1979 V22 Deck alteration and Tank removal project

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
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1979 V22 Deck alteration and Tank removal project

Postby steelhead55 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:53 pm

Hi Everyone

I am currently knee deep in the lengthy project of the tank removal and deck alteration on my 1979 V22 Revenge. This boat has the plastic tank manufactured by Tempo, and the reason for me initiating this project was twofold:

1. I hated not having good access to the tank and associated hoses. The deck plates access is insufficient for real access to these areas.

2. The tank was originally manufactured as a 70 gallon tank. Due to shrinkage problems, the tank now holds less than 55 gallons when completely full. Also last summer I suddenly started having water in the tank, with over $1,800 of replacement parts having to be added to my Suzuki-Johnson engine due to water contamination. Both high and low pressure fuel pumps, and filters were replaced. The water in the tank overwhelmed my existing RACOR fuel-water separator.

This project is laborious, and requires the removal of both consoles so that the deck can be removed. Whaler fixed this in later models. I removed the deck, and cut it at the approximate location that the later model decks are separate. The cut was made by circular saw at the blue tape area with a fine blade. The results were pretty good.


You can see the cross section of the cut here


I have since gone back and epoxied the bottom of the deck after removing some minor wood rot, and epoxied the ends. Now on to the tank. The tank had about 12 gallons of stabilized fuel in it, from last July. The fuel has been sitting unused since that time. Here is pic of the what the first gallon of fuel looked like after coming through the fuel pick up.


Not so great. After a few more gallons, the fuel looked a little more reasonable.


It is hard to see, but there is still a little bit of water at the bottom of the glass. Where was this water intrusion coming from? Seemed to be too much for condensation, but who knows for sure. When I first got the boat I cleaned up the brass pickup at the stern of the tank, and built a new neoprene gasket, which upon inspection had held up pretty well (two years, little degradation). The picture here is from a few years ago before I cleaned it up with a wire brush and re-installed it.


On to the tank. Here is the fill plate. Looks like a water intrusion candidate.


After wrestling the fill hose off a little bit, a clear problem emerges.


Upon removal, the hose is completely fused to the 90 degree fill, and is so heavily corroded I was able to easily snap it off. The aluminum was all highly pitted and corroded on both the top side and bottom side. The attachment ring on the inside of the tank was made of steel, and heavily rusted. This pic is after I cleaned the fill plate up a bit--terrible.


At this point, pulling the tank still made sense, so I got after it. First with removal of the foam. I started with a hack saw blade, but found that a drywall saw was much more effective.


And was eventually able to remove the tank. I actually only had to saw off half the foam to remove the tank, the foam had very little bonding power to the tank itself. The tank wall was very wet. Prior to tank removal I removed approximately 15 gallons of water from the tank cavity. In this pick you can see the foam still lightly bonded to the tank cavity side. I was able to remove it in one piece by simply stepping on it.



Now on to the tank. I hate the idea of an aluminum tank, as it will corrode. It is a certainty. There is not a great fit for an existing Moeller tank in the tank cavity. So I inspected the tank. The last gallon of gasoline was a terrible, mucky sludge.


and after draining it, there were lots of pebbles and a stainless steel bolt in there.


The tank itself was structurally sound, with no leaks, but its shape is deformed, reducing the tank volume to 55 gallons from the original 70, as you can see in theses picture links. The bottom of the tank (at the bottom of the V-part of the tank) moves up to 5-inches towards the top of the tank.




Now I am looking for advice. Do I re-use the tank and have a new fill and vent plate manufactured? I assume that a tank shop could weld me up one. Or, do I spend the money on the new tank? All advice is appreciated.

On a side note, the foam that held the tank in place was mostly dry throughout which surprised me, as you can see from this cross sectional picture.


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Re: 1979 V22 Deck alteration and Tank removal project

Postby ConB » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:29 pm

I would not reuse any thing. All new tank, fittings and hoses is needed. Not a time to be cheap. You will thank yourself later.

!987 Outrage 18 / 1987 150 hp Johnson & 1969 13 / 30hp Johnson tiller

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Phil T
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Re: 1979 V22 Deck alteration and Tank removal project

Postby Phil T » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:10 pm

I know a few guys who have the same model and have done tank repairs. The challenge includes lack of replacement tank in plastic available. The work arounds are not straightforward.

Have you made contact with VAWhaler or Gchuba?

You are fabricating two plates for a warped plastic tank that is 39 years old. If me, I would make measurements and have an aluminum tank made. Use the blocking method and NOT foam. It will last 25 years.
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

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Don McIntyre - MI
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Re: 1979 V22 Deck alteration and Tank removal project

Postby Don McIntyre - MI » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:14 pm

The underlying reason the tank deformed was at one point during your boat's life it was exposed to freezing temps. The water under the tank, between the tank and the bottom of the tank cavity froze, and pushed up the tank bottom. This happened to our 22 Outrage of that era. Back then, the factory covered replacing it with an aluminum one (probably from Florida Marine Tanks, their preferred source at the time).

I remember a discussion with Bob Dougherty at the factory regarding it. Said it drove them nuts, as not all the 22's developed problems. Only the ones in northern states, and not stored in a heated area during the winter.

I was there watching the replacement, when all of a sudden the plastic tank, which had been sitting in the sun, decided to revert back to its factory shape!

Regards - Don

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Re: 1979 V22 Deck alteration and Tank removal project

Postby jimh » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:48 am

Another option: dispense with the under-deck tank. Your boat now has a modern four-stroke-power-cycle engine, so perhaps the 70-gallon fuel capacity is no longer necessary. Two 22-gallon on-deck tanks might be sufficient.

You don't mention your boat use, so perhaps you do need the 70-gallons. But on my REVENGE 22, I seldom have more than 50-gallons in the 77-gallon tank.

A new tank from Florida Marine Tanks will probably be more than $1,000 and shipping can be expensive.

Maybe leaving the original plastic tank in strong warm sunlight will cause a miraculous reversion to original form.

The original tank could be a nice pattern for a local fabricator to duplicate in welded aluminum.

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Don McIntyre - MI
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Re: 1979 V22 Deck alteration and Tank removal project

Postby Don McIntyre - MI » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:11 pm

In re-reading the earlier threads, I recalled more of the conversation with Bob. He did mention that they discovered that the mold release agent used in the production of the plastic tanks didn't allow for the foam to bond to the tank. Once the water penetrated and washed over the foamed in tank, that non bonding allowed for the water to migrate down the edges of the foam and tank wall, into the lower cavity.

It drove me nuts, as the fuel gauge, would indicate full, however the tank would only hold about 55 to 60 gallons. When it was empty, the arm of the fuel indicator was resting on the bulged-up portion of the tank, and indicated around 1/4. Filled it--55 to 60. What the heck was going on?

Regards - Don

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Re: 1979 V22 Deck alteration and Tank removal project

Postby steelhead55 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:45 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone

I'm still mulling my options, and will post some pics of the final alteration to the deck when completed.

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Re: 1979 V22 Deck alteration and Tank removal project

Postby JaySul » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:18 pm

I changed the tank on my 1978 V-20 about five years ago and have been very pleased with the tank I had constructed at Florida Marine Tanks. After getting to the tank itself I was surprised at the poor design of the well in which it sits which collects water so I set the tank on neoprene and did not foam in the sides. The tank fit perfectly and the project allowed me to make some necessary wood repairs to underside of the deck. Good luck.