Features May 2007 Issue

Diesel Fuel Tank Replacement

Replacing a failed or corroded diesel fuel tank present a wide range of options. In this special report aimed at cruising sailboats, we examine the pros and cons of aluminum tanks, polyethylene tanks, stainless-steel tanks, fiberglass tanks and iron tanks, and offer a cost-effective solution.

If given a free hand at design, material selection, fabrication and installation, what would Practical Sailor ideal replacement diesel fuel tank look like? The ideal diesel fuel tank installation should possess, above all else, access. A boat fuel tank that is completely and permanently buried beneath or behind fiberglass, timber, insulation or joinerwork is a tank cannot be inspected for corrosion, chafe, structural damage or leaks. Fuel tank baffles, inspection ports, and properly insulated fittings (in the case of a metal tank) are essential. Diesel tank contamination is inevitable, so any tank design for a cruising sailboat must take that into consideration.

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