Fuel Tank Questions

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by triumph34, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. triumph34
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    triumph34 Junior Member

    We are in the process of rebuilding the deck and cabin of our boat and we are trying to figure out the install of new fuel tanks. We are going to install 2 tanks each at about 90 or 100 gallon. Can anyone tell me if it is necessary to use aluminum or can I use stainless steel fuel tanks? Also, if anyone has fuel tanks of this size or know where I can get some, let me know. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    I'd consider stainless as the king of custom fuel tanks. I don't know how aluminum fares with the new ethanol fuels but many have had problems with aluminum in the past. Personally, I would choose plastic if the standard sizes and configurations available would fit. Molders of plastic tanks I have contacted will not sell in quantities of one. Most probably they don't stock them and must set up molds for individual orders so it's not profitable to make only a few.
     
  3. triumph34
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    triumph34 Junior Member

    steel ?

    What about just steel? Not stainless but a steel tank and then paint the outside with epoxy paint for corrosion protection.
     
  4. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

  5. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Plastic

    Triumph34,

    I researched this decision thoroughly when I was tanking my houseboat

    and decided on five, plastic, pre-fab'ed, 10 gallon tanks.

    I realize your application is completely different.

    My point is, to fit the space and be cost effective, this worked really well for me.

    Good luck, Tom

    P.S. Don't forget, unless you keep steel tanks topped up all the time, you're leaving yourself open to corrosion inside the tank from condensation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  6. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Any kind of metal tank in a bilge space will be vulnerable to corrosion. The question is, can the tank be built and installed in such a way that corrosion will not pose problems during the expected service life of the boat? Although it's not uncommon for a good metal tank to last 20+ years, it's also not uncommon for an average to mediocre one- either aluminum or stainless- to be toast in six or seven years. You really have to trust the welding shop to use the right grades and thicknesses, and to have a good, effective QA program.

    Steel is cheap enough that you can compensate for corrosion with extra thickness and a good paint system; I see no reason to reject it out of hand just because Al and SS are more popular.

    A custom fibreglass tank is probably too much work/money, but surely you ought to be able to find stock cross-linked polyethylene tanks in a suitable size? It's very rare to hear of cross-linked polyethylene fuel tanks breaking, dissolving or wearing out.
     
  7. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    A plastic tank today has all the advantages , except one , rapid instalation.

    The plastic tank will have to be installed , filled with fuel for a couple of days (they expand) and then foamed in place.

    Unless you have the big bucks for the KING of tanks , Monel, plastic is todays "best".

    FF
     
  8. Commuter Boats
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    Commuter Boats Commuter Boats

    I've never seen what I considered to be adequate baffles in a plastic tank, most have none.
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Adequate baffles in a 50 gallon plastic tank, is five 10 gallon tanks in a row.
     
  10. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    While they don't need to be quite that small (10G) tall narrow tanks can easily be combined to most any tank size required.

    Although the valving (and fuel management) might be more complex an advantage of actually emptying tanks would cut down on condensation, and bug growth.

    A simple transfer to a Day tank might even allow gravity feed to the engines , allowing fuel leaks to be easily found, air leaks can be a bugger in suction feed systems.

    Many cruisers have huge tanks where the fuel rots month after month.

    Only filling the needed tanks before a voyage might have big maint advantages for some cruisers.

    FF
     

  11. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    SamSam Senior Member

    From the ABYC;
    From somewhere else;
     
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