanks or a bladder.

Maybe you can fit one or two of these in

Permanent Below Deck Fuel Tanks
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Old 10-10-2012, 18:46   #24
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

Update:

1) Emptied the tank today, ditched maybe twenty gallons of diesel.
2) Poked around inside with a flash light, can't see where the hole is.
3) Dumped detergent in, aimed the garden hose in.
4) Tank is dripping from the bottom again.

So I'm sitting here waiting until dark to start pumping the water out via the bilge pumps. It's 99% water but it will leave a slick (maybe not with the suds). I paper toweled the insides but if I start dumping the water out now I think I'll attract every environmental authority.

I've got my Sawzall out and ready to rock. I wanted to rinse as much of the diesel out as I could before I started going at it like a savage.
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Old 11-10-2012, 14:23   #25
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

This is one of the problems with buying a Taiwan built boat. Beautiful wood work but (in general) very poor quality metal work. I owned a Peterson 44 for many years ,which had great wood work, but had 5 S.S. water tanks, of which 3 leaked. The 2 black iron fuel tanks didnt leak, but looked pretty ugly. Major wood work to pull any of them. I sympathies with Rebel Hearts problem._____Grant.
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Old 11-10-2012, 14:32   #26
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

Bummer, had it happen to me.... spoiled the whole planned excursion and was super messy/smelly. Personally I would fix it right. (you're taking off on a long cruise?) I think your approach of putting a new tank inside the old is better (assuming you cant get the old entirely out. Possibly you dont need as big a tank as your original? Or can put two tanks either side of the baffle.

"This is one of the problems with buying a Taiwan built boat. I dont know, the HC36 is probably what... 40 years old? Lasted pretty well in the bilge!. Many US built boats put aluminum tanks in.... they turned to dust years ago. My US built mid 80's trawler had alum tanks.... both of which had to be replaced. But it is a word of caution to all old boat buyers.... if your tank is in the bilge... your day is coming... and the surveyor has no way of testing how much time you have left!
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Old 11-10-2012, 21:47   #27
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

Well, this photo sort of speaks for itself as to the current stage of things. Nine days till departure, there's no way I'm going to get it cut out with everything else that I need to get done. So I think I'll grab a little 25 gallon rectangular tank and strap it in the lazarette. Not ideal, but should be enough to get down to Mexico where I can dork around with this thing later. I'll tape it up with some plastic to keep any residual odors from creeping around into the cabin.

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Old 12-10-2012, 00:48   #28
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

Try and shield around the area you angle grinding. The sparks are small bits of hot metal they will stick to surfaces then rust in the salt atmosphere.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:42   #29
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

in the past i have bought plastic 44gallon drums for long deliveries where diesel is going to be an issue,and either had them in the saloon or on deck,much cheaper,cleaner and easyier than cans,as a temporary soloution!

easy to rig a feed and return line with a bit of copper tubing in the tank,or pump to a day tank.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:04   #30
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Re: cool, now my diesel tank is leaking

Can you buy a plastic tank (2?) that is pretty big before you leave and just put it in the old tank unplumbed for now? Wont it be hard to get what you need in Mexico?
BTW, You might be able to rent a Bosch Nibbler.... they are about the size of your grinder motor... they just munch little chunks out as you cut! fast and not too messy.... That tank looks thin enough to use one..
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