Saga of the Fuel Tank
26 April 2009
This picture is explained a little further into this storey. I haven't discovered how to control where images are inserted. In any event this is the First Mate hugging her newly recondition fuel tank just before it was set back in its home.
It turned out the bottom of the fuel tank was slowing rusting through near the foward edge. After the boat returned from the paint shop we noticed a small amount of diesel fuel in the space just below the engine. We cleaned it up and checked the fuel hose fittings and went home after one of our work sessions. The next time down again there was diesel fuel under the engine and this time a LOT more. Argg!!
I pulled the aft cabin floor boards and discovered a slow but persistence flow from under the tank. We had a leaking tank with about 20 gallons of fuel. Double argg!!
What insued next were the steps of emptying the tank; removing it; flipping it and discovering not one but two holes; unsuccessfully attempting to have a plate welded over the rusted areas; determining to fiberglas the tank; and finally cleaning the inside, painting the outside and dropping it back into its home.
The original builder had mounted the water separation filter on a bulkhead beside the tank under the aft berth. So I took this opportunity to relocate the filter to engine room where I can easily see the bowl at the bottom to check for water; where changing the filter will be far easier; at the same time I replaced the fuel supply and return lines.
I forgot to mention when I was looking for someone to weld a plate on the bottom, one fellow assured us he could do it if we filled the tank with water. We did go to the trouble of sealing the tank and filling it with water in anticipation of his emminent return. All calls went unanswered and he was never heard from again. So, before the water could freeze we had to empty the tank by running a hose from the tank, through the boat and out the thru-hull for the speed transducer. That's a triple arrg!!!