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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Keswick, Cumbria
    Posts
    1,202

    Default replacement fuel tank conundrum in westerly longbow.

    The yard had a look at my tank while she is in pembroke, and reckoned it would come out fairly simply for cleaning and painting, but of course it didn't. The only way to get it out is to cut it up.

    They cleaned it in situ, as best they could, and got a lot of black sludge and rust out of the bottom of it, sadly it was that sludge that was keeping the deisel in. Any fuel put in starts leaking from various rust holes! So she is stuck there till I sort a new fuel tank.

    The issue is; in situ is a 110l tank, and a custom built tank, that can fit through the access aperture of 455mm sq, can only hold approx 70l.
    (450mm sq, for clearance, and max 385mm high (current tanks height) to allow for the connections between tank and cockpit sole.

    The max depth here available is 520mm between the bearing and underside of the cockpit sole.

    The other alternative is a standard plastic tank 350mm w x300mm h of 42l capacity, and maybe use two of these with a connecting valve, (I understand the renowns have port and stb tanks? )

    It seems a retrograde step to replace the tank with a smaller capacity, but unless I want to start chopping up the cockpit, it seems like my only alternative.

    I have been quoted around 650 for a custom tank and around 250 for the 42l tank, plus fittings, plus labour.

    My questions are, has anyone here successfully replaced a tank on a longbow, and what with if so?

    Has the combined experience here any ideas for getting a larger fuel capacity into that space?

    And does anyone know of a source of premade tanks at better prices.

    I have already emailed tektanks, as quandry suggested them as an eventual replacement when I got the boat.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    7,281

    Default Re: replacement fuel tank conundrum in westerly longbow.

    I know nothing, however to get the ball rolling -

    If money is tight, I might be inclined to fit the smaller tank, and carry more spare fuel than is usual. Tough 4 gallon HDPE containers are available foc if you keep your eyes open. You should have plenty of space to make a bespoke stowage and it might be possible to arrange matters so that syphoning into the main tank is possible, even easy. Portable tanks can always be carted to a fuel station if necessary.

    If you don't like it you can always fit a second tank later.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    40,307

    Default Re: replacement fuel tank conundrum in westerly longbow.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve yates View Post
    The yard had a look at my tank while she is in pembroke, and reckoned it would come out fairly simply for cleaning and painting, but of course it didn't. The only way to get it out is to cut it up.

    They cleaned it in situ, as best they could, and got a lot of black sludge and rust out of the bottom of it, sadly it was that sludge that was keeping the deisel in. Any fuel put in starts leaking from various rust holes! So she is stuck there till I sort a new fuel tank.

    The issue is; in situ is a 110l tank, and a custom built tank, that can fit through the access aperture of 455mm sq, can only hold approx 70l.
    (450mm sq, for clearance, and max 385mm high (current tanks height) to allow for the connections between tank and cockpit sole.

    The max depth here available is 520mm between the bearing and underside of the cockpit sole.

    The other alternative is a standard plastic tank 350mm w x300mm h of 42l capacity, and maybe use two of these with a connecting valve, (I understand the renowns have port and stb tanks? )

    It seems a retrograde step to replace the tank with a smaller capacity, but unless I want to start chopping up the cockpit, it seems like my only alternative.

    I have been quoted around 650 for a custom tank and around 250 for the 42l tank, plus fittings, plus labour.

    My questions are, has anyone here successfully replaced a tank on a longbow, and what with if so?

    Has the combined experience here any ideas for getting a larger fuel capacity into that space?

    And does anyone know of a source of premade tanks at better prices.

    I have already emailed tektanks, as quandry suggested them as an eventual replacement when I got the boat.

    Thanks.
    We replaced the tank in Berwick, which is of course the same as a Long bow but with bilge keels.

    We removed the two screws from the feet and the filler.

    we pulled it forward a little, rotated it through 90 around the vertical axis, then rolled it onto what was its back. Then it slid forward and lifted out through the hatch ... just.

    We had the new one made a few mm smaller on al dimensions so that it was easy to fit in

    However the boat had tiller steering. If you have wheel steering gear in the way the above probably won't work.
    Last edited by VicS; 07-12-17 at 11:43.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Keswick, Cumbria
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Re: replacement fuel tank conundrum in westerly longbow.

    I do vic, but it's cables running through both cockpit lockers, though the binnacle is immediately in front of the hatch and could impede a tank?

    When you say hatch, I presume you mean the square access hatch on the cockpit floor, yes?

    Can you remember the volume of your tank vic? and was the replacement similar with the just shaving off a few mm in dimensions?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    1,011

    Default Re: replacement fuel tank conundrum in westerly longbow.

    I'd go for the 42l plastic tank solution purely on a budget basis unless you always plan on doing marathon trips.... I probably only used a single tank the whole summer though so depends how often you would need to be filling up and if you are going to be on a swinging mooring. Horses for courses. I like the arguments for plastic (lack of corrosion).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    40,307

    Default Re: replacement fuel tank conundrum in westerly longbow.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve yates View Post
    I do vic, but it's cables running through both cockpit lockers, though the binnacle is immediately in front of the hatch and could impede a tank?

    When you say hatch, I presume you mean the square access hatch on the cockpit floor, yes?

    Can you remember the volume of your tank vic? and was the replacement similar with the just shaving off a few mm in dimensions?
    Yes the cockpit floor hatch ...... nothing in front of it will cause any problem provided the hatch is the same size.

    The tank that came out was the original as fitted by Westerly ... sorry I don't remember its capacity.

    The new one was made locally to the same pattern, just a few mm smaller each way to give a bit more wiggle room

    For a short time we had a smaller plastic tank sitting in front of the leaking original but we did not make any long trips with this arrangement.
    Last edited by VicS; 07-12-17 at 13:12.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    5,057

    Default Re: replacement fuel tank conundrum in westerly longbow.

    My recollection of your tank was close to a cube shape almost square in plan and almost as tall as it was wide, a big tank taking up a relatively small space. Problem seems to be that boat tanks are usually quite shallow to fit below lockers etc , the 42 litre std. Tek Tank is only 30cm. deep, you must have room for almost twice that? If you could buy a blank and install it upright then put the inspection/connection panel on top on what was the end, or even put two like that you might be able to take better advantage of the space you have? Seems a shame not to use it as that void would not be much use for anything else. However your Yanmar should be good for at least 2l/hr giving you a range of more than 100 miles under motor and you are a sailer. A 20l. container would extend to 150miles and allow you to top up from filling stations when you are in remoter places. You mention clearance for connections, all of that will be on top, nothing under, so you should not need much, but the tank will need to be securely restrained. IIO litre is probably 30% bigger than average for a 30 footer.
    Having said all that, I would go for a custom tank as close as possible to the original, you have got off lightly so far with a new engine, new sails and all that junk Lenny left you with and the big tank would mean that you do not have to keep thinking about where to top up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Keswick, Cumbria
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Re: replacement fuel tank conundrum in westerly longbow.

    Restraint is something I was wondering about, presumably plastic tanks are not simply bolted or screwed into whatever the steel tank was attached to?

    Are they strapped down?

    The problem with a tank as close to original as possible is anything that fills the void, wont get through the hatch. It almost seems like the boat was built around the tank!

    I would take as much fuel capacity as I can get, as I don't want my port or anchorage choice to be dictated by a need to refill. I also need to bear in mind that when I have to get back for work, I HAVE to get back; It's not like missing a day in an office, it's some poor sods wedding, and missing it will cause havoc So If I have to motor hard into head seas and windover tide at end of a trip, so be it. As an aside, when I have been hammering her like that, it's more like 3l p/hr, but I would expect 1.5-2 l/phr if just cruising along without wind or a bit of gentle motorsailing.

    I'm leaning towards 2 plastic tanks connected up, but also wondering about the feasability of cutting out a chunk of the cockpit sole and doubling the length of that existing hatch, putting in some sort of crossways batten for strength when walking on it. That may make it easy to install one large tank, and make it easy to access the top of the tank and any fittings?

    Anyone ever done anything like that? Or is it a stupid idea? Or an expensive one?
    Last edited by steve yates; Yesterday at 23:40.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NE Coast
    Posts
    1,447

    Default Re: replacement fuel tank conundrum in westerly longbow.

    Hi Steve

    Sounds a familiar story. I can recommend Tek Tanks http://tektankslimited.com/series-c-...range-28-c.asp

    They have a good range of sizes and IF you need any they can also add fuel gauge fitting etc and inspection hatch, I had their C' series and by
    the way they also sell the straps for fastening them down.

    Good luck

    Mike
    Archivist for the Colvic Watson Owners Group

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    40,307

    Default Re: replacement fuel tank conundrum in westerly longbow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quandary View Post
    My recollection of your tank was close to a cube shape almost square in plan and almost as tall as it was wide, a big tank taking up a relatively small space. Problem seems to be that boat tanks are usually quite shallow to fit below lockers etc , the 42 litre std. Tek Tank is only 30cm. deep, you must have room for almost twice that? If you could buy a blank and install it upright then put the inspection/connection panel on top on what was the end, or even put two like that you might be able to take better advantage of the space you have? Seems a shame not to use it as that void would not be much use for anything else. However your Yanmar should be good for at least 2l/hr giving you a range of more than 100 miles under motor and you are a sailer. A 20l. container would extend to 150miles and allow you to top up from filling stations when you are in remoter places. You mention clearance for connections, all of that will be on top, nothing under, so you should not need much, but the tank will need to be securely restrained. IIO litre is probably 30% bigger than average for a 30 footer.
    Having said all that, I would go for a custom tank as close as possible to the original, you have got off lightly so far with a new engine, new sails and all that junk Lenny left you with and the big tank would mean that you do not have to keep thinking about where to top up.
    Similar height and width but depth, back to front, smaller.

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