Removing the Fuel Tank


The fuel tank needed to be removed from the boat in order to further examine the boat's structure and to complete the repairs.  The fuel tank is approximately 8 feet long and about 2 feet wide.  It weighs about 100 lbs. empty.  The tank is set inside the hull using polyurethane foam as an adhesive.  Removing the foam and eventually removing the tank is quite a job.  It took several days of tedious work, but the tank finally came loose from the hull and could be lifted out of the boat.

A variety of lifting devices and pry bars were used throughout the process.  Care must be taken to make sure that the pry bars do not damage or puncture the tank.  Also, the tank, now empty, is loaded with explosive fumes . . . so caution is the word.  Here are a few pictures below of the removal process.

The urethane foam that is used as flotation in boats, and also to imbed fuel tanks, is an excellent adhesive.  Much of the foam was underneath the tank and could not be readily accessed for removal.  So, I used some lifting devices to apply upward force on the forward part of the tank, as shown in the picture above.  It eventually broke loose and could be lifted from the hull.

The deck hatch opening was only slightly larger than the tank.  So, it was a bit tricky getting the tank through the opening.  It eventually came through, after putting up a fight.

Once the tank was removed, a mess of foam pieces remained at the bottom of the hull.  So, a bit of clean-up was in order so that the structure could be examined.

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