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Hell's Bay Darkside Association Thread, Gas Tank Replacment Repair? in TribeNwater Boats; The aluminum gas tank in my '03 Waterman18 sprung a leak flooding the bow storage compartment last weekend. I store ...
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Gas Tank Replacment Repair?

The aluminum gas tank in my '03 Waterman18 sprung a leak flooding the bow storage compartment last weekend. I store it in my garage & luckily I didn't plug the battery charger in without inspecting! Talking to HB, they're telling me that their tanks will corrode & usually have a life exp. of 6 - 10yrs. & that my 7.5yrs was average. Also, I'm being told that the tanks are too large to be removed without cutting the gutters off of the bow hatch opening & repairing (all at owner's expense...ugh!). Has anybody else experienced this?
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have an 03 waterman also. I've heard of a few leaking gas tanks from a couple of guides, and the replacement pain in the azz. From what I understand, if you store a lot of wet thing up front, anchor, rope, etc... the chances of corrosion are more likely.
I know of some '99 whips and older boats that have never had a problem.

Sorry for your pain.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Bill, thanks for the sympathy & info on wet storage as possibly being a contributor...but with me I don't think that's the case. (i.e., battery, charger, folding flyline basket, emergency nylon tow line, small tool bag & life preservers... that's it!). BTW, in talking to HB, they indicated that they were doing this repair frequently.

Last edited by LA Fly Guy; 06-27-2010 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had my tank replaced on my 02 whip. They told me it was a design "flaw". I guess, back in the day, they just carved out a hole and set the tank in underneath the cap when they were manufacturing it. They never really anticipated water getting back in under it. Or at least thats the story I got. Still had to cough up the big cash for their design "flaw". But to their credit they did an awesome job in the repair and did not have to take the cap off.
So I do feel your pain. Good luck man
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When my fuel tank started to leak on my Waterman, I just drained all the fuel out and cut it in half, crush it , the pulled it out. I replaced it with a plastic below deck fuel tank, although it was a smaller 12gal tank.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Cat, I was thinking like you, put some soap n water in the tank, flush plenty, cut in half..Install a little smaller aluminum tank...Something that would slide back in there, even if it was a few gallons smaller...
When you think about it, most lawn mowers & lawn equipment have a plastic tank..I thought the ethanol would create a problem...
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have a 2002 17.8 Whipray, how common is this problem? is this what I have to look forward to?
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Cutting the tank into pieces for removal and replacing what you can fit through the hatch will work. Do a search for ATL fuel cells - they are flexible bladders that can fit through small openings but will need some sort of bracing on the front to keep them stable when full. Cutting the boat and repair after tank replacement is the other option.
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you can see the hole and it is from corrosion and not a puncture, one option is to repair it using JB Weld.

I had an old truck that developed a leak in the tank from sand that was trapped against a plastic housing on the front of the tank. The repair lasted the 5 years I drove the truck before giving it to a neighbors kid to drive.

Simply go after the hole with some steel wool to clean it up and apply the JB Weld covering an area about 2x the size of the hole. To my knowledge, gasoline does not break-down the JB Weld.

Just an option to forego cutting into the boat.
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Just returned from a 3day travel trip to deliver the boat to HB (Titusville) from Lafayette. The Waterman will be there for at least 3wks. Met Chris P. and had a good talk with him. Wish Tom G would've also been there, but was on vacation. Concerning these older tanks wearing out, CP indicated that the original alum tank installation with the flat bottom resting on the hull floor was the problem. Abrasion from vibration while running is the major culprit (along with trapped moisture underneath as secondary). I had other cosmetic refurbishing repairs that I, also, needed addressing...so I elected to go factory route & get it all repaired at once. The new tank will be identical in size & capacity (21g) ,also alum., but will be epoxy powdercoated & mounted on rubber mounts. (I was promised the new tank lasting the lifetime of the boat!?) $ estimate for repair is 2100...ugh

PS: CP added that HB had explored the possibility of plastic tanks...but being able to baffle them & the ethanol issue were the concerns. As the repair order evolves, I'll keep the forum updated on the progress. LFG
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