Vinyl-Ester Fuel Tank, Is it a good idea?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by darchitzel, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. darchitzel
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Location: Maryland

    darchitzel New Member

    Hello,
    I need to replace a fuel tank in my 1990 maxum bow rider. I can not use the same tank (plastic) that was there because A) they don't make it anymore and B) I am losing space because I don't want to replace the entire floor.

    So I know a custom Aluminum tank will get the job done, however I have a ton of fiberglass laying around and figure I could make it for less then the cost of the aluminum tank.

    My plan would be to use a male mold to form the tank and the just a flat top to join it together. I have a book that shows me how to do it and I am fairly proficient in fiberglass layup. So building it won't be a problem.

    Ok so my question is will Vinyl-Ester resin provide the needed protection from ethanol or should I just forget it an buy the aluminum tank?

    For what its worth I sent an email to a resin company to ask about thier Vinyl-Ester resin and this was the response I got back.
    Not exactly reassuring!

    Any and all suggestions welcome
    Thanks
    Dan
     
  2. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    I would forget it and buy an aluminum tank. Also I find it hard to believe that you can't find a replacement plastic tank. Tempo, Inca, Moeller, all make roto molded linear polyethylene tanks that meet all the USCG and EPA standards. The come in hundreds of shapes (a fellow from Inca told me they make 3500 models )
     
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    There are plenty of manufacturers making plastic fuel tanks. They will make custom ones too.
     
  4. darchitzel
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Location: Maryland

    darchitzel New Member

    Thanks for the replies
    I have spent about 3 days looking for tanks online to no avail.
    I looked at Tempo and Moellar and Kracor? but their tanks did not fit in my space.
    (Plus the standard RDS Aluminum 18 gallon will not fit either, Its about an inch too tall)

    I looked at Inca's website but they did not have a listing of their tanks that I could find, I guess I will call them tomorrow.

    Also a custom plastic tank is out of my price range..

    The Boat Issue
    The problem is that I cut the floor right at the stringers on one side so I could build back a shelf to rest the floor onto when I put the floor back on. I do not want to replace the entire floor at this point. ( I bought this boat for 200$ at an auction 3 years ago and replaced the floor at that point, so it does not need to be replaced.) I lost some space by doing this. And therefore I need to go from a 20 gallon tank to something like 12-14 gallons.

    Plus the boat had some serious drainage problems. The previous tank was very close to the drainage channel and it would get clogged fairly often. So I also want this tank sitting well above the drainage channel.

    I do think I will take your suggestions on the plastic tank for the rest of this summer just to run the boat. I can use two 6g above floor tanks in the mean time.

    This will give me time to replace the floor in the off season because it will probably rot now anyway with the cuts in it now no matter how much I seal it and allow me to get a bigger tank later because I will be able to go stringer to stringer again.

    So yeah after thinking about it tonight I just don't want to deal with ethanol issues down the road..
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  5. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

  6. groper
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: australia

    groper Senior Member

    vinyl ester im not sure.... epoxy you will have no worries, buy some and get cracking...
     
  7. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

  8. darchitzel
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Location: Maryland

    darchitzel New Member

    Thanks for the list, I am going to keep looking to see if I can find a better fit, but I found a tank that will work if I redo the floor over the winter and it will be 19 gallons opposed to the 12 that I am thinking about for a temp fix.

    Just an FYI I called both INCA and Ameri-Kart and they would not sell direct. INCA would not even give me a listing of there distributors for some reason or a listing of their tanks and Ameri-Kart told me to go to Overtons.com.

    But I did found an INCA model on EBAY ( mentioned above) that will work. So thanks again for the list..

    Although if anybody knows a place or website that sells and list INCA tanks that would be much appreciated. (other then ebay)

    Through my quick research I thought epoxy was worse then vinyl ester but I'll look into it. Plus the fiberglass mat I have I'm not sure if the epoxy will be compatible with it or not. The fact that I have a ton of mat and cloth made making the tank out of fiberglass sound good but I would just buy a aluminum or plastic tank if I had to buy new fiberglass mat that worked with epoxy and if I had to buy any sealers to place in the tank.

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  9. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    Well That's an interesting tidbit. I have been dealing with INCA for over 25 years and never knew that. I've even been to their factory and watched them make the tanks. Mea Culpa.
     
  10. groper
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: australia

    groper Senior Member

    all you have to do is make the tank from fibreglass mat or cloth and resin...epoxy is compatible with any cloth or mat... then apply a couple more coats of resin to seal it...
     
  11. dinoa
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: florida

    dinoa Senior Member

    Resin families are not created equal.

    Some epoxies are not fuel resistant especially to ethanol enriched fuels. Consult the technical data sheet of the product to make sure of its chemical resistance.

    One epoxy I have found that is fuel and ethanol resistant is R&G Epoxy-C, however it is relatively thick and hard to wet out.

    Dino
     
  12. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    my boat has 2 44 gallon petrol tanks made of glass, they are original factory items, built late 70's and still working well.
     
  13. El Sea
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: St Petersburg, Florida

    El Sea Junior Member

    I would shy away from the glassed in tasnk due to what the government has planned for the fuels down the road.

    We use Best Fab in Bartow Fl for fabrications of our tanks. We send them a sketch of what we need, they reply with a drawing waiting for our blessings. Usual cost is around $10 per gallon for the tank and labor starts at $1200 for deck, hose's and tank removal then replace all and close it up.


    The push for more ethanol and now a bigger push for bio fuel is earmarked for both gasoline and diesels.
     
  14. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    the cheaper petrol we have here is 10 % ethanol, do you think this will damage my glass tanks.
     

  15. El Sea
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: St Petersburg, Florida

    El Sea Junior Member

    I would watch it very closely! Your are currently at 10% ethanol as we are here in the US, but the goal is 85% here. That is 15% gasoline and 85% ethanol...
     
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