Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-04-2008, 12:48   #16
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
I had the same problem on my boat for a while. In your case, given you have baffles in your fuel tank which make it impossible to scour all the bacteria off the surfaces without actually getting in there, I would add biocide each time you fill up your tanks, buy oversized dual Racors and keep switching over and changing out the filters every time one of them starts drawing too much vacuum.

The dual Racors will allow you to switch filters without having to shut down the engine and will prevent your engine from shutting down while underway provided you notice the increase in vacuum before it is too late. Match the micron size of your large primary filters to your secondary filter so you dont clog your secondary filter....which would require the shutting down of your engine and re-priming of your fuel system...(assuming you dont have a seperate electric priming pump).

The only viable alternative I can think of is to add an access port to your fuel tank so you can manually reach inside and clean all the surfaces that fuel pressure washing cannot get to, and clean it for yourself, but I think that would be more trouble than is necessary.

I think the best solution is to stay on top of the filter changes, get a large dual Racor setup with the 4-way A-B-ALL-OFF valve and over time the problem will gradually go away provided you add biocide each and every time you fuel up.

RACOR 751000MAX2 I have these on my research boat and I am very happy with them. I had to do a rebuild on them because of a very slow drip which basically meant adding new O-rings and seals after about ten years of service but the rebuild was easy and went very quickly.

David
__________________

__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2008, 13:46   #17
Registered User
 
Nauticatarcher's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mooloolaba, Qld
Boat: Islander Freeport 36
Posts: 396
If using a fuel additive/Biocide dont use one that puts water into suspension as all it does is increases surface area of water/ fuel interface and will make problem worse, OK if using lots of fuel but not if your fuel sits for a while, you need an additive that kills bug and drops it to bottom of tank and then a way to get it and water out, ie; seperate take off tube that goes all the way to tank bottom or drains in tank bottom
__________________

__________________
Nauticatarcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2008, 17:16   #18
Registered User
 
cat man do's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
Boat: 50ft powercat, light,long and low powered
Posts: 4,409
Images: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
I had the same problem on my boat for a while. In your case, given you have baffles in your fuel tank which make it impossible to scour all the bacteria off the surfaces without actually getting in there, I would add biocide each time you fill up your tanks, buy oversized dual Racors and keep switching over and changing out the filters every time one of them starts drawing too much vacuum.

The dual Racors will allow you to switch filters without having to shut down the engine and will prevent your engine from shutting down while underway provided you notice the increase in vacuum before it is too late. Match the micron size of your large primary filters to your secondary filter so you dont clog your secondary filter....which would require the shutting down of your engine and re-priming of your fuel system...(assuming you dont have a seperate electric priming pump).

The only viable alternative I can think of is to add an access port to your fuel tank so you can manually reach inside and clean all the surfaces that fuel pressure washing cannot get to, and clean it for yourself, but I think that would be more trouble than is necessary.

I think the best solution is to stay on top of the filter changes, get a large dual Racor setup with the 4-way A-B-ALL-OFF valve and over time the problem will gradually go away provided you add biocide each and every time you fuel up.

RACOR 751000MAX2 I have these on my research boat and I am very happy with them. I had to do a rebuild on them because of a very slow drip which basically meant adding new O-rings and seals after about ten years of service but the rebuild was easy and went very quickly.

David
Sort of what I was planning on doing.

The pickups are a 12mm fiberglass tube in the lowest part of the underfloor storage tanks (part of epoxy stucture) and these will then have fuel pumped up through a racor 500fg once a day to the Alloy day tank, which will then gravity feed through another 500fg to the motors.

Just above the pickup point in each of the underfloor storage tank (I have 6) I have one of these in black diesel resistant plastic

in the floor (sole) so as to still be able to suck out the majority of sludge figguring that the boat being used, diesel sloshing around it would end up at the lowest part of the hull in each tank.

That, and the use of bocide in every fill, I am hoping will sort any problems out.


Dave
__________________
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
Long Distance Motorboat Cruising It Is Possible on a Small Budget
cat man do is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2008, 23:37   #19
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Dave,
Sounds like a good plan...just keep working that crap out of there..

David
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2008, 00:06   #20
Registered User
 
cat man do's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
Boat: 50ft powercat, light,long and low powered
Posts: 4,409
Images: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Dave,
Sounds like a good plan...just keep working that crap out of there..

David
Well I havent got any in there at the moment as the boat is a ways off being finished.

I was hoping the biocide would stop anything in its tracks when I do go for the first fill though.

Dave
__________________
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
Long Distance Motorboat Cruising It Is Possible on a Small Budget
cat man do is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2008, 00:10   #21
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Woops....I spaced.

Sorry Dave
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-04-2008, 06:42   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: pittsburgh PA
Boat: Nauticat 321 Pilothouse
Posts: 110
Send a message via AIM to MitchM
well on our 30' sloop boat at that time 24 yrs old the origianl fuel tank was galvanized metal, ahd never been pulled otr serviced. . on a rough sea the RACOR started to clog, swapped it out and there was an oily black sludge in the filter. ran out of RACOR filters, eventually got home 11 hrs later. tried to inspect the fuel tank, couldn't see enough of the inside through the ridiculously small inspection port.... dipped an old spatula in attached to a stick, pulled it out -- bottom of the tank was coated with a rusty layer of rusting metal and black goo which was an inch thick in the bottom of the tank. this stuff was getting shaken loose in the heavy pounding we were taking in 10 ft seas to clog the RACOR (what a time for the engine to die!!! of fuel starvation...)
the tank was not salvageable, it had rusted from the inside out . i bought a new stainless steel 13 gallon tank for $200, put in all new fuel lines and new bearing boards and straps to contain and hold down the new tank. took 3 week ends...but i have never had a clogged racor since .. (in fact i sail with 1/2 dz RACORS and secondary fuel filters now.. and am about to install a fuel polishing system so that I can polish the fuel in one tank then run alternate fuel tanks...
__________________
MitchM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-04-2008, 06:50   #23
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
What do you guys think about those polishing systems. I like the idea of cleaner fuel but I don't like the idea of a new system on the boat. More maintainence!!! I think what I'll do is use a Baja type filter and try to keep the tank clean. then once every five years or so I'll open up the access ports and clean the tanks out.
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 07:40   #24
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1
Re: Diesel fuel tank "sludge"

I own a company in Miami called Oceanside Filtration. What we specialize in is the cleaning or polishing of diesel fuel tanks. Boats, generators, fuel storage tanks, anything that has the ability to get this "sludge", we clean. We don't need any fancy tankwork such as cutting holes or getting in and cleaning every inch with paper towels like I read on some of these posts. Using these methods it is almost impossible to reach every baffle in the tank that is full of sludge and often the places you cant see are the worst ones. We use our fuel filtration technology to clean your tank entire tank, including all baffles, and return your fuel cleaner than when purchased. We filter to 0.2 microns, much better than you'll find in most cases. For more information or just to ask a question, we will help you with your fuel problems, without the costly maintenance or lengthy downtime. Contact me by PM for any questions or concerns.
__________________
Oceanside Fuel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 07:48   #25
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Diesel fuel tank "sludge"

Oceanside Fuel, maybe you could elaborate on how you get the crap from behind a baffle.
__________________
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 09:29   #26
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,573
Images: 240
Re: Diesel fuel tank "sludge"

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Darren <Oceanside Fuel>.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 10:34   #27
Registered User
 
SVTatia's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Boat: Luders 33 - hull 23
Posts: 815
Re: Diesel fuel tank "sludge"

Polishing the fuel and return it to a dirty tank is like taking a bath before jumping into the mud.

I had to open and clean up my tanks by hand twice.
Why?
Know thy fuel!

All it takes is dirty fuel from a filling station and its done. Both of these were outside the States and Canada where the quality is debatable, and there are few if any alternatives.

How do I prevent it now? The Baja filter. The filling stations hate it because it takes so long, but believe me, I have the patience.
__________________
SVTatia is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 19:34   #28
Registered User
 
SabreKai's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada on Lake Ontario
Boat: Roberts Offshore 38
Posts: 1,287
Images: 5
Re: Diesel fuel tank "sludge"

I'm wondering just how much gunk there will be in tanks that are 50 years old. I picked up two off a boat being scrapped, nice stainless steel tanks with one baffle but no access panels. The boat was built sometime in the 50s, and the tanks were permanent installations.

I'm going to drain them, (they came full of diesel) and then try to get access panels put in and cleaned at the same time.
__________________
SabreKai
SV Sabre Dance, Roberts Offshore 38
http://sabredancing.wordpress.com/
SabreKai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 19:51   #29
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Diesel fuel tank "sludge"

Good luck SabreKai, I hope the tanks work out for you but I wouldn't think that 50 yr old stainless tanks would have much life left in them. But, I have been wrong from time to time...
__________________
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 22:56   #30
Registered User
 
mbianka's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,125
Images: 1
Re: Diesel fuel tank "sludge"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreKai View Post
I'm wondering just how much gunk there will be in tanks that are 50 years old. I picked up two off a boat being scrapped, nice stainless steel tanks with one baffle but no access panels. The boat was built sometime in the 50s, and the tanks were permanent installations.
I'm going to drain them, (they came full of diesel) and then try to get access panels put in and cleaned at the same time.
Don't know about fifty year old tanks but, I can show you what my diesel fuel tank looked liked after twenty five years:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: IN THE TANK: Part One, Scene of the grime!
Always used a biocide since I owned her (1995) not sure of the previous owners. Only reason I looked inside is because I'm converting it into a fresh water rinse tank. I converted to electric propulsion in 2008 and don't carry diesel on board anymore. Ignorance was bliss up until that point. It certainly was a yikes moment when I actually had a look inside.
__________________

__________________
Capt. Mike
mbianka is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
diesel, fuel, fuel tank

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Diesel in the Water Tank ! F51 General Sailing Forum 23 11-01-2015 08:45
Fuel Bladder for an Interim Diesel Tank Patrick_DeepPlaya Engines and Propulsion Systems 20 06-02-2014 14:22
Replace Fuel Tank Advice Cinnamon Girl Construction, Maintenance & Refit 42 29-11-2012 19:02
TCW-3 OB Oil as an Additive to Diesel Fuel ? nhschneider Engines and Propulsion Systems 8 15-04-2012 18:46
25 Year-Old Steel Fuel Tank - What to Do ? Delancey Engines and Propulsion Systems 35 11-10-2011 19:41



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:52.


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.