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Author Topic: Fuel tank cleanout port  (Read 1608 times)
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Kent & Jane Overbeck
Forum - Seaman
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Karma: 2
Boat Name / Hull Number: Carina/1587
Model Year: 2001
Home Port: Chattanooga, TN
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« on: March 02, 2012, 04:22:53 PM »


I wanted to be sure Carina had a clean tank before we started our Great Loop Cruise.  As there was no clean out port, I decided to make one.  I first had to gain access to the top of the tank so I installed a hatch in the bottom of the lazerett.  I contacted Ezell MFG who (we thought) made the tank for advice on the actual port.  They sold me a disc of 1/4 aluminum with 8  holes drilled around the edge and a cork gasket.  Now all I had to do was cut the 4 hole in the top of the tank.  As it turned out, they thought I had an aluminum tank but mine is polyethylene made by a previous vender no longer in business.  They told me to go ahead but use self-tapping sheetmetal screws instead of bolts.  I was concerned about the screws holding but decided to continue.  I also decided to pre drill a smaller 9/64 hole and use regular sheetmetal screws thinking it would hold better in the poly.
Well, I finally got the nerve to cut the hole.  It didn't take but 1/2 a jug of Captain Morgan!  The polyethylene tank was much harder and thicker (1/4") than expected.  The good thing about that was the 1/4" sheetmetal screws hold great.  I can't strip them out by hand.  I drilled out a 1 1/4" hole in the disc and a buddy welded on a "1/2 coupling" of 1" aluminum.  The PVC plug finishes it off.  I put Permatex 2 gasket sealer between the gasket and tank and on the end of the screws.  Now, I can check fuel tank bottom samples and also check the fuel level with a gage stick marked at 5-gallon intervals, as my fuel gage was stuck in the full position.   If I want to do a serious clean out, just remove 8 screws and take the plate off.
I was relieved and very surprised to find no water and almost no debris after I pumped 24 gallons of fuel out and through a Baja type filter.  The tank had never been cleaned in 11 years.  I shined a light into the tank and could see that the bottom was very clean.  Im a happy boat owner!

Hope this info is helpful,

Kent









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* Carina's fuel tank access 011 c.jpg (15.19 KB, 640x480 - viewed 659 times.)

* Carina's fuel tank access 006 c.jpg (9.9 KB, 640x480 - viewed 655 times.)
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Jim Hardesty
Forum - Chief Petty Officer
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Karma: 7
Boat Name / Hull Number: Shamrock/1570 M35BC
Model Year: 2001
Home Port: Erie PA
Posts: 545



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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 07:10:31 PM »

Kent,
Nice,  I'll put it on my todo list.  If you come to Erie, PA on the Great Loop Cruise, give me a call. 
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA
Ron Hill
Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
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Karma: 45
Boat Name / Hull Number: APACHE #788
Model Year: 1988
Home Port: Great Wicomaco River, Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 5198



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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 08:18:51 PM »

Kent : A number of us have installed a "clean out" ports in the top of our metal fuel tank. 

What I like about your installation is that you also modified the floor of the port side lazerette.  That means it's much easier to inspect the inside of your tank while it's still installed.  Great Job !!!
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Ron, Apache #788
Kent & Jane Overbeck
Forum - Seaman
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Boat Name / Hull Number: Carina/1587
Model Year: 2001
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2012, 05:24:19 PM »

Thanks Ron.  Coming from you it's a real compliment! Very Happy
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Jack Hutteball
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2012, 06:45:00 PM »

Great job Kent.  I have hull 1555 and will put your project on my list of to do's.  I know it is a tough job to remove the fuel tanks from the MK ll boats, although it can be done.  It would be great if you would write up a how to for both the in floor hatch addition as well as the inspection port along with pictures, material lists, and send it to our C34 tech editor, John Nixon (JMNPE@FLASH.NET) for inclusion in the Mainsheet.  I am sure there are many out there that would like to have the information.

Jack Hutteball
C34 Associate Editor
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Jack and Ruth Hutteball
Mariah lll, #1555, 2001
Anacortes, Washington
Kent & Jane Overbeck
Forum - Seaman
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Boat Name / Hull Number: Carina/1587
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2012, 07:26:23 PM »

Thank you Jack.  I'll do that.  But please tell me, how do you get the tank out of the MKII?

Kent
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Jack Hutteball
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 08:55:52 PM »

Some time back someone posted pictures on the site showing how it came out of their MKll.  I believe all the fittings had to be removed from the top, then he just angled it some way and wiggled it out.  Pictures and explanation never made it to the wiki as I think that was before the site had that feature.

Jack
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Jack and Ruth Hutteball
Mariah lll, #1555, 2001
Anacortes, Washington
Jack Hutteball
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 09:06:11 PM »

Kent, here is the info I read from February 08 post.  I searched "remove fuel tank" and this came up.  I also thought I had seen one post with some pictures.

Well I was finally able to remove the fuel tank. Thanks for all the suggestions. As suggested, once I had removed all fittings (fuel outlet, fuel gage and fuel return)  such that were no protrusions at all on the forward top of the tank I could move the tank forward and the forward side out.  Must not be more than a 1/16 clearance here.  Then the rear of the tank could be moved forward and pulled out of the opening by tilting and tugging on the tank.  The tank actually flexes quite a bit in order for it to be pulled through the opening.  A real press fit.  I also found it necessary to pull the fuel line to the engine out of the tank compartment down to the engine compartment.  This left enough room (barely) to move the tank forward and sideways enough for its withdrawal.  In order not to have to go through this again, I am thinking about having an access panel about 6 inches dia. placed on the top of the tank and installing the same size access opening in the port lazarette for clean-out purposes.  Any suggestions here?  There is quite a bit of black goo and slime on the inside bottom of the tank, so it was time to pull it out.  -- Bill

Jack
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Jack and Ruth Hutteball
Mariah lll, #1555, 2001
Anacortes, Washington
Meerkata
Forum - Seaman Apprentice
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Boat Name / Hull Number: Meerkata, 1649
Model Year: 2003
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 10:16:59 AM »

Two questions...
When drilling and cutting holes in tank, how do I stop debris from falling into tank?

What are dimensions of locker hatch cutout, and where purchased?

Thank,
Jim Cowan
1649
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Kent & Jane Overbeck
Forum - Seaman
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Karma: 2
Boat Name / Hull Number: Carina/1587
Model Year: 2001
Home Port: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 35


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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2012, 09:54:27 AM »

Jim, sorry for the late reply.  We have been out of town.  The size of the hatch is not important.  I used this one (about 12"x18") because I all ready had it from when Boaters World went out of business.  The hole in the tank was cut with a hole saw.  The debris stayed on top of the tank except for a very small amount at the end of the cut.  I would stop cutting often and wipe up the shavings.  I bought a complete set of hole saws from Harbor Freight for about $16.  Piece of junk but it was good enough to get one hole in the poly tank.
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