Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 19-01-2015, 05:20   #16
Registered User
 
Winf's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cairns
Boat: Southcoast 36
Posts: 113
Arrow Re: Recommissioning Fuel Tank in Keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Hi Winf,

First, let me congratulate you on your choice of boat. The SouthCoast 36 was very high on our list of choices when we were looking for a good comfortable cruiser a few years ago, and I have many photos of Southcoast 36 interiors as a source of motivation for our own interior rejuvenation whenever that happens.

I am posting here because I just went through a process that I suspect is very similar to what you face. Our Swanson 42 had a failed keel tank (freshwater) which was located under the engine and gearbox. In December I finally got around to dealing with the tank, and I learned a bit in the process, which may apply to your situation.

First, I am going to assume that given the very similar pedigree of our boats that the construction methods will have been the same, and certainly my very careful analysis of the SC36 years ago suggests they have a lot in common with our Swanson 42.

Second, I am going to assume that the previous owner did not decommission the tank just for the heck of it, in the case of our boat they most certainly did not give up on 420 litres of fresh water storage just for a simple problem.

So, I won't bore you with the details, but I pulled out our engine (all 450kg) in December and opened up the failed keel tank from the top, using an electric jigsaw. Then I extracted the utter evil gunk, removed the hideous failed bladder tanks that had been inserted to get around the original problem, washed it all out, sat back and worked out what had gone wrong.

Well, it appears that the keel tanks were lined with some kind of epoxy or hard setting liner which had cracked and failed, exposing the inside of the keel to the tank and thus probably causing foul "osmosis" tasting water (Acetic acid?) When this happened (around 15 years ago) the owner at the time just pushed in some flexible bladder tanks and used these. But of course they failed (they did not fit properly, they never could have, so they chaffed to bits in under five years) and the result was two big black pvc bags floating in scummy solution of water and diesel and goodness knows what.

So, my point is, the pressure test is a great idea, and if it fails I would seriously recommend you do NOT put any diesel, or ANY liquid in those tanks as cleaning them out will become a nightmare, particularly if they are full of now-contaminated diesel. I suspect you will find they too have a failed liner coat (maybe someone here can tell us what the layer of brittle, semi transparent lining material is likely to have been) and that they need some kind of sensible insert to be used again.

Next, I know you don't like the idea, but I would suggest that pulling the engine is worth the hassle. The SC36 came with around 50+ HP from memory, so the weight should not be a major concern, and you'll have a chance to clean up the engine if it needs it, clean all those fiddly bits of the bilge, get to know a really critical and time consuming part of your boat (the engine) but most importantly, you'll be able to open up the tanks properly and make a smart decision on the best way forward.

I don't know what the best way forward will be. I don't even know what I will do with ours right now. We are ok for diesel and water storage, at least for coastal cruising, so there's no great pressure to do anything, but if I had to I would seriously consider custom made poly tanks based on the suggestions of a few CF regulars who's opinions I highly respect.

Certainly, after my experience, I will never fit a bladder tank, but I admit to a bias that may be blinding me to their virtues. So be it.

Happy sailing, very envious of your lovely boat...

Matt
Wow. Great response.

Did a bit of bilge staring contemplation today and think I will leave this sleeping dog as is for now. She will come out of the water next season so will give some thought in the meantime to going the whole hog and removing the engine and tackling the tank repair properly.

We have a 30hp Yanmar which weighs in on paper at about 160kg but I need to get my head around how I would even begin to drag it out. I really would like to get some good access to that area though to give it the full treatment, not just the tank. Last year I spent a week off and on chipping, rubbing, wire brushing, tooth brushing and cleaning up the engine to give it a re spray as best possible but could do much better with it out.

Re the Southcoast 36, we are very happy with it so far. I'm very much the newbie at all this and is my first yacht but she seems sturdily built, is comfortable and sails well (to me anyway). I had read comments that they were more motor sailers than yachts but we scoot along quite nicely in a light breeze and in the heaviest seas we have had so far she felt very safe and stable.

What impressed us was the roominess for the size. We were looking at 40-45 footers mostly and she seemed bigger than a lot of them.

Thank you and thanks to all others who have taken their time to assist the thought process.

Winf
__________________

__________________
Winf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-01-2015, 05:39   #17
sitting on the dock of the bay

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,513
Images: 6
Send a message via Yahoo to gonesail
Re: Recommissioning Fuel Tank in Keel

when you do tackle it you may want to read up on folks that have cut out the side of their keels to get at the area and replace it with an aluminum fuel tank ... instead of trying to drop something in from the top
__________________

__________________
sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most.
gonesail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-01-2015, 15:15   #18
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,666
Re: Recommissioning Fuel Tank in Keel

Winf,

About the jerry jug covers, the way I made mine was one top piece with a slot for the handle, then one seam, and a hem. Not hard to hand sew (though I used a machine). Use a medium sail needle, and a palm. If you have acrylic canvas, cut it with a hot knife to melt the edges so they don't ravel.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-01-2015, 00:28   #19
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Recommissioning Fuel Tank in Keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
when you do tackle it you may want to read up on folks that have cut out the side of their keels to get at the area and replace it with an aluminum fuel tank ... instead of trying to drop something in from the top
I was quite shocked when I first heard of this. Someone had done a similar thing to a Swanson yacht, similar to ours. (Swansons seem to be somewhat troubled by keel tank problems. Age? Construction?)

My reaction was that felt it was putting a heck of a structural integrity question on the hull overall. I imagine the forces on the sides of the keel as the boat heels significantly to be huge, compression on the downhill side and tension on the uphill side.

Just for the sake of avoiding removing an engine. I would never want to compromise that aspect of our boats strength. If I can pull our 450 kg monster out of the way, on my own, in less than a full day's work, at my first try, then surely hacking into the hull is not worth the risk. Or the work for that matter.

But I concede I am no naval architect and my concerns may be ill founded.

Matt
__________________
Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes.
http://www.swansonsailor.id.au
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-01-2015, 00:48   #20
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Recommissioning Fuel Tank in Keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winf View Post
Wow. Great response.

Did a bit of bilge staring contemplation today and think I will leave this sleeping dog as is for now. She will come out of the water next season so will give some thought in the meantime to going the whole hog and removing the engine and tackling the tank repair properly.

We have a 30hp Yanmar which weighs in on paper at about 160kg but I need to get my head around how I would even begin to drag it out. I really would like to get some good access to that area though to give it the full treatment, not just the tank. Last year I spent a week off and on chipping, rubbing, wire brushing, tooth brushing and cleaning up the engine to give it a re spray as best possible but could do much better with it out.

Re the Southcoast 36, we are very happy with it so far. I'm very much the newbie at all this and is my first yacht but she seems sturdily built, is comfortable and sails well (to me anyway). I had read comments that they were more motor sailers than yachts but we scoot along quite nicely in a light breeze and in the heaviest seas we have had so far she felt very safe and stable.

What impressed us was the roominess for the size. We were looking at 40-45 footers mostly and she seemed bigger than a lot of them.

Thank you and thanks to all others who have taken their time to assist the thought process.

Winf
Winf,

Yes the SC36 appears bigger inside than our S42, they are a great design. I think having two pointy ends on our boat costs us a fair bit of space. (And leads to a moment of confusion when we set off in the morning.)

Pulling the engine...? 160kg? If I remember correctly the engine is under the cockpit, just like ours, and is accesible from under the companionway steps? I think what I did (or a variation) might work for you.

To get ours out I simply lay two lengths of square section steel tubing I happened to have laying about in the garage from the engine beds into the main cabin. Slid a nice big 6 x 2" treated pine plank I had lying around under the engine as a "fall back", unbolted the engine mounts from the logs and slid the whole engine forward using a 10:1 block and tackle from the forward end of the plank. The engine mounts slid onto the rails and then the whole lot came forward slowly and easily. I did not know how much the thing weighed at the time (I had been told 300kg, not 450kg oops!) so the steel tubing was probably a bit under-nourished, but it coped fine, I took my time and at no stage were there any "Oh sh-t" moments.

But oh, the joy of being able to get to those tanks. Feet down into the keel section under the engine and I could sit and work at my leisure. You talk about wanting to do a proper job. That's the way to do it properly I think, anything else is just going to be a compromise.

I confess to pulling off the engine access panels now and then, just to gaze into that lovely, clean, dry, white painted bilge. Sad, I know, but you say you've been doing a bit of bilge contemplation, so you probably understand...

Matt
__________________
Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes.
http://www.swansonsailor.id.au
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-01-2015, 02:51   #21
Registered User
 
Mocking's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Botany Bay,Sydney, Australia
Boat: South Coast 36
Posts: 93
Re: Recommissioning Fuel Tank in Keel

Hi WINF

I would be interested to see what you do as I have the same situation ( thank you GILow for letting me know re this post) in my SC 36.

The owner has made fairly thorough records of what he did during the construction and my SC36 also has a keel tank of approx. 110 ltrs. I also have a 65 ltr tank below the starboard seat up top. He has put a manual pump to transfer from keel to day tank. Having said that there is also a note in his book saying to not use the keel tank as it is there for ballast.

I can see where the fuel pipe goes down to the tank and I also have a breather tube coming out of the depths of the engine room. Other than that I can not find any evidence of an inspection port.

At the moment the day tank is satisfactory however, latter this year I will need to sort it out in preparation for longer trips next year.

So any info on what you find/ challenges would be appreciated.

Regards

Manni
__________________

__________________
Mocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fuel, fuel tank, keel

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
Seafrost recommissioning-vacuum pump specs Alii Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 5 22-01-2015 15:54
Recommissioning a Cummins 4BT stillbuilding Engines and Propulsion Systems 1 12-08-2013 17:46
Water tank converted to fuel tank pjandart Monohull Sailboats 8 15-04-2013 18:35
Whitby Keel Fuel Tank Issue janetc Monohull Sailboats 2 24-01-2013 15:27
Fuel Tank to Water Tank jkleins Construction, Maintenance & Refit 8 23-06-2010 18:49



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:01.


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.