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Project Log:  Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I took part of a day to visit a local tank builder, whom I'd decided to use to build the custom tankage for this boat.  It was helpful to meet the people involved, see the operation, and discuss the various details of some of the tanks in person before making the final commitment. 

After obtaining quotations from a number of companies, and in several different materials--welded plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel--I elected to hire Triple M plastics of Kennebunk, ME to build the tanks from nitrogen-welded 3/8" polypropylene.  The reasons behind my choice involved not only price, but convenience, past experience with the company, customer service, and the nature of the intended installation for the tankage.

Since the new tanks located outboard of the engine room would be relatively tight to the hull, and similarly confined on their inboard edges, I was concerned that aluminum fuel tanks would be challenging to install properly.  Aluminum tanks are fine as long as there is good air circulation around the tank, and as long as any moisture is able to drain and dry.  In my intended installation, I'd have to build fairly complex support cradles against the hull to hold the tanks in place while providing the requisite ventilation, which seemed an unnecessary annoyance and time drain considering that plastic tanks could be simply foamed into position.

The quotes I received for building any of the tanks from stainless steel were incredibly high--even worse than I'd expected--so I was able to quickly eliminate stainless steel from consideration for any of the tanks.

Preparing for this meeting, I'd ordered three fuel tank sending units, which the company would install for me.  The day before my appointment, the units I'd ordered arrived, but unfortunately the supplier erred and sent only one of the correct ones; two others were intended for use in water tanks, not fuel.  I called and straightened out the problem, but this meant that I was unable to deliver the senders when I went to my appointment, though the supplier was going to drop-ship the proper senders directly to the tank company.

In this photo, the correct sender is the one on the left, made from aluminum.  The two darker-colored ones on the right are the incorrect water tank senders, made from PVC.

Total Time Today:  4 hours

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