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Old 23 November 2008, 11:21   #1
Country: USA
Town: Baltimore, MD
Make: Apex A-19
Length: 5m +
Engine: Outboard
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9
Repair Alternatives for Leaking Built In Fuel Tank

Background Info: New to power boats, bought boat 2001 Apex A-19 at end of August, noticed fuel in bilge after first fill up and a few times thereafter (including after another fill up), had tank pressure tested here at the end of the season and it certainly seems to be leaking. Not 100% certain since the tank is built in and only access is an inspection port above the fuel sending unit and a small cutout in the aft part of the "liner" where the fuel lines leave so detailed inspection of the tank is impossible. Mechanic said that he was able to move the tank around so it seems reasonable that a hole could have developed in there.

Due to construction of the boat any replacement of the 34 gal aluminum tank will be major surgery. This is all new news to me so I haven't yet talked to manufacturer or previous owner or insurance co. Once I realized how lucky I was not to have blown myself up, I'm freaking bent!

Anyway, are there any alternatives to cutting out the old tank and replacing it? Ideas/wishful thinking has me thinking about tank sealant or flexible bladder insert or bailing on the built in tank and using externals. Aaahhhh!

Any ideas from the collective wisdom and experience of the RIBnet forums will be greatly appreciated.



B-more Andy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23 November 2008, 11:36   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: Hamble
Length: 9m +
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I've used a product similar to this in the past...

If that don't do the trick, your probably gonna need a new tank. Your unlikely to be able to poke a bag tank inside your damaged tank, as it'll probably be baffled.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt!
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Old 23 November 2008, 12:47   #3
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Town: Principalite d'Chaos
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Make: Ocean & Bombard
Length: 6m +
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Originally Posted by Dirk Diggler View Post
I've used a product similar to this in the past...

Bit difficult to do these bits from the instructions with a built in tank.

9. Tip the tank onto each side and slosh the coating around to completely cover the inside. Use a rock-ing motion rather than shaking. It is important to do a thorough job or you may miss parts of the tank behind baffles.

10. Drain out the excess coating and cover tightly to save for reuse. The best method is to stand the tank up with a corner drain hole over a can to collect the excess as it drips out. It is very important that you do not leave puddles in the tank.

As dirk said, your tank may be baffled, which rules out a bladder, but if its not cutting a small hole is less surgery than taking it out completely, however remember not to use power tools anywhere near it

If you can get the fuel sender out, a careful prod around with a stick and careful inspection with a torch should show up any baffles.
Do you have a jockey seat over the top of the tank? as the hole could be cut inside that to hide it.

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Old 23 November 2008, 14:03   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: Gloucestershire
Boat name: Osprey
Make: Osprey Vipermax
Length: 5m +
Engine: E-tec 300 G2
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,014
The only real option is to cut out the old tank and replace it. However before you do this why not get a small camera on a flexi mount and see if you can identify where the problem is.

Also have you checked to see if the leak is near one of the pipes going into the tank or possibly around the fuel sender plate?

Chris Stevens

Born fiddler
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