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Fuel tank

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James bruce View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 November 2023 at 10:33
Hi. New to this forum.
Iím in the process of purchasing a 455.
On my inspection of the yacht I noticed the fuel tank has a bulge in it. It has expanded & lifted up the boards on the bunk by about 50mm.
Has anyone seen this? Had the same problem? Found a way to fix it?
Thanks .James
James Bruce Hanse 455
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kipwrite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kipwrite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2023 at 13:39
On the 505, there are two substantial aluminum plates above the tank to hold it in place. When one of my tanks bulged, it cracked the fuel fitting at the top of the tank, pressing against the plate above, which led to a fuel leak. I resolved the issue with a wooden block between the retaining plate and the bulging tank. (Easy to address with an empty tank). 

Sounds like the vessel you are looking at doesn't have these retaining plates, or perhaps they've somehow loosened?

Good luck with your purchase. 


Edited by kipwrite - 15 November 2023 at 13:45
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Ratbasher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ratbasher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2023 at 15:28
James - came across this once years ago on someone else's boat; overpressure caused by a blocked vent and pretty extreme heat.  I'd be concerned about cracked seams eventually giving way as a large diesel spill into the bilge might possibly affect your day. 

I'm no metallurgist so I couldn't comment if it could be 'fixed' - but could you trust it?  If it was me and I otherwise liked the boat I'd get an estimate from a Yard for a replacement tank and discount the purchase price accordingly.  Or ask the sellers to replace it first.   Good luck - they're nice boats.

Iain
H400 (2008) 'Wight Leopard' now hibernating Gosport UK until next year.
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Fendant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fendant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2023 at 11:45
Iain,
these tanks are Polyethylene tanks multi layer blow molded. This is the same process for  all the fuel tanks in passenger cars and light lorries. These all are subject to serious crashtest during the homogenization process. AFAIK I never heard about any leaking tanks in the recent years.
True is that a blocked fuel tank vent can lead to "bulging". From a polymer engineer stand point I say that this is not an issue for concern. Kautex (part of US Textron) is the global  leading company and regular makes crash test with new tank designs. A 100 ltr tank for the Porsche Panamera is way more geometrically complicated, than our simple boat fuel tanks.

But you will have an issue with a blocked vent for the fuel supply to your engine, most likely some time after engine start up when you try to enter a port Angry So if you see "bulging" take it as a warning sign for engine reliability.
Frank
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Ratbasher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ratbasher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2023 at 12:11
Thanks Frank, that's helpful - thought they were metal like mine in the H400 and the 'exploding' one I came cross in an earlier life.  However, to answer James's original question, how could it be fixed - just squeeze it down with the plates mentioned by Kipwrite?!?
H400 (2008) 'Wight Leopard' now hibernating Gosport UK until next year.
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Fendant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fendant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2023 at 13:11
Iain,

no need, blowmolding yields a seamless tank.  On my boat the center bar assures the tabk is kept securely in place on the bottom of the hull
I you block the bulging in the center it will deform at the second weakest point.
With an open vent it will not deform!
Frank
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James bruce View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote James bruce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2023 at 04:17
Thanks everyone for your help & suggestions.
Much appreciated.
Cheers. James
James Bruce Hanse 455
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