Our personal boat is a 1975 Morgan
OI 51. This is our second Morgan
of similar vintage that developed a fuel tank
leak at about the same approximate age. Surely someone else has experienced this. If so, please share your discoveries and solutions.
Here is our current
1. About two years ago I discovered a strawberry milkshake solution in the water
separator bowls. Maybe unrelated but maybe not. We are in the yacht services industry, so I polished the fuel
and carried on.
The starboard tank seemed to be worse. Port tank was possibly contaminated from fuel
return going to port tank. I can align valves to direct the return to either tank. Another detail of which I am not certain is that the problem seemed worse with starboard tank topped off. Thus, I pointed my finger more at the STBD tank.
2. Since then, a fuel smell has developed below decks.
3. My bilge
is pumped into the centerboard
trunk. The cockpit
scupper drains also are piped into the trunk. One day we were sailing at about eight knots which had us heeled over. Fuel backed up into the cockpit
through the drains. This is how I discovered fuel is definitely in my bilge
. Since fuel is lighter than water
, the fuel obviously remained trapped and contained in the center board trunk area instead of sinking or pooling around the boat.
I believe the tanks
are constructed of steal. I can access the tops of the tanks
which appear to be in good serviceable condition. Of course the tanks are located low and mostly if not completely below the waterline.
We otherwise are very pleased with this boat. It has been refit
and updated as needed and is close to new condition in most aspects. Therefore, I would really like to correct this problem and keep the boat. Before I remove the tanks, I would appreciate input from anyone who has experienced a similar situation and successfully solved
the problem. If I do have to eliminate these tanks or take them out of service
, I'm considering going back with less tankage and locating a new tank above the waterline. I am a big fan of fool proof systems like sight glass gauges. Plus, I want to see the new tanks. I would like the benefit of identifying and correcting any problem easily and quickly.
Thanks for your input,