OT- (way off topic) Fuel tank repair

I have a continuing fantasy about owning a 32'-38' trawler. One of the common problems in a vessel of a certain age and price range are leaking
diesel fuel tanks. The proper repair is to pull the engine (the tanks are generally on either side of the engine, requiring getting the engine out of the way), and replace the tanks. The cost of doing this approaches the price of the boat. Is anyone aware of a reliable method of tank repair in place?
Kevin Gallimore
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axolotl wrote:

Sure. Weld in repair panels OR CLEAN the interior of the tanks very well and epoxy coat them inside. You can buy fuel liner epoxy at many marine stores.
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Steve W.

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On 1/8/2011 4:34 PM, Steve W. wrote: Is anyone aware of a reliable method

Steve,
My concern would be access. In most of these installations, one could not get to the bottom or back of the tank to weld it, and the tank coatings I have found have directions to rotate the tank (like "sloshing" an aircraft tank) to coat the interior. Are you aware of any coatings that can be "painted" through an access port?
Thanks,
Kevin
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axolotl wrote:

Most of the epoxy coatings can be thinned so you can spray them. Just like spraying a two part paint. Just be 100% sure to clean the gun very well before the pot life expires.
Depending on the size of the access port you might be able to get in there with a chopper gun like the ones used to lay up the fiberglass on boats. With that the resin would have the fibers to bind it and reinforce the repair. All depends on how much access you have.
--
Steve W.

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Steve W. wrote:

Google Proseal

Not really true that MOST epoxies can be thinned for spraying. And those that can, thinning reduces their physical properties proportionally.
Epoxy, in the cured state, is hard and brittle. The thing that gives it strength and flexibility is the matrix that it is used with.
By itself it's pretty useless for this kind of repair job.
--

Richard Lamb
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"CaveLamb" wrote in message
Steve W. wrote:

Google Proseal

Not really true that MOST epoxies can be thinned for spraying. And those that can, thinning reduces their physical properties proportionally.
Epoxy, in the cured state, is hard and brittle. The thing that gives it strength and flexibility is the matrix that it is used with.
By itself it's pretty useless for this kind of repair job.
--

Richard Lamb
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Califbill wrote:

Reply: There was an epoxy for fixing gas tanks I used maybe 20 years ago. got it at the autoparts store. A putty type you kneaded to mix.
It's still a patch though, Bill. 100 miles off shore is not the same as pulling over on the side of the road. And a few hundred gallons of fuel in the bilges pretty much ruins dinner.
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Richard Lamb
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"CaveLamb" wrote in message
Califbill wrote:

Reply: There was an epoxy for fixing gas tanks I used maybe 20 years ago. got it at the autoparts store. A putty type you kneaded to mix.
It's still a patch though, Bill. 100 miles off shore is not the same as pulling over on the side of the road. And a few hundred gallons of fuel in the bilges pretty much ruins dinner.
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Richard Lamb
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Califbill wrote:

Reply:
Was on a 1973 Chevelle wagon. Worked for years. On the boat, when the top of the aluminum tank corroded, cost me $800 delivered from Coast-line in Washington state for a new 65 gallon tank.
.8 boat unit. Cheap for what you got.
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Richard Lamb
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On 01/09/2011 06:26 AM, axolotl wrote:

Put one hand on the bow of the boat, and another on the stern, so that you are looking at the deck. Pick up the boat. Rotate your wrists forward. Now rotate them back. Tip the bow up, then tip the bow down. Repeat. This should get the coating thoroughly distributed on the tanks.
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Tim Wescott
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Tim Wescott wrote:

Or sail it through 12 foot surf. ;-)
Cheers! Rich
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On 01/10/2011 08:19 PM, Rich Grise wrote:

Twice, once for each tank.
That sounds much more practical.
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wrote:

Don't forget to remove the mast and run it parallel with the 12' surf so it coats the tops of the tanks, too. Toobin'!

Do it reeeealy?
-- You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.? -- Ronald Reagan
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On 01/11/2011 07:20 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

Nay sayer!
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wrote:

But you are NOT going to do either with the tank in place on a 36 foot trawler, I'll bet.
The tanks will need to come out, one way or the other, unless you put in a bladder like is used in some race-cars and some aircraft tanks - with the fuel take-off inserted from the top.
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Glass or metal? The metal tanks are usually so cruddy and hoary with slime they are impossible to clean sufficiently to epoxy coat inside. The glass tanks fatigue and fail structurally-not repairable. JR Dweller in the cellar
On Sat, 08 Jan 2011 14:42:20 -0500, axolotl

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On 1/8/2011 5:22 PM, JR North wrote:

The tanks are typically steel. Most of the "trawler yachts" of the 70s, 80s, and 90s are out of one or two yards in Taiwan using different brand names. The construction methods (and hull molds) are identical for most of them. Any good methods of cleaning a diesel tank?
Thanks, Kevin
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I would try to do it right the first time, pull the engine, service the engine, pull the tank, service or replace tank.
i
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On 1/9/2011 9:48 AM, Ignoramus26282 wrote: Is anyone aware of a reliable method

This is the right way to do it. The cost of doing it is upwards of seven grand. I am just looking at vessels. If there were a reliable method of fixing a tank in situ for a grand, it might be the making or breaking of a deal. Remember that a vessel of this size is probably not in your garage where you can tinker with it after work. It sits in a boatyard that charges money to have it sit there. Because it is away from home you don't have the resources of your shop to bring to bear against the problem.
Thanks,
Kevin
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I did not think about that. I would think that having an old boat with issues, facing repair costs like these, makes it uneconomical.
i
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