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Author Topic: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?  (Read 377 times)

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Bill Shreeves

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Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« on: September 11, 2018, 07:09:13 AM »

I just removed the original aluminum fuel tank yesterday because it started leaking.  Fortunately, we were on the boat and caught it before it became a major clean-up.  After reading the life expectancy is 15 - 20 years and mine is 30, it owes me nothing.  Catalina Direct wants nearly $950 for the replacement plus shipping.  I plan on calling a place my marina uses for custom tanks to see how much they want.  Also wondering about a plastic fuel tank.  Anyone with experience, thought etc. regarding plastic and or Catalina Direct alternatives?   Should I have a tank built, I'd insist on baffles regardless of the material.

Thanks for your thoughts...


-Bill
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Bill Shreeves - 1987 SD #333, "Beginnings", M25XPB, Worton Creek, MD

scgunner

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Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2018, 07:28:30 AM »

    Bill,

      Plastic is great for dinghy tanks or transporting small amounts of fuel from one place to another but I don't think I'd want to use it to hold 25 gallons of fuel. My aft water tank(plastic)developed a stress fracture and began to leak, while it was a pain in the butt it was just water. You can imagine the problems if it had been fuel.

       Like you said your original owes you nothing, if it was me I'd bite the bullet and get the Catalina replacement.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

Noah

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Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2018, 07:50:01 AM »

I am surprised by your acessment that the life expectancy of aluminum fuel tank is 15-20 years. Would have thought a longer life expectancy. Hopefully, that’s not a universal rule, as my 1990’s tank is still going strong leak-free and I have no plans to alter or replace it. Knock on teak!
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

Roc

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Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 09:53:24 AM »

Believe it or not, my 2000 MkII came with a plastic fuel tank, OEM from Catalina Yachts.  Not sure if they do this anymore on the newer boats.  There was a time where my plastic tank was permeating diesel fuel smell, but it's now been several years where that is not apparent.  At that time, I contacted CY about the situation and they were willing to sell me a metal fuel tank at cost (~$500).  I also contacted a local tank fabricator and the cost for me to have one custom made to match the size of the plastic tank was also ~$500.  I never did replace the plastic tank, as I said, the smell went away.  And yes, I did check to see if the smell came from a fuel leak anywhere and that was not the case.  As a matter of fact, all you had to do is sniff the wall of the tank and there was a strong diesel smell.  I concluded it was going right through the tank walls.
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

Noah

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Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 10:20:23 AM »

If you do have a new metal tank built, be sure have them put at least one inspection port for cleaning it out. One at each baffle would be ideal. Also to get super fancy, how about an extra pick-up and return fitting for a dedicated fuel polisher setup?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 05:20:16 PM by Noah »
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

Ron Hill

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Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2018, 04:01:15 PM »

Guys : FYI, Catalina Factory stopped stocking plastic fuel tanks!! 
If you use MDR "diesel Water Zorb" oil based (Defender) you'll prevent the "rust thru" in an Al alloy fuel tank.

A few thoughts
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Ron, Apache #788

Mike and Joanne Stimmler

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Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2018, 01:26:54 PM »

Maybe you should check to see if it's repairable. The places that make custom tanks could probably tell you.
BTW I had a '89 Catalina and never a problem.

Mike
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Mike and Joanne Stimmler
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'89 Tall Rig Fin keel #940
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mjstimmler@cox.net

Noah

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Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2018, 04:23:26 PM »

There was a “new” aluminum tank for sale on this forum awhile back. May be still available??
http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,9815.0.html
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 04:24:14 PM by Noah »
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

Bill Shreeves

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Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2018, 04:06:23 AM »

Maybe you should check to see if it's repairable. The places that make custom tanks could probably tell you.
BTW I had a '89 Catalina and never a problem.

Mike

Mike,
With what I've read about life expectancy for aluminum tanks, the increased risk with the addition of ethanol in the fuel and not knowing whether or not previous 27 years of owners treated the fuel and a .090 thickness tank, I'm not inclined to repair the tank.  I might repair this only to have another leak, potentially worse. I'll sleep better on-board with my family knowing I replaced the 30 year old tank.
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Bill Shreeves - 1987 SD #333, "Beginnings", M25XPB, Worton Creek, MD

Bill Shreeves

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Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2018, 04:07:51 AM »

There was a “new” aluminum tank for sale on this forum awhile back. May be still available??
http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,9815.0.html

Thanks Noah, the posting says its sold
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Bill Shreeves - 1987 SD #333, "Beginnings", M25XPB, Worton Creek, MD

WTunnessen

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Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« Reply #10 on: Today at 09:18:29 AM »

Eastport Rigging in Galesville MD repaired my 10+ year old replacement tank.  In my situation, the tank developed a leak at weld/soldering point.  So depending on where your tank is leaking, you might be able to repair it.  In addition to repairing the tank, they clean it and pressure tested the tank.
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Gaulois #579 C34 Tall Rig - CYC West River, MD
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