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TOPIC: 1988 2459 fuel tank replacement

1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 08 Sep 2016 23:10 #1

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I have made the decision to replace the fuel tank in Equity as we smell fuel lately in the cabin and bilge areas. We have not really seen much of anything in the bilge but the smell is not comforting. In the past we noticed a smell once in a while after trailering but it diffused once the boat was launched using the blower. This last trip the smell persisted so we cut the trip short and I have now read as many of the threads here as I could. From what I've read it seems we were lucky to have our tank last until now so doing pressure tests won't reply give me long term comfort. I may have missed some threads but I have not seen anything specific regarding replacing a fuel tank in a 2459. If anyone has advice for me I would be really happy to take advantage of it. I had hoped to be able to remove the tank without cutting through the aft deck but that would require removal of the engine and likely the motor mount stringers etc. And even then I might end up cutting through the deck. Consequently I am starting by going through the deck and if motor removal is required later so be it.

I have contacted the original tank manufacturer, Coastline Equipment out of Bellingham, and they have provided me with a schematic of the current installation. I have confirmed the location of the fitting cluster and will be receiving their quote for a replacement tank in the coming weeks. I am not rushing to start removing the existing tank as I am still hoping to hear from someone about where they made their cuts in the deck and also some detail on how the deck was repaired. I don't want to make the job more difficult than it might otherwise be as I have limited fibreglass experience and none with gel coat.

Here are some starting pictures of the deck so that I will be able to compare once the project is complete in the spring.








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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 08 Sep 2016 23:41 #2

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I should also ask at this point about the tanks ventilation. The fill point on Equity is on the stern just below the rub strip with the vent just below it. We have always had to fuel up very, very, very slowly or the fuel backsplashes. Just wondering if others have had the same experience with slow fuel up as this might be a good time for me to make a change. I see on some models the fill point is on the top of the stern gunnel which may be an improvement from the location on Equity and the vent may be able to remain in the existing location? Any thoughts or experiences are welcomed ?


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Last Edit: by Equity. Reason: to add photo

1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 09 Sep 2016 08:25 #3

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I would not place the fillplug higher then the ventilation.

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1995 Bayliner 2452
Alpha 1 Gen II
2016 - 5.7 Vortec 4BBL
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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 01 Oct 2016 21:21 #4

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After a lot of research and procrastination I have bit the bullet and cut out the fuel tank. I checked pricing for fiber-galss work and tank construction and the quotes are far ranging. The positive thing about the quotes is that it confirmed that this is a do it yourself job as the price could not be justified on such an old boat. Tank pricing has ranged from $4500.00CA to $1200.00US and fibre glass work for the reinstall only was quoted at over $3000.00. The fibre glass quote involved cuts straight from the edge of the motor compartment to 3 or 4 inches from the cabin and straight across. As a result it would end up having a new skidd free surface that would not match the other skidd free on the boat. Instead I will be cutting out a larger area and try to save the original surface. I removed the door threshold and cut close to the cabin with hopes of covering this section of repair by eventually installing a new threshold and extending a matching trim piece across at the cabin base.



Here is the marking of my intended cut



Now the cut out is complete and the tank revealed. The fuel fill and fuel vent hoses were attached to clamps on the underside of the deck which complicated removal. However with the deck pried up the clamps could be unscrewed to release the hoses. The only other stickler was a 4 inch piece of plywood which crosses the width of the boat above the bulkhead at the bow end of the fuel tank. We pulled hard on the cut out deck and the plywood cross piece released from the fibre-glass holding it.



It was a surprise to find the tank fibre-glassed in on all sides since the research predominantly indicates that there should be air space all around the tank. The glass was relatively easy to cut using a vibrating multi tool.






With the glass removed it was possible to budge the tank indicating it was not glued in place but it was quite a tight fit. To save our backs we installed a come-a-long and the tack came up without difficulty.







Wow what a mess! The greasy slimy sludge under the tank was somewhat of a surprise as I thought that I kept the bilge clean all of the time. Mind you there was almost 30 years worth of sludge in there accumulated while owned by who knows how many different people. It was a surprise to see that the tank rested on untreated plywood slats which sat directly on the bottom of the boat. They may have been sealed/glued at one time but they were just sitting there and were freely lifted from the bottom. I don't seem to be able to add any more pictures here so will close this message and start a new reply to see if that works. More to come.

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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 01 Oct 2016 22:00 #5

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Continuing from my last response here are a couple of more comments and pictures: Applying some degreaser and spray washing the fuel tank coffin revealed that there is drainage on the 2459 model from the fuel tank coffin to the bilge but that there is no drainage from the bow end of the boat through the bulkhead forward of the fuel tank. Bayliner's practice in this regard seems inconsistent from model to model? It has always been frustrating having to wet vac out water from the forward bilge which I had incorrectly assumed was there because of a drainage blockage somewhere. Unless there is a requirement otherwise I will add a drainage hole in the bulkhead before installing the new fuel tank. I'd be happy to get advice on this from anyone who knows a reason not to include drainage through the bulkhead forward of the fuel tank.





The decision to remove the tank had been a little worrisome as a lot of corrosion was present around the fuel gage sending unit and it may have been the source for the fuel smell being experienced. Also the vent line clamp was not as secure as one would have hoped. These on there own were easy fixes. Never the less we proceeded with tank removal as the overwhelming experience of owners was that aluminium tanks approaching 30 years service were pretty much if not at the end of their useful life.



With the tank out and serious corrosion obvious in numerous locations the need for this project is clearly confirmed.







Now with the tank out we are comfortable to order the fabrication of a new tank. This will be done over the winter and it's installation will be a spring project. I'll provide updates in 2017 when that work is undertaken. If anybody wants any pictures of the boats layout under the deck I have taken a bunch of the stringers, space etc and would be happy to share with you. Have a great winter!


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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 02 Oct 2016 02:59 #6

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I have the same boat, but a year newer, so your photos are of great benefit to me. Thank you.

I just read this thread, but what you did is far beyond what I'd ever even think of doing, so good on you!

Mine has the same tank, though the top of mine has no corrosion, and the sender still looks good, ...even though it registers empty when it is full to ¾, but after that (when it matters) it is very accurate. I'd replace it, but with the 'V' bottom, I'm not sure it would be any more accurate with the second half than what I have.



As you can see, the top is aluminum, but there is a light coating of sand cemented to it all around the access. Not sure how it got there, but it seems to be a non-issue. I vacuumed the loose stuff, but left the rest. The top, therefore isn't fiberglassed, though the front of the engine is. I'll use a mirror and flashlight tomorrow to get a better look.



As you can see, my tank seems to be set on the stringers. However, the forward bilge doesn't flow past the bulkhead at the front of the tank.

In fact, I'm convinced that the center well between the seats drains into the forward bilge, so I agree with you that it makes no sense the forward bilge is separated from the aft bilge. However, I have a 500gph bilge pump in the forward bilge, and it keeps it fairly clear. I also add bilge cleaner to it regularly to keep the smell and algae growth at bay. You have the Alaskan enclosure, but the back of my wheelhouse is open, so rain continually gets washed into it. I have yet to manually pump it out, though I did embed a solar vent into the hatch to keep the air in the cabin fresh.

No smell of gas fumes, and I have no problems fueling it. (I also only fill it with non-ethanol gas to keep the water in the tank to a minimum.) Maybe I'm just lucky....?

May I ask, was the hole in your tank on the front or back? Is there a screw or something sticking through the bulkhead? Seems a strange place to have a hole.

Again, thanks for all the photos, and all my best at replacing the deck.

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"B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 02 Oct 2016 03:10 #7

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BTW, nice fish! Where'd ya git 'em?

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"B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
MMSI: 367637220
HAM: KE7TTR
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BoD, North Olympic Peninsula Puget Sound Anglers, Sequim, WA
Kevin

1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 02 Oct 2016 03:35 #8

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I believe it is required that the passenger compartment is sealed from the fuel tank/bilge area to prevent fumes from entering?
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Pat. Sandpoint Ida
1984 Bayliner Ciera 24.5 Volvo Penta 5.7/290DP

1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 02 Oct 2016 03:47 #9

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Amadaies wrote: I believe it is required that the passenger compartment is sealed from the fuel tank/bilge area to prevent fumes from entering?


Hmmmm..... Makes sense to me. Thanks!

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"B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
MMSI: 367637220
HAM: KE7TTR
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BoD, North Olympic Peninsula Puget Sound Anglers, Sequim, WA
Kevin

1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 02 Oct 2016 22:37 #10

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I dont know wether to cry for you or prey for you.I had to cut the entire deck out of my 30 footer to replace engines and 2 fuel tanks.My deck repair was much easier then yours. Good luck
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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 03 Oct 2016 16:47 #11

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I see a success story great job , one small note concerning aluminum fuel tanks if internal and external condition is good coating the outside with thick Epoxy will save the outside from corrosion.
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Old Glue

1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 09 Oct 2016 23:08 #12

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These were from out at Nootka sound out from the lighthouse.

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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 09 Oct 2016 23:20 #13

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The hole was on the back side of the tank about halfway down. That is right in front of the motor against the fibre glass covered bulkhead in your picture. It is likely that the hole was a result of corrosion and some friction as there was very little space between the rear bulkhead and the tank. Never the less there a number of other spots where corrosion has caused some pretty deep pitting so it would have likely leaked soon even in the absence of the friction. On my replacement I will be having the new tank made a little smaller and allowing more air space between the edges of the fuel tank coffin and the tanks itself. Regards

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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 10 Oct 2016 18:16 #14

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Just reread you post, to answer a question on the fill, yes you can move it to the top and abandon your vent as it is now by installing a combination fil with internal vent that is what I did, you might consider recessing it down into a 4inch round compartment accesses or leave it up to prevent water from entering,

My recommendation is to Epoxy coat the outside of the tank for corrosion protection, the fuel tank compartment is separated from the cabin as per Coast Guard reg. In my case it was solved with one more bilge pump if there is room.

Good luck. :P

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Old Glue

1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 10 Oct 2016 18:18 #15

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I will add a picture.

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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 10 Oct 2016 19:02 #16

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Hi all new to this live down in New Zealand got a 2252 hardtop currently sorting fuel tank out had a leak in existing tank (20yrs) old. So far I've been lucky got the tank out by removing a bolted in floor pannel then cut the tank in half and pulled out in two pieces, to reinstall i plan on having two tanks made one will slide in under the floor the second lowered in where the floor pannel bolts in linked with 2inch hose and run 2 breathers this should increase fuel to 60 gallons and make maintenance in future easier (ie) fuel tanks can be removed without cutting floor or removing engine. Looked at plastic tanks but no one in nz comes close in price compared with stainless. Having a join at the base of the tanks concerns me so 11am thinking of running second pickup (keep tanks totally independent to each other any thoughts would be received gratefully.

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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 11 Oct 2016 18:58 #17

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Zarn wrote: Hi all new to this live down in New Zealand got a 2252 hardtop currently sorting fuel tank out had a leak in existing tank (20yrs) old. So far I've been lucky got the tank out by removing a bolted in floor pannel then cut the tank in half and pulled out in two pieces, to reinstall i plan on having two tanks made one will slide in under the floor the second lowered in where the floor pannel bolts in linked with 2inch hose and run 2 breathers this should increase fuel to 60 gallons and make maintenance in future easier (ie) fuel tanks can be removed without cutting floor or removing engine. Looked at plastic tanks but no one in nz comes close in price compared with stainless. Having a join at the base of the tanks concerns me so 11am thinking of running second pickup (keep tanks totally independent to each other any thoughts would be received gratefully.


I had twin fuel tanks on my Chris Craft, but each one went to an engine, so balancing them wasn't issue. However, I also had twin 40 gallon water tanks, one on each side, some 8' apart. (I wanted that much fresh water aboard to rinse off dive gear.) Originally, I had a feed on each tank connected to one pump, but one tank level was always lower than the other, heeling the boat that side. So, I linked them with a 1.5" hose attached to the bottom of each and let them self-balance. Worked like a dream!

Since your engine fuel pump uses vacuum to draw fuel, if there is a slightest difference between your two feeds - like one has an extra elbow or a longer hose - one tank will drain quicker than the other. The moment one tank becomes empty, even though the other tank will be full, you will be sucking air and your engine will die. Your profile will also be heeling.

IMO, unless you want to use a fuel tank selector switch, you may want to make them self-leveling. Since you are getting 2 aluminum tanks made, I suggest you have them add a 1.5" spigot (even a 1" would be enough) on the inside back corner of each so the can be linked. Now you can run just one pick-up and have full access to both.

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"B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
MMSI: 367637220
HAM: KE7TTR
TDI tech diver
BoD, North Olympic Peninsula Puget Sound Anglers, Sequim, WA
Kevin
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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 11 Oct 2016 21:02 #18

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Cheers for your input never thought of the vacuum effect. The tanks will be inline centre of hull around 4inchs off motor rear tank 160litres front tank 80-90litres with a 1inch leveling tube first 3 hrs running front tank level won't change keeping the weight further foward. I always had intended to run with a leveling tube as it is simple less that can go wroung no selector switch extra gauges etc but was asked what if that splits you can't stop the fuel and taps might save some but it's around a 30 minute job to remove floor pannel to get into that area so I thought I'd post on here see if anyone has done something similar or had problems with the leveling tube any ideas would be gratefully recived.

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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 12 Oct 2016 11:38 #19

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Many thanks for posting all that. You made it look much easier than I guess it was. How will the floor be replaced and secured in position?

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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 12 Oct 2016 20:25 #20

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I will be making backing plates sealed with resin and fibre glass and securing them with fibre glass on the underside of the boat deck. I will then fair in the floor section which I removed securing it to the backing plates with counter sunk screws and fibre glass. I had spoken to a boat yard to get the work done but they wanted to cut right across the top of the deck along the fuel tank edges. This would have significantly damaged the existing non slip surface and required a new textured surface to be placed which would no longer match the rest of the boats surfaces. Their feeling was that the time required for the fibre glass work along my cut lines would be far more expensive which weighed on my decision to do it myself. That will be my project in the spring. Just got a quote for a new tank today inclusive of a new sender, two pick-ups, filler port and vent port. Quotes varied quite a bit. I will be using a fabricator who comes with a great reference from the marine shop I frequent and it will cost $950.00 plus tax. I am having the tank sized one inch shorter and one inch narrower than the original to allow for more air space to insure that water does not get trapped anywhere against the tank.

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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 12 Oct 2016 20:31 #21

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Fritzman thanks for following up on my fuel fill question. Did your placement of the fill on the gunnel top position increase your fill rate substantially?

Regards
Marc

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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 13 Oct 2016 15:22 #22

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Yes to a degree the biggest gain is the nozzle rests by itself.
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Old Glue

1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 13 Oct 2016 17:27 #23

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Zarn wrote: Cheers for your input never thought of the vacuum effect. The tanks will be inline centre of hull around 4inchs off motor rear tank 160litres front tank 80-90litres with a 1inch leveling tube first 3 hrs running front tank level won't change keeping the weight further foward. I always had intended to run with a leveling tube as it is simple less that can go wroung no selector switch extra gauges etc but was asked what if that splits you can't stop the fuel and taps might save some but it's around a 30 minute job to remove floor pannel to get into that area so I thought I'd post on here see if anyone has done something similar or had problems with the leveling tube any ideas would be gratefully recived.

Zarn, perhaps start a new thread for your tank replacement.
IMO it doesn't seem safe having two fuel tanks connected for leveling. The connection would need to be made at the bottom of both tanks for it to work and I'm not sure that's a good idea as the potential for leaking fuel would increase. Not sure what the CG would think :unsure:

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1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 14 Oct 2016 17:38 #24

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You are correct, I can see them shaking there heads.

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Old Glue

1988 2459 fuel tank replacement 10 Sep 2017 15:42 #25

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The fuel tank replacement has been completed for a while now and the boat is working well so this will be a final update on the project.

Over the winter a new aluminum tank was constructed by Coast Industrial Propeller in Campbell River. Their work was highly recommended by my boat shop Advanced Marine and their price was competitive with other alternatives at just over $1000.00 CAN. The new tank was built a little narrower and shorter than the old tank to permit increased air space around the tank which I believe will reduce the potential for electrolysis and/or corrosion associated with salt water puddling anywhere against the tank.

The first task this spring was to clean up the bilge and tank coffin area. After cleaning and sanding the areas made accessible by removing the deck all areas which were not well protected with fibreglass were epoxied and bonded with fibre matting. The bulkhead between the engine and the fuel tank was raised by a few inches to provide increased surface area for new fuel filters for the main engine and kicker to be installed. Also drain holes were added in a couple of locations which had always held water along the stringers. The new drains were also protected with epoxy and glass matt.

Tabbing material was then prepared using strips of marine plywood coated with 3 or 4 layers of epoxy and light fibre matt. The tabbing was then bonded to the undersides of the decks openings. The tabbing strips were then connected to each other using fibre matt and epoxy laid in place. This provided the supports for the reinstallation of the deck.

Before reinstalling the fuel tank and deck I took advantage of the improved access to the engine area available because the deck and tank were not in place. I removed, cleaned and repainted the cooling system heat exchanger, all the pulleys, the power steering pump and the alternator. Getting rid of the accumulating rust made the engine look much better and me feel better if nothing else. With access to the opening I then applied 3 coats of bilge coat to all of the surfaces which enhanced the look of the reinforced and fibre-glassed surfaces. Finally I installed bus bars, new battery cables, half a dozen waterproof fuse holders and and re-routed and organized all the wiring located in the bilge area for greater safety and efficiency. This included wiring in 12 volt breakers and sockets/receptacles in the cabin and deck areas to accommodate the ever increasing number of electronic gadgets that seem to make their way onto the boat.

The new tank was then fit into place to determine what size to prepare spacers to hold the tank from the tank coffin walls and bottom. Spacers and bottom supports were cut from HDPE for me by Plastics Plus Fabricating in Campbell River. 3” x 3/8 “ strips were used for bottom supports and 3 x 3/4” strips were used as spacers around the tank. These were bonded to the tank using fast cure 4200. Bedding the spacers and supports to the tank is intended to limit the potential for corrosion as water will not be able to pool between the spacers or bottom supports and the tank.

New fuel fill and vent hoses were installed and extra care was taken to ensure that they drained fully and would not be hindered by air locks due to standing fuel in the vent line. This included blocking and otherwise securing the lines at various points along their path. A new vent with a much larger diameter opening than original equipment was installed, the original fill fixture was re-used and a new ground wire to the metal fill fixture was attached to it.

Fuel supply lines were then routed from the tank to the new Racor filters mounted on the engine bulkhead. These filters are all metal and rated for engine room use. Fuel lines were then routed to the main engines existing fuel filter and the kicker respectively. Following my own initial operating tests I trailered the boat to Advanced Marine for a full inspection and pressure tests to insure that all aspects of the installation were copacetic before sealing the work off

With the tank installed replacement of the deck had to be undertaken. This was the part of the project which I had been dreading throughout the winter and up until this point. My experience with preparing the tabbing materials further increased my worry as the pot time for the epoxy I was using was at best 20 minutes. I knew that there was no way I could place the bonding epoxy mixture on all the tabbing area and position the deck in a 20 minute timeframe, especially in the heat of the summer. This nervousness motivated me to research options and I found an epoxy available from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. which has a slow cure resin providing a pot time of over 4 hours. It took some time to get the product from Aircraft Spruce as the resin is categorized as a hazardous material and required special packaging, transportation, etc etc….. Eventually the MGS laminating resin and the slow cure hardener arrived and I could procrastinate no longer.

The first step to replacing the deck was to dry fit it in place. I was happy to see that it all fit pretty much like a glove with the kerf cuts and minimal sanding providing sufficient space for the laminating resin to bond the parts. Having confirmed the fit a good amount of epoxy was mixed with the slow hardener and flocked cotton fibre and cabosil as a thickener. This was applied like peanut butter to all of the surfaces to be bonded and the deck was pressed into place. For the next couple of days the routine was to sand the joints followed by filling in any voids with any combination of resin, fibre cloth and the cabosil resin mixture that raised the surface to where it was ready to accept the gel coat. The best investments made in this regard were the purchases of a Makita 1 1/8 x 21 and a Black and Decker 3/4” belt sanders.

When I was satisfied that the remaining hollow could be filled with gel coat I mixed Fibre Tek unwaxed white gel coat with pigment to match the colour of the gel coat on my boat. I basically followed the approach used by Boatworks Today on You Tube to achieve the match. It turned out to be much easier than I had anticipated and the colour match was perfect. Unwaxed gel coat worked very well as many coats could be applied without the need for sanding in between applications. Never the less I was back to working with a resin and catalyst with short pot time so the gel coat applications required a lot of trips back and forth to the boat to mix up batches which I could apply in 10 minutes or so. When I felt that the thickness of the gel coat was about right and the surfaces of the deck pretty much flush a thin coat of PVA was applied to cure the gel coat layers to facilitate gum free sanding. After a couple of tries the surface was pretty good. To achieve the glossy fibreglass finish I wet sanded the worked areas by hand moving from 400 to 600 to 1000 and to 1500 grit papers and finally polishing with a mechanical polisher and rubbing compound. I am pretty happy with the result. Actually the worked areas now have a nicer finish than the rest of the boat which has all experienced some level of deterioration from UV penetration.

The final step in the project was to cover the narrow strip of non-slip surface following the back of the cabin which had to be cut to remove the deck. This was done by replacing the teak door threshold which was previously sized to the door width to a size that now extended the width of the cabin and provided a nice finish to the front of the deck.

Two days after the completion of the project Lina and I were in the Broughtens landing beautiful Northern Coho and Chinook which made it all worthwhile. I don’t expect to ever be doing a fuel tank replacement on our little Trophy again as the original lasted almost 30 years and I doubt I’ll be fishing in my 90’s. But who knows. Hope you enjoyed going through this project with me.

I have lots of pictures that would.t post so if you'd like to see some please contact me.

I should also mention that after fueling a few times now I am happy to report that the tank and lines accept gas at the fastest pumping speeds. This is a huge difference and makes fuel ups so much easier and quicker.

Regards
Marc





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