Fuel tank pull on E33RH

K2MSmith

Sustaining Member
I’m getting tired of a fuel weep into the bilge and I’m inclined to pull the aluminum fuel tank to look for corrosion / pinhole leaks . I think it might be original. The tank looks to be accessible by removing the wood top on the port main cabin birth ( under the cushion ) . Have any E33 owners removed this tank before ? I’m thinking of hiring a freelance shipwright to help me do the work. The difficult part is finding enough Gerry cans to remove 20 gallons of fuel and what to do with it , but I’m hoping after emptying the tank, it will not be too hard to remove.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I did not realize that your model had the tank under a settee. Similar to our Olson. There is a thread with some semi-relevant photos of our changeover to a custom larger capacity tank in that location. https://ericsonyachts.org/ie/threads/diesel-tank-replacement.6303/#post-40175

Last time I had to drain our tank I did have to use several plastic jerry cans, and a cheap-o transfer pump from Harbor Freight.
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
E36RH, but same fuel tank location. Mine was easy to get loose and move around when I added access ports. I didn't try to get it out the companionway. The plywood base of the settee just unscrews. There were a couple of athwartship boards holding the tank down and I had a couple of nylon webbing hold down straps that I suspect my PO installed.

Mark
 

K2MSmith

Sustaining Member
E36RH, but same fuel tank location. Mine was easy to get loose and move around when I added access ports. I didn't try to get it out the companionway. The plywood base of the settee just unscrews. There were a couple of athwartship boards holding the tank down and I had a couple of nylon webbing hold down straps that I suspect my PO installed.

Mark
Good to know ! Sounds like same mounting schedule. Did you have yours repaired or replaced?
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
My tank is a 1990 replacement in stainless steel. I had water in the tank and gunk in the fuel but no leaks. I had the fuel pumped out and added four access ports so I could clean out the tank.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Four 5-gallon diesel jugs. Might as well install an inspection port while the tank is out. Knowing the tank is clean is great comfort.

If you rarely have to change fuel filters, I'd probably put the same fuel back--not to save $100 but because it's otherwise so hard to get rid of.

The jugs are hard to store at home, but lashed on deck they double your range for the next cruise.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Here is a photo of our boat with two yellow jerry cans lashed to the port side life line and toe rail, right by the deck fill. We did a refueling with a "rattle syphon" hose, with the cans still secured in place.
We do not have the better-engineered can storage rack that Christian invented, but then we only usually plan for one night at sea, per trip, as compared to several weeks at a time.
 
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K2MSmith

Sustaining Member
My tank is a 1990 replacement in stainless steel. I had water in the tank and gunk in the fuel but no leaks. I had the fuel pumped out and added four access ports so I could clean out the tank.
Did you have it custom made to match old tank or was it a sock size ?
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
Did you have it custom made to match old tank or was it a sock size ?
A previous owner replaced the tank. Don't know why. It was only 9 years old at the time of replacement. It was done by Vic Berry Sheetmetal, the OEM. He was still working in 2022. Catch him before he retires!

See post #5 in this thread for info specific to Vic Berry and the E33RH:


Mark
 

K2MSmith

Sustaining Member
Thanks for the vendor referral . I’m in SoCal quite frequently so I’ll check on their availability when we get closer to pulling the tank . That is a very reasonable price.
A previous owner replaced the tank. Don't know why. It was only 9 years old at the time of replacement. It was done by Vic Berry Sheetmetal, the OEM. He was still working in 2022. Catch him before he retires!

See post #5 in this thread for info specific to Vic Berry and the E33RH:


Mar
 

K2MSmith

Sustaining Member
I was able to remove some of the wood to expose the 40 gallon tank. . It doesn’t look too difficult to remove. The tank has to be the original tank as it was dated 1981 and was built by Vic Berry Sheet metal. If he is in business, I’m wondering if he still has Ericson’s drawings and maybe he could build me a replacement tank for pickup in Costa Mesa? I’m not sure what all the hoses are for . The copper line is obviously the fuel line. There is also the small black line (??) . There are the hoses on the side . I’m guessing those go to the deck fill and maybe a vent ? The electrical gizmo is probably the fuel level gauge and it looks like a bunch of wires attach to the tank , maybe as a common ground.
 

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K2MSmith

Sustaining Member
The small black hose on top is the fuel return line. Large hose on the side is going to the deck fill fitting and the small one is the vent.
Thank you. I’ll have to look that one up “fuel return line” . I’m guessing fuel pump has to deliver fuel to engine by circulating it to the engine and sending unused fuel back into tank ? Also , I’m not able to trace the vent hose . I’m wondering where that goes ? The fill hose must go to the deck fitting that says “fuel”.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
On our boat, EY used a green wire to connect the metal deck fitting to a tab on the tank, and then onwards to the ground terminal strip behind the DC panel.
 

G Kiba

Sustaining Member
That is a huge tank! 40 Gallons. Maybe you can size it smaller to get some storage back and maybe a little less cost in replacement.
Sure would be easier to handle. My tank, I think, is 12 gallons and it lasts all year with several trips to the Delta. Food for thought.
 

K2MSmith

Sustaining Member
That is a huge tank! 40 Gallons. Maybe you can size it smaller to get some storage back and maybe a little less cost in replacement.
Sure would be easier to handle. My tank, I think, is 12 gallons and it lasts all year with several trips to the Delta. Food for thought.
When I bought the boat 2 1/2 yrs ago , I filled the tank . It still has 30 gallons in it .
 

K2MSmith

Sustaining Member
Interesting, I just talked to Vic Berry’s shop . They are the original fabricators in costa mesa for the fuel tanks for Ericson . They have all the blueprints and can fabricate a new exact replacement for my tank . We are in discussions on it . I don’t have a price yet but if it is a plug-in replacement, that is an advantage because the tank actually is cradled by some of the fiberglass structure of the boat by design. Can anyone guess how much it will cost ?
 

K2MSmith

Sustaining Member
Is this a quiz? What's the prize? :)
I will guess about 1K, or more..
I’m actually interested in what it -should- cost because I’ve been surprised before by other costs :/) , but my thought is that a good fabricator / welder should be able to make it in a day (?). So maybe your estimate would be pretty close . I could try to get a plastic tank for 500-600 , but I think it will be much more time for me to retrofit . Somehow getting the original builder to make a replica has some appeal to me although maybe not the most modern solution .
 
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