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Thread: Fuel tank material

  1. #1
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    Question Fuel tank material

    I have another thread discussing fuel lines.

    Acknowledge that various persons prefer various materials, e.g. fiberglass/stainless steel/aluminium/aluminum/plastic, for fuel tanks.

    However I have come across persons using built in plywood tanks.

    These tanks apparently are NOT lined with fiberglass of other 'sealant/liner' and are left bare internally.
    The outside may be sheathed in fiberglass or maybe just at the joints.

    Wouldn't the gasoline would attack the glues in the plywood as well as soften the wood fibers causing them to separate and thus affect the carburetors and filters.

    Has anyone else heard of using plywood tanks?
    I live and drink rum where other people vacation.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    The plywood is acting to both protect and keep in place a bladder tank.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    The plywood is acting to both protect and keep in place a bladder tank.
    Apparently these guys don't even have bladder tank.
    I live and drink rum where other people vacation.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    It sounds like a fundamentally flawed idea. Any fluid will eventually saturate the bare wood. There will be fumes passing through the wood, so if it isn't coated with a barrier on the outside, it will stink and must be in a well ventilated area. Diesel should have less softening effect on wood than gasoline with ethanol in it.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ss-diesel-tank
    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/04/.../011/index.htm
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    Diesel also saturates wood. My old schooner Goblin would not hold her topside paint in one spot. Turned out that the bed logs supporting the cockpit wing tanks held the moisture that (Goblin was over 60 years old) allowed some pit rusting through the sheet steel tank, wicking the diesel along the grain to the hull and causing a major stretch of plank to be saturated as in tap and the wood sounded "splat".

    I really cannot believe no bladder. If that's the way they are going, stand by to let the Darwin Award folk know.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    Wood to hold gas without a bladder? Ian nailed it - contact the Darwin award folks.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Wood to hold gas without a bladder? Ian nailed it - contact the Darwin award folks.
    I will try and get more information of this.
    I live and drink rum where other people vacation.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Goblin was probably not ply. Wouldn't the glue lines in ply act as an impermeable barrier?

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    You can make plywood tanks and then encapsulate in glass and a special resin. Hatteras (and others) used to do this.

    However, someone could weld you up a custom sized tank for about the same expense, especially if you factor your time ( which, I realize, you may not, given the DIY ethos of Forumites)

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Goblin was probably not ply. Wouldn't the glue lines in ply act as an impermeable barrier?

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk
    Fuel, gasoline or diesel will eventually or sooner saturate and weaken unprotected plywood or solid wood. Seen it and repaired it. I hold any wooden boat with an inboard engine in suspicion, especially one without an adequate drip pan or protection under the engine.
    Tom L

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    The LAST place i’d experiment with methods and materials in boat construction is in fuel systems.
    You can swim away from structural failures. Explosions, not so much.
    Follow the ABYC standards.
    Last edited by JimConlin; 06-07-2019 at 09:34 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    I'm a bit unsure about this youtube, but Jamestown Distributors posted it on their FB page. You'd think that was some kind of expert curating, but whatever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFk1...&feature=share
    Last edited by rbgarr; 07-20-2019 at 09:40 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    I have a ply tank on Woodwind. ACX fir..maybe it's mdo, can't remember.
    But it's glassed on the inside,epoxy of course, and only 35 gallons.
    And it's for diesel.
    I would not want to go much bigger or use one for gasoline .

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    Oh god, I lasted 30 seconds into that video in #12.
    That boat looks like crap!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    I'm out of action recovering from knee surgery ,so I watched the video. It's painful to think how much effort this guy is putting in, but might end up with a boat that can't be insured. Most marinas want proof of liability ect, which means passing a survey. I haven't looked, but I'm pretty certain AYBC doesn't allow wood integral tanks.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    The annoying intro music stopped me before getting to the boat.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    Scary.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    Meg has wood water tanks glassed inside with food-safe epoxy. There are petroleum proof epoxies, such are quite clearly not in the tank as described in the OP.

    Edited to add: I skimmed the vid, jumping ahead a bit. Did not notice any treatment of baffels.
    Last edited by Ian McColgin; 07-21-2019 at 05:16 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Meg has wood water tanks glassed inside with food-safe epoxy. There are petroleum proof epoxies, such are quite clearly not in the tank as described in the OP.

    Edited to add: I skimmed the vid, jumping ahead a bit. Did not notice any treatment of baffels.
    I skipped to the end. The tank wasn't half finished and it looks like you have to be a paid subscriber to see part two.

    West said somewhere, you shouldn't but if you are going to do it anyway, that for better chemical resistance you could mix their epoxy slightly resin rich. That is consistent with other information that I have seen over the years. The old Armstrong C7/Cat W tds describes a wide range of ratios and how the properties vary. That is one of the very few variable combinations where bad things don't happen.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Fuel tank material

    They're the experts, but that sounds a bit weird to me, paraphrasing as "to resist a really strong solvent, err on the side of 'may never get really hard' "
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

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