I'm in the process of removing the original fuel tanks from my 31 Commander. I know there's a few here that have done it or had it done and wonder what size tanks you replaced them with.
I plan on having new aluminum tanks built, Looks like I can get a tank that's about 22in high, by 22-24in wide by 40in long at the bottom and 46in long at the top in there if I pull the exhaust off the engines in the center of the boat. That should give me about 85-95 gallons/side.
Any insight/ tips? I've done this once already on my Catalina, but just had the stock tank reproduced.
I looked at the poly tanks, but honestly I'd like to add more volume also, I didn't see any that would be real optimum dimensionally that where bigger most where long and low. The Custom tanks are more than twice as much, about $10/gallon, but I can have them built to fit. I'm going to have to remove all the mounts that are in there now anyways, the tanks will not come out with them in there. I tried yesterday, the tanks are about 1/4in too big to come out over the mounts. Next step will be going in there to drill out the screws holding it all together as many of those brass screw just would not come out. I'm also going to see if I can have the tank built to not require an external support system so I can simply strap them right to the stringers. Shouldn't be too hard if they put the baffles in the right places.
While 100 gal is plenty in general, we do take trips and that's where that extra volume will be really nice. I'd like to take a trip up to the North Channel and I don't know that 100gal cap would cut it up there. Since I'm in there now, if I want bigger tanks now it the time to do it.
That is an excellent idea!
Sam Carter said:
I can't speak to the tanks, but you'll have a much easier time removing brass screws with a set of Grabit bits. http://www.amazon.com/Alden-8440P-Grabit-Damaged-Extractor/dp/B001A...
They sell a similar product at Home Depot.
sounds like you're pretty set on custom metal tanks, but Moeller makes tanks in many shapes and sizes...
As long as I can make them work, I'm open to options. I do want to stay near the same foot print as the original tanks though AND increase my volume to somewhere around 150-200gallons. Even the same size tanks in rectangle give me an extra 30 gallons over barrel.
They have bigger ones too, but they're tailored to specific boats. My steel tanks are actually not in bad shape, one great thing about the Great Lakes, it's unsalted and shark free ;) Corrosion is generally not a big problem around here, it took over 30 years for the tank on my Catalina to go bad, and even still it didn't leak, but was flaking rust into the fuel. The filler necks on my Commanders tanks actually look really good, way better than I expected, I'll get a better look once I get them out all the way.
The main reasons for replacement was I figured they where probably getting nearly as bad as the tank on my Catalina, but also to have fuel gauges, more volume, and be fresh and clean. That way I can start running E10 without worry that I'm going to be plugging up filters left and right when 50 years on sludge and varnish get cleaned off the inside of the old tanks by the ethanol. I'll also be replacing all the fuel lines and either rebuilding or replacing the carbs.
Jim Frens said:
Start running E10? must be nice, can't get non-ethanol gas anywhere around here (New Hampshire / Massachusetts). For quite a few years now. Fortunately they put in lots of additives with the marine gas to compensate, but that just makes it all the more expensive.
Out here about half the marina's still have pure gas. It is more expensive though. There's a place on the north end of the lake that sells E10 for about 20-30 cents above road price usually, plus it has a cool tiki bar/ restaurant, usually what I save in fuel cost pays for dinner easily, I did this in my old boat regualrly. Pure gas was running about $4.75 at the end of the season last year.
That's just a little more than we pay for ValveTec E10 around here. I'm curious to see what marine gas prices will be this season, with car gas down so much (but coming back up faster than it went down!).