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Old 02-09-2011, 19:14   #1
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Fuel Bladder for an Interim Diesel Tank

My tank is leaking and fixing it where I am is not panning out to be a viable option. Anyone have experience with using flexible fuel bladders as a tank?

I'd love a recommendation on brands and or any gotchas. I am thinking I'd use it for six months or even less.

Thanks!
-p
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Old 02-09-2011, 19:22   #2
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an interim diesel tank

Patrick,

When we purchased our boat it had an 18 gallon bladder installed. As far as we can tell it was in service for over 5 years. It also had a leaking SS tank. We used the bladder exclusively for over a year.

When securing it make sure it is not up against anything that can rub through it it. Ours was sandwiched between the hull and a big thin board. It was secured with ropes.

Of course I didn't like this arrangement and replaced it, but it did work for a long time. I'd have a 3 way valve and an electric pump with all the plumbing ready to go to empty it if it sprung a leak.

Tate
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Old 02-09-2011, 19:24   #3
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an interim diesel tank

Probably obvious but just make sure it is nailed down really well. I used one years ago, sorry don't remember the brand, and put it in a locker where it couldn't roll around. That worked pretty well.
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Old 02-09-2011, 19:33   #4
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an interim diesel tank

These guys make excellent bladder tanks: Aero Tec Laboratories - Aero Tec Labs - Aerotech - ATL - Aerotec - AeroTech Labs, Fuel Cells_Cell, Bladders_Bladder, Bladder Tanks_Tank, Potable Water Bladders, Pillow Tanks_Tank_Containment, Portable Tanks_Tank, Liquid Storage, Collapsible Tanks_Tan
Back in the Eighties they were very popular with drug smugglers.
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Old 02-09-2011, 20:05   #5
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an interim diesel tank

Is there anything odd about how they are plumbed? How was it vented for instance?

-p

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Patrick,

When we purchased our boat it had an 18 gallon bladder installed. As far as we can tell it was in service for over 5 years. It also had a leaking SS tank. We used the bladder exclusively for over a year.

When securing it make sure it is not up against anything that can rub through it it. Ours was sandwiched between the hull and a big thin board. It was secured with ropes.

Of course I didn't like this arrangement and replaced it, but it did work for a long time. I'd have a 3 way valve and an electric pump with all the plumbing ready to go to empty it if it sprung a leak.

Tate
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Old 02-09-2011, 20:12   #6
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an interim diesel tank

They actually don't need to be vented. Here is a link to the instruction manual for the ATL tanks: http://www.atlinc.com/pdfs/Auxillary...FlexManual.pdf
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Old 02-09-2011, 20:15   #7
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an interim diesel tank

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Originally Posted by Patrick_DeepPlaya View Post
Is there anything odd about how they are plumbed? How was it vented for instance?

-p


Patrick,

On ours, there was no vent line at all. It was just the deck fill connected and at the bottom of the bag was a fitting for the fuel hose.

Tate
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Old 02-09-2011, 20:17   #8
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an interim diesel tank

I've used a 25 gallon Nauta bladder fuel tank for the past 15 years. It works great and does not leak. It is installed under the engine in the bilge. I padded the tank with rubber shower pan liner sheeting from Home Depot and secure the tank by epoxying 1/2" stainless bolts, heads to the hull and bolt the tank's corner grommets to the studs. The great thing about a bladder tank is that you don't need to vent it, which means there is almost no air in the tank, and less occurrence of condensation.

Good luck,

David
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Old 02-09-2011, 20:21   #9
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an interim diesel tank

I worked for a Euro company that sold marine products including fuel bladders. I convinced them that in the US this was a bad idea given the litigious nature of our society and the many failures. I meet and enjoyed a relationship with TurtlePak from Australia (OZ) . Witout a doubt this is a truly great product. These folks make bladders for aviation and other demanding situations as well as marine.

That said... a fuel bladder below decks is asking for trouble in the long term.
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Old 02-09-2011, 20:24   #10
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an interim diesel tank

Then again....I also had ATL fuel cells in all the race cars we built.
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Old 03-09-2011, 13:02   #11
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an Interim Diesel Tank

Hmm... this approach is going to cost close to $500. I know a new tank identical to my own is $820 + installation... not sure it makes sense to spend the $500 for a throw away interim solution...
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Old 03-09-2011, 15:36   #12
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an Interim Diesel Tank

Just an idea, but why not use a plastic fuel can (not a one litre version!), maybe place in the bilge (or a long hose & pump? from deck) - or even inside the existing fuel tank, if willing to chop your way in (and clean the smell out!) or remove entirely.

Won't be doing any long passages under power (unless decanting from other fuel cans), but unless you are waterskiing, then should be more than enough to be getting into and out of port a fair few times - before the sails go up. A PITA on the refueling - but should be cheap and DIYable.



Poly Barrels - Texas Barrel Supply. Metal and poly barrels, drums, and barrel components for sale. 214-784-6604, 903-885-1110 or 903-885-210

$15 for a 20 Gallon Barrel seems fair enough (obviously have to add / cannablise some fittings and pipework).

WARNING! - I am not a diesel engineer (no sh#t ).
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Old 04-09-2011, 23:38   #13
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That's not a bad suggestion. We moved down the coast and are going to try ANC get a real fix in coos bay oregon, or maybe a pre-made plastic tank.

Thx!
-p
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:57   #14
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an Interim Diesel Tank

What size fuel tank do you need? We typically get them made for around $10 per gallon.

Your tank that is leaking, can you see where it is leaking, or is it under or behind out of sight?
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:08   #15
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Re: Fuel Bladder for an Interim Diesel Tank

For the interim, you can get a smallish diesel tank from West Marine, or whereever pretty cheap. As a smaller sailboat you can go pretty far on 10 gals of diesel!
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