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Time For a New Fuel Tank

posted Aug 2, 2011, 7:09 AM by Christopher Hubbell
RDS 59043 Fuel Tank
So far things are going well, although my work progress has slowed a bit now that I'm in the water.  I've been enjoying meeting and talking with my new dock neighbors which chew up time.  I've also been... Sailing! Which chews up a LOT of time.

In the midst of all these non-working activities I discovered a problem.  Apparently when I cleaned my fuel tank I dislodged some rust from a rusty seam and caused a tiny amount of seepage.  I get an every so slightly visible sheen on the tiny amount of bilge water under the engine.  I traced it back to the spot using a dry paper towel to check the tank.

So, yet again I'm faced with finding a modern part that will fit into my not-so-modern boat, and hoping desperately that I won't have to do any fiberglass surgery.  I've really had enough of that for a while.

Fortunately, I had some success with this effort.  I started down the road of plastic tanks to try to avoid the various corrosion issues that plague boats.  Unfortunately, the manufacturers of these tanks all told me in no uncertain terms that their tanks are not designed to be suspended from a cockpit sole.  So, no matter how good the argument for using plastic, it ain't gonna happen on my boat.

Next choice was aluminum.  Very rigid, and can be suspended with no problems what so ever.  In fact, these tanks are more rigid than my current steel tank, so I'm very confident in this application.  With very little digging around I came up with the RDS Manufacturing 5842 tank.  It's almost a perfect replacement for my tank.  In fact, it's a bit shorter which will free up some space by the cockpit drain seacocks.

There is a HUGE variety of prices on these tanks.  West Marine had it for $330 before shipping.  I found it at another retailer for $200.  I was able to use the expensive 3-day shipping and still come out way under the WM price.  So, hopefully I'll have it soon and this problem will be behind me.