fuel tank replacement

  • February 18, 2012 7:36 AM
    Reply # 828764 on 772857
    I know that boat -- it's right down the dock from mine in Yacht Haven Marina, Wilmington CA!  Her name is Blue Fin, I think named after the bar the previous owner had and lost in the bankruptcy.  If you have pictures, I know the current owner would love to have copies -- could you send them to me at westsailor at earthlink dot net?  Thanks!!!
  • February 26, 2012 10:44 AM
    Reply # 836197 on 772857

    We are in the process of replacing the tankage on Harmony, our Westsail 42.  As has been described, the process is quite involved.  We are removing all of the galley furniture to get at the tanks.  Unfortunately, the galley furniture is not is good condition (i.e. dry rot, etc), so a replacement is a must do.  However, I have not finished the furniture removal, but will need to remove the water tanks to get to the fuel tank.

    The existing tank has been surveyed to be a 100 gallon black steel tank.  I expect that I will have to take it out in pieces.  Our engine was removed before we acquired the boat, so I have a relatively blank palate.  I am considering installing two 50 gallon aluminum tanks in order to minimize the impact of contamination.

    I will document what I find.  However, I would appreciate those pictures as well.  If possible, they can be forwarded to tate.1985@hotmail.com.  We have just begun our restoration, an appreciate the efforts others have undertaken.

  • March 19, 2012 9:30 AM
    Reply # 863086 on 772857
    Deleted user
    Fuel tank replacement:  Thanks to all you guys for your ideas.  Probably my biggest problem is the location of the boat.  Turkey, hot, hot in the summer.  50 degrees C. about 125 F.  I will try and get the guys in the small boatyard I'm in to do the work under my supervision.  they are very good with old wooden boats.  my W 42 is essentially one of those inside.  As I've done most of the rest of the boat and am only 71 I'd like to get a crossing and some more cruising under my belt before the grim reaper comes looking for me.  I am currently struggling with the format of the forum and blogs to filter out the info therein.  I plan on contacting Harmony and see what is up.  Again thanks.  tom kenney
  • April 22, 2012 12:38 PM
    Reply # 897414 on 772857

    Tom, after we spoke, I have speak several days getting to the tanks under the galley and dinette area.  I had expected to find a large (100 gallon) steel tank in the bilge, but to my surprise I found empty bilge!  However, I also found that the prior owner or someone had installed a "plastic" fuel tank under the sole that spans from the galley sink to the middle of the dinette.  I haven't finished the entire galley-ectomy yet, but once the winter cover is off I can disgorge the debris from the demo.

    I expect to find at least 2 SS water tanks (hopefully) in good condition and the aforementioned fuel tank.  If this is the case, I will consider adding a tank in the bilge area.  However, I will probably have to empty the plastic tank, which may not be a bad idea, as I think I have noticed that fir was used for supports and strapping.

    It was good to chat with you.  Unfortunately, I had to run to a meeting.  Let chat again.

    Doug - s/v Harmony

  • April 27, 2012 6:48 PM
    Reply # 904736 on 772857
    Deleted user
    OK.  Here goes.  I am just starting a refit of the tankage on my new to me W43.

    Here are my thoughts after reading and chatting with anyone willing to listen.   Also I will do my best to document the process in the event is helpful in anyway to others.

    Cabin sole is being removed where necessary (which means kithcen island and refrigerator/freezer---arrrghhh!!!)

    I am considering poly water tanks---smaller than original as I have a watermaker to make up for the smaller sizes--- two tanks so if one gets contaminated..... The nice thing about poly is no corrosion so as long as I get a fairly well fitted tank I can foam the bottom on teak and then strap in place.  Should last indefinitely or so one can hope.

    For the diesel, three tanks.    Aluminum. etched, primed with zinc chromate, painted, and tarred.  Secured as to not come in contact with water or dissimilar metals.

    Thoughts or ideas?

    For the plywood should I use CCA treated doug fir and bilge coat?


  • April 28, 2012 3:14 PM
    Reply # 905244 on 772857


    Your procedure and choices are probably the correct ones.  Use good fir plywood, and seal with saturating epoxy resin before and after installing the plywood..

    Contact me for info on the poly water tanks I have available, and also on my tank builder for aluminum fuel tanks.  btaplin@westsail.com

  • April 30, 2012 3:17 PM
    Reply # 907074 on 772857
    Deleted user
    Ed ...before you rip into the project....talk to bud!
    I have a w43 and I will be doing a tank job next season...I have been doing a bunch of research and bud has the best plan! He sent me drawings for 4 - 60 gallon tanks that will fid down the companion way AND...will fit into the bilge with a minimum of ripping up the interior.
    Send me your email and I will forward the plans and his notes

  • April 30, 2012 3:24 PM
    Reply # 907077 on 772857
    Deleted user
    Guess I should have read further before posting!
    I'm very interested in following your project. I would love to see pics of the process and hear your thoughts. Like I said earlier, tanks are next years project. Where are you located? Im in the great lakes, michigan

  • May 03, 2012 5:16 PM
    Reply # 911224 on 772857
    Deleted user
    Thanks Bud---e-mail sent.  Flip----I am in Northern Cal.  When I get further along I'll keep anyone interested posted.  Interior dis-assembly begins this weekend.  The boat gets the added benefit of a newly fitted refrigeration system too.


  • May 19, 2012 11:12 AM
    Reply # 925427 on 772857
    Deleted user
    All tanks out both fuel and water!!!  Will post pics this weekend. 

    Notes thus far:
    1.  Took one week with 2 -3 individuals working full time to carefully tear up kitchen island, settee, and cabin sole.  Fein tool invaluable--- a vibrating saw blade with metal/wood, fbg, tip.  Tanks do go through companionway but they are heavy and we used 4 strong men to get them out.

    2.  I am looking at Moeller Polyethylene diesel tanks, Ronco water tanks, and 2 fabbed SS tanks to be used as day tanks (both fuel and H20) which will be readily servicable for both sterilization and polishing purposes.  The SS was looking very good after 35 years and had they been maintained properly would have been servicable undoubtedly for another 40 years.  Water, sludge, and galvanic corrosion were the culprits but the SS plating was like new.  It was the pooling of moisture and sludge causing failure points at the site of fittings and welds.

    3.  This is a big job not for the faint of heart.
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