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Author Topic:   Service Life of Plastic On-deck Fuel Tank
Trainerjim posted 06-22-2015 10:20 AM ET (US)   Profile for Trainerjim   Send Email to Trainerjim  
I am re-doing my 1989 Super Sport 15. I have taken everything out of the boat, including the wood, for the first time since 2002. When I lifted the Moeller 18 gallon marine plastic fuel tank, the bottom was covered with grime (as was the hull where it sat under the rear seat). The tank has been in use since 2002. The boat has been stored outside covered, but water and dirt find their way in. How long should this tank last? The plastic does not seem brittle anywhere.
cleep1700 posted 06-22-2015 03:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for cleep1700  Send Email to cleep1700     
I just replaced the 18 gallon tank (Tempo) with a new Moeller on my 1978 because of leaking around the base of the outlet assembly.
Powergroove803 posted 06-22-2015 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Powergroove803  Send Email to Powergroove803     
After removing my fuel tank and replacing hoses and such, [I recommend that] if you have [your fuel tank] up and out, replace it. [Your fuel tank] is 13-years-old. Ask yourself if you want to take the chance of a leak, a breakdown, or if you want to have to pull up the floor boards and do it all over again?

I say replace now while you have the chance, its so not a fun job.

Trainerjim posted 06-23-2015 11:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Trainerjim  Send Email to Trainerjim     
The good thing about the 15 is that the tank sits on the deck.
tedious posted 06-23-2015 12:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for tedious  Send Email to tedious     
Jim, as long as it is not leaking, the plastic does not seem brittle, and the inside is not full of crud, I'd say keep it. The outside grime will come off with some household detergent (Simple Green, Fantistik, Formula 409 or what have you) a scrub brush, and a hose.

Remember the newer tanks may have been designed to updated emission specs. While I think it's important to be environmentally sound, the newer tanks I have experience with have been terrible. I've spilled far more fuel trying to make these new tanks work than I ever did with the older, supposedly less environment-friendly models.


martyn1075 posted 06-23-2015 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
The newer plastic tanks claim not to [emit] venting odors nearly as badly as compared to the older ones. Some of the older ones have quite a smell to them. Not sure so much with what Whaler used, but in general some of them always had that faint gas smell lingering around the boat. Not to be confused with fresh gas spill smell that sits in your bilge and is dangerous. This is a venting smell. I know in our friends 2001 Grady White his plastic in board tank can really be smelled at times when you lift the round hatches off to expose the tank fittings. The tank is deemed safe and clear of any issues leaks hose fittings etc.
Powergroove803 posted 06-23-2015 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Powergroove803  Send Email to Powergroove803     
Trailerjim, sorry, I didn't catch that it was a 15, ADHD is kickin my butt this summer
contender posted 06-25-2015 10:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Jim: I'm sorry and I can not for the life of me see why anyone would want a plastic fuel tank. I know a lot of people on this site use them, but, for myself, no way. Build yourself a custom 0.125=inch thick Alumuminum tank--have it built. It will outlast you and can take any type of fuel. It will not get brittle in the sun, and the fittings will not crack or leak like plastic ones. You can have the vent, fuel fill, fuel pick up, gauage place anywhere on the tank to fit your needs. Build one out of carboard and take it to a welder. As far as under the tank you should use some Dri Dec. Will let the tank keep dry under it and it will cushion it as well. Good luck
jimh posted 06-27-2015 11:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
An on-deck plastic fuel tank that is not continually exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun will probably have a longer service life than Mick Jagger. Mick has been touring for about 50-years, so that is a long service life.
contender posted 06-27-2015 03:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
How do you keep an on deck fuel tank on a 15 ft. whaler out of the sun?
jimh posted 06-27-2015 11:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For starters, there is about 12-hours of darkness every day.
Binkster posted 06-28-2015 08:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
A fifteen ft. Whaler should be stored in your garage or at least a shed. Worse case would be under a cover. If its a center console model you can build or have built a custom RPS seat and mount the tank under it like In did. So how much time does a well cared for fuel tank actually sit in the sun? Less time than Mick spends on stage.

jimh, a perfect name for your Whaler;



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