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Suggestions for buying a boat with fiberglass gas tank??

Old 01-21-2021, 09:29 AM
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Default Suggestions for buying a boat with fiberglass gas tank??

I have a pending deal on a 2007 Activator and I checked with the builder, sending him pictures underneath there rear seat, and he confirmed the boat has a fiberglass fuel tank.... He was great and gave me a price on repairing, but I would like to run the boat for the coming summer just to make sure everything else is solid, we want to keep the boat, and put some cash aside after the purchase $$ to replace the tank AND maybe do some updating at the same time....
Curious what I can do in the meantime to make sure its not needed immediately and if anything to prevent it leaking sooner?

Pre-purchase I am going to get a surveyor but curious what can be done....
1 - If the tank is basically empty, has anyone sent a inspection camera down the fuel fill to inspect?
2 - How about pressurizing the tank with air to see if it holds? Can anyone suggest how to go about that? Block off the fill & vent lines, and then fittings from fuel line into air compressor?? What psi is recommended or max?

Prevention if no leaks...
1 - Is there any additives that can be mixed to actually prevent the ethanol from breaking down the resins/fiberglass?
2 - Coating the tank?? I read some old posts about Ceram-Kote to seal the tank... Or are there any other products to do this. I am not even sure if I would be about to reach all areas of the tank if I were to cut a hole into the tank underneath the rear seat... OR how I would go about sealing up that hole after the fact? Just curious about potential options.

Seems a bit ridiculous going through all this on a boat I haven't bought yet, but its a really sweet boat otherwise
Appreciate any advice!!
Chris
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:41 AM
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Search on here for Skater tank issues. Ethanol turned the surface resin to goo in their issues.

Considering the tanks are container and vented to atmosphere - they would not need a lot of PSI but your "rig" to test and block the vents, fuel fill and outlets has to be 100% leakproof... basicly you are looking to do a leak down test on a tank
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:03 AM
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Run only ethanol free fuel until you can replace the tank. Hopefully it's not already turned to goo.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:56 AM
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Or Aviation fuel.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by speicher lane View Post
Search on here for Skater tank issues. Ethanol turned the surface resin to goo in their issues.

Considering the tanks are container and vented to atmosphere - they would not need a lot of PSI but your "rig" to test and block the vents, fuel fill and outlets has to be 100% leakproof... basicly you are looking to do a leak down test on a tank
Thanks... I wasn't sure if this was something that people typically do?
Also, why were the skaters so bad compared to other brands?

Originally Posted by thirdchildhood View Post
Run only ethanol free fuel until you can replace the tank. Hopefully it's not already turned to goo.
Originally Posted by Sydwayz View Post
Or Aviation fuel.
Not sure I can get ethanol free gas anywhere in NJ, esp 93/94 octane either... Aviation fuel is a possibility, but how's that affect the tune on a 850hp NA motor?
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:45 PM
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Is it possible to put a bladder in it?

I had an Outerlimits that had a fuel leaking issue....turns out it was one of only a few that they used part of the hull as the fuel cell....It was coated with some special coating and then had an aluminum top......ethanol ate it up.....I replaced with an aluminum tank.....was not a cheap venture
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cdaniel525 View Post
Thanks... I wasn't sure if this was something that people typically do?
Also, why were the skaters so bad compared to other brands?




Not sure I can get ethanol free gas anywhere in NJ, esp 93/94 octane either... Aviation fuel is a possibility, but how's that affect the tune on a 850hp NA motor?



Skaters were bad because of the specific resin they used and they never used aluminum tanks, a good number of other builders use aluminum tanks. I believe the Skaters built with epoxy were the worst, vinylester resin doesn't seem to be as effected by ethanol. 90 non ethanol seem to be growing in popularity, I use it and splash 2 to 3 gallons of aviation 100LL to every 10 gallons of 90 with good results.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:30 PM
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Skaters went a LONG time without the tank issues that crept into being a chronic problem. The turning point was specifically when ethanol was in pretty much all fuel. Peter changed resins and that was the long term solution (and created a secondary business repairing fuel tanks).
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bullhead View Post
. 90 non ethanol seem to be growing in popularity, I use it and splash 2 to 3 gallons of aviation 100LL to every 10 gallons of 90 with good results.
​​​​​​Cool... You think that slows the rate at which it deteriorates the resins? I take it that you haven't done anything with you Skaters tank yet??
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by speicher lane View Post
Skaters went a LONG time without the tank issues that crept into being a chronic problem. The turning point was specifically when ethanol was in pretty much all fuel. Peter changed resins and that was the long term solution (and created a secondary business repairing fuel tanks).
So its very well possible that the fiberglass tank may not be an issue??
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