Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:02 pm

The stainless tanks would be heavier than the same size aluminum tanks, but more important would be the cost. Why don't they use stainless tanks for hot water heaters, I am sure for cost of the unit. I am sure because the offer both gas and diesel versions that they just use the same tanks. All just guessing. :mrgreen:
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby gofast24 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:18 am

Chris_in_Texas wrote:The stainless tanks would be heavier than the same size aluminum tanks, but more important would be the cost. Why don't they use stainless tanks for hot water heaters, I am sure for cost of the unit. I am sure because the offer both gas and diesel versions that they just use the same tanks. All just guessing. :mrgreen:

Just thinking that if the SS tanks were 10/20 lbs. heaver that isnt much compared to the weight of the fuel in a full tank or the total weight added to the aft of the vessel. SS tank would be worth the additional cost and weight compared to a aluminum tank that has to be removed and repaired and then put back in?
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:10 pm

gofast24 wrote:
Chris_in_Texas wrote:The stainless tanks would be heavier than the same size aluminum tanks, but more important would be the cost. Why don't they use stainless tanks for hot water heaters, I am sure for cost of the unit. I am sure because the offer both gas and diesel versions that they just use the same tanks. All just guessing. :mrgreen:

Just thinking that if the SS tanks were 10/20 lbs. heaver that isnt much compared to the weight of the fuel in a full tank or the total weight added to the aft of the vessel. SS tank would be worth the additional cost and weight compared to a aluminum tank that has to be removed and repaired and then put back in?


Yes I agree significance in weight is most likely not an issue. I am sure it was all down to cost. Regal doesn't care in 10-15 years if the tanks go bad. They need to get it through the warranty period and that's it. Its very evident from other things that they cheap out in areas to just get it over the warranty period, and it becomes your problem, not theirs. Just like the bedding of the hand rails along the sides and bow. Its something that will have to be re-bedded down the line in a few years, but they don't make the backside of the bolts accessible from inside the boat. You literately have to destroy the boat to get to them and then rebuild it back. The same for tank access, in my 3060 and even in the 35SC the tanks are buried to the point you would need to cut up a significant portion of the boat to get to them. They will go bad, its just a matter of time.

So if they last a few years to 5 years they are happy and then its up to the owner at that point.

Here is a good article on the subject:

https://www.passagemaker.com/technical/ ... ank-design

All of the larger trawlers that I have been on are fiberglass tanks for diesel, they use to use steel, as long as you take care of them and keep water out of the fuel they can last a long time as well. However with full displacement, weight is not a problem in the trawlers. However in planning boats, weight is the enemy. ;)
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby ChesapeakeLover » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:55 pm

Hey All -
I appreciate the banter, but some more information specific to 'Best Day Ever' is in....
Tank is removed. (I have pictures but can't seem to get them uploaded. Not sure how to reduce the resolution to a point the website will allow them to be uploaded)
Starboard tank is bad - a few small holes on the bottom. The tank is otherwise in pristine condition. No moisture evidence or corrosion. Here is the really odd thing... The only place where there is any type of degradation to the tank is EXACTLY where the rubber vibration isolation tape is applied to the tank. Along that whole run, where the tape is attached, you can clearly see the tank is eaten away. Three or so small holes, and few other areas where the aluminum is thin, have formed. The tank(s) sit in a dedicated well that house both the Starboard and Port side tank for the 3880/4080. The fuel that leaked out is now under the bad tank, and the tank that is presently not leaking. The fuel spilled over into the forward bilge as it filled up and during any pitching of the boat during normal operation - otherwise the fuel is contained in that well. Thank God I have Diesel!

So - a few things....
1) The Starboard tank is bad. Needs to be replaced ...... or repaired? Weld a repair perhaps???
2) In order to get to the Starboard tank the steps, battery Switches & panel, corner cabinet, entertainment system, starboard hull side storage all had to come out. Of course floor too. The floor was factory cut to allow access to the tank - only good thing so far.
3) One can reasonable assume that the port tank, being installed at the same time with the same materials, is going bad too - when it goes bad is anyone's guess.
4) Relative to the Port side tank on a 3880, the Starboard tank was a breeze to get to. I only had to remove EVERYTHING to get to it :roll: :oops: :roll: Kidding aside, my marina is estimating at least double the labor to get to the port side tank (not leaking side) if/when needed. The dinette, platform for the dinette, electric breaker panel and wires, and who knows what in the side/second cabin all need to be removed.
5) So, since half the interior is torn up, I really should do both port and starboard tank - right.....?

Ok - Call insurance to make a claim - it is worth a shot. Initial reply from them is NO - it is wear and tear - no coverage - but 'because you are such a good customer we will pay for the discovery of the first tank without deductible' Great - that will be about $7k! After some back and forth healthy debate, they agree to give it a second opinion and ask for a quote from the marina for the full job. Still no guarantee and minimal hope was offered.
Call Regal - Very impressed with their responsiveness but no coverage will be offered (Bill Peach is who I connected with). Frankly, it is a 12 year old boat - I can't hardly blame them. Again- it was worth a shot.
So - now I really feel stuck - it looks like this whole thing will be on me. In a way, I get it - it is a 12 year old boat so honestly it is hard to ask for coverage (but worth a shot anyway). I'd been ok if the hole and degradation is outside the foam/rubber tape - but it is only where the tape is located. Seems to be factory material issue. It's as if something reacted to the tape and caused the issue. Bill at Regal says they have used this foam tape for years and are still using this foam tape on new installs today. (Beware)
Now the fun part -
Initial estimate for this whole project is around $50,000 for both tanks. (Tanks themselves are $5500) That is absolutely crazy, insane, nuts AND I frankly don't have it. This estimate is based on what the marina believes it will take to access the port side tank given just how much of the boat has to be removed to gain access.
So what you do, if you were me....? Serious question as I am really struggling with this. Honest boat valuation is around $115k - $120k
Multiple choice:
A) Repair Starboard tank by welding in a repair. Button-up the boat and hope for the best. Maybe the port side will last for years to come. ?
B) Get more estimates and bite the bullet, find a way to replace both tanks and enjoy the boat for years to come.
C) Replace Starboard tank with New and hope for best not touching port side tank.
D) Call my bank and say come and get her - I'm done. The repair bill is too much for the boat valuation and the collateral is not there anymore to secure the loan
E) Try to wholesale her as is or after completing step A

Boat is in great shape. Motors are GREAT, and I take care of her overall. Family really loves the boat but the financial investment in this repair just seems to be too much unless I am not seeing something. This is really killing me so I really do appreciate the feedback and/or questions.
Thanks all!
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby xixp » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:16 pm

I would go with C in case you couldnt find more reasonable estimates for replacing both.
Repairing the tank is a risk i would not assume after all the job done to remove it.

May be Regal is right, the tape didnt cause the issue and you simple got a bad tank. Furthermore, with a new tank you could even keep using the boat despite a future leak on the other tank. (I assume you can feed both engines from any of the tanks..).
And With a new tank you can assure a potential buyer that the issue was properly fixed (in case you feel like fully disclosing the matter).

I suspect that trying to walk away from the loan will end up hurting your credit so i would leave that one and selling it as it is (at a huge loss) as the least viable options.

Hope this helps to make your best possible decision.
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby ChesapeakeLover » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:22 am

Thanks - Option D is really not an option for me but I threw it out there anyway. I appreciate the response.
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby cbsmith » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:54 am

Replace the bad tank and then sell the boat and look for another boat? Once the bad tank is replaced and the boat put back together it shouldn’t affect the value any I wouldn’t think. Although it may be hard to find another boat that has Diesel engines and non-aluminum fuel tanks.
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby Seven » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:00 am

$50K for repairs!!! That's insane. I can't understand why you are having trouble with this decision. :o :shock:

What are the breakdowns? Sounds like 50K is for both tanks and you said port is twice the price to replace so is the port side an additional ~32K? Would ~16K fix the current issue? If those are roughly the numbers then I agree with others saying just fix the bad tank and start looking for another boat. Get a borescope and see if you can look around at the port tank for signs of future leaks.
I would talk with the marina and get all the details then weigh the options. How much $ is the carpentry work. Maybe you can outsource that to someone who isn't charging $100+ and hour.
I hope for your sake insurance covers it. Wear and tear excuse seems a little weak.
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby ChesapeakeLover » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:10 am

In doing some research I also came across this article. Great read on Aluminum Tanks -
https://www.boatsurveyor.com/aluminum-fuel-tanks/
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:09 pm

There you go....

. Cause was improper support as builder used moisture absorbent gasket material causing severe corrosion:

The foam pad held the moisture as well as any debris and ate into the tank either corrosion or by sand or small gravel and the vibration of the tank against the shelf right at the tape line. :shock:

Sorry to hear your issues for sure. I would say fix and then sell myself. I would check to see costs of fixing the existing tank vs new. If its fixed by a reputable shop in theory it should be good as new, but a good inspection and pressure test would be needed. Its not the best time to sell a boat right now going into winter. Would be interesting to see the breakdown of the quote and see where most of the costs are coming from. Its not the tank itself, it must all be labor. I would have another shop come in and quote a price as well. You can always splash it and drive it over with the existing tank in there still to another marina. Its a tough call.
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby xixp » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:17 pm

I still cant believe that anyone that faces a tank problem has to end up getting rid of the boat.
There are many 10 years plus boats that are still in service; is it always a faulty tank considered a so major issue??
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby Seven » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:30 pm

You should also check around for a better price on the fuel tank. I am not sure great lake skippers website has a match but worth giving a call. They don't seem to have a Regal tank but maybe something else cross matches if you can get dimensions. Their tanks are MUCH more reasonable than 5500.
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby ImRich » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:01 am

Could you take another approach? Cut out the old tanks to allow easier removal and put in something smaller that can go in without cutting the boat apart, or multiple small tanks plumbed together?
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby cbsmith » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:36 am

ImRich wrote:Could you take another approach? Cut out the old tanks to allow easier removal and put in something smaller that can go in without cutting the boat apart, or multiple small tanks plumbed together?


You probably could do that but an issue with it would be insurance. If you make a homemade fuel system on your boat you would likely run into insurance issues where they would want it to be inspected or certified by an engineer, which may cost just as much as the right tanks. Something to check into with your insurance company though so see what they say.
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby gofast24 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:11 am

My thoughts= In my many years of diesel propulsion and gen set business we never allowed aluminum fuel tanks or copper fuel lines> To pass installation commissioning either steel or SS tanks required ! for what it is worth (PS; Large propulsion engines (over 500 kW) or gen set required a "day tank" capable of running at max. output rating for a min. of 12 hours). I would go for the removal and repair of the leaking tank and check the other tank with a bore scope to determine if it is starting to corrode. Good luck! Let us know what you decide to do!

If it makes you feel any better I just had two 16 MFD / 450 VAC capacitors (they function as a AC output voltage regulation circuit) replaced on my 2001 westerbeke 7.0 kW gen set (symptom, low AC output / 10 VAC) , (my cost if buying he cap's on line would have been about $16 each and about 1 hour labor for me to do)! The charge for having a "Westerbeke Gen Set Specialist" do the repair was $686! Moral of the story = If it is marine the actual cost is about 5X what it would cost if it was a home / gen set/ AC unit. i was charged $68 for each cap and $26 UPS shipping, could have done this my self if I was still able to clime into and out of the engine room!
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby ChesapeakeLover » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:18 pm

Appreciate everyone’s input. Really do. Couple of thoughts to the replies....
Smaller tanks- I don’t want that for a multitude of reasons. Insurance, range, resale...

Patching tank- right now that is where I am leaning. Patch weld tank and trade or sell her. But I also want to get a scope to see if I am able to look under the other tank. Not sure if the lens is small enough to fit under.

Aluminum Tank- I just don’t understand. The majority of tanks now seem to be aluminum yet tank failures are becoming an ever increasing issue with boats. So to get a different boat doesn’t solve a problem. The replacement tanks proposed are thicker and epoxy coated. New tank is considered 5052. Not sure what that means. What aluminum is in there now I wonder?

Price. Yes the price is high. I know this and will not contract with this marina until I do more homework. Yet, this marina has been great with trying to get this through insurance for me. Obvious benefits for both parties involved.

Foam vibration isolation tape. Foam will only hold moisture if it is an open cell foam. Closed cell foam will not hold anything as nothing can get in beyond the cut cell on the edge. One could argue that debris could have entered into a cut open cell of the closed cell foam and rested vibrating against the tank over the last 12 years.

Overall the issue is the access and labor to get to the tank. The tanks are about 5800 for both tanks. Not each.

So — update is. Insurance wants a third party opinion. Surveyor hired. Surveyor and I will be at boat on Wednesday AM for an inspection.
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby Seven » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:32 am

Glad to hear you are getting other opinions. But even 5800 for both tanks seems out of the price range when I looked quickly. For 120 gallon tanks they were in the 700 ball park. Granted the 3880 might need a specific size/dimension that is more expensive but if you get a close proximity to the size like someone else mention if a tad smaller you can fit it in. You will just have to relocate the brackets. I don't see why insurance would care if the tank was a tad smaller as long as its properly secured.
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby ChesapeakeLover » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:25 pm

New Information....
Surveyor report was complete and pointed to the design of the boat for the reason of the corrosive environment causing the tank to fail. He was not pleased with how the tanks sit in a well that has poor drainage and ventilation. He continued by mentioning if my boat were a gas boat, or when (not if) others have this issue on gas boats, the way the tank well holds the fuel is an explosion waiting to happen. He is sending these findings to the Coast Guard for additional investigation.

Having said that - the report goes to insurance. Insurance calls me and says pound sand. No coverage.
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby xixp » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:45 pm

Its called my attention that my 2010 3760 had both tanks in the ER so it was easy to check their condition.
But in a larger boat like the 3880 they put them below the galley...??
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Re: Diesel Leak Found because of ROF

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:56 pm

Same on the 35SC, one is behind the aft cabin wall and the other is in the ER. That one buried into the wall would take a lot to remove that is below the port forward seat and all that is molded in with fiberglass.
Thanks, Chris

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