Dedicated To The Smallest Of Skiffs banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know when looking at the older HB's, replacing the original aluminum fuel tank is pretty much a given. There has to be a few people on here who have gone through the process. Where did you take it, how much does this usually cost, do you have to remove the cap for this, do you replace with aluminum or something else? Currently on the hunt and would like this information to add in to my budget.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
I know when looking at the older HB's, replacing the original aluminum fuel tank is pretty much a given. There has to be a few people on here who have gone through the process. Where did you take it, how much does this usually cost, do you have to remove the cap for this, do you replace with aluminum or something else? Currently on the hunt and would like this information to add in to my budget.

Thanks!
They can cut it out, so you won't have to remove the cap. An aluminum tank will cost around $400 from Blue Point, and the labor should be around $200-300.
 

·
Registered
HB Marquesa
Joined
·
412 Posts
I recently had a new tank made and shipped to me for my Guide, its 27ish gals and fit in through the front hatch. I spent a little more than the above estimate, but it was also epoxy coated. Tom Gordon at the Skiff Shop has the specs. I'd ask him to shrink it by a couple inches in side to side width just to make it fit with a little less effort...in the end mine required a good kick ;)

Currently looking at the Waterman 18 or Guide
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Not necessarily a given. I don't remember all the details, but there were two installation methods for tanks on early HBs. One was bolted with tabs, I think, and the other was bedded in some kind of putty. The putty method caused a lot of issues because it held saltwater in contact with the bottom of the tank, if saltwater got in the front hatch. Somewhere, there's some guidance from Tom Gordon on cleaning the front hatch periodically. I have an '02 17.8 with the bolted-in tank and have had no issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys! So IF i need to replace my tank down the road, were looking at $700-$1000 for the whole job including new tank and labor?
 

·
Soy un Perdedor
Joined
·
2,561 Posts
A neighbor had Hells Bay quote on it 3-4 years ago and it was around $1,200ish .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,670 Posts
Here's that old thread by @Snookdaddy
Thanks for the reply.
Had me thinking there was something I needed to look into about aluminum tanks in general that I didn't know.
I have an (if it were completely filled ) 18 gallon aluminum tank which I need to get rid of some old 2 stroke fuel, clean the tank and reinstall it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Unfortunately they just wear out from time to time. My '02 17'8 had to be redone last year. It had very small pin holes that evaporated gas out of them. If I kept my hatch closed overnight it would wreak of gas fumes. HB did the work for me and they did a good job along with replacing the old fuel lines and a new water separator. They put in a smaller tank so they didn't have to cut into the cap. I think it ran me around $1400.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,689 Posts
Here's the original post I provided. Been doing this with my 2002 Waterman 18 and still no fuel tank issues


ForumsBoat Yard Basics
Hells Bay: Prolonging the life of your aluminum gas tank..
Tags: Add Tags
Watch Thread
  1. Jun 15, 2013

    SnookdaddyWell-Known Member



    I spoke to Tom Gordon recently when I was looking at a 2002 Hells Bay Waterman. I'd heard that a number of older Hells Bay skiff were requiring fuel tank replacement due to corrosion.. Tom gave me some information about increasing the lifespan of aluminum tanks.

    First of all, most of the tanks that are having problems are the ones that Hells Bay bedded with some sort of "putty" to help prevent vibration issues. When you take a wave over the bow, which happens at times when posted up for tarpon in very windy conditions or keep wet anchor lines in the bow compartment, the water will creep in between the putty and the tank and sit there for years. This will eventually corrode the tank and cause leaks..

    Tom Gordon said:

    Whether you have your tanks puttied in or not (my HB is not puttied in) you should rinse out the front compartment every 6 months or so..

    1) Disconnect and remove any batteries in the front compartment.
    2) Get a 5 gallon bucket and fill it with soapy water (warm soapy water is best, so let the bucket sit in the sun for an hour).
    3) Pour 5 to 10 gallons into the front compartment. ** NOT INTO THE TANK **
    4) Raise the trailer jack as high as it will go and rock the boat back and forth and side to side for a few minutes.
    5) Lower the tongue jack all the way down and scoop out as much water as possible, followed by a shop vac or towels to remove as much water as possible.
    6) Keep hatch open until it is dry. A fan directed into the hatch speeds up the process..
    7) Crack a cold one... Your done!

    Tom said that this should easily double the life of your fuel tank..

    I hope this helps. I know that I'll be doing this twice a year from now on..
 

·
Registered
Just livin’ my life easy come easy go...
Joined
·
723 Posts
Sooooo what are the symptoms of this? I have a ‘01 that has the original tank and have wondered what to look for.
 

·
I Love microskiff.com!
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
It's closer to 1.8K if you have HB do it and you will probably have any imperfections fixed while it 's there. I literally just had mine done. They cut out the old one and have a template made for the new tank. The new one I got was powder coated which makes it last longer. Also replaced the vent etc.
 

·
Registered
Just livin’ my life easy come easy go...
Joined
·
723 Posts
I was quoted 1.8k by HB for a full fuel system replacement. If I wasn’t in TX, I’d have them do it at that price
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,434 Posts
Here's a practical guide to fuel tanks in any boat... Yes, any one will deteriorate over time - tanks that were foamed in or otherwise allow water intrusion to sit in place will be the first to go... Is your tank okay? The first hint that something's not right is when you open the nearest hatch to the tank -and smell gasoline vapors... If it's me - my next move would be to get that boat out of any garage or other closed in space.... Gasoline is a terrible fire hazard - gasoline fumes are a terrible explosion hazard - followed by fire... Any fiberglass hull that catches fire is not only gone - but the fire department will just try to move it away from anything else that could burn - since they'll have a helluva time trying to put it out....

The usual pattern I saw years ago (back when foaming in tanks was a common practice) was that you never knew you had a problem - until you went out in the ocean on a rough day and that sloshing around quickly showed that the surface of your fuel tank was not solid - that it had pinholes from corrosion over time.... In one case a club member (I was with the old Tropical Anglers Club from 1976 to about 1983...) not only had fumes present - you could actually see gasoline on the surface of his tank...
In calm waters we'd never have noticed a thing...

In all of this talk about fuel tanks - remember that a gasoline smell can come from other problems (a leaking fuel line, a bad fuel fill hose, a bad fuel vent hose or connections on any of the above) so whoever has to deal with fuel vapors will have to carefully check every last thing before checking out that possibly bad tank... And yes - folks that work with tanks will pressurize a newly made tank to verify it's sound and you can do the same thing yourself once a tank is out of the boat and emptied... Doesn't take much air pressure - then while pressurized - go over the entire surface with a soapy water solution - looking for any bubbles....

Some small craft are very difficult to remove a fuel tank from - in fact my old Maverick would require me to either remove the entire deck cap - or get out the sawzall to even think about removing it... We actually did that "remove" or raise the cap thing years ago and I swore then that I'd rather sell it than ever go through that again... First you have to remove the rubrail... then you have to un-bolt the deck (a through bolted deck to cap with machine screws every ten inches.... you can see that this might not be much fun at all...).

Hope this helps folks understand just what's involved with a bad or suspected bad tank... Aren't boats fun?
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top