1977 Skipjack 24' Built in Fuel Tank is Leaking

Sportfish IV is a 1977 24' Skipjack currently being restored.

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1977 Skipjack 24' Built in Fuel Tank is Leaking

Post by Bob Fisher » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:34 am

1977 Skipjack 24' Built-in fuel tank is leaking

Well, the plans for this weekend have just gone out the door!

I was going to run the boat out in the Delta on both Saturday and Sunday and hopefully get everything sorted out so that I could finally go fishing.

I went over tonight to do a preliminary check but there was a strong smell of fuel and obviously signs of a major leak coming from the tank.

The bigger problem is that the fuel tank is sealed under the fiberglass floor which will need to be cut out so that the tank can be removed.

With limited time available these days I may have to bite the bullet and find someone in the Stockton/Central Valley area with experience in fuel tank removal and fiberglass repair to help me out.
Capt. Aussie Bob Fisher
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Ross Compe
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Fuel Tank Repairs

Post by Ross Compe » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:03 am

Tough break Bob! I presume you have an alumunium fuel tank and it will require degasing before welding.
Great to see safety first old buddy and getting that classic 'Skipjack' back in order.
Talking to the the specialists that work with aluminium and small tanks might help.
Regards
Ross Compe
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"Remember Folks There Has Never Been A Fish Worth Dying For"

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1977 Skipjack 24' Built-in aluminum fuel tank is leaking

Post by Bob Fisher » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:49 pm

1977 Skipjack 24' Built-in aluminum fuel tank is leaking


Hey Ross,

You are totally correct. However, after I get the fuel tank out I want to get a smaller one. The current one is 80 gals. I can't afford to fill it and I never have the time these days to use that much fuel on an outing. That brings into play another issue which is stale fuel, condensation and microbial growth when the fuel sits for too long. This is what I've been dealing with for the past couple of years constantly changing filters and adding various conditioning products etc... It would be nice mate to just be able to start her up and take her for run without all of these issues. The motor, outdrive and electrical have all been done....

So, I was thinking currently it's 80 gals - half that is 40... maybe that is not enough. So then I thought 60 but maybe that is too much and now I'm thinking the midway point between those two i.e. 50 gals....

However, this is not the correct way for me to calculate the desired size of a new tank. This is the correct way --> How many gallons per hour do I use? How far is the longest trip that I plan on taking? Double that and and then add running around and a safety factor...

First things first. I have to find someone in the Stockton, Ca or Central Valley, Delta area who can drain the 40-50 gals of bad fuel that is sitting in there.

I'm going to ask the folks at the marina about this today and then I'm going to look for someone in this region who can cut the section of the floor out above the tank. It needs to be a fine cut (diamond tip blade or something like that?)

I'll keep you up to date with what transpires. We need to catch up on the phone mate. How goes it back in Aus? Do you have any chance at all to go fishing these days?
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1977_Skipjack_24.jpg
The tank is under the floor - forward of the engine cover
1977_Skipjack_24.jpg (55.81 KiB) Viewed 5316 times
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rusty
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boat repairs etc !

Post by rusty » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:04 am

Good to see you are still in circulation Bob :o not heard from you in ages apart from the dragon chatting to you occasionally, i too have the big boat out of circulation at the moment, have lifted the hull off of the trailer and am in the middle of sand blasting the trailer to bar metal and priming and under coating before Karl my son and i coat it with jetty anti foul as this is better that galvanizeing it, the original paint job left a lot to be desired and the trailer was starting to rust pretty badly in places so we replaced some of the tubing adn completely stripped it to the bare metal stage and then the weather gods let ripp with rain and winds etc, will send some pics as soon as aye, you been fishing of late, i have just started to chase salmon for fun last couple of weeks also getting into some large kgs and sand whiting but not much else, anyways am off for now as lots to do being the small time farmer i am.
Hope the boat tank planns out for you mate, i use nulon fuel stabiliser for mine and have never had a stale fuel issue, i just used the boat recentley after not using it fot 5 mths due to back probbs and it was all a /ok! maybe the fuel in usa is different to ours here???

ok bye for now mate :wink:
I live with fear sometimes she lets me go fishing!!!!!!!!
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PROJECT FISHING BOATS:SKIPJACK 24' Leaking Fuel Tank

Post by Bob Fisher » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:09 pm

The problem goes way back to when I first bought the boat. It had a been sitting for 10-12 years in the guys driveway and had about 60 gals of bad fuel in the tank.

I drained most of it out but never had the tank cleaned. There was water and visible growth in the tank. I filled the tank and started using the boat but I had consistent fuel problems.

Now that it's leaking I'm going to have to get rid of the tank altogether and get a new tank.

Apart from the time and the money I guess it's a good thing because I'm sure it will run fine after that and I'll just be be able to fire it up and go out fishing again!

The next question (skipper) is to try and determine what size tank I need? Roughly how many gallons per hour would you estimate a 24' Deep-V fiberglass boat with 307 chev would use?

I was thinking of getting one of these:

http://www.moellermarine.com/aftermarke ... ent_tanks/
Capt. Aussie Bob Fisher
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Ross Compe
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Boats and Fishing

Post by Ross Compe » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:12 am

Sounds like time to replace the tank altogether to me.
Fuel carried always lowers the stress aboard old buddy as well as giving people like you options and covering a lot of ground and reaching more distant locations.
Twin tanks are an option.
Always nice to have a spare!
In answer to your question at the earlier post I have been out of action on the fishing front myself lately but am still in touch with the guys doin it. I have had a back injury and are waiting for a operation.
Look forward to catching up on the telephone.
Cheers Bobby
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1977 Skipjack 24' Built-in aluminum fuel tank is leaking

Post by Bob Fisher » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:35 pm

1977 Skipjack 24' Built-in aluminum fuel tank is leaking

I bought a $35 hand crank pump from Harbor Freight and Dave and I emptied the tank into 5 gal containers. I did not want to use anything elecrical to pump the fuel out that may cause a spark as I could smell fumes coming out from under the floor. (Fortunately, the inspection plate in the photo was already cut out of the floor and it sat over the sending unit) The batteries were switched off and the pump was inserted into the top of the tank.

Where I currently live in Stockton, California I was able to take 15gals at a time, free of charge to the San Joaquin County Household Hazardous Waste Facility:

http://search.earth911.com/location/jZQ ... filter=all
Attachments
Hand-Fuel-Pump.jpg
1977 Skipjack 24' Built-in aluminum fuel tank is leaking. I bought a $35 hand crank pump from Harbor Freight and Dave and I emptied the tank into 5 gal containers.
Hand-Fuel-Pump.jpg (123.9 KiB) Viewed 7923 times
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1977 Skipjack 24' Remove leaking built-in aluminum fuel tank

Post by Bob Fisher » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:29 pm

1977 Skipjack 24' Fishing Boat. Built-in Aluminum Fuel Tank is Leaking


Remove and Replace Boat Tank


Bob Fisher's SportfishWorld, Copyright

Fuel Tank Removal is an extremely dangerous procedure!
Your best bet is to consult a qualified, insured professional!

Two boats caught fire and were gutted at the Marina yesterday. I heard the fire trucks at around 7:30am from my condo across the road. I think that the fire spread from one boat to the other. A building structure on the water was also burnt to the ground. (The building may have been a pump out and a fueling station.) - it was a timely reminder of the dangers of fuel and sparks...

:shock: :shock: :shock:

I had already decided to cut the floor out by hand (fiberglass over plywood) - even though it was a slow, strenuous, tedious job and it was also a 100 degree day and we were in the sun. Fortunately for me, Dave had generously offered to help out. I couldn't have done it without him.

:D :D :D

Thanks, Dave

The accompanying photos/images will give you a good illustration of what your tank looks like under the floor...
Attachments
Skipjack-24-Fuel-Tank-04.jpg
1977 Skipjack 24' Built-in aluminum fuel tank is leaking

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Skipjack-24-Fuel-Tank-04.jpg (82.81 KiB) Viewed 7910 times
Skipjack-24-Fuel-Tank-03.jpg
1977 Skipjack 24' Built-in aluminum fuel tank is leaking

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Skipjack-24-Fuel-Tank-03.jpg (80.68 KiB) Viewed 7910 times
Skipjack-24-Fuel-Tank-02.jpg
1977 Skipjack 24' Built-in aluminum fuel tank is leaking

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Skipjack-24-Fuel-Tank-02.jpg (68.45 KiB) Viewed 7910 times
Skipjack-24-Fuel-Tank-01.jpg
1977 Skipjack 24' Built-in aluminum fuel tank is leaking

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Skipjack-24-Fuel-Tank-01.jpg (76.64 KiB) Viewed 7910 times
Last edited by Bob Fisher on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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moikey
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Post by moikey » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:17 am

Glad you got it out safely. While you were roasting, I was at the coast where it was in the low 60's on Sunday and yesterday. Went fishing but that's why they don't call it catching.
Eat more NIKU...

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1977 Skipjack 24' Remove leaking built-in aluminum fuel tank

Post by Bob Fisher » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:54 am

Hey Moikey,

Haven't got the tank out yet

:( :( :(

It's stuck... (Caulking and foam?)

:? :? :?

One of my buddies is coming over tomorrow afternoon with a service truck with a hoist. We are going to try and gently lift it/pry it free.

:roll: :roll: :roll:

Bob


I've heard that they call 'em trailer boats coz they sit on the trailer most of the time
Capt. Aussie Bob Fisher
SportfishWorld, LLC.

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