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Please comment, trying to remove center 20 gallon fuel tank, 1977, 17'

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  • Please comment, trying to remove center 20 gallon fuel tank, 1977, 17'

    This boat has a 20 gallon fuel tank in the center of the boat on the keel. It is about 60x18X10" deep. The location is where the center locker would be between the seats running back to the I/O doghouse.

    I removed the front inspection cover to verify the scuppers worked, and they do not. I tried compressed air, and pushing a welding rod up the engine well scupper, with no results. So I carefully removed the plywood floor keeping inside of the fiberglass frames but just wide enough to lift the tank out. Removed the fitting, drained the tank and then.....

    I gently lifted, then I really lifted, then I tried a pry bar on the corners. The tank is stuck solid. There is about 1/4" of space between the tank and its enclosure.

    Now is the time that I thank you for your ideas and suggestions. Please help, I really need to get those scuppers working or the aluminum tank will quickly go bad.

    Steve

  • #2
    By "scupper" I believe you mean the limber holes? The holes, with or without tubes, that allow water to pass through a stringer or bulkhead or such?

    Based on what I've seen in the 19s, there is a 1/2" copper tube running below the motor mount between the bilge space below the engine and the fuel tank compartment over the keel as you describe. This limber hole will allow any water in the tank compartment to drain into the bilge under the engine and thus get pumped out by the bilge pump or drained out when the drain plug is removed.

    It takes a surprisingly little bit of crud to completely stuff this limber hole up, however, which is probably what you're finding.

    I would suggest you take a wire (like the coat hangers we had when I was growing up) and run it through the limber hole to dislodge any crud. That did the trick for me.

    The tank probably has a flat top and vertical sides, but the bottom is partially flat (along the centerline) and angled up slightly toward the sides to fit the shape of the hull. There should also be a glassed-in flat piece directly over the boat's centerline (the keel, if you will) that allows water to pass below that flat. The cuddy compartment in my 19 has a limber hole running into the tank compartment, then that water passes below that flat to the limber hole/tube under the engine mount.

    I'll go take some pictures of the parts 19 and the 16 to see if any of that helps you.

    Oh, and the tank would be bolted to the stringers in four locations, so should not move unless unbolted.
    -- Tim Taylor

    1979 Glasply 21-foot I/O Overnighter w/ 5.0L Volvo-Penta duoprop (Cardinal)
    1982 Glasply 16-foot runabout w/ 50hp Mercury OB (JV Junior)
    1978 Glasply 19-1/2 foot runabout, project boat (Beer Goggles)


    I wrote a song about a tortilla. Well actually, it’s more of a wrap.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's the shape of the fuel tank, which also shows the forward two mounting tabs that would secure it to the forward wall of the fuel tank compartment. This is a 50-gallon tank from a 1980 19-foot.




      Here is where that tank used to live, showing the limber tube below the engine mount in the foreground and the two limber holes that drain the cuddy. Note the flat piece glassed in that the fuel tank would sit on:




      Finally, here is the forward portion of the empty fuel tank compartment from my 1982 16-foot, which may be completely different from your 17. I know the hull is unlike any Glasply I've seen. It does not have that flat piece mounted in there. (But it also doesn't have nearly the deadrise that the usual Glasply hulls have. This boat has only used portable tanks since I've had it so I do not know what the shape of the tank was that used to be in there.)




      Hopefully some of these pictures will help you with your situation!
      -- Tim Taylor

      1979 Glasply 21-foot I/O Overnighter w/ 5.0L Volvo-Penta duoprop (Cardinal)
      1982 Glasply 16-foot runabout w/ 50hp Mercury OB (JV Junior)
      1978 Glasply 19-1/2 foot runabout, project boat (Beer Goggles)


      I wrote a song about a tortilla. Well actually, it’s more of a wrap.

      Comment


      • #4
        Only thing that comes to mind is its screwed or bolted somewhere your not seeing. I have removed a few tanks, none from a 17 but I'd think they are similar. You could try to blast some water around it to try and wash any crud that maybe stuck on the sides. Otherwise they can be stubborn but it usually just takes some muscle to lift them out.

        Comment


        • #5
          I saw somewhere recently that someone was trying to remove a tank and found that a screw had been put through the hull and into the tank and was holding it in place. Try to slide a thin piece of metal all around the sides of the tank down to the bottom to see if your missing a fastener.

          Also try to put a coat hanger or heavy wire rod in a drill and push it into the copper tubing while it's spinning.
          Last edited by nova7163; 08-02-2015, 06:49 PM.
          1981 Hardtop Cuddy Alaskan Bulkhead Rebuild Thread
          1972 HT Cuddy-Rebuild Thread
          8' 650cc Kawasaki powered dinghy

          Comment


          • #6
            It may be bolted to the stringers thru the flanges as mentioned above. Try snaking a wire/cord around the tank from the front to the back to see if there is an obstruction you are missing. If it's not bolted down, you could fashion a sling of sorts with two or three of these cords around the tank to give you a vertical lift point.
            The cruise liner QE2 moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel fuel that it burns.

            1982 28' Long Cabin "Molly Brown" sweating through a long hot summer. Massive California forest fires fill our sky with smoke. SUP paddlers and kayakers transit the harbor with abandon, thinking they have the right of way over all boats.

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is three pictures:
              Note: the unfinished look,
              three rows of lumber sawn through on the sides,
              glassed over foam stringers,
              copper vent line middle tank not next to the fitting,
              bits of wood used for shims, some plywood, other hardwood,





              Comment


              • #8
                Take the opportunity to replace all of your fuel supply and vent lines with current CG approved material.
                The cruise liner QE2 moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel fuel that it burns.

                1982 28' Long Cabin "Molly Brown" sweating through a long hot summer. Massive California forest fires fill our sky with smoke. SUP paddlers and kayakers transit the harbor with abandon, thinking they have the right of way over all boats.

                Comment


                • #9
                  OK, I checked all around the tank top with a 1/4" rod, it goes around with nothing going to the sides. There is dirt and junk pressed in the side, likely wedging the tank in tight.

                  Today I was successful with a 48" rod, looks like at about 36" the rod became wet. The water is running out, and has been for over an hour. I am now collecting what is coming out. I want to make sure I didn't punch a hole in the fuel tank too.

                  Now I need a nifty way to clean that drain tube. It was tricky to push a 1/4" rod due to the extra plate added under the engine for a sump pump/bilge pump. So the rod needs to bend as it goes.

                  Any ideas for a 3' long cleaning rod that would help me increase the drain tube diameter?

                  Steve

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not clear which end your are starting from. Through the transom drain plug? If the water has started to drain maybe another blast with a pressure washer will open it up.
                    If you have a small caliber rifle cleaning rod try running it through the tube with a wire bore brush attached.
                    A length of drip sprinkler plastic tube might be flexible to get through.
                    Last edited by Socal; 08-04-2015, 08:55 PM.
                    The cruise liner QE2 moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel fuel that it burns.

                    1982 28' Long Cabin "Molly Brown" sweating through a long hot summer. Massive California forest fires fill our sky with smoke. SUP paddlers and kayakers transit the harbor with abandon, thinking they have the right of way over all boats.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Binford View Post
                      This boat has only used portable tanks since I've had it so I do not know what the shape of the tank was that used to be in there.
                      Hull never had a fuel tank mounted in centerline compartment, only used 6 gallon portable tanks. I bought the boat from original owner's wife and she told me boat had been delivered to their lakefront property and lake has no marina for fuel. Trailer was not purchased as boat was kept in a boathouse with a rail mounted dolley that put boat into lake when needed. Built in fuel tanks were options when purchased new.
                      "Joint Venture" 1978 midcabin 28', twin 2017 Vortec roller cam "bullet proof" 383/6.3L full roller 350hp engines - You name it, I've either replaced it, restored it, rebuilt it, repainted it or repaired it. That's my job now that I'm retired.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        After 24 hours the limber hole is still delivering a slow stream of water. The first two hour the water was flowing at 5 gallons per hour. I did use a small flexible rod and worked it in and out. This seems to bring the gunk with it. I can feel a hard spot, that was blocking the hole. Will keep working on it to get it the best I can.

                        The section of the boat in front of the fuel tank (about where the front seats end) is full of foam. I used a 4" hole saw and drilled the plywood floor with the idea I could get at the limber hole from the front. Solid foam. I took a rod and pushed it through the foam, it came out dry. I am not a believe in injected foam staying dry.

                        Does the foam indicate anything unusual?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The foam provides the flotation that boats under 21 or 22 feet or so were legally required to have.

                          The water gets in the foam, but only around the cells. Once it percolates out, the foam remains good. I pulled the foam out of my parts boat up to the cuddy bulkhead and it slowly worked its way out over time. Sounds like that's what's happening with yours too.
                          -- Tim Taylor

                          1979 Glasply 21-foot I/O Overnighter w/ 5.0L Volvo-Penta duoprop (Cardinal)
                          1982 Glasply 16-foot runabout w/ 50hp Mercury OB (JV Junior)
                          1978 Glasply 19-1/2 foot runabout, project boat (Beer Goggles)


                          I wrote a song about a tortilla. Well actually, it’s more of a wrap.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            sgs

                            Sounds like you are making some progress. The hard spot could be a dented tube, or a pebble or one of many things that find their way into the bilge. From now on store the boat with the trailer tongue up high enough to let any water drain out through the transom plug.
                            I still think you could pop the fuel tank out with a series of rope loops running around the tank and a 4 x 4 for leverage. A 4 x 4 laid between the front deck and the transom would allow you to get a jack under one or both ends and work the tank out. [Just a thought at 12:45 AM Surf City time.]
                            The cruise liner QE2 moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel fuel that it burns.

                            1982 28' Long Cabin "Molly Brown" sweating through a long hot summer. Massive California forest fires fill our sky with smoke. SUP paddlers and kayakers transit the harbor with abandon, thinking they have the right of way over all boats.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For what is worth, I changed out tanks in my 19' cuddy and the tank was wedged in tighter than a ticks turd at all 4 corners. Those points are where the cancer was. Mine didn't have a bulkhead at the bilge so I could pry up and pop it loose. If you could strap it evenly at the mounting tabs and lift it with a cherry picker or a overhead come along, I think it would come out. The trick will be to keep it even and level. GL

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