In my steel
pilothouse cutter refit
, I have an unused, approximately 40 U.S. gallon capacity keel
tank directly under the engine
. Formerly the original holding tank
, I had no idea until last week (because access requires that I fly the engine
out of the engine bay) if it had been "put away cleanly", only that the people I bought the boat
from had a new, HDPE tank next to the head
I have been considering repurposing this tank as a post-Racor daytank, which would give me a sort of insurance
against contamination from bad fuel
going into the main tanks
, and would extend our motoring range to 140 U.S gallons, or 40% more than now.
Upon finally taking off the inspection
plate, I found a few gallons of water
...no smell, thank goodness, of either chemicals or of its former usage. I also found significant rust:
I didn't think to throw a magnet down to my wife, who was taking the shots, to determine if the tank was mild or SS. SS would be logical and would match the water tanks
I've already pulled out in favour of HDPE water tanks. SS would also (perhaps) suggest that the rust is superficial and could be powerwashed off...not sure if that's the best course.
The other diesel keel
tanks forward in the keel are black iron and are full of diesel
I consider my options as follows:
A) If the tank is indeed SS, I would consider sand blasting the interior
and applying a coating (if even needed). To judge by inspection
of the lid and the tank top, it is pretty heavy gauge metal.
B) I would consider cutting off the top of the tank, cleaning
and coating the interior
with something like truck bed
liner, and dropping in a HDPE diesel fuel tank
with fittings forward (where there is access at the front of the new engine),
C) The same as B), only with a 35-40 gallon fuel
bladder. The advantage of this would be the ability to pump
out the bladder of fuel and then pull it from under the engine for cleaning
. It would be secured with bolted-down battens. A clear disadvantage could be the danger
from having a working engine directly above this fuel.
Any suggestions, horrible warnings or sage advice would be most welcome.